Wars and Rumors of Wars

Turkey says it has shot down a Syrian helicopter which violated its airspace. Paul Chapman reports.

Israel has 80 nukes, can about triple inventory – report

Israel has 80 nukes, can about triple inventory – report

Israel has never confirmed or denied possession of nuclear weapons, but according to new report by US experts it has at least 80 operative warheads and has enough material to produce up to 190 more. In a report published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, nuclear weapon proliferation experts Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen assess that Israel… Read more →

The Russian Navy intends to build its presence in the Mediterranean Sea – particularly in the area close to Syrian shores – to up to 10 battleships, announced Admiral of the Fleet Viktor Chirkov. Two battleships of the Russia’s Black Fleet, guided missile destroyer ‘Smetlivy’ and landing craft carrier ‘Nikolay Filchenkov’ left their bases in Sevastopol and Novorossiysk respectively and early on Friday morning and passed the Bosphorus Strait, heading to the eastern Mediterranean. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/ri2idy

Syria: Bashar al-Assad has 'spread chemical weapons around 50 sites'

Syria: Bashar al-Assad has ‘spread chemical weapons around 50 sites’

An elite and secretive military unit compromised of members of President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect has been moving nerve agents and munitions for several months, US officials told the Wall Street Journal in a bid to make them harder to track. Officials said they were still reasonably confident about the location of most of the regime’s estimated 1,000 tons of chemical and… Read more →

(CNN) – Throughout much of the 1990s, U.N. weapons inspectors criss-crossed Iraq in search of Saddam Hussein’s stocks of chemical weapons. It was a game of cat and mouse, as inspectors tried to reconcile what the Iraqi regime was telling them with conflicting intelligence from western governments.

In total, the inspectors of the U.N. Special Commission supervised the destruction of more than 40,000 chemical munitions, some 500,000 liters of chemical agents, 1.8 million liters of chemical precursors and delivery systems including ballistic missile warheads.

That experience may provide a glimpse of the obstacles to securing and removing or destroying Syria’s massive stocks of the precursors that make chemical weapons. According to a new study by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Israel, “Syria has accumulated since the 1980s a stockpile of approximately 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, stored in some 50 different sites.”

 

CNN has the full article

Missile cruiser "Moskva" (RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Ankov)

Russia’s Moskva missile cruiser, dubbed a “carrier-killer” by NATO, has passed through the Straits of Gibraltar and is now heading toward the eastern Mediterranean to assume command of the Russian naval force there.

The Russian Navy said in a statement that the Moskva cruiser passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on September 10.

Interfax news agency added that the Moskva cruiser, “commanded by Sergey Tronev, Captain 1st Rank of the Guards… has enough room for maneuver now.”

“The Black Sea flagship entered the Russian Navy’s area of responsibility in the Mediterranean at 11:00 pm Moscow time yesterday,” the agency reported a military source as saying.

The missile-carrying cruiser is expected to join its final destination in eastern Mediterranean on September 15 or 16.

Upon arrival, the command of the Russian Navy unit in the Mediterranean, currently stationed onboard the Admiral Panteleyev anti-submarine ship, will be relocated to the Moskva.

“The armaments and technical equipment of the missile cruiser are in working condition. The crew is ready to perform combat missions,” the source said.

Missile cruiser "Moskva" belonging to Russia's Black Sea Fleet firing anti-aircraft missiles during joint drills with other fleets. (RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Ankov)

The missile cruiser, initially known to Western naval intelligence as “Slava” (Glory), was launched in 1979 and entered service in 1983. It was later renamed the “Moskva” in 1995. Designed to be carrier-killers, the cruisers of Class 1164 are equipped with 16 anti-ship launchers P-1000 Vulkan, or Volcano (SS-N-12 Sandbox anti-ship missiles, according to NATO classification).

