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Armenia increased its annual defense spending from $93 million in 1999 to $217 million in 2008, using constant 2005 dollars, SIPRI reported. Azerbaijan’s military budget rose from $133 million in 1999 to $697 million in 2008, and Georgia’s went from $39.8 million to $651 million over the same period.
While SIPRI tried to collect similar data on the countries of Central Asia, only Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan offered enough information to do so. Kazakhstan’s defense spending increased from $206 million in 1999 to $855 million in 2008, and Kyrgyzstan’s went from $44.8 million to $79.3 million over the same period (again using constant 2005 dollars).
Azerbaijan got 70 armored personnel carriers (of the BTR-80A variety) from Russia in 2009, Azerbaijan’s focus on new ground vehicles and recent purchases of unmanned drone aircraft from Israel, combined with Baku’s increasingly bellicose rhetoric towards Armenia leaves little doubt that Azerbaijan is preparing for the possibility of a renewed conflict over its lost territory of Nagorno-Karabakh
Israeli security forces said they will close the West Bank region from midnight Sunday to Tuesday, April 6.
Only people who need medical attention and journalists with appropriate credentials will be allowed to cross, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
The latest incident comes days after a conference in which some experts described the Kim dictatorship as being in the first stage of collapse. Americans should be paying attention: If North Korea decides to go out in a blaze of nuclear glory—and its current penchant for kamikaze rhetoric suggests it might—the enormous number of casualties would likely include many of the U.S. troops stationed on the peninsula. But even a less-apocalyptic form of collapse could destabilize the entire region.
Somali pirates said on Sunday they had captured a Spanish fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean. Mwangura said pirates had demanded a $3 million ransom for a North Korea-flagged cargo ship captured early last month.The pirates were threatening to kill the 10-man Syrian crew of the Libyan-owned MV RIM, he said
According to the information of the army of Nagrono-Karabakh, advanced forces of the Azerbaijani army fired from firearms of various calibre in the southeastern, central and northeastern directions of Nagorno-Karabakh. Truce violation was particularly intensive in the northwestern section of the line of contact, the press service went on to say. On March 22-23, Azerbaijani troops launched 34 fire attacks from submachine guns and sniper rivals, including of a large calibre, at the villages of Karmiravan, Namirli, Dzhraberd, Seisulan, Shurabad and Yarmndzha.
After retaliatory measures, undertaken by advanced forces of the Defence Army of Nagorno-Karabakh, the enemy stopped shooting, a source in Stepanakert reports.
The Karabakh forces didn’t suffer any losses.
Army on Sunday claimed that nearly 400 militants were waiting to sneak into Kashmir from across the Line of Control.
“We have got inputs that around 400 militants are ready to sneak into the valley. We predict a hot summer ahead,” the Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of Srinagar based 15 Corps, Gurmeet Singh, told a news conference here.
India on Sunday successfully tested its nuclear- capable surface-to-surface missile Agni-I from a defence base in the eastern state of Orissa, a news report said.
The locally-built missile, which has a range of 700 kilometres, was fired from a rail mobile launcher on the Wheeler Island off the state's coast
Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz promised that Israel would “sooner or later” invade and reoccupy the Gaza Strip, liquidating Hamas in the process.
Minister Steinitz, a member of the ruling Likud Party, said that Israel would have to reoccupy the Gaza Strip to prevent Hamas from rearming and that it was “left with no choice” in the matter.
At least 38 people have been killed after two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow Metro trains in the morning rush hour, officials say.
Twenty-four died in the first blast at 0756 (0356 GMT) as a train stood at the central Lubyanka station, beneath the offices of the FSB intelligence agency.
About 40 minutes later, a second explosion ripped through a train at Park Kultury, leaving another 14 dead.
The FSB said it was likely a group from the North Caucasus was responsible.
Countering claims of State and central government that 35,000 troops were withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir, army Monday said troops were only readjusted and relocated but no withdrawal has taken place.
Singh said about 2500 militants from Pakistan are ready to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir. "As per our assessment, 2000 to 2500 armed militants in 34 training camps in other side of the border are ready to infiltrate into our side."
Tension is mounting in Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps as the top military chieftain refuses to step down on the orders of President Mahmoud Abbas, deepening political rifts within the camps that could be exploited by Syria and Hezbollah.
Abbas warned earlier this month that Ein al-Hilweh, the largest and most volatile of the 12 camps in Lebanon, "might explode at any time" because of intra-Palestinian feuding.
