MIDDLE EAST | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

MIDDLE EAST

Nov 29 09:18

Yemeni children as young as seven being recruited by KSA to kill or be killed

Already a poor country, Yemen goes through hell every day; poverty has been exasperated by drought, famine, disease, embargo and war. The Saudi-led campaign has opened a Pandora’s Box for the Yemeni people, including children.

A Yemeni child in red identifies himself on a hill, facing his enemy on the other hill. Blood, bombs, bullets and bodies; these are two drawings by former child soldiers recruited by the Saudi-led coalition, which show what’s going on inside their minds. It clearly shows that their childhood has been stolen. But they are not alone.

In 2019, UNICEF reported that there are more than 2,700 cases of children enlisted in combat in Yemen pointing out that “this could just be a tip of the iceberg.”

Nov 28 08:06

Saudi-Led Coalition Bombs Multiple Targets in Yemen

The US-backed Saudi-led coalition bombed several targets inside Yemen on Friday. According to AFP, airstrikes targeted Houthi camps in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, the city of Amran, which is just north of Sanaa, and the western port city of Hodeidah.

According to Iran’s Press TV, one civilian was killed in the strikes, and another four were wounded in Sanaa. Yemen’s Ministry of Health said most of the airstrikes targeted residential areas, a common tactic for the Saudi-led coalition.

The airstrikes came after the Houthis launched a missile that hit a Saudi oil facility in Jeddah. Most media outlets framed the Saudi strikes as retaliation, but the Houthis and Yemen have been under a US-backed Saudi-led siege since 2015.

Nov 28 07:51

Palestine and the Middle East: “Trump Will Leave this Region with Toxic Legacy When Departing White House”

When he departs the White House on January 20, Donald Trump will leave this region with a toxic legacy. First and foremost, his ongoing campaign to delegitimise the Palestinian people and encourage Israel to continue colonising their homeland has had disastrous consequences for both Palestine and countries further afield.

Nov 26 02:18

Video: Iran swaps Israel’s spy for three nationals jailed abroad

"...Kylie Moore-Gilbert was freed from Tehran’s Evin prison on Wednesday morning after serving about two years of her 10-year jail term.

She was swapped for an Iranian businessman and two other nationals incarcerated abroad on delusional accusations, Iranian news agencies reported.

The three Iranians were detained for attempting to circumvent illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the reports said.

Footage from the prisoner swap was aired on Iran’s state television on Wednesday.

IRNA news agency reported that Moore-Gilbert had passed a two-year special training course for her spying mission.

During the course, she became fluent in Persian and was prepared to perform espionage activities inside Iran..."

Nov 25 07:30

Saudi cabinet says Houthi attacks target backbone of global economy, security of its supplies: SPA

Saudi Arabian’s cabinet said on Tuesday that Houthi attacks committed against vital installations target the backbone of the global economy and the security of its supplies, state news agency (SPA) reported.

On Monday, a fire broke out in a fuel tank at a petroleum products distribution station in the Saudi city of Jeddah as a result of a Houthi attack, SPA had reported.

The cabinet also stressed the importance of facing up to “such sabotage and terrorist acts and the parties behind them.”

Nov 25 07:05

Saudi Aramco acknowledges major damage from Yemeni attack

Saudi Arabia's state oil company Saudi Aramco says a Yemeni missile attack that targeted its distribution facility in the city of Jeddah on Monday caused major damage.

Abdullah al-Ghamdi, the manager of the North Jeddah Bulk Plant, told reporters during a tour of the facility on Tuesday that one of the 13 tanks used for diesel oil, gasoline, and jet fuel at the facility had been damaged and was out of service.

"This tank, as you see, is hit from the top side... there is major damage to the roof itself, it's a big hole that is almost two meters by two meters," he said.

Ghamdi added that the attack triggered an explosion and fire, "but it was controlled." He said the Monday attack had caused no casualties.

Nov 25 06:46

The Yemen “Civil War” Arms Bonanza. Mammoth Weapons Sales to UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel

“Making billions from arms exports which fuel the conflict while providing a small fraction of that in aid to Yemen is both immoral and incoherent.” So thundered Oxfam’s Yemen Country Director, Muhsin Siddiquey after consulting figures from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) showing that members of the G20 have exported over $17 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the Kingdom entered the conflict in Yemen. “The world’s wealthiest nations cannot continue to put profits above the Yemeni people.”

Nov 25 06:20

Saudi Arabia Receives Dangerous Gifts From Houthi-Iranian Alliance

The Yemeni Houthis have fired their new cruise missile, the Quds-2, at a Saudi Aramco oil company distribution station in the kingdom’s city of Jeddah, the group’s media news wing announced early on November 23. A spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Houthi-led government, Yahya Sarea, said foreign companies and residents in Saudi Arabia should stay away from the military and oil infrastructure of Saudi Arabia as “operations will continue”. He emphasized that the missile precisely hit its target causing notable damage.

Nov 23 08:16

White House to name rabbi with ties to Israeli right to Mideast development post

The Trump administration has chosen the first leader for a US investment fund aimed at advancing Israeli-Arab peace: a right-wing rabbi who once raised funds for an Israeli political group so extreme that even prominent pro-Israel leaders have cut off ties.

Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, a senior adviser to David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, will head the Abraham Fund, sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Nov 23 07:45

America’s Limited Wars – Are They Good for Israel?

When is a war not a war? Apparently in the minds of some folks in Washington if it is a “single strike” or a “limited attack” it is really okay, with or without the consent of Congress as required by Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States. The Founders had wanted to take away from the chief executive the ability to go to war, a power which the kings in Europe had abused, but the current rulers of America have chosen to ignore the wisdom of the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They have done so by wordsmithing what they are doing and somehow attacking another country has become generally regarded as not really war at all, just a reminder to bad guys of what Washington might be capable of if it really gets angry.

Nov 22 08:25

Message to Iran: B-52 bombers deployed to Middle East

The U.S. military deployed B-52 bombers to the Middle East Saturday, just days after the Trump administration announced a partial withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

U.S. Central Command said the U.S. Air Force B-52H “Stratofortress” aircrews conducted the mission on "short notice" to "deter aggression and reassure U.S. partners and allies."

“The ability to quickly move forces into, out of and around the theater to seize, retain and exploit the initiative is key to deterring potential aggression," said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, 9th Air Force commander.

"These missions help bomber aircrews gain familiarity with the region’s airspace and command, and control functions and allow them to integrate with the theater’s U.S. and partner air assets, increasing the combined force’s overall readiness.”

Nov 20 11:05

Ending Our ‘Shell Game’ Foreign Policy In The Middle East

Almost two years since the president declared that U.S. forces would be leaving Syria, American troops are still in that country illegally on a mission that has nothing to do with U.S. security. According to outgoing Syria envoy James Jeffrey, U.S. officials have been playing a “shell game” with troops numbers to conceal how many American forces remained there, and he said that there are a “lot more” than 200 troops operating in Syria now.

