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Panetta Signs Order to Deploy 400 U.S. Personnel to Turkey


Posted on December 16, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Source US Department of Defense

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey, Dec. 14, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has signed an order that will deploy 400 U.S. personnel to Turkey to support the deployment that NATO agreed to recently of Patriot missile capability there, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.

Panetta signed the agreement en route to Turkey as he wrapped up a trip this week that included time in Kuwait and Afghanistan with civilian and military leaders.

He visited the troops to thank them for their dedication and sacrifice, and for spending another holiday season away from family and friends.

While in Kabul the secretary also met with Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF regional commanders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“The United States has been supporting Turkey in its efforts to defend itself,” Little said. “NATO has recently offered up Patriot missile battery capability to Turkey, [which] is a very strong ally of the United States.”

American forces in Europe will be in three types of bases.

  1. The first are main operating bases, installations like Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain. These bases will remain hubs and have American forces assigned to them.
  2. The second are called forward-operating sites. These bases are “light-switch operations” — meaning all troops arriving have to do is turn the lights on and operations can proceed. Examples of these bases are Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, Camp Eagle in Bosnia, and Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. There will also be forward-operating sites in Morocco, Tunisia, Bulgaria and Romania. Essentially, the US knows what is there, and knows what to bring when we come,” Jones said. “We can go from a zero presence to an operating base very quickly.”
  3. The third type of bases are called a cooperative security sites. These could be as small as a fueling agreement or as complicated as a few American contractors ensuring facilities are ready for U.S. troops to operate. These will be an inventory of geographical locations that if the US needed them, it will be pre-agreed with host nations that the US can have access to these bases. The key to the new footprint is an effective pre-positioning program. Global Security

Little said he expects the troops to be deployed in the coming weeks.

“I’m not going to go into precise locations at this time, he added, “but I wanted to let you … know that we signed that order and that we are prepared in the context of NATO to support the defense of Turkey for an unspecified period of time.”

The personnel will deploy to Turkey to operate two U.S. Patriot missile batteries once they are in place, he said.
“The purpose of this deployment is to signal very strongly that the United States, working closely with our NATO allies, is going to support the defense of Turkey, especially with potential threats emanating from Syria,” Little said.

Incirlik Air Base is an installation of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, a major command of the U.S. Air Force and the air component of the U.S. European Command, a DOD unified command.

“Turkey also is a key NATO ally and we have a lot of U.S. forces stationed there to enhance our strong defense cooperation,” Panetta told reporters traveling with him as the trip began.

“Both the United States and Turkey share common concerns now about the violence in Syria and the threat that it poses to regional stability, he added.

Panetta said DOD has been working closely with Turkey on humanitarian issues, chemical and biological weapons issues, and missile defense.

“I’m pleased that last week NATO pledged to deploy missile defense systems to protect Turkey, and we will participate in that effort as well,” the secretary said.

Panetta said the United States and Turkey are committed to work together to strengthen defense systems and to put pressure on the Assad regime in neighboring Syria to end the violence in that country and help develop the political transition that must take place there.

End drawing close for Syria’s Assad


Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Reuters/Berlin

AP/Moscow

UPDATED

Associated Press/Manu Brabo – Syrian women stand amid the ruins of their farm, destroyed by Syrian Army jets, in Al-Hafriyeh village, Syria, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

 While news from Berlin seem catastrophic for Syria, other news are coming from Russia indicating that Syrian President Bashar Assad is good to stay. While Russia holds the political and economical power in Europe and Asia there is not much the US/Israel alliance can do to bring Syria Government down.

According to “A German Spy”,  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government is its final stages and will be unable to survive as more parts of the country slip from his control, the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) said.

“Armed rebels are coordinating better, which is making their fight against Assad more effective,” Gerhard Schindler told the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung newspaper, in an interview made public on Saturday.

“Assad’s regime will not survive.”

Rebels fighting to topple Assad declared Damascus International Airport a battle zone on Friday, while Moscow and Washington both sounded downbeat about the prospects of a diplomatic push to end the conflict after talks.

Syrian rebel commanders have elected a new 30-member leadership council and a chief of staff, a senior rebel said Saturday in a major step toward unifying the opposition that is fighting to oust President Bashar Assad. The Supreme Military Council, which was chosen Friday during a meeting in Turkey, will work with the political leadership that was chosen last month in Qatar.

Fighting around the capital city has intensified over the past week, and Western officials have begun speaking about faster change on the ground in a 20-month-old conflict that has killed 40,000 people.

