Military News

Bill To Pre-Emptively Attack Iran Introduced In Congress

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) recently introduced a bill that would enable to US to invade Iran for the stated purpose of preventing it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

 

During the 2016 election, Donald Trump seemed to be the “anti-war” candidate compared to his then-opponent Hillary Clinton, especially when he spoke out against US interventionism and pledged to heal ties with Russia. Though ties with Russia have smoothed over since Trump took office, Trump has taken a more militaristic tone with some other foreign powers as evidenced by his recent statements and actions regarding both Iran and China. While the rise of antagonism between the US and these regional powers is troubling for a variety of reasons, just as troubling is the gusto with which some US congressmen are working to advance the “inevitability” of a military conflict between them.

Earlier this month, Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) introduced H.J.Res. 10 or the “Authorization of Use of Force Against Iran Resolution.” Taken at face value, the bill appears to allow the President to authorize military force against Iran, which is bad enough. Yet, the text of the bill goes further – it authorizes the president to launch a “pre-emptive” war with the Middle Eastern nation without requiring Congressional approval and without the necessity of Iran having actually committed any action that would warrant a full-scale invasion. Specifically, the text of the bill states that: “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as the President determines necessary and appropriate in order to achieve the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

Considering Trump and his national security team’s hostility towards Iran, it seems likely that – if passed – the bill could be used as a “blank check” to realize many of the threats that have already been made. As soon as Trump was officially inaugurated, his administration announced its plans to develop a “state of the art” missile defense system intended to prevent attacks launched specifically from North Korea or Iran. While the inclusion of North Korea is more easily justified, the Iranian defense shield is a hawkish move given that Iran has not acted aggressively towards the U.S. In addition, both the CIA and Israeli intelligence have confirmed that Iran has no nuclear weapons program nor has it ever been interested in one.

However, Trump’s stance on Iran, as well as that of many other US politicians, is not influenced by Iran’s actions, but by Israel’s. Trump’s ties to Israel have become decidedly closer in the months since his election, likely owing to Trump’s chief strategist – Steve Bannon – being a “passionate Zionist” and Vice President Mike Pence’s strongly pro-Israel views. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said, the state of Israel’s “supreme goal” is the containment of Iran, suggesting that the US politicians who have aligned themselves with Israel also share this vision.

Though Iran’s disdain for Israel is clear, Israel has pursued its goal of “containment” in militaristic fashion, with over 200 Israeli nuclear weapons currently pointed at Iran’s capital Tehran. Israel’s government expects the same tactics from those U.S. politicians most sympathetic to its cause. It should also come as no surprise, then, that the same author of this “pre-emptive war” with Iran resolution, Congressman Alcee Hastings, received over $70,000 from the Pro-Israel lobby last election cycle. This bill and the militant posturing against Iran within US politics is a clear sign that Israel’s influence continues to overpower the national interest.

TORUN, Poland (AP) — About 2,000 NATO troops from the U.S., Britain and Poland conducted an airborne training operation on Tuesday as part of the biggest exercise performed in Poland since the 1989 end of communism and amid concerns over Russia.

This should make Russia look, oh ya they talk about nukes, but even if they used a tactical nuke, it would kill there troops as well, and make a dead zone not only in Poland, but Russia too.

This is the way to make Putin look and be scared, we need to Box them in, so that if they try and use Tactical nukes, they too will be affected, i am getting sick and tiered with all this “WE HAVE NUKES ” shit coming from Moscow. They need to start looking at what the real price will be if they try to make a Crimea attack again! Their little green men without Russian badges, that only makes them look like cowards, a real military, would show who they were, not try and hide from us.

 

Scores of U.S. troops and then military vehicles parachuted into a spacious, grassy training area on the outskirts of the central city of Torun. The force’s mission was to secure a bridge on the Vistula River as part of the Polish-led Anakonda-16 exercise that involves about 31,000 troops and runs through mid-June.

Nineteen NATO member nations and five partner nations are contributing troops to the exercise that will train and test their swift joint reaction to threats on land, sea and in the air.

Airborne forces from the U.S., Great Britain and Poland conduct a a multi-national jump on to a designated drop zone near Torun, Poland, Tuesday, June 7, 201...

