Friday, February 23, 2018

Holland: Votes to recognise Armenian 'genocide', Ankara not happy.

(The Hague. )The Dutch parliament voted Thursday overwhelmingly voted in favour of recognising the mass killing of Armenians in the early 1900s under the Ottoman Empire as "genocide", in a move that has pissed off the Turks which replied in a statement:
"We strongly condemn the decision of the Netherlands' House of Representatives today to recognize the 1915 events as 'genocide' The decision has no place in either history or justice. Therefore, it has no legal binding or validity. “
Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that deaths of over 1.5 million Armenian's in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties. Ankara does not recognise the claim of genocide but acknowledges there were casualties on both sides during World War I. In fact so strong is this inability to accept the truth, that people have been murdered in Turkey for mentioning the Armenian 'genocide'.

The irony here, is Turkey has no problem playing the genocide card against Israel (where the Arab population is growing faster than the Jewish one) of finger pointing at the US, Germany, France and the Greeks regards past indiscretions , yet the fact remains when the shoe is on the other foot, the Turks scream and stamp their tiny little feet in which to scream foul play. Which kind of explains another dig the Turks made at the Dutch:
"The unfounded decisions taken by the parliament of a country which closed its eyes to the Srebrenica massacre... have no place in history,"
This isn't the first time the Turks have thrown a hissy fit:

In 2006, Turkey condemned a French parliamentary vote which would make it a crime to deny that Armenians had suffered genocide. The bill did not become law - but Turkey suspended military ties.

In March 2007, Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Washington after a US congressional committee narrowly approved a resolution branding the killings as "genocide.

In 2015 Turkey recalled its Vatican ambassador and accused the Pope of having "discriminated about people's suffering" after Pope Francis called it "the first genocide of the 20th Century"

In June 2016 Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Berlin and denounced the vote as “null and void after the German Parliament recognised the Armenian genocide.

It appears that Turkey subscribes to the notion, do as I say and not as I do. on that note here's a message from me to Turkey:

India: Takes out Pakistani bunker with a targeted missile strike.

(Kashmir)  After weeks of belligerence by Pakistan against India  in the form of terrorists attacks against the Indian military, be it artillery strikes, sniper attacks across the border, attacks on Military establishments, India took action today with a guided rocket attack on a Pakistani Military bunker which I am led to believe killed 22 Pakistani soldiers.

As this is a tit for tat conflict (And tomorrow is Friday) expect Pakistan to respond.

Germany: Food bank bars new migrant clients

(Essen)  German food bank ‘Essener Tafel" has temporarily stopped accepting new non-German clients, citing a huge influx of migrants that was displacing locals in need.  Joerg Sartor, chairman of the Food bank  stated:

"Since the number of foreign citizens among our clients has risen to 75 percent in recent years ... we are forced to only accept customers with German identity cards in order to facilitate proper integration, we want the German granny to be able to keep coming to us,"
He said German elderly people and single mothers had been gradually displaced over the past two years as the share of migrants had risen to three-quarters of recipients.

The website of the "Essener Tafel" charity said it had taken the step in order to avoid frictions between needy locals and foreigners that could harm acceptance of the newcomers.

Somalia: US Airstrike takes out 4 Al-Shabab terrorists

(Jamaame) The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) reported on Thursday that they had taken out 4 Al-Shabab terrorists in an air-strike in the south of Somalia, 24 hours after taking out 3 terrorists in another UAV -strike.

Interlude: Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Jordan: Restructures its armoured formations

(Amman) The Royal Jordanian Army (RJA) is restructuring its armoured forces. Currently the RJA fields eight battalions of Main Battle Tanks, four of which are equipped with a total of 182 M60A3s. The other four battalions are equipped with Challenger 1 tanks, which are known locally as Al Hussein MBTs.  Around 400 of these had been delivered by 2004, although it is unlikely that many are still in service.

 Al Hussein in British service as the Challenger 1
The new line up sees the Al Hussein MBT phased out of service, pushing the M60 tanks into the premier Jordanian MBT position 

and the inclusion of ex-Italian Army Centauros, which is a wheeled armoured fighting vehicle fitted with the same gun as the M60 (105mm) both will be backed up by Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles.

