22 February 2012 — 012
- Saakashvili: U.S.-Trained Georgian Army To Get New Combat Vehicles
- After Obama-Saakashvili Meeting, Pentagon Official To Visit Georgia
- Over 100 Killed In Southern Libya Clashes
- U.S. Troops Fire At Afghan Protesters
- World Chess Head Fears Syria Will Be Third World War
Saakashvili: U.S.-Trained Georgian Army To Get New Combat Vehicles
February 20, 2012
Saakashvili: Georgia Manufacturing ‘Combat Vehicle’
Tbilisi: President Saakashvili said on February 20 that this week the first-ever Georgian-made “combat vehicle” would be tested.
Saakashvili made the announcement while addressing Georgian troops in the Helmand province during his visit to Afghanistan on February 20.
He did not provide details about the “combat vehicle” other than its name – Lazika; the same name has been picked by Saakashvili to a planned new city about which he first announced in December.
“You know we have already produced armored vehicles Didgori, we also produce automatic rifles and other equipment – few countries in the world have it,” Saakashvili said.
Two types of Didgori armored vehicles, manufactured in Georgia and developed by research center Delta of the Georgian Ministry of Defense, were first showcased during a military parade on May 26, 2011 – Didgori 1 with multi-barrel heavy machine gun, Minigun, capable of carrying nine personnel and Didgori 2 with 12.7 caliber machine gun.
A ruling party lawmaker, Givi Targamadze, who chairs parliamentary committee for defense and security, claimed earlier this month, that Georgia was working on production of unmanned aerial vehicle; no details are available.
President Saakashvili also said on February 20, that the authorities “have done much in recent years for equipping our armed forces” without “much noise and bragging”.
He also said that number of those willing to undergo reserve service increased four-fold after the August, 2008 war and by end of this spring Georgia would have “over 100,000 trained and equipped reserve troops.”
Saakashvili also said that he was proud when he visited earlier this month the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and met there four Georgian servicemen undergoing courses for future Marine Corps officers – “a unit,” Saakashvili said, “which we will definitely need in our armed forces.”
After Obama-Saakashvili Meeting, Pentagon Official To Visit Georgia
February 20, 2012
Georgian Official: U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense to Visit Tbilisi
Tbilisi: U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, Celeste A. Wallander, will visit Tbilisi on February 22-24, Georgia’s deputy foreign minister, Nino Kalandadze, said on Monday.
She said the visit by the U.S. delegation would be a follow up to “an agreement reached during a meeting between the Georgian and U.S. Presidents” in Washington on January 30 on “deepening cooperation in the field of defense.”
She also said that the upcoming visit was part of putting that agreement into phase of “technical implementation”.
“The United States is very much interested in increasing Georgia’s self-defense capabilities,” Kalandadze said.
During the visit, she said, the delegation would hold meetings “mainly in the Georgian Ministry of Defense in order to plan and identify concrete directions in which the defense cooperation will proceed.”
Over 100 Killed In Southern Libya Clashes
Azeri Press Agency
February 21, 2012
More than 100 killed in south Libya clashes: tribes
Baku: Fierce clashes between two tribes in Libya’s remote southeastern desert have killed more than 100 people over the past 10 days, tribal sources said on Tuesday, APA reports quoting AFP.
At least 113 people from the Toubu tribe and another 20 from the Zwai tribe have been killed in the desert town of Kufra since the fighting between them erupted on February 12, the sources said.
“We are under siege since a week. Since the start of the clashes, 113 people (from our side) have been killed, including six children,” Toubu chief Issa Abdelmajid told AFP by telephone.
He said another 241 members of his tribe have been wounded in the raging battles with members of the Zwai tribe.
Abdelmajid, a former opponent of Moamer Kadhafi who fought [his] forces in last year’s conflict, was previously tasked by the ruling National Transitional Council with monitoring Libya’s southeastern border.
At least 20 people from the Zwai tribe have also been killed and another 40 wounded in the clashes, said Yunus Zwai, spokesman for the Kufra local council.
“People from Toubu tribe are being helped by foreign elements from Chad and Sudan. We have arrested several Chadian and Sudanese fighters,” he said.
Both groups were using light arms when the fighting erupted, but the violence intensified, with the two sides firing rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns, local sources said.
“I appeal to the international community to intervene and stop these clashes which are aimed at exterminating my tribe,” said Abdelmajid.
“We tried calling the NTC but it has not responded,” he added.
Libya’s official LANA news agency quoted NTC spokesman Mohammed al-Harizi as saying that the situation in Kufra was “not calm.”
“There is an armed conflict between certain members of the society there in which several have been killed and wounded,” Harizi said on Monday without specifying the number of casualties.
Members of the Toubu tribe are dark-skinned and present in southeastern Libya as well as in Chad, Sudan and Niger.
Kufra, with a population of about 40,000 people, is located in a triangle sharing borders with Egypt, Chad and Sudan…
U.S. Troops Fire At Afghan Protesters
Pajhwok Afghan News
February 21, 2012
One injured as US troops fire at protestors
By Farid Tanhaon
CHARIKAR: US troops have shot injured a man and detained five others during a protest against the alleged burning of the Quran at the Bagram Airbase in central Parwan province.
“Late on Monday, foreign soldiers burnt a few copies of the holy book along with garbage on the airfield,” an Afghan worker on the base, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Afghans working on the base, condemning the act, entered a physical fight with the US troops, Sameer said. Five workers were detained, he added.
The workers later informed local officials and residents, who gathered in front of the base to protest the alleged desecration, Sameer said.
The crowd swelled to more than 1,000 people who burned tyres near the base and a checkpoint. US soldiers opened fire on them, injuring one protestor, police officer Abdul Hafiz Motawakil said.
After the firing incident, the protesters started hurling stones at the base and chanting slogans against the US troops, he added.
Tribal elders, representatives of demonstrators and local officials later held a meeting with the 303rd Pamir police zone commander, Gen. Baba Jan, to discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people staged another protest in the Pul-i-Charkh area on the eastern outskirts of Kabul city against the Quran’s desecration. The protests called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
They also demanded an investigation into the burning incident and serious punishment for the perpetrators.
World Chess Head Fears Syria Will Be Third World War
February 21, 2012
Chess Head Fears Syria Will Be 3rd World War
By Howard Amos
One of the last men to speak to Moammar Gadhafi before his death, president of the World Chess Federation Kirsan Ilyumzhinov warned Monday that a third world war could unfold in Syria.
Ilyumzhinov played a game of chess with the former Libyan leader last June as NATO bombs rained down on the civil war-ravaged country.
“What I saw in Libya is now repeating itself in Syria,” the former president of the Kalmykia republic told The Moscow Times. More than 5,000 people are estimated to have been killed in an 11-month uprising against the regime in Damascus.
If NATO began military action in Syria, “it would be the start of a third world war,” Ilyumzhinov said on the sidelines of an announcement about the upcoming World Chess Championship. “Next would be Iran and other countries with oil and gas — Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.”
Russia and China vetoed a motion on Syria at the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 3 that called for the resignation of President Bashar Assad, democratic reforms and a cessation of violence.
“The position of the Russian Federation was absolutely correct,” Ilyumzhinov said. “Assad has already gone the way of dialogue…That’s everything he must do, the other way is the spilling of blood and killing of people.”
Gadhafi reportedly phoned Ilyumzhinov as rebels overran Tripoli less than two months before his death.
NATO is mounting a personal attack on Assad just as it did on Gadhafi, the Buddhist and chess fanatic said. “At the very beginning, there was a decision taken to kill one person — just like now.”