MIDDLE EAST | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

MIDDLE EAST

Oct 27 07:03

Live Updates: Armenian MoD Says Azerbaijan Continuing to Shell Country's Border, Baku Refutes Claims

Earlier, Vahram Poghosyan, spokesman for the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), said two Azerbaijani drones had been destroyed.

The US State Department announced on Sunday that a new humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh was going to enter into force at 8:00 a.m. local time (4:00 GMT) on 26 October.

The fighting on the contact line in Karabakh began on 27 September. Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of unleashing hostilities, Karabakh reports the artillery shelling of the peaceful settlements of the unrecognised republic, including its capital, Stepanakert. Armenia has declared martial law and - for the first time - general mobilisation, claiming that Ankara is actively supporting Baku. Partial mobilisation was introduced in Azerbaijan.

Oct 27 06:21

Russia knocking Turkish drones from Armenian skies

The electronic warfare system is known as “Belladonna”, a poisonous plant that gets its name from Renaissance women who used its extract for tinctures to dilate the pupils of their eyes, ostensibly to make them more attractive.

While Belladonna translates to “beautiful woman” in English, in Russian it has a second meaning: it is the name of a Russian electronic jamming system now credited with knocking out at least nine Turkish Bayraktar armed drones used by Azerbaijan to target Armenia.

If true – and no one has denied it – the system is now operating around the sensitive Russian military base at Gyumri in Armenia, far from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area.

Oct 26 10:56

Over 10,000 works submitted to 16th Resistance Int’l FilmFest

"...So far over 10,000 works have been submitted to the different sections of the 16th Resistance International Film Festival in Tehran.

According to the festival’s Public Relations and Information Center, the last deadline for submitting the works to the second part of this cinematic event was October 21, 2020..."

Oct 26 09:45

Syrians spruce up famed Crusader castle after years of war

"...Clutching to pickaxes and shovels, dozens of Syrian volunteers clear grass, shrubs and dead trees growing up the centuries-old walls of one of the world’s most famous Crusader castles, Krak des Chevaliers, to protect it from forest fires that have ravaged the region..."

Oct 26 06:48

Live Updates: Turkish F-16 Jets Will Be Used in Case of Aggression Against Azerbaijan, Aliev Says

The US State Department announced on Sunday that a new humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh was going to enter into force at 8:00 a. m. local time (4:00 GMT) on 26 October.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says his country is ready to adhere to the new humanitarian ceasefire that came into force early on Monday.

The president of the self-proclaimed republic of Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh), Arayik Harutyunyan, said Stepanakert was ready to adhere to the new ceasefire deal, reached with the mediation of the United States and with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, which reaffirms the parties' commitments to implement the truce agreed upon on 10 and 17 October at the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The cease fire has already collapsed.

Oct 26 06:45

Another Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire fails: Warring parties trade bitter accusations over who violated latest US-brokered truce

Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating a Monday truce in Nagorno-Karabakh, with heavy artillery fire. Reports of renewed hostilities came after a fresh attempt to reach a ceasefire was announced in Washington.

The Defense Ministry in Baku said that Yerevan's forces had “violated the new humanitarian ceasefire” on Monday by shelling its positions in several locations.

Oct 26 06:28

In Arab first, Bahraini institution joins with US to combat anti-Zionism

A Bahraini institute has signed an agreement with the US State Department to combat anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and delegitimization of Israel.

The memorandum of understanding, signed Thursday in Washington, DC, marks the first time an Arab country has embraced a key Trump administration agenda item, to get countries to include anti-Zionism and some forms of harsh criticism of Israel in their definitions of anti-Semitism. It comes as the Trump administration has in recent weeks brokered a series of normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Oct 26 06:22

Azeris Using Banned Cluster Munitions in Nagorno-Karabakh

The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) bans production use, transfer, and stockpiling of these terror weapons that scatter submunition bomblets over a wide area.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams called CCM “the most important disarmament and humanitarian convention in over a decade.”

Brightly colored, children mistake cluster bomblets for toys. Picking them up risks serious injury or death.

The US and Israel notoriously use these and other banned weapons in their preemptive wars.

Both countries failed to join over 100 others that are parties to the CCM.

Oct 26 06:03

Armenia and Azerbaijan say they will implement ceasefire agreement Monday

Officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan announced that their respective countries would implement a ceasefire agreement on Monday, a sign of growing stability following weeks of conflict over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

In a statement released jointly by the governments of the U.S., Armenia and Azerbaijan, officials "reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to implement and abide by the humanitarian ceasefire agreed in Moscow on October 10."

That ceasefire, signed earlier this month, would bring to a halt a growing conflict between the two former Soviet republics that had so far claimed the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of troops on both sides as well as dozens of civilians.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The cease fire has already collapsed.

Oct 26 05:51

Iran troops deployed on border near Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Sunday they have deployed troops along the border with Azerbaijan and Armenia, following stray fire from the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Units of (the Guards) ground forces have been dispatched to and stationed in the region," their commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

Their mission was "to protect national interests and maintain peace and security".

Oct 26 05:50

Number of Armenian troops killed in Karabakh conflict rises by 36 to 963: Ifax

The defence ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh said on Saturday that the number of Armenian troops killed in the latest conflict in the region that began on Sept. 27 had risen by 36 to 963, the Interfax news agency reported.

The collapse of two Russia-brokered ceasefires has dimmed hopes for a quick end to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory in Azerbaijan controlled by ethnic Armenians.

Oct 26 05:49

Israel ships humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan amid Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Jerusalem supplies Baku with medical equipment as Azerbaijan and Armenia continue clashing in the contested territory, claiming more victims on both sides; Israeli envoy 'prays for a peaceful solution'

Israel has been selling arms and military equipment to Azerbaijan for years, and now, as violence between the central Asian nation and Armenia is flaring up again, Baku has asked for Jerusalem's support.

Oct 26 05:49

Nagorno-Karabakh: Fighting continues, Baku issues Russia warning

Fighting has continued on Sunday between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the mountainous enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh with both sides blaming each other for blocking a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

Armenia accused Azerbaijani forces of shelling civilian settlements on Sunday, a claim that Baku denied.

Oct 25 06:10

With Netanyahu on phone, elated Trump predicts ‘one unified family’ in Mideast

With the leaders of Israel and Sudan on the phone in the Oval Office, a euphoric US President Donald Trump on Friday predicted peace throughout the Middle East and wider region, including between Israel and even Iran — in a “unified family” as never before.

In extraordinary scenes in the Oval Office, Trump brought reporters into the room to hear much of the call, during which he announced that Israel and Sudan had agreed to make peace, and then set out far wider ambitions and predictions.

Oct 24 07:38

Iran Armed Forces warn Armenia, Azerbaijan of tough response if border security red lines violated

Iran has warned the warring sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict about a tough response if its border security is jeopardized.

“While strengthening defensive [measures] in Iran’s border lines, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic announce that security in the border areas and of the Iranian people are their red line,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman of the Armed Forces, said on Friday.

Iran’s Armed Forces, he added, remind the two conflicting countries to be watchful of the mischief exercised by foreigners and peacefully settle issues through dialog.

The Iranian official cautioned the adversaries against endangering Iran’s territorial boundaries and the security of its citizens.

