The boat that attacked a Saudi frigate in the Red Sea on Jan. 30 was not manned by Yemeni Houthi suicides; it was an unmanned, remote-controlled craft filled with explosives, Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, head of the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, said Monday. Continue reading
Iran has begun receiving one of Russia’s most advanced and capable air defense system, the S-300 after years-long delays due to international pressures.
At present it is assessed by NATO to be able to attack aircraft flying as high as 90,000 feet or at ranges of about 100 miles. It also can defend against cruise missiles and some variants can defend against ballistic missiles. Continue reading
Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
Barack Obama’s repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are ‘moderate’ rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff. Their criticism has focused on what they see as the administration’s fixation on Assad’s primary ally, Vladimir Putin. In their view, Obama is captive to Cold War thinking about Russia and China, and hasn’t adjusted his stance on Syria to the fact both countries share Washington’s anxiety about the spread of terrorism in and beyond Syria; like Washington, they believe that Islamic State must be stopped. Continue reading
So far, nothing terribly unusual. The IRGCN, assigned to patrol the Gulf, routinely sends boats to shadow — some call it “harass” — vessels of other nationalities as they transit the strait. Just three days ago, CNN reported, four IRGCN boats surrounded the U.S.-flagged Maersk Kensington in the Strait of Hormuz and followed it closely for some time. The U.S. Fifth Fleet subsequently issued a notice to mariners.What happened next to the MV Maersk Tigris, however, was quite out of the ordinary.
“The master was contacted and directed to proceed further into Iranian territorial waters,” said Warren. “He declined and one of the IRGCN craft fired shots across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris. The master complied with the Iranian demand and proceeded into Iranian waters in the vicinity of Larak Island.” Continue reading
MOSCOW — The United States has been drafting plans for a rapid naval
evacuation from Bahrain.
Officials said the U.S. Navy has conducted an exercise that envisioned a
crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom. Continue reading
WASHINGTON: The US military has failed to prepare a realistic “plan B” if political turmoil forces the closure of a vital naval base in Bahrain, a naval officer argues in a report released Monday.
“Surprisingly, military leaders have no ‘Plan B’ if strategic access in Bahrain is jeopardized,” McDaniel wrote, in a paper published by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. Continue reading
“They have increased the number of submarines … they increased the number of fast attack craft,” Vice Admiral Mark Fox told reporters. “Some of the small boats have been outfitted with a large warhead that could be used as a suicide explosive device. The Iranians have a large mine inventory.”
“We have watched with interest their development of long range rockets and short, medium and long range ballistic missiles and of course … the development of their nuclear program,” Fox, who heads the U.S. Fifth Fleet, said at a briefing on the fleet’s base in the Gulf state of Bahrain.
Iran now has 10 small submarines, he said.
Full article: U.S. Navy: Iran prepares suicide bomb boats in Gulf (Reuters)