China’s 2nd aircraft carrier holds likely 9th sea trial, could feature fighter jets: report

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

China’s second aircraft carrier, the first to be domestically built, appears to have left the Dalian Shipyard on Thursday for its ninth sea trial, where it might receive fighter jets before its official commissioning, reports said.

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US, Allies Split Over Fate of IS Foreign Fighters

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The United States and other members of the coalition to defeat the Islamic State failed to reach consensus on what to do with captured foreign fighters, one of several issues threatening to reverse gains made against the terror group in Syria and Iraq.

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Iraq’s Sistani urges lawmakers to restore public faith in electoral process

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has called on legislators to promptly introduce a fair electoral law that would restore people’s faith in elections in the wake of weeks of protests in the capital Baghdad and a host of southern cities.

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UK Pitches its State-of-the-Art Super Aircraft Carrier to Make it in India

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, India, South East Asia

The statement comes days after Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh highlighted the requirement of three aircraft carriers for the Navy to overcome critical capability voids during a naval commanders’ conference in New Delhi.

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Lithuania, Russia, Norway Carry Out Three-Way Spy Swap

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Two Lithuanian men convicted of spying in Russia “have been reunited with their families” after they were released as part of a spy swap, the chief of Lithuania’s counterintelligence, Darius Jauniskis, announced on November 15.

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Old Tricks and the Iraqi Genie

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

They claim since force cannot impose democracy, it was wrong for the US to invade Iraq and dislodge Saddam Hussein. They ignore the fact that though force cannot impose democracy, impediments to democracy can, and have been, removed by force.

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A Better Iran Deal Is Within Reach

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran

When the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up its “maximum pressure” campaign last May, with the professed aim of driving Iran’s oil exports to zero, it didn’t take long for Tehran to respond with escalation of its own. In the months since, Iran has reportedly attacked pipelines, tankers, and one of the world’s largest oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia—prompting a spike not just in oil prices but also in worries about a new war in the Middle East. It has also repeatedly breached the original terms of the 2015 nuclear accord—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—which sought to limit the country’s nuclear activities and from which the Trump administration withdrew in 2018.

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Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Iran condemned the United States’ support for “rioters” in a statement issued late Sunday, after two days of violent protests in the Islamic republic against a petrol price hike.

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Turkish-Backed Syrian Fighters Seek Control of Major Highway in NE Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Fighting reportedly intensified between Turkish-backed Syrian fighters and U.S.-backed Kurdish forces Sunday over a major highway and a strategic town in northeastern Syria.

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Partnership with Kurds against ISIS still strong, says US coalition general

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A senior U.S. coalition commander said Friday the partnership with Syrian Kurdish forces remains strong and focused on fighting the Islamic State group, despite an expanding Turkish incursion into areas under Kurdish control.

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Lebanon’s Protests Divide Hezbollah. Will It Strike Back?

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

He has fought Israel since the 1990s and killed many fighters in Syria’s civil war, but the increasing difficulty of working-class life in Lebanon and a popular revolt against the country’s leaders has forced Abu Hussein to reevaluate his decades-long service to Hezbollah.

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Russian troops take command of U.S. airbase in northern Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Russian troops have taken command of a U.S. airbase in northern Syria — and without firing a shot. Russian state media showed commandos staging what looked like a military invasion.

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U.S. designates ISIS-supporting brothers based in Turkey

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced a new round of counterterrorism designations targeting the Islamic State’s support network. Among those sanctioned are two brothers — Ismail and Ahmet Bayaltun — who are based in Turkey and have acted as procurement agents for the group.

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US Lawmakers Renew Calls For Sanctions on China Following Document Leak on Xinjiang Abuses

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

U.S. lawmakers and experts have renewed calls for sanctions against China over rights abuses in its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), in a swift response to the leak of hundreds of pages of documents detailing a crackdown on ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities ordered by President Xi Jinping.

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US Pressing Japan to Pay 300% More for American Troops Deployment – Reports

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The Trump Administration has already stepped up pressure on its NATO allies, namely Germany and Canada, to increase defence spending. Now the US wants to get more from its closest allies in Asia, Tokyo and Seoul, which are already paying billions to cover the cost of stationing tens of thousands of American troops.

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US No Longer Recognizes Israeli Settlements as Breaking International Law – Pompeo

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

In a Monday statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Washington no longer regards Israeli settlements in the West Bank as violating international law, reversing the Obama administration’s position and taking no legal position on the question or that of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank itself.

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Protesters force postponement of Lebanese parliament session

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Thousands of protesters rallying against the Lebanese political elite blocked roads in central Beirut on Tuesday, preventing lawmakers from reaching the parliament and forcing the postponement of a legislative session.