Oct 24 07:09

US Hosts Talks as Battle in Nagorno-Karabakh Continues

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with foreign ministers from Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington on Friday as clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh continued. Since fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces broke out on September 27th, about 1,000 people have been reported killed.

Two Russia-brokered ceasefires have been attempted to cool the fighting, but they both quickly failed. The truces were meant to foster more substantive talks monitored by the US, France, and Russia, who co-chair the Minsk Group. The group was set up in 1992 to help resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

Oct 24 07:09

Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict: Israeli-made cluster bombs used in residential areas

New evidence has emerged corroborating claims that Azerbaijan has used Israeli-made cluster bombs during recent fighting against Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Human Rights Watch identified at least four incidents when Azeri troops used cluster bombs indiscriminately in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the town of Hadrut.

The rights group found remnants of an unexploded Israeli-made LAR-160 series cluster munition rocket and M095 dual-purpose submunition in heavily residential areas in Stepanakert and Hadrut. Each rocket carries 104 submunitions and each submunition is equipped with a self-destruct mechanism.

Azerbaijan received these surface-to-surface rockets and launchers from Israel between 2008 and 2009.

Oct 24 06:59

215 civilians die during 3 months in Yemen: UN

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Yemen said Friday that 215 civilians have died in three months during the ongoing civil war.

The figures were from July to September, according to the agency on Twitter that said families are facing restricted access to aid.

"More children affected by conflict, about 135 children were injured and killed," it said.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

Oct 23 13:06

AZERBAIJANI FORCES RUSH TO CAPTURE LACHIN CORORIDOR FROM RETREATING ARMENIANS

The Armenian defense in the southern part of the Nagorno-Karabakh region seems to be collapsing as the advancing Azerbaijani forces are about to reach the strategic Lachin corridor.

On October 23, Azerbaijani troops were filmed near the village of Muradxanl?, which is located in about 15 km from this strategic area. Even if this Azerbaijani unit was just a field recognizance patrol and the main forces of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc still have to overcome Armenian resistance to reach the area, the fact of the Azerbaijani presence there marks the hard situation on the frontline for the Armenians.

Oct 23 06:15

Nagorno-Karabakh fighting raises threat of escalation

Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict.

Speaking in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that according to the information Russia has acquired, the combined deaths from nearly four weeks of fighting over the region are nearing 5,000. Putin emphasized the need to negotiate a truce quickly.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry accused Armenia of firing several ballistic missiles from its territory at the Azerbaijani cities of Gabala, Siyazan and Kurdamir, which are located far from the area of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. It said there were no casualties.

The Armenian military rejected the claim as a “cynical lie.”

Oct 22 12:51

ARMENIA LAUNCHES BALLISTIC MISSILES ON AZERBAIJAN AMID RETREAT IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH REGION 0  0  0 Share0  0  New

On the morning of October 22, Armenian forces launched ballistic missiles at targets inside the territory of Azerbaijan. According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, 3 missiles were fired in the direction of the Siyazan region, two in the direction of the Gabala region, and one in the direction of the Kurdamir region. Baku claimed that the strike was aimed at the civilian population and civilian infrastructure. The report provided no details regarding the type of missiles employed. Nonetheless, Armenian forces have so far only employed R-17 Elbrus and OTR-21 Tochka missiles. The Armenian Armed Forces also have several much more modern 9K720 Iskander shot-range ballistic missile systems, but the complex has not yet been employed because the leadership of Armenia is in no hurry to enter a full-out war with Azerbaijan to protect the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (also known as the Republic of Artsakh).

Oct 22 10:44

UKRAINE IS BECOMING LOGISTICAL HUB FOR TURKISH WEAPON SUPPLIES TO AZERBAIJAN

The cargo plane of the Azerbaijani airline Silk Way West Airlines Boeing 747 announced that it will fly from Kiev to Milan, but ‘somehow’ appeared at the airport in Azerbaijan’s Baku, according to the flight path tracked by the Flightradar24 website.

Such an ‘accident’ and the state of secrecy surrounding it led to a reasonable concern that in fact the plane was transporting weapons or military and dual-use goods from Ukraine to Azerbaijan, which is de-facto in the state of war with Armenia. Right now, Azerbaijani troops are clashing with the Armenians in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Furthermore, earlier, Silk Way West Airlines was repeatedly spotted as a part of weapons-trading network that delivers various weapons and ammunition to conflict zones in the Greater Middle East. Later, such weapons often appear in the hands of terrorist groups.

Oct 22 06:15

Satellite Image Reveals 13 Russian MiG-29 Jets At Armenian Base

A satellite image captured earlier this year revealed the presence of several Russian-made MiG-29 jets at an airbase in Armenia.

According to the Russian publication Avia.Pro, a satellite image confirmed that recently up to 13 MiG-29 fighter jets believed to be part of the Russian Aerospace Forces were stationed at a military airport in Yerevan that in the past was known to host Russian military aerial exercises.

“The Russian Aerospace Forces transferred at least 13 MiG-29 fighters to the territory of Armenia, as seen by satellite images of the Erebuni military airbase,” Avia.Pro reported.

“We are talking specifically about Russian combat aircraft, since officially the MiG-29 fighters are not in service with the Armenian Air Force,” they continued.

As shown in the satellite image provided by Avia.Pro, there are not only 13 MiG-29 jets, but also several helicopters, which the publication says likely belong to the Russian Air Force.

Oct 22 06:12

US Oversees Unprecedented Preliminary Deal To Transport UAE Oil To Europe Via Southern Israel

It didn't take long for the historic US-brokered peace and 'normalization' of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to shift focus to a potential major oil pipeline project in the works.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper reports, "In what could become one of the most significant deals to emerge since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized relations, the Israeli state-owned pipeline company Europe Asia Pipeline Company, or EAPC, said on Tuesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding to store and transport oil and distillates from the UAE to Europe."

Below is the EAPC route through southern Israel from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon. This is unprecedented considering that up until just months ago the Arab Gulf states and Israel were official enemies, as they had been for decades especially over the fate of Palestinians.

Oct 22 06:04

Turkey Ready to Send Troops to Help Azerbaijan if Requested

On Wednesday, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Ankara would not hesitate to send troops to support Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh if requested. Oktay added that at the moment, no such request had been made.

Since clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27th, Turkey has been outspoken in its support for Baku. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for Armenia to end its “occupation” of Azeri territory.

Turkey has been supporting Baku militarily through weapons sales. Turkish arms exports surged just before the fighting began. Sales rose from $278,880 in July to $36 million in August and jumped to $77 million in September.

Oct 22 06:03

Armenian PM Sees No Diplomatic Solution in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday that he sees no diplomatic solution to the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in the near future as clashes in the disputed enclave continue.

“We have to realize that the Karabakh question, at least at this stage and for a very long time, cannot have a diplomatic solution,” Pashinyan said. “Everything that is diplomatically acceptable to the Armenian side … is not acceptable to Azerbaijan anymore.”

Pashinyan’s comments come after a ceasefire agreed to on Saturday quickly fell apart. It was the second attempt, following a Russian-brokered truce agreed to on October 10th that only lasted a few hours.

