Stop NATO news: February 28, 2012: China And Russia Slam West Over Syria

28 February 2012 — Stop NATO News

  • China And Russia Slam West Over Syria
  • Libya “Close To Disintegration: Prime Minister
  • Turkey: U.S. Military Running NATO Interceptor Missile Site
  • Israeli Arms Shipments To Azerbaijan: Against Iran Or Armenia?
  • NATO’s Special Operations Network “Steadily Growing”
  • Mediterranean: Canadian Warship Participates In NATO Anti-Submarine Warfare Drills
  • U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Headed To Arabian Sea
  • NATO Wants Azerbaijan As Wedge Between Russia And Iran

China And Russia Slam West Over Syria

Global Times February 28, 2012

China, Russia slam West over Syria By Qiu Yongzheng in Damascus and Wang Zhaokun in Beijing

China and Russia yesterday rejected US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s criticism of their stand on Syria, as the European Union (EU) nations agreed to slap new sanctions on the Syrian government.

China “cannot accept it at all,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular daily news briefing.

At a conference on Syria last week in Tunisia, Clinton called the Chinese and Russian veto of a UN resolution on Syria “despicable.”

“We suggest the Syrian people’s own choice should be respected and outsiders should not impose any so-called Syrian solution on Syria or the Syrian people,” Hong said.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday also accused the West of being “cynical” over the stance on Syria.

Putin said the West “lacks the patience to work out an adjusted and balanced” resolution that also requires opposition forces to cease fire and withdraw from flashpoints, such as the besieged central city of Homs.

China and Russia on Friday did not attend the “Friends of Syria” meeting, in which more than 60 foreign ministers gathered to seek an end to the 11 months of turmoil in the country.

Hong reiterated China did not attend the conference last week as the aim, effect and mechanism of the conference had not been further studied.

In Syria, the interior minister announced yesterday almost 90 percent of Syrians approved a new constitution, proposed by President Bashar al-Assad, in a referendum on Sunday. Turnout in the referendum was 57.4 percent, state television said.

However, despite the step, which Assad has said is a move toward reform that could bring political pluralism to Syria, the EU agreed to a further round of economic sanctions yesterday, targeting the Syrian central bank and some ministers, curbing gold trading and banning cargo flights.

The vote is likely to further complicate the situation in Syria, according to Yin Gang, a senior Middle East expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“The legitimacy of the Assad government is set to be strengthened once the draft constitution is approved, but the move will not change the attitude of the forces at home and abroad that has been demanding Assad’s immediate stepping down,” he said.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said yesterday Arab countries should take part in an international military effort to stop the bloodshed in Syria, urging nations to provide arms to Syria’s opposition.

“If the Assad government could follow up on the reforms it promised in the constitutional referendum, this would help ease the pressure he is facing at home. It might even lead to further division among the opposition groups in Syria,” Li Weijian, director of the Research Center of West Asian and African Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, told the Global Times.

“Since the signal sent by the conference on Syria in Tunisia is that the West will not choose military intervention at the moment. They may choose to secretly arm the Syrian oppositions to pile up pressure on Assad,” Li added.

Agencies contributed to this story.


Libya “Close To Disintegration: Prime Minister

Russian Information Agency Novosti February 27, 2012

Libya ‘close to disintegration’ – PM

Speaking on the first anniversary of the anti-Gaddafi revolution in Misurata Monday, interim Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abdeljalil warned of complete national disintegration if the rival tribes and clans that had laid hands on Gaddafi’s arsenals continued to refuse to submit to the authority of the central government.

The illegal firearms in circulation in Libya number in the tens of thousands.


Turkey: U.S. Military Running NATO Interceptor Missile Site February 27, 2012

U.S. mans new radar defense site in Turkey

American forces are now manning a new radar defense site in Turkey that could help defend Europe from a potential Iranian ballistic missile attack, the U.S. Army’s commander in Europe said.

