Forces - China says aim of its drills near Taiwan is to combat 'arrogance' of separatists

Azerbaijani forces strike Armenian-controlled Karabakh, killing 25

Nikkei Asia

23-09-20 02:29

Azerbaijan has launched military action against the Armenian-controlled region of Nagorno-Karabakh, raising the prospect of a new war between the two countries. There are concerns that the fighting in the disputed territory could alter the geopolitical balance in the South Caucasus, an area that is crossed by oil and gas pipelines and where Russia is seeking to maintain its influence in the face of growing Turkish activity. The US has called on Azerbaijan to immediately halt its operations, while the EU, France and Germany have condemned the military action and called for a return to negotiations.
Kenya pledges security boost as it commemorates 2013 mall massacre


23-09-21 12:39

Kenya has pledged to strengthen its security measures against Somali militants, as the country commemorated the tenth anniversary of the deadly Westgate Mall attack. The attack by gunmen from Somalia's al Shabaab group in 2013 killed 67 people and led to a four-day siege. Although the group continues to launch sporadic attacks on Kenyan soil, the country has made improvements in its readiness to counter threats since the attack, according to security analysts. Kenya has worked to improve coordination and readiness among its security agencies and has received praise for its response to subsequent attacks.
Fresh gunfire reported in Karabakh despite truce


23-09-21 10:23

Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh have accused Azerbaijan of breaking a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia. Social media footage showed gunfire in the capital of the breakaway region. Azerbaijan denied the reports, calling them "completely false". Talks are underway for Nagorno-Karabakh's integration into Azerbaijan after Armenian forces agreed to surrender following intense fighting. Independent observers have been unable to reach the territory due to a blockade by Azerbaijan. Under the ceasefire agreement, Karabakh forces must be disbanded and disarmed, while Armenian forces are expected to pull out. There are concerns of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Karabakh Armenians if Azerbaijan gains control.
Nagorno-Karabakh warn of humanitarian crisis as no deal reached

The Independent

23-09-21 15:28

Talks between the breakaway Armenian republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan over the future of the war-torn region have ended without a final agreement. The meeting took place amid accusations that Azerbaijan’s forces violated a ceasefire. A tense truce has been in place since Azerbaijan’s army claimed control of the region following an offensive against local Armenian forces. Residents of Nagorno-Karabakh’s main city reported shelling and gunfire and said a “humanitarian catastrophe” was unfolding. Both sides have been fighting over the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region since the 1990s. In 2020, a six-week war resulted in the deaths of 6,700 people and saw Azerbaijan reclaim about a third of the region. The fighting has worsened an already severe humanitarian crisis, with residents experiencing food, electricity and medicine shortages due to Azerbaijan’s blockade of the “Lachin Corridor”. The UN Security Council has scheduled an urgent meeting on the offensive, while the Russian foreign ministry has called for an “immediate halt to the bloodshed”.
Watch: Ukrainian heavy armour breaches Surovikin line of Russian defences


23-09-21 15:18

Ukrainian forces have reportedly managed to break through Russia's main defensive line on the southern front, as video footage emerged of armoured vehicles advancing beyond the first network of Russian trenches, anti-tank ditches, and minefields. The footage showed Western Stryker, Marder, and Mrap vehicles advancing, followed by mine-clearing vehicles and American-made M113 armoured personnel carriers. This successful breakthrough is seen as a sign of progress in the Ukrainian counter-offensive and is important for Kyiv's long-term strategic goal of expelling Russian troops from the entire country.
For Libya's Haftar, flood aftermath tests strongman image


23-09-21 14:34

Eastern Libyan military leader Khalifa Haftar looks set to gain control over aid and reconstruction efforts in the region following Derna's catastrophic floods. However, the disaster has also led to a rare display of public dissent, which could challenge the image that Haftar can save Libya from conflict and chaos. The disaster has raised demands for accountability and transparency in how aid is spent, which could pose a political problem for Haftar. Nonetheless, Haftar and his allies could use the disaster as an opportunity to build credibility and gain access to financial resources through national and international aid responses.
Yemen Houthis flex military muscle in parade as Riyadh seeks ceasefire