Nov 20 10:58

Feature: Yemeni children suffer malnutrition for lack of humanitarian aid amid war, blockade

"The war and blockade have doubled the suffering of people in Yemen. Everyone in Yemen, including the medical staff, is affected," said Hammoud Al-Nusiri, a pediatrician at the Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen's capital.

Working at the malnutrition ward of the hospital, Al-Nusiri treats children suffering acute malnutrition. This is one of the last few public wards specializing in malnutrition treatment in Yemen as the country's entire system of health service is on the brink of collapse.

"There's a lack of medicines and other medical supplies. We also face a shortage of diesel which provides energy for all hospital equipment," said the doctor.

The malnutrition rate among Yemeni children has soared to the highest level ever recorded.

Nov 20 08:40

Will The UAE Withdraw From OPEC?

OPEC has suffered immensely under the pandemic and subsequent oil demand loss, and its job could now become significantly more challenging as members mull the pros of staying with the group against the con of performing the dutiful and painful task of curbing production. And the UAE is said to be doing just that. Meanwhile, oil prices have really failed to rebound to the level that most OPEC members need them to, intensifying the predicament that most OPEC members find themselves in.

Most of OPEC’s members have budgets that rely heavily on oil income - oil income that has been reduced by the falling oil prices, and then again by their required production cuts in an effort to rebalance the oversupplied market and hold prices at acceptable levels And although OPEC would mostly deny that the latter is their goal, there is little distinction there.

On Friday, rumors surfaced that the UAE was contemplating the pros and cons of their OPEC membership.

Nov 18 08:14

Saudis Offer Yemen Ceasefire If Houthis Accept Buffer Zone

Saudi Arabia is continuing to try to sort out some progress on peace in Yemen, and is now offering to endorse a UN-backed ceasefire if the Houthis agree to a buffer zone at the Yemen-Saudi border.

Yemen and the Saudis have fought along the border for years, and it’s not surprising that the Saudis would want to at least preclude more such fighting as part of the peace process. They may need to hurry, however.

That’s because the Trump Administration is reportedly planning to declare the Houthis “terrorists” for nominally having ties with Iran, and once they do so, it will virtually forbid further peace talks going forward.

Nov 17 12:39

Will America still be Israel’s bitch? Or will Biden-Harris resist shaming the West?

Stuart Littlewood says while Joe Biden's and Kamala Harris's victory in the US presidential elections may offer a glimmer of hope for Palestinians, despite the two being self-declared Zionists, the Palestinians remain divided and Britain and the EU remain in Israel’s stranglehold. >>

Nov 16 07:00

In F-35 sale to UAE, Senate seeks State Dept. guarantee for US technology and Israel

Senate appropriators are calling on the State Department to certify that a pending sale of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to the United Arab Emirates would not threaten Israel’s military edge or make U.S. military systems vulnerable to Russia and China.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced Nov. 10 by the GOP-led Senate Appropriations Committee, represents another potential hurdle for the U.S. sale of up to 50 F-35s worth $10.4 billion, 18 MQ-9Bs worth $2.97 billion, and $10 billion worth of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the package the same day the legislation was introduced.

Nov 16 05:57

As America Distracted By Counting Votes, Fighting Fraud, Africa, Mideast On Brink Of War

Two airports in Ethiopia’s Amhara state were targeted in the strikes late Friday. One, the Gondar airport, was hit and took damage. The second missile missed its target, the Bahir Dar airport, though there was still some damage.

Hundreds of people have been killed and well over 17,000 foreigners have escaped into neighboring Sudan since Ethiopian troops started fighting local forces in the northern Tigray area 11 days ago.
The battle is the outcome of a months-long falling out amid dramatic shifts in power following Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister

Abiy Ahmed took office two years ago.

Nov 14 07:16

France to oppose US withdrawal from the Middle East during Pompeo Paris visit

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is set to urge the US to continue its fight against Islamist militancy in Afghanistan and Iraq, after a series of deadly terrorist attacks in France.

Le Drian will express hope that the United States reconsiders its plan to bring troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Paris on Monday.

France is in the midst of a fight against radical Islam after a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the country.

In October, President Donald Trump announced his plan to withdraw all US soldiers from Afghanistan by Christmas. Although, military experts have raised concerns about whether it is possible to fulfil that mission within the timeframe due to the scale of the US involvement.

Nov 13 13:06

RUSSIA RETURNS TO POWER GAME IN RED AND ARABIAN SEAS

For the first time since the collapse of the USSR, Russia is establishing a naval base close to vital maritime supply lines.

The Russian government revealed on November 11 that Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved a draft agreement on creating a naval logistics base in Sudan and gave instructions to submit a proposal to the president on signing the document. The draft deal was submitted by the Defense Ministry, approved by the Foreign Ministry, the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigative Committee of Russia and was preliminarily agreed to by the Sudanese side.

Nov 11 06:28

In 'Game Changer' US Approves $23 Billion Sale Of F-35 Jets, MQ-9 Drones To UAE

In what's being hailed as a game-changer in the region, the United Arab Emirates will receive up to 50 F-35 advanced stealth fighter jets from the United States.

The deal also includes 18 battle-ready MQ-9B aerial drones and air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions in a deal worth nearly $24 billion, according to the AP.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration formally notified Congress on Tuesday following its authorization by the State Department.

Nov 06 23:54

Lebanon’s Gebran Bassil downplays US sanctions

"...The leader of Lebanon’s largest Christian bloc, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, says he is not intimidated by the sanctions that the United States has imposed against him.

“Sanctions have not scared me, nor promises tempted me,” Bassil, who is the son-in-law of Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, tweeted on Friday following the announcement of the sanctions..."

Nov 06 23:49

Lebanon’s Gebran Bassil downplays US sanctions

"...The leader of Lebanon’s largest Christian bloc, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, says he is not intimidated by the sanctions that the United States has imposed against him.

“Sanctions have not scared me, nor promises tempted me,” Bassil, who is the son-in-law of Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, tweeted on Friday following the announcement of the sanctions..."

Nov 04 06:52

Pentagon Draws Down Officers From Middle East and African Embassies

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon has begun withdrawing high-ranking military officials from US embassies in Africa, the Middle East, and other posts around the world, a move necessary to shift the military’s focus more on China and Russia.

The Journal reviewed a memo from August 24th signed by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper that ordered the position of defense attaché to be downgraded in rank in eight allied countries, including the UK and Saudi Arabia. The Journal said attachés have been withdrawn altogether from several embassies in West Africa.

The defense attaché is the senior military officer representing the US at diplomatic posts. Duties of the attachés include overseeing the training of foreign militaries, arranging weapons sales, and coordinating US military forces in the country.

