NEWS OF THE DAYAustralian prime minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday said “extreme force” was justified in battling Islamic State militants, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the extremists’ reign of terror “totally unacceptable”. Australia will “in coming days” join ally the United States in an international effort to transport weapons to Kurdish forces fighting IS extremists in northern Iraq.
MOSCOW: Russia vowed on Tuesday to adopt a beefed up new military doctrine over NATO’s plans to establish a rapid-response team that could ward off the Kremlin’s expansion into Ukraine and feared push further west. Moscow’s surprise announcement added a new and threatening new layer of tensions ahead of NATO’s two-day summit that starts Thursday in Wales and will see Ukraine’s beleaguered leader Petro Poroshenko personally lobby US President Barack Obama for military help. The Ukrainian president’s appeal for European assistance in the face of Russia’s alleged dispatch of crack troops into the separatist east of his ex-Soviet country was effectively cast aside by EU leaders meeting over the weekend in Brussels. But... more ›
AMERLI: Iraqi forces made more progress Tuesday in their fightback against jihadists but in Baghdad anger boiled over as hundreds stormed parliament over the fate of missing soldiers who surrendered in June. After breaking a months-long jihadist siege by Islamic State fighters of the ShiaTurkmen town of Amerli, troops on Tuesday regained control of part of a key highway linking Baghdad to the north. Two towns north of Amerli were also taken from the jihadists on Monday as Iraqi forces—backed by US air strikes—score their first major victories since the army’s collapse across much of the north in... more ›
KIEV: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Western powers Tuesday “there is no military solution” to the Ukraine crisis, after the government in Kiev accused Russia of launching a “great war”. As NATO prepares to upgrade its combat readiness in eastern Europe, Ban said he was greatly concerned at developments in Ukraine and wanted to avoid further deterioration to “a very chaotic and dangerous situation”. “I know the European Union, the Americans and most of the Western countries are discussing very seriously among themselves how to handle this matter,” he told reporters during a visit to New Zealand.... more ›
TEHRAN: Iran unveiled a new surface-to-air missile Tuesday and two radar systems it said would improve its defences against “enemies”. The military ceremony came just one week after Iran said it downed an Israeli spy drone that had reportedly been deployed above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in central Iran. The Talash-3 (Effort-3, in Persian) missile is capable of hitting targets at higher altitudes than previously possible, said General Farzad Esmaili, Iran’s aviation defence commander, without stating its range. But he said the new missile meant that the military “no longer thought about” the S-300 missile system that Russia stopped delivering to Iran because of sanctions linked to the latter’s nuclear programme.... more ›
BAGHDAD: At least 41 people were killed and 48 injured Tuesday in air strikes and clashes in Iraq’s Salahudin province, an official said. In one incident, up to 32 people were killed and 14 injured when a helicopter gunship attacked a school building which housed three displaced families in the militant-seized town of Alam, some 10 km northeast of Tikrit city, the official told Xinhua. The three families are relatives of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the official said. Earlier, the families fled their homes in the village of Uoja, some 12 km south of Tikrit, after their place turned into a battlefield between the security forces and Sunni militant groups. ... more ›
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