Border squads of Uzbekistan and military experts of Russia have appeared on the Turkmen-Afghan border. In addition, Turkmen military men are being redeployed to the border, according to Chronicles of Turkmenistan.
Earlier, local media reported on a telephone conversation between the Presidents of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The two sides exchanged views on essential issues of regional and international issues of mutual interest.
“We do not know whether the sides covered a potential threat emanating from their southern neighbor and cooperation in solving it. Nevertheless, residents of the border villages of Afghanistan note presence of Uzbek border squads on the Turkmen border,” the publication noticed.
About a month ago, military experts from Russia appeared on the border too. The publication suggests that the Turkmen authorities appealed to the leadership of Russia for help in guarding the border with Afghanistan.
“A group of Turkmen conscript soldiers has been deployed to Tagtabazar (village near the Turkmen-Afghan border) approximately on 5-7 March. They are mainly soldiers who have served for two years or more,” wrote the publication.
The Iraqi Minister of Finance , Hoshyar Zebari held the second meeting of the Committee to resolve lawsuits on armament contracts with the Italian side.
A Statement by the Ministry of Finance, said that during the talks, the solutions points to outstanding issues were reviewed between the parties and discuss with the Italian side how to solve them in legal means in the near future.
The meeting was attended by the commander of the naval force ,Ali Hussein Ali and representatives from the Ministries of Defense, Justice , the Ministry of State for Provincial Affairs and TBI.
Iraq had signed a maritime armament contracts with Italian companies for the processing of Iraqi Navy ships with escort vessels , supplying ships and other naval pieces in 1980, but the situation experienced by Iraq during that period and the effects of the two Gulf Wars I and II led the Italian side not to fulfill its obligations under this contract, noting that Iraq has paid the contract amounts in cash and oil
Canada’s prime minister will present a plan to extend Canada’s military mission in Iraq next week.
Although the mission doesn’t need parliamentary approval, the government is expected to submit it to a vote to show consensus. Any motion would pass because Harper’s Conservative Party has a majority in Parliament.
Gunmen loyal to Yemen’s former president stormed a section of the international airport in the southern port city of Aden on Thursday, triggering heavy clashes with security troops who were firing back from armored vehicles positioned on the tarmac.
The fighting forced the closure of the facility and passengers on a flight to Cairo were scuttled off the plane and into the terminal building.
The attackers, loyal to longtime autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh who was ousted following a 2011 popular uprising, managed to enter a section of the airport grounds but were meeting with heavy resistance from the security forces loyal to current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is based in Aden.
As the fighting escalated, a convoy of tanks and armored vehicles was dispatched from the city center to the airport, less than a kilometer (half mile) away, security officials said.
More than 100 passengers who had boarded a flight to Cairo, including an Associated Press reporter, were ordered off the Yemenia aircraft and made their way to the terminal building as machinegun fire rang out. The plane was one of only two aircraft, both belonging to the national carrier, left on the tarmac.
The sound of heavy explosions shook the terminal building as the clashes intensified.
At least two shells have hit the airport’s grounds, said security and aviation officials at the scene, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.
Earlier, the fighting has centered around a security forces’ base adjacent to the airport’s eastern section. Saleh loyalists are led by renegade police Brig. Gen. Abdul-Hafez al-Saqqaf, according to the security officials.
If the airport in Aden, a major hub on the Arabian Sea, falls in the hands of Saleh loyalists, that would further isolate Hadi, who had declared the city as the country’s temporary capital last month after he escaped house arrest in the capital, Sanaa, at the hands of Iranian-backed Shiite rebels.
Beside the special security forces engaged in the airport clashes, two other army units in the city are also loyal to Saleh.
Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, is deeply polarized and engulfed in turmoil that threatens to split the country amid a power grab by the rebels known as the Houthis.
The rebels last year seized Sanaa and several northern provinces, and in January declared themselves the country’s rulers. Hadi insists he remains the country’s legitimate leader and enjoys much support in Aden, where he has been based since fleeing house arrest.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Al Qaeda branch, considered by Washington the terror network’s most dangerous offshoot, has profited from the turmoil and has been stepping up attacks on Yemeni forces and also the Shiite rebels.
