Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Russia’s self-flagellation campaign continues unrestrained, the latest installments bordering on the absurd, and yet again reinforcing every single negative stereotype the Russian propagandists programmed into Western media and political communities over the last 4 years. Proxies remain very active, whether individual or nation-state. A fascinating commentary by Russian analyst Felgenhauer on the chaotic state of Russia’s leadership caste, and he speculates on the possibility of a military coup. The absence of coherency and reasoned strategic thought in most of Russia’s actions over the last 4 years and increasing lack of coherent rationale fit Felgenhauer’s argument well. Markedonov’s argument fits Felgenhauer’s observations very closely.
Some apt comments by UK SECSTATE Johnson on Salisbury at the NATO gathering.
Israel’s Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is looking very closely at the prospect of Russia destabilizing Israel, exploiting the vulnerability of a large diaspora of immigrants from former Soviet republics. Excellent essay in the JP on Israel’s challenges dealing with the S-300PMU2 / SA-20B GARGOYLE. Iran has bragged repeatedly about technology insertion upgrades in their S-200VE / SA-5B GAMMON that begs the question if these are real upgrades, whether they migrated quietly into Syria’s inventory as well. Much on SECSTATE Pompeo’s NATO and Middle Eastern visits. Numerous interesting OpEds and reports on Syria.
Vladimir Putin was accused of a shameful cover-up last night over the demolition of a chemical weapons base where Russian scientists allegedly made the Salisbury nerve agent. The base was cited as source of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack. The shock move to destroy the site was revealed by state-run media in Russia. It was torn down before investigators from the OPCW could inspect the area.
The United States, France and the United Kingdom have literally plunged into a war on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Russia’s Permanent Representative to that organization Alexander Shulgin said on Saturday. According to the Russian diplomat, by delivering a missile strike on Syria.
By Shlomo Ben-Ami TEL AVIV ― U.S. President Donald Trump lauded the missile strikes by the United States, France, and the United Kingdom on Syrian military installations ― carried out in retaliation for a chemical-weapon attack allegedly perpetrated by Bashar al-Assad’s regime ― as a great success. But no amount of triumphant rhetoric can obscure the West’s betrayal of the Syrian people, nor disguise its lack of any actual strategy for resolving the Syria conflict. In the last seven years, nearly a half-million Syrian citizens have been killed and seven million have been made refugees. Meanwhile, an unholy alliance has formed among Shia zealots, represented by Iran and Hezbollah, and a Russian government committed to unraveling the post-Cold War order and radically changing the strategic game in the Middle East. The West has utterly failed to rise to this challenge. On the contrary, Trump is about to withdraw the remaining U.S. troops from Syria, arguing that their main objective ― defeating the Islamic State (ISIS) ― has been achieved. Yet, while ISIS had to be stopped, it was never the West’s most formidable enemy in Syria; that title goes to the axis of Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime ― an axis against which ISIS was actually a counterbalancing force. Now, all the West has to offer is what Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called “a one-time shot” of overly cautious strikes that targeted none of the conventional capabilities of Assad’s regime and its allies. Like the limited U.S. missile strikes last year, the recent attack will not deter the future use of chemical weapons, much less threaten the survival of Assad’s regime.
Syrian troops continue to find terrorist deposits with chemical weapons from Germany and the UK in Douma, according to the Syrian deputy envoy to the OPCW. He has called on OPCW to visit the site and expressed hope that they would dispel all allegations. Sputnik discussed it with Dr. Christopher Busby, of the European Committee on Radiation Risk. Dr. Christopher Busby is a physical chemist and the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk.
Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Busby established an internet presence discussing the risks of ionizing radiation and a conspiracy theory involving Japanese Government’s efforts to spread radioactive contamination throughout the country. He also marketed online, services and a mineral supplement he claimed mitigate the dangers of ingested radioisotopes. Busby claimed radioactive caesium-137 released from the nuclear disaster can cause heart muscle damage and heart attacks in children and a mineral supplement, sold on his Japanese language website via 4u-detox of San Pedro, California, could prevent these deleterious effects (labelled Busby Laboratories, Formula 1, Christopher Busby Foundation for The Children of Fukushima). Busby says he bases his cardiac claims on the work of husband-and-wife team Yury Bandazhevsky and Galina Bandazhevskaya; known for their controversial claims that arrhythmia and heart attacks occurred in children at caesium-137 levels as low as 50 Bqkg−1 and that oral apple pectin increases its excretion (by comparison banana contains ca. 3000 Bqkg−1 of natural potassium-40). Busby later self-published a document that he claimed offered theoretical support for his supplement, namely an ability to block certain radioisotopes from binding to DNA. However, his document also explains that his supplement cannot block caesium-137, because it does not contain a protective dose of stable caesium:
Russia’s foreign minister said Saturday the United States is trying to divide Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of trying to divide Syria during a meeting in Moscow with his counterparts from Iran and Turkey.
Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers on April 28 talked up their successes in brokering a political solution to the Syrian conflict at a meeting in Moscow.
Unlike Iran, the US is playing a highly destructive role in Syria and it should be brought to account for this, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday upon completion of a meeting of foreign ministers of the countries united by the Astana format of negotiations.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu criticised the U.S.’s support to Kurdish militia in Syria today during a meeting with his Iranian and Russian counterparts in Moscow on Saturday, Washington Post reported . U.S. backing for the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Defence Forces in their fight against Islamic State (ISIS) has been a major source of tension between the United States and Turkey since 2014. Turkey recognises Kurdish militia as an extension of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group which has been fighting inside Turkey for more than 30 years. “Today, the US supports terrorist organisations, and this has to stop,” Cavusoglu said at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Astana process’s three guarantor countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the three countries “must help the Syrians finish cleansing their country of terrorists.” Lavrov also said US is trying to ‘divide Syria into parts.’
Russia’s ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein sought to downplay any tensions between the countries over Syria, such as Israel’s attack on the Syrian T-4 base earlier this month, saying that was not the reason for Russia’s proposed supply of the advanced anti-aircraft S-300 missile system to Syria. “It is, of course, in our interest that these actions not take place, because they worsen the Syria situation,” reported Reuters. “We, of course, understand the reasons for Israel deciding to carry out actions of this kind, and would of course also prefer that these reasons not exist.” On Monday, a senior Russian official told the Kommersant newspaper that Russia will provide Syrian President Bashar Assad with the S-300 system, while saying that if Israel attacks the air-defense system, then it will suffer “catastrophic consequences,” the official said.
Telegram restored the work after a massive breakdown. As we reported earlier, Pavel Durov, the founder of the messenger, informed about a massive overheating in one of the Telegram server clusters which may cause connection issues for European users.
As to Downdetector server, which monitors the work of Internet resources, as at 3:40 Kyiv time most of the disruptions were recorded in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Ukraine in Kyiv region. In Russia, where the authorities are trying to block Derov’s messenger, mass troubles are noticed only in Moscow and St. Petersburg regions.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 28 – Tensions within the Russian political elite are now higher than at any point in years, Pavel Felgengauer says; and as a result, he “does not exclude even a military coup in Russia. This perhaps is an extremely low probability scenario, but one must not exclude it completely.” Felgengauer, one of Russia’s most prominent independent military analysts, makes this unprecedented and disturbing declaration in a comment for Kyiv’s Apostrophe portal (apostrophe.ua/article/world/ex-ussr/2018-04-27/delo-doshlo-do-kraynosti-v-rossii-vozmojen-voennyiy-perevorot/18152). He says that rumors are now flying in Moscow that the Russian military will soon make a large strike into the Donbass in order to improve its strategic position there but argues that there is little reason to believe these rumors: any such strike wouldn’t improve Moscow’s position much, and the situation in the Russian capital makes such a move highly improbable. According to Felgengauer, “actions by Russia in the first instance are determined by the domestic political struggle there,” where political tensions have “reached the maximum” in recent years, exceeding even those of 2012, largely because of disagreements over foreign policy moves in Syria and Ukraine and in the worsening of relations with the West. “All this,” he says, “can lead and is leading to the exacerbation of tensions along the entire perimeter of foreign policy.” Two weeks from now, Russia will have a new government and “obviously a completely new policy is possible.” Aleksey Kudrin is talking as if he will either lead or be the most influential player in the new regime. “Naturally, for the Russian ‘war party’ this is such a serious threat” that the army may expand the war in Ukraine “in order to avoid it.” Indeed, Felgengauer says, in this situation, “I do not exclude even a military coup in Russia.” Many in the defense sector support the current hard line against the West, and it is conceivable that they would take radical steps in order to prevent a new thaw, especially since any thaw might prove popular and that could weaken their positions. Russia has no tradition of military coups, but it does have a longstanding tradition in which the views of the military are important in the formation of policy. That Felgengauer even mentions that a coup is now possible is an indication that tensions within the top elite in Moscow may be far more serious than most observers have allowed.