Oct 22 06:02

US Rejects Russia’s Gulf Security Proposal at UN, Blames Iran

At the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for a collective security effort in the Persian Gulf to prevent a full-scale war from breaking out in the region. According to AP News, the proposal got strong support from all Security Council members except the US, who unsurprisingly blamed the region’s instability on Iran.

Washington brought the region to the brink of a major war in January when the US killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq. Lavrov mentioned the assassination and said the worst-case scenario was avoided, but “the situation remains fragile and could become dangerous and unpredictable again.”

Oct 22 05:52

Nagorno-Karabakh: Five things to know about the latest crisis

Nagorno-Karabakh is at the heart of a decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, both former Soviet republics.

It is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory, but is run by ethnic Armenians who either want to secede or join Armenia.

Oct 21 07:49

WITH AN EYE ON NEARBY IRAN, ISRAELI WEAPONS FUEL THE VIOLENCE IN AZERBAIJAN

The latest iteration of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which has already claimed the lives of dozens of people, had been largely forgotten by the world before hostilities reignited in September. Only the collapse of the Soviet Union was able to bring about the end of the last war between these entrenched enemies in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, the still contested region claimed under international law by Azerbaijan and de facto controlled by its ethnic Armenian majority has fallen under a new spell of violence thanks in large part to external actors vying for a larger war with another neighboring country: Iran.

Three weeks ago, a dispute over a piece of territory in the Caucasus Mountains erupted into a hot war between the two former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia, sending civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh to seek cover in their basements from the aerial drone strikes raining death and destruction from above.

Oct 21 06:28

Pompeo To Host Warring Armenian, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers In Washington Friday

According to new reporting in Politico, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will for the first time host the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Washington on Friday in the hopes of hammering out a ceasefire agreement that will hold, unlike the prior Saturday's effort, which lasted but a few hours before shelling resumed again.

The last two ceasefire attempts, the first of which was to allow the Red Cross to recover bodies from the Nagorno-Karabakh front lines, were brokered by Russia. Hundreds or possibly thousands have died in renewed fighting over the disputed ethnic autonomous territory, which Azerbaijan claims as its own, since September 27.

Politico says Friday's meeting will not involve the two delegations being in the same room, but Pompeo is scheduled to meet with them separately. There is the possibility that Pompeo could push for a direct meeting amid the course of talks, however.

Oct 21 06:26

Death Toll Rises Despite Second Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire

Azerbaijan and Armenia reported fresh fighting on Tuesday over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Despite two attempted ceasefires, clashes that broke out on September 27th continue to rage as the death toll mounts.

Nagorno-Karabakh reported another 43 military casualties, bringing the total number of servicemen killed from the ethnic Armenian enclave to 772 since the fighting started. Thirty-seven ethnic Armenian civilians have been reported killed so far.

Oct 21 06:16

Democratic senators introduce bill to constrain F-35 sales to UAE

A pair of Democratic senators has introduced a bill aimed at constraining the Trump administration’s effort to sell F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates.

The bill, introduced Tuesday, would require the administration certify that Israel’s military advantage in the region would not be jeopardized before it can move forward with selling the United States’ most advanced military aircraft to other Middle Eastern countries.

Oct 21 06:10

Live Updates: Azerbaijan Denies Its Aircraft Was Downed by Karabakh Air Defence Units

Armenia and Azerbaijan have twice agreed on a Russia-brokered humanitarian ceasefire to exchange prisoners and dead bodies, however both times the truce has been breached as the two sides have accused each other of violating the agreement.

Armenian Defence Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said the Azerbaijani Armed Forces' operation against the unrecognised republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was unsuccessful.

Hovhannisyan said these strike forces had been unable to break through the defensive lines of the Karabakh Defence Army. He said that after five to seven days of unsuccessful battles, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, apparently, concentrated all their forces in the south and began to act by squeezing the region.

Oct 21 05:59

Senior UAE delegation comes to Israel; Netanyahu: ‘Today we are making history’

In another major milestone for Israel-Gulf relations, a delegation of senior United Arab Emirates officials arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday for a series of meetings with their Israeli counterparts.

After landing, the UAE delegation, headed by the ministers of the economy and finance and two deputy ministers, signed four bilateral agreements with Israel, including a visa waiver agreement.

Oct 21 05:20

Armenian Forces Use Their Last Chance To Turn Tide Of War With Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. On October 19, they captured 13 more villages in the Jabrayil district. The capturing of Soltanli, Amirvarli, Mashanli, Hasanli, Alikeykhanli, Gumlag, Hajili, Goyarchinveysalli, Niyazgullar, Kechal Mammadli, Shahvalli, Haji Ismayilli and Isagli was personally announced by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Early on October 20, Azerbaijani forces also reached the town of Tumas and engaged Armenian units deployed there. Pro-Azerbaijani sources insist that the town already fell into the hands of Baku.

Oct 20 07:24

Nagorno-Karabakh Leader Accuses Israel of Supporting ‘Genocide’

Since fighting broke out between Armenian forces and Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, other countries have been accused of fueling the conflict by supplying Baku with weapons. The leader of the enclave took things a bit further and accused Israel of supporting a “genocide” against his people.

In a speech last week, the ethnic Armenian leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, said Israel is “responsible for the genocide in Karabakh.” Israel and Azerbaijan are major trading partners, and it is estimated that Israel supplies Baku with 60 percent of its arms.

When the clashes first broke out, an assistant to the president of Azerbaijan said the Azeri military is using Israeli-made attack drones in Nagorno-Karabakh. Amnesty International identified Israeli-made cluster bombs in footage of Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital that appeared to be fired by Azerbaijan into residential areas.

Oct 20 06:34

Live Updates: Azerbaijan Claims to Have Destroyed 4 Armenian S-300s in Karabakh Flare-up

No air raid sirens and no explosions were heard in the capital of the unrecognised Republic of Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh) during the night or in the early hours of Tuesday, a Sputnik correspondent reports.

The foreign minister of the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), Masis Mayilyan, attended a meeting with diplomats of foreign states accredited in Armenia and called on them to recognise the independence of the NKR, the NKR Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On 9 October, talks were held in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia with the aim of reaching a Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement.

The Moscow meeting resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire that came into force on 10 October but failed to hold. A new truce has since been agreed upon. It came into effect at 20:00 GMT on Saturday, 17 October, but both sides have been reporting violations.

Oct 19 10:22

"Brutal War Of Attrition": Latest Armenia-Azerbaijan Truce Broke Down Within Hours

A tenuous ceasefire took effect Saturday night between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces - the second ceasefire since the start of the conflict in the disputed autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh last month.

But the truce had crumbled a mere few hours in, with the resumption of full fighting and artillery fire by early Sunday morning, and both sides blaming the other for breaking it.

The prior weekend a Russia-brokered temporary ceasefire held long enough for the Red Cross and other emergency responders to gather bodies of the deceased, but then shelling resumed also hours after.

Oct 19 07:05

America Is Complicit, as Yemen Spirals toward Mass Starvation

There already is widespread malnutrition in Yemen, fueled by the war and more recently by the economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic.

The humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen largely stems from the war on that country launched in 2015 by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is backed to the hilt by the Trump administration. This is an American war, and Americans have Yemeni blood on their hands. A third of Yemen’s infrastructure has been destroyed, mostly by Saudi and UAE air strikes, and over 100,000 have been killed.