If Israel were to strike Iran over its nuclear activities, markets would be watching one thing only - Iran's response.
The scale of that response could be the difference between a brief spike in oil prices and pushing the world back to economic crisis.
Should Israel attack Iranian nuclear facilities, it would probably carry out precision strikes while making every effort not to hit the oil sector or other civilian sites.
The army of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic has held five days of command-staff exercises.
The training was held in the army's southern division as part of the training plan for 2010.
Diplomats from Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States met in Canada to discuss the future of the Arctic. On the agenda is the military buildup by states as they race to claim natural resources.
North Korea may have deliberately directed underwater mines towards the South Korean naval ship that exploded and sank near a disputed maritime border
The Canadian Armed Forces announced Monday their withdrawal from Bosnia-Hercegovina, ending a 19-year presence in the nation, with the return of six Canadians from NATO headquarters in Sarajevo.
SAUDI ARABIA is pouring hundreds of millions of pounds into Islamist groups in the Balkans, some of which spread hatred of the West and recruit fighters for jihad in Afghanistan.
According to officials in Macedonia, Islamic fundamentalism threatens to destabilise the Balkans.
The South Korean government expressed regret Tuesday over Japan's renewed territorial claim over disputed islets lying halfway between the two neighbors.
The latest in a series of diplomatic rows over the islets comes after the Japanese government approved Tuesday elementary school textbooks that describe the islets as its territory and claim South Korea "illegally occupies" them.
Somali pirates hijack eight ships in three days
North Korea's ailing leader Kim Jong-il may die in two or three years and this could spark upheavals such as a coup, mass unrest or massacres in the communist nation, a South Korean state think-tank says.
In a rare report forecasting possible regime collapse in the North, the Korea Institute for National Unification also warned that such internal unrest could prompt the North to start a limited war on the peninsula
Given that Hezbollah has not fired a rocket at Israel since the summer of 2006, why would Tel Aviv move Iron Dome to the northern border unless it was to assure the Israeli public that it will not come under fire in the advent of a new war? In any case, Iron Dome is unlikely to transform anything, since anti-missile systems tend to be more about hype and hope than performance.
There is, of course, the possibility that the Israelis will bet the house and hit Lebanon, Syria and possibly Iran’s nuclear facilities. The rhetoric coming out of the Netanyahu government ties all three countries together, which is why Peled lumped Syria with Lebanon. The standard line coming out of Tel Aviv is that Iran is behind everything, including Hamas.
India on Monday said it is shoring up its military presence in the northern borders and upgrading infrastructure along the border with China in the light of Beijing's rapid infrastructure development and its upgraded military force projection in Tibet Autonomous Region and Xinjiang province.
While efforts to build 73 roads near Sino-Indian border have been taken up with vigour, Indian Air Force upgraded advanced landing grounds, including at Daulat Beg Oldie, to facilitate landing of AN-32 transport aircraft while the Army is raising two Mountain Divisions in the north-east and plans to acquire ultra-light howitzers that can be dropped via helicopters at higher altitudes
Elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, have re-entered Lebanon to provide training to Hezbollah's military wing in preparation for any renewed armed conflict between Hezbollah and Israel
Israeli military intelligence has detected an increase in Hezbollah deployment and activity in the area south of Beirut. Hezbollah has been reportedly bolstered by new recruitment, including Palestinians.
“Hezbollah is deploying more forces north of the Litani River,” Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said.
In Tuesday’s briefing of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Gen. Ashkenazi said Hezbollah was refraining from attacks along the Lebanese border with Israel.
“But that could change,” Gen. Ashkenazi said.
Hezbollah has been recruiting cadets to form special operations units in southern Lebanon.
They said these forces were being trained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to conduct missions in northern Israel.
Hezbollah was also said to have received a boost of some 2,000 fighters, who defected from the Fatah militia.
Former Fatah military chief Col. Munir Maqdah, who was dismissed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in February, has been leading the fighters
Israeli air force have practiced simulated strikes at Iran's nuclear facilities using airspace of at least two unidentified Arab countries, a newspaper published in east Jerusalem reported.
According to Al Manar paper, several Israeli combat jets carried out in late February bombing drills "targeting" known Iranian nuclear sites "in two Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, which are close territorially with the Islamic republic and cooperate with Israel on this issue."
Al Manar said Israel had received the permission to use the airspace from the top leadership of these countries and Washington "gave a blessing" to Tel Aviv to conduct these exercises.
