Russian Defense Ministry: al-Nusra Terrorists Launched 31 Attacks in de-Escalation Zone, Idleb

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Kavkaz

The Russian Coordination Center in Hemeimeem said that Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists have launched 31 new attacks in the de-escalation zone in Idleb.

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How Israel Uses the F-35 to Send a Deadly Warning to Iran in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Israel is trying to make sure that Iran never gains a strong and permanent formal foothold in Syria.

Israel just sent a message to Iran that its entrenchment is unacceptable in Syria. Israel launched airstrikes on Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force members in Syria. The strikes came after Israel found and revealed an improvised explosive device in the Golan Heights in mid-November. The airstrikes were aimed at hitting not just those locals who Israel alleges Iran recruited to plant the devise, but also to hit IRGC facilities at Damascus International airport and elsewhere.

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Iraqi army launched large-scale military operation against ISIL terrorist in Al Anbar province

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Iraqi army launched a large-scale military operation against ISIL terrorist elements in Al Anbar province.

Security sources announced that the Iraqi army launched a large-scale military operation against ISIL terrorist elements in the western desert of Al-Rutba in Al Anbar province on Monday, Alahed News reported.

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Iraq arrests Daesh ‘administrative chief’ at Baghdad airport

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A senior member of Daesh terrorist group was arrested upon his arrival at Baghdad International Airport, the Iraqi army said on Monday.


“The Counter-Terrorism Service managed to arrest the so-called general administrative coordinator of Daesh terrorist gangs, known as Abu Nabaa, with a unique operation at Baghdad International Airport ” Maj-Gen Yahya Rasul, an army spokesman said.

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Europe’s Reluctance to Take Back ISIS Supporters Could Lead to a New Crisis

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

A German woman suspected of supporting the Islamic State was repatriated from Syria along with her three children last month, in the first case of an adult European ISIS member brought home through official channels. On Nov. 22, the family was released from the overcrowded detention camp in northern Syria where they’d lived for almost a year and transferred to the Iraqi city of Erbil, where they boarded a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt.

The mother, known only as Laura H., had her passport confiscated upon arrival. She cannot leave Germany, as she is being investigated for belonging to a terrorist group

After the U.S., Turkey Should Be Next to Leave Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

With the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic crash dominating the headlines, the civil war in Syria has faded into media obscurity. But there is more bad news there that warrants the world’s attention.

Turkey is engaged in a military campaign in Syria’s northwestern ldlib province that risks a conflict with Russia, protects radical Islamist rebels and prolongs the civil war, all at the expense of the civilians Turkey claims to protect. Meanwhile, the limited cease-fire deal that Ankara recently negotiated with Moscow only delays further bloodshed. Washington, which provides military aid to Turkey both bilaterally and through NATO, should stop underwriting Turkey’s recklessness. Instead, it should withdraw support and encourage a settlement that helps end Syria’s nearly decade-long conflict

What Is the Endgame in Idlib, Syria’s Largest Remaining Rebel Enclave?

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Since late April, tens of thousands of civilians have fled their homes in the Idlib region in northwestern Syria as President Bashar al-Assad’s air force pummels Islamist-controlled towns. Amid the fighting, Russia and Turkey continue to negotiate for a restoration of a broken cease-fire in Idlib, with each seeking changes that will shore up its own influence over the conflict. As ever in Syria’s civil war, there are key questions about this latest escalation—from the fundamental facts on the ground in Idlib, to the interests of outside powers and the potential endgame.

The region of Idlib, which also includes insurgent-held parts of adjacent provinces, is often described as Syria’s last rebel stronghold. There are, in fact, other areas outside Assad’s control, but none still so fiercely hostile to his government

Escalating to Deescalate? Why Turkey Is Targeting Syria’s Army

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

For the first time in Syria’s nine-year war, the Turkish military this week launched direct attacks on the Syrian army. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he ordered howitzers and F-16 fighter jets to hit President Bashar al-Assad’s forces near the Turkish border in response to the killing of eight Turkish soldiers in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.

