Security

As Kurdish fighters move on last Isis-controlled town in Syria, Turkey threatens attack

Syria’s main Kurdish parties called Turkey’s warnings a ‘declaration of war’ Richard Hall Independent Kurdish forces are on the brink of capturing the last town under Isis control in Syria – but before that battle is over they might have to face a Turkish invasion. The town of Hajin, on the banks of the Euphrates river in eastern Syria, is Isis’s last holdout in the country. After three months of intense fighting, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Friday that it had taken most of the ... Read More »

Hours before her collapse in U.S. custody, a dying migrant child’s condition went unnoticed

Twenty-seven hours before she died at an El Paso children’s hospital, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal walked across the U.S. border with her father and 161 other migrants outside Antelope Wells, N.M. Nick Miroff * The Washington Post It was 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 6, and the small, remote U.S. border crossing was closed for the night. There were four Border Patrol agents on duty, and no medical staff. The migrants skirted barriers and crossed into the United States. Like most Central American asylum ... Read More »

Reviving UN Mediation on Iraq’s Disputed Internal Boundaries

The fallout is settling after the Iraqi army’s seizure of territories disputed between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region. ICG More conflict over these areas, particularly oil-rich Kirkuk, is predictable. The UN should take advantage of today’s quiet to explore negotiations on the contested lands’ status. What’s new?  Following parliamentary and regional elections this year, Baghdad and Erbil are forming new governments. This presents a fresh opportunity to settle longstanding disputes between them. One of their principal disputes concerns the ... Read More »

Book Excerpt – Red Star Over the Pacific: China’s Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy.

Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes present the second edition of their important work on this timely topic. China has a dream. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials tell us so. Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes The National Interest President Xi Jinping, who ranks first among them, made “Chinese Dream” his credo soon after ascending to China’s top post in 2012. And this is no mere slogan; it encapsulates CCP officialdom’s vision of China’s purposes and aspirations, first and foremost of which ... Read More »

Confront Turkey’s ethnic cleansing and stop indulging it

Every April, Turkish diplomats and members of the Congressional Turkey Caucus scramble to avert a resolution recognizing as genocide the World War I-era Ottoman massacres of Armenians. Washington Examiner Turkish officials oppose any resolution holding Turkey responsible both because the Republic of Turkey was not formally declared until 1923 and because they hold that what happened was not deliberate but… Other Turkish historians and politicians hold that the evidence upon which genocide historians rely is exaggerated if not fraudulent. Lost ... Read More »

The ‘farcical’ drug scanners locking out Melbourne immigration centre visitors

Regular visitors say Serco guards using overly sensitive detectors are making them jump through hoops or refusing them entry to see friends and family Helen Davidson The Guardian “I’m a minister of religion for 30 years, I don’t even drink alcohol and and I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. To be told I had traces of a drug on me was humiliating,” says Colin Elkington, a… “They said it was fentanyl – I had to look it up. ... Read More »

Rightsizing the Transnational Jihadist Threat

The number of Salafi-jihadists in action around the world has risen markedly since 2001. But this is no homogenous army, and the key point is that most are fighting locally. Sam Heller ICG Understanding how different jihadist groups operate in varying contexts is essential for an effective policy response. A recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has warned that the worldwide jihadist menace is more dangerous than ever. The November 2018 report, “The Evolution of the ... Read More »

‘Outrageous’: Australia notified Thailand about refugee footballer’s travel plans

Jakarta: Hakeem al-Araibi was detained in Bangkok after the Australian government informed their Thai counterparts the refugee footballer was travelling to Thailand and subject to an Interpol Red Notice. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald On Wednesday, the Department of Home Affairs attempted to distance itself from Araibi’s detention, arguing that “any action taken in response to the Interpol Red Notice is a matter for Thai authorities”. But Human Rights groups were sharply critical of Australian authorities’ decision to notify ... Read More »

Detention of Michael Kovrig

The International Crisis Group calls for the immediate release of its North East Asia Senior Adviser Michael Kovrig. ICG Michael was detained on Monday night in Beijing by the Beijing Bureau of Chinese State Security. Crisis Group has received no information about Michael since his detention and is concerned for his health and safety. We are making every effort to learn more and to secure consular access to Michael from the Chinese authorities. Michael has been a full-time and highly ... Read More »

Stop the boats: Email exposes Border Force plans to save money by halting ocean patrols

The Australian Border Force plans to save money on fuel by pulling ships from ocean patrols, amid a high-stakes political fight between the Morrison government and Labor over border… Nicole Hasham Brisbane Times The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has sighted an internal Border Force email stating that “operational limitations” will be imposed to achieve a saving in the annual fuel budget and “ships… It also explains the move is in line with budget control measures, which are in ... Read More »

‘Help us’: Call for greater assistance to locate 3000 Yazidis taken hostage by IS

More than 3000 Yazidi women and girls taken hostage after IS swept through northern Iraq in 2014 remain missing. By Fares Hassan, Sylva Mezher, Abdallah Kamal Presented by Good Morning Australia 6-9 AM Published: December 10 A councilman in the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar has called for a greater international assistance to locate the more than 3000 Yazidi women and girls still missing and presumed under IS captivity. Khodaida Al-Hamo, a Yazidi member of the Nineveh governorate council which overseas Sinjar, ... Read More »

US official opposes ditching support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen

The United States strongly opposes discontinuing support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s war and will remain engaged in efforts to combat Iranian influence and Islamist militancy in the Arab state, a… ABC Reuters The US administration has come under pressure at home over the nearly four-year-old conflict that has pushed Yemen to the brink of starvation since the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at… The US Senate last month voted to advance a resolution to end military ... Read More »

US sanctions are ‘economic terrorism’: Rouhani

Iran‘s President Hassan Rouhani said US sanctions were “economic terrorism”, as he sought to foster a united front from visiting regional officials on Dec. 8. TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Washington has reimposed an oil embargo and other damaging sanctions on Iran since pulling out in May from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers. “America’s unjust and illegal sanctions against the honourable nation of Iran have targeted our nation in a clear instance of terrorism,” Rouhani said in a televised speech. He was speaking at a conference on terrorism and… ... Read More »

What Pearl Harbor Still Has to Teach Us

Once again we’re seeing some of the same drivers of the conflicts of the 1930s bubbling to the surface Peter Zwack The National Interest Thinking about Pearl Harbor and avoiding inevitable war, I recently revisited the solemn Arizona battleship memorial at Pearl Harbor while on a brief layover in Hawaii, after… Returning to such hallowed American waters and ground on the heels of my trip to Northeast Asia brought home to me the unsettling fact that events like Pearl Harbor—a… Once that ... Read More »

Syria: is Europe’s influence in the region finished?

The Assad regime has inched closer to winning the Syrian conflict during 2018. Richard Youngs The Conversation With Russian and Iranian support, the regime has reestablished strong and authoritarian rule, at least outside the deescalation zones where its remit is still curtailed. With a new UN envoy to Syria now taking office and the EU confirming it will host another donor conference for the country early in 2019 – designed to mobilise humanitarian aid and other assistance from the international ... Read More »

PM escapes threat to his control of Parliament as Labor backs down on encryption

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has survived a dire threat to his control of Parliament from a determined attempt to change asylum seeker policy, sparking a blame game that forced Labor to back down on… David Crowe The Age Mr Morrison blocked attempts to amend migration laws to transfer more asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia, but was forced to delay a major policy on energy in order to avoid a… The ruthless tactics deepened hostilities between the ... Read More »