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Posts Tagged ‘Arms’

​Over 5,000 Kalashnikovs, other guns stolen from Ukrainian military bases – report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 15, 2014

Reuters / Eduard Kornienko:

kalashnikov-2.si

Fears of possible armed assaults and provocation in Ukraine and neighboring countries are on the rise after yet another report that rocket grenade launchers, firearms and munitions have been stolen from a military warehouse in western Ukraine.

A source in the Ukrainian Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti that the coup appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has recently been notified that a large cache of guns and ammunition was missing from one of the military warehouses.

“Reports to Avakov indicate that over 5,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 2,741 Makarov handguns, 123 light machineguns and 12 Shmel rocket launchers were stolen from the Interior Troops’ depots in the Lvov Region in late February,” the source said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Netanyahu agreed to ceasefire after Obama promised US troops in Sinai next week?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 24, 2012

Israel and Palestine are momentarily at a ceasefire, but the potential reasoning behind the recess could have some real international implications. Israel’s Debka reports that the pause in fighting comes after the US promised to send troops to Sinai.

According to Debka, US troops will soon be en route to the Sinai peninsula, Egyptian territory in North Africa that’s framed by the Suez Canal on the West and Israel on the East. In its northeast most point, Sinai is but a stone’s throw from Palestinian-controlled Gaza, and according to Debka, Hamas fighters there have been relying on Iranian arms smugglers to supply them with weaponry by way of Egypt.

Debka reports this week that Sinai will soon be occupied by US troops, who were promised by President Barack Obama to Israel’s leaders as a condition that a ceasefire be called. Once deployed, the Americans will intervene with the rumored arms trade orchestrated by Iranians, ideally cutting off supplies for Hamas while at the same time serving as a thorn in the side of Iran.

“Once the missile and arms consignments depart Iranian ports or Libyan arms bazaars, Tehran has no direct control of their transit from point to point through Egypt until they reach Sinai and their Gaza destination,” Debka reports. “All the same, a US special forces operation against the Sinai segment of the Iranian smuggling route would count as the first overt American military strike against an Iranian military interest.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Military intervention in Syria will lead to catastrophe – Lavrov

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 19, 2012

Military action in Syria will lead to catastrophe, Russia’s Foreign Minister has said. Russia opposes US demands for a no-fly zone over Syria, he said, adding that the solution to the ongoing conflict is the Geneva accord peace plan.

The international community reached an agreement in Geneva in June calling for a transitional government in Syria to bring an end to ongoing and bloody conflict in the country.

Different interpretations of the document began to emerge shortly after the accord was adopted, with Washington insisting that the document required that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leave power. Moscow contested this interpretation, saying the document made no such claim.

“Statements, saying the document [Geneva accord] is as good as dead imply that someone seeks a pretext for military intervention. This is worrying as it can only lead to catastrophe in the region,” Lavrov said in an interview with Sky News Arabic.

Any proposal that stipulates the disarmament of only one party in the conflict was “unrealistic,” he said, adding that“Such proposals are aimed at regime change and not at curtailing the conflict and saving Syrian lives.”

Russia does not support the Assad regime, but rather works in the interest of the Syrian people and regards ending the ongoing violence in the country as its priority, Lavrov said. Moscow also rejects the imposition of any no-fly zone over Syria as a violation of Syrian sovereignty, he said, referencing recent statements by Washington. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clinton: Russia and China will ‘pay price’ for supporting Assad

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 7, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People" at the MFA Conference Center July 6, 2012 in Paris, France (AFP Photo Pool/Brendan Smialowski)

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a meeting of the “Friends of the Syrian People” at the MFA Conference Center July 6, 2012 in Paris, France (AFP Photo Pool/Brendan Smialowski)

Russia rejects in the strongest possible terms allegations that it supports President Assad in the Syrian conflict. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Moscow and Beijing must ‘pay a price’ for backing Assad.

“I do not believe that Russia and China are paying any price at all – nothing at all – for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime.  The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price,” Clinton warned.­

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov  said the west is operating within a friend-or-foe framework that he called outmoded.

“We categorically reject that such a question would even be posed regarding the current situation in Syria and Russia’s ‘backing’ of President Bashar Assad. This is not a question of supporting certain political figures or leaders. This is a question of managing a crisis situation in the country within a normal political framework,” Ryabkov said.