It seems that with a peace treaty in place with Israel, Jordan has moved away from heavy armour which requires transport to be moved any considerable distance for vehicles which have greater strategic mobility. Which in today climate of pop up rebellions and insurgencies across the region, means that troops can be rapidly deployed not only across the country, but to the neighbours as well, if the need is there. (Iraq/Syria/Saudi Arabia) 

The strange thing is a few years back, the Jordanians developed 2 very interesting vehicles using the Challenger 1 body and the Centurion tank
1)The Jordanian Falcon , a unmanned streamline turret fitted with a 120mm smooth-bore gun. Remote operation of the turret enables full under amour protection for the crew members. Overall protection level is improved by reduced vehicle profile. Front of the turret is reinforced with composite armour.

2) The al-Dawsar heavy armoured personnel carrier (APC) is a heavy armoured personnel carrier which is a conversion of the Centurion main battle tank it has a crew of two and provides accommodation for 7 troops.

Whilst I fully understand the concept of rapid reaction forces, sometimes, you require a little something bigger and heavier hitting than a 105mm gun, which can also take a punch or two or even three.

Syria: Russian Stealth fighter deployed to Khmeimim

(Damascus)  The war in Syria has allowed the Russian military to test its equipment in a real time combat situation, which has allowed the designers to test and adjust. Well the latest piece of Russian equipment to be spotted in Syria is the Sukhoi Su-57 aka the Russian Stealth fighter.

The Russia media has been singing the praises of the SU-57 since its first flight in 2010, yet dispite all the rhetoric, the SU-57 still hasn't got past the testing stage , due to a number of issues such as using engines built for the SU-35 until its own engines come on line around 2025. This hold up has resulted in India (which has funded a lot of the work) which was intending to purchase 200, lowering that figure to 144 then to 108, now looking at ditching the plane and going with the F-35 instead.

To that end in order to speeding up the test phase , Moscow has deployed 2 SU-57s to Khmeimim Airbase in Syria, in gain some actual combat experience in which to allow the builders to stamp combat proven onto the plane thus improving its chances of a sale to all those Arab despots who like shiny new toys.

A number of commentators in the media have expressed that this deployment is to allow the SU-57 to be tested against the F-22 Stealth fighter as used by the USAF. The thing is the F22 has been in service for 15 years and it is pure stealth, the Russian planes (and the Chinese) are not fully stealth and would be stupid to go up against the F-22. But as I mention above, this is all about getting the SU_57 into service.

Montenegro; Grenade attack on U.S. embassy

(Podgorica)  Dalibor Jaukovic a former Serbian soldier who fought in the Kosovo war,  last night attacked the American Embassy in Montenegro, first of all he threw a  Yugoslav-made M75 "Kashikara" grenade over the compound wall, that detonated causing no injuries , but that was due to the fact it was midnight, then, possibly by accident a second device he was holding decided to blow up, killing him.

Police in Montenegro are saying  that Jaukovic had no criminal record and that the attack was not an act of terrorism. There you go.

UK: Muslim dating website couple jailed for Islamic State-inspired Christmas attack plot

(London)  A couple who met on an Islamic dating website, and who tried to go out with a bang by killing as many people as possible in the country they found safety and freedom in have been jailed in the UK. Somalian Rowaida El-Hassan and Sudanese Munir Mohammed who decided on biting the hand that fed them were sentenced at the Old Bailey today. 36 year old Sudanese asylum seeker (who sneeked into the uk in 2014) Munir Mohammed had volunteered for a "lone wolf" UK mission to kill people with a bomb or Ricin was jailed for 14 years.

33 year old Rowaida El-Hassan who used her experience as a pharmacist in which to help Mohammed  to source the correct materials for a bomb was sentenced  to 12 years. Both were arrested in December 2016, in the process of making homemade explosives and Ricin.

Passing sentence Judge Michael Topolski QC said:
 'You decided to plan an attack on the country in which you were seeking asylum.

