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] 

AFGHANISTAN: Taliban Leader Killed

On 30 September, Kabul Mawlavi Salam, Taliban shadow governor for Kunduz province, was killed in an airstrike with his deputy and the senior commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The Afghani National Directorate of Security (NDS) stated that intelligence operatives coordinated the airstrike before the militants could infiltrate the airport in Kunduz city. Afghan Security Forces control the airport despite the seizure of Kunduz by the Taliban.

[Eagle Eye Editors, editorsee@gmail.com]

COLOMBIA: FARC Ends Military Training

On 1 October, FARC rebel group ceased all military training and began “political and cultural training,” as peace talks with the government progress. This is an important step in integrating FARC into the legitimate political process in Colombia and reducing the chances for violent actions that may stall peace talks. While the potential for a permanent peace settlement may be strengthened by this announcement, the possibility of splinter groups forming from FARC or joining other militant groups like the ELN creates the potential for heightened conflict from these hardliners.

[Drew Coughlin, drew.coughlin.ee@gmail.com]

RUSSIA: Parliament Approves Military Action in Syria

On 30 September, the Russian parliament voted to allow its military to be deployed to Syria. Ivanov, Putin’s chief-of-staff, stated that only the air force will be deployed, not ground troops. There has been speculation over Russia’s motives in allowing military action in Syria; however, Ivanov stated Russia was targeting ISIS simply out of national interest.

[Cat McClure, mcclurc2@my.erau.edu]

 

VIETNAM: Final Russian Kilo Class Sub Launched

On 28 September, the last of six Kilo-class submarines were launched for the Vietnamese Navy. This order completed a USD $2 billion deal back in 2009. Part of the order includes Russian training of Vietnamese crews as the fifth submarine conducts sea trials in the Baltic. While this deal has strengthened ties between the two nations, it is also important to keep in the mind the attempt to counter Chinese expansion in the South China Sea by Vietnam through this hardware acquisition.

[Drew Coughlin, drew.coughlin.ee@gmail.com]

UNITED KINGDOM: Troops Sent to South Sudan

On 28 September, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the deployment of 300 additional troops to South Sudan and 70 additional troops to Somalia in support of the two UN missions. British troops will be engaging in combat training and logistical support. The British troops are likely to have a negligible impact on both conflicts, but the efforts may indicate that more aid to both nations will be forthcoming.

[Kellyn Wagner, kellyn.wagner.ee@gmail.com]

RUSSIA: Unmanned Aircraft Operations over Syria

On 21 September, two United States officials reported the identification of a Russian unmanned aircraft over Syria. The unmanned aircraft conducted operations in patterns resembling surveillance operation patterns. The officials did not confirm whether the unmanned aircraft was armed, nor the number of aircrafts. The addition of unmanned aircraft is part of the Russian buildup of military equipment and personnel.

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

INDONESIA: Foreign Military Aircraft Trespass in Airspace

On 21 September, an as of yet unidentified foreign military jet was detected, intercepted, and escorted out of Indonesian airspace by the Indonesian Air Force over the Riau Islands province. This incident, one in a recent string of incursions, may prompt the Indonesian government to send additional aircraft to the islands.

 [Drew Coughlin, drew.coughlin.ee@gmail.com]