"Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion... to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that's taking place," stated US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday. Despite earlier warnings from Russia (and claims that NATO had not agreed to any such foreign 'boots on the ground' action'), Sputnik News reports, Foster added, "what we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer."
This comes a week after PM David Cameron confirmed Britain will be sending 75 military personnel to help combat Russian military aggression.
It seems it is happening, as Sputnik News reports,
The United States will deploy personnel by the end of this week to train the Ukrainian national guard, US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday.
“Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion minus… to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,” Foster stated. “What we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer.”
The current plan is for US forces to stay six months, he said, and noted there have been discussions about how to increase the duration and the scope of the training mission.
The current channels for military training set up between Ukraine and the United States would not be used for transferring defensive lethal aid if the United States decided to provide arms to Ukraine, Foster told Sputnik on Monday.
“It would go through something separate... We would not funnel the lethal aid or arms through that [training] event, we would use a secondary method for that,” Foster said, adding that a completely separate process is preferable.
But this seems like a direct aim at Putin after the war-mongery rhetoric this morning
Iran and the United States Tuesday returned to the negotiating table for a second day of talks, as a political storm over the issue unfolded thousands of miles away in Washington.
By the shores of Lake Geneva in the town of Montreux, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as they try to pin down a political framework for a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program by a March 31 deadline.
After months of discussions, the two men launched this latest round of talks on Monday, and are due to continue negotiating until Wednesday afternoon, when Kerry will fly to Riyadh to meet King Salman.
Few details of the emerging deal have publicly come to light so far, but aides to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have threatened that may change when the Israeli leader makes a controversial address to the US Congress later in the day on Tuesday.
American National Security Adviser Susan Rice alternated between reconciliation and pointed jabs during her address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) plenary Monday evening, a speech marked by a detailed endorsement of the Obama administration’s position on Iran talks coupled with assurances that the US will protect Israel’s security.
While she spoke out against key points of AIPAC activists’ lobbying agenda, Rice also provided previously unconfirmed information regarding the United States’ negotiating red lines on Iran.
Rice told the 16,000 delegates that “a bad deal is worse than no deal” on Iran, garnering an enthusiastic standing ovation from a sometimes subdued audience. “If that is the choice there will be no deal,” she added.
Rice said it remained to be seen whether a good, long-term comprehensive deal could be achieved. She listed the components of such a deal, including: that it would verifiably cut off every path for Iran to produce enough fissile material to produce a single nuclear weapon; prevent Iran producing weapons grade plutonium; prevent it enriching uranium at its facility at Fordow; and increase the time it takes Iran to reach break out capacity from today’s 2-3 months to at least a year.
Rice also offered criticism – seemingly directed at Netanyahu – warning that “we cannot let a totally unachievable ideal stand in the way of a good deal.”
The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their in Iran.
Following Obama's threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.
According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that behind Israel's back.
The report claimed that an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State , and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
Al-Jarida quoted "well-placed" sources as saying that Netanyahu, along with Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, and then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, had decided to carry out airstrikes against Iran's nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders.
According to the report, “Netanyahu and his commanders agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army's chief of staff, Benny Gantz, to prepare a qualitative operation against Iran's nuclear program. In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to thwart a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement is, allegedly, a threat to Israel's security.”
The sources added that Gantz and his commanders prepared the requested plan and that Israeli fighter jets trained for several weeks in order to make sure the plans would work successfully. Israeli fighter jets reportedly even carried out experimental flights in Iran's airspace after they managed to break through radars.
Former US diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski, who enthusiastically campaigned for Obama in 2008, called on him to shoot down Israeli planes if they attack Iran. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” said the former national security advisor to former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“We have to be serious about denying them that right,” he said. “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a 'Liberty' in reverse.’"
Israel mistakenly attacked the American Liberty ship during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Brzezinski was a top candidate to become an official advisor to President Obama, but he was downgraded after Republican and pro-Israel Democratic charges during the campaign that Brzezinski’s anti-Israel attitude would damage Obama at the polls.