The United Arab Emirates, led by Mohammed Bin Zayed, is giving nothing to aid Yemen this year, despite its invasion having caused many of the problems the country is facing. The Saudis and Kuwaitis were also called out by Lowcock, and they did proffer new donations, with Kuwait offering $20 million. But the aid effort has fallen from being funded at over 60% of requested contributions to only 42%.

Oct 19 07:04

Video: Azerbaijani Successes in Karabakh Conflict Come Together with War Crimes

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. As in the previous several days, the main clashes are taking place in the southern part of Karabakh.

As of October 16, Azerbaijani forces finally took full control of the town of Hadrat and started an operation to push the remaining Armenian units out of the town’s surroundings. Despite this, Armenian forces still conduct regular counter-attacks attempting to force the Azerbaijani military to retreat from their recently captured positions.

Azerbaijani troops also seized the villages of Arish in the Fuzuli district, Doshulu in the Jabrayil district and the villages of Edishe, Dudukchi, Edilli and Chiraguz in the Khojavend district. Earlier this week, Azerbaijan captured Garadaghli, Melikjanli, Garakollu, Bulutan, Tagaser, Khatunbulag, Kemertuk and Teke. Thus, Armenian forces lost at least 15 towns and settlements during this week of clashes.

Oct 19 06:54

Live Updates: Russia Working With Yerevan, Baku on Improving Karabakh Ceasefire, Lavrov Says

Earlier, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said that Yerevan will recognise the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh if it sees that Azerbaijan is refusing to comply with agreements made during peaceful negotiations.

Last week, talks were held between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia with the aim of reaching a Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement. The Moscow meeting resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire that came into force on 10 October. However, the ceasefire did not hold. A new truce has since been agreed upon. It came into effect at midnight, local time, on Saturday, 17 October (20:00 GMT), but both sides have reported violations.

Oct 19 06:24

A Geopolitical Time Bomb In Europe

In a week when several major oil and gas reports were released, most notably the IEA World Energy Outlook 2020 and OPEC’s World Oil Outlook, a regional conflict is now on the brink of spiraling out of control.

The toxic combination of a military confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia, supported by Turkey and Russia respectively, and the confrontational stance that Ankara is taking in the East Med conflict are threatening to upend European energy supplies.

Oct 19 06:10

At Stepanakert cemetery, mothers weep for sons lost in Karabakh fighting

Kneeling beside Tigran Petrosyan's body draped in the flag of Nagorno-Karabakh, his mother pressed her cheek to his face one last time.

"My son, how are you... my son, how are you," she repeated, her voice shaking and her eyes filled with tears.

Petrosyan was a 26-year-old police officer in , the main city in this disputed region, before joining Armenian separatist forces battling with Azerbaijan for control of the mountainous province.

He was killed on Thursday in a drone strike on his vehicle as he headed to fight in the Hadrut area on the south of the frontline.

Oct 19 06:08

Three-year-old loses whole family in missile attack on Azeri city

A mother and her 16-month-old daughter have been buried in the same grave after a missile attack on the Azerbaijani city of Ganja that killed at least 13 civilians, as fighting intensifies over the disputed of Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Zuleykha Shahnazarova and her daughter Madina Shahnazarli were killed overnight on Saturday, along with the father of the family, Royal Shahnazarov.

The couple’s other daughter, three-year-old Khadija Shahnazarli, survived the attack and was being treated in a hospital in the nearby city of Barda.

Oct 18 21:14

Defense Minister says Iran will sell weapons to countries despised by US

"...Iran’s defense minister says the country is going to support the countries that seek to defend their existence now that the UN Security Council’s restrictions on Tehran’s arms trade are lifted.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami said Iran will sell arms to the countries despised by the Americans if they ask for it..."

Oct 18 06:45

Iran Threatens Response To Errant Missiles On Its Territory From Nagorno-Karabkh Conflict

Iran has warned both Azerbaijan and Armenia over multiple instances of errant missiles landing within Iranian territory amid fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region. Both countries share a border with Iran's northern provinces, and in some cases fighting has been so close to Iran's border than Iranian citizens are close enough to watch the battle unfold before their eyes.

On Thursday Iran's state media reported a major incident wherein at least 10 missiles landed to two Iranian villages of Khudaferin district. Iran's IRNA said one missile struck a house, injuring a civilian. Iran's foreign ministry promptly warned both sides of the war that harm to its citizens is a "red line" for which the Islamic Republic would respond.

Oct 18 06:37

Millions of Yemenis lose access to aid amid funding shortfall, UN says

A shortage of funds has meant four million Yemenis have lost access to aid, the United Nations humanitarian chief has said, warning that the “window to prevent famine” is closing in the war-torn country.

Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council on Thursday that aid agencies had just 42 percent of their programmes funded in Yemen, meaning key services were being axed.

Aid agencies are helping nine million people a month in Yemen, down from 13 million at the start of the year, Mr Lowcock said.

Oct 18 06:26

War in Nagorno-Karabakh Is a Gamechanger in Russian-Turkish Relations

After Turkey downed a Russian jet operating in Syria in late 2015, there was a major risk that the Syrian War could explode into a greater conflict between the two Eurasian countries. The Turkish attack resulted in the death of two Russian servicemen and relations between Moscow and Ankara were again tested in December 2016 when Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated by off-duty police officer Mevlüt Mert Alt?nta?. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted the explanation from his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdo?an that the assassination was not ordered by the state, Nordic Monitor has published compelling evidence that Alt?nta? had strong connections to the so-called Turkish deep state. Despite these major setbacks in Russian-Turkish relations, by the end of 2017 the two countries signed a $2.5 billion agreement for Turkey to acquire the Russian-made S-400 air defence system, considered the most sophisticated of its kind in the world.

Oct 17 11:53

Iran Ready for Arms Trade as Clock Ticking for Embargo Lifting

"...The spokesperson for Iran’s UN mission voiced the country’s readiness to begin arms trade with the friends as soon as a decade-old arms embargo on Tehran is removed on Sunday.

“Iran has many friends and trading partners, and has a robust domestic arms industry to ensure its defense requirements against foreign aggression,” Alireza Miryousefi told Newsweek in an interview published on Friday..."

Oct 17 08:22

Russia holds Caspian Sea military drills amid Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

Moscow has said its maneuvers in the Caspian Sea are not a sign that it intends to interfere between the warring nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region flared up last month.

Oct 17 08:19

EU gives Turkey until early December to de-escalate, chairman says

European Union leaders regret Turkey’s decision to send a natural gas exploration ship to contested waters in the Mediterranean, the bloc’s chairman said on Friday, reiterating that the EU would consider its options in December.

“We plan a summit in December. And we have planned, indeed, to tackle again and to assess the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and in Turkey,” European Council President Charles Michel told a news conference after an EU summit in Brussels.

“We deplore the unilateral actions and provocations by Turkey,” Michel said.

Oct 17 08:13

Turkish and Israeli Weapons Fueling Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh

Weapons-makers — aka merchants of death and mass destruction — fuel conflicts when occur.

The US by far dominates the global arms trade.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US accounted for 36% of major conventional weapons sales from 2015 – 2019.