Airborne forces from the U.S., Great Britain and Poland conduct a a multi-national jump on to a designated drop zone near Torun, Poland, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The exercise, Swift Response-16, sets the stage in Poland for the multi-national land force training event Anakonda-16. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

In a complex operation that was precisely planned and timed, troops of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division flew directly from their U.S. base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Their Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft were refueled in midair. The British troops flew from a NATO base in Ramstein, Germany, while the Poles arrived from their base in Krakow, in southern Poland.

The exercise “confirmed that we can count on our friends who are capable of flying over the Atlantic to be here with us in a matter of hours,” said Polish Gen. Miroslaw Rozanski, deputy commander of the exercise. “We can look into the future with calm. We have good allies and good partners.”

Russia considers NATO troops’ presence close to its border as a security threat. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Tuesday in Moscow that the military exercise in Poland “does not contribute to the atmosphere of trust and security on the continent.”

Poland and other nations in the region, as well as NATO leaders, say that any military presence or exercises are purely defensive and deterrent measures.

The drill is being held just weeks before NATO holds a crucial summit in Warsaw expected to decide that significant numbers of NATO troops and equipment will be based in Poland and in the Baltic states.

___

Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed to this report.

A C-130 plane drops paratroopers from the Polish 6th Airborne Division during a multi-national jump with soldiers and equipment from the U.S., Great Britain ...

A C-130 plane drops paratroopers from the Polish 6th Airborne Division during a multi-national jump with soldiers and equipment from the U.S., Great Britain and Poland on to a designated drop zone near Torun, Poland, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The exercise, Swift Response-16, sets the stage in Poland for the multi-national land force training event Anakonda-16. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division jump during a multi-national jump with soldiers and equipment from the U.S., Great Britain and Poland on to a design...

U.S. C-17 planes from the 82nd Airborne Division drop paratroopers during a multi-national jump with soldiers and equipment from the U.S., Great Britain and Poland on to a designated drop zone near Torun, Poland, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The exercise, Swift Response-16, sets the stage in Poland for the multi-national land force training event Anakonda-16. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division General Richard D. Clarke, left, runs after jumping during a multi-national jump conducted by forces from the U.S., G...

Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division General Richard D. Clarke, left, runs after jumping during a multi-national jump conducted by forces from the U.S., Great Britain and Poland on to a designated drop zone near Torun, Poland, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The exercise, Swift Response-16, sets the stage in Poland for the multi-national land force training event Anakonda-16. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

A British C-130J plane from the 16th Air Assault Brigade drops paratroopers during a multi-national jump with soldiers and equipment from the U.S., Great Bri...

A British C-130J plane from the 16th Air Assault Brigade drops paratroopers during a multi-national jump with soldiers and equipment from the U.S., Great Britain and Poland on to a designated drop zone near Torun, Poland, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The exercise, Swift Response-16, sets the stage in Poland for the multi-national land force training event Anakonda-16. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

A U.S. C-17 plane from the 82nd Airborne Division drops paratroopers during a multi-national jump with soldiers and equipment from the U.S., Great Britain an...

A U.S. C-17 plane from the 82nd Airborne Division drops paratroopers during a multi-national jump with soldiers and equipment from the U.S., Great Britain and Poland on to a designated drop zone near Torun, Poland, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The exercise, Swift Response-16, sets the stage in Poland for the multi-national land force training event Anakonda-16. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

China’s army is using guns and hip-hop to recruit more young people. Defiantly watch!

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has a simple message for potential recruits: We’re cool.

A promotional video released on the PLA newspaper’s website last week hammers home this point by showing explosions, shootouts, jet planes, hostage situations and unidentified men being wounded, all set to loud rap music and hard rock-esque guitars.

Chinese state media has proudly called it the “first hip-hop video made by the PLA,” and it certainly does appear to be a shift from previous videos, which featured somewhat similar visuals but tended to be accompanied by sweeping orchestral scores.

However, the rap’s lyrics may cause some of China’s neighbors concern. China Daily reportsthat the lyrics were “carefully worded to avoid being too aggressive,” but the video contains the lines “Let’s go to war, let’s fight to win” and discusses how the PLA will keep on fighting “even if a bullet passes through my chest.” The title of the video isn’t subtle, either: “Battle Declaration”

The footage also shows off a variety of modern PLA military hardware, including the J-11 fighter jet, the Liaoning aircraft carrier, and a number of spacecraft and satellites.

