Tag Archives: US

NATO suspends training in Iraq

NATO Ambassadors met on 6 January 2019 in Brussels headquaters to address current tensions in the Middle East and implications for NATO’s training mission in Iraq.

“…Allies expressed their strong support for the fight against ISIS and for the NATO mission in Iraq. In everything that we do, the safety of our personnel is paramount. As such, we have temporarily suspended our training on the ground,” – Jens Stolenberg said.

Allies called for restraint and de-escalation. A new conflict would be in no one’s interest. So Iran must refrain from further violence and provocation” he added.

Speaking after the meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the safety of NATO’s personnel in Iraq is paramount and that the Alliance had temporarily suspended training activities on the ground. He added that NATO was prepared to continue training and capacity-building when the situation permits, emphasizing that the Alliance remains strongly committed to the fight against international terrorism, namely Daech in Middle East.

Iraq: Borrell calls for restraint

“The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped before it spirals out of control. The EU calls on all the actors involved and on those partners who can have an influence to exercise maximum restraint and show responsibility in this crucial moment. Another crisis risks jeopardizing years of efforts to stabilise Iraq. Furthermore, the ongoing escalation threatens the whole region, which has suffered immensely and whose populations deserve life in peace” says the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell (Pictured).

“More dialogue and efforts to enhance mutual understanding are necessary to offer long term solutions to the stabilisation of the Middle East. The EU stands ready to continue its engagement with all sides in order to contribute to defusing tensions and reverse the dynamics of the conflict.”

AMENDED:

Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter page that he spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif about recent developments in Iraq, underlining the need for de-escalation of tensions, to exercise restraint and avoid further escalation. The diplomats have also discussed importance of preserving JCPOA, which remains “crucial for global security“.

I am committed to role as coordinator” Borrell confirmed.

Soleimani assassination stirs tensions

Top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was assassinated on December 3 in a US pointed strike on Baghdad’s international airport in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two countries.

President Trump ordered an airstrike, assassinating Iran’s most powerful general in the early hours on December 3, in a dramatic escalation of power struggle between Washington and Tehran for influence across Middle Est.

Qassem Suleimani was hit by the drone strike while local allies from the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) drove him from Baghdad airport. The de facto leader of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a close Suleimani associate, was also killed in the attack.

General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” a Pentagon statement announced. “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”

The White House has issued a statement saying the strike was a “decisive defensive action” carried out “at the direction of the president”.

Putin thanks Trump for counter-terrorism cooperation

Vladimir Putin called to Donald Trump to thank him for what White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said was “information the United States provided that helped foil a potential holiday terrorist attack in Russia.”

No details were provided, but Moscow announced it had thwarted attacks reportedly planned in St. Petersburg thanks to the information from Washington.

American and Russian Presidents discussed the state of relations between their two countries in a phone call instigated by Putin, the White House said.

President Putin of Russia called to thank me and the U.S. for informing them of a planned terrorist attack in the very beautiful city of Saint Petersburg. They were able to quickly apprehend the suspects, with many lives being saved. Great and important coordination!” President Trump wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

Moscow suggests US reparations for Yugoslavia bombings

The United States must ask for forgiveness for its bombardments of the former Yugoslavia(1999) and pay reparations to the relatives of those killed and injured in air raids, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on September 15.

And for a start, the United Stets should ask for forgiveness to those they bombed, pay reparations for those killed and to those who were wounded and lost their health because of shells stuffed with depleted uranium. And only with this done, with a proper groundwork laid, it can call on others to move forward,” the diplomat wrote on her Facebook page, commenting on the statement by the US outgoing ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, who said that the Serbs should look at NATO’s bombings in 1999 from a “broader perspective.”

On March 24, 1999, NATO began a military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Alliance leadership claimed that prevention of genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo he as the ultimate reason behind the air operation called Allied Force. NATO said that during the 78-day operation its aircraft flew 38,000 sorties to carry out 10,000 bombing strikes.

Military experts have found that the Alliance launched 3,000 cruise missiles and dropped 80,000 bombs, including cluster bombs and low-enriched uranium bombs. According to Serbian forces, the bombardments killed 3,500-4,000 and injured 10,000 people, two thirds of them civilians.

According to Serbian experts, NATO dropped 15 tonnes of depleted uranium over the three months of bombings to make the country Europe’s number one in terms of cancer cases. About 30,000 new cancer cases were registered in the first ten years after the bombings, with the lethal rate from 10,000 to 18,000 patients.

Material damage totaled $100 billion. The strikes against oil refineries and petrochemical plants poisoned the country’s water supply system with toxic chemicals.

According to Ljubisa Rakic, an acknowledged Serbian scientist, the amount of low-enriched uranium dropped by NATO on the Balkans was enough to make 170 A-bombs like the one that was dropped by the United States on Japan’s Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Will Greenland follow Alaska?

An idea to purchase Greenland  from Denmark came one and a half century after the successful operation of acquisition of Alaska from Russia (1867) for an amount of USD7,2 million. The other historic deal was an acquisition of Louisiana for USD15 million from France (1803). 

Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen‘s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” President Trump tweeted.

The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”

While meeting with reporters in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she did not wish Donald Trump’s decision to cancel his trip to Denmark to become a diplomatic crisis.

“I actually think we have responded very nicely from the Danish side,”  Frederiksen said. “When you are close allies and good friends, like Denmark and the U.S. are, there should also be room for disagreements along the way. I hope we can stop this discussion soon.”

“Obviously, the right decision for this country,” U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton said, claiming he had put forward the idea of purchase of Greenland. “Several months ago I met with the Danish ambassador, and I proposed they sell Greenland to us.” It is a right decision for the United States, he added.

Greenland is a autonomous Arctic territory of Denmark, with a population of 56,480 people (2013).  About 80% of Greenland is covered by a shield of ice. The territory also has “untold” economic potential in mineral wealth, Cotton said.

The Senator underlined that the territory’s location makes it a vital component of the U.S. defense posture. There’s good reason that Thule Air Force Base has remained operable in northern Greenland since the 1950s, he said.

Greenland village

The Kingdom of Denmark implemented steps for enforce democracy for people of Greenland, granting them home rule in 1979, and in 2008 more powers were transferred from Danish government to local authorities – Greenland government – in Self-Government Act.

 

EU distances from US-Iran tensions

The EU Council president Donald Tusk took distance from the  U.S.-Iran tensions, explaining during the Summit press-conference concluding the two-day meeting in Brussels, it were better to react with reserve on the bilateral escalation.

At margins of the EU Summit in Brussels German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Trump‘s decision to pull back from a retaliatory attack, she  also called for diplomatic solution.

President Trump said that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on previous night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general explained that 150 people were highly likely to die in the attack.

President Trump approved and canceled an offensive on Iran with just minutes to spare. The President approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for shooting down an unmanned American surveillance drone. The American operation was to be carried out before sunrise against Iranian military sites to avoid human casualties.

Iran shot down a U.S. Navy surveillance drone on June 19, while the two sides disputing where it occurred. Tehran has said the drone was flying over Iranian airspace, while American officials have been imperative the aircraft was in international airspace.

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