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Showing posts from April 25, 2017

US THINK TANK: NORTH KOREA 'COULD CARRY OUT FRESH NUCLEAR TEST TONIGHT'

North Korea could be set tonight to launch their latest nuclear missile test, an expert has claimed. An official at a Washington-based think tank declared a fresh test could be conducted just hours from now after citing sources inside the South Korean government.

 It comes as Chinese president Xi Jinping pleaded with Donald Trump and North Korea to show restraint and "meet each other halfway" as the nuclear crisis deepens.

Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at The Center for the National Interest, tweeted earlier on Monday: "Sources in South Korean government are telling me chances are 50% or more that North Korea test nuke or missile tonight EST."

He later fuelled speculation further by suggesting a nuclear test tonight "feels very likely". Meanwhile, President Xi's comments came as a US armada steams towards towards North Korea. But Kim Jong-un's regime has retaliated to the move, by threatening to sink Donald Trump's ships. South …

US submarine makes South Korea port call amid reports of artillery drill by the North

A US submarine arrived in South Korea on Tuesday as it prepares to join an "armada" of warships sent to the region by Donald Trump to confront Pyongyang. The nuclear-powered USS Michigan, which is built to carry and launch ballistic missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles, made the port call amid growing concerns that North Korea was set to carry out a nuclear test. Kim Jong-un’s regime marks the 85th anniversary on Tuesday of the founding of its Korean People's Army – a symbolic date which observers believe could see a test of military hardware. Such concerns eased during the afternoon, with no reports of tests, but South Korean media said the North was carrying out its “largest-ever live-fire drills” to mark the occasion. The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arriving in Busan, South Korea,CREDIT: EPA/US NAVY Pyongyang and Washington have been engaged in an escalating war of words in recent weeks after President Trump’s administration declared the…

Iraqi forces using siege and stealth to evict Islamic State from Mosul

FILE PHOTO – Federal police members fire a rocket at Islamic State fighters’ positions during a battle at Jada district in western Mosul. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal




Mosul (Reuters) Iraqi forces are using siege and stealth tactics to drive Islamic State militants out of Mosul’s Old City, an Iraqi general said, as his forces sought to minimize casualties among hundreds of thousands of people trapped in the cramped, historic neighborhood.


Explosions from two car bombs could be heard nearby as Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi spoke to Reuters at his command post on Monday, and a Reuters correspondent saw thick smoke rising from the blasts.


“Most houses in the Old City are very old and its streets and alleyways are very narrow,” Assadi, a commander of Iraqi counter-terrorism units in Mosul, said. “So to avoid civilian losses we are using siege, but that does not mean we will not enter the Old City.”


Assadi said his units were refraining from engaging enemy forces in positions where the mi…

ERDOGAN LABELS IRAQI POPULAR MOBILIZATION UNITS “TERRORIST ORGANIZATION”, PART OF “PERSIAN EXPANSION POLICY”

Turkish Presidential Press Office Turkish President Recep Erdogan labeled the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, as a “terrorist organization” and a part of the “Persian expansion policy” in an intervew to the Doha-based news outlet Al Jazeera (Its Baghdad office was shot down by the Iraqi government for promoting secrarian divisions in the country). The Popular Mobilization Units have been playing a key role in the Iraqi government campaign against the ISIS terrorist group. However, Erdogan is not happy with this. “Who are the Hashd al-Sha’abi? Who is backing them? The Iraqi Parliament supports Hashd al-Sha’abi, but, honestly, they are a terrorist organization and should be known who stands behind it,” he said arguing that the group is a part of  a “Persian expansion policy.” Last November, the Iraqi Parliament approved a law, recognizing the Popular Mobilization Units as part of the Iraqi Armed Forces. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish a…

US ISSUED SANCTIONS AGAINST 271 EMPLOYEES OF SYRIA’S SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER

President Donald Trump walks to his swearing-in ceremony on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Pool / Getty Images) On Monday, the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control issued sanctions against 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, arguing that the agency allegedly responsible for producing chemical weapons. “We take Syria’s disregard for innocent human life very seriously, and will relentlessly pursue and shut down the financial networks of all individuals involved with the production of chemical weapons used to commit these atrocities,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. There are no doubts that the words “all individuals” don’t include members of al-Qaeda-style “opposition organizations” operating across Syria, specially if these “opposition organizations” fight against the Assad government. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that the newly imposed sanctions send a clear signal to Assad’s…

TRACING BULGARIAN ARMS SHIPMENTS TO SYRIAN ISLAMISTS

Original by Diana Mikhailova, translation by J.Hawk.This article is a continuation of an earlier one by the same author. It’s April 6, 2017. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Denmark-flagged Marianne Danica cargo ship has arrived in the biggest seaport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The ship had left Burgas ten days earlier (March 28) loaded with tons of weapons, a fact confirmed by Marinetraffic.com satellite tracking data. The ship was declared as carrying a Hazard A (Major) dangerous cargo, which in accordance with the International Cargo Classification system denotes weapons and explosives. The dangerous cargo is unloaded within 8 hours of the ship arriving in Jeddah, and the ship sets return course to Burgas. The Bulgarian weapons shipments are not meant for Saudi Arabia which could not use it in any event, as its military uses only Western weapons. In December 2016, Trud reporters discovered Bulgarian weapons manufactured at VMZ-Sopot, in 9 An-Nusra jihadists’ storage facilities in easte…