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Hezbollah feels political heat of protest movement in Lebanon

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Young men chanting “people want to bring down the regime” gathered outside the office of Lebanese legislator Mohammed Raad, the powerful head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc. A man grabbed a metal rod and swung it at the sign bearing Raad’s name, knocking it out of place as others cheered.

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Qatar’s silence on Iran’s ship attacks ‘devastating at all levels’

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News, Iran, Middle Orient

A western intelligence report showing Qatar knew of Iranian plans to attack four ships off the coast of the UAE could have “devastating” legal implications for Doha, an international relations expert said.

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Russia Repatriates 32 Children of ISIS Members From Iraq

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Russia said it has repatriated another 32 children of members of the ISIS terror group from Iraq. Russia’s state TV on Tuesday showed footage of the children arriving at Zhukovsky airport outside Moscow.

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Iran continuing construction on army base along Iraq-Syria border, images show

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Iran is continuing construction on an army base along the Iraq-Syria border, according to satellite images taken Sunday and obtained by Fox News.

The Imam Ali base had been partially destroyed during airstrikes in early September.

The new images, examined by analysts at ImageSat International (ISI), showed eight zones of construction or reconstruction.

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Citing ‘Credible Reports,’ Amnesty International Says At Least 106 Killed In Iran Protests

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

At least 106 protesters are believed to have been killed in 21 cities in Iran during protests over fuel price hikes, Amnesty International said on November 19, citing “credible reports.”

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China defense minister: No independence move by island will be tolerated

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 22, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Eurasia News

Defense Minister Wei Fenghe told his United States counterpart Mark Esper on Monday in Bangkok that China will never tolerate any move by separatists to actualize “Taiwan independence”.

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Anti-Government Protesters End Islamabad Sit-In To Block Roads

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

A radical Pakistani cleric has called off a two-week sit-in on the capital’s main highway, but told his supporters to start blocking roads across the country.

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British Refusal to Publish Russia Report Fuels Suspicions of Kremlin Links

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The British government is refusing to publish a report examining Russian interference in its democratic process, despite widespread calls for its release before the December general election. The move is fueling suspicions that the details could be damaging for the ruling Conservative party.

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Trump, Erdogan Discuss Turkey’s Purchase of Russian Missile Defense System

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

There was no indication of any breakthrough following talks Wednesday between the leaders of Turkey and United States at a time when their relationship is at a low ebb.

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Turkey removes four more Kurdish mayors over alleged terror links

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Turkey removed four more mayors on Wednesday as part of a widening government crackdown on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), bringing to 20 the number of mayors who have been dismissed after being elected earlier this year.

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Jordan says it thwarted terror plot against US, Israeli diplomats

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Two followers of Islamic State accused of planning to use cars, guns and knives in attacks on embassy staff and service personnel stationed in Jafr.

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Turkey hosts Iranian tied to Jewish center bombing in Argentina

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran

Dershowitz said that “ while serving as Tehran’s ambassador to Spain from 1985–1989, he reportedly oversaw a sleeper cell there and maintained contact with Hezbollah activists.”

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Hamas Claims It Has ‘Thousands of Missiles,’ Miles of Underground Terror Tunnels

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Top Hamas officials are claiming to have thousands of missiles pointed at Israel and miles of underground tunnels running into the Jewish state, offering these new disclosures amid a wave of renewed violence by the Palestinian terror group.

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Iran: Europeans hypocrites for condemning steps away from deal

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Iran accused European nations trying to salvage the moribund 2015 nuclear deal of hypocrisy for criticising and threatening to reimpose sanctions after Tehran took a major step away from the historic agreement.

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Israel targets Islamic Jihad leadership, sending message to Iran

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Israel on Tuesday targeted two senior commanders from the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, killing one in the Gaza Strip and missing the second in Syria as it stepped up its battle against Iran and its proxies across the region.

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Cease-fire reached with Israel to end Gaza fighting, Islamic Jihad says

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The Islamic Jihad militant group early Thursday announced it had reached a cease-fire with Israel. The deal, brokered by Egyptian mediaries, took effect at 5:30 a.m. local time, Islamic Jihad spokesman Musab al-Berim said.

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As Islamic Jihad and Israel Battled, Hamas, in a Twist, Sat on the Sidelines

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

With Israel exchanging blows with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas faced a stark choice: Join the fight or redouble efforts to keep the Gaza border quiet.

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Hezbollah could be hastening the demise of the system it is trying so hard to preserve

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

On Tuesday, Lebanese president Michel Aoun sat down with two journalists to speak about the worst crisis his country has seen since the end of the civil war in 1990. For nearly a month, nationwide protests have taken place because of deteriorating economic conditions and the pervasive corruption of the ruling class. The protesters have been demanding a government free of politicking, clientelism and sectarianism.

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