Nov 04 06:43

Qatar to hold first national elections in October 2021: Emir

Qatar's Emir said the Gulf State will hold an unprecedented election for its advisory Shura council in October 2021 after years of delays.

The proposed vote will be for two-thirds or 30 of the 45 members of the Shura council. The Emir would appoint the remaining 15 members.

"This is an important step towards strengthening Qatari advisory traditions and developing the legislative process with wider citizen participation," Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said, addressing the opening of the Shura Council.

Nov 03 10:57

Suspect In Vienna Shooting Tried To Join ISIS, Was Released From Prison Early After Terrorism Charges

The suspected gunman in an attack in Vienna on Monday was an Austrian man with dual citizenship who had previously attempted to join ISIS in Syria, numerous sources reported.

Kujtim Fejzulai, 20, was shot dead by police after the beginning of the attack that left four dead 14 injured Monday evening, according to the Wall Street Journal. Fejzulai was sentenced to 22 months in prison in April 2019 after trying to join ISIS in Syria, but was released early in December, according to the Associated Press. He also had North Macedonian citizenship and was born to ethnic Albanians, the Journal reported.

Oct 29 06:53

Report: Trump Significantly Escalated Strikes and Raids in Yemen

A report from Airwars released on Wednesday reveals the extent to which the Trump administration escalated US military operations against al-Qaeda in Yemen. The report found more than 230 declared and alleged US military and CIA operations in Yemen since January 2017. Of those 230 operations, 181 were officially declared by the US.

Most of the actions were carried out in 2017, where Yemen saw a record 133 officially declared US airstrikes and raids, compared to the 150 official operations during the entire presidency’s of George W. Bush and Barack Obama combined. The monitoring group says at least 86 civilians were killed by direct US airstrikes and raids in Yemen between 2017 and 2020.

Oct 29 06:52

Satellite images suggest deaths almost doubled in Yemen's Aden during pandemic

A new study using satellite technology found that the number of deaths in Yemen's port city of Aden had almost doubled during the coronavirus pandemic, researchers said on Wednesday.

Academics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) analysed the burial activity of all cemeteries in the Aden governorate using high-resolution satellite images.

They calculated 2,100 excess deaths between April and September against an expected baseline of about 1,300 deaths.

Oct 29 06:51

Saudi Coalition Systematically Targets Bridges in Yemen

Since the US-backed Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, the coalition has regularly targeted civilian infrastructure. A report from the Yemeni Archive published on Wednesday documented 131 instances of bridges being hit by airstrikes in Yemen between 2015 and 2019.

In several of these cases, the bridges were hit more than once or “double-tapped,” meaning the destruction was deliberate. “These are not random attacks,” Abdulrahman al-Jaloud, project director of the Yemeni Archive, told DW. “What we see is that these attacks are systematic.”

The report found over 100 civilians were killed directly by the airstrikes on the bridges. The strikes have caused millions facing extreme hunger to be blocked from medical services. “Many of these attacks block road networks between cities and ports, disrupting the transport of humanitarian aid and food supplies,” the report reads.

Oct 29 06:36

Trump in Yemen: New Airwars study shines light on opaque campaign

Despite at least 84 likely civilian deaths from US actions in Yemen under Donald Trump, public accountability peaked just 12 days into his presidency.
A new Airwars investigation into the ongoing US counterterrorism campaign in Yemen has identified at least 86 civilians likely killed by US actions during Donald Trump’s presidency – though the US military has admitted to no more than a dozen deaths.

Eroding Transparency, researched and written by Mohammed al-Jumaily and Edward Ray, examines US air and ground actions against both Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and Islamic State in Yemen, since 2017. More than 230 declared and alleged US military and CIA actions are identified – among them 41 reported strikes in which Yemenis have alleged civilian casualties.

Oct 27 07:03

Live Updates: Armenian MoD Says Azerbaijan Continuing to Shell Country's Border, Baku Refutes Claims

Earlier, Vahram Poghosyan, spokesman for the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), said two Azerbaijani drones had been destroyed.

The US State Department announced on Sunday that a new humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh was going to enter into force at 8:00 a.m. local time (4:00 GMT) on 26 October.

The fighting on the contact line in Karabakh began on 27 September. Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of unleashing hostilities, Karabakh reports the artillery shelling of the peaceful settlements of the unrecognised republic, including its capital, Stepanakert. Armenia has declared martial law and - for the first time - general mobilisation, claiming that Ankara is actively supporting Baku. Partial mobilisation was introduced in Azerbaijan.

Oct 27 06:21

Russia knocking Turkish drones from Armenian skies

The electronic warfare system is known as “Belladonna”, a poisonous plant that gets its name from Renaissance women who used its extract for tinctures to dilate the pupils of their eyes, ostensibly to make them more attractive.

While Belladonna translates to “beautiful woman” in English, in Russian it has a second meaning: it is the name of a Russian electronic jamming system now credited with knocking out at least nine Turkish Bayraktar armed drones used by Azerbaijan to target Armenia.

If true – and no one has denied it – the system is now operating around the sensitive Russian military base at Gyumri in Armenia, far from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area.

Oct 26 10:56

Over 10,000 works submitted to 16th Resistance Int’l FilmFest

"...So far over 10,000 works have been submitted to the different sections of the 16th Resistance International Film Festival in Tehran.

According to the festival’s Public Relations and Information Center, the last deadline for submitting the works to the second part of this cinematic event was October 21, 2020..."

Oct 26 09:45

Syrians spruce up famed Crusader castle after years of war

"...Clutching to pickaxes and shovels, dozens of Syrian volunteers clear grass, shrubs and dead trees growing up the centuries-old walls of one of the world’s most famous Crusader castles, Krak des Chevaliers, to protect it from forest fires that have ravaged the region..."

Oct 26 06:48

Live Updates: Turkish F-16 Jets Will Be Used in Case of Aggression Against Azerbaijan, Aliev Says

The US State Department announced on Sunday that a new humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh was going to enter into force at 8:00 a. m. local time (4:00 GMT) on 26 October.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says his country is ready to adhere to the new humanitarian ceasefire that came into force early on Monday.

The president of the self-proclaimed republic of Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh), Arayik Harutyunyan, said Stepanakert was ready to adhere to the new ceasefire deal, reached with the mediation of the United States and with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, which reaffirms the parties' commitments to implement the truce agreed upon on 10 and 17 October at the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The cease fire has already collapsed.

Oct 26 06:45

Another Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire fails: Warring parties trade bitter accusations over who violated latest US-brokered truce

Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating a Monday truce in Nagorno-Karabakh, with heavy artillery fire. Reports of renewed hostilities came after a fresh attempt to reach a ceasefire was announced in Washington.

The Defense Ministry in Baku said that Yerevan's forces had “violated the new humanitarian ceasefire” on Monday by shelling its positions in several locations.