Pavel Felgenhauer , a Russian military columnist, especially for the “Apostrophe” Friday, April 27, 2018, 19:27 According to some reports, Russia can transfer two new airborne troops to the Donbas to try to provoke the Ukrainian army to attack, then inflict maximum damage on it and improve its fighting positions in the Luhansk region. Does Russia really need such an adventure now, the Russian military columnist Pavel Felgenhauer told the Apostrophe. In itself, there is, of course, the possibility of more serious hostilities in the Donbas. But I doubt it a little that it will begin there right now. First, it is unlikely that such actions, if they do begin, can be read in advance on the Internet. So, rather, now this will not happen. A small improvement in combat positions – a thing not a matter of principle and not particularly necessary. Well and in general, certainly, in the future some problems are possible. Maybe even now. This is all possible. Russia’s actions are primarily conditioned by internal political struggle. The matter has completely reached the extreme, the domestic political tension in Russia has reached its peak in recent years. Such an aggravation was not, probably, since 2012. This is primarily reflected, of course, on foreign policy – in Syria, and in Ukraine, and on the general deterioration of relations with the West, and even the attitude towards the crisis in Armenia. All this can lead to and exacerbates the entire perimeter of foreign policy. But this is a reflection of the internal political struggle. I do not exclude even a military coup in Russia. This, perhaps, is an extremely unlikely scenario, but you can not completely exclude it. In two weeks there will be a new government in Russia, and, obviously, a completely new policy is possible. [Russian politician Alexei] Kudrin gives victorious interviews that he will now steer. Naturally, for the Russian “war party” this is such a serious threat that, for the sake of this, it is possible to start a war with Ukraine to avoid this. The fact that in Russia “everyone supports Putin on all issues”, that the elections have passed – does not play any role. Because at us not democracy and people does not solve anything. And within the ruling elite there is an acute crisis: people do not know where to run, where to hide and what will happen.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 28 – Erika Fatland, a Norwegian anthropologist who has gained international attention for her studies of the impact of wars and violence on people, says on the basis of an eighth-long-long tour of countries adjoining Russia that “Russia will continue to expand until it disintegrates.” She says that she has concluded that Russians will seek to extend the borders of their country until the country falls into pieces. Consequently, its borders are likely to include more territory until a crash means that they will include far less (b.dk/kultur/norsk-forfatter-har-rejst-hele-vejen-rundt-om-rusland; reported in Russian at regnum.ru/news/polit/2410181.html). Fatland, 35, earlier wrote a study on the Beslan terrorist attack entitled The Village of Angels, has a new book out, Sovietistan, based on her visits to all five of the countries of Central Asia. She is also the author of the highly regarded study of the terrorist attacks in Norway, The Year without Summer.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 29 – Ever more people in Moscow, the former Soviet republics, and the broader world are asking whether the Soviet space still exists, Sergey Markedonov says, a question that naturally arises because the demise of the Soviet Union was not a one-time action and because the space itself suffers from five as yet unresolved paradoxes. Many analysts fail to remember that the Beloveshchaya accords which ended the Soviet Union’s existence also guaranteed the borders of the former Soviet republics, a condition that has not been observed, the Caucasus specialist at the Russian State Humanities University says (russiancouncil.ru/analytics-and-comments/interview/rossiya-i-zapad-na-postsovetskom-prostranstve-chto-budet/). And they continue to argue that the region is “unified” by its past, although no one now speaks of “a post-British space” in India, Parkistan, Bangladesh or Nigeria because the situation with regard to those former British colonies is not fraught with the paradoxes that the situation of the post-Soviet space still has not resolved. “The process of the disintegration of the Soviet Union understood as a lengthy historical and not simply legal process has not been ended because there is no USSR,” Markedonov says. Indeed, “this process has not been completed,” otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about “the problems of Abkhazia, Transdniestria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Crimea, the Donbass and so on.”
This process displays five paradoxes, the analyst says in the course of a lengthy discussion of the situation in the area that once was the USSR:
- First, “the former union republics may be ever further from one another but nevertheless, no final settlement has been reached, [and] this paradox,” he suggests will be one of the underlying conditions in the immediate future.”
- Second, although it is not always fully appreciated, there is the paradoxical situation that “the configuration of the new independent states which we know today was formed in the Soviet past,” whether it is a question of borders, status or almost anything else.
