U.S. launch airstrikes on ISIS targets inside of Syria

September 2014WASHINGTON — The U.S. military has begun air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria late Monday, as the war ordered by President Obama against the militant organization took on an urgent new phase. The Pentagon acknowledged responsibility for the attack in a brief statement. “I can confirm that U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIS terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary. “Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time.” The attack, carried out by warplanes dropping bombs and ships firing cruise missiles, hit about 20 IS targets, including headquarters buildings for the militants who have based their movement in Syria, according to a senior Defense Department official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the attack.
The strikes in Syria were not invited by the government of Bashar Assad who is waging a brutal civil war against opponents of his regime, including ISIS militants. It’s unclear how Assad will react to the U.S-led attacks. His military possesses sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, although most of them are near the capital of Damascus and near the border with Israel. About two thirds of the estimated 30,000 ISIS fighters are based in Syria. The remainder has captured large parts of northern Iraq, although their momentum has been blunted there by U.S. fighter, bomber and drone aircraft. Last week, French warplanes launched attacks on ISIS targets in Iraq for the first time. For the last several weeks, U.S. spy planes have been flying over Syria collecting intelligence on potential ISIS targets. There have been 190 U.S. airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq since bombing there started in August, according to statistics from U.S. Central Command, which coordinates military activity in the region. The goal of ISIS fighters is to dominate a vast stretch of territory from Iraq to the Mediterranean. Last month, they swept through northern Iraq, capturing Mosul, the country’s second-largest city after Baghdad, and threatening the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Kurdish forces and Iraqi commandos, backed by U.S. airpower, halted the advance of ISIS fighters and ejected them from control of two key dams near Mosul and Haditha. –USA Today
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RAF jets scrambled as Russian nuclear bombers threaten British airspace

September 2014LONDON – Royal Air Force jets were deployed from Scotland to intercept Russian military ‘Bear’ aircraft that were flying too close to the airspace it guards. Aircraft based at RAF Lossiemouth, based in Moray, were sent to identify the aircraft – Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers – that were spotted in international airspace. It was the first time a Quick Reaction Alert had occurred since the base took on the role of defending the UK’s Northern airspace. ‘The many months of preparation and infrastructure improvements have made us absolutely ready for this launch, and shows we are in the best position to provide the service to the United Kingdom that the Royal Air Force was primarily created for – that is, the protection of our airspace.’ Royal Air Force Lossiemouth began a new era in its history on the 1st of September when it assumed the provision of what the RAF calls the ‘Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North’ task for the United Kingdom. The role is carried out by crews from 6 Squadron. 
The pilot of the first launch, who has not been named, said ‘it was an honour’ to be part of the first alert, something he called a ‘milestone in the history of RAF Lossiemouth.’ He added: ‘The fact that we had a flawless scramble and intercept of two Russian Bears was a testament to the hard work and commitment of all personnel involved. ‘A very proud moment, not just for the pilots who did the intercept but the engineering crews who did a fantastic job, as well as many other station personnel involved in this constant commitment.’ In June two Typhoon jets were scrambled into action to head off four separate groups of Russian aircraft that were flying near the Baltic. The jets were deployed to ensure the Russian planes didn’t enter the airspace of Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia. The Ministry of Defence said the aircraft appeared to be carrying out a ‘routine training’ exercise in international airspace and were later escorted out of the area. That incident followed another where four Typhoons were sent to the Siauliai air base in Lithuania in May to support a Polish-led Nato force which was operating in the region. That mission was a gesture by Nato following the Ukraine crisis. –Daily Mail  
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Vladimir Putin threatens Ukraine, also says Russia could invade Europe within two days

