During the discussion of the situation in Syria, Vladimir Putin urged Barack Obama to facilitate as quickly as possible the separation of moderate Syrian opposition forces from the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra and other extremists that are not covered by the ceasefire regime. Both sides reaffirmed their readiness to step up coordination of American and Russian military actions in Syria, and emphasised the importance of resuming inter-Syrian negotiations under the aegis of the UN to achieve a a political settlement.
Saturday, 9 July 2016
July 09, 2016
This article was written for the Unz Review:
A number of events have happened recently which point to the possibility that something might be brewing in the Syrian conflict.
First and foremost, there was Erdogan’s apology to Russia which was really much more than just an apology. The Turks have really extended a hand to Russia and their offer officially includes not only a return of Russian tourists or the sale of Turkish veggies in Russia, but a strong collaboration between the two countries against terrorism and even join military operations. The Turks have even indicated that they would be willing to offer Russia the use of the Incirlik airbase for Russian aircraft involved in the air operations against Daesh & Co. Then the Turks denied it, which is fair enough and which is how they, apparently, do business. Either way, the Russians politely declined (more about that later)
Second, just two weeks after another “leak” which claimed that 51 US diplomats wanted Obama to authorize airstrikes against government forces in Syria, the WaPo “leaked” the news that the USA was offering the Russians a new “military partnership” in Syria only to vehemently denounce this plan a couple of days later. “Moon of Alabama” immediately and correctly denounced this so-called offer as “nonsense”.
Third, while the Syrian move to advance towards Raqqa has clearly run into some major difficulties, there are sign indicating that the city of Aleppo might soon be fully encircled by the government forces.
Fourth, the Russian military has confirmed that heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov might be soon deployed to the Mediterranean
Fifth, Defense Minister Shoigu has announced that he was promoting the current commander of the Russian task force in Syria, Colonel-General Alexander Dvornikov, to the post of the commander of the Southern Military District.
So what does all that mean?
Concerning the first point, it is remarkable that while Erdogan is personally extremely disliked in Russia, all the Russian military and foreign policy experts agree that Russia should, and will, resume cooperation with Turkey. There is an acute awareness in Russia that, like it or not, Turkey is a key player in the region and that Russia must therefore engage with any Turkish leader. Furthermore, the Russians feel that they are in a very advantageous position of strength and that now is the time to press Turkey for some real changes. Topping the Russian agenda is the objective to get Turkey to *really* close the Turkish-Syrian border and to stop financing Daesh by shutting down the illegal trade in oil. Second, several Turkey specialists have expressed the opinion that the bombing in Istanbul was really a Daesh warning to Erdogan and that this indicates that Erdogan took a real risk by turning to Russia and that Russia must now give him something tangible to support him in his terrible position. Again, this is not going to be a love-fest between the Kremlin and Ankara, but a case of pureRealpolitikwhere the Russian feel that they must set aside their feeling of distrust, and even disgust, and very carefully play the “Erdogan” card. At the very least, the Russians will demand an end to Turkish support for terrorism in the Caucasus and Central Asia and some tangible signs of real, meaningful Turkish collaboration against Daesh. In exchange, the Russians have indicated that they are willing to resume collaboration with Turkey on energy (gas, oil, nuclear plants) and economic (building, transportation) issues.
Russia has no need and no interest in the Incirlik air base. Not only is it basically run by the USA, but Russian aircraft have the reach to bomb anywhere in Syria if needed.
What is currently happening in the USA can only be described as utter chaos. When when a large number of diplomats admit that their own craft, diplomacy, is useless and when the only thing they can recommend is the fully illegal and, I would add, irresponsible use of force against a sovereign country (Syria) which is allied with, and hosting the forces of, a nuclear superpower (Russia), you know that you are dealing with a clueless and incompetent gang of amateurs. This also is the sign that the United States have lost the control (or even the illusion of control) and that the inevitable infighting has begun. That is very bad news because it makes the USA even more unpredictable and prone to “quickfix solutions” (which in the case of the USA is always more military violence and escalation). While I agree with Moon of Alabama that the US offer is a no-starter, I also see it as a possible diversionary maneuver of those in the USA who want to prevent the Neocon crazies from triggering a direct confrontation with Russia. If that is the case, some vague promise of collaboration from Russia would be good enough to at least temporarily shut up the crazies and hope that Trump gets elected.
