Columns of K1 88-Tanks and other military vehicles recently spotted in Paju, South Korea

The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet announced on Tuesday that a second aircraft carrier strike group entered the western Pacific amid the increasing threat of North Korea.

USS Theodore Roosevelt – the “Big Stick” – left its San Diego homeport earlier this month on a scheduled deployment to the West Pacific and Persian Gulf. It will now join the USS Ronald Reagan strike group off the Korean Peninsula.

The carrier is expected to make its way to the Persian Gulf to relieve the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

“Entering 7th Fleet is an exciting opportunity to integrate with other U.S. Navy units in the AOO, as well as operate with our partners and allies in the region,” said Rear Adm. Steve Koehler in a statement. “We look forward to continued partnerships that lead to mutual security and common views about operating at sea.”

It is rare to have two U.S. Navy aircrafts stationed in the region.

Read More At:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/second-us-aircraft-carrier-enters-western-pacific-amid-korea-tensions/ar-AAtYvzw?ocid=ob-tw-enus-702

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US is using vaguely worded legal documents which obscure Syria as billions dollars’ worth of weapons’ final destination

The Pentagon has relied on an army of contractors and sub-contractors – from blue-chip military giants to firms linked to organized crime – to supply up to US$ 2.2 billion worth of Soviet-style arms and ammunition to Syrian rebels fighting a sprawling war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Arms factories across the Balkans and Eastern Europe – already working at capacity to supply the Syrian war – are unable to meet the demand. In response, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has turned to new suppliers like Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine for additional munitions while relaxing standards on the material it’s willing to accept, according to an investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Reporters have pieced together the Pentagon’s complex supply line to Syria using procurement records, ship-tracking data, official reports, leaked emails, and interviews with insiders. This program is separate from a now-defunct CIA effort to arm rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The Pentagon is buying the arms through two channels: the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which oversees special operations across all services of the US military, and the Picatinny Arsenal, a little-known US Army weapons facility in New Jersey.

The munitions are being transported by both sea and air from Europe to Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait. They are then distributed to US allies in northern and southern Syria by plane and truck. (See: Black Sea Route)

Reporters discovered that the US is using vaguely worded legal documents which obscure Syria as the weapons’ final destination – a practice experts say threatens global efforts to combat arms trafficking and puts the Eastern European governments who sell the weapons and ammunition at risk of breaching international law. Others raise the issue of who, exactly, is using the arms and what will happen to them once ISIS has been defeated.

Read More At:

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/09/12/the-pentagon-is-spending-2-billion-running-soviet-era-guns-to-syrian-rebels/amp/

https://www.occrp.org/en/makingakilling/the-pentagon-is-spending-2-billion-on-soviet-style-arms-for-syrian-rebels

Israeli forces reportedly enter Beer Ajam, Quneitra Governorate, Syria

On September 8, Israeli troops entered a militant-held area in the eastern part of the Golan Heights, according to sources loyal to Syrian pro-government sources.

Israeli troops allegedly advanced 200 meters inside the area controlled by the so-called Syrian moderate opposition and reached the village of Beer Ajam.

Screenshot_1-19

Read More At:

https://maps.southfront.org/israeli-troops-enter-militant-held-area-of-beer-ajam-in-golan-heights-reports/

Train loaded with several ‘Tor’ air defence missile systems spotted in Yeysk, Russia near Ukraine border

Sanctions on Russia will be lifted once Moscow agrees to bring an end to the conflict in Ukraine and no sooner, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday.

The German leader said that the removal of sanctions would be economically beneficial to both Russia and Germany but insisted that Moscow would have to cease its imposition on Ukraine before these sanctions could be lifted and the advantages felt.

“Ukraine does not have full sovereignty,” Merkel told reporters Tuesday at her annual summer news conference in Berlin.

Read More At:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/29/angela-merkel-russia-sanctions-to-be-lifted-once-ukraine-ceasefire-is-agreed.html

Russia is moving military hardware toward Crimea and Belarus

They are still more than two weeks away, but Russia’s Zapad 2017 war games — potentially the country’s largest European exercises since the cold war — are creating jitters across eastern Europe.

For seven days from September 14, Russia will conduct large-scale military manoeuvres spanning western Russia, its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad and its ally Belarus — which borders three Nato members, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

While Moscow claims fewer than 13,000 troops will take part in Zapad 2017, western capitals expect the number could reach six figures.

Read More At:

https://www.ft.com/content/f284d7ae-89b2-11e7-8bb1-5ba57d47eff7

US loaded ~1500 military vehicles including Stryker AFVs onto USNS Bob Hope and Cape Isabel in WA, West Coast

US loaded about 1500 military vehicles including Stryker AFVs onto USNS Bob Hope and Cape Isabel in WA, West Coast.

Reason unclear (readiness exercise?), but Cape Isabel is going South toward San Diego (or Mexico?), Bob Hope still moored at Port Tacoma, WA.

More US reinforcements have arrived north of Raqqa, Syria. Report says 40 trucks loaded with military equipment including MRAPs

A key political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused the US-led coalition of seeking to fragment Syria, saying the plan will fail.

“The targeting of civilians in Raqqa (the de facto capital of the Islamic State group) and the crimes committed against them… is something that sparks questions and it’s most likely that the US is trying to terrorize the Arab citizens in Raqqa into leaving their areas to establish a suitable ground for federalisation or the (creation of) Kurdish entity” in northern Syria, Bouthaina Shaaban said on Thursday.

The US will fail to fragment Syria “because the Syrian people are one”, she said.

Her remarks came as the US-led coalition is throwing a heavy support behind the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is fighting the IS in Raqqa.

However, the killing of civilians on a daily basis pushed the Syrian government to condemn the US-led coalition’s “crimes” in Raqqa and urge the UN to dissolve the coalition.

While the SDF is advancing inside Raqqa, the Syrian army and tribal forces are advancing against the extremists in the countryside, coming close to the last IS-held town in the eastern Raqqa countryside.

The army forces and allied troops have already reclaimed the western and southern countryside of Raqqa.

http://wap.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/damascus-accuses-us-led-coalition-of-trying-to-fragment-syria-117081800987_1.html