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to get a basic understanding from our western partners. The west is still appealing to “friend-or-foe” terms. We considered such terminology to be a thing of the past,” Ryabkov explained.

Russia and China once again opted not to attend the “Friends of Syria” meeting. Neither Moscow nor Beijing believe the meeting in the French capital will be helpful in uniting the Syrian opposition “on a constructive basis”.

We have frankly laid out the reasons why we have restrained from joining the mechanism, the very name of which has a contradiction between the word and the deed,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this week. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran boasts it could wipe out US presence in Middle East in minutes

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 5, 2012

In a picture obtained from Iran's ISNA news agency on July 3, 2012, shows AN Iranian short-range missile (Fateh) launched during the second day of military exercises, codenamed Great Prophet-7, for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards at an undisclosed location in Iran's Kavir Desert. (AFP Photo/ISNA/Arash Kyamoushi)

In a picture obtained from Iran’s ISNA news agency on July 3, 2012, shows AN Iranian short-range missile (Fateh) launched during the second day of military exercises, codenamed Great Prophet-7, for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards at an undisclosed location in Iran’s Kavir Desert. (AFP Photo/ISNA/Arash Kyamoushi)

Iran claims it has the capability to destroy US bases “within minutes” after concluding a massive military exercise in which it launched hundreds of missiles.

“[US] bases are all in range of our missiles, and the occupied lands [Israel] are also good targets for us,” Amir Ali Haji Zadeh, commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard told the FARS news agency.

The three-day Great Prophet 7 training exercise wrapped up on Wednesday. It simulated rapidly releasing batteries of guided missiles and Iran-made drones at mock-ups of US bases.

Haji Zadesh claimed that 35 US bases are within the 2,000 km range of Iran’s rockets, although the actual number of bases within this area is closer to 10.

The aggressive rhetoric comes on the back of a spike in tension between Iran and the US, already locked in a long-running stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program. Washington and the EU believe it is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, while Tehran denies the accusations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia and China pull together to counter US Asia drive

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 6, 2012

Chinese sailors march pass the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov berthed at a naval base in Qingdao, northeastern China on April 23, 2012 (China Out/AFP Photo)

Chinese sailors march pass the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov berthed at a naval base in Qingdao, northeastern China on April 23, 2012 (China Out/AFP Photo)

President Vladimir Putin has said Russia will cement its military alliance with China, including an increase in joint exercises in the Asia-Pacific. The move follows a US pledge to step up its naval presence in Asia in a bid to extend its influence.

“Recently joint navy exercises were held in the Yellow Sea, and they were the first of such exercises. We have agreed with Chairman Hu that we will continue such cooperation,” Putin said following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in Beijing.

The Russian leader said that security in the Asia-Pacific region was a top priority for both countries and they will work together to further develop ties. Read the rest of this entry »

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Going Ballistic: Pakistan prepares nuclear-capable missile test

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 20, 2012

image from http://www.defence.pk

Pakistan will yet again test a ballistic missile by the end of the month, heating up the burgeoning arms race on the Indian subcontinent.

This is the third missile test to be conducted by the Pakistani Armed Forces in recent times.

News of the nuclear-capable ballistic missile launch broke on the Pakistani-based Geo News Saturday, Pakistan Defense reports.

Nasr, the Arabic word for “victory’, is a Battlefield Range Ballistic Missile (BRBM) that uses the solid fuel propellant system. It has an effective operation range of up to 110 miles and is capable of being armed with both nuclear and conventional high-explosive warheads.

The Pakistani military says the next generation system was specially designed to quickly react to a variety of threats. Read the rest of this entry »

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Congress opens door for US war with Iran

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 19, 2012

Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters (Reuters / Handout)

                                                                Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters (Reuters / Handout)

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution on Iran that moves the United States much closer to a war footing against Iran as many experts and diplomats warn America is ready for attack.

The vote undermines the 5+1 Iranian nuclear talks scheduled for next week, in which the US will participate and which many in the pro-war camp want to sabotage.

Ahead of the vote Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a tough critic of the resolution and one of the few who voted against it, warned that the US is “getting ready for war against Iran” with Thursday’s vote.

