U.S. calls Russian, Syrian air strikes ‘reckless escalation’ in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, June 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The United States continues to be alarmed by Syrian government and Russian air strikes in northwest Syria and believes they are a “reckless escalation” of violence, the State Department said on Tuesday.

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Not supporting the Lebanese Army is akin to supporting Iran and Hezbollah

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, June 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

As we mourn the loss of Maronite Patriarch Emeritus Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, we are reminded of his legacy of being a courageous defender of the sovereignty of Lebanon in the face of Syrian occupation. It is striking that he passed at a moment when tensions between Iran and the United States are running high and threaten to drag Lebanon into an unwanted conflict.

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Defying Iran, U.S. to use Oman ports for Persian Gulf access

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, June 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Iran may not like it, but the deal will transform a former fishing village in Oman into a key Middle East industry.

The United States clinched a strategic port deal with Oman last week which US officials say will allow the US military better access the Gulf region and reduce the need to send ships through the Strait of Hormuz, a maritime choke point off Iran.

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Acting US Defense Secretary: China Still Top Priority

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, June 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan said Wednesday that China remained his top defense priority, but that message could ring hollow during his current trip to Asia as Iranian threats loom over American plans to focus on great-power competitors.

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A Response to Claims of Illegal Russian Nuclear Testing

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, June 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

In prepared remarks delivered Wednesday at a Hudson Institute event, Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr., the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, stated that “The United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the ‘zero-yield’ standard” outlined in the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

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U.S.: Russia May Be Testing Low-Yield Nukes, In Violation Of Treaty

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, June 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

A top U.S. military official has said that U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia is likely conducting low-yield nuclear testing that may be violation of a major international treaty.

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Tensions Grow Between Russia, Iran in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, May 30, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Russian military police last week reportedly carried out a raid against Iranian-backed militiamen stationed at Syria’s Aleppo international airport, local media reported.

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Hezbollah paying the price of Iranian obstinance

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, May 30, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Analysis: U.S. sanctions on Iran are taking toll on its Lebanon-based proxy: fighters’ salaries are sliced, assets sold off and even prized Al-Manar TV station is laying off staff; meanwhile, the group itself has not escaped American scrutiny

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WHAT IS U.S. POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, May 30, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient
  • The only consistency in the Trump administration’s Middle East policy has been to support autocratic regimes and strongmen, as it has in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
  • The Trump administration’s top national security officials met with Congress multiple times in May to discuss how the President interprets the threat posed by Iran.
  • U.S. policy on Syria is also ambiguous, and hundreds of bipartisan lawmakers recently called on the President to lay out a coherent Syria strategy.
  • The Trump administration is seeking to convene a summit in Bahrain to discuss economic incentives and investment in the West Bank and Gaza as a prelude to what has been described as a ‘secret road map for peace.’
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Israel Fires Missile on Syrian Military Site

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, May 30, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

An Israeli airstrike on a Syrian anti-aircraft position near the Golan Heights Monday killed one soldier and wounded three, Syria said.

Israel called the rocket strike on Tal al-Shaar retaliation for a Syrian missile fired at an Israeli military jet it said was a routine flight.

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Surge in US military presence in Mideast creates new risks: Russia FM

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, May 30, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that any increase in the US military presence in the Middle East would result in new risks.

“As for [US] President [Donald] Trump’s decision to send 1,500 troops in addition to those deployed in the Middle East and North Africa region, well, you know, always when the military potential grows, the risks increases,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow on Monday after a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.

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Japan Agrees to Buy 105 US F-35 Fighter Jets – Trump

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, May 30, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, are currently paying a four-day state visit to Japan.

Donald Trump announced on Monday that Japan plans to buy 105 US-made stealth warplanes; this would make it home to the largest F35 fleet of any US ally.

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Senior German diplomat in Tehran for nuclear deal talks

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

A senior German diplomat headed Thursday to Tehran to press Iran to continue to respect the landmark nuclear deal, despite the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. and increasing pressure from Washington.

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Iraqi intelligence arrest senior Islamic State leader in Anbar

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Iraqi military intelligence services arrested on Wednesday a senior Islamic State leader in the western province of Anbar.

The Iraqi Military Intelligence Directorate, in a statement, said that its troops “arrested Abu Anas al-Samarei, the military adviser of an Islamic State commander, who was responsible for collecting weapons from citizens, who serve in the Iraqi security apparatus.”

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Syria group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and al-Qaeda legacy

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Who are Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the most powerful group in the last province held by rebels in Syria?

The ongoing government offensive against the last rebel-held areas in northern Syria has once again put the spotlight on the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the dominant faction in Idlib Province.

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Al Qaeda’s Resurgence In Syria: A New Caliphate? – Analysis

Author : Admin | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Even as the so-called Islamic State (IS) embarks on a new phase of global expansion, as evidenced by the recent Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, its jihadist rival Al Qaeda is enjoying a resurgence in the Syrian conflict theatre.

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Indian forces kill leader of al Qaeda affiliate in Kashmir: police

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

Indian forces have killed the leader of an al Qaeda affiliated militant group in Kashmir, police said on Friday, triggering protests in parts of the disputed region.

