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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    December 11, 2015
    Iranians Protest Outside Azerbaijani Consulate In Tabriz


    By RFE/RL
    December 10, 2015

    Dozens of Iranians have demonstrated outside Azerbaijan's consulate in the northwestern city of Tabriz to protest the alleged "killing of Shia" in Nardaran, a suburb of the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, Iranian news agencies reported on December 10.

    The reports said protesters accused the Azerbaijani authorities of repressing the Shi'ite community in the oil-rich former Soviet republic.

    Photographs from the December 10 protest show men and women outside the consulate holding placards with names and pictures of individuals described as "Nardaran martyrs" as police guard the compound.

    Nardaran, known as a traditional Shi'ite Muslim stronghold, has been the site of recent deadly clashes and security operations by Azerbaijani authorities.

    The semiofficial Mehr news agency said the protest was "spontaneous" and included students from seminaries and other institutes. After the demonstration, participants reportedly staged prayers and mourned in front of the consulate.

    Spontaneous protests are rare in Iran, where only pro-government demonstrations are typically allowed.

    Azerbaijani authorities said two police officers and four suspected militants were killed during a November 26 raid on a "criminal gang" that was allegedly planning terrorist attacks in the country.

    A December 1 raid in Nardaran resulted in the death of at least five suspected Shi'ite militants and two police officers.

    The detainees in the crackdown have included Taleh Bagirzadeh, the leader of a group called the Movement for Muslim Unity who received his education in Iran.

    Azerbaijani authorities said the operation was aimed at "protecting citizens' legal rights and freedoms" and confiscating weapons and explosives from "criminals."

    While Azerbaijan is a Shi'ite-majority country, Nardaran is home to Iranian-influenced fundamentalists often seen as being at odds with the secular government in Baku.

    Many women in the village wear the full Islamic veil, and girls wear the hijab, or head scarf, to school despite a national ban.

    The raids in Azerbaijan have been criticized by a group of Iranian lawmakers who condemned the "martyrdom of a number of Nardaran's Shia."

    Ayatollah Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari, the leader of Friday prayers in Tabriz, said last week that the actions of Azerbaijani forces in Nardaran cannot be tolerated.

    "The situation of Nardaran's people is very worrying. The government of Azerbaijan accuses the Islamic republic of having a hand in the unrest, while the Islamic republic has always adhered to good neighborly ties with this country," Shabestari was quoted as saying on December 4 by the hard-line Fars news agency.

    In a statement issued December 1, Iran's embassy in Baku said Iran "has never" meddled in Azerbaijani's internal affairs and "did not play any role in the events in Nardaran."

    Tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran have repeatedly flared in recent years.

    In 2012, Azerbaijani authorities arrested several men with purported ties to Iran who allegedly plotted to stage attacks in Azerbaijan.

    Azerbaijan has jailed several of its citizens after convicting them of spying for Tehran since 2012.

    Baku's warm ties with Israel have also been a source of tension in its relations with Iran.

    With reporting by Mehr, ISNA, IRNA, and RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

    Comment


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      Argentinian Mercenary Killed in Southern Yemen
      BY LEITH FADEL
      DECEMBER 11, 2015


      The total number of foreign mercenaries killed in Yemen has skyrocketed in the last 48 hours, as another foreigner has reportedly died fighting the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard and their popular committees (specifically, the Houthis) in southern Yemen.

      According to Al-Masdar’s Tony Toh, the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard reported the death of an Argentinian mercenary that was badly wounded during a firefight against the Houthis in the Al-‘Umari Camp near the strategic city of Ta’iz.

      The Argentinian mercenary was identified as Ferdinand Lamos after he was placed on a U.S. Naval vessel to be transported to the nearest hospital in order to have his wounds operated on.



      Ferdinand Lamos reportedly died on the U.S. Naval vessel before he could reach a hospital; his death marks the first time that an Argentinian national has been killed fighting in the Yemeni War.

      Lamos was a former member of the “Foreign Legions”, which is a military contracting company that was affiliated with the Blackwater group.