Throughout most of the post-WW II period, the US dominated the global arms market.

Arms and security expert William Hartung explained that for 25 of the past 26 years, “the United States has been the leading arms dealer on the planet, at some moments in near monopolistic fashion.”

Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries are major buyers of US arms.

In areas where large amounts of heavy weapons are sold, wars often follow.

Oct 17 08:08

Scenario Forecasting: What Could a Russian Intervention in Nagorno-Karabakh Look Like?

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s suggestion to deploy Russian peacekeepers and military observers into the universally recognized Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven surrounding districts under Armenian occupation pending both sides’ agreement raises the prospect of Moscow’s military intervention in this conflict, which is worthwhile examining since this scenario isn’t as far-fetched as some might think.

Oct 17 07:46

Death, destruction after missiles hit Azerbaijan's second city of Ganja

A missile strike has leveled a row of homes in Azerbaijan's second largest city of Ganja, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 40 people in their sleep in a sharp escalation of the conflict over Karabakh.

The Azeri Prosecutor General's office said the assault took place in the early hours of Saturday as two missiles hit apartment buildings in central Ganja, causing severe damage.

AFP said its team in Ganja had seen rows of houses turned to rubble by the strike, which shattered the walls and ripped the roofs off buildings in the surrounding streets.

"People ran outside in shock and tears, stumbling through dark muddy alleys in their slippers, some wearing bathroom robes and pyjamas," it reported.

Azerbaijan's presidential aide, Hikmet Hajiyev, censured in a series of tweets the missile attack and underlined that at least 20 buildings have been destroyed by Armenia's missiles, which he said were of the Scud series.

Oct 17 07:28

Full Interview: Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is Liberation War for Azerbaijan, President Aliyev Says

Hostilities have been going on in Nagorno-Karabakh since late September. Though a ceasefire deal was reached in Moscow between the conflicting parties, it's not observed. Sputnik Head Dmitry Kiselev held parallel interviews with the Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders, where they were asked the same questions and given equal time.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told Dmitry Kiselev about his assessment of the current situation in the region, as well as about the losses of the parties to the conflict and whether it is true that Syrian and Libyan mercenaries are fighting for Azerbaijan.

He also explained Baku’s position on the basic principles of the resolution, as well as where reconciliation should start. Aliyev shared Azerbaijan’s vision of a compromise on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and spoke about the red lines, which the country would never cross. The Azerbaijani President also shared his opinion on whether Azerbaijanis and Armenians can coexist peacefully.

Oct 17 07:27

Full Interview: Turkey is the Main Sponsor of Nagorno-Karabakh War, Armenian PM Pashinyan Says

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, which escalated at the end of September, has reportedly claimed several hundred lives. Despite the reached agreement mediated by Russia, there is no sustainable truce yet. Sputnik head Dmitry Kiselev spoke with both Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders in parallel interviews.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan explained in an interview to Rossiya Segodnya Director General Dmitry Kiselev how he sees the situation, the number of casualties Yerevan has taken and commented on the presence of foreign mercenaries in the region. He also spoke about who is behind the current aggravation of the conflict and why, what compromises the Armenian side is ready to make and what it will not accept under any circumstances.

Oct 17 07:12

Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkey Instigates An Old War With Older Ambitions

For more than ten hours, from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov presided over tough and grueling negotiations between Armenian foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani foreign minister Jeyhun Bayramov. The talks focused on ending the recent war over the breakaway republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (known by Armenians as Artsakh). They resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire and a commitment to further peace talks. It seemed to be a remarkable feat for Moscow’s veteran diplomat. At the time of this writing, the ceasefire has “largely held,” albeit by a thread.

Oct 16 11:59

AZERBAIJANI SUCCESSES IN KARBAKH CONFLICT COME TOGETHER WITH WAR CRIMES

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. As in the previous several days, the main clashes are taking place in the southern part of Karabakh.

As of October 16, Azerbaijani forces finally took full control of the town of Hadrat and started an operation to push the remaining Armenian units out of the town’s surroundings. Despite this, Armenian forces still conduct regular counter-attacks attempting to force the Azerbaijani military to retreat from their recently captured positions.

Azerbaijani troops also seized the villages of Arish in the Fuzuli district, Doshulu in the Jabrayil district and the villages of Edishe, Dudukchi, Edilli and Chiraguz in the Khojavend district. Earlier this week, Azerbaijan captured Garadaghli, Melikjanli, Garakollu, Bulutan, Tagaser, Khatunbulag, Kemertuk and Teke. Thus, Armenian forces lost at least 15 towns and settlements during this week of clashes.

Oct 16 05:23

Jews Are Enabling Genocide Against Armenian Christians In Nagorno-Karabakh

The spiraling conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed province of Nagorno-Karabakh has suddenly intensified.

Nagorno-Karabakh is technically part of Azerbaijan, but its population is 99% Armenian Christian and has its own local military, which is backed by the Armenian state. The Azeri government seeks to assert full control over the region and violently evict its native population.

The alliances in the war are counter-intuitive. Azerbaijan is majority Shi’ite Muslim and a former Soviet Republic, but it is controlled by a Jewish billionaire class which is backed by Turkey, Israel and even Al Qaeda.

Armenia on the other hand is an ancient Christian civilization.. Since the 1990s, Iran, despite being Shi’ite as well, has served as an aggressive defender of the Armenian people.

Oct 16 05:20

Exclusive: Azerbaijani President Aliyev Says Armenian PM Pashinyan is a Product of George Soros

In an exclusive parallel interview with Sputnik, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have addressed the most pressing issues regarding the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Both leaders were given an equal amount of time and identical questions.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev expressed his belief in an interview with Sputnik that Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was a product of US billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, known for his generous donations to political causes.

Oct 15 12:48

WAR IN KARABAKH: TURKISH PROXIES ARE ALLEGEDLY TOO SCARED TO FIGHT ARMENIANS

About 1,000 members of Syrian militant groups deployed by Turkey to support the Azerbaijani advance in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have laid down their arms and refused to participate in hostilities, Armenian media outlets and military-affiliated sources claimed. They insist that Syrian militants were just used as cannon fodder and did not receive their promised money. According to sources loyal to the Syrian opposition, the number of Turkish proxies that died in the war with Armenia has exceeded 110.

Earlier, reports appeared from Syrian sources , claiming that about 400 members of Turkish-backed militant groups deployed in Syria’s northwest had refused to go to Azerbaijan. At least 16 of them were arrested by the so-called Hamza Division for complaining too much and for leaking information to the public.

Oct 15 09:07

Bully-boy minister’s Christmas message to UK universities: Adopt anti-Semitism definition that’s “too vague to be useful”, or I’ll axe your funding!

Stuart Littlewood highlights the ignorance of Gavin Williamson, an Israel pimp serving as UK Education Secretary, who has threatened to cut the funding of universities that do not succumb to the Zionist definition of “anti-Semitism” – contrary to legal advice and the UK government’s own rules.>>

Oct 15 05:49

Nagorno-Karabakh Fighting Escalates, Death Toll Rises

Violence continued in Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday as the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan shows no sign of waning, despite a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreed to last week.