- Third, according to Markedonov, “the new independent states suffer from a serious illness, an attempt to cure internal problems with medicines from abroad,” a development that reflects “the internationalization” of this space and the entrance into all or part of it of players from outside.
- Fourth, no country talks more about the former Soviet space as a common whole than does Russia, but no government treats it in a more diversified fashion than does Moscow, Markedonov says, sometimes recognizing breakaway republics and sometimes now, depending on its national interests. In short, Moscow’s policies are “to a significant degree reactive and not proactive” as far as this region is concerned.
- And fifth, there is the paradox that the post-Soviet states are changing but that many, especially in Russia, don’t want to recognize that development or the fact that Moscow must engage in a real struggle even in places like Armenia. Instead, Russia often acts like “a sentimental boxer” who goes into the ring and is shocked that anyone hits back.
Markedonov concludes his argument by saying that at some point the post-Soviet period in the lives of all its constituent countries wil end, but only when “the settling of accounts with the Soviet Union” has occurred. That process is still going on and will likely do so for some time to come. “As soon as these accounts are settled and we see a new and absolutely pragmatic agenda which will be concerned not with the question of who owns Crimea or Abkhazia but the issues of tariffs, trade [and the like], then we will be able to say: ‘Finally, the post-Soviet space has ended, and Soviet history has been completed as well.”
BORIS Johnson will demand “reckless and destabilising’ Russia must be dealt with before it is too late during a crunch summit with Nato counterparts.
Boris Johnson on Twitter: “Arrived @NATO foreign ministers meeting to discuss Russia, its malign activities, and how we respond collectively. While Russia seeks division, @NATO allies stand together, as we saw following Salisbury incident.… https://t.co/MnvAVQtlv6”
It seems Russia’s interest in Israel has only increased – in part due to the danger it will help ruin Moscow’s plan for Syria. And Netanyahu’s government shouldn’t forget the Chinese threat, either. Israel can become a target too. Almost in passing at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last July, Israel Defense Forces chief Gadi Eisenkot mentioned the possibility of foreign intervention in Israel’s democratic processes. Eisenkot didn’t name the country that’s likely to intervene, but the examples he listed – cyberattacks and incitement campaigns in the United States, France and Ukraine, most of them during election campaigns – pointed to one address: Russia. Shortly afterward, Haaretz reported that the National Cyber Security Authority was drawing up a program to prevent foreign intervention in elections. Meanwhile, we’re hearing that the next Knesset election might take place this year, well before the deadline of November 2019. At the same time, it seems Russia’s interest in Israel has only increased – due to Israel’s geographic location, the danger that it will help ruin Moscow’s plan for a new order in Syria, and the many Israelis who immigrated from the Soviet Union and its successor states.
It is in Israel’s interest that Syria be stabilized, but it is in the world’s interest that weapons do not proliferate to terrorist groups and terrorist regimes. Russia’s s-300 surface-to-air missile platform is one of the most sophisticated air defense systems in the world. It is for that exact reason that Israel and the united states have worked tirelessly over the years to prevent its delivery to Iran and why Israel is now working to stop it from getting to Syria. The real question concerns Russia’s intentions and why it recently announced its intention to deliver the system to the Bashar Assad’s military. What makes the s-300 a cause of such concern in Israel is that it has the reported ability to track up to a hundred targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12 at the same time. It has a range of about 200 kilometers and can hit targets at altitudes of 27,000 meters. Moscow has already deployed the system in Syria – as well as the more advanced s-400 – but they are under the control of the Russian military. The new systems would be given to the Syrians. This poses two problems for Israel. First is the possibility that it will be used to shoot down Israeli aircraft. Due to its long range, it can reach deep into Israel and hit planes taking off and landing at Ben Gurion Airport, not to mention Israel Air Force jets operating over Syria. In addition, there is the possibility that Syria will transfer the system to Hezbollah in Lebanon, further undermining Israel’s operational freedom and aerial superiority in the region. In Israel, there have traditionally been two schools of thought with regard to the severity of the s-300 threat. On the one hand, there are those like former air force commander Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ido Nehushtan who said a few years ago: “We need to make every effort to stop this system from getting to places where the IAF needs to operate or may need to operate in the future.” Other officials have been less concerned and claim that if and if and when the s-300 is delivered to Iran or Syria, Israel will be able to develop an electronic warfare system to neutralize it.
