Friday, September 4, 2015

News Analysis

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Turkish fighter jets have struck Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria and Iraq yesterday. This action was followed by the detention of hundreds of suspected Kurdish militants, in a coordinated crackdown, as Ankara deployed military force for the first time against the terrorist group, in retaliation to ISIS suicide attacks and assassination of Turkish policemen, attributed to the PKK.

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Op-Ed by David Eshel: The fact that Israel failed to thwart the agreement and even failed to influence its content is a total failure. Netanyahu is acting like a person convinced that this is a battle over Israel's actual existence. He is wrong: Israel will continue to exist. Israel is strong and very far from facing another Holocaust.

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With the momentum established by extremist groups in Syria continues, the course of the Syrian war is expected to change in upcoming months. Following the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seize of Palmyra in the central Syrian desert on May 20, 2015, ISIS is positioned at the entrance to Syria’s central corridor.

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After four years of keeping to the sidelines, Israel's position is becoming more precarious, particularly as it relates to the Druze community, a threatened people inside Syria and a vocal one across Israel's northern border on the Golan Heights.

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Officially Riyadh views the Islamic extremism as a terrorist organization that poses a direct threat to the kingdom's security. informally, the Saudi regime is paying the Islamic extremist factions huge sums of money to save its own involvement in the conflict; a traditional attitude, the House of Saud has maintained, whenever a dangerous situation has developed.

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If the framework for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran's nuclear program is successfully carried forward it will be a major achievement but also a great risk for the region and the entire world, as Iran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles capable of carrying WMDs throughout the Middle East. Moreover, Iran’s progress on space launch vehicles provides Tehran with the means and motivation to develop longer-range missiles, potentially deterring the USA and its allies

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Kurganets-25 represents two members of a new family of medium armored vehicles designed to replace the BMP-2 and MT-LB platforms in mechanized formations of the Russian Army. As their predecessors, the new vehicles have amphibious (swimming) capability, enabling uninterrupted mobility across rivers. The Kurganets is manufactured by Kurganmashzavod, the plant that produced the previous generations of BMP-1, BMP-2 and BMP-3 vehicles.

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Despite the Kurdish cheer, senior US State Department official told Reuters the setback for Islamic State in Kobani did not mean "anyone is declaring mission accomplished or this is a significant turning point."

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As the Western US lead coalition allies are dragging their feet trying to curb ISIS operations in the Middle East, it seems that the coveted "boots on the ground" could eventually come from the east - where China faces a growing ISIS-inspired subversive activity in the strategic Xinjiang province.

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As the Islamic State continues its armed campaign in Iraq and Syria, its ideology is drawing fans and fighters from as far as Southern Asia and China. While the attack in Australia drew the world attention to the threat from 'lone wolf' attacks by ISIS volunteers returning home, elsewhere in Asia insurgency is more organized - four new terrorist organizations are already aiming to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the Far East region called Daulah Islamiah Nusantara that is to comprise Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, southern Thailand and southern Philippines.

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Libya and its ongoing battle between Islamists and non-Islamist forces presents a nearby breeding ground for ISIS. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is facing one of his biggest foreign policy problems with the Libyan civil war.

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The Iranian air defense command has introduced a third generation evolution of the Hawk missile, locally designated ‘Shalamcheh’, operated along with new radar and ELINT systems. The Iranian Army has also tested its new Mohajer type drones during the recent exercises.

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Raytheon Company has received a $2.4 billion Foreign Military Sales contract for fire units of the Patriot Air & Missile Defense System for the State of Qatar. The acquisition is part of an Armed Services modernization and recapitalization effort announced by Qatar in March of this year. The US part - including the Boeing Apache helicopters, Patriot and Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin missile were valued at $11 billion dollars.

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With the situation in Iraq and Syria changed, energy become key to the improving relationship between Ankara and the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. Working together, they could also halt, or even defeat their common enemy - ISIS - from becoming a regional power.

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