What I cannot understand is why these two aren't deported after their sentences. 

Indian ocean: China sends 13 ship fleet into India's front yard in which to send message during Maldives crisis

(New Delhi) Currently there is a political crisis in the Maldives. The President Abdulla Yameen, has taken on an air of a policy of connecting Islam with anti-Western rhetoric and as India the big neighbour across the way is Hindu has made his bed with China, which just happens to be India’s nemesis .

Anyway early in February, the Maldives Supreme Court dropped charges against opposition leader and pro-Indian former President Mohammed Nasheed, and ordered that 12 opposition parliamentarians who had been stripped of their seats be reinstated. President Abdulla Yameen was having none of that and overruled the court’s decision and declared a state of emergency. Two Supreme Court judges and another former pro-Indian president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, were arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. In the chaos that ensued, both Yameen and Nasheed appealed to regional powerhouses for their support. Yameen sent envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in a bid to strengthen his position. Nasheed, who is currently outside the Maldives, took to Twitter to request a military-backed envoy from India. The EU  sent in a delegation and held a meeting with the opposition, but was denied talks with the ruling government, which it has accused of cracking down on democracy.

Whilst India has remained silent on sending forces to restore law and order, China firmly told New Delhi not to send in any forces (As it did in 1998 after a coup)

Well, the situation has become much more complicated as it has been reported that China has sent in a task force of 13 ships into the Eastern Indian ocean for some very strange reason, of which they are remaining tight lipped about.  The task forces consists of two 052D destroyers, a 054A frigate, and a 071 dock landing ship. A supply ship is also part of the flotilla. This has been beefed up by the 27th escort convoy comprising a destroyer, frigate and a replenishment ship  and the 28th convoy escort formation in the western Indian Ocean. 13 ships in total.

The 7500 tonnes Type 052D guided missile destroyer (Luyang-III class) is among the world's biggest and most capable destroyers. Equipped with advanced radar and two 32-cell Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for various missiles. It is presumed that the Type 052D  has capabilities similar to those of the US Arleigh Burke class general-purpose destroyers.
Type 052D 
The 4000 tonne Type 054A frigate (Jiangkai II) is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates, the first of which entered service with the People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2007. It has a hard-to-pick stealthy design and good anti-ship and counter-submarine capability.

Type 054A
The 25000 tonne Type 071 amphibious transport ship is geared for beach landing troops. An array of amphibious landing craft, assault vehicles and two back-up helicopters are used for sea-to-land deployment of around 800 troops, equivalent of an army battalion.

 “Overall, the Chinese Navy is sending out an amphibious convoy fleet with strong regional air defence, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities and the ability to deliver rather large-scale amphibious troops quickly,”
It appears that things may become very complicated 

Malaysia 10 suspect ISIS terrorists arrested.

(Kuala Lumpur) Police in Malaysia have reported that between January and February this year they arrested 10 suspected Islamic terrorists who were part of ISIS communication pipeline set up to channel  ISIS fighters to the Philippines.

The first series of arrests were made on Jan 25 and Jan 26 against five men — two Malaysians and three Philippine nationals aged between 33 and 50 — in Sandakan, Sabah. The group includes a 27-year-old man from the Philippines who is believed to be a senior leader of the notorious Abu Sayyaf, a Philippine terrorist group known for kidnapping and beheading foreign tourists. The next series of arrests was against four individuals — two male Filipinos and a Malaysia woman aged between 27 and 32 — in Penampang, Sabah on Feb 4.

Follow-up operations led to the arrest of a 48-year-old Filipino man, who has Malaysian permanent-resident status, on Feb 6 in Sandakan.

Based on the arrests in Sabah, the Police reported it was learned that the Abu Sayyaf group was attempting to form a terror cell in Sabah so that they could successfully arrange for the safe passage of IS militants in the region to the southern Philippines.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Germany: Public outcry over Syrian living on benefits with his 2 wives and 6 children.

(Schleswig-Holstein) A documentary about Ahmad A. A 32 year old Syrian refugee in Germany, who happily lives on state handouts with his two wives and six kids, has angered many in the country where polygamy is against the law.