S-300PMU2 “Favorit” Air Defense Missile System (ADMS) – Almaz-Antey
The S-300PMU2 (SA-20B Gargoyle) is a Russian-developed long-range air defense system.
S-300PMU2 S-300 PMU2 SA-20B Gargoyle B surface to air defense missile system technical data sheet information description pictures photos images intelligence identification Russian army Russia
Published on Aug 28, 2016 August 28, 2016 (Persian calendar 1395/6/7)
PressTV Published on Mar 4, 2017 Iran has successfully tested the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system, which the Islamic Republic has purchased from Russia and integrated into the defense system of the country. The Iranian Fars news agency reported on Sunday that the missile system successfully detected, tracked, and intercepted a ballistic missile during the test launch. The test-firing was conducted in the presence of several military and government officials at a shooting range in one of the country’s defense units, whose location was not publicized. The military exercise was carried out with the aim of analyzing the performance of the S-300 system, assessing the capability of the system in engaging targets with a low radar cross section and ballistic missile threats as well as the ability of Iranian officers to use the system.
ali javid Published on Dec 24, 2014 ایران سامانه ارتقا یافته دفاع هوایی اس ۲۰۰ Iran successfully test-fired a new generation of the S-200 missile defense system on the final day
GLOBAL DEFENSE Published on Oct 19, 2017 Syrian S-200 Missile hit Israel’s F-35 Warplane Israel Is Hiding That Its State-of-art F-35 Warplane Was Hit By Syrian S-200 Missile the Israeli Defense Forces (I D F) claimed that its warplanes targeted an anti-aircraft battery of the Syrian Air Defense Forces that had launched a missile at Israeli aircraft flying over Lebanon. Earlier, an anti-aircraft missile was launched from Syria towards IDF aircraft during a routine flight over Lebanon. No hits confirmed. I D F Spokesperson reported on October 16, 2017 “The army targeted the battery with four bombs and, according to the IDF, the battery was damaged to the extent it was no longer operational. The army said the battery targeted was the same that fired at Israeli jets last March, prompting Israel make use of its Arrow anti-missile system for the first time,” the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
The newly-appointed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there were a lot of discussions about the ways to push back against Russia at Foreign Ministers’ NATO summit in Brussels. U.S. Secretary of State also noted that the nature of the threat from Russia has changed since the Cold War.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is kicking off his tenure as the United States’ top diplomat by taking a tough stance against Russian aggression.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the NATO alliance is “more indispensable than ever” after recent actions from Russia, including an assassination attempt on British soil.
Heather Nauert on Twitter: “#NATO more relevant than any time since Cold War. Today, we focused on #Russia’s continued aggression and ability to threaten, coerce, undermine, and invade its neighbors. Plays destabilizing role in #Ukraine, #Georgia, and #Syria. NATO is a defensive alliance in face of threat.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Iran “the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world,” during a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart in Riyadh on Sunday, in a further signal the United States intends to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using the Middle East leg of his first trip abroad as America’s top diplomat to call for concerted international action to punish Iran for its missile programs. He’s also urging Saudi Arabia and its neighbors to resolve a long-festering dispute with Qatar that U.S. officials say Iran is exploiting to boost its influence in the region, including in Yemen and Syria.
DUBAI: United States’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a joint press conference on Sunday with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir in Riyadh that the current nuclear agreement with Iran is “not enough” to curb its ways, Saudi state-news agency Al-Ekhbariya reported. “Iran has been acting worse since the signing of the nuclear deal,” Pompeo said. Meanwhile, Jubeir
RIYADH: Washington’s newly appointed secretary of state landed in Riyadh Saturday on a tour of America’s key Middle East allies, after vowing to bring some “swagger” back to US diplomacy. After attending NATO talks in Brussels, Mike Pompeo embarked on a three-day trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan to update friends on President Donald Trump’s plans for the Iran nuclear
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received on Sunday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is using the Middle East leg of his first trip abroad as America’s top diplomat to call for concerted international action to punish Iran for its missile programs. He’s also urging Saudi Arabia and its neighbors to resolve a long-festering dispute with Qatar that US officials say Iran
New U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the need for unity among Gulf allies during a brief visit to Riyadh on Sunday as Washington aims to muster support for new sanctions against Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was essential for Gulf Arab monarchies to achieve unity, in an apparent attempt to resolve the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and a Saudi-led coalition.
