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Showing posts from April 20, 2017

Have North Korea's missile tests paid off?

Image copyrightEPAImage captionNorth Korea regularly threatens to lay waste to its enemies, but how realistic are such threats?

North Korea displayed a lot of missiles - including big ones - at a bombastic military parade over the weekend. But what do we really know about Pyongyang's missile capabilities? Defence expert Melissa Hanham explains.

Kim Jong-un put on quite a show to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, North Korea's founding leader. More new hardware was on display than ever before, including new inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

To its domestic audience, it was a demonstration of technological might and prosperity. To outsiders it was a threat: be you near or far you will eventually be in range.

The Kim Jong-un years have seen increasingly frequent missile tests, all defying UN sanctions, but have they made any difference to the North's capabilities?Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionKim Jong-un has made himself a ma…

USS CARL VINSON WAS NOT EN ROUTE TO KOREAN PENINSULA WHEN DEFENSE OFFICIALS CLAIMED IT. WHERE IS IT NOW?

SUNDA STRAIT (April 15, 2017) The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Sunda Strait. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled western Pacific deployment as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet. U.S Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific regularly and routinely for more than 70 years. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)

Over a week ago, Washington declared that the USS Carl Vinson strike group was set to sail to the Korean Peninsula in order to “project power” in the region amid the growing tensions between the United States and Northern Korea.


“US Pacific Command ordered the Carl Vinson strike group north as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the western Pacific,” The Guardian quoted Commander Dave Benham, spokesman at US Pacific Command on April 9.

“We’re sending an armada,” Mr. …

US, AUSTRALIAN ADVISERS AND IRAQI TROOPS CAME UNDER ISIS CHEMICAL ATTACK IN MOSUL

FILE IMAGE

An Iraqi army unit with US and Australian advisers came under an ISIS chemica attack in the western part of the Iraqi city of Mosul on Sunday.

According to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin, the alleged mustard agent attack resulted in injuring 25 Iraqi soldiers. No American or Australian troops were injured by the toxic agent.

However, no official identification of the agent used in the attack has been released.

The ISIS chemical attack in western Mosul was the second in a row. Earlier, reports appeared that ISIS used a toxic gas against Iraqi troops in the al-Abar neighborhood in western Mosul.

It’s important to note that the ISIS reportedly uses self-made chemical weapons in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Washington denies that any militant group could make chemical weapons in Syria and de-facto argues that the only Syrian government could be responsible for any chemical attacks.

ANOTHER FLIP? TRUMP TELLS CONGRESS IRAN COMPLIANT WITH “DISASTROUS” NUCLEAR DEAL

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

On the heels of an apparant avalanche of flip-flops on campaign comments, President Trump has notified Congress that Iran is complying with the “disastrous… worst deal ever negotiated” 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by former President Obama.

During his campaign, Trump raised the prospect the United States will pull out of the nuclear pact it signed last year with Iran, alienating Washington from its allies and potentially freeing Iran to act on its ambitions.
Trump called the nuclear pact a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated” during his campaign and said it could lead to a “nuclear holocaust.”

In a speech to the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC in March, Trump declared that his “Number-One priority” would be to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”

All of which makes it fascinating to note that, as AP reports, the Trump administration has notified Congress that Iran is complying with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by former Presid…

MILITANTS CREATE “EASTERN SHIELD ARMY”, AIM TO CAPTURE QAMISHLY, HASKHAH, DEIR EZZOR AND RAQQAH

Sources allegedly representing the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – so far there is no a united command of the FSA – have announced that a new FSA group under the name of the Eastern Shield Army (or the Al-Sharqiyah Shield Army) was formed in order to capture Qamishly, Haskhah, Deir Ezzor and Raqqah.

According to the sources the, Al-Sharqiyah Shield Army will fight the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and ISIS.

The group also released a video showing few poorly armed fighters during what appears to be a military training.

According to many pro-government and pro-opposition sources, this new formation is nothing more than a new propaganda stunt by the Turkish government. According to many pro-opposition sources, the Turks are allegedly trying to blackmail their American allies because Washington supports the predominantly Kurdish SDF in Syria.

From the other side, the pro-government media sees this announcement as another Turkish attemp…

US SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES CARRIED OUT MORE OPERATIONS NEAR DEIR EZZOR

Armed men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic forces as US special operations forces are seen in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqa on May 25, 2016. © Delil Souleiman / AFP According to the “Euphrates Post” website, the US Special Operations Forces carried out an air landing in three sites in the ISIS-held area in eastern Syria last Monday night. The operations were supported by the US-led coalition’s fighter jets.

According to the source, US forces landed in the area of the Maizala Dam, the desert town of Granig and the surrounding area of the T2 in Al-Tanf in the Al-Mayadin desert.

According to local sources in Deir Ezzor, the T2 station is one of ISIS logistical centers and a large ISIS arms depot is located there. . Sources added that in the Maizala dam three US Black Hawk helicopters had landed nearly 60 US soldiers. According to local sources, the Maizala dam is an empty area.

Locals said that US Apache helicopters provided fire support for landi…