The Spiegel TV film which was aired over the weekend, told  the story of 32-year-old Ahmad A. who fled Syria  back in 2015 with his large family, and found  asylum in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany.
Apprantly the German authorities weren't that bothered by not only that he had 2 wives, but that he married his second wife when she was just 13 years old, well below Germany’s age of consent.

His first wife, was 14 at the time of the marriage. He also has a third wife in Syria, but he told the TV presenters that the house needed to be bigger for her to come as well. His two wives reside in separate rooms on the second floor and Ahmed said he makes sure there’s no issues  between them. The family’s bedroom is located on the first floor, with Ahmad specifying that he only sleeps with one wife at a time there.

The reporters asked how much financial support he gets each month. Ahmad replied
 "I do not know. The money is transferred and I go to the bank and pick it up. "
Ahmad  also stated that he is very happy to be living in Germany.:
"I thank you very, very, very much with Mama Merkel. She is the only person who has felt the suffering of the Syrians. I also thank the Germans. Even if there are racists among them. But the Germans have experienced war and show great compassion for the Syrians. "
Ahmad A. could take a German course and find work - but he prefers to remain home to be with the children. As you can guess, this story hasn’t gone down well with the German –Tax paying- public  who are angry not only about his life on benefits, but by the fact he is allowed to have 2 wives sanctioned by a state where polygamy is illegal.

Mali: Two French soldiers killed by explosive device

(Bamako) The French president’s office has reported that on Wednesday two French soldiers were killed after their armoured vehicle was hit by an explosive device in Mali. No further information has been forthcoming.
Graphic taken from French MOD PDF
France currently has a 4,000-strong counter-terrorism force in Mali, which is part of Operation Barkhane, (supported by Germany/UK and Holland) meant to fight extremist groups in the African region of the Sahel, which also includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger.

Somalia: US Airstrike takes out 3 Al-Shabab terrorists

(Jilib) The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) reported on Wednesday that they had taken out 3 Al-Shabab terrorists in an air-strike in the south of Somalia

India: Muslims declare war on Pampers (Nappies/diapers)

(Hyderabad) Muslims in India have gone ballistic over how somebody claims to have seen the name Mohammed inside the face of a cartoon cat used to advertise ‘Pampers nappies’ . In fact faster than you could utter ‘Alis snack bar’  outraged religious fellows have stripped bare the locals shops of the offending packs of pampers and filmed themselves burning them in the street.

Apparently the nose of the cat ,two whiskers and eye spells 'Mohammed. As written on the right.

After becoming all inflammatory in the street over a total disregard for Indian Muslims, they descended on the local cop shop in which to hand over a letter of protest demanding the Police take action against this attack on peaceful Muslims.

I don't even know where to begin, how the hell can anybody construe that half a cats face is Mohammed written in Urdu/Arabic. I suppose, I had best make sure Mrs Miggins is kept inside from now on:
Mrs Miggins

US: Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor undergoes flight testing.

(Amarillo)  The Bell V-280 Valor is a tiltrotor aircraft being developed by Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin for the United States Army's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. Designed for a cruising speed of 280 knots  (hence the name V-280) a top speed of 300 knots , a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi . The V-280 is one of two prototypes battling to replace the ubiquitous Blackhawk Helicopter.    

Whilst similar looking to the V22 Osprey a major difference, is that the engines remain in place while the rotors and drive shafts tilt. A driveshaft runs through the straight wing, allowing both prop rotors to be driven by a single engine in the event of engine loss. Which I am led to believe has been a major issue with the V22 . The V-280 has retractable landing gear, a triple-redundant fly by wire control system, and a V-tail configuration. The wings are made of a single section of Carbon fibre reinforced polymer composite, reducing weight and production costs. The V-280 will have a crew of 4 and be capable of transporting up to 14 troops.

Anyway the V-280 is currently undergoing flight tests in Texas where it has reached a flight speed of 80 knots and flying at an altitude of 1,000ft above ground and demonstrated those things which make Aircraft airworthy. Enjoy.