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Saudi Arabia: advanced weapons and international aid: a war pendulum


The coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, as presented on Wednesday the latest reports on the war against Yemenite Houthi rebels. Firstly, Al-Maliki refers to high-tech and advanced weaponry in the hand of Houthi militias. For the coalition forces this technological and advanced weapons could only be offered to militias by Iran. Several ports have been closed in order to stop the arms trafficking in the region. However, and it is the second point reported by Al-Maliki, several ports have been reopened for facilitating the international aid. These include the ports of Hodeidah, Aden, Mukala and Al-Mokha, where, at least four aid ships have already gain the access. In addition, Al-Maliki underlined the Houthis’ commitment to war. Indeed, even if a peaceful political solution is the best way to step forward the end of the conflict, the reality is far from this solution.

North Korea: the challenge of turning inter-Korean thaw into longer-term detente


The peaceful climate in which yesterday’s meeting between South and North Korea took place quickly evaporate when the North’s chief negotiator threatened to walk out after the South Korean side raised the question Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes. “We had started in a good spirit but this came to an icky mood”, North Korea’s lead delegate Ri Son Gwon complained in closing remarks. Ri also said he would not discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme with the South because its nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles are aimed “thoroughly” at the United States, not at its “brethren” in the South. This reaction shows how, although talks yielded agreements to hold military talks and facilitate North Korea’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, turning this loosening of tensions into a longer-term detente will be very difficult. North Korea in fact does not intend to negotiate its nuclear arsenal while on the other side Washington insist that complete denuclearisation is the only acceptable outcome.

Syria claims Israel targeted an army base outside Damascus


The Syrian military said Israel carried out an attack on a military base in the city of al-Qutayfah outside of Damascus early Tuesday morning, which appears to have been used as a weapon depot, and in particular long-range missiles radius. The pro-regime al-Mayadeen media reported that the bombing occurred over several hours – 2:40, 3:04 and 4:15 – and was carried out by both aircraft and ground-to-ground missiles. The target was a base belonging to the 155th Syrian Military Artillery Regiment. It is assumed that the air attack is due to the will to defend itself against the Iranian expansion in the region. It is no secret that Israel is worried by the Iranian military presence in Syria, in fact, the government of Netanyahu has long been embarking on diplomatic, intelligence and security operations aimed at preventing the country just emerging from the war from becoming an Iranian military base.

China: 3, 2, 1…lift-off for a barrage of Chinese military missile tests


The PLA Daily (People’s Liberation Army Daily) released images and footage of some missile tests made today , but did not specify when or where they were carried out, saying only that they were conducted at various sites.
The missiles appeared to be either Type DF-11 or DF-16 mobile-launched missiles with ranges of between 600km and 1,000km, according to a Chinese military observer. The DF-16 is a more advanced version of the DF-11 land-to-air missile and is capable of precision strikes on Taiwan, analysts say.

China: US accuses Beijing of ‘provocative militarisation’ of South China Sea


The United States has accused China of “provocative militarisation” of disputed areas in the South China Sea.
It would seem in fact China is continuing to do some work in the disputed waters, including installing high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes. Some aerial footage by the official China Central Television show Fiery Cross Reef (part of the Spratly Islands chain) which appeares to have been transformed into an airbase.
Brian Hook, a senior adviser to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, said USA will continue sending vessels to the region to carry out freedom-of-navigation patrols.
Beijing insists it has sovereignty over almost all the South China Sea but the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to the waters. Manila, in particular, says Beijing broke the promise not to militarize man-made islands.

Ukraine: ORDLO militants put obstacles to OSCE’s monitors


Illegal armed groups in separate areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (ORDLO) continue limiting freedom of movement of monitors of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and jeopardize their work, Ukraine’s representatives of the Joint Control and Coordination Center (JCCC) have reported.
“Since early 2018, the OSCE SMM continues to register cases of threats, limitations of access to military facilities and freedom of movement of its patrols on the territory temporarily uncontrolled by the government of Ukraine”, the press center of the ATO headquarters said on its Facebook page on Sunday morning. “At the same time, populists from ORDLO simulate teeming activity, having issued the second “order” in the past six months banning the unjustified limitation of freedom of movement of OSCE monitors. After issuing the first “order” late August 2017, the number of these restrictions not only did not decrease but even increased. For example, during the first month when “the order” was in effect the OSCE CMM recorded 46 cases of these violations”, the headquarters said.

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