U.S. President Donald Trump lauded the missile strikes by the United States, France, and the United Kingdom on Syrian military installations _ carried out in retaliation for a chemical-weapon attack allegedly perpetrated by Bashar al-Assad’s regime _ as a great success.
JEDDAH: Claims by some Syrian opposition figures are damaging efforts to inject new life into the Geneva peace process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday, adding that there can be no preconditions for Geneva talks. Russia, Iran and Turkey agree that the Syrian peace process must continue despite Western missile strikes, Lavrov said after meeting his
The protracted conflict in Syria will not end because of these strikes. But they do send a very strong message that international norms matter and that Assad must be held accountable for defying those norms.
Op-ed: Churchill wasn’t looking for popularity, but for a solution to an existential problem. PM Netanyahu, on the other hand, is missing an opportunity to create a regional alliance with moderate Arab states in his attempt to serve his personal and political needs by warning people of a supposed modern holocaust planned by Iran.
A low-key raid in Syria, and Iran’s growing influence, sharpen the risk.
Social-democratic opposition party Die Linke in Germany parliament urge to arms embargo over Yemen campaign to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to The Independent, the draft bill, proposed by the opposition social democratic party Die Linke, aims to ban weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey for their involvement in military conflicts. The draft, proposed by the social-democratic opposition party Die Linke, focusses mostly on Saudi Arabia and the UAE for their role in the war in Yemen, but it also singles out Turkey for its military mission in northern Syria where the country has been fighting Kurdish forces. More: Turkey to equip tanks with a new high-tech protection system Also, the bill will make it illegal to sell arms, expertise and related goods to any other government suspected of using the equipment to abuse human rights. It specifically refers to previous sales of patrol boats to Saudi Arabia – which have been used to blockade Yemeni ports – and of Leopard tanks to Turkey, which formed part of the country’s military action against the Kurdish YPG groups.
27 April, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced that the US government has approved the sale of twelve AH-1Z attack helicopters to Bahrain for USD911,4 million. According to the DSCA, the Government of Bahrain has requested 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters, 26 T-700 GE 401C engines (24 installed and 2 spares), 14 AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles, and 56 Advance Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS-II) WGU-59Bs. The DSCA also noted that this proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major Non-NATO ally which is an important security partner in the region.
Faced with development plans and a new law, Syrian homeowners must now prove their property belongs to them. But many refugees can’t return home to do so, meaning the law has become a form of expropriation.
As chemical weapons inspectors assess an attack site in Douma, Syrian families from the town offer NPR witness accounts of what they describe as a chlorine strike in Douma.
The general and traditional definition of a chemical weapon is a toxic chemical contained in a delivery system, such as a bomb or shell. The Convention defines chemical weapons much more generally. The term chemical weapon is applied to any toxic chemical or its precursor that can cause death, injury, temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation through its chemical action. Munitions or other delivery devices designed to deliver chemical weapons, whether filled or unfilled, are also considered weapons themselves. The toxic chemicals that have been used as chemical weapons, or have been developed for use as chemical weapons, can be categorised as choking, blister, blood, or nerve agents. The most well known agents are as follows: choking agents—chlorine and phosgene, blister agents (or vesicants)—mustard and lewisite, blood agents—hydrogen cyanide, nerve agents—sarin, soman, VX. Of course some toxic chemicals, and/or their precursors, are utilised globally in industry. For example, toxic chemicals are employed as basic raw material, or as anti-neoplastic agents, which prevent the multiplication of cells, or as fumigants, herbicides or insecticides. Such chemicals are considered chemical weapons if they are produced and stockpiled in amounts that exceed requirements for those purposes that are not prohibited under the Convention. The Convention is designed to ensure that toxic chemicals are only developed and produced for purposes unrelated to chemical weapons. Chemical technology must not be misused, and the OPCW has a mandate to monitor chemical industry to make certain that this is the case. To aid the OPCW in this task, the Convention divides toxic chemicals and precursors that could be used as chemical weapons or that could be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons into three Schedules. Schedule 1 chemicals have been used as chemical weapons in the past and/or have very few or no peaceful uses, and thus pose the most direct threat to the Convention. Schedule 2 chemicals are primarily precursors to Schedule 1 chemicals and most have some industrial uses. Schedule 3 chemicals are produced in large quantities commercially but in some cases were used as chemical warfare agents and can also serve as precursors to Schedule 1 or 2 chemicals. Production facilities of many organic chemicals termed discrete organic chemicals are also subject to declaration requirements and verification activities.