In a sign that the conflict is widening, Azerbaijan admitted to launching airstrikes inside Armenia to take out missiles allegedly used to target civilian areas in Azerbaijan. Baku’s defense ministry said it had destroyed a rocket system and a ballistic missile system in Armenia in separate attacks overnight on Wednesday.

Armenia’s defense ministry confirmed areas inside the country were hit and denied that it has been firing inside Azerbaijan. Throughout the fighting, Baku has accused Armenian forces of targeting Ganja, a city deep inside Azerbaijan.

Oct 15 05:49

Azerbaijan bought $77m worth of arms from Turkey a month before fighting

Azerbaijan bought $77m worth of arms from Turkey a month before fighting broke out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, with Turkish arms sales to Baku increasing sixfold this year, according to export data.

Data compiled by the Turkish Exports Assembly, which groups more than 95,000 exporting companies in 61 sectors, shows that Azerbaijan bought $123m worth of defence and aviation equipment from Turkey in the first nine months of 2020, the Reuters news agency reported.

Turkish arms sold to Azerbaijan included drones, rocket launchers, ammunition and other weapons that arrived after July, when border clashes that broke out between Armenian and Azeri forces prompted Turkey and Azerbaijan to conduct joint military exercises.

Oct 15 05:33

Azerbaijan Says Hit Missile Launch Sites in Armenia

Azerbaijan said Wednesday it had destroyed missile launch sites in Armenia that were being used to target civilian areas during the fighting over Nagorno Karabakh.

Armenia’s defense ministry confirmed that areas inside the country had been targeted, denied its forces were firing into Azerbaijan, and said it now felt justified in targeting military positions inside Azerbaijan.

It appeared to be the first time Azerbaijan claimed to have hit targets inside Armenia itself since heavy fighting broke out last month between Azerbaijani forces and Armenia-backed separatists in the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region.

Oct 15 05:25

Nagorno-Karabakh Updates: Baku Claims Its Drones Destroyed Armenian Military Equipment Worth $1 Bln

Following talks in Moscow, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to implement a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting on 10 October, in order to exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed during the conflict. However, both nations have repeatedly accused each other of attacks and provocations along the line of contact.

The decades-old standoff between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh (also known as the Republic of Artsakh) escalated on 27 September, with both Baku and Yerevan accusing each other of sparking military hostilities.

Russia, France, the US, and other countries have urged the sides to the conflict to return to negotiations. The Turkish authorities, on the other hand, have backed Baku, saying that Ankara is ready to assist Azerbaijan "both in talks and in combat".

Oct 14 12:18

AZERBAIJAN STRIKES BALLISTIC MISSILE SITES IN ARMENIA AMID HADRAT STANDOFF

On October 14, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that its forces had conducted strikes on Armenian operational-tactical ballistic missile systems in the Armenian border area, near the Kalbajar District of the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The Azerbaijani military claimed that the destroyed missiles “were targeted at Ganja, Mingachevir and other cities of Azerbaijan to inflict casualties among the peaceful population and to destroy civilian infrastructure.”

The Armenian Defense Ministry confirmed the strikes denying any casualties and threatening Azerbaijan with retaliatory strikes on military targets inside the country. “From now on, the Armed Forces of Armenia reserve the right to attack any military object or military movement in Azerbaijan. The military-political leadership of Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for the process of changing the logic of the combat actions,” the defense ministry spokesperson said.

Oct 14 06:16

Lavrov Calls for Deployment of Russian Peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh as Tensions Escalate

Earlier in the day, the Armenian Defence Ministry said that it "reserves the right" to attack any military facility in Azerbaijan after saying that Baku had hit military equipment on Armenian territory.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday announced that it would be right to put Russian military observers along the line of control in Karabakh in order to ensure a ceasefire. He noted that the final decision is up to Yerevan and Baku, adding, however, that without a political settlement between the two countries any military solution to the conflict won't work.

Oct 14 06:15

Live Updates: Karabakh Air Defence Units Down Azerbaijani Su-25, Armenian MoD Claims

Last week, after talks mediated by Moscow, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, beginning 10 October, in order to exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed during the conflict. However, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the deal.

The decades-old conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as the Republic of Artsakh escalated on 27 September, with both Baku and Yerevan accusing each other of sparking military hostilities.

The international community, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged the sides to the conflict to return to negotiations. Ankara, on the other hand, has voiced support for Baku, saying that it is ready to assist Azerbaijan "both in talks and in combat".

Oct 14 06:03

Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict raises spectre of 'pan-Turkism' in Iran

Fears have grown of unrest among Iran's Azeri minority after the government appeared to shift to a pro-Azerbaijan stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Since the early days of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iran's government has attempted to portray itself a neutral mediator - a role that it has assumed in past rounds of conflict over the disputed region on the country's northern border.

Saeed Khatibzade, the spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry, has spoken of the necessity of an “immediate ceasefire” before the beginning of new talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Oct 14 06:01

Exiled Yemeni President Rejects UN Peace Deal With Houthis

Yemen’s internationally recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi rejected a peace proposal from UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths on Monday, according to sources speaking with Arab News.

Sources said the Hadi government would only agree to a deal within the framework of several international agreements, including UN Security Council Resolution 2216. The resolution was passed in April 2015 and says the Hadi government has authority over Yemen and calls for the Houthis to relinquish territory they control.

The details of Griffiths’ proposal are not clear, but a Hadi government official said the exiled president rejected two Houthi demands. According to the official, the Houthis are asking to maintain control of an oil pipeline that runs from the central city of Marib to the western port city of Hodeidah. The Houthis are also requesting that planes from Houthi-controlled airports are exempt from inspections.

Oct 14 05:56

The US Military’s ‘Lessons’ From Nagorno-Karabakh: God Help Us!

It is often said that military leaders tend to train and prepare for the last war. Thus, when the next conflict comes, mistakes are made, early engagements bloody, and sometimes whole wars lost. Each and every time, the past-war preparers styled themselves more forward-thinking than their stale forebears. Yet clinging to the comfort of dogma, doctrine, and experience, these would-be dynamos usually blew it when their generation beat the war drums.

Oct 14 05:54

Nagorno-Karabakh: New weapons for an old conflict spell danger

The new war over Nagorno-Karabakh is a conventional one, being fought by professional armed forces.

But this time, hi-tech 21st-century weaponry has the capacity to make this decades-old conflict more destructive than ever before.

If official battlefield statistics are to be believed, the death toll is staggering. Azerbaijan has yet to confirm the number of its war dead.

Oct 14 05:53

Israeli-US delegation to visit Bahrain on second ‘historic’ flight to ready pact

A joint US-Israel delegation is planning a trip to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates early next week to continue working on implementing normalization agreements with Israel signed in Washington last month.

The delegation is expected to fly from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to Manama on Sunday in what would be the first-ever commercial nonstop flight from Israel to the Gulf kingdom.

Oct 14 05:47

Video: Azerbaijani Military Destroys Armenian S-300s as Humanitarian Ceasefire Nears Its Collapse

The Armenian-Azerbaijani war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region does not show signs of nearing its end despite the humanitarian ceasefire launched in the region. The ceasefire started in the Nagorno-Karabakh region at 12:00 local time on October 10. The ceasefire deal was reached by the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides following long talks in Moscow a day ago. Russia played a key role in forcing the sides to make steps towards the de-escalation.