Oct 26 06:28

In Arab first, Bahraini institution joins with US to combat anti-Zionism

A Bahraini institute has signed an agreement with the US State Department to combat anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and delegitimization of Israel.

The memorandum of understanding, signed Thursday in Washington, DC, marks the first time an Arab country has embraced a key Trump administration agenda item, to get countries to include anti-Zionism and some forms of harsh criticism of Israel in their definitions of anti-Semitism. It comes as the Trump administration has in recent weeks brokered a series of normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Oct 26 06:22

Azeris Using Banned Cluster Munitions in Nagorno-Karabakh

The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) bans production use, transfer, and stockpiling of these terror weapons that scatter submunition bomblets over a wide area.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams called CCM “the most important disarmament and humanitarian convention in over a decade.”

Brightly colored, children mistake cluster bomblets for toys. Picking them up risks serious injury or death.

The US and Israel notoriously use these and other banned weapons in their preemptive wars.

Both countries failed to join over 100 others that are parties to the CCM.

Oct 26 06:03

Armenia and Azerbaijan say they will implement ceasefire agreement Monday

Officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan announced that their respective countries would implement a ceasefire agreement on Monday, a sign of growing stability following weeks of conflict over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

In a statement released jointly by the governments of the U.S., Armenia and Azerbaijan, officials "reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to implement and abide by the humanitarian ceasefire agreed in Moscow on October 10."

That ceasefire, signed earlier this month, would bring to a halt a growing conflict between the two former Soviet republics that had so far claimed the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of troops on both sides as well as dozens of civilians.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The cease fire has already collapsed.

Oct 26 05:51

Iran troops deployed on border near Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Sunday they have deployed troops along the border with Azerbaijan and Armenia, following stray fire from the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Units of (the Guards) ground forces have been dispatched to and stationed in the region," their commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

Their mission was "to protect national interests and maintain peace and security".

Oct 26 05:50

Number of Armenian troops killed in Karabakh conflict rises by 36 to 963: Ifax

The defence ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh said on Saturday that the number of Armenian troops killed in the latest conflict in the region that began on Sept. 27 had risen by 36 to 963, the Interfax news agency reported.

The collapse of two Russia-brokered ceasefires has dimmed hopes for a quick end to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory in Azerbaijan controlled by ethnic Armenians.

Oct 26 05:49

Israel ships humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan amid Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Jerusalem supplies Baku with medical equipment as Azerbaijan and Armenia continue clashing in the contested territory, claiming more victims on both sides; Israeli envoy 'prays for a peaceful solution'

Israel has been selling arms and military equipment to Azerbaijan for years, and now, as violence between the central Asian nation and Armenia is flaring up again, Baku has asked for Jerusalem's support.

Oct 26 05:49

Nagorno-Karabakh: Fighting continues, Baku issues Russia warning

Fighting has continued on Sunday between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the mountainous enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh with both sides blaming each other for blocking a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

Armenia accused Azerbaijani forces of shelling civilian settlements on Sunday, a claim that Baku denied.

Oct 25 06:10

With Netanyahu on phone, elated Trump predicts ‘one unified family’ in Mideast

With the leaders of Israel and Sudan on the phone in the Oval Office, a euphoric US President Donald Trump on Friday predicted peace throughout the Middle East and wider region, including between Israel and even Iran — in a “unified family” as never before.

In extraordinary scenes in the Oval Office, Trump brought reporters into the room to hear much of the call, during which he announced that Israel and Sudan had agreed to make peace, and then set out far wider ambitions and predictions.

Oct 24 07:38

Iran Armed Forces warn Armenia, Azerbaijan of tough response if border security red lines violated

Iran has warned the warring sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict about a tough response if its border security is jeopardized.

“While strengthening defensive [measures] in Iran’s border lines, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic announce that security in the border areas and of the Iranian people are their red line,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman of the Armed Forces, said on Friday.

Iran’s Armed Forces, he added, remind the two conflicting countries to be watchful of the mischief exercised by foreigners and peacefully settle issues through dialog.

The Iranian official cautioned the adversaries against endangering Iran’s territorial boundaries and the security of its citizens.

Oct 24 07:09

US Hosts Talks as Battle in Nagorno-Karabakh Continues

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with foreign ministers from Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington on Friday as clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh continued. Since fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces broke out on September 27th, about 1,000 people have been reported killed.

Two Russia-brokered ceasefires have been attempted to cool the fighting, but they both quickly failed. The truces were meant to foster more substantive talks monitored by the US, France, and Russia, who co-chair the Minsk Group. The group was set up in 1992 to help resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

Oct 24 07:09

Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict: Israeli-made cluster bombs used in residential areas

New evidence has emerged corroborating claims that Azerbaijan has used Israeli-made cluster bombs during recent fighting against Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Human Rights Watch identified at least four incidents when Azeri troops used cluster bombs indiscriminately in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the town of Hadrut.

The rights group found remnants of an unexploded Israeli-made LAR-160 series cluster munition rocket and M095 dual-purpose submunition in heavily residential areas in Stepanakert and Hadrut. Each rocket carries 104 submunitions and each submunition is equipped with a self-destruct mechanism.

Azerbaijan received these surface-to-surface rockets and launchers from Israel between 2008 and 2009.

Oct 24 06:59

215 civilians die during 3 months in Yemen: UN

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Yemen said Friday that 215 civilians have died in three months during the ongoing civil war.

The figures were from July to September, according to the agency on Twitter that said families are facing restricted access to aid.

"More children affected by conflict, about 135 children were injured and killed," it said.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

Oct 23 13:06

AZERBAIJANI FORCES RUSH TO CAPTURE LACHIN CORORIDOR FROM RETREATING ARMENIANS

The Armenian defense in the southern part of the Nagorno-Karabakh region seems to be collapsing as the advancing Azerbaijani forces are about to reach the strategic Lachin corridor.

On October 23, Azerbaijani troops were filmed near the village of Muradxanl?, which is located in about 15 km from this strategic area. Even if this Azerbaijani unit was just a field recognizance patrol and the main forces of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc still have to overcome Armenian resistance to reach the area, the fact of the Azerbaijani presence there marks the hard situation on the frontline for the Armenians.

Oct 23 06:15

Nagorno-Karabakh fighting raises threat of escalation

Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict.

Speaking in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that according to the information Russia has acquired, the combined deaths from nearly four weeks of fighting over the region are nearing 5,000. Putin emphasized the need to negotiate a truce quickly.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry accused Armenia of firing several ballistic missiles from its territory at the Azerbaijani cities of Gabala, Siyazan and Kurdamir, which are located far from the area of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. It said there were no casualties.

The Armenian military rejected the claim as a “cynical lie.”