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Islamic State group emerges as a political force in western Africa

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Islamic State militants in West Africa are gaining the upper hand, carving out a “proto-state” in northern Nigeria where government forces have been overwhelmed by attacks, U.S. military officials and security analysts say.

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Iranian IRGC in Syria’s Latakia? – Report

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

According to a second source, Iran and Syria already signed a protocol for the training of naval forces in Syria.

Jorf News, a Syrian news site, reported that Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps began a naval combat training course in Latakia province in northern Syria. Latakia is where Russia’s Khmeimim airbase is located.

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Gaza’s Islamic Jihad re-emerges, looking to Iran

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

As Hamas fails to improve the lives of Palestinians in Gaza, despite negotiations with Netanyahu, a forgotten jihadist group seeks financial backing

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Assad’s forces battle jihadists for key terrain in Latakia

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

For more than a week, forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have attempted to capture Kabani, a key location in the coastal Latakia province. Assad’s men have met stiff resistance from jihadists in the area, including groups linked to al Qaeda.

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Hizballah operative convicted of terror charges after surveilling targets in New York City

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

On May 16, a jury in Manhattan found Ali Kourani guilty of committing various crimes on behalf of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), which plans terrorist operations around the world. The Department of Justice announced the jury’s verdict the following day.

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Smaller Pro-EU Parties Surge in European Elections; Centrists Lose Seats

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Smaller European parties saw a surge of support in continent-wide elections for the European Parliament in what politicians and analysts agree will likely be seen as the most consequential since 1979, when European Union voters first began casting ballots for the bloc’s legislature.

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Libya on verge of civil war, threatening ‘permanent division’, top UN official warns Security Council

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Magreb

The damage done to Libya will already take “years to mend” but unless fighting around the capital Tripoli stops, the country risks “descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country”.

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Russia to Retaliate if US Deploys Radar Facility in Norway’s Vardo – FM

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, May 27, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The town of Vardo in the Norwegian Arctic near the Russian border is home to a US surveillance radar station dubbed Globus II.

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Taiwan launches construction of missile corvettes, mine-laying ships

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, May 27, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The construction of three Tuo Jiang-class missile corvettes and four rapid mine-laying ships began Friday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced during a ceremony at a wharf in the northeastern county of Yilan.

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Emergency Notification of Arms Sales to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, May 27, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Today, I made a determination pursuant to section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act and directed the Department to complete immediately the formal notification of 22 pending arms transfers to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia totaling approximately $8.1 billion to deter Iranian aggression and build partner self-defense capacity. These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Finland: Will the Social Democrats Retain a Pro-Iran Anti-Semitic MP in Its Ranks?

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, May 27, 2019
Posted in category Afghanistan

A few days after the Finnish elections, Hussein Al-Taee, the son of the governor of Najaf in Iraq and a pro-Iranian regime advocate, was exposed for having spent eight years posting anti-Semitic, anti-American and homophobic comments on Facebook… For four of these years, Al-Taee served as an adviser on Middle Eastern affairs to the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), a state-run conflict-resolution firm… currently headed by former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb.

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Mali: Gestion de la crise malienne : Le Peuple malien peut-il assurer sa révolte contre la France ? Seydou Diarra Gestion de la crise malienne : Le Peuple malien peut-il assurer sa révolte contre la France ?

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, May 27, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Le Mali est un pays souverain et indépendant grâce aux pères fondateurs de la République à savoir l’ancien président Modibo Keïta le père de l’indépendance, les détenteurs des médailles d’or de l’indépendance, le député Mamadou Konaté père de la nation malienne et tous ces anciens militaires qui ont créé l’armée malienne en 1961.

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India Test Fires Air Launched Version of BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 24, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, India, South East Asia

The 2.5-ton air-launched version of the BrahMos (BrahMos-A) missile, named after India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River, has an operational range of around 300 km. It can be dropped from 500 to 14,000 metres.

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US Tells Syrian Kurds Only Future Is Part of Peaceful Syrian State

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 24, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The United States is reminding its Syrian Kurdish allies not to get overly ambitious while at the same time trying to allay concerns Washington will abandon them to Turkey or a possibly resurgent Islamic State terror group.

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US: Military Actions ‘Put on Hold’ Potential Iranian Attacks on Americans

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 24, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan said the steps taken to bolster the U.S. military presence in the Middle East have deterred Iran and “put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans,” even as Iran carried out other attacks.

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Russia holds Baltic drills amid rising tensions with NATO

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Russian troops serving in the Baltic fleet in Kaliningrad have staged military drills as the strategic region is becoming an increasingly contested space between Russia and NATO.

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Erdogan Insists Russian Missile Deal Will Go Through, Plans Additional Work With Moscow

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again insisted he will go through with the purchase of S-400 defense systems from Russia and will also cooperate with Moscow on producing S-500 systems in the future, despite U.S. pressure against the deals.

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US, Taliban Blame Each Other for Acting Against Afghan Peace

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Posted in category Afghanistan, Eurasia, South East Asia

Taliban and American military officials have taken to social media to accuse each other of acting against peace building efforts in conflict-torn Afghanistan.

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