All we know so far is that Obama and Putin have spoken on the phone and that, according to a Russian statement,
Whether any real “coordination” ever truly materializes remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the Syrians clearly need more help and while they are apparently making progress around Aleppo elsewhere they are running into problems. Rumor has it that Iranian forces have also taken a pounding recently. Some Russian experts are saying that the reason for this is that Hezbollah has made the determination that liberating Aleppo is the single most important goal and that crack Hezbollah fighters have been withdrawn from other sectors and concentrated around Aleppo. Whatever may be the case, in the Raqqa province Daesh still seems to be in control. This might change if the US somehow manages to convince the Kurds to make a push for Raqqa, especially if the Turks cut off the northern supplies routes to Daesh and the Russians help the Syrians. This could happen if only because anything could happen, I suppose, but I will believe it when I see it. It will be awfully hard to get the Kurds, who are basically fighting a civil war in Turkey, to agree to divert resources to the south and east to fight Daesh. The obvious solution is to get US boots on the ground, but that is politically very difficult for Obama who has promised numerous times not to do so. Of course, the *real* solution would be to make a deal with Russia and Assad and then jointly crush Daesh, but that would extremely humiliating for the United States. There are probably constituencies lobbying for all these options right now and I won’t even try to guess who will prevail.
While it is true that the Russian have confirmed that the Admiral Kuznetsov will be sent to the Mediterranean, silly rumors about “countering NATO” are, yet again, being circulated. The truth is that the Kuznetsov, while a formidable ship indeed, is also a Cold War “fossil” which was originally designed to extend the range of Soviet air defenses protecting the submarine bastions of the Soviet Navy. By the way, the correct classification for this kind of ship is not “aircraft carrier” but “heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser” (тяжёлый авианесущий крейсер) which means that unlike, say, USN aircraft carriers, the primary armament of the Kuznetsov are her powerful anti-ship missiles designed to sink US carriers.
Her complement of aircraft, fixed and rotary-wing, are a secondary capability: to extend the sensor range and to protect. This will probably change in the future, but in its current configuration the Admiral Kuznetsov is definitely a weird ship: her anti-ship missiles are useless against Daesh. Her rotary and fixed wing aircraft have been modernized and are very capable, but they are also extremely limited in numbers: 15 SU-33 and MiG-29K/KUB and more than ten Ка-52К, Ка-27 and Ка-31. So, at most, there will be, maybe, 10 navalized (and modernized) MiG-29K/KUB which would be a real threat to Daesh, plus a few Ka-52K. The SU-33 is a pure air-to-air interceptor, though capable of “dumb” (unguided) bombing while the Ka-27 and Ka-31 are SAR and EW helos respectively. Bottom line – in terms of fighting Daesh, the Admiral Kuznetsov brings very little. What she does bring, however, a world-class air defense capabilities and advanced command, control and communication. In other words, the Kuznetsov is an ideal task force command post. That, and the SU-33/MiG-29K combo, can very substantially increase the Russian capability of having advanced air-to-air aircraft on station for combat air patrols. But, remember, Daesh has no air force, so make your own conclusions here
Here I would tie-in the promotion of Colonel-General Dvornikov, a man who knows the Syrian operational environment extremely well, to the Southern Military District, the district which, should things get ugly in Syria, would be the district supporting all Russian efforts in Syria and upon whom the Russian task force in Syria would be vitally dependent on. What better choice could there be for the Russian task force in Syria than to have its former Commander now in charge of support from the Motherland?
I have no way of knowing what the Russians and the Turks or the Russians and the Americans are discussing behind closed doors, so I won’t even pretend. But what I see is Russia, yet again, taking steps which would be expected of her if the Kremlin had come to the conclusion that the situation in Syria is likely to heat up again. Oh sure, it could be that Dvornikov got promoted to a position of responsibility just because a man like him was needed in the very important Southern Military District and that the Kuznetsov is just being sent to the Syrian cost for some, shall we say, “realistic trials”. But I have the feeling that the Russians are maximizing their options while the Americans are clearly struggling to even define what their policy now really is.
And just to make things more complicated, there are some semi-official differences between the Russians and the Iranians who wanted a much larger Russian intervention and who don’t believe in the peace process initiated by Putin. Finally, it is not at all clear from the Russian statements so far that they are willing to continue their intervention until the last Daesh fighter is killed, which is the position of Assad. So while Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian have found a great deal of common interests, Russia is not in the position to act like a mini-USA and just give orders to everybody else. There are real differences in opinion between these loosely allied forces and each one retains a very large freedom of maneuver.