The non-binding resolution H.Res.568 that overwhelmingly passed 401-11, effectively calls for a military attack on Iran when it obtains “nuclear weapons capability.” The vague interpretation, critics say, already applies to Iran, not to mention Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands, and actually any other country with a civilian nuclear program.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, warned “This resolution reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war, and could be the precursor for a war with Iran. It’s effectively a thinly-disguised effort to bless war.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Keep guessing: US deploying fighter jets to the Gulf?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 29, 2012

F-22 Raptor fighter jet (Lockheed Martin via Getty Images / AFP)

F-22 Raptor fighter jet (Lockheed Martin via Getty Images / AFP)

The US says it has deployed a number of its most modern jet fighters to an air base in Southwest Asia. The announcement alarmed many, who suspect the base is actually in the United Arab Emirates just 200 hundred miles from Iran.

The Air Force did not specify the exact number or location of the recently-deployed F-22 Raptors, but confirmed that they had been sent to a base in Southwest Asia, a region that includes the UAE.

“Such deployments strengthen military-to-military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces, equipment and procedures,” said Air Force spokesman Capt. Phil Ventura.

Numerous reports assert that the planes have been deployed in the United Arab Emirates, just 200 miles from Iran’s mainland.

The move is viewed by many as a precautionary measure ahead of crucial nuclear talks with Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

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Satellite images show activity at N. Korea nuclear site

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 28, 2012

Photo shows work at North Korea nuclear test site (Associated Press / DigitalGlobe)

Photo shows work at North Korea nuclear test site (Associated Press / DigitalGlobe)

Satellite imagery reveals an escalation in activity at North Korea’s Punggye-ri atomic site in possible preparation for a third nuclear test, experts say. However, there is no clear indication from the photos when the test may occur.

The images from a US-based website highlight a chain of mining carts on piles of excavated soil. This coincides with South Korean intelligence reports at the beginning of April claiming that the North was digging a new tunnel at the Punggye-ri for the purposes of a covert nuclear test.

The US-Korea Institute at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies analyzed the photos taken between March 8 and April 18 by a private satellite operator. The most recent images suggest that 8,000 cubic meters of rubble have been excavated at Punggye-ri. North Korea carried out two atomic bomb tests at the site in 2006 and 2009.

“While it’s very clear from looking at these photos that the North has stepped up preparations for a nuclear test over the past few months, it’s unclear exactly when the blast will occur,”  Joel Wit, editor of the institute’s website said to the Associated Press.

He added that upon close examination there has been “a lot of activity at the site” where “you can clearly see vehicles” and objects being moved around. Read the rest of this entry »

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US taxpayers shelling out billions for faulty weapons

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 25, 2012

In this undated image released by the US Navy, the new F-35C Joint Strike Fighter is seen during a test flight over the state of Maryland (AFP Photo / US NAVY / HO)

In this undated image released by the US Navy, the new F-35C Joint Strike Fighter is seen during a test flight over the state of Maryland (AFP Photo / US NAVY / HO)

The Pentagon has frittered away billions in taxpayer cash on not fully tested arms, a government watchdog report says. While the policy grants the military access to cutting-edge technology, the public can be left footing the bill for faulty weapons.

A report issued by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Friday shed light on the controversial policy of“concurrency” which approves untested weapons for production and use.

“While some concurrency is understandable, committing to product development before requirements are understood and technologies mature, or committing to production and fielding before development is complete, is a high-risk strategy that often results in performance shortfalls, unexpected cost increases, schedule delays and test problems,” said the report.

The investigations focused specifically on the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) that has spent over $80 billion since its creation in 2002. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ultimate ‘zombie’ mind control: Myths and facts about weapons of the future

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 9, 2012

Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

ArmsMilitaryRussiaSciTech

A speech by the Russian Defense Minister promising to modernize his army caused a firestorm in the Western media – which accused Russia of developing mind control weapons that turn people into zombies. The truth is more complex, but no less scary.

The development of weaponry based on new physics principles – direct-energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, genetic weapons, psychotronic weapons, and so on – is part of the state arms procurement program until 2020,” Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov reported to President-in-waiting Vladimir Putin during their latest meeting.

Some media focused on “psychotronic” weapons – wonder devices that use energy waves to control enemy behavior, effectively turning him into a “zombie.” Several papers went on to speculate that these would be used internally against political “dissidents.”