A feud over water between India and Pakistan is threatening to derail peace talks between the two neighbors. Now, the Pakistanis complain that India is hogging water upstream, which is hurting Pakistani farmers downstream. Pakistani officials say they will soon begin formal arbitration over a proposed Indian dam. At a meeting that started Sunday, Pakistan raised objections to new Indian dam projects on the Indus River and asked for satellite monitoring of river flows.
"Water I see emerging as a very serious source of tension between Pakistan and India," said Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan's foreign minister, in an interview Friday. He said he has raised the issue with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's postelection strategy suggests he is prepared for a long and bitter fight to hold on to power, even if it alienates the country's Sunni community and risks new sectarian warfare.
Samvel Babayan, a former military leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, warned on Tuesday of a growing threat of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war which he said may break out “at any moment.”
“Things are moving towards the war path because Azerbaijan has the impudence to demand everything and refuse to give up anything,” Babayan told a news conference. “This suggests that it is pushing for war.”
“The situation is really dangerous. The war can start at any moment,” he said.
Three Border Police officers were lightly hurt on Wednesday in clashes with 200 Palestinian and left-wing activists near Ramallah, who were calling for the release of Palestinians arrested earlier in the week.
Protesters hurled stones at Israeli security forces by the Ofer prison near the Bitunia crossing, located west of Ramallah.
The activists were protesting the arrest on Sunday of ten activists in Bethlehem, among them senior Fatah officials including Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki.
Two blasts rocked Russia's North Caucasus region of Dagestan Wednesday morning, just two days after 39 people were killed in two subway explosions in Moscow, the region's Interior Ministry said.
The latest blasts happened in the town of Kizlyar, where 12 people, including the Kizlyar police chief and eight of his officers were killed, Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee of Russian Prosecutor General's Office, told the Interfax news agency. Twenty-three others were hospitalized.
A fierce, daylong gunbattle between Muslim rebels and Indian security forces killed seven combatants in Indian-administered Kashmir, police said Wednesday.
Local police and the army launched a joint attack Tuesday after receiving a tip that insurgents were hiding in a forested area in Budhal, a village about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Srinagar, the main city in Indian-held Kashmir, police officer Ramesh Kumar said.
Four militants and three soldiers were killed in the fighting, which ended Wednesday, Kumar told The Associated Press. He said a police officer was also wounded.
Hezbollah's deputy secretary-general, Sheikh Naim Qassem, says his organization is arming itself because it fears a forthcoming Israeli attack.
In an interview with Saudi daily al-Watan published Wednesday, Qassem said Hezbollah was "assuming that Israel will attack Lebanon one of these days".
Israel or the United States cannot just bomb Iran and (expect) things to continue normally," Sheikh Naim Qassem told Reuters. "Any attack on Iran could ignite the whole region and the assailant will pay a heavy price whether it's Israel or the United States."
He said any countries which allowed an attack on Iran to be launched from US bases on their territory would also face reprisals.
Iran is planning to develop nuclear weapons and is intensifying uranium enrichment at its nuclear facilities, the Director of National Intelligence said in its annual report, contradicting the report it published three years ago on the subject.
The Washington Times reported Wednesday that the DNI, which represents 16 US intelligence agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), filed an annual report to Congress stating that Iran is preparing to develop nuclear weapons despite recurring failures in its centrifuges.
Iran is having a growing, negative influence in its neighbor Afghanistan, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said on Wednesday, citing what he said was a shipment of Iranian arms to fighters
They include Norway's fast ice-strengthened frigates, Denmark's 12 new offshore patrol vessels and 12 projected nuclear submarines from the U.S.
Canada has promised at least six patrol vessels of its own and a state-of-the-art coast guard icebreaker. The federal government has also said it will build a winter warfare school and a military port, create a dedicated Arctic military unit and improve northern surveillance capability.
Canada and countries such as Norway have already increased the size and number of their Arctic military manoeuvres.
But Russia has made the biggest noise with 15 proposed new subs and a nuclear-powered icebreaker. It has resumed bomber patrols up to the edge of North American airspace, sent warships and submarines into Arctic waters and promised to increase its military resources based there.
