Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 18, 2011

18 June 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Libyan War: 11,526 NATO Air Missions, 4,357 Combat Sorties
  • U.S. Seeks To Try Syria’s Assad In International Criminal Court
  • France, Germany Push UN Resolution Against Syria
  • U.S. Guided Missile Warship Headed To Georgian Port
  • “Georgia Will Surely Join NATO”: Italian NATO Parliamentary Assembly Head
  • Azerbaijan: NATO Strengthens Partnership On Caspian Sea
  • State Department Holds US-Azerbaijan Security Dialogue In Baku
  • Pakistan Lodges Protest With NATO Over Air Attack
  • NATO Deploys First Slovak Special Forces To Afghanistan
  • Germans To Build Combat Training Center In Russia
  • Cyberspace Should Be Platform For Peace, Not Battleground

Libyan War: 11,526 NATO Air Missions, 4,357 Combat Sorties

Click to access 20110618_110618-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

June 18, 2011

NATO and Libya

Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 11526 sorties, including 4357 strike sorties*,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 17 JUNE: 139

Strike sorties conducted 17 JUNE: 50


U.S. Seeks To Try Syria’s Assad In International Criminal Court

Russian Information Agency Novosti

June 18, 2011

U.S. seeks to try Syria’s Assad in Hague criminal court

MOSCOW: The White House is gathering information on alleged human rights abuses by Syrian security forces for possible consideration by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website, quoting U.S. officials.

“We’re consulting on that internally and regionally,” an unidentified U.S. official was quoted by the paper as saying.

The Obama administration is also exploring ways to more directly target Syria’s oil and gas revenues, a major source of income for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle, the paper said.

“Assad is pushing his country on the path of being a pariah state,” the U.S. official said. “We are operating in a number of ways to increase the pressure” on him, he added.

Syria has not signed the Rome Statute that governs the ICC, which makes the Court unable to independently exercise jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed by the Syrian regime. But the United States and European powers could press the UN Security Council to refer the Syria case to the ICC, as it happened after Gaddafi sent his troops and tanks to fight protesters in Libya, the paper said.

Washington has not officially called on Assad, who has been ruling Syria for more than a decade, to step down as it did with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi. However, the United States, along with the European Union, has imposed sanctions on Assad and many of his family members.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Friday that the United States was trying to persuade Russia to work together on a resolution on Syria to be put to a vote at the UN Security Council.

Russia has opposed a resolution condemning violence in Syria and urged a diplomatic solution to the crisis, while France, Britain and Germany have been pushing for such a resolution to be passed by the Security Council to prevent further bloodshed.


France, Germany Push UN Resolution Against Syria

Xinhua News Agency

June 17, 2011

Germany, France to push Syria resolution in U.N.

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Germany will continue its efforts with France to push a resolution on Syria in the U.N. Security Council.

France and Germany want a Security Council resolution on President Bashar al-Assad’s actions against Syrian citizens, saying “the use of violence against the people is unacceptable,” Merkel said at a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Considering Russia’s reluctance on the issue, she also said the two countries’ U.N. representatives will discuss the situation in Syria with their Russian counterpart.

Sarkozy said Germany and France have agreed to strengthen sanctions against Syria.

“France, hand in hand with Germany, calls for tougher sanctions against Syrian authorities who are conducting intolerable and unacceptable actions and repression against the population,” he said.

Since mid-March, Syria has witnessed unprecedented protests across the country.

Al-Assad who took office in 2000 succeeding his late father, responded to the unrest with a pack of reforms and by resorting to the army to quell mounting protests against his rule.

On Tuesday, France, Italy, Germany, Britain and Portugal proposed a draft resolution, calling for an end to the violence and starting political reforms in Syria.


U.S. Guided Missile Warship Headed To Georgian Port

Trend News Agency

June 18, 2011

U.S. Navy vessel Monterey to arrive in Batumi Port

N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: The U.S. Navy vessel Monterey will arrive in Batumi Port on June 22-23.