      Argentina is now the 10th country to have one of its citizens killed fighting for the Saudi-led Coalition Forces in Yemen; these foreign mercenaries were all paid by the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

      The list of countries:

      Saudi Arabia
      Qatar
      Bahrain
      United Arab Emirates
      Colombia
      Argentina
      Mexico
      United Kingdom
      France
      Australia

      Comment


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        Turkey: Could Ankara Go for Russia’s Jugular?
        December 9, 2015
        eurasianet


        The dogged feud between Turkey and Russia is threatening to resurrect an age-old rivalry over access to the Bosphorus and Dardanelles waterways. The Turkish Straits, as Turkey calls them, connect the Black Sea to international waters, and access to them has always been a flashpoint in Turkish-Russian relations.

        Rancor between Ankara and Moscow has risen steadily since Turkish military jets shot down a Russian fighter in late November. The most recent incident to fuel mutual ire was the appearance of a photo of a Russian sailor on a warship transiting the Bosphous near Istanbul, shouldering a portable surface-to-air missile.

        “Missile tensions on the Bosphorus,” screamed a headline in Turkey’s Taraf newspaper.

        Turkish government officials reacted with fury. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoğlu characterized the incident as a “pure provocation,” ominously adding that “the necessary answer will be given in situations deemed to be a threat.” Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş called the Russian actions “a childish show.”

        Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova shot back that “the protection of a ship is the legal right of any crew.”

        In a way, restricting access to the Bosphorus and Dardanelles waterways could be considered a “nuclear” option when it comes to Ankara’s political-diplomatic options in dealing with Moscow. Locals call the 30-kilometer Bosphorus waterway the “Boğaz,” which means “throat” in English. Such a name is accurate, given that the waterway is vital not only to Russian trade, with much of the country’s oil and wheat exports reliant on it, but also to its Black Sea Fleet; Russian ships can only gain access to the Mediterranean Sea by passing through the Turkish Straits.

        The 1936 Montreux Convention governs the use of the waterways, recognizing Turkey’s sovereignty while at the same time guaranteeing free passage to vessels flying other flags. Under article 2 of the convention, “merchant vessels shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation in the Straits, by day and by night, under any flag and with any kind of cargo, without any formalities.” The convention also secures access for Russian warship to open seas.

        The convention successfully helped soothe centuries of Russia-Turkey rivalry. Moscow fought countless wars with Turkey’s Ottoman Empire over the use of the waterway, winning nearly all of them. But sensitivities over the Straits remain strong to this day.

        Given the wording of the treaty, closing the Straits completely to Russian military or commercial shipping seems unlikely. But it is possible for Ankara to create new obstacles for Russian traffic. Under the convention, Turkish authorities have the right to inspect ships suspected of creating pollution, or engaging in possible illegal operations, such as arms or narcotics trafficking.

        “If the straits were blocked by Turkey, it would cause a major international tension,” said Cengiz Aktar, a political scientist at Istanbul’s Süleyman Şah University. “But … there are reports of the slowing down the passages of the Russian ships.”

        Russian media has reported ships being forced to wait hours for use of the waterway. Turkish officials are dismissive of allegations of a slowdown.

        Interfering with Russian traffic has the potential to backfire on Ankara. “The Montreux Convention does not allow [Turkey] to act like that,” said Suat Kınıklıoğlu, the executive director of STRATIM, an Ankara-based think-tank.

        If enough states perceived Turkey to be flouting convention provisions, it could prompt a reopening of the pact for revision. That is a development that Ankara would like to avoid, Turkish experts say.

        “This is a file Turkey is not eager to open, as there are many states which have issues with the convention. Turkey has been traditionally very loyal to the convention and would not want to damage that perception,” noted Kınıklıoğlu who is also a former member of the Turkish parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee for the governing AK Party.

        Ankara has faced intermittent calls for the Straits to be designated as international waterway, or at least placed under the administration of an independent body. Turkey strongly opposes both ideas.

        With bilateral tensions looking set to intensify over Syria, the Straits remains a potential card that Turkey could play. The waterway is vital for the supply of Russian bases in Syria.

        Under certain circumstances, Turkey would have a legal right to close the waterway to Russian vessels, contended retired Turkish ambassador Murat Bilhan, the former head of the Foreign Ministry’s Strategic Planning Committee. If Turkey is party to a conflict or faces an imminent threat, the pact grants Turkey the right to prevent the enemy nation’s warships from using the Straits, Bilhan insisted.