Russia's security chief has not ruled out the possibility of a Georigian link to the Moscow blasts, and said agencies would investigate such a probability as the Georgian intelligence has been found to have contacts with North Caucasus-based groups. Meanwhile, the Georgia-funded First Caucasus TV today broadcasted the voice recording of Chechen warlord Doku Umarov, recognised by al Qaeda as the "Emir of Caucasus", who claimed that Moscow metro blasts were the handiwork of Russian FSB the successor of KGB
Russian occupants have deployed more military vehicles to the both zones of Gali district, Abkhazia, Georgia. The armoured vehicles, tractors and bulldozers will be distributed to various villages of the district, where Russia is constructing military bases for naval and land forces.
The part of the constructing vehicles will be stationed in the village Meore Gudava.
Concerns over maritime security in the Middle East and North Africa are fuelling a massive expansion of naval capacity in the region, bucking a worldwide trend of slowing military spending as a result of the global recession.
Problems with piracy, long-term stability and energy security are prompting Arab governments to spend billions of dollars on naval equipment, ranging from ships to unmanned drones
A SENIOR military commander said Tuesday that Cambodia has prevailed on both the military and diplomatic fronts in its standoff with Thailand over disputed land near Preah Vihear temple.
“I am here to tell you all about our victory against the Thai soldiers on the battlefield. We are the winner, and we won both the battlefield and diplomatic fight under Samdech Hun Sen’s leadership,” said General Chea Dara, deputy commander in chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces
South Korea's president ordered the military on alert Tuesday for any moves by rival North Korea after the defense minister said last week's explosion and sinking of a South Korean ship may have been caused by a North Korean mine. Defense Minister Kim Tae-young told lawmakers Monday that a floating mine dispatched from North Korea was one of several scenarios for the disaster.
"North Korea may have intentionally floated underwater mines to inflict damage on us," Kim said.
North Korean suicide squads known as "human torpedoes" may be behind the explosion
The PLA has focused considerable effort on building up its integrated air defense capabilities and has deployed an increasing number of upgraded Russian SA-20 PMU 2 along the Taiwan Strait,” Admiral Robert Willard said, confirming earlier reports by a Canadian defense magazine that said China has deployed eight battalions of advanced missile systems in Fujian Province.
media reports in Washington said that some US officials are insisting that China’s buildup of both conventional and nuclear forces is aimed solely at possible conflict with Taiwan.
China’s military forces have also been developing a new submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missile capable of reaching the Western US and aims to deploy its own aircraft carrier by 2012
Kenya has deployed more troops to its border with Somalia on Thursday. Witnesses say they could see helicopters and soldiers in the area. The reason behind the troop movement is not known, but there have been threats from al Shabaab recently.
There has been tense situation in border between Kenya and Somalia recently where the Islamist rebels control.
Al Shabaab militants and Kenyan military exchanged gun fire on Wednesday in the area. No casualties have been reported
The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday denied Palestinian reports that its troops had disseminated notices over a residential area of the Gaza Strip warning of an upcoming military strike.
Palestinians reported that Israel dropped thousands of leaflets overnight, warning residents to "wait for the response tomorrow."
Meanwhile, Israel Navy patrol boats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing vessel off the coast of Gaza early Thursday, an IDF spokesman in Tel Aviv said
A U.S. military commander was quoted as saying by the regional media on Thursday that North Korea's nuclear weapons have been the principal "operational target" for U.S. marines, stationed in Japan's Okinawa. "[U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Commander Lieutenant General Keith] Stalder reportedly said that the odds of a Kim Jong-il regime collapse are higher than an inter-Korean clash and that in the case of a collapse, swift removal of its nuclear weapons is the Marine Corps' most critical task.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has accused Israel of plotting to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, in an interview with Al-Manar television on Wednesday.
Israeli warplanes carried out at least five missile attacks on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip overnight Friday, Palestinian witnesses said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Witnesses said four of the air strikes took place near the central town of Khan Younis, the site of a deadly clash last week between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen. The fifth air strike rocked Gaza City.
Ultranationalist Israelis flocked to a disputed, volatile holy site in the divided West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday, laying their claim while also denouncing the policies of President Barack Obama toward Israel.
Some 10,000 Israelis, heavily guarded by the Israeli military, put on a carnival-like gathering at the Cave of the Patriachs, revered by both faiths, with cotton candy and pony rides. The demonstration coincided with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Palestinians were kept away from the site.
In the only reported incident of violence, Palestinians threw rocks at an Israeli bus which mistakenly drove through a Palestinian neighborhood in the city, slightly injuring a woman passenger, the military said.