This isn’t the first time that a recruitment video for the PLA has used music to make its point. In 2014, it released a video featuring PLA members dancing to “Little Apple,” a popular though cheesy pop song created by the Beijing-based producers Chopstick Brothers.

US fears that Britain’s defence cuts will diminish Army on world stage

In an exclusive interview, Gen Raymond Odierno, US army Chief of Staff, says UK defence cuts are eroding his country’s confidence in our commitment to global security

US fears over cuts in British defence

Gen Odierno said that British defence cuts are already jeopardising US-UK joint operations Photo: AP

Ever since the Cold War ended more than two decades ago, America has never entertained any serious doubts about Britain’s ability to fulfil its commitment as a vital military ally when tackling threats to the Western alliance.

Until now. For the dramatic cuts to Britain’s defence budget implemented since the Coalition took power in 2010 have led to a number of senior US military officers and politicians openly questioning whether, when it comes to fighting the wars of the future, Britain has the capability to be an effective ally on the battlefield.

The Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy have all suffered cutbacks to the extent that they are no longer able to undertake the kind of missions that Britain has historically supported.

The way we were: Britain’s Maj Gen Andy Salmon and US Gen Michael Oates in Iraq, 2009

Now, General Raymond Odierno, the Chief of Staff of the US army, who has fought alongside British forces in several conflicts, including the recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, has become the latest senior officer to express his concerns in public, telling The Telegraph when I met him in Washington last week that he is “very concerned” about the impact the cuts are having.

His comments, moreover, came afterPresident Barack Obama had taken issue with David Cameron when he visited the White House in January. He warned the Prime Minister of the dangers of allowing British defence expenditure to fall below the 2 per cent of GDP threshold required by our Nato membership.

For there are growing fears that cuts will jeopardise a central tenet of the post-Second World War transatlantic alliance – namely, that Britain can be counted upon to provide military hardware to US-led campaigns in defence of Western interests.

Whether it is dealing with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, or preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for Islamist terror groups, it has been a long-standing assumption of US military planning that Britain would deploy a combat force in excess of 10,000 men, as well as the fighter aircraft and naval vessels.

During the 1991 Gulf War, for example, the famed 7th Armoured Brigade, or Desert Rats, took the lead role in the Army’s ground operations, which saw more than 50,000 British soldiers deployed to the region during the six-month campaign. The RAF, meanwhile, deployed several fighter squadrons, while Royal Navy warships were involved in a wide range of duties.

 

 

More than two decades after Saddam’s forces were defeated in that war, the world is a dangerous and unpredictable place. As Gen Odierno remarked: “This is the most uncertain global environment I have seen in 40 years of service.”

And yet, at a time when the security of Britain and the rest of the alliance faces a range of threats, none of the main political parties is showing any interest in reversing the cuts that have seriously diminished the UK’s ability to tackle them.

As a result of the budget cuts following the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Army has been cut by a fifth, the RAF now has just seven combat squadrons, compared with the 30-odd it had in the first Gulf War, and the Navy barely has enough warships to fulfil its international duties.

“We have a bilateral agreement between our two countries to work together. It is about having a partner that has very close values and the same goals as we do,” explained Gen Ordorno at the New America Foundation’s “Future of War” conference.

“What has changed, though, is the level of capability. In the past we would have a British Army division working alongside an American army division.” The cuts mean that the US military is now working on the basis that in future Britain will contribute only half that amount, if not less.

Looking at current threats to global security, Gen Odierno warned that the alliance “had to be prepared for Ukraine”, while America and its allies needed to be primed to back Iraqi government forces later this year when they launch their much-anticipated offensive to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city which fell to Isil last year.

 

 

But Britain’s spending isn’t the only cause for concern. Gen Odierno is also worried about cuts by other European allies. “The US is willing to participate, and in some cases lead, but we need our multi-national partners to help,” he said. “As we look to the threats around the world, we need to have multinational solutions. They are of concern to everyone, and we need everybody to help, assist and invest.”

The big question is whether, with the general election approaching, the concerns raised by senior American figures will persuade any of the main political parties to make defence a priority in their election manifestos.

As far as Mr Cameron is concerned, a future Conservative government would seek to make further cuts to the defence budget, with concerns already expressed that the Army could be reduced by another 20,000 personnel, making it half the size of its French equivalent.