23-09-21 13:42

Yemen's Houthi movement held a military parade in Sanaa on Thursday, displaying ballistic missiles and armed drones. The parade was seen as a message to the Saudi-led coalition, as the Houthi movement continues ceasefire negotiations with Riyadh. The display included cruise missiles, long-range armed drones, and thousands of soldiers marching. The conflict in Yemen has been ongoing since 2014, when the Houthi group ousted the internationally recognised government. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in 2015, but the conflict has continued, causing widespread death and suffering. The Houthi Defence Minister warned foreign forces to leave Yemen or face their anger. Negotiations are ongoing for a potential agreement to end the conflict, including reopening ports and airports, paying public servant wages, and establishing a timeline for foreign forces to leave.
Matt Hancock taken to task over lockdown affair on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins


23-09-21 20:02

Former SAS veterans interrogated Matt Hancock on the reality TV show Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins over his lockdown affair in order to understand his decision-making, according to the soldiers involved. The blindfolded former health secretary is aggressively questioned by special forces operators in the programme, with scenes showing them shouting at him, accusing him of weak leadership, and pushing him into a river. Hancock admits to letting himself down and lacking leadership in the affair. The former cabinet minister's decision-making is a particular focus of the interrogation, with the SAS staff wanting to understand his actions.
Iran stops families marking protesters' deaths


23-09-21 19:50

The families of those killed in Iran's protests last year have said that authorities have prevented them from holding memorials on the anniversaries of their deaths. Nasrin Shakarami, whose daughter Nika was killed, said she was forced to cancel a vigil after being warned she would be arrested if she attended. Shakarami's daughter was filmed at a protest in Tehran setting fire to her headscarf before being chased by police. Hundreds of people have been killed in a violent crackdown since the protests began last year.
Su­dan army chief warns UN that war could spill over, en­gulf re­gion

Al Jazeera

23-09-22 05:06

Sudan’s army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has warned the United Nations that a months-long war in Sudan could spread to the whole region and has called for international pressure to be put on the paramilitary forces he is fighting. He has called for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to be designated a terrorist organisation and its sponsors targeted outside Sudan’s borders. The fighting began on 15 April following the collapse of a plan to integrate the army with the RSF. It has spread across the country killing more than 7,500 people and displacing millions.
What we know about US Abrams tanks ar­riv­ing in Ukraine ‘next week’

Al Jazeera

23-09-22 04:23

The first US-made Abrams tanks will be delivered to Ukraine next week, according to an announcement by President Joe Biden. This comes as Ukrainian forces are engaged in intense fighting with Russia. The announcement was made after Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and unveiled a new $325 million military aid package for Ukraine. The delivery of the tanks is seen as significant support for Ukrainian forces.
The decoy weapons leading Russian forces astray in Ukraine

Financial Times

23-09-22 04:00

Ukraine's largest steelmaker, Metinvest, has been producing fake weaponry for the Ukrainian armed forces in the hopes of deceiving Russia and wasting its resources. Metinvest initially created decoys for their own industrial plants during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2020, but the idea has since expanded. The company has now supplied over 250 decoy weapons and pieces of equipment to Ukrainian troops across the frontline. The fakes are designed to look as realistic as possible while being produced as cheaply as possible. Metinvest uses materials such as plastic tubes, foam blocks, scrap wood, and metal to create the decoys. The enterprise chief of a Metinvest facility stated that "our success is measured by the decoys' destruction," as this means that the enemy has wasted valuable weapons. The fakes are constantly updated and improved to match the soldiers' needs and new western weapon systems. Metinvest's decoy factory is part of the company's contribution to the overall victory and effort to save lives on the front lines.
Why America Should Send Military Advisers to Ukraine

Foreign Affairs

23-09-22 04:00

The United States should send military advisers to Ukraine to provide on-the-ground training and assistance, according to an article in Foreign Affairs. While the US has provided significant military aid to Ukraine, including training and equipment, much of this assistance has been administered outside of Ukraine, limiting its effectiveness. By stationing advisers within Ukraine, the US can increase the number of soldiers receiving training, better understand Ukraine's needs, and offer psychological support to Kyiv. This move would also allow the US to advocate for defense reforms that could help Ukraine move towards NATO and EU membership. Critics of this approach argue that it could lead to escalation of the conflict, but the article argues that by restricting the number of advisers and keeping them away from the frontlines, the risk of escalation can be minimized. Furthermore, the article argues that historical examples have shown that advisory missions can be successful in bolstering local militaries without leading to broader military involvement. The article concludes that sending advisers to Ukraine is a cost-effective way for the US to support Ukraine and help it achieve its objectives.
Sudan’s military leader warns the war in his country could spread beyond its borders

