UNITED STATES: Canadian Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Iran Missile Technology

On 4 April, federal law enforcement officials announced Canadian citizen Ghobad Ghasempour was charged with conspiracy to send missile technology and equipment to Iran. Ghasempour was born in Iran, a Canadian citizen, and charged in the United States. Ghasempour was also accused of schemes to launder money for and illegally import goods into Iran. 

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

SOUTH KOREA: Intel Reports North Korean Missile Launch into Sea

On 4 April, a South Korean military official announced they had intelligence that North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the sea. The missile was launched approximately 60 kilometers. The announcement comes just before US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet to discuss North Korea’s program. 

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: Requests Urgent Consultations over Iranian Ballistic Missile Test

On 31 January, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) announced the scheduling of urgent consultations regarding the Iranian ballistic missile test. The announcement follows the request from the US Mission to the UN specifically calling for the urgent consultation. The UNSC will discuss the medium-range missile test that occurred on 29 January.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

NORTH KOREA: Kim Jong Un Announced Upcoming ICBM Test

On 18 January, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced North Korea will be conducting an ICBM test launch imminently. South Korean media sources claim the test will coincide with the US Presidential Inauguration. The South Korea Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will continue to monitor ICBM developments as intelligence agencies report the transport of ICBM parts.

[Madison Landry madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

SYRIA: Truce Expires Without Evacuations

Air strikes and fighting on the ground in Aleppo resumed on 23 October, as the Russian-declared truce ended without any evacuations by the United Nations (UN). The UN had hoped to deliver aid to the city and evacuate wounded civilians out of the rebel held east portion by using eight corridors opened by the Russian Army, but few civilians were able to use the corridors. Russian officials and Syrian state media accused rebel forces of preventing greater evacuation, and UN officials stated that requisite security guarantees were not received. UN Chief Ban Ki-moon stated earlier this week that the city is expected to run out of food rations by the end of the month.

[Jake Delinger, jake.delinger.ee@gmail.com]

CANADA: Opposed Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

On 27 October, Canada voted against a nuclear weapons-ban resolution at the United Nations disarmament and international security committee. The resolution will open negotiations in 2017 to discuss methods of prohibiting nuclear weapons. The resolution’s ultimate goal is to eventually eliminate nuclear weapons. A total of 38 nations opposed the resolution, while 123 approved it. The resolution successfully passed.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: DOS Spokesman Responds to Syrian Cease-Fire Termination

On 19 September, U.S. Department of State spokesman John Kirby responded to the Syrian military announcement of the end of the cease-fire. Kirby reiterated the arrangement was between the U.S. and Russia, and- as per the arrangement- Russia was also responsible for compliance from the Syrian regime. Kirby further recommended Russia clarify their position to the Syrian Regime, and announced the U.S.'s willingness to extend the cease-fire.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

SYRIA: Syrian Military Declares End to Cease-Fire

On 19 September, Syrian military officials announced an end to the week-long cease-fire. The announcement followed several violations from all components of the cease-fire, including a recent U.S. airstrike. Syrian military officials claim the cease-fire was undermined by rebel groups. The cease-fire was brokered by the U.S. and Russia and put into effect on 12 September. As part of the agreement, the U.S. and Russia agreed to begin military cooperation against the Islamic State and Nusra Front if the cease-fire lasted seven days.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

RUSSIA: Arctic Base Near Complete

On 20 October, it was reported that Russia has almost completed construction of their new military base on Alexandra Land, located on the 80th parallel north. Once completed, the base will be able to hold 150 soldiers and 18 months worth of supplies. This base will be the second base Russia has built in the Arctic, the other located on the 75th parallel north. Since declaring its new Naval Doctrine and claiming land in the Arctic, Russia has focused more on the region and the valuable resources potentially stored there.

 

[Cat McClure, cat.mcclure.ee@gmail.com]

SYRIA: Russian Embassy Shelled

On 13 October, the Russian embassy in Syria was struck with two artillery shells. The embassy was hit while a mass of pro-government demonstrators were rallying outside in support of Russian airstrikes. Several people were injured but no fatalities were reported. No one has taken responsibility for the attack, but Russian officials have dubbed it a terrorist attack most likely carried out by Syrian rebel group the YPG.

[Eagle Eye Editors, editorsee@gmail.com]

IRAQ: Military Attempts to Recapture Ramadi

On 6 October, the Iraqi military began an operation to recapture the city of Ramadi, which has been under ISIS control since May. The military took advantage of an approaching sandstorm to position themselves favorably and by 7 October, the Iraqi forces recaptured several kilometers of Ramadi. It is crucial that the Iraqi military recapture Ramadi, as it is a stronghold in the Anbar province. 

[Cat Mcclure, cat.mcclure.ee@gmail.com]

SYRIA: Russian Troops Present

On 6 October, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reported Russian ground troops within Syria. Stoltenberg confirmed a second incursion of Russian combat aircraft in Turkish airspace. Russia continues to increase its military support to al-Bassar Assad’s regime. Russia’s recent air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, incursion of Turkish airspace, and ground troops in Syria are increasing tensions in the area.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]