Monterey operates in the Black Sea basin to conduct joint naval exercises with the countries of the Black Sea basin, the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi told Trend. The vessel is regularly based in the Black Sea region for several years and expresses U.S. support for stability and maritime security in the Black Sea region.

The captain of the vessel, the length of which hits 173 meters, is James Kilby. Some 43 officers and 323 sailors are on board.

Before arriving in the Georgian territorial waters, the U.S. vessel took part in the exercises “Sea Breeze” in the Crimea, which caused the Russian Foreign Ministry’s protests.


“Georgia Will Surely Join NATO”: Italian NATO Parliamentary Assembly Head

Trend News Agency

June 18, 2011

Head of Italian delegation to NATO PA: Georgia will surely join NATO

N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgia will surely be admitted to NATO, the head of the Italian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Sergio Di Gregorio, believes.

“Georgia is getting closer to the EU, and no one can weaken its aspiration for Europe,” Di Gregorio said after a meeting with Georgian Parliament Speaker David Bakradze on Friday.

He said those who want destabilization in Georgia, cannot achieve their goal. “It is an important country, which will surely be admitted to NATO,” he said.

The Italian delegation members thanked Georgia for its participation in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.


Azerbaijan: NATO Strengthens Partnership On Caspian Sea

Trend News Agency

June 17, 2011

NATO interested in further development of partnership with Azerbaijan

K. Zarbaliyeva

Baku: NATO is interested in further development of its partnership with Azerbaijan.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has today received the head of Azerbaijan’s permanent mission to NATO, Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim. Rasmussen expressed the intention to further develop a partnership with Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan’s permanent mission to NATO told Trend.

The Secretary General said an active partnership between Azerbaijan and NATO, as well as Azerbaijan’s merits in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, are commendable.

According to Ibrahim, Azerbaijan has been long and fruitfully cooperating with the Alliance. He also spoke about the country’s efforts to provide learning opportunities which are necessary for Afghanistan. The Ambassador also informed the Secretary General on its assessment of regional issues.

NATO’s cooperation with South Caucasus states – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia – is mainly carried out within the Partnership for Peace programme, Individual Partnership Action Plan, and Planning and Review Process programme. These documents define the goals and intentions of the partner countries to hold consultations with NATO on reforms in the spheres of defense, security and military policy.


State Department Holds US-Azerbaijan Security Dialogue In Baku

Azeri Press Agency

June 18, 2011

US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro to visit Azerbaijan on June 24

Isabel Levine

Washington: Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew J. Shapiro is scheduled to visit Azerbaijan the coming week, APA’s Washington DC correspondent was told at the State Department.

Within the framework of the visit to take place June 24-25, Mr. Shapiro will meet with senior civilian and military officials and discuss diplomatic initiatives aimed at meeting shared security challenges, according to the State Department.

Assistant Secretary will lead the US delegation to the US-Azerbaijan Security Dialogue. The Dialogue will focus on international security issues and aim to enhance bilateral cooperation in the areas of maritime security, counterterrorism, border security, and nonproliferation.

Besides Azerbaijan, Shapiro is going to visit France June 19-20 and Germany June 21-22.


Pakistan Lodges Protest With NATO Over Air Attack

Dawn News/Agencies

June 18, 2011

Protests lodged with Nato, Kabul

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lodged protests with the US and Afghanistan on Friday after it said Nato aircraft attacked one of its military posts in the northwest and militants from Afghan side of the border carried out a strike in the country.

Pakistan expressed “serious concern” to the US embassy and summoned a senior Afghan diplomat over the cross-border attack, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said Nato aircraft intruded around 2.5km inside Pakistani territory and attacked a military post.

“A joint inquiry of the incident has also been requested,” it said, without saying when did the incident take place.Local officials said it occurred early on Friday and that a few bombs were dropped but no casualties were reported.

Separately, Pakistan summoned Afghan ambassador in Islamabad Majnoon Gulab to the Foreign Ministry and lodged the protest over the attack by “100-150 terrorists” on three border villages in Bajaur on Thursday.

Several hundred militants crossed from Afghanistan and targeted civilians in the Mamond area of Bajaur, killing five people.