Associated Press

23-09-22 08:43

Sudan's army chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, has warned that the war in Sudan could spread beyond the country's borders if it is not stopped. He called on world leaders to designate the rival paramilitary force, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), as a terrorist group. The conflict in Sudan began in April when tensions between the military and the RSF escalated. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of at least 5,000 people and the displacement of 4.6 million people. The Sudanese military and the RSF have been accused of war crimes, including deliberate killings of civilians and mass sexual assault.
Is­raeli forces kill Pales­tin­ian in north­ern West Bank raid

Al Jazeera

23-09-22 10:11

An 18-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces during a raid near the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian health ministry stated that the teenager was shot in the abdomen. This incident marks the seventh Palestinian killed by Israeli forces this week. Israeli troops carried out the raid by firing sound bombs, tear gas canisters, and live ammunition. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group confirmed that the victim was a local fighter from their armed wing. The Israeli military claimed that soldiers opened fire at suspects who shot at them and threw an explosive device during a weapons search operation. Violence in the occupied West Bank has been escalating for over a year, with increased Israeli military raids, settler assaults on Palestinian villages, and attacks targeting Israelis. The United Nations has stated that 2023 is the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2006, with over 200 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire this year and at least 35 Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks.
Azerbaijan sends food, other aid to Nagorno-Karabakh after ending an offensive against Armenians

Associated Press

23-09-22 09:33

Azerbaijan has delivered food and other humanitarian aid to Nagorno-Karabakh, two days after the region's ethnic Armenian separatist government called a ceasefire in a short but intense fight with Azerbaijani forces. Nagorno-Karabakh's 120,000 people have suffered severe shortages of food and medicine since late last year due to a blockade. Azerbaijan launched intense fire on Armenian positions in what it called an "anti-terrorist operation", demanding that the Armenians lay down their arms and the separatist government disband. Talks on how the region will be reintegrated into Azerbaijan have not reached a final agreement.
Ukraine hits headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol

Washington Post

23-09-22 16:47

Ukraine fired missiles at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea, in a move that demonstrates Kyiv’s increasing ability to attack Russian military infrastructure in the region. The Ukrainian Air Force said that the attack was a success, though it was not clear what type of missiles were used. Russia initially said that one person had been killed in the attack, but later changed that to “missing.” Photos showed the building with a large hole in its upper stories and smoke rising over Sevastopol.
Somalia asks UN to delay peacekeeper drawdown after 'significant setbacks'


23-09-22 15:02

Somalia has requested a three-month pause on the planned drawdown of 3,000 African Union (AU) peacekeepers, in order to allow its security forces time to regroup following a recent militant attack. The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), currently mandated by the UN Security Council, began drawing down its 22,000 troops on 30 June, with a second withdrawal of 2,000 troops scheduled for 30 September. In a letter to the UN Security Council, the National Security Adviser Hussein Sheikh Ali stated that the government’s year-long campaign against al-Shabaab militants had recently suffered “several significant setbacks” and that the forces required a respite in order to recuperate.
Analysis: Questions about Russia's clout in ex-USSR grow after Karabakh crisis


23-09-22 14:24

The recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has exposed the declining influence of Russia in the South Caucasus. Russian peacekeepers stationed in the region were unable to prevent Turkish-backed Azerbaijani forces from taking control of the area, leading to criticism and anger from many Russians. The situation has also strained Russia's relationship with Armenia, traditionally one of its closest allies, with protesters gathering outside the Russian embassy in Yerevan. Russia has blamed Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for the crisis and accused him of diplomatic incompetence. However, some Russian officials have suggested they would be happy to see Pashinyan toppled.
Ukrainian forces break through Russian front line in counteroffensive

The Independent

23-09-22 13:38

Ukrainian tanks have reportedly broken through Russia's final line of defence in the Zaporizhzhia region, marking a significant breakthrough for Ukraine's counteroffensive. According to a report by the Institute for the Study of War, Ukrainian armoured vehicles were behind the Russian defence line, known as the Surovikin line, for the first time. This breakthrough could potentially allow Ukrainian forces to reach the Sea of Azov and cut Russian forces in half. Ukraine's progress in the region has been hindered by the heavily fortified 81-mile Surovikin line, which includes tank traps and minefields.