“Evidence is mounting that the regime in Damascus is now in its final phase,” Schindler said.

Although neither Assad nor the rebels had been able to take the upper hand, Assad was losing control of more and more parts of the country, and was focusing his energy on defending Damascus, key military sites and airports, Schindler added.

Schindler’s comments echoed remarks made yesterday by U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who was withdrawn last year.

 Russian and U.S. diplomats are meeting Sunday with U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi for more talks on the civil war in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that the Americans were wrong to see Moscow as softening its position.

Russia agreed to take part in the talks in Geneva, he said, on the condition there would be no demand for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

“We are not conducting any negotiations on the fate of Assad,” Lavrov said Sunday. “All attempts to portray things differently are unscrupulous, even for diplomats of those countries which are known to try to distort the facts in their favor.”

Lavrov met last week with Brahimi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Dublin. Afterward, Clinton said the United States and Russia were committed to trying again to get both sides in the Syrian conflict to talk about a political transition. Clinton stressed that the U.S. would continue to insist that Assad’s departure be a key part of that transition.

Russia and the United States have argued bitterly over how to address the conflict, which began with peaceful protests against Assad in March 2011 and escalated into a civil war. The U.S. has criticized Russia for shielding its closest ally in the Middle East, while Moscow has accused Washington of encouraging the rebels and being intent on regime change.

Russia’s foreign minister said Sunday that after he agreed to a U.S. proposal to have his and Clinton’s deputies “brainstorm” on Syria, the Americans began to suggest that Russia was softening its position.

“No such thing,” Lavrov said. “We have not changed our position.”

Germany weighed in Sunday on the future of Assad’s regime, with Federal Intelligence Service chief Gerhard Schindler saying it would not survive, although it was impossible to say how long it would hang on.

“Signs are increasing that the regime in Damascus is in its final phase,” he was quoted as telling the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

While Russia and Washington blame each other for the no resolution of Syria conflict, Syria is being destroyed. Whole cities are but a shadow of what they were just last year.

Total Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration

The total number of registered refugees and individuals awaiting registration is 490,104 as of 5 December. This includes 11,740 Syrians registered with UNHCR in North Africa.

Damascus the Beautiful

Damascus has it history to keep the hopes alive for centuries to come.

“No recorded event has occurred in the world but Damascus was in existence to receive the news of it,” wrote Mark Twain after visiting Syria’s capital — known colloquially as al-Sham — in the 1860s. “She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires, and will see the tombs of a thousand more before she dies.”

Over the centuries, Damascus has been conquered by a string of foreign invaders that extends from King David of Israel — chronicled in the Old Testament — straight through to the French, who occupied the city until 1945. In between, Damascus fell to a list of conquerors that includes the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Umayyads, Egyptian Mamluks, and Ottoman Turks. But now, roiled by the Arab Spring, the invasions are internal, with Syrian tanks and troops rolling into restive cities.

After the Umayyad conquest of Damascus in the seventh century, the Umayyad Mosque (seen above, circa 1900) was constructed on the site where a Byzantine church, a Roman temple, and before that an Aramean temple to the god of thunder and rain once stood.

___

Geir Moulson contributed from Berlin.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; editing by Jason Webb)

Libya: Photographic Evidence of NATO bombing of Nasser University in Tripoli [Voltaire Network]


Posted On August 10, 2011 by Marivel Guzman
Libya: Photographic Evidence of NATO bombing of Nasser University in Tripoli [Voltaire Network].

The NATO war against Libya is not a humanitarian endeavour. It is a blatant war of aggression and a violation of international law.

War crimes are being committed by NATO.

Hospitals and universities have been bombed. Civilian infrastructure has been brutally destroyed.

Recently Tripoli’s Nasser University was bombed. University staff were injured and killed. There is no justification for this.

What NATO is doing is taking advantage of internal divisions to destroy Libya as a country.

The unspoken objective is to destroy Libya’s economy and to prevent it from developing as a nation-state. This is why schools and universities, hospitals, shipyards, factories, not to mention residential areas, have been the target of NATO bombings.

Readers are informed in advance that the photographic evidence that follows is disturbing.

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Article licensed under Creative Commons

The articles on Voltaire Network may be freely reproduced provided the source is cited, their integrity is respected and they are not used for commercial purposes (license CC BY-NC-ND).

Source : “Libya: Photographic Evidence of NATO bombing of Nasser University in Tripoli ”, by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Voltaire Network, 13 June 2011, www.voltairenet.org/a170422

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