Trump promises Israel that Iran will never get bomb
Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump hailed the United States’ “unbreakable” bond with Israel on Wednesday and promised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon.
Trump’s vow was designed to address Israeli concerns over the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, which Netanyahu has warned expires too soon to permanently remove the threat.
“With this visit the United States, again, reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel,” Trump said.
“The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which I’ve talked a lot about,” he said.
“One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen is the Iran deal. My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing — I mean ever — a nuclear weapon.”
No other details were immediately available. Malaysian police were not available for comment.
Earlier on Wednesday, South Korea’s spy agency said two women believed to be North Korean operatives had poisoned the 45-year-old exile in a shopping concourse at Kuala Lumpur international airport.
Kim, who had not yet passed through security, was preparing to take a late-morning flight on Monday from the Malaysian capital to his home in Macau when he was allegedly attacked, according to South Korean MPs briefed by security services.
Members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, it has been reported, as pressure grows on the president to explain his relationship with Moscow.
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies discovered the alleged communications in phone records and intercepted calls around the same time they uncovered evidence that Russia was trying to interfere with the US election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, current and former American officials told The New York Times.
The officials said there was no evidence the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to disrupt the election, the newspaper reported.
Iran growing network to train foreign terrorists, dissident group says
Iran’s hard-line Islamic regime has escalated its overseas terrorist operations, establishing a network of over a dozen internal training camps for foreign fighters, the regime’s largest resistance group said at a press conference on Tuesday in Washington.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran issued its intelligence report specifying the camps’ locations and the countries represented.
The council’s largest member is the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK). It boasts an extensive spy network inside the mullah-run government, including the all-powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its special forces wing, the Quds force, and has a track record of exposing clandestine parts of the Iranian national security apparatus.
The Quds force played a significant role in the Iraq War by training Iraqi Shiites on how to make bombs that killed scores of American troops. The Quds force is now directing thousands of Iraqi Shiite militia members in Iraq, some of whom have gone to Syria to fight for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Russia: ‘We’re not returning our territory’ Crimea to Ukraine
- Russia’s declaration comes ahead of first meeting between top diplomats
- Statement follows reports of Trump campaign advisers’ constant contact with Russia
(CNN)Russia’s Foreign Ministry has indicated that it intends to keep Crimea and not return it to Ukraine because it considers it to be part of Russia.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters Wednesday during a weekly news conference: “We’re not returning our territory. Crimea is part of the Russian Federation.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that Trump had been taking a tough line with Russia and that he expected Moscow to withdraw from the region, which it occupied following a “full-scale invasion” in 2014.
The tanks can be seen driving into the water before emerging onto dry land just moments later.
Russia is Working on a New Stealth Fighter
Russia’s RSK-MiG is working on a new lightweight fifth-generation stealth fighter to replace the Mikoyan MiG-29 and MiG-35 Fulcrum series fighters.
Called the Liogkiy Mnogofunktsionalniy Frontovoi Samolyet (LMFS)—or Light Multi-Function Frontal Aircraft in English—United Aircraft Corporation is developing the new aircraft out of its own funds, reports aviation journalist Piotr Butowski in the French-language trade journal Air & Cosmos.
Jordan to Take Active Part in All Technical, Plenary Meetings on Syria in Astana
ASTANA (Sputnik) – Jordan will be actively participating in all technical and plenary meetings at Astana talks on Syria, a source in the Jordanian delegation told Sputnik.
“Jordan will take an active part in all technical and plenary meetings in Astana,” the source said.
German Army Continues to Swallow Its Neighbors
A Czech and Romanian brigade will be integrated into divisions of the German army. The agreement is to be signed at a meeting of NATO defense ministers tomorrow. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), which broke the story on February 2, wrote, “The Bundeswehr is developing into the leading NATO army in Europe.”
The agreement is the most dramatic of a series of arrangements Germany is negotiating to deepen its cooperation with other countries. The EU Observer summarized the FAZ’s report, noting, “The longer-term strategy would turn the Bundeswehr into the leading NATO army in Europe, with small countries integrating their military forces into the German command structures.”
First Daesh Tank Attack in Iraq May Indicate Existence of ‘Vile Criminal Racket’
Commenting on the recent reports of the first documented Daesh tank attack against the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Russian defense analyst Vladimir Bogatyrev suggested that the heavy weaponry may not be mere war trophies, and that the jihadists could be acquiring the war machines through some sort of “disgusting criminal racket.”