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September 2014UKRAINE — Things in Europe are heating up with threats made by Russia President Vladimir Putin to the Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. In a private meeting also attended by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barraso, Putin said that Russian troops could reach multiple points in Europe in just two days. “If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest,” he said, according to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, citing a European Union memorandum of the meeting. While troops could move that swiftly, Putin apparently conceded that it would take up to two weeks to actually capture Kiev. Riga is the capital of Latvia, Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, Warsaw is the capital of Poland, and Bucharest is the capital of Romania. If the report is true then it would be the first time Putin has threatened to invade any NATO or European Union member countries.
“If Mr Putin were to act on this, Britain could find itself at war with Russia. All five countries mentioned in this alleged conversation are members of both the EU and NATO. They are covered by the security guarantee in Article V of Nato’s founding treaty, which states that ‘an attack on one is an attack on all,’” noted the Telegraph. “In a speech in Tallinn earlier this month, President Barack Obama confirmed NATO’s commitment to this doctrine.” Obama said in that speech: “If you ever ask again ‘Who will come to help?’ you’ll know the answer: the NATO alliance, including the armed forces of the United States of America. We’ll be here for Estonia. We will be here for Latvia. We will be here for Lithuania.” Putin also told Poroshenko not to rely on the EU, claiming that Russia can bring about a “blocking minority” through some member states. Ukraine is working toward membership into the union. On Tuesday, it ratified a historic Association Agreement, putting it on the path towards eventual EU membership. The European Commission wouldn’t confirm or deny the meeting involving Putin, Poroshenko, and Barroso. “We will not conduct diplomacy in the press or discuss extracts of confidential conversations,” said Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, the Commission spokesperson. “What matters to the EU and the Commission is to contribute to lasting peace, stability and prosperity in Ukraine.” –Epoch Times
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U.S., Canadian jets intercept 6 Russian aircraft near Alaska

September 2014ALASKA Two F-22 fighter jets intercepted six Russian military airplanes that neared the western coast of Alaska, military officials said Friday. Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday. The Russian planes were identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and two Bear long-range bombers. They looped south and returned to their base in Russia after the U.S. jets were scrambled.
At about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea. In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles from the coastline. They did not enter sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada. Jazdyk said the fighter jets were scrambled “basically to let those aircraft know that we see them, and in case of a threat, to let them know we are there to protect our sovereign airspace.” In the past five years, jets under NORAD’s command have intercepted more than 50 Russian bombers approaching North American airspace. NORAD is a binational American and Canadian command responsible for air defense in North America. –Yahoo News
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Fifty-three percent of Chinese polled believe World War 3 will happen soon

China-jan
September 2014BEIJING - 53 percent of respondents in China thought that China and Japan would have a shooting war in the next six years, which may inevitably lead to war on a world-wide scale. The poll highlighted the deep-rooted mistrust that exists between the two countries, and the pessimistic world view that could lead to World War 3. The poll was jointly conducted by the China Daily and Japanese NGO Genron. Although the majority of Chinese respondents thought there’d be war by 2020, only 29 percent of Japanese felt that same way. Nevertheless, high feelings of mistrust existed on both sides. 93 percent of Japanese had a negative impression of the burgeoning Asian superpower, and 87 percent of Chinese felt the same way about Japan. It’s a hatred that has run deep since World War 2. In fact, China just recently marked the 69th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the World War. The Chinese government has even declared it a national day, right as tensions continue to rise. Japan isn’t helping matters much either. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been criticized as being “insensitive” after visiting the Yasukuni shrine in January. The shrine is dedicated to those who died in war, including convicted war criminals. Most disturbing of all is the conflict over the Senkaku islands (known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Pinnacle Rocks in English-speaking countries.) The islands have been a potential flash-point, with both sides claiming ownership despite Japanese administrative control.
The U.S. has stated publicly that it would defend Japan over the islands, and is duty-bound to protect Japan if attacked. Since the end of the last World War, Japan has been one of America’s closest allies in Asia. A situation that resembles the very first world war? Earlier this year, Shinzo Abe was quoted as saying that the situation in Asia was similar to Europe before the first world war, and that China and Japan needed to avoid what happened between Germany and Great Britain. Abe later said that he was misquoted because of a bad translation, but the analogy had already grabbed the media’s attention. The world is again a web of different alliances and loyalties. Any serious conflict between Japan and China would force allies on both sides, like the U.S. and North Korea, into the fray. It’s not clear if the respondents for the poll understood how severe a conflict between the two countries would be. Hopefully the people are wrong, and World War 3 stays in the realm of the hypothetical. –Inquisitor
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Pope Francis warns ‘piecemeal’ World War III has begun