Four Indian soldiers and 10 separatist guerrillas were killed in clashes in Kashmir, the highest number of people killed in firefights in 24 hours in recent months, the army said Thursday
Immediately after an explosion that caused the 1,200-ton corvette Cheonan to sink in waters near the de-facto maritime border with North Korea on March 26, the Captain sent out a message to the Second Navy Fleet Command, saying, "We are being attacked by the enemy."
A military source on Thursday said Captain Choi Won-il sent the message using his mobile phone, according to analysis of communications records. Choi sent the report after confirming that the stern had broken off following the explosion around 9:25 p.m
A Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian militants on Thursday hit an open area along the coast of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported.
The rocket struck Israel just hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal this week to stop militants in the Gaza Strip from firing rockets against Israel
The Jewish fanatic group the Temple Mount Faithful distributed a statement on Wednesday calling for a big march on Thursday in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem heading to the Aqsa Mosque on the occasion of the Jewish Passover.
The statement posted on its website a call for demolishing the Aqsa Mosque in order to build the alleged temple on its ruins.
Azerbaijan has again threatened to launch a new war against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic if internationally mediated peace talks fail to yield a solution to its liking. The warning, the latest in a long chain of such threats, came less than a week after the Russian, French and American co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group visited Armenia and Karabakh.
North Korea accused South Korea's military of opening fire Sunday towards its side of the tense land border, in what it termed a "grave armed provocation".
It said the South's military fired 90 mm recoilless guns towards a civil police post in the North on the eastern sector of the border in the early afternoon.
The firing, "seriously threatening the safety of civil policemen of the north side on routine duty", was designed "to deliberately aggravate the situation" in the border buffer zone, the official Korean Central News Agency said.
A bomb derailed a cargo train in Russia’s Dagestan region today, RIA Novosti said, citing unidentified police officials.
An explosive device equivalent to six kilograms (13 pounds) of TNT derailed eight of the train’s cars at around 3:50 a.m. near Inchkhe station, RIA said. No casualties were reported
President Nguyen Minh Triet affirmed Vietnam would defend its claims to islands that are disputed by China on a visit to an island in the South China Sea, state media reported Friday.
"We will not let anyone infringe on our territory, our sea and islands," Triet said Thursday to the island of Bach Long Vi. "We won't make concessions, even an inch of ground, to anyone."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday warned against an alleged Israeli plan to launch a new military offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Iran's English-language satellite channel Press TV reported.
Israeli fighter jets have attacked central and eastern Gaza Strip following Tel Aviv's threats of a fresh round of strikes on the blockaded sliver.
The Sunday raids targeted al-Maghazi near the Gaza City and al-Qarara in the town of Khan Younis.
The locals reported an increase in Israeli military presence in the coastal sliver over the past two weeks, the Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported
Israeli warplanes opened fire at a group of Palestinians in the central Gaza Strip, while troops supporting a number of bulldozers advanced into the east of Al-Qarara village in the southern part of the Strip, witnesses and local sources said.
Israeli military sources said that the soldiers identified armed Palestinians in the central Gaza Strip and warplanes fired at them. However, local Palestinian sources said that Israeli combat helicopters opened fire at houses but no one was reportedly wounded.
In Al-Qarara village, Israeli troops backed by helicopters entered the village and leveled agricultural land with bulldozers. No one was reportedly wounded, but the use of intensive and heavy fire caused fear and panic among residents of the village
Pakistan's military will on Saturday launch war games allowing thousands of troops to road test new tactics near its eastern border with India, a military official said.
The “Azm-e-Nau-3” or New Resolve exercise will mobilise 20,000 troops in the beginning, rising to 40,000 to 50,000 towards the end, he said.
The exercises will involve all branches of the military, including the air force, and will focus on the possibility of “conventional war on the country's eastern border
STATUS OF SEIZED VESSELS AND CREWS IN SOMALIA AND THE INDIAN OCEAN
The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine called for kidnapping Israeli soldiers in order to trade them with Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.
During the talks, Karzai, whose government is supported by billions of dollars of Western aid and 126,000 foreign troops fighting the Taliban, said he would be compelled to join the insurgency himself if the parliament does not back his bid to take over Afghanistan's electoral watchdog
Canada is an Arctic power, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said Saturday as Ottawa seeks to delineate the outer limits of the extended continental shelf also claimed by the United States.
Cannon plans to visit the Arctic's Resolute Bay and the Borden Island ice camp Monday and Tuesday.
Russia flexes its military muscles with Western airspace violations
Ominous signs of a coming Third World War