The political logic of a US pre-election period would suggest that US-generated conflicts such as the ones in the Ukraine and the one in Syria should remain limited to minor moves until the new administration gets elected and takes over. This might still happen in Syria, but a lot of signs are beginning to point to a possible acceleration of events on the ground.River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
July 08, 2016
Translated by: Seva
Russian heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” will be deployed this fall to the Mediterranean, near the shores of Syria. According to an informed military source, its aircraft will attack the positions of ISIS and other militant groups in Syria from October 2016 to January 2017. Interestingly, rumors that “Admiral Kuznetsov” would be sent to her first task circulated earlier, but they were denied after partial withdrawal of Russian military air forces from the base Hmeimim in Syria. It looks like the plans have changed again.
A “complicated” ship needs testing before deep modernization.
“Admiral Kuznetsov”, which was placed on duty in the Russian Navy in 1991, turned out to have problems. The reason for that was that it was planned as multi-functional – it functions as rocket-carrying cruiser (“Admiral Kuznetsov” is armed with 12 heavy anti-ship rockets P-700 “Granit”), as well as aircraft carrier. Compared to the US aircraft carriers of the Nimitz class, it is much smaller (water displacement 59,000 tons, as compared to 101,000) and can carry fewer aircraft – 50 (helicopters and planes) as compared to 66 (although, if needed, it can carry up to 90 aircraft).
In addition, as it was equipped with a springboard instead of steam catapult, “Admiral Kuznetsov” does not have airplanes for long-range radiolocation and command, because of which it “controls” a much smaller area than American aircraft carriers. The greatest problem of the only Russian aircraft carrier is its power generation: in contrast to Nimitz carriers that have nuclear reactors, “Admiral Kuznetsov” is equipped with boiler-turbine system, which turned out to be unreliable. Frequent breakdowns and long repairs became the norm. Another problem of unreliable propulsion system is that the ship cannot move at full speed for long, which is necessary for fighter planes to take off with full fuel tanks and full complement of weapons. Thus, planes take off either with limited fuel, or with reduced set of weaponry.
In addition, the number of aircraft on board never approached the nominal – as a rule, it carries 7-8 heavy deck fighters SU-33. These fighters can only dominate the air, whereas at land targets they can only use free-falling bombs and unguided air-to-surface missiles, as their radio-electronic equipment (REE) is the same as in the base model of SU-27, and these planes were not modernized.
The situation is partially improved by light fighter MiG-29K, which was first designed for the Indian Navy and then later ordered for the Russian Navy. This aircraft has modern REE, which allows the use of various air-to-surface munitions. Military sources tell us that “Admiral Kuznetsov” will sail to Syria with 15 airplanes (likely, 8 SU-33 and 7 MiG-29K) and about 10 helicopters (assault copters Ka-52K, multi-task Ka-27, and electronic surveillance and command copters Ka-31). In this configuration, the ship is ~50-60% filled with aircraft, which would allow it to fulfill at least training and combat mission in Syria. Small number of aircraft is largely due to lack of trained pilots for Navy aircraft.
Considering that in the Spring of 2017 “Admiral Kuznetsov” will undergo long overhaul and modernization, operation in Syria will be a good opportunity to identify its weakest points. This experience would allow optimal modernization of the ship and its aircraft complement. Combat experience of the pilots is also very important. This explains the appearance on “Admiral Kuznetsov” of assault helicopters Ka-52K, which were originally built for ill-fated Mistrales and are not suitable for a real aircraft carrier. Basically, the task is to test the equipment in real combat.
Considering that the numbers of combat aircraft at the airbase Hmeimim now are much lower than at the beginning of the operation, sorties of MiG-29K would be a positive contribution to the balance of power, but hardly a game changer. As to Su-33, they will likely ensure air cover for assault aircraft. Their own assault potential is unsuitable for the Syrian conflict.
In its present state, heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” is not an efficient force. Considering that the Russian Navy is unlikely to get an aircraft carrier before mid-2030-s (the building won’t start earlier than in 2025, and would take about 10 years), it is important to make “Admiral Kuznetsov” combat-ready. Even just to preserve personnel that can serve on such a ship and fight on it. If things are done right, “Admiral Kuznetsov” can be converted into a ship capable of fulfilling combat tasks at the level of the force based in Hmeimim in any point in the world. This would require several changes in the course of its modernization:
- Change the propulsion system. Ideally, it should be replaced with nuclear reactor. This would enable the ship to maintain full speed, so that aircraft would be able to take off with full payload, as well as increase reliability.
