China (GPA) – In an unprecedented move, China has scrapped plans for 85 new coal burning power plants and several other coal energy facilities across eleven provinces. Following China’s recent announcement to invest $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020, the Read More
Turkey (GPA) – A leaked report by European Union intelligence allegedly shows that Erdogan planned purges of military officials before July and that it was this plan, not exiled cleric Fetullah Gülen that sparked the coup. The secret report was assembled Read More
Syria (GPA) – The Syrian government has appealed to the United Nations to punish Israel for an alleged rocket attack on a major military airbase yesterday about two hours after a suicide bombing in Damascus. Last night Damascus was hit by Read More
Israel (GPA) – The leading cause of death among the IDF in 2016 was suicide– accounting for over a third of all deaths. The trend has remained stable since 2013. 41 soldiers died while enrolled in military service last year– 15 Read More
Yemen (GPA) – According to reports, at least 8 children have died and at least 15 more have been injured after a Saudi airstrike “mistakenly” hit an elementary school in the Sana’a district of Nihm. Sources on the ground say that over Read More
Syria (GPA) – The Islamic State released video of militants detonating bombs inside a crucial Hayyan gas facility over the weekend, effectively leaving millions of Syrians without heat for the winter. The gas facility was located in the eastern countryside of Read More
The New York Times reported on Sunday that US special forces have been deployed in a number of Baltic states in order to ‘counter possible Russian aggression’ and ‘shadowy efforts’ by Moscow to destabilize the region.
This announcement comes amid a tour of Eastern Europe by several prominent US politicians, led by none other than notorious war hawks, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The tour reached a peak over New Year’s weekend with McCain making an appearance with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the war ravaged Donbas region.
In a recent meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to the Iranian ayatollah, Iraqi Vice President and former Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki thanked Iran for their assistance in fighting jihadists and criticized the Gulf States for colluding with these groups.
Maliki praised the Islamic Republic of Iran during a visit to Tehran to improve diplomatic and military relations. He thanked Iranian officials for the ongoing assistance they have provided during Iraq’s battle against takfiri militants such as the Islamic State (IS). The VP said despite many countries promising to assist in the campaign against jihadists, Iran was the only one to deliver on their promises.
This has been a big week in world events and we here at Geopolitics Alert have covered a few major stories. Here are your key takeaways for the week of December 25th:
Israel Reacts to the UNSC Settlement Decision.
After the United Nations Security Council bite last week calling for a halt to Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory, Israeli officials have been, in the words of some commentators, “throwing a tantrum.”
The Israeli government has released 200,000 documents as a searchable data base for the roughly 1,000 Yemenite families who claim their children went missing after immigrating to the newly formed state of Israel decades ago.
The documents were not intended to be released until 2031, but in light of the recent UN resolution to halt Israeli settlements, the documents were likely released today for PR reasons.
Yemenite families who immigrated to Israel shortly after its formation found themselves in in-take camps with poor sanitation conditions. As a result many children became ill or were hospitalized. For about a thousand of those families, they were told their child had died. But the families say they never received any paperwork, cause of death, and were never allowed to see or bury the body. Many families believed their children had been given up for adoption to elite Ashkenazi couples.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan said in a press conference yesterday that he has proof of the US aiding terrorists in Syria such as the Kurdish YPG and PYD but also including the Islamic State (IS).
Erdogan said it was “very clear” that the US is arming and supporting “terrorist groups including Daesh (IS)” as well as the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) and PYD (Democratic Union Party). The US is currently at odds with Turkey over whether the YPG and PYD are actually terror groups and the US sees them as “reliable partners” in the war against IS despite Turkish claims of their connections to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party). The PKK is agreed to be a terrorist group by the US, EU and Turkey.
The US does work with some Kurdish groups under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which also includes some pro-Turkish elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). State Department spokesman Mark Toner addressed these claims in his daily press briefing saying that the US has “never provided weapons to the YPG.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced Saturday that the last refuge of the African terrorist organization and Islamic State affiliate Boko Haram has fallen to Nigerian troops.
The remnants of the terrorist organization were surrounded over the weekend in their final refuge, “camp zero” in the Sambisa forest in northern Nigeria. President Buhari congratulated the troops on a “long awaited” victory and the “final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave.”
Although this news means that Boko Haram has lost out on the area of land they held, it is probably not necessarily the end of their dangerous ideology. Much like the Islamic State organization that Boko Haram leaders pledged allegiance to in 2015; taking their physical territory may just prove to make the group turn to more violent tactics of insurgency.
Following the vote on Friday by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calling for a halt to further Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Jerusalem Planning Committee has approved hundreds of new settlement homes in East Jerusalem.
The Israeli government began approving new settlements over the weekend that were previously deemed ‘diplomatically sensitive’ by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office prior to the election of Donald Trump. Despite a noticeable slowdown in the construction of settlements over the last few years of the Obama presidency, Israel seems to be banking on further support for their settlement projects from incoming President Donald Trump.
One of the West’s key allies in the Middle East has admitted to what it calls “limited use” of UK-manufactured cluster bombs in Yemen. These types of munitions are banned under international law.
When a cluster bomb explodes, it releases several smaller projectiles which allows the damage to spread to a larger area– potentially putting civilian lives at risk. These sub-munitions can also essentially become landmines. Cluster bombs were banned under international law in 2010– a treaty Britain signed upon its creation in 2008. However, Saudi Arabia and most of their coalition partners– including the United States– have not signed this same treaty.
In one of his final moves in office, president Obama has committed another 2,300 US troops to Afghanistan to help the government curb the resurgence of the Taliban.
After a year of territorial gains by the Taliban in their fight against the weakened Afghani government, the US is sending around 2,300 troops from armor and aviation brigades to assist in attempting to turn the tide. The troops are being sent as part of operation Freedom’s Sentinel to “advise and assist” the Afghan security services in their ongoing fight.
The Afghan forces are also combating the still-active al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan as well as a new cell of the Islamic State that materialized in the country earlier this year. The US forces have have their work cut out for them judging by the failures of the Afghan government in the past few years as well as the rampant corruption within the security services.