B-1 bombers coming to Australia to deter Beijing’s South China Sea ambitions: US

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The US military plans to station B-1 strategic bombers and surveillance aircraft in Australia as part of efforts to deter Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea, a senior US government official has revealed in comments later downplayed by the Australian government.

During testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, US Defence Department Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear announced that in addition to the movement of US Marine and Army units around the Western Pacific region, “we will be placing additional Air Force assets in Australia as well, including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft.” Continue reading

Big powers move in on Syria: Russian troops for Tartus. US forces ready to go

A contingent of Russian special forces is on its way to Syria to guard the Russian navy’s deep-water port at the Syria’s Mediterranean coastal town of Tartus, Pentagon officials informed US NBC TV Friday, June 15. They are coming by ship. According to debkafile’s sources, the contingent is made up of naval marines and is due to land in Syria in the coming hours.

In a separate and earlier announcement, US Defense Department sources in Washington reported that the US military had completed its own planning for a variety of US operations against Syria, or for assisting neighboring countries in the event action was ordered – a reference, according to our sources, to Turkey, Jordan and Israel.

The Syrian civil war is now moving into a new phase of major power military intervention, say debkafile’s military sources. Moscow, by sending troops to Syria without UN Security Council approval, has set up a precedent for the United States, the European Union and Arab governments to follow. They all held back from sending troops to Syria because all motions to apply force for halting the bloodshed in Syria was blocked in the UN body.

According to US military sources, in recent weeks, the Pentagon has finalized its assessment of what types of units would be needed and how many troops. The military planning includes a scenario for a no-fly zone as well as protecting chemical and biological sites. The U.S. Navy is maintaining a presence of three surface combatants and a submarine in the eastern Mediterranean to conduct electronic surveillance and reconnaissance on the Syrian regime, a senior Pentagon official said.

Full article: Big powers move in on Syria: Russian troops for Tartus. US forces ready to go (DEBKAfile)

Turkey plans to buy 100 US F-35 fighters: report

Turkey is planning to purchase 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters worth $16 billion in an attempt to meet its future air force needs, Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz was quoted as saying Thursday.

“Turkey plans to buy 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, two of which will be delivered in 2015,” Yilmaz told the daily Milliyet.

Full article: Turkey plans to buy 100 US F-35 fighters: report (Space War)