Indeed, Philip Hammond, the former Defence Secretary, told senior officers last summer that the military would not be able to spend 2 per cent of GDP, even if the Government agreed to provide it. This asinine remark, which typifies the disdainful attitude of some senior Tories, overlooks the fact that the RAF is desperately short of combat squadrons, the Navy is still trying to work out how it will provide the expert manpower and equipment needed to operate its two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the Army is struggling to cope with the drastic reductions to its ranks.

 

 

And yet, while the Coalition shows little concern for the damage inflicted on Britain’s military capabilities, it remains committed to ring-fencing the foreign aid budget to 0.7 per cent of GDP, with the result that much-needed resources are being squandered overseas that could usefully be spent on strengthening the nation’s defences.

For example, following the Coalition’s decision to scrap the RAF’s Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft, we no longer have the ability to track the activities of Russian nuclear attack submarines in the North Sea. A simple, cost-effective replacement would be to purchase the Boeing P8 Posiedon, with similar capabilities, which the RAF estimates would cost around £200 million a year – a reasonable investment, you might think, given the state of tensions between London and Moscow.

By coincidence, £200 million is exactly the same amount of money Britain donates to India in foreign aid each year. As a result of its generosity, Britain cannot afford the P8; India, on the other hand, has a fleet of the aircraft to protect its own territorial waters.

It’s no wonder there is genuine anxiety among several Tory backbench MPs, who cannot understand why the Prime Minister won’t accept that a robust defence policy might actually be a vote-winner. Let’s hope, for all our sakes, that their arguments prevail.

Enough Already! It’s Time for the West to Arm Ukraine

UKRAINIAN TANK

MUNICH — It has become something of a mantra among diplomats and other foreign policy analysts that there is no military solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The only viable path to peace and stability, observers almost unanimously proclaim, is a diplomatic one. But, despite the recent ceasefire agreement announced in Minsk, ongoing violence — reflected in the violent expulsion of Ukrainian forces from the town of Debaltseve — strongly suggests that it is time to consider what is needed to block any Kremlin-imposed military solution.

Three influential American think tanks have already done so, and arrived at the conclusion that the United States should begin supplying Ukraine not only with more non-lethal aid — such as drones, armored Humvees, and medical equipment — but also with “lethal defensive military assistance,” in the form of light anti-armor missiles. European governments, however, remain unwilling to reconsider their position on supplying defensive equipment to Ukraine, and have instead reiterated that a diplomatic solution is the only option.

Of course, from Ukraine’s perspective, a one-on-one military confrontation with Russia is not a viable option. Last year, when separatist forces in the Donbas region appeared to be crumbling under the weight of Ukraine’s counter-offensive, it seemed possible that Ukraine would be able to reassert its sovereignty over the area. But the Kremlin quickly deployed battalion-size tactical groups from the Russian army to support the rebels. Ukraine’s relatively weak forces did not stand a chance.

The move exemplifies Russia’s commitment to do whatever it takes to prevent a military defeat of the separatist entities that it has incited and forged into fighting units — a determination that has endured, even as the conflict has placed considerable strain on its armed forces. Given this, the prospects for Ukraine to reassert control over the Donbas region militarily are so slim that even trying to do so would be foolish.

If one considers the strategic ambitions of the separatists and their Russian patrons, Ukraine’s prospects are even bleaker. Beyond supplying the separatist groups with heavy and advanced weapons, and deploying special units and forces to support them, Russia now appears to be sending in “volunteers” to train a separatist army that could ultimately go on the offensive.

Such an army, separatist leaders hope, will enable them — at the very least — to secure control over the Donbas region. They would then be positioned to secure a “Novorossiya” statelet extending along the entire Black Sea coast, up to and including Odessa. And, in all likelihood, some would even dream of an eventual march into Kyiv.

To prevent this scenario from unfolding, a robust political dialogue with the Kremlin is clearly vital, as are continued economic sanctions to make clear that Russia will pay a rising price for ongoing aggression. But trusting solely in a diplomatic dialogue and sanctions to bring about a lasting peace may be excessively optimistic.

A more comprehensive approach would focus on strengthening Ukraine in every respect. To this end, political and diplomatic support is essential. But perhaps even more important is backing for reforms aimed at eliminating corruption and promoting growth. The recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund is of immediate importance in this respect, and the agreement with the European Union on a Deep and Comprehensive Free-Trade Area is crucial to the country’s long-term transformation.