“We have the forces in place … at a radar site in southern Turkey,” Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling said in an interview at Montenegro’s main military airport in its capital, Today’s Zaman reported.

It is the first time a senior US commander has confirmed reports that the NATO defense shield radar – which has caused tensions between Turkey and its Muslim neighbor Iran – has been operational in the past few weeks. The radar is a key element in a planned ballistic missile defense system that also would put other land- and sea-based radars and anti-missile interceptors in several European locations over the next decade.

“I can only speak for the ground base air defense units,” Hertling said. “But I will tell you that we make constant coordination (with the US Navy and Air Force), and I think we are well on track to conduct missile defense.”


Israeli Arms Shipments To Azerbaijan: Against Iran Or Armenia? February 23, 2012

Israeli arms supply to Azerbaijan aimed against Iran or Armenia?

The Israel Aerospace Industries company plans to sell to Azerbaijan drones and air defense systems at USD 1,6 bln. The Israeli Defense Ministry deemed the issue a resolved one. Chairman of Islamic Committee of Russia Heydar Jemal rendered his version on Tel Aviv’s selling weaponry to Baku to GeorgiaTimes.

According to the contract, Azerbaijan will get anti-aircraft systems and missile defense systems, without naming the precise volume of arms provided to Baku.

“Selling weaponry to Azerbaijan is another attempt to exert psychological pressure on Iran. Selling drones and air defense systems to Azerbaijan must enhance the conflict level in ties between Baku and Tehran. Israeli weaponry may advance Azeri positions in relation to Armenia, whereas Armenians themselves get enough arms supplies from abroad. Israelis, similar to Americans, always define the conditions under which their armaments must be used. I deem the Tel Aviv-Baku arms deal to be Israel’s transmit to Iran. A Nagorno Karabakh conflict resumption is a mere matter of time. Relations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis for years have remained tense,” Jema said.

Iran has recently accused Azerbaijan of cooperation with Mossad.

Asked whether Israeli intelligence may be found in Azerbaijan, Heydar Jemal said, “Azerbaijan is in close ties with Israel, also in the military field. Baku-Tel Aviv military cooperation implies close relations in the field of military reconnaissance. Azerbaijan has taken the role of Turkey for Israel…”

Thus, tensions between Israel and Iran keep mounting…


NATO’s Special Operations Network “Steadily Growing”

North Atlantic Treaty Organization February 27, 2012

NATO’s Special Forces Network

-Last year the NATO Special Operations School had almost 1000 graduates. And with a total of 2500 graduates so far, NATO’s Special Operations Network is steadily growing.

The skills and expertise of Special Forces are valuable assets to NATO operations. But whereas Special Forces are often seen as a national prerogative, the transatlantic Alliance also has a NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) where Special Forces work together.

Located at SHAPE Headquarters in Mons, Belgium, the NSHQ was set up to coordinate NATO’s Special Operations and to optimise the employment of Special Forces. It has one of the most diverse multinational compositions within NATO. NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) member Austria and the NATO ‘contact country’ of Sweden have also recently assigned personnel to the NSHQ.

“The main advantage of the NSHQ is to bring all SOF – Special Operations Forces – nations from NATO and from partners together to sit around the table and to promote and improve the national SOF capabilities and to assure interoperability. The capability to work together like in Afghanistan currently,” says Colonel Fritz Urbach.

Although the majority of what the NSHQ does is at the strategic and operational level, the NATO Special Operations Headquarters is also the place for training and education. At their training facility at nearby Chièvres Air Base, Special Forces from NATO and partner nations train together.

Connected Forces

By connecting the different forces, the NATO Special Operations Headquarters creates a network of Special Forces people who train together and who know and trust each other. Once they deploy on a multinational operation they can build on a trusted relationship. Building this Special Forces community is a key element, according to Colonel Fritz Urbach.

Last year the NATO Special Operations School had almost 1000 graduates. And with a total of 2500 graduates so far, NATO’s Special Operations Network is steadily growing.