Pope Nuclear War
September 2014GEOPOLITICS — Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a “piecemeal” Third World War, condemning the arms trade and “plotters of terrorism sowing death and destruction. Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy’s largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried. The pope began his brief visit to northern Italy by first praying in a nearby, separate cemetery for some 15,000 soldiers from five nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire which were on the losing side of the Great War that broke out 100 years ago. “War is madness,” he said in his homily before the massive, sloping granite memorial, made of 22 steps on the side of hill with three crosses at the top.
“Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said. In the past few months, Francis has made repeated appeals for an end to conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Gaza and parts of Africa. “War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying,” he said. “Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology …,” he said. Last month the pope, who has often condemned the concept of war in God’s name, said it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to stop “unjust aggression” by Islamic State militants who have killed or displaced thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, many of them Christians. In his homily, read at a somber service to thousands of people braving the rain and which included the hauntingly funereal sound of a solitary bugle, Francis condemned “plotters of terrorism” but did not elaborate. -CNBC
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Will conflict ever end in Ukraine? Ukraine vows return to union with Crimea

Ukraine
September 2014UKRAINE - As the European Union announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Moscow, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko vowed Friday to reunite the Russian-held region of Crimea with the rest of the country. The annexation of Crimea, which sparked a diplomatic crisis with the West, will be reversed not by military force, but by an “economic and democratic petition” Poroshenko declared. “We have a significant problem. They said we lost the Crimea. No, we had an invasion in Crimea – but Crimea will be back together with us,” he said, speaking at the 11th Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference in Kiev. Speaking to CNBC, Poroshenko said the key issue for Ukraine is its “independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” as he called for the total withdrawal of Russian troops from the border.
Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-Western former president of the Ukraine, added that current relations with the Kremlin were in tatters as President Putin refuses to take part in discussions himself. “It is impossible to negotiate with Putin, he is not even participating in the discussions. His puppets are talking instead of him,” he told CNBC through an interpreter at the conference. The EU put new sanctions into effect against Russia on Friday, including restrictions on financing from some Russian state-owned companies and asset freezes on leading Russian politicians. Poroshenko said the sanctions showed Europe’s level of solidarity with Ukraine in the face of confrontation with Russia. Last week, former presidential candidate Senator John McCain urged NATO leaders to arm Ukraine and equip the country with intelligence and defensive weapons, branding the West’s efforts to support the country’s fight against Russian separatists so far as “shameful.” Current U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt defended the Obama administration’s stance and said the U.S. had given Ukraine $70 million in “security sector assistance” to date, but the solution to the crisis had to be diplomatic. -CNBC
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World War 3 worries loom again, as nations engage in dangerous game of posturing

September 2014UKRAINE – Last week, Putin said, “Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words,” reports Business Insider. Moscow conducted a drill showing off its nuclear defense capabilities last month, utilizing over 4,000 soldiers to show off its power. While some may suggest that Russia may kick off World War 3 with a nuclear strike, others are drawing comparisons with the Cold War, which does seem more appropriate—at least for now. During the Cold War, relations between Washington and Moscow were strained, to say the list, after Russians invaded Afghanistan. During that time, the nuclear arms race was running hot and heavy as both Moscow and Washington raced to build nuclear weapons that could take just minutes to reach their target. Russia has already put in place a system called Dead Hand or Perimeter, which is designed to prevent a nuclear strike from the U.S. The system is able to launch all of Russia’s nuclear weapons upon activation. The goal of the system was to launch a nuclear strike even if the West and NATO managed to wipe out Russian leadership. It begins by attempting to reach human contact to determine if anyone is left alive. If no one is alive, then the system automatically launches a nuclear strike.
If human presence is detected, then the system looks for signs of a nuclear attack, like radioactivity, extreme light and sudden changes in air pressure. If it decides that there had been a nuclear strike, then all of Russia’s nuclear weapons throughout the country would launch, targeting numerous locations all over the Northern Hemisphere. Russian military strategy—will it plant the seeds for World War 3? Putin adopted a policy of nuclear “de-escalation” in 2000, limiting the use of nuclear weapons. The policy calls for a limited nuclear strike if it sustained a major attack using conventional weapons that surpassed its ability to defend itself. Experts say Russia is weak in the area of conventional weapons. If the fight with Ukraine escalates much further, NATO could get even more involved, and experts say Moscow knows it needs nuclear weapons to stand up to the global organization. –Value Walk

        Will such military conflicts soon erupt across the globe if tensions are not deescalated?