But if separatist groups, with support from Russia, believe that they can control Donbas and the Black Sea coast, efforts to rebuild Ukraine’s society and economy will amount to little. That is why Ukraine’s external partners must also help to strengthen the country’s defensive capabilities.

In such a charged situation, there will always be hotheads, eager to pursue military options. But the greater concern is the behavior of pragmatists, who identify weaknesses that can be exploited. If the Russian-backed separatists view Ukraine’s defensive capacity as a serious weakness, there will be little to compel them not to push forward in pursuit of their ambitions. A political or diplomatic solution would be next to impossible.

Security experts should identify which actions powers like the U.S. and Europe could take to improve Ukraine’s defensive capabilities. The requests for non-lethal equipment made by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the recent Munich Security Conference could provide some guidance.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others are clearly right when they say that there is no purely military solution to the conflict in Ukraine. But a year of talks and failed agreements has demonstrated that there is no purely diplomatic solution either. Only by eliminating — or at least seriously diminishing — the potential for the separatists and their Russian backers to continue their military campaign can Ukraine and its partners hope for a lasting political solution.

Russia ‘danger’ to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – Fallon | This is next, if we do nothing!

Michael Fallon

Nato must be ready for aggression in “whatever form” said Michael Fallon
here is a “real and present danger” of Russia trying to destabilise the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the UK defence secretary says.

Michael Fallon said he was worried about “pressure” from Russian President Vladimir Putin on the ex-Soviet states, which are Nato members.

Russia might use tactics there similar to those it used in Ukraine, he said.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander told the BBC he too had “very real concerns” about the situation.

Mr Fallon’s comments came after PM David Cameron called on Europe to tell Russia it faced economic and financial consequences for “many years to come” if it did not stop destabilising Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence has said RAF jets were scrambled on Wednesday after two Russian military aircraft were seen off the Cornwall coast.

‘Getting ready’

Speaking to journalists from the Times and Daily Telegraph during a flight to Sierra Leone, where British troops are helping tackle the Ebola outbreak, Mr Fallon said: “I’m worried about Putin.

“I’m worried about his pressure on the Baltics, the way he is testing Nato.”

He said Nato must be prepared for aggression from Russia “in whatever form it takes” – because Russia was likely to use covert tactics such as those he said it had used to annex Crimea and during the current Ukraine conflict.

Russia has denied helping pro-Russian separatists, but it has been repeatedly accused of sending weapons and troops and using propaganda to inflame tensions.

Two tanks manned by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine

Jonathan Marcus, BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent

The comments from Defence Secretary Michael Fallon are an indication of a fundamental shift in the Nato perception of the crisis in Ukraine.

Nato governments clearly believe that what began as a localised Ukraine problem that strained ties with Moscow has now become a Russia problem, and a Russia problem that is likely to persist for some time.

Ukraine is thus seen as a manifestation of a much broader policy shift on the part of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Fallon’s belief that there is indeed a potential threat to Nato territory – in particular the Baltic Republics – is widely shared; hence Nato’s desire to underline in the most emphatic terms that its security guarantees to its members will be honoured in full.

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Mr Fallon went on: “When you have jets being flown up the English Channel, when you have submarines in the North Sea, it looks to me like it’s [the situation is] warming up,” he said.

Mr Cameron warned that rebels in eastern Ukraine were using Russian military hardware, pointing out: “You can’t buy this equipment on eBay, it hasn’t come from somewhere else, it’s come from Russia and we know that.”

He added that one of the principles of Nato – which is made up of 26 European countries as well as the US and Canada – is that an “attack against one or several members is considered as an attack against all”.

The Baltic states and Russia

Elsewhere, Admiral Lord West, a former First Sea Lord and Nato commander, said it was important Nato “stands united at this dangerous and difficult moment”.

It could not afford to let a line in the sand be crossed if Russia interfered with the Baltic states, he said.

The UK Joint Delegation to Nato tweeted that Russia had deployed the country’s “most advanced anti-aircraft artillery system” in Ukraine.