Oct 14 00:17

Trump administration pushes the US war on Iran into high gear

"...The Trump administration is pushing the US war on Iran into high gear with these new ramped-up sanctions that are more extreme than just about any sanctions anyone has ever applied anywhere.

These sanctions are now stopping basic medical equipment from getting into Iran such as the Mepilex dressings from Sweden that are used to treat wounds, serious wounds. Apparently, Trump and his Zionist backers want Iranians to be wounded and not to heal. They want to inflict horrific pain on ordinary Iranian people..."

Oct 13 06:26

The human cost of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

On September 27, clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, killing hundreds, injuring hundreds more and displacing thousands.

The disputed territory, home to about 150,000 people, is an ethnic Armenian enclave and is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan by all countries, including Armenia.

But the people of Nagorno-Karabakh – an overwhelming majority of whom are ethnic Armenians, want to govern themselves or to join Armenia, as they once voted to do.

The region broke from Azerbaijan’s control in a war in the 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

A fragile ceasefire, brokered by Russia, went into effect on Saturday but was almost immediately broken, with both Armenian and Azerbaijan accusing each other of fresh attacks.

Oct 13 06:25

How Azerbaijan Is Lobbying Washington To Sanitize Its War

As conflict heats up over Nagorno-Karabakh, a tiny Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan, a covert battle is taking place on Capitol Hill to win the hearts and minds of lawmakers in Washington.

Since hostilities began on September 27, hundreds of lives have been lost as Azerbaijani drones have flown within 20 miles of Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, and an Armenian strike was carried out on a military base in Azerbaijan’s second city, Ganja.

“The next targets could be oil and gas facilities in Azerbaijan, or Yerevan and Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku,” reports the New York Times, an escalation with the potential to draw in Turkey, Russia, and Iran on opposing sides.

Well-armed and financed Azerbaijan is receiving assistance from Turkey, an American ally. Turkish drones and jets have been exacting civilian casualties on Armenians, and as TAC previously reported, Armenians are in danger of ethnic cleansing once again.

Oct 13 06:25

Yemen Child Killed, Five Civilians Wounded in Bombardment of Taiz School

A school in Yemen’s Taiz Province was bombarded at least twice on Sunday, leaving at least one child killed and five other civilians wounded. Reports called the attacks an aerial bombardment, though some also mentioned artillery fire on the site.

Officials blamed “mercenaries” for the attacks, which broadly means groups affiliated with the Saudi-led invasion force. There were reportedly two distinct strikes, the first injuring a woman and two children, and the second, less than an hour later, killing a child, injuring a father and son.

Taiz has seen some of the worst fighting in Yemen’s protracted invasion, as it was the route through which the initial invasion of Aden was meant to end up in the capital of Sanaa. Taiz never fell, and has remained contested for years, even as invasion forces tried to find alternate routes to Sanaa.

Oct 13 06:21

Turkey Notifies Russia: Armenia Must Withdraw From 'Occupied Azerbaijani Lands'

Ankara said that the Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, stressed during a telephone conversation he had today with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, “the necessity of Armenia’s withdrawal from the occupied Azerbaijani lands.”

The Turkish Ministry of Defense stated, in a statement, that Akar called on Monday with Shoigu, and during the call, “views were exchanged on Armenia’s attacks on Azerbaijan.”

Oct 12 23:09

Marziyeh Hashemi: Cinema shoulders heavy burden for displaying real face of resistance movement

"...Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi said the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani is a special issue for the last year in the world.

Hashemi said the media could play a key role in portraying the oppression of this resistance movement's figure all around the world. She added that the mass media, the cinema, in particular, shoulder a heavy burden in portraying the dimensions of the resistance movement in the world..."

Oct 12 12:21

AZERBAIJANI MILITARY DESTROYS ARMENIAN S-300S AS HUMANITARIAN CEASEFIRE NEARS ITS COLLAPSE

The Armenian-Azerbaijani war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region does not show signs of nearing its end despite the humanitarian ceasefire launched in the region. The ceasefire started in the Nagorno-Karabakh region at 12:00 local time on October 10. The ceasefire deal was reached by the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides following long talks in Moscow a day ago. Russia played a key role in forcing the sides to make steps towards the de-escalation.

Oct 12 07:07

'We will never leave': Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought over disputed region for decades

The sirens silent for the time being, Vartan Abrahamian, a 53-year-old social worker and retired soldier, returned to seal the broken windows on his home in the capital of this disputed territory.

“We’re used to it. For myself I’m not worried,” Abrahamian said of the hostilities raging once more in Nagorno-Karabakh, the mountainous region tucked between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It lies at the heart of a seething, decades-long fight that began during the chaotic breakup of the Soviet Union and that flared up again almost two weeks ago.

Oct 12 07:02

Fighting Rages in Northern Yemen, Both Sides Claim Heavy Losses Inflicted

Fighting continues to rage in northern Yemen this weekend, with the government and the Shi’ite Houthis contesting various parts of the Jawf Province, and both claiming substantial gains, and to have inflicted heavy losses on the other.

It’s not clear that at this point anything substantial really changed hands, as what was reported as Houthi-seized earlier is now being reported as recovered by the government, who says they are hoping to advance into the Hazm District.

The Houthis reported airstrikes hit them in the east of Jawf, a region which tends to be contested. The Saudi use of warplanes has tended to give the government an advantage in several areas, though the Houthis hold on northernmost Yemen makes a lot of these areas very contested.

Oct 12 07:01

Trump’s Planned Sale of F35s to UAE Hits Snag in the Senate

Since Israel’s peace deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a sale of arms, including F35s, to the UAE seemed inevitable. Israel first bristled at this idea, but has recently seemed to tolerate the sale so long as they get free equipment from the US in return.

Nothing’s ever that easy, however, and Senators from both parties, Jim Risch (R-ID) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), are now resisting the idea, saying they believe the sale doesn’t meet legal requirements to assure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge.

Menendez argued that Israel couldn’t be said to retain its edge, in having F35s, if someone else got F35s. That was roughly the argument Israel was making as well, though the fact that the sales went to a nation that they are now friends with seemingly changes things, at least somewhat.

Oct 12 06:59

How Can Americans Support Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh?

Americans are dealing with an upcoming general election, a pandemic that has killed over 200,000 of us, and corporate news media whose business model has degenerated to selling different versions of "The Trump Show" to their advertisers. So who has time to pay attention to a new war half way round the world? But with so much of the world afflicted by 20 years of U.S.-led wars and the resulting political, humanitarian and refugee crises, we can’t afford not to pay attention to the dangerous new outbreak of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Oct 12 06:26

Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire in Tatters With Heavy Overnight Shelling

It took a great deal of effort for Russia to bring both sides together for a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Pulling them apart was much simpler, and by Sunday the ceasefire was in total tatters, with heavy overnight shelling in civilian populated areas.

It was hardly a shock that this happened, as both sides spent virtually the whole ceasefire claiming violations, and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Bayramov said Saturday he believed it would last just long enough to trade war dead.

It’s not clear that much was even finished by the time the ceasefire had collapsed, with Azerbaijan the first to confirm airstrikes being ordered against ethnic Armenian forces. Armenian forces were accused of shelling Ganja, a city in Azerbaijan, hitting an apartment building.

