ISLAMIC STATE PRISON RAID. American and Kurdish forces have released prisoners being held by the Islamic State in the northern Iraqi town of Hawija, the New York Times reports, and even caught some of the militants in the process. The operation involving U.S. commandos is a first for the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq – at least insofar as confirmed operations go – and is reportedly the most significant Special Operations mission against the Islamic State in general in several months.
ARE CHINA AND RUSSIA BREAKING UP? Foreign Policy reports how Beijing is starting to move away from Moscow at the United Nations, where the two have functioned as a sort of back-stop team to the West, at least in matters before the Security Council, in years past. But the strategic alliance may not be quite so beneficial for China anymore – or at least the opening signs of discontent are starting to show as Beijing votes with the West on matters related to Ukraine, South Sudan, and Bosnia.