Mediterranean: Canadian Warship Participates In NATO Anti-Submarine Warfare Drills

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Allied Command Operations February 27, 2012


Nisida, Naples: The Operations Room is the nerve centre of a ship. It contains equipment for monitoring and controlling electronic warfare, fire control, sonar, radar – the full spectrum of detection and analytical sensors. Under the distinctive red-colored lighting, there is constant activity that continues 24/7 while the ship is sailing. It’s here, in the ops room of HMCS Charlottetown – over continuous crackle of the radio and flicker of radar screens – that sailors participate in NATO’s largest Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise.

Eleven NATO nations are providing five submarines, 15 aircraft (including shore and ship based helicopters) and 12 surface ships (including two Auxiliary ships from Italy and one NATO Research Vessel) to take part in PROUD MANTA 12.

Charlottetown is participating in Exercise PROUD MANTA 2012 from February 14-23 in the Ionian Sea to the southeast of Sicily.

“Canada’s role throughout the exercise is to support NATO forces as an effective ASW platform,” said Lieutenant (Navy) Mark McShane, Under Water Warfare Officer on HMCS Charlottetown…

Along with Canada, other forces contributing include France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Canada’s air detachment aboard HMCS Charlottetown will also have an active role throughout the exercise. Canada’s ship-borne maritime helicopter – the CH-124 Sea King – was originally designed as an ASW helicopter. It, along with the helicopter air detachment, provides Charlottetown with an extended range to its ASW platform.

“During PROUD MANTA 2012 Charlottetown’s air detachment will be on a 30 minute standby to launch,” said Captain Chris Cole, pilot with Charlottetown’s air detachment. “When called upon, we will be asked to use the helo’s variety of sensors – such as sonar; Forward-looking Infra-Red; radar; sonobuoys; and its latest addition, an augmented surface plot – to search, localize, detect and track five submarines involved. The helo will work in conjunction with the ship’s sensors and operators to accomplish the various tasks the exercise may present.”

“This is a challenging exercise for both surface and subsurface contacts,” said Lt(N) McShane. “There are five very effective subs participating and all provide significant challenges to the fleet, as both individual units and more so during coordinated attacks. The sheer number of surface and air assets provides a very demanding environment.”

Overall the exercise is challenging, but it demonstrates NATO’s determination to maintain proficiency and improve interoperability in coordinated anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, coastal surveillance and other maritime operations using a multi-national force of ships, submarines and aircraft.

by Lieutenant, RCN Jessica MacDonald


U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Headed To Arabian Sea

U.S. Navy February 26, 2012

USS McFaul Heads to the Arabian Sea By Story by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Karen E. Cozza, COMNAVSURFLANT Public Affairs

NORFOLK: The guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) departed Naval Station Norfolk today on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Arabian Sea to participate in counter-piracy operations.

McFaul, commissioned in 1998, is the 24th Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer, and was named after Chief Petty Officer Donald L. McFaul. McFaul was a local SEAL Team 4 hero who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the Nation’s second highest combat valor award, for his heroic actions in saving his teammates during combat operations in December 1989 as part of Operation Just Cause in Panama.


NATO Wants Azerbaijan As Wedge Between Russia And Iran

The Messenger February 24, 2012

Tensions with Iran push Azerbaijan towards NATO

-Azeri analysts believe that NATO will be welcoming of their country, as it could help further separate Tehran and Moscow…and it may provide access to Azeri energy resources.

On April 9, a high-ranking NATO delegation will visit Azerbaijan in order to begin negotiations on granting the country an Individual Partnership Action Plan.

The meeting will discuss Azeri politics, security, defense, scientific capability, and environment problems.

So far, Azerbaijan has been moving very cautiously towards NATO, out of consideration for its neighbour, Iran. However, the tense political situation in the region has prompted Baku to seek a new policy direction.

Azeri analysts believe that NATO will be welcoming of their country, as it could help further separate Tehran and Moscow, it could secure an otherwise “risky” country like Azerbaijan, and it may provide access to Azeri energy resources.

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