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Showing posts from January 24, 2017

Chinese warships tour Gulf Arab states for first time since 2010

Beijing relies on the Middle East for oil but has tended to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other four permanent members of the UNSC

This aerial photo taken on 2 January, 2017 shows a Chinese navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills in the South China Sea (AFP)

Chinese warships have embarked on a tour of Gulf Arab states for the first time in six years as Beijing has signalled a desire to play a bigger role on the global stage.

Three Chinese vessels, including a guided-missile destroyer warship, arrived in Qatar's capital Doha on Saturday following a visit to the Saudi port city of Jeddah, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

China's navy regularly tours the world and its ships patrol off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia as part of international anti-piracy operations. Visits to Gulf Arab states, where both the US and Britain have naval bases, are less common.

China's navy visited Iran for the first time in 2014 to take pa…

US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump

By Gareth Porter

 A new coalition of US-based organizations is pushing for a more aggressive U.S. intervention against the Assad regime. But both the war in Syria and politics in the United States have shifted dramatically against this objective.

When it was formed last July, the coalition hoped that a Hillary Clinton administration would pick up its proposals for a more forward stance in support of the anti-Assad armed groups. But with Donald Trump in office instead, the supporters of a U.S. war in Syria now have little or no chance of selling the idea.

One of the ways the group is adjusting to the new political reality is to package its proposal for deeper U.S. military engagement on behalf of U.S.-supported armed groups as part of a plan to counter Al Qaeda, now calling itself Jabhat Fateh al Sham.

But that rationale depends on a highly distorted presentation of the problematic relations between Syria’s supposedly “moderate” rebel groups and Al Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot.

The “Combat…


ISIS terrorists have targeted a Russian-made T-90 main battle tank with an anti-tank guided missile near the village of Drehym in the area east of the town of Khanasser in the province of Aleppo.

The incident took place on January 23 and allegedly resulted in killing of the tank’s crew.

Pro-ISIS sources claim that it was totally “destroyed” and the released video shows a burning T-90 tank. The further developments over the tank are unknown.

This could be the first T-90 battle tank destroyed by terrorists during the conflict.

The flag on the picture suggests that the battle tank had been operated by crew from Hezbollah, Fatimyoun Brigade or Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba – pro-government paramilitary groups backed by Iran.
Click to see the full-size image


The map shows a military situation in Yemen on January 23, 2017 Click to see the full-size map