Security

Pompeo: Russia is Aggressively Trying to Strengthen its Positions in the Balkans

Muren 1a

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Russia is aggressively trying to strengthen its position in the Balkans, and President Trump’s administration is opposed to this, he added, reports bgnes. © Novinite “The threat that the Russians continue to aggressively strengthen their influence on the Balkans is real and we have to fight,” he said at a hearing before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. According to one of the senators, “Russia is opening a new front on the Balkans, acting ... Read More »

Turkey, US Reach Accord for Security of Kurdish-Held Manbij in Syria

Parad 1a

Turkish and U.S. officials on Friday reached an accord on a “roadmap” to widen cooperation to provide the security of Manbij, a Kurdish-held city that lies at the heart of the ongoing dispute between two NATO allies in northern Syria.  The Globe Post The northern city of Manbij is held by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) Kurdish militia, a group which Ankara says is the “terrorist” offshoot of Kurdish hardliners in Turkey. The U.S. has a military presence in Manbij ... Read More »

Pompeo Says US Offered Alternatives to Turkey for Russia’s S-400 System

2602991 04/09/2015 An S-400 "Triumf" antiaircraft missile system is among other Defense Ministry's air defense missile battalions put on combat alert in the Moscow Region. Kirill Kallinikov/Sputnik

The U.S. has offered Turkey alternatives to Russia’s S-400s in a bid to prevent Ankara from completing the purchase of the missile defense system, an issue that significantly strained Ankara’s ties with its Western allies. The Globe Post “We continue to work to keep the Turks in a place where they don’t actually acquire the S-400,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “I believe that they have not ... Read More »

Cyprus: tensions grow as contested waters yield promising results

Ofs 2b

Tensions over natural gas and oil deposits in the sea off Cyprus threatened to boil over this March after Turkey sent a drill ship to the contested region just days after US based ExxonMobil dispatched its own survey vessels. Patrick Kingsland offshore technology Turkish president Erdogan has gone so far as to say he won’t tolerate the reserves being exploited by Greek Cypriots. So what is at stake here and how likely is it that oil will begin flowing anytime ... Read More »

North Korea slams ‘ignorant and stupid’ Pence

Pens 1a

North Korea called U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” for his warnings over a planned summit with Donald Trump, renewing a threat to cancel as the U.S. president said the fate of the historic talks will be decided next week. SEOUL – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Trump is due to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 for high stakes talks aimed at ridding the reclusive state of its newly acquired nuclear weapons and improving ties after decades of ... Read More »

The Contested Iraqi Parliamentary Elections in Kirkuk

Emp 9i

Widespread perceptions of fraud in May 2018 elections to Iraq’s Council of Representatives have triggered demonstrations in Kirkuk and fears of inter-ethnic violence. Crisis Group is calling for a vote recount in Kirkuk to restore confidence in the institutions vital to manage deeper divisions over the contested, oil-rich area. The International Crisis Group is deeply concerned about developments in Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic governorate in northern Iraq. Contested election results, and the widespread perception that ballot boxes were tampered with, have ... Read More »

Uzbekistan’s President Goes to Washington

Pate 8h

Policymakers in Washington have begun to wake up to the changes taking place in Uzbekistan. Ilan Berman The National Interest In official Washington, which is routinely awash in foreign dignitaries, it’s all too easy to miss the comings and goings of world leaders. But even by the rather selective standards of the Beltway, last week’s state visit of Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, was noteworthy because it provided policymakers with an authoritative glimpse into the… Uzbekistan’s President Goes… Read More »

Does the Philippines have limited options on the South China Sea issue?