Republican candidates in the US are pushing the case for Kurdish independence in their 2016 presidential nomination campaigns. Kurdish political observers believe that Kurds should steer clear of supporting either the Republicans or Democrats.
The US presidential election will take place in November 2016, and a number of Republican Senators have already launched their campaigns. Kurdish analysts have criticised talk of support for independence as publicity-seeking that can have no positive effect for the people of the Kurdistan Region.
Republican candidate Senator Rand Paul supports the idea of Kurdish independence and says that the US must arm Kurdistan directly.
“I think they would fight like hell if we promised them a country,” Paul said.
Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Lindsey Graham have previously supported Kurdistan and emphasised that the US and EU must directly supply arms to Kurdistan.
International political observer Noori Talabani told BasNews, “Kurdistan must seize this opportunity and be united and well prepared; we need to secure our international position.”
Noori is not, however, optimistic about the “propaganda”. He believes that the US does not honestly support Kurdish independence in the current situation, and the Republicans are merely point scoring in the run up to the election.
International Relations professor Sarsam Shwani said that the support is the result of a successful policy by Kurdistan. “Kurds have won western support in the fight against Islamic State (IS), which can affect the polls in America.”
Political observer and author of “American Elections” Azad Hasib told BasNews, “Kurds must seize all opportunities but it is also important to know that this is election propaganda, aiming to attract voters; Kurdistan must not take the side of either the Republicans or the Democrats.”
Azad explained that Republicans and Democrats have had different opinions on Iraq, fighting IS and the case of Kurdistan which has affected their foreign policy. “History has proven that sometimes the Republicans use cases in their electoral campaigns but the Democrats implement them later, so Kurdistan should remain balanced.”
Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have been removed from this year’s terror list, despite being on it for the past several years.
Fox News Channel reported Tuesday that the office of National Intelligence Director James Clapper blamed the omission on a formatting change in the way the document is printed.
Fox’s Greta Van Susteren called it “a little bit insane that they changed the format and suddenly the two worst terrorists, Iran and Hezbollah, disappear.”
“The people who would say this is a format change are weasels,” Bolton said on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
“It’s a flat lie. The format of this year’s report is exactly the same as last year’s report. Don’t believe me? Go look on the web. Compare the two of them. It’s exactly the same.”
Bolton said he believes the Iranian negotiators told the American negotiators they have to ease up on labeling the country the largest state sponsor of terrorism.
Bolton said he doesn’t believe the details of the arrangement will show up in the final nuclear deal, which is troubling, he said, because it raises questions of what other concessions might have been made, but will never be made public.
“I think that we are looking at a quid pro quo, where Iran helps us with counter-terrorism and we facilitate their nuclear ambitions and cut down on our labelling of them as terrorists,” Max Abrahms, professor of political science at Northeastern University and member at the Council of Foreign Relations, told Newsweek.
“The world has changed. The Sunni threat has gotten worse, the Islamic State is a greater danger than al-Qaida ever was, and the Iranians have really come up big in terms of helping us out in combating the Islamic State.”
As much as $500 million in U.S. military aid to Yemen is unaccounted for, U.S. officials said Tuesday, March 17, sparking fears that military equipment could be seized by Shiite Houthi rebels or even al Qaeda.
According to Fox News, the Defense Department has lost its ability to monitor the location of $500 million in weapons, aircraft and equipment donated to the country by the U.S.
Well-placed congressional sources confirmed that the matter has been discussed on Capitol Hill with Pentagon officials. Sources said the Defense Department lost track of the weapons after the sudden withdrawal from the embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa last month.
It is unclear how much and what kind of weapons are missing, but public sources suggest $500 million is a reasonable estimate based on open source reporting on the “Section 1206” train and equip program, and arms to Yemen authorized through Congress in the last few years.
Yemen’s government was overthrown in January by Houthi rebels, who are backed by the Iranian government and have been critical of U.S. drone strikes in the country.
Rebels have occupied many military bases in the northern part of Yemen, while al Qaeda recently took over a base in the south, meaning that equipment could potentially have been secured by either group.
A U.S. defense official told The Washington Post that there was no hard evidence that U.S. arms or equipment had been looted or confiscated, but conceded the Pentagon had lost track of the items.
“We have to assume it’s completely compromised and gone,” a legislative aide on Capitol Hill was quoted as saying.