        “Turkey has that right according to the Montreux Convention, but Turkey has never used that right up to now, and I believe does not intend to, because it is a very dangerous trump card,” Bilhan added.

        Many analysts consider the question of access to the Bosphorus and Dardanelles to be a “Pandora’s Box.” Yet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appearing reinvigorated by a shock landslide win by his AK Party in last month’s general election, there is a growing feeling in Istanbul and Ankara that the country is entering a period where new rules and norms are being created.

        “Erdoğan and his cohorts are unpredictable people with little sensitivity to foreign policy traditions. But the Russians are very sensitive to the Straits – they would react very strongly,” said STRATIM’s Kınıklıoğlu.

        Editor's note: Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.

        Comment


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          Comment


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Why should world powers topple Erdogan, NOT Assad? 0
            BY ZEN ADRA
            DECEMBER 10, 2015
            http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/...gan-not-assad/

            For every era, there must be a psychopath that the world’s most sapient powers must set aside their differences and join forces to disempower, weaken and eventually dislodge. Genghis Khan in one era, Hilter in another, and Augusto Pinochet in one more. For now, his name is Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

            The former mayor of Istanbul and current ‘president’ of Turkey, has gone so far in his fantasies to revive the deceased Ottoman Empire. The man certainly knows no red lines for fulfilling his ambition.

            Since serving as the President from 2003 to 2014, Erdogan has tirelessly began to ‘customize’ Ataturk’s Turkey to commensurate with his Islamist trends. After all, the man was imprisoned 10 months for reciting a religiously intolerant and hatred stirring poem; a conduct not uncommon for the teen who graduated from a religious vocational high school.

            It was the Turkish Army that Erdogan wanted first and foremost to be under his full control. The ‘sacred’ institution which for long fought for the secularism of Turkey is about to turn into an Ankhari Army sweeping the earth upon the Sultan’s orders. Hundreds of senior army officers have been demobilized and referred to trial for ‘plotting a military coup’ against the State.

            Judges, police officers and senior government officials have also been replaced. Hundreds of journalists, activists and political rivals have also been arrested, tortured and even assassinated. Yes, this is all happening is the country that has gone out of breath trying to be a member of the European Union.

            Then the opportunity was offered on a sliver plate. With the outbreak of the so-called “Arab Spring” in late 2010, Erdogan was deeply engaged in regime-change game along with his ideological allies: the mini-state of Qatar and ‘Holy’ kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The aim was crystal clear; replacing secular and anti-Islamist regimes with the notorious Muslim Brotherhood group, an organization that, along with Wahhabism, is widely believed to be the biological parents of al-Qaeda, and more recently and barbarically, ISIS.



            Things went well in Tunisia and Egypt, harder and bloodier in Libya, but next-to-impossible in neighboring Syria.
            The educated, polite and seemingly lenient Ophthalmologist, whose friendship has been Erdogan’s preoccupation for years before, proved willful and uncompromising when it comes to his den.

            Five years on, the Turkish authorities are up to ears with the Syrian bloodbath through training, arming and facilitating the access of tens of thousands of radicalized foreign and local fighters.

            Furthermore, the Turkish Army was reported to have directly engaged in combat actions against the Syrian Army in bordering governorates like Latakia, Idlib and Aleppo. The latest, a former Silk Road city and Syria’s economic capital, was literally looted by Erdogan.

            The new Sultan, as many of his fervent supporters and critics prefer to call him, has undoubtedly built a state that is so strong and solid that even a bunch of fanatics and psychologically-troubled apes cannot establish a de facto Islamic State without its knowledge, if not consent.

            Evidently, Erdogan recognized ISIS as a real State with which he followed an Open-Border policy, concluded oil and arms contracts, and definitely a Good-Neighborly treaty.

            The Islamization of a secular country, militarization of a peaceful and sovereign neighboring state, fueling sectarian and racial hatred, and most disgustfully, helping the rise of a death cult, are all but the latest episodes of a long and deep-rooted massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in the last century.