Oct 22 12:51

ARMENIA LAUNCHES BALLISTIC MISSILES ON AZERBAIJAN AMID RETREAT IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH REGION 0  0  0 Share0  0  New

On the morning of October 22, Armenian forces launched ballistic missiles at targets inside the territory of Azerbaijan. According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, 3 missiles were fired in the direction of the Siyazan region, two in the direction of the Gabala region, and one in the direction of the Kurdamir region. Baku claimed that the strike was aimed at the civilian population and civilian infrastructure. The report provided no details regarding the type of missiles employed. Nonetheless, Armenian forces have so far only employed R-17 Elbrus and OTR-21 Tochka missiles. The Armenian Armed Forces also have several much more modern 9K720 Iskander shot-range ballistic missile systems, but the complex has not yet been employed because the leadership of Armenia is in no hurry to enter a full-out war with Azerbaijan to protect the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (also known as the Republic of Artsakh).

Oct 22 10:44

UKRAINE IS BECOMING LOGISTICAL HUB FOR TURKISH WEAPON SUPPLIES TO AZERBAIJAN

The cargo plane of the Azerbaijani airline Silk Way West Airlines Boeing 747 announced that it will fly from Kiev to Milan, but ‘somehow’ appeared at the airport in Azerbaijan’s Baku, according to the flight path tracked by the Flightradar24 website.

Such an ‘accident’ and the state of secrecy surrounding it led to a reasonable concern that in fact the plane was transporting weapons or military and dual-use goods from Ukraine to Azerbaijan, which is de-facto in the state of war with Armenia. Right now, Azerbaijani troops are clashing with the Armenians in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Furthermore, earlier, Silk Way West Airlines was repeatedly spotted as a part of weapons-trading network that delivers various weapons and ammunition to conflict zones in the Greater Middle East. Later, such weapons often appear in the hands of terrorist groups.

Oct 22 06:15

Satellite Image Reveals 13 Russian MiG-29 Jets At Armenian Base

A satellite image captured earlier this year revealed the presence of several Russian-made MiG-29 jets at an airbase in Armenia.

According to the Russian publication Avia.Pro, a satellite image confirmed that recently up to 13 MiG-29 fighter jets believed to be part of the Russian Aerospace Forces were stationed at a military airport in Yerevan that in the past was known to host Russian military aerial exercises.

“The Russian Aerospace Forces transferred at least 13 MiG-29 fighters to the territory of Armenia, as seen by satellite images of the Erebuni military airbase,” Avia.Pro reported.

“We are talking specifically about Russian combat aircraft, since officially the MiG-29 fighters are not in service with the Armenian Air Force,” they continued.

As shown in the satellite image provided by Avia.Pro, there are not only 13 MiG-29 jets, but also several helicopters, which the publication says likely belong to the Russian Air Force.

Oct 22 06:12

US Oversees Unprecedented Preliminary Deal To Transport UAE Oil To Europe Via Southern Israel

It didn't take long for the historic US-brokered peace and 'normalization' of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to shift focus to a potential major oil pipeline project in the works.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper reports, "In what could become one of the most significant deals to emerge since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized relations, the Israeli state-owned pipeline company Europe Asia Pipeline Company, or EAPC, said on Tuesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding to store and transport oil and distillates from the UAE to Europe."

Below is the EAPC route through southern Israel from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon. This is unprecedented considering that up until just months ago the Arab Gulf states and Israel were official enemies, as they had been for decades especially over the fate of Palestinians.

Oct 22 06:04

Turkey Ready to Send Troops to Help Azerbaijan if Requested

On Wednesday, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Ankara would not hesitate to send troops to support Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh if requested. Oktay added that at the moment, no such request had been made.

Since clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27th, Turkey has been outspoken in its support for Baku. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for Armenia to end its “occupation” of Azeri territory.

Turkey has been supporting Baku militarily through weapons sales. Turkish arms exports surged just before the fighting began. Sales rose from $278,880 in July to $36 million in August and jumped to $77 million in September.

Oct 22 06:03

Armenian PM Sees No Diplomatic Solution in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday that he sees no diplomatic solution to the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in the near future as clashes in the disputed enclave continue.

“We have to realize that the Karabakh question, at least at this stage and for a very long time, cannot have a diplomatic solution,” Pashinyan said. “Everything that is diplomatically acceptable to the Armenian side … is not acceptable to Azerbaijan anymore.”

Pashinyan’s comments come after a ceasefire agreed to on Saturday quickly fell apart. It was the second attempt, following a Russian-brokered truce agreed to on October 10th that only lasted a few hours.

Oct 22 06:02

US Rejects Russia’s Gulf Security Proposal at UN, Blames Iran

At the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for a collective security effort in the Persian Gulf to prevent a full-scale war from breaking out in the region. According to AP News, the proposal got strong support from all Security Council members except the US, who unsurprisingly blamed the region’s instability on Iran.

Washington brought the region to the brink of a major war in January when the US killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq. Lavrov mentioned the assassination and said the worst-case scenario was avoided, but “the situation remains fragile and could become dangerous and unpredictable again.”

Oct 22 05:52

Nagorno-Karabakh: Five things to know about the latest crisis

Nagorno-Karabakh is at the heart of a decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, both former Soviet republics.

It is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory, but is run by ethnic Armenians who either want to secede or join Armenia.

Oct 21 07:49

WITH AN EYE ON NEARBY IRAN, ISRAELI WEAPONS FUEL THE VIOLENCE IN AZERBAIJAN

The latest iteration of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which has already claimed the lives of dozens of people, had been largely forgotten by the world before hostilities reignited in September. Only the collapse of the Soviet Union was able to bring about the end of the last war between these entrenched enemies in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, the still contested region claimed under international law by Azerbaijan and de facto controlled by its ethnic Armenian majority has fallen under a new spell of violence thanks in large part to external actors vying for a larger war with another neighboring country: Iran.

Three weeks ago, a dispute over a piece of territory in the Caucasus Mountains erupted into a hot war between the two former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia, sending civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh to seek cover in their basements from the aerial drone strikes raining death and destruction from above.

Oct 21 06:28

Pompeo To Host Warring Armenian, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers In Washington Friday

According to new reporting in Politico, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will for the first time host the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Washington on Friday in the hopes of hammering out a ceasefire agreement that will hold, unlike the prior Saturday's effort, which lasted but a few hours before shelling resumed again.

The last two ceasefire attempts, the first of which was to allow the Red Cross to recover bodies from the Nagorno-Karabakh front lines, were brokered by Russia. Hundreds or possibly thousands have died in renewed fighting over the disputed ethnic autonomous territory, which Azerbaijan claims as its own, since September 27.

Politico says Friday's meeting will not involve the two delegations being in the same room, but Pompeo is scheduled to meet with them separately. There is the possibility that Pompeo could push for a direct meeting amid the course of talks, however.

