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Showing results for tags 'missiles'.
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waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogThe US slapped fresh sanctions on Iran Tuesday over its ballistic missile program, just hours after Washington admitted the Islamic Republic was complying with a landmark nuclear deal signed two years ago. Iran's parliament retaliated by voting for extra funding for the missile program, a move that speaker Ali Larijani said would show the Americans that Iran "will resist them with all its power." The heightened tensions came after President Donald Trump was forced to back off from a key campaign promise to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran, which eased sanctions in return for limiting its ability to produce material for atomic weapons. Trump had described it as "the worst deal ever" and accused Iran of continuing to back terrorism in the Middle East. But on Monday the White House admitted that the Islamic Republic was sticking to the nukes agreement. It noted, however, that while Iran might be meeting its requirements on paper, it was ?unquestionably in default of the spirit" of the accord. In announcing the new sanctions against 18 individuals and entities in Iran, the State Department said it "remains deeply concerned about Iran's malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity." It cited Iran's support for Hezbollah, Hamas, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Huthi rebels in Yemen fighting a US-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia. In addition to earmarking an additional $260 million for its ballistic missile program, Iran's parliament also agreed Tuesday to allot a similar amount to the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations wing, the Quds Force, accused by Washington of fomenting unrest across the region. The Pentagon has also repeatedly voiced concern over a string of high-profile incidents in waters off Iran involving Iranian vessels. It has accused the Revolutionary Guards of conducting risky maneuvers around US warships in the Gulf, some of which resulted in the Americans firing warning shots. "These sanctions target procurement of advanced military hardware, such as fast attack boats and unmanned aerial vehicles, and send a strong signal that the United States cannot and will not tolerate Iran?s provocative and destabilizing behavior," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Washington is also concerned about the fate of Xiyue Wang, a 37-year-old Chinese-American researcher at Princeton University who was recently sentenced to 10 years in Iranian prison. Iran pushback While the US complained about Iran's defiance of the spirit of the nuclear accord, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he would make his own complaints about US non-compliance when representatives of the five nuclear powers - China, Russia, France, Britain, the United States - plus Germany meet in Vienna on Friday to take stock of the deal. Zarif accused the Trump administration of failing to lift sanctions in line with the deal. He said he had no communication with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in stark contrast to his predecessor John Kerry, with whom Zarif negotiated the groundbreaking nuclear deal. "It doesn't mean there can't be. The possibilities for engagement... have always been open," said Zarif in New York, where he was attending a UN forum on development. He said he was willing to discuss Wang's case "on humanitarian grounds" but stressed that Iran's courts were independent of the government. Trump and his top security officials have always taken a tough line on Iran: his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, fought Iranian-backed militias during the US occupation of Iraq while serving as a Marine general, and memories are still fresh of Hezbollah's attack on the Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon in 1983.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogMOSCOW: Two Russian warships and a submarine in the Mediterranean have fired missiles at Daesh targets in Syria, the defence ministry said Friday. It said that Turkish and Israeli military "were informed in a timely manner of the missile launches through communication channels," but it did not mention the United States. Russia has suspended its communication channel with the US on military operations in Syria after a US jet shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday, with Moscow accusing Washington of failing to issue a warning. The defence ministry said that Russia´s Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich warships and the Krasnodar submarine fired six Kalibr missiles at command centres and weapons stores in Syria´s Hama region. "As a result of the surprise mass missile strike, command points were destroyed and also large stores of weapons and ammunition of the IS terrorists in the area of Aqirbat in the Hama province," it said. The ministry added that Russian planes then carried out aerial strikes that "destroyed the remainder of the Daesh fighters and their facilities." The ministry released video footage of missiles being fired from underwater by the submarine and from the ships as well as aerial footage of the missiles striking two-storey buildings in what appeared to be semi-desert areas. The most recent such strikes from ships and submarines were announced by the ministry on May 31, aimed at targets around Palmyra. The defence ministry said Friday that Daesh fighters have been moving forces into Hama province this week under cover of night and using large buildings there as command points and weapons stores. It said the fighters were trying to move out from Raqqa towards Palmyra.