Cairenes are not modest about their beloved city. It is Umm al-Dunya, they say, the mother of the world. They also call it simply Masr, the Arabic term for Egypt, suggesting, of course, that there is really nothing worth noting in the vast country beyond their grand city on the Nile.
Fifty miles east of Cairo, a Chinese construction firm is giving the aged, crowded, increasingly decaying “mother of the world” a face-lift of sorts. China State Construction and Engineering Company (CSCEC) has broken ground on a new business and administrative district to the tune of $3 billion, mostly financed by Chinese banks. When completed by late 2019, according to projections, much of Egypt’s government will move to this new “capital.” Continue reading
Washington (CNN)Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard is expected to soon begin a major naval exercise that could demonstrate its ability to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial conduit for global energy supplies, US officials say.
The exercise in the Persian Gulf could begin as soon as the next two days, according to two US officials directly familiar with the latest assessment of the Revolutionary Guard’s troop movements.
Just weeks after opening its first foreign military base on the Horn of Africa, China is preparing to open another in the strategically important port city of Gwadar, Pakistan. Continue reading
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Navy’s large anti-submarine ship Severmorsk has completed a business visit to Oman’s port of Salalah and continued its mission in the Indian ocean, with further participation in the Aman 2017 international naval exercises, which will be held in the North of the Arabian Sea, the press service of the Russian Northern fleet said Tuesday. Continue reading
Former Cold War advisories Pakistan and Russia are set to hold their first ever joint military exercise.
- During the Cold War, Pakistan helped US funnel arms and fighters into Afghanistan to help insurgent groups fight Soviets.
- Cold War: Communist Soviet Union was closely aligned with Pakistan’s arch-enemy India, US with Pakistan.
- Pakistan’s top military spokesman, Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa: “Contingent of Russian ground forces” arrived in Pakistan for a two-week exercise beginning on Saturday.
- Pakistan’s Tribune Express newspaper: About 200 military personnel from both sides would be involved in the exercises.
- Pakistani media last year: Islamabad bought four Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia in first ever military deal with Russia.
- Washington previously accused Islamabad of harboring Afghan Taliban fighters.
- Pakistan wary of US improved ties with India.
- Pakistan holds China as a steadfast “all-weather” ally.
- Chinese plan to invest $46 billion in a road and rail energy corridor linking western China with Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast.
(ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN) Former Cold War-era rivals Pakistan and Russia are due to hold their first ever military exercise this month, Pakistan’s military said on Friday, in another sign of shifting alliances in South Asia.
It was meant to be a farewell visit by a cherished friend heading for retirement. Instead, Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia Tuesday and Wednesday turned into an unwanted call by an uninvited guest at an inconvenient time.
It started a the airport, when Saudi King Salman sent one of his nephews to greet the US president on arrival in Riyadh. The gesture was specially telling because the Saudi monarch had spent much of the day personally welcoming other leaders at the airport. It ended not much better: forced smiles, unconvincing statements of solidarity.
It was typical of what has become the Obama Doctrine: dropping old allies in the hope of turning adversaries into new friends.
Needless to say, the gamble has failed. Continue reading
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a stepped-up response to Iranian backing of Shiite rebels in Yemen, the Navy aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt, is steaming toward the waters off Yemen to beef up security and join other American ships that are prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels.
The deployment comes after a U.N. Security Council resolution approved last week imposed an arms embargo on the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels. The resolution passed in a 14-0 vote with Russia abstaining.
Navy officials said Monday that the Roosevelt was moving through the Arabian Sea. A massive ship that carries F/A-18 fighter jets, the Roosevelt is seen more of a deterrent and show of force in the region. Continue reading
KUWAIT CITY // The Gulf states plan to launch a joint naval force, a top Kuwaiti defence official said on Wednesday, in a bid to protect waters shared with neighbouring Iran.
The new force is expected to be formed in the “coming months”, Maj Gen Ahmad Yussef Al Mulla was quoted as saying by the official Kuna news agency. Continue reading
(Reuters) – The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and other ships in its strike group are heading west toward the Red Sea to help support a limited U.S. strike on Syria, if needed, defense officials said on Sunday.
The Nimitz carrier strike group, which includes four destroyers and a cruiser, has no specific orders to move to the eastern Mediterranean at this point, but is moving west in the Arabian Sea so it can do so if asked. It was not immediately clear when the ships would enter the Red Sea, but they had not arrived by Sunday evening, said one official. Continue reading
Not to be outdone by the Americans, Russia’s next generation bomber, the PAK-DA, will be loaded with the latest in hypersonic weaponry, the Defense Ministry told Ria Novosti newswire on Friday.
The PAK-DA is Russia’s answer to the newest stealth bombers being built in the United States by Boeing and Lockheed Martin . Equipping them with hypersonic weaponry just puts Russia on par with air defense technologies already being tested in the U.S. Continue reading
This is a very important development in global geopolitics and it has very unfavorable implications for the USA, India and their allies. As you read about this, ask yourself if you heard or read anything about this extremely-important event on what are called “news” TV channels in the USA.
Pakistan, which has been called an “ally” of the USA in the “war on terrorism” has just thrown in its lot with China and dumped the USA as an ally. In truth, I don’t think the Pakistani-American alliance has actually existed for some time, but both nations were willing to pretend it was an alliance as long as Pakistan did a few favors for the USA (such as allowing the USA to supply its troops in Afghanistan via an arduous overland route via Pakistan) in exchange for billions of dollars from the USA–which were likely fantasy dollars turned into real dollars by the legerdemain of the US Federal Reserve Board. The US-Pakistani alliance, like a really bad marriage, is now coming apart. Pakistan has a new ally and partner–Communist China. The Pakistan’s leader declared to the Chinese leader that the new Chinese-Pakistani friendship is “higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the deepest sea in the world, and sweeter than honey.” That language is so affectionate I think these two nations “ought to get a room.” Continue reading
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in Germany to sign a deal for a sixth Dolphin class submarine that would give the Jewish state the most powerful sub fleet in the Middle East.
The 1,925-ton Dolphins are Israel’s most expensive and advanced weapons platforms, and its most strategic, particularly in the context of a conflict with Iran.
All the Dolphins are reportedly capable of launching Israeli-developed, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 950 miles through 650mm diameter torpedo tubes, carrying 200-kiloton tactical warheads.
That gives Israel an extended strategic reach, particularly if the missiles are launched from the Arabian Sea off Iran’s southern coast.
It also gives the Jewish state, militarily the most powerful in the Middle East, the option of a pre-emptive first-strike attack by land, sea or air.
With six Dolphins, the Israeli navy will be able to maintain one, possibly two, of the boats deployed off Iran at all times.
Full article: Israel to sign deal for sixth German sub (Space War)