            One can easily recall the way world powers led by Russian have conglomerated to finish off the Sick Man of Europe. But will they have the courage today to remove the Mad Man of the Globe?

            follow me on:
            @zen_adra
            http://zenadrablog.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              Erdogan: Troop pullout from Iraq 'out of question'

              News | 11.12.2015 | 10:50




              PressTV - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkish troops recently deployed to Iraq will not be leaving the Arab country for the time being.

              “Withdrawing our soldiers is out of the question for the moment,” Erdogan said at a news conference in the capital, Ankara, on Thursday.

              He repeated Ankara's claim that the troops were deployed upon a request from the Iraqi government, even as Baghdad has repeatedly said it did not make such a request.

              Erdogan said the Turkish forces stationed in Iraq were part of a training mission to help train Kurdish Peshmerga fighters combat Daesh.

              “The number of our soldiers (in northern Iraq) might increase or decrease depending on the number of Peshmerga being trained,” Erdogan said.

              On December 4, Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers, equipped with heavy weapons and backed by 20 to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh Province. Baghdad strongly condemned the deployment, describing the uncoordinated act a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

              The Turkish ambassador to Iraq was summoned by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Saturday and was told of the Iraqi demand that Turkey immediately withdraw the troops.
              Hayastan or Bust.

              Comment


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Rada rumble: Ukraine parliament fights it out as MP attempts to drag PM Yatsenyuk away (VIDEO)

                https://www.rt.com/news/325598-rada-...tsenyuk-roses/


                https://www.facebook.com/RTvids/vide...7710491572536/

                .
                Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

                Comment


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Originally posted by londontsi View Post
                  Rada rumble: Ukraine parliament fights it out as MP attempts to drag PM Yatsenyuk away (VIDEO)

                  https://www.rt.com/news/325598-rada-...tsenyuk-roses/


                  https://www.facebook.com/RTvids/vide...7710491572536/

                  .
                  Gotta love western democracy at work. I mean where else can you get a handjob while making a speech.
                  Hayastan or Bust.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                    Erdogan: Troop pullout from Iraq 'out of question'

                    News | 11.12.2015 | 10:50




                    PressTV - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkish troops recently deployed to Iraq will not be leaving the Arab country for the time being.

                    “Withdrawing our soldiers is out of the question for the moment,” Erdogan said at a news conference in the capital, Ankara, on Thursday.

                    He repeated Ankara's claim that the troops were deployed upon a request from the Iraqi government, even as Baghdad has repeatedly said it did not make such a request.

                    Erdogan said the Turkish forces stationed in Iraq were part of a training mission to help train Kurdish Peshmerga fighters combat Daesh.

                    “The number of our soldiers (in northern Iraq) might increase or decrease depending on the number of Peshmerga being trained,” Erdogan said.

                    On December 4, Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers, equipped with heavy weapons and backed by 20 to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh Province. Baghdad strongly condemned the deployment, describing the uncoordinated act a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

                    The Turkish ambassador to Iraq was summoned by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Saturday and was told of the Iraqi demand that Turkey immediately withdraw the troops.
                    Turks just do what they want ha? 25 tanks and 150 murders deployed to Iraq without Iraqi permission.........they wont pull out as Iraqi foreign Ministry demands I bet you.
                    B0zkurt Hunter

                    Comment


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Yemeni Army and Houthis Down the 7th Saudi Naval Vessel
                      DECEMBER 12, 2015
                      Masdarnews


                      The Yemeni army and the Popular Committees managed on Thursday to drown the seventh warship that belongs to the Saudi-led military coalition off Al-Mokha’ coast in Al-Hadida province west of Yemen.

                      The national army fired a missile that directly hit the warship and killed its 3-men crew on board.

                      A military source told Al-Massira website that the Yemeni Missile Unit targeted the Faissali landing warship during its participation in combat attacks off the coast of Yemen in Mokha by a guided missile, which set it ablaze and killed all its military crew.

                      It is noteworthy that the army and the Popular Committees have targeted five warships off the coast of Mokha and Bab al-Mandab since the beginning of the Saudi-US aggression in March 25, and have destroyed the sixth less than a week ago.

                      Comment

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