‘Moskva’ weaponry

-16x SS-N-12 Sandbox anti-ship missiles
- 8×8 (64) S-300PMU Favorit (SA-N-6 Grumble) long-range surface-to-air missiles
-2×20 (40) OSA-MA (SA-N-4 Gecko) SR SAM
-1x twin AK-130 130mm/L70 dual-purpose guns
-6xAK-630 close-in weapons systems
-2x RBU-6000 anti-submarine mortars
-10x (2 quin) 533mm torpedo tubes
Armor: Splinter plating
Aircraft carried: 1 Ka-25 or Ka-27 helicopter

Another two vessels, the landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov and the guard ship Smetlivy, will join the Russian naval unit later. They will be pass through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits by September 12-14 and will then head to the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has said the maneuvers are part of the“stage-by-stage rotation of warships and support ships of the standing naval force in the Mediterranean.”

The recent deployments are aimed at “complex monitoring” of the situation around Syria, military sources told Interfax earlier.

Russia’s standing naval force in the Mediterranean now involves landing craft carriers “Aleksandr Shabalin,” “Admiral Nevelskoy,” “Peresvet,” “Novocherkassk” and “Minsk” of Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets, as well as escort vessel “Neustrashimy,” and the anti-submarine ship “Admiral Panteleyev.”

"Admiral Panteleyev" anti-submarine ship returning to Vladivostok from Japanese port Hakodate (Hokkaido island). (RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Ankov)

Russian naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean come amid growing tension in the region, which sparked speculation that Russia was boosting its naval presence ahead of a possible US strike against Syria.

Previously, Russia’s defense officials cautioned against making connections between the relocation of warships and the Syrian crisis, saying the maneuvers do not depend on the situation and “will continue after it.”

Landing craft carrier "Admiral Nevelskoy". (RIA Novosti/Ildus Gilyazutdinov)

 

This is a copy of the full article provided by RT

(Photos: (RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Ankov) (Last Image: Ildus Gilyazutdinov))

Liberman warns that Israel will topple Assad if he attacks

Liberman warns that Israel will topple Assad if he attacks

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman says Assad’s threats can not go without response. Israel will ensure that Syrian leader Bashar Assad will not remain in power if he attacks Israel, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman (Likud Beytenu) said Monday. The statement was the clearest warning to Assad delivered by a top Israeli figure since… Read more →

RT sources: Syrian rebels plan chem attack on Israel from Assad-controlled territories

A chemical attack may be launched on Israel by Syrian rebels from government-controlled territories as a “major provocation,” multiple sources told RT.

The report comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovproposed that Syria puts its chemical weapons arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction in order to prevent a possible military strike against the war-torn country.

Moscow also urged Syrian authorities to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The offer has already been passed over to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who met Lavrov in Moscow for talks on Monday.

We don’t know if Syria will accept the offer, but if imposing international control over chemical weapons stored in the country can help to avoid military strikes, we are immediately going to start working with Damascus,” Lavrov said.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has welcomed Moscow’s initiative, “based on the Syrian’s government care about the lives of our people and security of our country,” Muallem said later on Monday.

Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice made a statement saying that Damascus’ alleged “use of chemical weapons against its own people” posed a threat to US national security. “The use of chemical weapons also directly threatens our closest ally in the region, Israel,” she said, speaking at the New America Foundation in Washington.

 

RT has the full article

 

Assad threatens 'repercussions' if US launches strike on Syria

Assad threatens ‘repercussions’ if US launches strike on Syria

Syrian President Bashar Assad, during an interview that aired Monday morning, threatened “repercussions” from any American attack on Syria. The Syrian leader, speaking with CBS News, said the U.S. can expect “every action” if America strikes. He suggested retaliation could come from the opposition, as well as his own government and its allies. “You should expect everything,” Assad said. Asked to… Read more →

IAEA is looking into Russian warning on Syria nuclear site

IAEA is looking into Russian warning on Syria nuclear site

Moscow calls on UN nuclear watchdog to assess risk of hit to Syrian research reactor that contains radioactive uranium. VIENNA – The UN nuclear watchdog has received a request from Russia to assess the impact if a missile were to hit a small Syrian reactor and is considering the issue, the Vienna-based agency said on Friday. Russia said this week… Read more →