Oct 12 06:19

Live Updates: Karabakh Forces Destroy Azerbaijan's Su-25, Armenian MoD Says

The president of the self-proclaimed republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Arayik Harutyunyan, said that the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan that took effect at noon on Saturday was not fully observed over the weekend.

No shelling occurred in the capital of the unrecognised Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) overnight from Sunday to Monday, a Sputnik correspondent reports.

On Monday morning, air raid sirens went off in Stepanakert for about five minutes, starting from around 7:27 a.m. local time (3:27 GMT), according to a Sputnik correspondent, who says that it was likely that a reconnaissance drone was spotted by the radars. Local eyewitnesses said that two or three explosions were heard somewhere far from the city.

Oct 12 05:41

Live Updates: Azerbaijani President Claims Baku Has Seized Control Over Several Karabakh Settlements

The president of the self-proclaimed republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Arayik Harutyunyan, said that the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan that took effect at noon on Saturday was not fully observed over the weekend.

No shelling occurred in the capital of the unrecognised Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) overnight from Sunday to Monday, a Sputnik correspondent reports.

On Monday morning, air raid sirens went off in Stepanakert for about five minutes, starting from around 7:27 a.m. local time (3:27 GMT), according to a Sputnik correspondent, who says that it was likely that a reconnaissance drone was spotted by the radars. Local eyewitnesses said that two or three explosions were heard somewhere far from the city.

Oct 11 06:43

Fresh artillery attacks & exchange of accusations overshadow ceasefire implementation in Nagorno-Karabakh

A Russia-brokered ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh came under intense pressure on Sunday, as both the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides traded accusations of violations ahead of a planned swap of prisoners and bodies.
Military action continues in the armed conflict over the disputed part of Azerbaijan, which escalated two weeks ago to a level unseen since the 1990s.

Azerbaijan and Armenia, which supports Nagorno-Karabakh, agreed on Friday to take a humanitarian pause after lengthy talks in Moscow. But there have been reports of violence from the region a day after the ceasefire was supposed to come into force.

Azerbaijan on Sunday accused Armenian forces of shelling Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second largest city. The attack killed nine civilians and injured 34 others, including children, the statement said.

Armenia said Baku’s accusation was “absolutely false”.

Oct 11 06:41

Heavy shelling and civilian casualties dash hopes for Russian-backed ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan with at least seven dead and 33 wounded amid escalating violence

Hopes that a Russian-brokered ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan might hold were further dashed Sunday, with both sides accusing the other of intense shelling on civilian areas and escalating two weeks of fierce clashes.

Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said that overnight shelling by Armenian forces on the country's second largest city, Ganja, had left seven people dead and 33 wounded including children, less than 24 hours after the halt to fighting was supposed to take effect.

Rescuers in red helmets dug through piles of debris with their bare hands in search of signs of survivors, an AFP journalist in the city reported.

Oct 11 06:24

Live Updates: Nagorno-Karabakh Calls for Establishment of Centre to Trace Int'l Terrorists in Region

In the early hours of Sunday, Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry said that Ganja had been shelled from Armenian territory.

The spokeswoman for the Armenian Defence Ministry, Shushan Stepanyan, has refuted Baku’s claims that the city of Ganja in western Azerbaijan has been shelled from the territory of Armenia.

Yerevan and Baku agreed to cease hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from noon on Saturday. The ceasefire was the result of extensive talks in the Russian capital, which lasted for more than 10 hours on Friday. Since the ceasefire came into force, however, both parties have accused each other of violating the truce.

The two countries engaged in military activities in Nagorno-Karabakh on 27 September, after Yerevan and Baku accused each other of violating a 1994 ceasefire.

Oct 10 11:44

Donald Trump sentenced to death by Yemen for ‘war crimes’

Donald Trump has been sentenced to death for alleged war crimes by a court in Yemen. The US president was sentenced with nine other defendants including a Saudi King and Prince.

The case against the defendants went ahead in their absence at Houthi-run Specialised Criminal Court in the Yemeni governorate of Saada, and resulted in the death penalty against the US leader.

The court issued death sentences against Trump, Saudi King Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince, Commander of the Saudi Air Force Turki bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, and Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi. Yemen’s Vice President Ali Mohsin Al-Ahmar, Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher, Defence Minister Muhammad Al-Maqdishi, and former US Defence Secretary James Mattis were also sentenced to death.

The court also ruled that the accused should pay $10 billion to the families of those killed in the 2019 airstrike. The charges related to an airstrike which reportedly hit a school bus, killing 51 people including 40 children.

Oct 10 11:41

Can and Should Russia Stop the War in the Caucasus?

This war is officially a war between Azerbaijan and the (unrecognized) Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (RNK) aka “Republic of Artsakh” (ROA) which I shall refer to simply as Nagorno Karabakh or “NK”. As is often the case, the reality is much more complicated. For one thing, Erdogan’s Turkey has been deeply involved since Day 1 (and, really, even much before that) while Armenia has been backing NK to the hilt since the breakup of the Soviet Union. It is even worse: Turkey is a member of NATO while Armenia is a member of the CSTO. Thus a war started over a relatively small and remote area could, in theory, trigger an international nuclear war. The good news here is that nobody in NATO or the CSTO wants such a war, especially since technically speaking the NK is not part of Armenia (Armenia has not even recognized this republic so far!) and, therefore, not under the protection of the CSTO.

Oct 10 11:03

David Friedman is furthering the Kosher Nostra extremist Likudnik Israeli agenda: Scholar

"...US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is an organized crime figure who is furthering the Kosher Nostra extremist Likudnik Israeli agenda, an American political analyst has said.

Kevin Barrett, an author, journalist and radio host with a Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic Studies, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday..."

Oct 10 08:08

Envoy Urges European Action against US Sanctions on Iranian Banks

"...Iran's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna called on European countries to take action to defy the new sanctions the US has imposed on Iranian banks.

In a post on his Instagram page, Kazem Gharibabadi said Europe shoulders a heavy responsibility with regards to the United States’ fresh sanctions on a number of Iranian banks..."

Oct 10 06:51

Armenia, Azerbaijan Agree to Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday. The two sides agreed to pause fighting while they exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed in the conflict. More “substantive” talks over the disputed enclave are expected to start soon.

The announcement came after representatives from Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Moscow for talks mediated by Russia. According to Sputnik, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire after 10 hours of negotiations.

“A ceasefire has been announced, beginning 12:00 on 10 October, 2020, for humanitarian purposes for the exchange of prisoners of war and other detainees, and bodies of the dead, to be mediated in accordance with the criteria of the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Lavrov said in a statement.

Oct 10 06:45

Will Trump sell F-35s to the UAE? Congress wants him to show his work.

Two key Democrats are voicing “numerous questions” over President Donald Trump’s potential sale of Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates, accusing him of rushing a deal for political advantage instead of thinking through potentially dire national security implications.

The letter Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I. was another sign the fast-moving sale may slow to a halt on Capitol Hill.

The duo questioned whether the sale to Abu Dhabi, which has security ties to Russia and China, would compromise the F-35, an advanced and sophisticated stealth warplane, and whether such a sale would set off a Middle Eastern arms race in which Iran seeks advanced warplanes from Russia and China.

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