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NEW MIGRANT ROUTE TO EUROPE APPEARING IN BLACK SEA?

On Monday, Romanian authorities said that they had caught a fishing boat with 68 asylum seekers off the country’s coast. The boat was carrying Iraqis and Syrians, including 23 children. It was was intercepted late Sunday in the Black Sea in Romania’s southeastern Constanta region. This was the second such incident in a week. The report raised fears that a new migrant route to Europe was opening up. “They were accompanied by two Turkish traffickers,” Ionela Pasat, a spokeswoman for the Constanta coastguard, told AFP. On August 13, a boat with 69 Iraqi migrants was caught in Romanian waters. One Bulgarian and one Cypriot were taken into custody on suspicion of human trafficking. Romania is not a part of the EU passport-free Schengen zone and has largely been spared the ongoing migration crisis. However, the recent events show that the situation is rapidly developing.

LEAKED UN REPORT: SAUDI-LED COALITION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER HALF OF CHILD DEATHS IN YEMEN

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The Saudi-led coalition – which receives logistical support, weapons and political backing from the US and UK – has been responsible for killing of hundreds of children in Yemen, according to a leaked UN report. According to the report obtained by Reuters, “attacks carried out by air caused over half of all child casualties, with at least 349 killed and 333 injured”. The report says that the deaths were “unacceptably high”. The report insists that 51% of all child deaths and injuries in Yemen last year were the result of military actions of the Saudi-led coalition. The Saudi-led coalition destroyed more than 28 schools in Yemen, the report added. The obtained text was reportedly drafted by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ special envoy for children and armed conflict, Virginia Gamba, acting on a request from the UN Security Council. However, Guterres still has to approve the report. If this is done, the report will be released this month. The report will be a serious…

TALIBAN RESPONDS TO TRUMP’S NEW AFGHAN STRATEGY, PROMISES TO TURN COUNTRY INTO “GRAVEYARD FOR THE AMERICAN EMPIRE”

FILE IMAGE The Taliban has claimed that it will turn Afghanistan “into a graveyard for the American Empire” following Washington’s decision to continue the military operation in the central Asian country. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid issued a statement on Tuesday advicing the US has to think of an exit strategy “instead of continuing the war” on Afghanistan. According to the statement, the Taliban would continue their militancy “so long as a single American soldier” in Afghanistan. The statement came after President Donald Trump backtracked on his promise to end the longest-running war in US history. In turn, Trump announced a new strategy for Afghanistan, rejecting what he called “arbitrary timetables” for the withdrawal of US troops. The Taliban’s statement: Finally the American president Trump announced his strategy and has called for continued presence of occupying forces while labeling Afghanistan as a threat to America. It seems America is not yet ready to end the longes…

SECURITY SITUATION REMAINS COMPLICATED IN NORTHERN SINAI. MILITANTS SHELL KARAM ABU-SALEM BORDER CROSSING

Click to see the full-size map On August 20, terrorists launched 3 missiles on the Karam abu-Salem border crossing. The crossing links Egypt, the Gaza Strip and Israel. It’s located south of the Gaza Strip and actively used to transfer goods. Approximately 250 trucks pass the crossing on a daily basis. On August 21, army units deployed at the Saha camp launched a security campaign in the border crossing the area, including Masora, Balaa, Yamet and Matla. As a result of the operation, the army killed 11 terrorists and discovered an ammunition and weapons depot. A soldier was killed and 5 others were wounded in an IED explosion in the Masor area. Spokesman for the Egyptian Army released a video showing the destruction of 9 vehicles belonging to terrorists near the Libyan border. According to the statement, a group of terrorist was trying to smuggle weapons and ammunition trough Egypt’s western border. Following the airstrikes, border guards conducted an operation against smugglers in t…

TURKISH NAVY AMPHIBIOUS FLEET MODERNIZATION: TCG BAYRAKTAR L-402 ENTERS SERVICE

Written by Brian Kalman exclusively for SouthFront; Brian Kalman is a management professional in the marine transportation industry. He was an officer in the US Navy for eleven years. He currently resides and works in the Caribbean. The first of two new Landing Ship Tank (LST) landing ships entered service with the Turkish Navy on April 22nd of this year. The TCG Bayraktar L-402 successfully completed Sea Acceptance Tests (SAT) and was delivered on April 14th, with the official acceptance ceremony taking place a week later. The procurement of the new class of LST is just one element of the Turkish Navy’s ongoing amphibious fleet modernization program. In addition, the first Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), TCG Anadolu L-400, is under construction, with a planned commissioning date in 2020. A New Breed of LST The Bayraktar class LST was designed, built and commissioned in a period of just 46 months. The second vessel in class, TCG Sancaktar L-403 is on schedule to be delivered to the navy…

US NIMITZ CARRIER STRIKE GROUP BEGINS LAUNCHING AIRSTRIKES ON ISIS TARGETS IN SYRIA, IRAQ

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston A. Mohr The US Nimitz Carrier Strike Group has started carrying out airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq from the Persian Gulf, the US Navy said in a press release on Monday. “The first aircraft launched from USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147. Accompanying Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 squadrons, part of that first flight include the “Black Knights” of VFA-154, the “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146, the “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, and the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121. “For the Nimitz Strike Group, today is game day,” said Rear Adm. Bill Byrne, commander of CSG-11. “When you hear the roar of the jets today it is for real. It’s game on. Our pilots and aircrew are demonstrating our continued commitment to this region and all of our partner nations.” Byrne credited the entire cr…

PRO-GADDAFI PLAYERS AND LNA GAIN STRENGTH IN LIBYA

Recently, the media’s attention focused on the crisis in the Persian Gulf, where U.S. administration provoked a conflict between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and their allies with Qatar, by receiving large-scale defense orders from both sides and then becoming a neutral arbitrator. The media also focused on the situation in Syria and Iraq, on the imminent change of power in Algeria, and on the confrontation between the countries of the Horn of Africa. As a result, the media has been fully distracted from the events in Libya. Meanwhile, the situation in Libya is unfolding, affecting not only its regional players but also the U.S. and the E.U. This article considers current events in the country, basing its analysis on materials of the Institute of Middle East expert, A. Bystrov. Money for a barrel The House of Representatives of Libya – the parliament sitting in the east of the country – made a recent announcement regarding its decision to withdraw from the agreement on the formation o…