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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    VIDEO: Iraqi units open fire on hostile US jets operating inside Syrian desert
    By Chris Tomson - 21/05/2017
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article...syrian-desert/

    DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:20 A.M.) – Footage emerged on Saturday of Iraqi pro-government fighters using anti-aircraft weaponry to shoot at US coalition jets near the Al-Tanf border crossing in eastern Homs.

    The amateur video was published by a fighter of the Badr Movement, an Iraqi contingent which operates alongside the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), 313 Forces (Syrian militia), Hezbollah (Lebanese paramilitary), Harakat al-Abdal (Iraqi paramilitary), Kata’ib al-Imam Ali (Iraqi paramilitary), Kata’ib Hezbollah (Iraqi paramilitary) along the Damascus-Baghdad highway.


    The Shi’ite fighters from Iraq have controversially been bombed by the US Air Force on two separate occasions; this is explained by their blitz offensive targeted an area controlled by US vetted rebels.

    In the weeks to come, the SAA – heavily assisted by foreign fighters – hopes to capture the Al-Tanf border crossing. If succesful, land trade between Damascus and Baghdad will resume for the first time in years.

    With more reinforcements arriving on the M2 highway frontier, pro-government forces have now advanced within 30 kilometers of the Al-Tanf border crossing.

    Meanwhile, a unit of Norwegian special forces entered the Al-Tanf region to reinforce US and British troops. However, with the SAA and Iraqi volunteers fixated on retaking the border, coalition forces may be forced to abort mission.

    Comment


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      Azerbaijan Increasingly Airing Grievances with Russia
      April 11, 2017, by Zaur Shiriyev
      http://www.eurasianet.org/node/83191

      Azerbaijan is increasingly dissatisfied with Russia’s role as a mediator in the conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. And Baku’s frustration is starting to seep out in public.



      The trigger, according to government officials and analysts in Baku, was Russia’s response to the flare-up in fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan in April 2016. Azerbaijani leaders expected that the fighting – the worst bout of violence in and around Karabakh in over two decades – would prompt Russia to use its influence over Armenia, a treaty ally of Moscow’s that is dependent on Russian arms supplies, to become more pliable in Karabakh peace negotiations.

      But Russia has instead taken a more passive approach, officials in Baku complain. The growing rift between Moscow and Baku could complicate efforts to reach a resolution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, for which Russia remains an indispensable mediator.

      In one of the more noteworthy incidents, an Azerbaijani journalist asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a January press conference in Moscow what Russia would do if Azerbaijan initiated a “counter-terrorist operation in the occupied territories” of Nagorno-Karabakh. “Will Moscow close its eyes to it, or interfere in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan?” asked Anar Hasanov, the Moscow correspondent for Azerbaijan’s Lider TV.

      “This is not exclusively about the internal affairs of Azerbaijan,” Lavrov responded. This seemed to be a challenge to Azerbaijan’s sovereignty: Karabakh is recognized by all countries other than Armenia – including Russia – to be de jure part of Azerbaijan.

      Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov responded quickly, albeit obliquely: “I am fully confident that if Russia deals with this issue seriously, the status quo will be changed, regional stability will prevail and Armenian armed forces will withdraw from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.”

      And in February, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev seemed to address the issue, without directly mentioning Lavrov’s comments. “Armenia tried every possible way to globalize this issue after the April battles,” Aliyev said, referring to the deadly outbreak of fighting between the two sides in April 2016. “We’re in our own land... Hence the April battles and whatever happens on the contact line of troops is an internal affair of ours.”

      In a measure of how delicate the issue is for Azerbaijan, however, Hasanov – the journalist who asked the offending question – was fired from his job just days afterward.

      In March, Lavrov again offended Baku when he indicated support for the stalled Armenia-Turkey rapprochement negotiations. “When Yerevan and Ankara sit at the negotiating table, Russia will be ready to provide them with most vigorous assistance,” Lavrov said.

      Azerbaijan hopes to use the prospect of re-opening the border between Armenia and Turkey as a carrot in its negotiations with Yerevan, perhaps in exchange for Armenia handing over two or more of the Azerbaijani territories around Karabakh that it occupies, and which Yerevan has, in principle, agreed to give up. Lavrov’s statement was viewed by many in Baku as a diplomatic shift by Russia, in which Moscow was now looking to separate the issue of Armenia-Turkey normalization from the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

      Azerbaijan also has been frustrated by Russia’s backing of efforts by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to increase monitoring along the Karabakh line of contact. “Before resuming practical talks on the settlement of outstanding issues, we need to defuse tensions, which have increased on the ground, at the contact line, and in the public space. I am convinced that confidence-building measures could be useful,” Lavrov said March 6 at a joint news conference with Mammadyarov.