Oct 21 06:26

Death Toll Rises Despite Second Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire

Azerbaijan and Armenia reported fresh fighting on Tuesday over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Despite two attempted ceasefires, clashes that broke out on September 27th continue to rage as the death toll mounts.

Nagorno-Karabakh reported another 43 military casualties, bringing the total number of servicemen killed from the ethnic Armenian enclave to 772 since the fighting started. Thirty-seven ethnic Armenian civilians have been reported killed so far.

Oct 21 06:16

Democratic senators introduce bill to constrain F-35 sales to UAE

A pair of Democratic senators has introduced a bill aimed at constraining the Trump administration’s effort to sell F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates.

The bill, introduced Tuesday, would require the administration certify that Israel’s military advantage in the region would not be jeopardized before it can move forward with selling the United States’ most advanced military aircraft to other Middle Eastern countries.

Oct 21 06:10

Live Updates: Azerbaijan Denies Its Aircraft Was Downed by Karabakh Air Defence Units

Armenia and Azerbaijan have twice agreed on a Russia-brokered humanitarian ceasefire to exchange prisoners and dead bodies, however both times the truce has been breached as the two sides have accused each other of violating the agreement.

Armenian Defence Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said the Azerbaijani Armed Forces' operation against the unrecognised republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was unsuccessful.

Hovhannisyan said these strike forces had been unable to break through the defensive lines of the Karabakh Defence Army. He said that after five to seven days of unsuccessful battles, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, apparently, concentrated all their forces in the south and began to act by squeezing the region.

Oct 21 05:59

Senior UAE delegation comes to Israel; Netanyahu: ‘Today we are making history’

In another major milestone for Israel-Gulf relations, a delegation of senior United Arab Emirates officials arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday for a series of meetings with their Israeli counterparts.

After landing, the UAE delegation, headed by the ministers of the economy and finance and two deputy ministers, signed four bilateral agreements with Israel, including a visa waiver agreement.

Oct 21 05:20

Armenian Forces Use Their Last Chance To Turn Tide Of War With Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. On October 19, they captured 13 more villages in the Jabrayil district. The capturing of Soltanli, Amirvarli, Mashanli, Hasanli, Alikeykhanli, Gumlag, Hajili, Goyarchinveysalli, Niyazgullar, Kechal Mammadli, Shahvalli, Haji Ismayilli and Isagli was personally announced by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Early on October 20, Azerbaijani forces also reached the town of Tumas and engaged Armenian units deployed there. Pro-Azerbaijani sources insist that the town already fell into the hands of Baku.

Oct 20 07:24

Nagorno-Karabakh Leader Accuses Israel of Supporting ‘Genocide’

Since fighting broke out between Armenian forces and Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, other countries have been accused of fueling the conflict by supplying Baku with weapons. The leader of the enclave took things a bit further and accused Israel of supporting a “genocide” against his people.

In a speech last week, the ethnic Armenian leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, said Israel is “responsible for the genocide in Karabakh.” Israel and Azerbaijan are major trading partners, and it is estimated that Israel supplies Baku with 60 percent of its arms.

When the clashes first broke out, an assistant to the president of Azerbaijan said the Azeri military is using Israeli-made attack drones in Nagorno-Karabakh. Amnesty International identified Israeli-made cluster bombs in footage of Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital that appeared to be fired by Azerbaijan into residential areas.

Oct 20 06:34

Live Updates: Azerbaijan Claims to Have Destroyed 4 Armenian S-300s in Karabakh Flare-up

No air raid sirens and no explosions were heard in the capital of the unrecognised Republic of Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh) during the night or in the early hours of Tuesday, a Sputnik correspondent reports.

The foreign minister of the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), Masis Mayilyan, attended a meeting with diplomats of foreign states accredited in Armenia and called on them to recognise the independence of the NKR, the NKR Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On 9 October, talks were held in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia with the aim of reaching a Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement.

The Moscow meeting resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire that came into force on 10 October but failed to hold. A new truce has since been agreed upon. It came into effect at 20:00 GMT on Saturday, 17 October, but both sides have been reporting violations.

Oct 19 10:22

"Brutal War Of Attrition": Latest Armenia-Azerbaijan Truce Broke Down Within Hours

A tenuous ceasefire took effect Saturday night between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces - the second ceasefire since the start of the conflict in the disputed autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh last month.

But the truce had crumbled a mere few hours in, with the resumption of full fighting and artillery fire by early Sunday morning, and both sides blaming the other for breaking it.

The prior weekend a Russia-brokered temporary ceasefire held long enough for the Red Cross and other emergency responders to gather bodies of the deceased, but then shelling resumed also hours after.

Oct 19 07:05

America Is Complicit, as Yemen Spirals toward Mass Starvation

There already is widespread malnutrition in Yemen, fueled by the war and more recently by the economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic.

The humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen largely stems from the war on that country launched in 2015 by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is backed to the hilt by the Trump administration. This is an American war, and Americans have Yemeni blood on their hands. A third of Yemen’s infrastructure has been destroyed, mostly by Saudi and UAE air strikes, and over 100,000 have been killed.

The United Arab Emirates, led by Mohammed Bin Zayed, is giving nothing to aid Yemen this year, despite its invasion having caused many of the problems the country is facing. The Saudis and Kuwaitis were also called out by Lowcock, and they did proffer new donations, with Kuwait offering $20 million. But the aid effort has fallen from being funded at over 60% of requested contributions to only 42%.

Oct 19 07:04

Video: Azerbaijani Successes in Karabakh Conflict Come Together with War Crimes

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. As in the previous several days, the main clashes are taking place in the southern part of Karabakh.

As of October 16, Azerbaijani forces finally took full control of the town of Hadrat and started an operation to push the remaining Armenian units out of the town’s surroundings. Despite this, Armenian forces still conduct regular counter-attacks attempting to force the Azerbaijani military to retreat from their recently captured positions.

Azerbaijani troops also seized the villages of Arish in the Fuzuli district, Doshulu in the Jabrayil district and the villages of Edishe, Dudukchi, Edilli and Chiraguz in the Khojavend district. Earlier this week, Azerbaijan captured Garadaghli, Melikjanli, Garakollu, Bulutan, Tagaser, Khatunbulag, Kemertuk and Teke. Thus, Armenian forces lost at least 15 towns and settlements during this week of clashes.

Oct 19 06:54

Live Updates: Russia Working With Yerevan, Baku on Improving Karabakh Ceasefire, Lavrov Says

Earlier, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said that Yerevan will recognise the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh if it sees that Azerbaijan is refusing to comply with agreements made during peaceful negotiations.

Last week, talks were held between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia with the aim of reaching a Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement. The Moscow meeting resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire that came into force on 10 October. However, the ceasefire did not hold. A new truce has since been agreed upon. It came into effect at midnight, local time, on Saturday, 17 October (20:00 GMT), but both sides have reported violations.