Terrifying footage of rocket attack launched in residential area of Ukraine that has left at least six civilians dead

FuckYouPutin

  • Six civilians killed in rocket attack on Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine
  • Military headquarters also hit during two minute long bombardment 
  • Scene of the strikes is more than 30 miles from the front-lines  
  • Said the rockets had been fired from the rebel-controlled Horlivka area 
  • Increase in fighting comes ahead of peace talks in the region 

This is the terrifying moment that a rocket attack was launched on a residential area of Ukraine leaving at least six civilians dead.

More than 20 explosions were seen striking homes and buildings during the two minute attack on Kramatorsk, a town about 30 miles from the front lines.

Ukraine’s military headquarters in the east of the country, from where Kiev military directs its campaign against pro-Russian separatists, were also hit.

Local officials said at least six people were killed in the bombardment that left a further 21 injured.

Scroll down for video 

At least six civilians were killed after rockets hit the residential town of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine

At least six civilians were killed after rockets hit the residential town of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine

More than 20 strikes were carried out in Kramatorsk in a matter of minutes during the rebel attack

More than 20 strikes were carried out in Kramatorsk in a matter of minutes during the rebel attack

Photos from the scene, showing an artillery shell stuck in the ground next to a residential building and two bodies lying nearby.

In the two minute long video clip the woman filming can be heard repeatedly screaming ‘boys,’Vocativ reported.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told parliament that Russian-backed rebels launched an artillery strike on the town. 

He said: ‘Twenty-five minutes ago, the main headquarters of our anti-terrorist operation took a strike from a Tornado rocket. The headquarters took this strike, but a second strike was carried out on residential areas of Kramatorsk.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told parliament that Russian-backed rebels launched the artillery strike on the town

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told parliament that Russian-backed rebels launched the artillery strike on the town

Kramatorsk was the site of major fighting until July when pro-Russian separatists retreated

Kramatorsk was the site of major fighting until July when pro-Russian separatists retreated

In the two minute long video clip the woman filming can be heard repeatedly screaming 'boys,'

In the two minute long video clip the woman filming can be heard repeatedly screaming ‘boys,’

‘There is information about wounded service personnel. There is information about a significant number of wounded among civilians,’ he added.

The government-controlled Donetsk regional administration said the rockets had been fired from the rebel-controlled Horlivka area, which is about 50 km away from Kramatorsk.

Kramatorsk was the site of major fighting until July when pro-Russian separatists retreated.

The fighting, which the UN says has killed more than 5,300 people since April, comes ahead of a crucial summit involving Western leaders tomorrow, as well as peace talks later today.

The volunteer Azov battalion, loyal to Kiev, said on social media that it had captured several villages north east of the strategic port of Mariupol, pushing the rebels closer to the border with Russia.

However, rebel military spokesman Eduard Basurin said in a televised news conference the rebels had not retreated.

A rocket shell in the street in the town of Kramatorsk

A rocket shell in the street in the town of Kramatorsk

The Azov said rebels shelled the village of Kominternove, east of Mariupol, causing unspecified civilian casualties.

The rebels also reported advances. Mr Basurin said they had surrounded the railway hub of Debaltseve, the focus of fierce fighting in past weeks, cutting it off from a major road.

A video posted online by a rebel-sympathisng website showed separatists moving along the route while the bloodied bodies of Ukrainian soldiers lay on the side of the road.

At least seven Ukrainian troops were killed overnight in the east, military spokesman Anatoliy Matyukhin said. In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, which comes under constant shelling, two civilians were killed and 12 injured.

The fierce fighting and a mounting death toll comes amid renewed efforts to work out a peaceful solution in a conflict that has displaced at least a million people and left the powerhouse of the Ukrainian economy in ruins.

Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, rebels and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe are meeting for long-anticipated talks later today in Minsk to lay the groundwork for a meeting tomorrow between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.

The Kremlin today warned the West ahead of the talks against sending weapons to Ukraine or putting pressure on Russia.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told the Russian News Service radio station that any talk about imposing new sanctions on Russia or arming the Ukraine government would destabilise the situation.

In Washington yesterday, President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel rallied behind efforts to reach a long-shot diplomatic resolution to the conflict, but they offered no clear path for how the West would proceed if talks this week fail.

Ms Merkel staunchly opposed arming Ukraine’s beleaguered military while Mr Obama dangled the prospect that the US could for the first time send weapons to Ukraine.

Relatives crying over the body of a victim of the shelling in the residential area of  Kramotorsk, Ukraine

Relatives crying over the body of a victim of the shelling in the residential area of  Kramotorsk, Ukraine

Drone wars: the gamers recruited to kill – video included, a must see!