“The attack, which targeted militia’s units in Ain Talaui, Ain al-Hasan, Ash sharai, was launched by 200 members of Daesh, 50 of whom has been eliminated. During the attack, Daesh used tanks which have become the first [documented] case of use of such weaponry by Daesh terrorists,” the militia told Al-Manar broadcaster
By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
DUBAI (Reuters) – A full-length animated film depicting an armed confrontation between Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the U.S. navy is soon to open in Iranian cinemas, amid rising tensions over President Donald Trump’s hardening rhetoric against Tehran.
The director of the “Battle of Persian Gulf II”, Farhad Azima, said that it was a remarkable coincidence that the release of the film – four years in the making – coincided with a “warmongering” president sitting in the White House.
“I hope that the film shows Trump how American soldiers will face a humiliating defeat if they attack Iran,” Azima told Reuters in a telephone interview from the city of Mashhad in eastern Iran.
Meanwhile, a terror attack planned for the Christmas market in the city of Ludwigshafen in early December was stopped when a 12-year-old Iraqi boy was arrested – but again the media was not told.
Now Italians are furious that Germany has decided against awarding any honours to Cristian Movio and Luca Scatà who bravely shot dead terrorist Anis Amri.
Japan protests Russia giving names to isles in territory dispute
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Japan has lodged a protest with Russia for naming three uninhabited islets in the disputed Northern Territories mainly after Soviet-era politicians and military commanders.
“It is a highly regrettable decision because it does not concur with our nation’s position,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Feb. 14.
The Russian government in 2010 started to name uninhabited isles in the Kurile island chain northeast of Hokkaido between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, but progress has been slow.
The southern part of the chain forms Japan’s Northern Territories–the Habomai islets and the islands of Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu–which were seized by Soviet forces at the end of World War II. Japan has since been demanding that Moscow return the islands.
Poison is just one tool for North Korea’s highly trained spies, defectors say
Poison pens and torch guns are part of the arsenal of North Korea’s spies who receive special privileges in the secretive nation where 28 million people are suffering in poverty, defectors say.
“We were taught to be ready to die for the Kim regime and if caught, to make sure we were not taken alive,” said Kim Dong–shik, a defector who was trained as a spy and infiltrated South Korea before he was shot in Seoul.
Suspicion surrounding the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged 46 year-old half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on Monday, has fallen on the country’s huge spy network.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As South Korea’s defense ministry strives to complete the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system by the end of this year, Hong Kong media reports that the US military also plans to sell the system to Taiwan to jointly establish an East Asian “mini-NATO” anti-missile network with Japan and South Korea.
The Hong Kong-based magazine Asia Week (亞洲週刊) published excerpts of an article written by former Taiwanese naval commander Lu Li-shih (呂禮詩) titled, “U.S. Military Rumored to be Planning to Deploy THAAD System in Taiwan,” asserting that in order to counter the ballistic missiles positioned in southern China aimed at Guam, Taiwan would be an ideal location to set up a THAAD system to intercept the Chinese missiles while still in the boost phase in the airspace over Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, and Nantou counties.
THAAD is an anti-ballistic missile system designed to shoot down short and medium range missiles by firing projectiles to intercept and destroy the incoming missiles with kinetic energy, thus minimizing the risk of the enemy warhead exploding.
The Pentagon’s cybersecurity swat team has hosted highly-publicized challenges to find flaws in department and military branch websites, but it also recently orchestrated a more secret, complex project.
The Defense Digital Service wanted to hire outside researchers to root out vulnerabilities in systems carrying sensitive department data — but without worrying about compromising the data, or getting the researchers in trouble. And in January, a group vetted by the company Synack descended on copies of two sensitive department systems to look for ways to break them.
The researchers found their first critical vulnerability in four hours, said Synack co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Mark Kuhr in an interview with FedScoop. Verifying it was accurate and valid, they turned it over to the government within the first 24 hours.
Bill orders Pentagon to fix knowledge gap in National Guard, reserve cyber capabilities
When it comes to defending the country from cyber attacks, Defense officials have made abundantly clear that they plan to leverage the military’s National Guard and reserve components as much as possible, including, most recently, by tasking the Army Guard and Reserve to build 21 cyber teams on top of the 133 U.S. Cyber Command had planned as part of its Cyber Mission Force.
But those cyber protection teams make up only a slice of the cyber capabilities scattered across 54 states and territories that could theoretically be called upon as first responders in the event a major cyber incident happened somewhere on U.S. soil. The trouble is, DoD has no central database that tracks exactly what those capabilities are, and there are no immediate plans to build one.
That would change under legislation that’s just been introduced by four senators who argue the lack of such a database is a major gap in the department’s readiness to support civil authorities, especially considering the breadth and depth of cyber expertise already resident in the Guard and reserve, where many service members are IT and cyber professionals in their civilian careers.