- Modernize fighters SU-33, equipping them with modern REE, like in SU-30CM or SU-35C. In this configuration 14 SU-33 and 12 MiG29K would be able to fulfill assault tasks and maintain domination in the air.
- Lighted the ship’s load by removing launch equipment for P-700 ‘Granit”, which, it is believed, are in non-working order after one of the accidents. It’s better for an aircraft carrier to be just an aircraft carrier.
- Install modern radio-electronic equipment.
- During the time of the overhaul and modernization, train enough deck aircraft pilots and update supply ships. Otherwise, it would be impossible to base on the ship 50 aircraft it is supposed to carry.
This modernization would take at least 4 years. However, the result would be essentially a new combat complex. Considering vague prospects of building new aircraft carriers (among other things, it is unclear whether this is needed, considering the state of ship-building industry and Russian geography), modernization can recreate “Admiral Kuznetsov” as a ship that can fulfill combat missions for another 40 years.
Nearly 30,000 foreign mercenary-terrorists are still active in Daesh-held territories in Syria-Iraq
When the lure of gold attracts like fire the moths,…that end up burning alive…
30,000 “foreign terrorist fighters”
Nearly 30,000 “foreign terrorist fighters” are currently in Syria and Iraq, a high-ranking United Nations official said on Tuesday (July 5), warning that the risk of attacks in their home countries was growing.
“The number of foreign terrorist fighters is very high” in war-ravaged Syria and neighbouring Iraq, said Jean-Paul Laborde, UN assistant secretary general and head of its Counter-Terrorism Committee.
“There are nearly 30,000, and now that the territory held by Daesh is shrinking in Iraq, we are seeing them return, not only to Europe but to all of their countries of origin, like Tunisia, Morocco,” he told reporters in Geneva.“The terrorist attacks in those countries of origin risk getting bigger and bigger to counter-balance the pressure on them” on the ground in Syria and Iraq, he said.
Laborde urged countries to put in place a “filter system to distinguish between the large majority of (returning) foreign fighters, who are not dangerous… and those who are.”
The former French judge also stressed that the international community had the judicial tools to fight against terrorism, but warned that “the adaptability and flexibility of terrorist organisations are much faster than ours.”
To compensate for the slowness of judicial systems, he called for more cooperation with internet giants like Google, Twitter and Microsoft to help keep tabs on potential terrorists online.
He insisted though that this needed to be done without “violating freedom of expression.” Laborde also called on states to share more information faster. “If we don’t do that, we will continue to see a growing number of terrorist acts,” he said.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee, made up of representatives of the UN Security Council member states, was created in New York following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, ABNA reported.
20 civilians killed, over 140 wounded by terrorists’ rocket shells on Aleppo city
Local reporter working in Aleppo for SANA (Syrian Arab News Agency) said that 20 civilians have been killed and over 140 injured due to mercenary-terrorist rocket shells on Aleppo city.
The foreign backed terrorists targeted al-Furqan neighborhood and the University Housing in Aleppo, killing 20 civilians and wounding over 140.
click on map to enlarge ~ here for the original link
SOURCES: Al-Alam SANA Submitted by SyrianPatriots War Press Info Network at: https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/30000-mercenaries/ ~
Senior commander for Al-Nusra killed in Qalamoun region
[together with his gangsters]
(FNA) ~ The senior commander of Al-Nusra Front terrorist group in Qalamoun region in Damascus countryside was killed in tough battle with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on Thursday.
Abu Obeideh, Al-Nusra Front’s top commander in Sarqaya was killed in Qalamoun region.
Scores of Al-Nusra Front terrorists were killed and wounded in fierce clashes with the Syrian government forces.
Last Sunday, 31 militants of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front were killed and many more were wounded in the Syrian fighter jets’ heavy bombardments in Eastern Qalamoun.
The Syrian army warplanes, in a fresh round of combat sorties, targeted positions of al-Nusra Front near the town of Jayroud, where a Syrian Air Force’s pilot was captured and killed by the militant groups.
The Daesh’s military equipment also sustained major damage in attacks.