      Baku, though, wants such monitoring measures adopted only as part of a larger deal. “They offer to conduct a monitoring on investigation of incidents on the contact line of troops, and we agree to this. However, it should be an integral part of a big plan. It should be done after the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied lands,” Mammadyarov said the following day, speaking in Moscow.

      Analysts in Baku believe factional infighting in Moscow is hampering Azerbaijani-Russian relations: one camp in Moscow, they say, is content with Azerbaijan’s current geopolitical stance – with Baku not firmly in Moscow’s orbit, yet also keeping its distance from Euro-Atlantic structures, specifically the European Union and NATO. The other camp in Moscow, led by Lavrov, is suspicious of Azerbaijan, and wants to see guarantees from Baku that Azerbaijan is committed to the Russian sphere.

      Some Azerbaijani officials believe that Lavrov is inclined to aid Yerevan because his father was Armenian. “The Azerbaijani public perceives the mediation activities of Lavrov as biased, one-sided, ethnically motivated and pro-Armenian,” said former foreign minister Tofig Zulfugarov in a March interview with local media.

      Azerbaijani diplomats also accuse Lavrov of unfair dealings with them. One senior Azerbaijani diplomat told EurasiaNet that during negotiations with Armenia in Sochi in 2011, Azerbaijan had reached a deal it was happy with, but then Lavrov asked for time to consult with the Armenian side.

      “At that point, the Armenian side did not fully agree to the terms of the agreement. Lavrov promised that the same document would be discussed at Kazan” at a summit a few months later “and in the worst case, the text would bear some cosmetic changes,” the diplomat said. But the document presented in Kazan had been subject to more than just ‘cosmetic’ changes,” the diplomat said, while declining to provide details on the specifics of the disagreement.

      There also is the perception that Russian President Vladimir Putin is less sympathetic to Azerbaijan than was his predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev. It was under Medvedev that the two countries signed a $4-billion arms deal, although the deliveries themselves have mostly come under Putin, who returned to the presidency in 2013. Putin has not agreed to any more arms sales, though, and the deliveries have been taking place more slowly than Russia had initially promised.

      Those deals have nevertheless raised alarm in Armenia, and rising public anger over those deals has forced Armenian politicians into their own increasing outspoken criticisms of Moscow.

      Azerbaijan continues to pursue arms deals with Moscow, not only to build up its military, but because it also believes that such deals help build relations with the Russian security elite. “Good relations with Russia’s military industry elite helped Azerbaijan, and led Moscow to have a neutral position during the April war,” one pro-government Azerbaijani analyst said, on condition of anonymity.

      In January, Aliyev said that Azerbaijan was in talks with Russia on weapons purchases. “Yes, we’re negotiating on new purchases,” he said. “We’re interested especially in the most advanced defense equipment, new products: helicopter technology, defense systems, the whole complex. This is an ongoing process.”

      Editor's note: Zaur Shiriyev is an Academy Associate at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).

      Comment


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        ‘Encouraging’: Ivanka & Melania Trump praise Saudi Arabia’s progress on women’s rights

        https://www.rt.com/usa/389122-ivanka...-saudi-arabia/



        .

        This sounds like, there is a noticeable honesty in the Armenian elections.

        .
        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

          CIA: More than 15 agents lost in China since 2010, spy network ruined completely
          By News Desk - 21/05/2017


          DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:25 P.M.) – The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has lost about 20 agents and informants in China since 2010, New York Times reported on Saturday.

          No less than 12 people were killed, with one of them shot in the backyard of a government building before the eyes of his colleagues. This was allegedly meant to give a signal to other supposed spies.

          Some informants were arrested. Overall, CIA lost from 18 to 20 agents in the People’s Republic of China in the period between 2010 and 2012.

          NYT’s sources describe positions of U.S. intelligence in China as being the weakest over the course of decades. Chinese government managed to dismantle a spy network that took years to be established.