Oct 19 06:24

A Geopolitical Time Bomb In Europe

In a week when several major oil and gas reports were released, most notably the IEA World Energy Outlook 2020 and OPEC’s World Oil Outlook, a regional conflict is now on the brink of spiraling out of control.

The toxic combination of a military confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia, supported by Turkey and Russia respectively, and the confrontational stance that Ankara is taking in the East Med conflict are threatening to upend European energy supplies.

Oct 19 06:10

At Stepanakert cemetery, mothers weep for sons lost in Karabakh fighting

Kneeling beside Tigran Petrosyan's body draped in the flag of Nagorno-Karabakh, his mother pressed her cheek to his face one last time.

"My son, how are you... my son, how are you," she repeated, her voice shaking and her eyes filled with tears.

Petrosyan was a 26-year-old police officer in , the main city in this disputed region, before joining Armenian separatist forces battling with Azerbaijan for control of the mountainous province.

He was killed on Thursday in a drone strike on his vehicle as he headed to fight in the Hadrut area on the south of the frontline.

Oct 19 06:08

Three-year-old loses whole family in missile attack on Azeri city

A mother and her 16-month-old daughter have been buried in the same grave after a missile attack on the Azerbaijani city of Ganja that killed at least 13 civilians, as fighting intensifies over the disputed of Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Zuleykha Shahnazarova and her daughter Madina Shahnazarli were killed overnight on Saturday, along with the father of the family, Royal Shahnazarov.

The couple’s other daughter, three-year-old Khadija Shahnazarli, survived the attack and was being treated in a hospital in the nearby city of Barda.

Oct 18 21:14

Defense Minister says Iran will sell weapons to countries despised by US

"...Iran’s defense minister says the country is going to support the countries that seek to defend their existence now that the UN Security Council’s restrictions on Tehran’s arms trade are lifted.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami said Iran will sell arms to the countries despised by the Americans if they ask for it..."

Oct 18 06:45

Iran Threatens Response To Errant Missiles On Its Territory From Nagorno-Karabkh Conflict

Iran has warned both Azerbaijan and Armenia over multiple instances of errant missiles landing within Iranian territory amid fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region. Both countries share a border with Iran's northern provinces, and in some cases fighting has been so close to Iran's border than Iranian citizens are close enough to watch the battle unfold before their eyes.

On Thursday Iran's state media reported a major incident wherein at least 10 missiles landed to two Iranian villages of Khudaferin district. Iran's IRNA said one missile struck a house, injuring a civilian. Iran's foreign ministry promptly warned both sides of the war that harm to its citizens is a "red line" for which the Islamic Republic would respond.

Oct 18 06:37

Millions of Yemenis lose access to aid amid funding shortfall, UN says

A shortage of funds has meant four million Yemenis have lost access to aid, the United Nations humanitarian chief has said, warning that the “window to prevent famine” is closing in the war-torn country.

Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council on Thursday that aid agencies had just 42 percent of their programmes funded in Yemen, meaning key services were being axed.

Aid agencies are helping nine million people a month in Yemen, down from 13 million at the start of the year, Mr Lowcock said.

Oct 18 06:26

War in Nagorno-Karabakh Is a Gamechanger in Russian-Turkish Relations

After Turkey downed a Russian jet operating in Syria in late 2015, there was a major risk that the Syrian War could explode into a greater conflict between the two Eurasian countries. The Turkish attack resulted in the death of two Russian servicemen and relations between Moscow and Ankara were again tested in December 2016 when Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated by off-duty police officer Mevlüt Mert Alt?nta?. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted the explanation from his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdo?an that the assassination was not ordered by the state, Nordic Monitor has published compelling evidence that Alt?nta? had strong connections to the so-called Turkish deep state. Despite these major setbacks in Russian-Turkish relations, by the end of 2017 the two countries signed a $2.5 billion agreement for Turkey to acquire the Russian-made S-400 air defence system, considered the most sophisticated of its kind in the world.

Oct 17 11:53

Iran Ready for Arms Trade as Clock Ticking for Embargo Lifting

"...The spokesperson for Iran’s UN mission voiced the country’s readiness to begin arms trade with the friends as soon as a decade-old arms embargo on Tehran is removed on Sunday.

“Iran has many friends and trading partners, and has a robust domestic arms industry to ensure its defense requirements against foreign aggression,” Alireza Miryousefi told Newsweek in an interview published on Friday..."

Oct 17 08:22

Russia holds Caspian Sea military drills amid Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

Moscow has said its maneuvers in the Caspian Sea are not a sign that it intends to interfere between the warring nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region flared up last month.

Oct 17 08:19

EU gives Turkey until early December to de-escalate, chairman says

European Union leaders regret Turkey’s decision to send a natural gas exploration ship to contested waters in the Mediterranean, the bloc’s chairman said on Friday, reiterating that the EU would consider its options in December.

“We plan a summit in December. And we have planned, indeed, to tackle again and to assess the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and in Turkey,” European Council President Charles Michel told a news conference after an EU summit in Brussels.

“We deplore the unilateral actions and provocations by Turkey,” Michel said.

Oct 17 08:13

Turkish and Israeli Weapons Fueling Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh

Weapons-makers — aka merchants of death and mass destruction — fuel conflicts when occur.

The US by far dominates the global arms trade.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US accounted for 36% of major conventional weapons sales from 2015 – 2019.

Throughout most of the post-WW II period, the US dominated the global arms market.

Arms and security expert William Hartung explained that for 25 of the past 26 years, “the United States has been the leading arms dealer on the planet, at some moments in near monopolistic fashion.”

Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries are major buyers of US arms.

In areas where large amounts of heavy weapons are sold, wars often follow.

Oct 17 08:08

Scenario Forecasting: What Could a Russian Intervention in Nagorno-Karabakh Look Like?

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s suggestion to deploy Russian peacekeepers and military observers into the universally recognized Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven surrounding districts under Armenian occupation pending both sides’ agreement raises the prospect of Moscow’s military intervention in this conflict, which is worthwhile examining since this scenario isn’t as far-fetched as some might think.

Oct 17 07:46

Death, destruction after missiles hit Azerbaijan's second city of Ganja

A missile strike has leveled a row of homes in Azerbaijan's second largest city of Ganja, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 40 people in their sleep in a sharp escalation of the conflict over Karabakh.

The Azeri Prosecutor General's office said the assault took place in the early hours of Saturday as two missiles hit apartment buildings in central Ganja, causing severe damage.

AFP said its team in Ganja had seen rows of houses turned to rubble by the strike, which shattered the walls and ripped the roofs off buildings in the surrounding streets.

"People ran outside in shock and tears, stumbling through dark muddy alleys in their slippers, some wearing bathroom robes and pyjamas," it reported.

Azerbaijan's presidential aide, Hikmet Hajiyev, censured in a series of tweets the missile attack and underlined that at least 20 buildings have been destroyed by Armenia's missiles, which he said were of the Scud series.