While rumors of Soviet, then Russian psychotronic weapons have surfaced repeatedly for decades, not one has been able to produce a working psychotronic gun, or even explain what mystery rays would allow its owner to control other people’s brains. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clinton offers Gulf states joint AMD shield against Iran

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 31, 2012

From left to right: Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad Al-Sabah, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal attend a US- Gulf Cooperation Council forum at the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat on March 31, 2012 in Riyadh. (AFP Photo / Fayez Nureldine) 

From left to right: Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad Al-Sabah, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal attend a US- Gulf Cooperation Council forum at the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat on March 31, 2012 in Riyadh. (AFP Photo / Fayez Nureldine)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has proposed improved strategies with Arab Gulf states on maritime security and missile defense to counter the threat of Iran.

Clinton told a security conference in Saudi Arabia on Saturday that US commitment to the Gulf is “rock-solid and unwavering.” She stressed the US and Gulf governments share concerns about Iran’s nuclear activity and that partnership with the US has “enormous potential” to advance common interests.

Raising security ties from a bilateral to a multilateral level, Clinton is breaking new ground by taking part in the first strategic cooperation forum between Washington and the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

She said the US and Gulf States should take “practical and specific steps to strengthen mutual security, such as helping militaries improve interoperability, cooperate on maritime security and missile defense, and coordinate responses to crises.” US officials have said it is a US “priority” to help the GCC build a “regional missile defense architecture” against what they see as a looming ballistic missile threat from Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Great weapon’: Pentagon ‘superbomb’ Iran strike would outdo Israel

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 9, 2012

Massive ordnance penetrator (image from http://www.worldaffairsboard.com)

Massive ordnance penetrator (image from http://www.worldaffairsboard.com)

The US may use a 13,600-kilogram bunker-buster bomb that is currently being developed for a strike on countries like Iran. The “great weapon” is designed to knock out underground nuclear facilities and would supersede Israeli force if used in Iran.

“It has great capability now and we are continuing to make it better. It is part of our arsenal and it will be a potential if we need it in that kind of scenario,” said Lt. Gen. Carlisle at a US defense conference on Thursday.

The weapon, known as “the massive ordnance penetrator”, is capable of smashing through 65 meters of reinforced concrete before detonating its target.

The Pentagon has already begun work on an array of military options if the heavy sanctions currently imposed on Iran fail to curb its alleged atomic weapons program. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told US publication The National Journal that such plans had been in the pipeline “for a long time.”

Panetta went on to say that if a strike was made on Iran’s atomic weapons facilities then the US was better equipped to do it than Israel.

“If they decided to do it there’s no question that it would have an impact, but I think it’s also clear that if the United States did it we would have a hell of a bigger impact,” said Panetta.

Although the Obama administration has emphasized that it prefers diplomatic and economic sanctions to pressure Iran into curtailing its military activities, Panetta and Obama have said that “no options are off the table.”

“As the president himself has said, I don’t believe they’ve made a final decision here,” stressed Panetta, saying that he was confident that the US was “weighing all of the ramifications of how best to deal with Iran.” Read the rest of this entry »

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X-37B: Secret space plane 1 year on mystery mission

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 9, 2012

The US Air Force’s highly secret robotic space plane continues to circle our planet a year after being launched, with no authoritative version of the shadowy mission purpose presented to public.

Since the original test mission of the first X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle One (OTV-1) that was performed in April 2010 and lasted the promised 270 days, the US Air Force has been insisting the X-37 program is a purely scientific undertaking and a testing platform of new technology.

Very little has been revealed about the spacecraft. The only information available on the successive OTV-2 mission launched on March 5, 2011, with an Atlas 5 booster rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is that the space plane is an 8.8-meter- long and 4.5-meter-wide solar-powered vehicle.

The experimental spacecraft was supposed to return to an airstrip in California nine months later in December – but that never happened.

The X-37B spacecraft (AFP Photo / US Air Force)
The X-37B spacecraft (AFP Photo / US Air Force)

In the meantime, a third X-37B space plane mission is being prepared with a launch possibly going to be performed before the end of this year.

From the very beginning space enthusiasts have been proposing different versions of what the spacecraft is supposed to do while circling the planet at declared orbits varying from 200 to 750 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

Personnel inspecting the X-37B (OTV-1) after landing on December 3, 2010 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (AFP Photo / US Air Force)
Personnel inspecting the X-37B (OTV-1) after landing on December 3, 2010 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (AFP Photo / US Air Force) Read the rest of this entry »

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