“We are determined to continue our operations to ensure the safety of our country, our nation and our brothers in Idlib,” Erdogan warned. Turkey’s defense minister, Gen. Hulusi Akar, later claimed 76 Syrian soldiers were “neutralized” in attacks on more than 50 different targets in the area. The Assad government has not offered its own casualty figure, but the clashes have raised the stakes in a long and brutal battle over Idlib.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, Erdogan seeks a way out

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Ankara has to improve Turkey’s international image with major reforms in order to attract much-needed foreign capital but the jury is out on whether President Erdogan can do it.

Developments at home and abroad are forcing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to seek a fresh course aimed at delivering Turkey from its current economic morass and debilitating political isolation in the West.

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US-Turkey ties under Biden: confrontation or conciliation?

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

The Biden era in Washington is looming as a tough test for Ankara, whose moves will largely determine how the scarred US-Turkish relationship develops.

The upcoming Joe Biden administration is bound to profoundly alter the current nature of Turkish-US ties, which have been largely reduced to a peculiar relationship between US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both of whom have had an overly personalized approach to foreign policy.

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German mission searches Libya-bound Turkish ship, sparking backlash from Ankara

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 26, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia, Magreb, Middle Orient, Turkey

German forces intercepted a Libya-bound Turkish ship suspected of carrying arms, sparking the latest row between an EU member state and Ankara ahead of a key summit assessing bilateral ties next month.

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Turkey’s strategic victory in Nagorno-Karabakh

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Kavkaz, Middle Orient, Turkey

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared on Tuesday that Azerbaijan and Armenia had signed a peace agreement, ending six weeks of fierce fighting between the two countries over Nagorno-Karabakh. The mountainous region is internationally-recognised as part of Azerbaijan but has been occupied and run by ethnic Armenians since 1994.

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‘Pressure from sisterly countries to recognise Israel,’ says Pakistan PM

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed that his country is under pressure from sisterly countries to recognise the State of Israel.

In statements made on Friday, Khan announced: “We have been under pressure from friendly countries to recognise Israel, however, we will not do so without a fair settlement to the Palestinians.”

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Why has the US sent B-52s back to the Middle East? – Analysis

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The shake-up and the deployment of the strategic heavy bombers, changes in Iraq, and in Afghanistan as well as question marks about the US role in Syria.

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Explosives placed by terrorists near Jerusalem over weekend

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

“The two successful operations over the weekend testify to the determination of the officers, who will continue to do everything in their power to arrest the terrorists and bring them to justice.”

Terrorists placed explosives by the Qalandiya Crossing north of Jerusalem and by Rachel’s Tomb on Friday night, according to the Border Police.

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It wasn’t lightning silly, the rockets were a message by Hamas – Analysis

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Hamas is under growing pressure-again-in the Strip. The rockets fired in the past two weeks are meant to pass that message to Israel

Two rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, one week apart from each other. While the IDF shrugged off the first, blaming it on bad weather, it’s now clear. It was not a mistake. It was a message. Hamas is under pressure, and it’s getting worse.

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Cooperate with China or World War 3: Kissinger

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

[I]n a little over 14 minutes Kissinger managed to totally misinterpret Chinese history, support Beijing’s most important foreign policy goal, and give deeply misguided advice to Joe Biden. Kissinger has evidently learned nothing from years of dangerous Chinese behavior, which is partly the result of his policy formulations.

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Pompeo Meets With Afghan, Taliban Negotiators in Qatar

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Afghanistan, Eurasia

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday that the United States would “sit on the side and help where we can” as he met in Qatar with Afghan government negotiators amid signs of progress to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban.

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Senior U.S. intelligence official visit draws information blackout

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Sunday said it had no comment on a reported visit made by a senior U.S. military intelligence official to Taiwan.

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US clears way for convicted Israeli spy to move to Israel

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Former US Navy Intelligence officer and convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard has been cleared to travel to Israel despite his life-imprisonment sentence back in 1986 amid welcoming statement by top Israeli officials.

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U.S. Officially Withdraws From Open Skies Treaty; Moscow Says ‘All Options Are Open To Us’

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The United States formally withdrew on November 22 from the Open Skies Treaty, an 18-year-old arms control and verification agreement that Washington repeatedly accused Moscow of violating.