Psari 1a

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte keeps on insisting that taking a stronger stance on against China’s militarization in the South China Sea would mean going to war. Patricia Lourdes Viray phil.starGlobal Justifying his administration’s soft stance on the maritime dispute, Duterte said that he would have taken a stronger and more “violent” position on the matter but that would “probably be a great loss to the nation and probably end up losing a war.” As opposed to the president’s ... Read More »

The Israel-Turkey crisis and the need for containment

Whil 3c

Op-ed: Israel’s frustration with Erdogan’s behavior is great, but it is worthy to remember the strategic, economic and diplomatic importance of the relations between the two countries. Dr. Nimrod Goren y net news It is not self-evident for Israel to have full, even if problematic, diplomatic relations with a key regional state that has a large Muslim population, and these relations should not be casually waived. The evolving crisis between Israel and Turkey has yet to lead to an official ... Read More »

Eight Days in Aden – a Forgotten City in Yemen’s Forgotten War

Eyp 1a

Two and a half years after the last major fighting in the southern port city of Aden, officially Yemen’s “temporary capital”, our Arabian Peninsula Project Director April Longley Alley finds a patchwork of rival armed forces, buildings in ruins and political groups’ effective steps toward autonomy, if… April Longley Alley ICG ADEN, Yemen – For now, there is little fighting in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. But it takes me more than a year to arrange my journey. Everything ... Read More »

Iran’s stance affects the energy balance in East Med

Selfd 1a

A new condition is expected to be formed in the Eastern Mediterranean region due to the Iran-centred crisis in the Middle East, incited by the new U.S. leadership. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna Total’s decision to leave Iran due to Washington’s sanctions at the expense of the country seems to favour Cyprus at the moment. A senior executive told the Associated Press that Total intends to expand its operations in the Republic of Cyprus’s EEZ by proceeding with new gas exploration surveys. In ... Read More »

Is Beijing using ‘law of the jungle’ in South China Sea?

Asia Times logo 2b LLL

In one of his international homilies last year, Xi Jinping said that in our world today, “the law of the jungle where the strong prey on the weak and the zero-sum game are rejected.” Xuan Loc Doan Asia Times But China’s recent landing of an H-6K bomber on a disputed island in the South China Sea is another signal that the Asian giant is not practicing what its leader preached. Reading the Chinese president’s addresses to international audiences, one may ... Read More »

Russian Naval Exercises in Sea of Azov: A Prelude to ‘Hybrid’-Style Invasion?

Uzo 1a

On May 18, Moscow released a navigation alert (NAVAREA 0423/18—reprinted by the Ukrainian government as coastal warning PRIP 173) for a section of the Sea of Azov, cautioning that Russian naval training exercises would make the area dangerous for maritime passage from… Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 78 Ihor Kabanenko The Jamestown Foundation The zone, which occupies 2,000 square kilometers, has been closed to shipping traffic. Though the announcement quickly drew the attention of Ukrainian news outlets (Obozrevatel.com, ... Read More »

Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card

Ben 3c

For days, now, the Israeli rewrite has been well underway, working overtime, to convince the world seven weeks of carnage in Palestine, more particularly Gaza, did not happen. Stanley L. Cohen CounterPunch Or, if it did, Israel’s responseto the Great Return March was a measured, proportionate answer to the menace posed by some burning kites, waving flags and nihilist teens armed with slingshot weapons of mass destruction. At times, we’ve seen Zionists rip a page straight out of the “Sandy Hook” playbook, suggesting gruesome virtual film footage of the on-going blood bath was ... Read More »

Turkey’s pipedreams and NATO’s nightmares

Ake 1a

Turkey’s relationship with NATO is at a nadir. Following its recent incursion into Syria’s Afrin district against NATO-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara now finds itself at loggerheads with the United States and other NATO… Amelia Meurant-Tompkinson The Strategist More troubling, Turkey’s offensive wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Russia: the operation required Russian clearance for Turkish warplanes to enter Syria’s airspace, and Ankara would have heeded assurances from… Then there’s the rapid progress on the controversial deal for Turkey ... Read More »

First country to use US-made F-35 in combat, Israel boasts

Orom 1a

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israel is the first country to have used the US-made F-35 stealth fighter in combat, the Israeli air force chief said on Tuesday in remarks carried by the military’s official Twitter account. Saudi Gazette Local media further quoted Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin as saying in a speech to the chiefs of 20 foreign air forces convening in Israel: “We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East and have already attacked twice on two different fronts”. Norkin ... Read More »