Senior DAESH commander killed by Syrian Army in Deir Ezzur
(FNA) ~ One of the notorious commanders of the ISIL terrorist group was killed in clashes with the Syrian army soldiers in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur.
Amer al-Ghafal al-Khalif al-Saleh, was the man who led the ISIL to capture the small town of Sabikhan in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
He was also accused of assassinating several members of Free Syrian Army before the ISIL captured Sabikhan.
Amer al-Ghafal was also ISIL’s field commander in clashes with al-Shoeitat trib.
Reports said on Friday that the Syrian Army troops repelled ISIL’s offensive on pro-government forces’ strongholds in Southern Deir Ezzur, inflicting a heavy death toll on the militants.
The Syrian army men engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists that attacked a number of military posts and sites near al-Tharda mountain, which ended in the killing or wounding of scores of the militants and destruction of their machinegun-equipped vehicles.
Preparing for Nuclear War By Sheikh Imran Hosein
Published on Feb 24, 2016
Unedited video of Sheikh Imran N. Hosein’s address at the recent seminar on NUCLEAR WAR in Geneva
The End Game Pushing Sheikh Imran Hosein
Nostradamus? Sheikh Imran Hosein iProphet WWIII to starte after Europe closes its borders
Leading From Behind-Obama
US President Barack Obama speaks during the joint press statements following a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Warsaw on July 8, 2016. (AFP photo)
US President Barack Obama has urged leaders of the NATO military alliance to stand firm against Russia over its “seizure” of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
Obama made the comments on Friday at a NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, his last NATO summit before he leaves the White House in January.
Ties between the West and Russia have been in tatters since the Crimean Peninsula rejoined Russia in a referendum in March 2014.
Ukraine has also been carrying out a military crackdown on pro-Russian forces fighting for greater autonomy in the eastern part of the country.
“In Warsaw, we must reaffirm our determination — our duty under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty — to defend every NATO ally,” Obama said.
“We need to bolster the defence of our allies in central and eastern Europe, strengthen deterrence and boost our resilience against new threats, including cyber attacks.”
Obama also told NATO leaders that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) should not weaken the Western military alliance.
The US president said America’s “special relationship” with the UK would survive the EU referendum decision he had previously warned against.
“The special relationship between the US and the UK will endure. I have no doubt that the UK will remain one of NATO’s most capable members,” he said.
However, Obama acknowledged that the UK vote raised significant questions about the future of EU integration.
The 28-nation NATO will formally agree to deploy four battalions totaling 3,000 to 4,000 troops in the Baltic states and Poland on a rotating basis to reassure eastern members of its readiness to defend them against any Russian aggression.
Moscow said it was meaningless for the US-led military alliance to describe Russia as a threat and it hoped “common sense” would prevail at the NATO summit.
“Moscow was and remains open to dialogue with NATO and is ready to cooperate with it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday in a conference call with journalists.
Protesters burn US, NATO flags during rally in Greece
July 6, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Southeast Asia’s Thailand has been racked by political conflict for now over a decade. During the rise and fall of US-backed political proxy Thaksin Shinawatra, there have been numerous protests and counter-protests,two military coups aimed at dislodging the despot and his deep political and paramilitary networks, and episodes of violence involving heavily armed terrorists deployed by Shinawatra in a bid to cling to power.
During each and every episode of violence, Shinawatra – a convicted criminal and accused mass murderer – and his armed proxies, received various levels of support from his Western backers.
First, they received a virtual media blackout across Western news networks. There is one infamous news broadcast by CNN’s Dan Rivers in which he sets out to find Shinawatra’s armed gunmen, known locally as the “men in black” in an attempt to prove stories of their existence was manufactured by the Thai military as a pretext to crackdown on what he repeatedly referred to as unarmed protesters.
At one point during the broadcast, almost comically, he is forced to take cover as a 40mm grenade strikes nearby, launched by the militants he insinuates didn’t exist.
Similar charades have played out elsewhere around the world – particularly in Syria – where Western news services have played a direct role in concealing the existence, nature, and activities of terrorist groups operating on behalf of Western geopolitical objectives.
Second, the West’s extensive network of alleged “human rights” advocacy groups have been engaged in a politically-motivated, biased campaign to portray Shinawatra and his supporters as victims of human rights abuses, and those attempting restore peace and stability to the country as “human rights violators.”
|Image: The Western media as well as Western “human rights” advocates have played a direct role in covering up for, spinning, or otherwise excusing actual human rights abuses, including terrorism and mass murder carried out by US proxies.|
This became particularly transparent during Thailand’s political crisis when between 2013-2014 hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to protest and call for the departure of Thaksin Shinawatra’s nepotist appointed sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from office.
