Israel Attacked Syria From Lebanon Yesterday, Says Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Friday Israel attacked Syria from Lebanese airspace overnight, adding that “every day the Israeli enemy enters our airspace.” Israel announced last week it was the first country to deploy the F-35 in operational combat, and a photo of the stealth bomber over Beirut was broadcast on Israeli media. Continue reading

Russia to Upgrade its Admiral Kuznetsov Carrier with State of the Art Air Defence and Cruise Missile Systems

Russia is to upgrade its sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov warship, which it inherited from the Soviet Navy in 1991 following the USSR’s dissolution. While the warship is based on a near identical design to China’s Liaoling and Type 001 carriers, the Russian warship has long left much to be desired in its capabilities compared to its Chinese counterparts – with the Russian Navy far more restricted in its access to funding for modernisation. Continue reading

North Korean media says country open to resolving issues with U.S.

SEOUL  – North Korea’s vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said the North is open to resolving issues with the United States whenever and however after US President Donald Trump called off a June summit with its leader, Kim Jong Un.

“We had set in high regards President Trump’s efforts, unprecedented by any other president, to create a historic North Korea-US summit,” said the vice foreign minister in a statement released on Friday by the North’s central news agency. Continue reading

Why Israel Most Likely Hasn’t Deployed F-35 Jets for Combat

The Israeli Air Force is currently estimated to have acquired approximately a dozen Lockheed Martin F-35 fifth generation light fighters, an next generation equivalent to its long serving F-16 Falcon single engine platform with an important role in the country’s military modernisation efforts under its Gideon Doctrine. Continue reading

Ankara to retaliate if US suspends delivery of F-35 to Turkey

Ankara will respond if the United States suspends delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets to Turkey, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy said on May 25.

The bill passed by the U.S. Senate committee, including a measure to prevent Turkey from purchasing Lockheed Martin F-35 jets is “against the spirit of our alliance with the U.S.,” Aksoy told reporters in a press conference.

“Some senators in the U.S. have drafted bills to prevent the transfer of F-35 fighter aircrafts to our country. In this bill, the F-35’s shipment is attributed to the abandonment of Priest Brunson’s detention, and giving up on the S-400 purchase. These are different issues. One should not put apples and pears in the same basket,” he said.

“This is not a program managed solely by the U.S. It is a multinational program and we expect everybody to fulfill their obligations,” said Aksoy, adding that Turkey has “fulfilled its obligations” regarding the F-35 program.

If the U.S. takes such steps “we will have to respond,” the spokesperson said.

Turkey will take every initiative to protect its firms from U.S. sanctions, Aksoy also said, a day after the United States imposed sanctions on several Iranian and Turkish companies in a move targeting Iranian airlines.

A U.S. committee passed its version of a $716 billion defense policy bill on May 24, including a measure to prevent Turkey from purchasing Lockheed Martin F-35Joint Strike Fighter jets.

The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis, would remove Turkey from the F-35 program over its detention of U.S. citizen Andrew Brunson, Shaheen’s office said.

Brunson, a Christian pastor who could be jailed for up to 35 years, denied terrorism and spying charges in a Turkish court this month. He has been in pre-trial detention since 2016.

It also faults NATO ally Turkey for its agreement with Russia in December 2017 to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries. Ankara wants the system to boost its defensecapabilities amid conflicts across its borders in Syria and Iraq.

According to Shaheen’s office, the intention to purchase the Russian system is sanctionable under U.S. law.

“There is tremendous hesitancy [about] transferring sensitive F-35 planes and technology to a nation who has purchased a Russian air defense system designed to shoot these very planes down,” said the senator.

Lockheed Martin will deliver the first F-35 fighter jet to Turkey on June 21.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained over a host of issues in recent months, including U.S. policy in Syria and a number of legal cases against Turkish and U.S. nationals being held in the two countries.