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Showing posts from July, 2017

IN SHOW OF “LETHAL, OVERWHELMING FORCE” US FLIES TWO B-1B BOMBERS OVER KOREAN PENINSULA

Less than a month after the US flew two B-1B bombers over the Korean Peninsula to show off “US attack capabilities“, the US Air Force did it again on Sunday, when it the flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in “a show of force” on Sunday after Pyongyang’s Friday test of an ICBM that can reach the continental US. The two B-1Bs flew alongside two Japanese F-2 jet fighters within Japanese airspace before conducting an exercise over South Korea with four South Korean F-15 fighters in response to the latest North Korean missile test, as well as the previous July 4 launch of the “Hwansong-14” rocket, the USAF. “In a demonstration of ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies, two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, fly a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, into Japanese airspace and over the Korean Peninsula” the statement by Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs said. “North K…

SUICIDE BOMBER BLEW HIMSELF UP AT HTS-AHRAR AL-SHAM MEETING IN ALEPPO COUNTRYSIDE

FILE IMAGE A suicide bomber attacked a meeting of officials from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS; formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), Ahrar al-Sham and tribal leaders at the HTS headquarters in Najjar village in the southern Aleppo countryside. HTS claimed that ISIS was behind the attack and revealed that 3 of its fighters – who were guards at the headquarters – were killed in the attack. ISIS hasn’t yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Furthermore,Ahrar al-Sham has not confirmed that its representative was at the meeting, as HTS had claimed. However, ISIS is believed to be behind the attack. It has targeted several HTS headquarters in Idlib province in a similar way. The attack on HTS headquarters near Idlib city on July 13 is an example of such actions. Earlier this month HTS claimed it launched a security campaign against ISIS cells in Idlib province, and allegedly arrested several ISIS commanders across the province including Sarakib town. HTS has also execu…

FIRST PHASE OF ARSAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN HEZBOLLAH AND HTS

On Sunday, the Hezbollah media wing in Syria announced a start of the first phase of Arsal agreement between Hezbollah and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) under the auspices of the Lebanese General Security Forces. The stage includes the exchange of prisoners and the exchange of bodies of dead fighters who had been killed in the previous battles in Jorud Arsal. Hezbollah was set to receive 5 bodies of its fighters from HTS, and to handover to HTS 9 bodies of its fighters. The exchange started in Labwa area near the Syrian-Lebanese border. The Islamic Health Authority was set to transport the bodies of HTS fighters, while the Lebanese Red Cross was set to transport the bodies of Hezbollah fighters. However, the exchange was delayed due to some logistical problems. The Hezbollah meda wing in Syria revealed that the Lebanese General Security Forces will release Mayada Alloush and her son as part of the exchange deal. Mayada Alloush had  been arrested by Lebanese security forces after smuggl…

SDF AND SYRIAN MILITARY MAKE SECRET DEAL, DIVIDE SPHERES OF INFLUENCE IN DEIR EZZOR, RAQQAH PROVINCES – MEDIA

FILE IMAGE The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian military have made a secret deal dividing the psheres of influence in the provinces of Raqqah and Deir Ezzor, the al Modon Online website reported. The agreement was reportedly reached in the village of Ukayrshah on July 20 and was backed by Russia. According to the agreement, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and pro-government tribal forces will be able to gain areas in the southern and southeastern Raqqah countryside and the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside without any resistance or antagonism from the SDF. According to the  report, this will allow government forces, backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, to advance towards Deir Ezzor from the countryside of Raqqah. The article argues that some 400 members of the Tiger Forces and the Tribal Forces with battle tanks, multiple rocket launches and other equipment wer deployed in the Ukayrshah and Dahla areas. This force is a part of the Syrian military grouping invol…

EGYPTIAN BATTLE TANK CRUSHES VBIED TRYING TO DETONATE AT ARMY CHECKPOINT

A screenshot from the video A Egyptian M60 battle tank has crushed a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) that was attempting to reach a Egyptian army check point and to detonate it. Meanwhile, 8 members of Hasm Movement, an Islamist militant group, have been killed in the city of Fayoum in central Egypt. The group is active in central Egypt, including the capital of Cairo.

ERDOGAN: TURKEY REACHED DEAL WITH RUSSIA ON S-400 AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Erdogan announced that Russia and Turkey have signed some documents as part of a deal on the purchase of Russian-made S-400 long-range air defense systems. “We have made steps on this issue with the Russian Federation. Signatures have been put and I hope that we’ll see S-400 missiles in our country. We’ll also request the joint production of these systems,” Erdogan said according to TV Channel Haber 7. The Kremlin has not commented on the issue. Rumors that Ankara may purchase S-400 air defense systems have been circulating since the Russian-Turkish rapprochement as a result fo a series of important developments over the Syrian crisis. The US and its NATO allies are concerned that the Russian-Turkish cooperation may decrease the US influence in the Middle East and boost Moscow’s role in the ongoing crises in the region.

CURRENT U.S. POLICIES IN MIDDLE EAST FAIL TO ESTABLISH SECURITY FOR WASHINGTON

Written by Evgeny Satanovsky; Originally appeared at VPK, The current situation in the Middle East is far from stable. Wars in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan show that there is a growing opposition from local power centers and external players.  The Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) is in crisis due to strained relations between UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt with Qatar. Iran is actively developing missile programs while Pakistan is focused on nuclear ones. Algeria is busy with succession planning. Islamist groups are increasing their terrorist activity throughout the region, although in Syria and Iraq, the “Islamic State” (banned in Russia) is failing.  The volume of drug trafficking, which includes Afghan opiates, and the flow of immigrants, moving to Europe through Maghreb and Turkey is growing. Iran is inciting direct confrontation with Israel. Meanwhile, U.S. and E.U. policies in the Middle East have proven to be contradictory and jeopardize their security. A. Bystrov and …

CURRENT U.S. POLICIES IN MIDDLE EAST FAIL TO ESTABLISH SECURITY FOR WASHINGTON

Written by Evgeny Satanovsky; Originally appeared at VPK, translated by Olya Kay exclusively for SouthFront The current situation in the Middle East is far from stable. Wars in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan show that there is a growing opposition from local power centers and external players.  The Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) is in crisis due to strained relations between UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt with Qatar. Iran is actively developing missile programs while Pakistan is focused on nuclear ones. Algeria is busy with succession planning. Islamist groups are increasing their terrorist activity throughout the region, although in Syria and Iraq, the “Islamic State” (banned in Russia) is failing.  The volume of drug trafficking, which includes Afghan opiates, and the flow of immigrants, moving to Europe through Maghreb and Turkey is growing. Iran is inciting direct confrontation with Israel. Meanwhile, U.S. and E.U. policies in the Middle East have proven to be contradict…