In In tiny bunkers in the United States, young pilots are operating unmanned drones targeting ‘bad people’ in Pakistan. Recruited at video game fairs by military leaders who know the value of games that glamourise ‘militainment’, drone pilots are left traumatised by the civilian casualties – or ‘collateral damage’ – their strikes cause. Psychologically distanced from the enemy, are drones the future of warfare?

 This is an extract from the film Drone by Flimmer Filmtiny bunkers in the United States, young pilots are operating unmanned drones targeting ‘bad people’ in Pakistan. Recruited at video game fairs by military leaders who know the value of games that glamourise ‘militainment’, drone pilots are left traumatised by the civilian casualties – or ‘collateral damage’ – their strikes cause. Psychologically distanced from the enemy, are drones the future of warfare?



 This is an extract from the film Drone by Flimmer Film

New Year bomb attack on ISIS: America launches TWENTY NINE air strikes | We include 15 mins of great ISIS Death.

Graphic Message to ISIS from Middle Eastern Feminists

Syria and Iraq in blitz against extremists

  • In total 17 bombs were dropped on Syria and another 12 on Iraq targets
  • Raids destroyed vehicles, building and units belonging to Islamic State
  • Onslaught brings number of strikes since Christmas to more than 100

U.S. and Arab war planes launched 29 air strikes against Islamic State fighters and buildings across both Iraq and Syria overnight, according to military chiefs.

Syrian targets included he Islamic State’s defacto capital of Raqqa, and Kobane where Kurdish Peshmerga and YPG forces have been involved in street battles with extremists for months.

The city of Dayr az Zawr, which contains 600,000 people and is the largest in Syria’s east was also among the cities hit.

In Iraq targets were hit around the town of Mosul, which contains an important dam, Fallujah, which is located just to the east of Baghdad, and Sinjar, which thousands of Yazidis were forced to flee after ISIS fighters took the town earlier this year.

Scroll down for video, 15 minutes of great ISIS Death!

U.S.-led coalition warplanes hit 29 targets in Iraq and Syria yesterday destroying buildings, vehicles and units, including in the town of Kobane (pictured) where ISIS are still fighting Kurdish forces

U.S.-led coalition warplanes hit 29 targets in Iraq and Syria yesterday destroying buildings, vehicles and units, including in the town of Kobane (pictured) where ISIS are still fighting Kurdish forces

In total 17 bombs were dropped over Syria and another 12 over Iraq, though the exact split between the target cities has not been announced.

Chiefs of the Combined Joint Task Force said buildings, fighting positions and units were all hit during the bombing runs, but did not give information on exactly what was destroyed or how many casualties there were.

ISIS has been engaged in street battles with Kurdish Peshmerga and YPG units in Kobane for months, as airstrikes attempt to weaken the opposition

ISIS has been engaged in street battles with Kurdish Peshmerga and YPG units in Kobane for months, as airstrikes attempt to weaken the opposition

The latest round of bombings against ISIS targets in the Middle east takes the number of strikes since Christmas above 100, as the U.S.-led coalition attempts to weaken the radical group.

As well as key towns such as Raqqa and Kobane, strikes have also hit Al Asad, Al Qaim, Baiji, Kirkuk and Tal Afar in Iraq.

As the bombing runs were carried out last night Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad went to deliver a New Year’s message to troops in the east Damascus district of Jobar last night.

State TV showed the despot having dinner with soldiers and pro-government gunmen during the rare appearance.

The news came as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that the death toll from the four-year civil war topped 76,000 in the last year alone.

An estimated 17,790 were civilians, including 3,501 children, making it the deadliest year of the war.

Heavy fighting in the strategic neighbourhood killed at least 25 Syrian soldiers and pro-regime militia on Wednesday before the visit, the observatory said.

Assad was shown sharing a meal of baked beans, boiled potatoes and tomatoes with soldiers and pro-government gunmen known as National Defense Forces.

