Turkey court jails officers over 2016 coup plot

A court in Turkey has given life sentences to dozens of defendants in one of the biggest trials linked to the 2016 coup attempt. Air force pilots and army commanders were among the nearly 500 defendants accused of trying to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They allegedly directed the plot from the Akinci air base near Ankara. Mr Erdogan says US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen masterminded the plot, which led to mass arrests. Mr Gulen has denied any involvement in the attempted coup. Continue reading Turkey court jails officers over 2016 coup plot

7 Sinai peacekeepers killed in helicopter crash

Seven members of a peacekeeping force in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have been killed in a helicopter crash, the Multi National Force and Observers (MFO) said eight people were onboard the aircraft when it came down during a routine mission near Sharm el-Sheikh. Five Americans were killed, along with a French national and a Czech national, it added. A sixth American survived and was medically evacuated, Israel’s military said it had offered to help rescue injured from the scene. The Associated Press cited Israeli and Egyptian officials as saying the American survivor was airlifted to an Israeli hospital. The MFO said … Continue reading 7 Sinai peacekeepers killed in helicopter crash

Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile 12 times limit, says IAEA

Iran now has more than 12 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under an international agreement, the global watchdog says, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile had reached 2,442.9kg (5,385.6lb). Iran insists it’s nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes, the IAEA also said Iran’s explanation for the presence of nuclear material at an undeclared site was not “credible”. On Twitter, the country’s ambassador to the IAEA, Gharib Abadi, said “any hasty comments should be avoided”, adding, “Interactions are ongoing with a view to finalize the resolution of the matter.” In it’s latest report, … Continue reading Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile 12 times limit, says IAEA

Tragedy: Taiwanese pilot dies after ejecting from jet trainer

A Taiwanese air force pilot died during a routine training mission after ejecting from a malfunctioning F-5E jet, in the second fatal air crash in three months, the accident took place on Thursday morning after pilot Chu Kuang-meng reported an engine malfunction shortly after the takeoff, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), Taiwan’s Military News Agency reported. The 29-year-old was rescued from the seas off Taiwan’s southeastern coast by a navy helicopter and brought to the Mackay Memorial Hospital where he died, the news agency reported air force Major General Huang Chih-wei as saying. President Tsai Ing-wen expressed … Continue reading Tragedy: Taiwanese pilot dies after ejecting from jet trainer

Update: China threatens retaliation over US-Taiwan arms sale

China has threatened to “make legitimate and necessary responses” after the United States approved the potential sale of $1.8bn worth of advanced weapons systems to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own, the Chinese foreign ministry on Thursday said the US in approving the arms sale, was violating agreements signed in the 1970s that established diplomatic relations between the two countries. The weapons sale includes 135 air-to-ground missiles that Taiwan’s defence ministry said would build its combat capabilities amid increasing threats by China to annex the territory by force if necessary, the US move is “sending a very … Continue reading Update: China threatens retaliation over US-Taiwan arms sale

US State Dept approves $1.8bn in potential arms sales to Taiwan

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles and artillery that could have a total value of $1.8bn, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, amid rising tension over the self-ruled island that China claims as its own, among other weapons systems, Wednesday’s formal notifications to Congress by the State Department were for 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp called a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), for an estimated cost of $436.1m. The notifications also covered 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles and related … Continue reading US State Dept approves $1.8bn in potential arms sales to Taiwan

India-China dispute: India hands over soldier who crossed border

A Chinese soldier has been handed back by Indian authorities after he strayed across a contested border in the Himalayan region, Army officials said, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier was apprehended in the Demchok area of Ladakh, India said on Monday. The soldier was disoriented and was provided medical assistance and oxygen the Army said in a statement, tensions have been high between the two countries since a deadly clash in a disputed area in June, the incident comes after multiple rounds of military-level talks between the two sides to defuse the situation. Soldiers from both countries have periodically … Continue reading India-China dispute: India hands over soldier who crossed border

Chinese President Xi Jinping tells troops to focus on ‘preparing for war’

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on troops to “put all (their) minds and energy on preparing for war” in a visit to a military base in the southern province of Guangdong on Tuesday, according to state news agency Xinhua, during an inspection of the People’s Liberation Army Marine Corps in Chaozhou City. Xinhua said Xi told the soldiers to “maintain a state of high alert” and called on them to be “absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable. The main purpose of Xi’s visit to Guangdong was to deliver a speech Wednesday commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special … Continue reading Chinese President Xi Jinping tells troops to focus on ‘preparing for war’

South China Sea Dispute: China says US undermines peace after ship sails through strait

China said on Thursday the United States was seriously undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait after a US Navy destroyer sailed through the waters amid escalating tensions between Beijing and Taipei, Zhang Chunhui, a spokesman for China’s eastern theatre command, said in a statement that the Chinese military followed and monitored the USS Barry as the destroyer travelled through the strait on Wednesday. Zhang accused the US of sending “misleading signals” to people in Taiwan, state media reported, China considers Taiwan, a self-ruled island and one of the region’s most vibrant democracies, part of its territory and has … Continue reading South China Sea Dispute: China says US undermines peace after ship sails through strait

White House moving forward on arms sales to Taiwan

The White House is moving ahead with three sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan, and has sent notification of the deals to Congress for approval, five sources familiar with the situation told Reuters news agency, the move in the run-up to the November 3 US presidential election is likely to anger China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve its aims. Reuters reported in September that as many as seven major weapons systems were making their way through the US export process as the Trump administration ramped up pressure … Continue reading White House moving forward on arms sales to Taiwan

North Korea ready for biggest military parade in years

North Korea is preparing for what is expected to be the largest military parade in its history. Thousands of soldiers have practised for months to ensure that each step is marched with precision and each fervent cry of adoration will be heard by the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. These events are often ostentatious formal displays of military might to show a devoted people paying homage to their leader in closely directed goose-stepping drills. Mistakes are not tolerated, but these parades can also be part provocation, a chance to show off new missiles and weaponry despite being under strict economic sanctions. … Continue reading North Korea ready for biggest military parade in years

Russia successfully tests new hypersonic Tsirkon missile

Russia says it has successfully tested a new hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile in a move hailed by President Vladimir Putin as a “great event” for the country. The military said on Wednesday that the Tsirkon missile was fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the White Sea on Tuesday morning in the Russian Arctic and successfully hit its target, Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, told Putin, who turned 68 on Wednesday that it was the first time the missile had successfully struck a target at sea. The tasks of the launch were carried out, the test-fire … Continue reading Russia successfully tests new hypersonic Tsirkon missile