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Sudan boycotts faltering talks over Ethiopia’s mega-dam

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

Sudan boycotted talks on Saturday between Nile Valley countries over Ethiopia’s controversial mega-dam, calling on the African Union to play a greater role in pushing forward the negotiations that have stalled for years.

It was the first time that Sudan refused to attend talks with Ethiopia and its northern neighbor Egypt, which has expressed for years its fears that the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance dam on the Blue Nile will dramatically threaten water supplies downstream.

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Egypt hosts ‘Sword of Arabs’ military exercise in Marsa Matrouh

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

Egypt is hosting a joint military exercise dubbed ‘Sword of Arabs’, from 17-26 November, with the participation of five Arab countries, a statement by the Egyptian Armed Forces said.

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Yemen’s Houthis hit Saudi Aramco site in Jeddah

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Houthi rebels strike an oil facility in the port city in an attack confirmed by Saudi authorities.

Yemen’s Houthi rebel group has said it struck a distribution station operated by oil giant Saudi Aramco with a missile in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah.

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Netanyahu meets Saudi crown prince MBS, Pompeo in Saudi Arabia

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The plane returned to Israel after only a few hours.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Neom, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, Israeli sources have confirmed.

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Germany angers Turkey with attempt to police Libya arms embargo

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Turkey protested to Germany and the EU on Monday after German forces belonging to an EU military mission boarded and tried to search a Turkish cargo ship that they suspected of taking weapons to Libya illegally.

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Gantz: Netanyahu hurt Israel by leaking Saudi trip

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Defense and foreign ministers left in dark on PM’s Saudi trip

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not inform Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz or Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi when he went to Saudi Arabia on Sunday night, political sources revealed on Monday.

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Netanyahu meets Saudi crown prince MBS, Pompeo in Saudi Arabia

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The plane returned to Israel after only a few hours.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Neom, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, Israeli sources have confirmed.

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Conflict over Muslim Brotherhood still separating Egypt, Turkey

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia, Middle Orient

Cairo is said to be waiting for what will emerge from the recent phone conversation between the Saudi monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan.

Well-informed Egyptian sources revealed that the close relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia did not prevent “each country from keeping a margin of independence to move as it sees fit at the level of the region.”

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Iran has a new warship packed with drones and missiles

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

On its surface this is just a transport ship, but Iran has crowded its deck with all sorts of weapons to show off what it can do.

Iran unveiled a new ship over the weekend called the Shahid Roudaki. It is part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and was given a spotlight at Bandar Abbas port near the strategic Straits of Hormuz on Thursday. The ship is so interesting to Iran watchers that the United States Naval Institute ran a story about it.

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State Department Says Anti-American Educators Undermine U.S. Efforts to Counter China

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

New document lays out longterm strategy for beating Chinese Communist Party

The United States’ ability to counter the rise of China is being undermined by anti-American attitudes in the education system, according to a new State Department report outlining a longterm strategy to compete with China.

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U.S. Army Europe and Africa Commands consolidate

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

The U.S. Army announced today the consolidation of U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army Africa into a new command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF). This new command will be the Army service component command for both U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. Recently promoted Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli will be the commander of USAREUR-AF.

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Azerbaijani Troops Take Control Of Agdam As Armenians Flee

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Kavkaz

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev says his troops have taken control of the first of three districts bordering Nagorno-Karabakh as part of a Russian-brokered peace agreement that ended a six-week war with Armenian forces over the breakaway region.

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Bundeswehr to Invest $59Mln in New Afghanistan Bases Despite Potential Troop Exit, Reports Claim

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The German Armed Forces, Bundeswehr, continues to invest in military facilities in Afghanistan and plans to allocate nearly 50 million euros ($59 million) for the construction of bases, despite a possible withdrawal of troops in the foreseeable future, Der Spiegel reported on Friday, citing internal Bundeswehr documents.

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Two Allies and one partner join the Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS) Initiative

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

NATO Allies Canada and Romania and NATO partner Australia joined the Maritime Unmanned Systems Initiative on 20 November 2020. The Maritime Unmanned Systems Initiative aims to strengthen the ability of navies to operate in a multinational context above, on, and under the water, in an increasingly complex maritime domain.

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