Oct 17 07:28

Full Interview: Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is Liberation War for Azerbaijan, President Aliyev Says

Hostilities have been going on in Nagorno-Karabakh since late September. Though a ceasefire deal was reached in Moscow between the conflicting parties, it's not observed. Sputnik Head Dmitry Kiselev held parallel interviews with the Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders, where they were asked the same questions and given equal time.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told Dmitry Kiselev about his assessment of the current situation in the region, as well as about the losses of the parties to the conflict and whether it is true that Syrian and Libyan mercenaries are fighting for Azerbaijan.

He also explained Baku’s position on the basic principles of the resolution, as well as where reconciliation should start. Aliyev shared Azerbaijan’s vision of a compromise on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and spoke about the red lines, which the country would never cross. The Azerbaijani President also shared his opinion on whether Azerbaijanis and Armenians can coexist peacefully.

Oct 17 07:27

Full Interview: Turkey is the Main Sponsor of Nagorno-Karabakh War, Armenian PM Pashinyan Says

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, which escalated at the end of September, has reportedly claimed several hundred lives. Despite the reached agreement mediated by Russia, there is no sustainable truce yet. Sputnik head Dmitry Kiselev spoke with both Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders in parallel interviews.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan explained in an interview to Rossiya Segodnya Director General Dmitry Kiselev how he sees the situation, the number of casualties Yerevan has taken and commented on the presence of foreign mercenaries in the region. He also spoke about who is behind the current aggravation of the conflict and why, what compromises the Armenian side is ready to make and what it will not accept under any circumstances.

Oct 17 07:12

Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkey Instigates An Old War With Older Ambitions

For more than ten hours, from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov presided over tough and grueling negotiations between Armenian foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani foreign minister Jeyhun Bayramov. The talks focused on ending the recent war over the breakaway republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (known by Armenians as Artsakh). They resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire and a commitment to further peace talks. It seemed to be a remarkable feat for Moscow’s veteran diplomat. At the time of this writing, the ceasefire has “largely held,” albeit by a thread.

Oct 16 11:59

AZERBAIJANI SUCCESSES IN KARBAKH CONFLICT COME TOGETHER WITH WAR CRIMES

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. As in the previous several days, the main clashes are taking place in the southern part of Karabakh.

As of October 16, Azerbaijani forces finally took full control of the town of Hadrat and started an operation to push the remaining Armenian units out of the town’s surroundings. Despite this, Armenian forces still conduct regular counter-attacks attempting to force the Azerbaijani military to retreat from their recently captured positions.

Azerbaijani troops also seized the villages of Arish in the Fuzuli district, Doshulu in the Jabrayil district and the villages of Edishe, Dudukchi, Edilli and Chiraguz in the Khojavend district. Earlier this week, Azerbaijan captured Garadaghli, Melikjanli, Garakollu, Bulutan, Tagaser, Khatunbulag, Kemertuk and Teke. Thus, Armenian forces lost at least 15 towns and settlements during this week of clashes.

Oct 16 05:23

Jews Are Enabling Genocide Against Armenian Christians In Nagorno-Karabakh

The spiraling conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed province of Nagorno-Karabakh has suddenly intensified.

Nagorno-Karabakh is technically part of Azerbaijan, but its population is 99% Armenian Christian and has its own local military, which is backed by the Armenian state. The Azeri government seeks to assert full control over the region and violently evict its native population.

The alliances in the war are counter-intuitive. Azerbaijan is majority Shi’ite Muslim and a former Soviet Republic, but it is controlled by a Jewish billionaire class which is backed by Turkey, Israel and even Al Qaeda.

Armenia on the other hand is an ancient Christian civilization.. Since the 1990s, Iran, despite being Shi’ite as well, has served as an aggressive defender of the Armenian people.

Oct 16 05:20

Exclusive: Azerbaijani President Aliyev Says Armenian PM Pashinyan is a Product of George Soros

In an exclusive parallel interview with Sputnik, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have addressed the most pressing issues regarding the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Both leaders were given an equal amount of time and identical questions.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev expressed his belief in an interview with Sputnik that Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was a product of US billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, known for his generous donations to political causes.

Oct 15 12:48

WAR IN KARABAKH: TURKISH PROXIES ARE ALLEGEDLY TOO SCARED TO FIGHT ARMENIANS

About 1,000 members of Syrian militant groups deployed by Turkey to support the Azerbaijani advance in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have laid down their arms and refused to participate in hostilities, Armenian media outlets and military-affiliated sources claimed. They insist that Syrian militants were just used as cannon fodder and did not receive their promised money. According to sources loyal to the Syrian opposition, the number of Turkish proxies that died in the war with Armenia has exceeded 110.

Earlier, reports appeared from Syrian sources , claiming that about 400 members of Turkish-backed militant groups deployed in Syria’s northwest had refused to go to Azerbaijan. At least 16 of them were arrested by the so-called Hamza Division for complaining too much and for leaking information to the public.

Oct 15 09:07

Bully-boy minister’s Christmas message to UK universities: Adopt anti-Semitism definition that’s “too vague to be useful”, or I’ll axe your funding!

Stuart Littlewood highlights the ignorance of Gavin Williamson, an Israel pimp serving as UK Education Secretary, who has threatened to cut the funding of universities that do not succumb to the Zionist definition of “anti-Semitism” – contrary to legal advice and the UK government’s own rules.>>

Oct 15 05:49

Nagorno-Karabakh Fighting Escalates, Death Toll Rises

Violence continued in Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday as the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan shows no sign of waning, despite a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreed to last week.

In a sign that the conflict is widening, Azerbaijan admitted to launching airstrikes inside Armenia to take out missiles allegedly used to target civilian areas in Azerbaijan. Baku’s defense ministry said it had destroyed a rocket system and a ballistic missile system in Armenia in separate attacks overnight on Wednesday.

Armenia’s defense ministry confirmed areas inside the country were hit and denied that it has been firing inside Azerbaijan. Throughout the fighting, Baku has accused Armenian forces of targeting Ganja, a city deep inside Azerbaijan.

Oct 15 05:49

Azerbaijan bought $77m worth of arms from Turkey a month before fighting

Azerbaijan bought $77m worth of arms from Turkey a month before fighting broke out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, with Turkish arms sales to Baku increasing sixfold this year, according to export data.

Data compiled by the Turkish Exports Assembly, which groups more than 95,000 exporting companies in 61 sectors, shows that Azerbaijan bought $123m worth of defence and aviation equipment from Turkey in the first nine months of 2020, the Reuters news agency reported.

Turkish arms sold to Azerbaijan included drones, rocket launchers, ammunition and other weapons that arrived after July, when border clashes that broke out between Armenian and Azeri forces prompted Turkey and Azerbaijan to conduct joint military exercises.

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