The Afghan diplomat was “summoned to the foreign office today. A strong demarche was lodged with him on the incident, which took place on June 16,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua said in a statement.

The Afghan diplomat was told that “terrorists crossed the border with Afghanistan and attacked three Pakistani villages in Bajaur”.

She said the diplomat was told of the “serious concern of the government of Pakistan. The government of Afghanistan was asked to prevent such cross-border incidents from occurring in the future.”

Afghan officials had denied that any cross-border attack had taken place and accused Pakistani troops of killing six people in a rocket strike on Wednesday.

It was the third attack reportedly carried out by militants in northwest part of the country this month.


NATO Deploys First Slovak Special Forces To Afghanistan

Russian Information Agency Novosti

June 18, 2011

Slovakia to send 20 special services officers to Afghanistan

Warsaw: Slovakia will send 20 special services officers to Afghanistan for the first time since the U.S.-led international coalition began its operation against Taliban a decade ago, the Slovak TASR news agency has reported quoting the country’s defense minister.

The soldiers, who will join the 346 Slovak troops already serving in the war-torn southern Central Asian country, will be involved both in special operations and in training Afghan security officers, Lubomir Galko was quoted as saying.

The Slovak troops are currently deployed in Kabul and the volatile southern province of Kandahar.


Germans To Build Combat Training Center In Russia

Voice of Russia

June 18, 2011

Germans to build army training centre in Nizhny Novgorod

An army combat training center will be built in Nizhny Novgorod region by German experts. The relevant contract was signed in Germany by the Russian Defense Ministry chief Anatoly Serdyukov.

The minister said the new center will enhance quality and speed of military training, as well as cut down on budget and ammunition.

The centre will begin operating from mid-2014. The Minister expressed hope that by that year, there will not have appeared any such similar centers in the world, and the Russian center “would be the most impressive and sophisticated.”


Cyberspace Should Be Platform For Peace, Not Battleground

Xinhua News Agency

June 18, 2011

Cyberspace should be platform for peace, not battleground

By Zhang Xiaojun

BEIJING: The United States recently took a series of aggressive actions related to the Internet, targeting other governments rather than terrorists or criminals.

These moves have undermined global trust, which is critical to build international consensus and carry out a coordinated policy response on cyberspace safety issues.

The United States is playing a “cat-and-mouse game” on the web, said Michael Posner, U.S. assistant secretary of state in charge of human rights, on May 10, adding the government would spend 19 million U.S. dollars to develop new tools to break online firewalls erected by other states.

“If you (a country) shut down our power grid (through the Internet), maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” an unnamed U.S. military official told the Wall Street Journal in late May, regardless of the fact that the hackers’ attack may have its origins in another country rather than the place where the smokestacks are located in.

Furthermore, British media reported that the United States was developing non-English software that will allow it to secretly manipulate social media to influence Internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

These moves, disrespectful of the sovereignty of other nations, have aroused the legitimate concern of other governments. The Internet has been an important platform for the global economy after its fast growth during the last 30 years. It is not surprising that few countries want to solely depend on a single state to maintain Internet safety and that most stakeholders expect a balance of power in cyberspace.

The U.S. unilateral actions to expand its online arsenal and flex muscles may push other players to resort to both offensive and defensive technology in cyberspace. And a cyber arms race could end up in a lose-lose situation, in which countries attack each other’s essential systems and the Internet would be fragmented, instead of forming one big cyber community.

In fact, governments, companies, organizations and individuals are all facing safety challenges on the Internet now. By effectively addressing the disputes, the priority of cyberspace governance should be to find common ground, build international consensus and encourage concerted efforts among stakeholders. Also, international cooperation on the Internet is possible since we all call for cracking down on cybercrime.

As in other areas, international cooperation in cyberspace has to be based on global trust, which helps stakeholders overcome the differences in cultures, ideologies and goals.

However, the United States, the only superpower in cyberspace like in the traditional domains, still seems to be stuck in a Cold War mentality. Instead of helping to make cyberspace an area where different countries can safely and peacefully interact, the United States has helped transform it into yet another battleground.

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