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Russian strategic bombers practice nuclear missile strike runs on U.S. targets

September 2014MOSCOW - A pair of Russian bomber jets reportedly practiced cruise missile attacks against targets in the United States last week, according to a report published on Monday in the Washington Free Beacon. Bill Gertz, a writer for the Beacon, reported that two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were tracked flying over the Labrador Sea last week in the northern Atlantic Ocean near Iceland, Greenland and Canada as part of a recent training mission. “Analysis of the flight indicated the aircraft were conducting practice runs to a pre-determined ‘launch box’ — an optimum point for firing nuclear-armed cruise missiles at US targets,” Gertz wrote, citing unnamed defense officials he described as being familiar with intelligence reports. The aircraft, Gertz added, are outfitted with six AS-15 nuclear-armed cruise missiles, each capable of striking targets as far away as 1,800 miles. Representatives for the US Northern Command and Northern American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, declined to comment to Gertz ahead of his report, and told RT in an email Monday afternoon that they could not confirm the allegations printed by the Free Beacon. On his part, however, Gertz wrote that neither the US nor Canada responded to the alleged incident because it reportedly occurred outside of the North American Air Defense Identification Zone.
According to Gertz, the reported drill occurred last week at the same time that officials from the US, Canada and other allied partners met in Wales for the largest NATO summit of its kind in two years, where on the agenda, among other topics, was the escalating crisis in eastern Ukraine and potential action that could be undertaken to counter perceived Russian aggression. On the heels of that meeting, both the US and the European Union are expected to impose new sanctions against Moscow.  The latest report comes days after Russia’s own recent decision to revise a 2010 military doctrine to identify the US and NATO members as enemies, which “clearly outline[s] the conditions of a preemptive nuclear strike” against partner countries, Gertz wrote. With regards to the alliance, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during last week’s summit that at least 4,000 troops from various member states will soon form a “spearhead” regiment that will be “ready to deploy within a few days with air, sea and Special Forces support” in the event that the Ukrainian crisis spread into allied territory.
Gertz has previously reported for the Beacon that no fewer than 16 Russian bombers incurred the airspace of either US or Canada during the month of August, and this week’s article comes days after similar allegations were made abroad: late last month, a Dutch F-16 military jet intercepted and escorted a Russian Tu-95 bomber out of that nation’s airspace, as did the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force during a similar incident. “Clearly, we at the US Strategic Command do monitor the strategic environment,”Admiral Cecil Haney, commander of the US Strategic Command, told Gertz last month following reports that Russian bombers came within 50 miles of California on the US West Coast. “I will say that the business of them coming close to the United States of America, we take very seriously.” -RT
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U.S. experts warns Ukraine joining NATO will lead to nuclear war

September 2014 UKRAINE - American scholar of Russian studies Stephen Cohen has said that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will lead to a “nuclear war. First of all, by NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, a country that does not control its own territory. In this case, Kiev controls less and less by the day. It’s lost Crimea. It’s losing the Donbas—I just described why—to the war,” he said. “Secondly, you have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO. Ukraine meets none of them. Thirdly, and most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily,” the scholar explained. Cohen also noted that the West is mainly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine, Washington’s Blog reported. “This is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in eastern Ukraine,” one of America’s top experts on Russia said.
“In my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. I would say that historians one day will look back and say that America has blood on its hands. Three thousand people have died, most of them civilians who couldn’t move quickly. That’s women with small children, older women. A million refugees,” Cohen added. “If they go ahead with this NATO decision, right plunk on Russia’s borders. Russia will then leave the historic nuclear agreement that Reagan and Gorbachev signed in 1987 to abolish short-range nuclear missiles.” Tensions between Washington and Moscow have escalated over the crisis in Ukraine. President Barack Obama on Friday warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the United States will not tolerate an attack on any NATO member state, although Ukraine is not a NATO state. –Press
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