Over the course of 6 months, groups like Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International condemned the protesters for obstructing “democracy.” Worse still, regular violence carried out by Shinawatra’s militants against the protests in an attempt to violently crush dissent was categorically ignored by these same “human rights” advocates.
In total, 20 would die, hundreds more would be maimed during what were almost nightly drive-by shootings, grenade attacks, and assassination attempts resulting in one protest leader’s death. To this day, responsibility has never been assigned to the Shinawatras or their political supporters.
Instead, the military-led government which eventually intervened to end the escalating violence and finally oust the Shinawatras from power, has been condemned continuously for reining in the remnants of Shinawatra’s political and paramilitary organizations.
Most recently, Thailand’s Bangkok Post in an article titled, “Amnesty calls for release of student activists,” would report:
Amnesty International has called on authorities to free a group of 20 activists, mostly students, arrested for political gatherings and distributing “inappropriate reading material” to people last week.
The organisation posted a message on its website, demanding authorities release the protesters.
Amnesty International Senior Research Adviser for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Champa Patel, wrote on the website: “These crude tactics represent the latest in series of attempts by Thai military authorities to muzzle dissent,” Ms Patel said.
Amnesty fails to mention that these “20 activists” are members of the so-called “New Democracy Movement,” and are in fact directly connected to the ousted regime of Thaksin Shinawatra.
The agitators had gathered to protest an upcoming referendum for a new national charter aimed at further stripping away the unwarranted wealth, power, and influence Shinawatra still wields in the country. Additionally, the agitators are blatantly violating laws put in place regulating both supporters and opponents of the charter, and regulating campaigning for or against the referendum.
Amnesty International, and other organizations that make up the US and Europe’s vast “human rights” racket, have made statements and protested the government of Thailand almost weekly since the coup in 2014. Up to and including the eve of the coup as violence unfolded, these same groups were silent as Shinawatra crushed dissenters.
This exposes groups like Amnesty International as hypocritical, politically motivated fronts designed to defend US-backed agitators, including criminals and terrorists, while undermining the efforts of legitimate political groups, institutions, and organizations attempting to restore the rule of law, peace and stability in any given nation.
Through Amnesty International’s transparently dishonest politically-motivated meddling, it is undermining, not upholding human rights advocacy – defending those who have done the most to trample human rights, and obstructing those who have worked toward confronting and stopping them.
While many may be aware of this abuse of human rights advocacy amid conflicts in Libya or Syria, Thailand proves that the West conducts similar efforts virtually everywhere across the globe.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The United States is to deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea, the two sides said Friday, as North Korea warned the latest US sanctions against its leader amounted to a “declaration of war”.
News of the unprecedented sanctions targeting Kim Jong-Un came as North Korea marked 22 years since the death of its founding president Kim Il-Sung, grandfather of the current “Supreme Leader”.
The US and South Korea began talks on deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, or THAAD, to the Korean peninsula in February after the North launched a long-range rocket.
“Based on these consultations, the (South) and the US made an alliance decision to deploy THAAD… as a defense measure to ensure the security of the (South) and its people,” the allies’ defence ministries said in a joint statement.
It did not reveal exactly when and where in the South the system would be deployed, saying the two nations were in the final stages of selecting a potential venue.
China lashed out at the move, which it said would “seriously damage” regional security in northeast Asia, and urged the US and South Korea to reconsider.
The plan to deploy the powerful system, which fires projectiles to smash into enemy missiles, has irritated Beijing and Moscow, which described it as a bid to flex US military muscle in the region.
The US on Wednesday placed “Supreme Leader” Kim on its sanctions blacklist for the first time, calling him directly responsible for a long list of serious human rights abuses.
Pyongyang lashed out at Washington on Friday, warning North Korea would instantly cut off all diplomatic channels with the US if the sanctions were not lifted.
“This is the worst hostility and an open declaration of war against the DPRK as it has gone far beyond the confrontation over the ‘human rights issue,'” the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by its official KCNA news agency.
“Now that the US declared a war on the DPRK, any problem arising in the relations with the US will be handled under the latter’s wartime law.”
|08-07-2016 – 10:44 Last updated 08-07-2016 – 10:44|
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