The fresh wave of bombings brings the number of coalition strikes since Christmas above 100, as forces loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad also hit targets in Damascus yesterday

The fresh wave of bombings brings the number of coalition strikes since Christmas above 100, as forces loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad also hit targets in Damascus yesterday

A child is treated for head wounds at a medical centre in Damascus as Assad's forces launched strikes. More than 76,000 people died in the civil war last year

A child is treated for head wounds at a medical centre in Damascus as Assad’s forces launched strikes. More than 76,000 people died in the civil war last year

Last year was the deadliest of the four-year conflict in Syria, with 18,000 civilians killed after being caught in the fighting with 3,500 of those being children

Last year was the deadliest of the four-year conflict in Syria, with 18,000 civilians killed after being caught in the fighting with 3,500 of those being children

And now your video!

Captive Jordanian pilot: IS will kill me | And we show you ISIS Being wiped out by Air Strike In Syria!

FAs much as we feel for the Pilot, , and his family, we also belive in Every ISIS Fighter being killed! Here first is a short Video of Great ISIS fighters being wiped out, and the the story about , First Lieutenant Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh from Jordan.

Now the story on, First Lieutenant Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh from Jordan. Note: We also believe that ISIS did not shoot down the Jet, and we will not help ISIS with there Propaganda.

What follows is the story on, First Lieutenant Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh from Jordan.

First Lieutenant Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh

Captive Jordanian pilot: IS will kill me

In purported interview with Islamic State, 26-year-old pilot captured last week explains how he was shot down in Syria, says flight mission was coordinated with US base in Qatar.

The Islamic State published on Monday a purported interview with the Jordanian pilot captured last week after his plane crashed in northern Syria. In his statements in the extremist group’s monthly English-language magazine, First Lieutenant Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh explained how his plane was shot down while he was flying a mission for the US-led coalition, and said he was aware of his fate at the hands of his captors.

“We took off to Iraq from Muwaffaq al-Salti Air Base – in the city of al-Azraq in Zarqā’ Governorate – at 6:15 AM,” the 26-year old pilot said.

“We received aerial refueling at 7:55, then went to the waiting area where we were met up by a party consisting of Saudi F15s, Emirati F16s, and Moroccan F16s. We entered the region of arRaqqah to sweep the area, then the striker jets entered to begin their attack. My plane was struck by a heat-seeking missile. I heard and felt its hit,” al-Kaseasbeh explained.

 

Upon being asked if he had “met the American crusaders”, al-Kaseasbeh responded “of course” and shared information about the soldiers stationed at the Royal Jordanian Air Force located in Azraq: “There are around 200 Americans in Muwaffaq al-Salti Air Base. Amongst them, there are about 16 US pilots, one of which is female, with the remainder of the 200 serving as technicians, engineers, and in other support roles.

 

“The Americans sometimes have dinner with us and eat mansaf, which they like a lot. Their talk does not include details about operations because of matters of secrecy and security,” he added.

 

Wreckage of Jordanian airplane
Wreckage of Jordanian airplane

 

First Lieutenant al-Kasaesbah was born in 1988 and lived in the city of Al Karak south of Amman. In 2006, he began his studies at the Royal Jordanian Air Force Academy. Al-Kasaesbah completed his studies in 2009 and joined the Jordanian Air Force. Before his summer wedding, he made pilgrimage to Mecca and then joined the coalition against the Islamic State.

 

Towards the end of the interview, al-Kasaesbah was asked whether he had seen videos of executions of captured enemy fighters, to which he responded: “No, I haven’t.”

 

The interview is concluded with the question: “Do you know what the Islamic State will do with you?”

To which he responds: ” Yes… They will kill me…”

Islamic State takes the Jordanian pilot captive (Photo: EPA)
Islamic State takes the Jordanian pilot captive (Photo: EPA)

 

Reports of al-Kasaesbah’s capture were spread around the world and among social networks on Wednesday. “We are all Muath al-Kasaesbah” became a popular hash tag on Twitter on Wednesday evening – initiated by many Jordanians who fear for the pilot’s fate.

 

Al-Kasaesbah married last summer and only finished flight school in recent months. His father, Youssef, urged the public to support the family. “I pray that Allah will plant mercy in their hearts and they will release him.”

 

“He believed he needed to join the attacks against Daesh in order to protect innocent people from the tragedies they cause them,” said one of the captured pilot’s brothers.

 

The United States has denied that IS shot down the Jordanian aircraft. The head of the US military’s Central Command, Gen. Lloyd Austin, said the US will not tolerate IS’s “attempts to misrepresent or exploit this unfortunate aircraft crash for their own purposes.”