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogTEHRAN: Iran has targeted militants in Syria with missiles in retaliation for deadly attacks in Tehran. Late Sunday, the elite Revolutionary Guards launched six missiles from western Iran into Syria´s mostly Daesh held Deir Ezzor province, hitting their command base, the Guards said. The strike was "revenge" for twin attacks in Tehran on June 7 that killed 17 people in the first Daesh claimed attacks inside Iran, a Guards spokesman added. As well as punishing "terrorists", it was intended to show that Iran is capable of projecting military power across the region, officials and experts said. Sunday´s strike was the first known missile attack launched from Iran into foreign territory since the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88. "The missile attacks were only a small part of Iran´s punitive power against terrorists and enemies," Guards spokesman General Ramezan Sharif said Monday. "International and regional supporters of the terrorists must realise the warning message of the missile operation." Iran has long accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of backing "terrorists". US President Donald Trump meanwhile accuses Iran of backing terrorism, a charge it denies and has threatened to tear up a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogPeople watch a TV broadcast of a news report on North Korea firing what appeared to be several land-to-ship missiles off its east coast, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, June 8, 2017. REUTERS North Korea fired what appeared to be several land-to-ship missiles off its east coast on Thursday, South Korea's military said, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure to rein in its weapons program. The launches come less than a week after the United Nations Security Council passed fresh sanctions on the reclusive state, which said it would continue to pursue its nuclear and missile program without delay. It also comes a day after South Korea said it will hold off on installing remaining components of a controversial US anti-missile defence system that has angered North Korea's main ally, China. The missiles were launched Thursday morning from the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan and flew about 200 km (124 miles), South Korea's Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. Under third-generation leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been conducting missile tests at an unprecedented pace in an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the mainland United States. Compared to the different types of ballistic missiles Pyongyang has recently tested, the missiles launched on Thursday are considered to be more defensive in nature, designed to defend against threats such as enemy warships. North Korea unveiled a number of new weapons at a massive military parade on April 15 to mark the birth anniversary of the state's founding leader and has since tested some of them. "Looking at North Korea?s pattern of missile launches, it has been revealing what it brought to the recent military parade," said Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University?s Far Eastern Studies in Seoul. "What appeared to be a new type of land-to-ship missile equipped with four launching canisters was unveiled at the parade. I think this might be what was used today." THAAD defence delayed South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been briefed on the latest launch, the military said, declining to give further details. Thursday's launch is the fourth missile test by North Korea since Moon took office on May 10 pledging to engage in dialogue with Pyongyang, saying sanctions and pressure alone have failed to resolve the growing threat from the North's advancing nuclear and missile program. Moon had also promised to review the deployment of the USTerminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea. On Wednesday, his presidential office said installation of four additional launchers would be halted until an assessment of the system's impact on the environment was completed. The introduction of the THAAD system, which includes a far-reaching radar that China worries could upset the regional security balance, has sparked protests in South Korea and a backlash in China against South Korean business interests. There was no immediate reaction from China to the latest test. Seoul and Washington were analysing the launches for further information, South Korean officials said. Japan is on high alert and will analyse information in cooperation with the United States and South Korea, Kyodo news agency quoted Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida as saying. Japan's navy and air force conducted military drills with two US aircraft carriers in the Sea of Japan last week, following similar joint U.S.-South Korea exercises. "North Korea likely wanted to show off its ability to precisely target a large warship, in relation to the joint military drills involving US aircraft carriers," Roh Jae-cheon, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman told a media briefing. "By testing different types of missiles, North Korea also appears to be aiming to secure the upper hand in relations with South Korea and the United States." In the three earlier launches, North Korea tested different kinds of ballistic missiles, two medium-to-long range missiles as well as a short-range Scud class weapon. The isolated country, which has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the beginning of 2016 in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, says the program is necessary to counter US aggression. US President Donald Trump has been pressing China aggressively to rein in North Korea, warning that all options, including a pre-emptive military strike, are on the table if Pyongyang persists with its nuclear and missile development.