          Investigators are sharply divided over the cause of such a failure. Some believe that a mole within the CIA helped Chinese authorities discover the spy network. Others suggest that the Chinese were able to hack the covert system that the CIA used to communicate with its foreign sources.

          An investigation was initiated against one of the former CIA employees; however, he has never been charged due to lack of evidence, so the investigators ultimately dropped the case.

          The exact reasons of U.S. intelligence exposure in China have remained unclear.

          Comment


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
            May 20, 2017 Saturday


            Armenia and India agreed to promote cooperation in defense field

            Yerevan May 20

            Tatevik Shahunyan. Armenian-Indian cooperation promoting issues in
            defense sphere were discussed during the visit of both countries
            Defense Ministers to India.

            According to DM, Armenian delegation was led by Armenian Head of MFA
            Defense Policy Department Levon Ayvazyan, Indian secretary on DM
            international cooperation Shambhu Kumaran. The parties stressed that
            within friendly relations of two countries and existing high political
            dialogue there is a big potential for cooperation activization in
            defense sphere. The sides also stressed the commonality of approaches
            of two countries on regional and international agenda issues and
            expressed readiness to continue the cooperation in international
            entities.

            Within the visit, Armenian delegation visited different military parts
            of India, as well as military enterprises. The prospects in MIC sphere
            cooperation.
            Hayastan or Bust.

            Comment


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
              May 20, 2017 Saturday


              The Turkish Party of Great Solidarity calls to deport Armenians from Turkey.

              Yerevan May 20

              Tatevik Shahunyan. About 100 thousand illegal migrants from Armenia
              live in Turkey. And we should not take care of them, Mustafa Destedji,
              the leader of Great Solidarity Party (Buyuk Birlik Partisi) stated at
              a press conference held in Erzrum.

              Turkey should immediately deport illegal Armenian migrants, because
              Armenia is an aggressor country, which permanently attacks Azerbaijani
              posititions," Insanhaber agency quotes Destedji.

              Mustafa Destedji stated also that Turkey should not go for any
              contacts with Armenia until the appriopriate reimbursement is paid to
              Azerbaijan.
              Hayastan or Bust.

              Comment


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Homs has been liberated. The alliance between Russia, Iran and Syria is succeeding as now the three largest Syrian cities are under government control. The terrorists headed to the Turkish controlled areas.
                Hayastan or Bust.

                Comment


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Originally posted by londontsi View Post
                  ‘Encouraging’: Ivanka & Melania Trump praise Saudi Arabia’s progress on women’s rights

                  https://www.rt.com/usa/389122-ivanka...-saudi-arabia/



                  .

                  This sounds like, there is a noticeable honesty in the Armenian elections.

                  .
                  Lool...
                  In this picture, While being photografed, Ivanka probably thinks she is doing politically correct job, talking about women's rights(though neither her or her family, like any westerner, does not give a sh I t about women or kids in Middle East) despite feeling so tense sitting next to king of rapists and molesters (her stone face shows her thoughts). Doing a good PR is what's important
                  But the Saudi probably thinks since this woman does not wear a hijab and she is qafir, he could Rape her and then cut her throat or take her as a slave, if he was allowed his wahabby sharia laws. But he can't, unfortunately in this case, and it's sad(you can see it on his face). Good thing Nobody reads thoughts.
                  But, hey, they both look politically correct and that is what is the matter.
                  Last edited by Hakob; 05-22-2017, 06:39 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Originally posted by Hakob View Post
                    Lool...
                    In this picture, While being photografed, Ivanka probably thinks she is doing politically correct job, talking about women's rights(though neither her or her family, like any westerner, does not give a sh I t about women or kids in Middle East) despite feeling so tense sitting next to king of rapists and molesters (her stone face shows her thoughts). Doing a good PR is what's important
                    But the Saudi probably thinks since this woman does not wear a hijab and she is qafir, he could Rape her and then cut her throat or take her as a slave, if he was allowed his wahabby sharia laws. But he can't, unfortunately in this case, and it's sad(you can see it on his face). Good thing Nobody reads thoughts.
                    But, hey, they both look politically correct and that is what is the matter.


                    I am thinking/imagining .... him saying .....

                    Young lady .... if you misbehave your daddy will loose a multi-billion contract ..... Now come with me .....


                    .
                    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

                      They really are high class prostitutes, yo. They will do anything for money and material objects. It's a shame.

                      Comment

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