Shortly after Russia disclosed on Sunday that a top Russian military commander, Lieutenant General Valery Asapov - who was serving as one of Russia’s "military advisers" in Syria - was fatally wounded by an exploding shell in a mortar attack by ISIS terrorists, on Monday the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the “two-faced policy” of the United States was to blame for the death of the Russian General in Syria.
“The death of the Russian commander is the price, the bloody price, for two-faced American policy in Syria,” Ryabkov told reporters, according to RIA.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that Asapov had been killed by Islamic State shelling near Deir al-Zor; his death was revealed around the time Moscow disclosed what it said was photographic evidence showing US special operations located at Islamic State positions in Syria.
Russia has complained about what it has suggested are "suspiciously friendly ties" between U.S.-backed militias, U.S. special forces, and Islamic State in the area, accusing Washington of trying to slow the advance of the Syrian army.
As a reminder, on Sunday the Russian Ministry of Defense published aerial images which they say show US Army special forces equipment located north of the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor, where IS militants are deployed. The US troops do not face any “resistance from the ISIS militants,” while their positions have no screening patrol, which could indicate that they “feel absolutely safe” in the area, the ministry said. The US Central Command however denied the accusations in a written statement to RT.
North Korea’s foreign minister said on Monday President Donald Trump had declared war on North Korea and that Pyongyang reserved the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down U.S. bombers even if they are not in its air space.
Ri Yong Ho said a Twitter message by Trump on Saturday, in which the president warned that the minister and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer” if they acted on their threats, amounted to a declaration of war.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders on Monday denied the United States had declared war, calling the suggestion “absurd”.
Speaking earlier in New York, where he had been attending the annual U.N. General Assembly, Ri told reporters: “The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country.”
”Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.
“The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then,” Ri added.
On Saturday, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighters flew east of North Korea in a show of force after a heated exchange of rhetoric between Trump and Kim over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
“That operation was conducted in international airspace, over international waters, so we have the right to fly, sail and operate where legally permissible around the globe,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning said on Monday.
North Korea's foreign minister on Monday accused President Donald Trump of declaring war, saying that gives the rogue regime the right to shoot down U.S. strategic bombers.
Pyongyang could target planes even when they are not flying in North Korean airspace, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York.
"The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country," he said.
"Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country," he added.
On September 3rd, North Korea explicitly threatened to use a nuclear warhead to execute an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) over the United States. A long-term, nation-wide blackout would result.
Experts such as Dr. William R. Graham, chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, estimate that up to 90 percent of America’s population could perish following an EMP attack. This story has not been reported by major networks and newspapers. Why is it not front page news?
A good deterrent against a North Korean attack would be to install protective devices called neutral ground blockers. About 2,500 critical transformers across the U.S. electric grid need protection. The Foundation for Resilient Societies has done a preliminary cost analysis, and determined that it would cost less than $5 per American to accomplish this defensive measure, for a total of approximately $1.5 billion. It is a small price to pay to protect 327 million lives.
There have been several policy attempts to harden the electric grid against EMP attack. The Congressional EMP Commission, first established in 2001, produced two public reports and testified before Congress in 2008. Unfortunately, support for the EMP Commission has been inconsistent. The Commission was disbanded in 2008 and then re-established by Congress in December 2015. Recently the Commission was once again disbanded and its reports taken off the EMP Commission website.
When the mainstream media ignore an explicit threat from North Korea, this error of omission compounds our unpreparedness. Some would consider it a dereliction of journalistic duty. Now is the time to question why North Korea’s EMP threat is not front page news.
This is the way a nuclear war begins.
Simulations of a war on the Korean peninsula usually start with a relatively minor incident at the demilitarized zone between South Korea and its hostile northern neighbor, or a provocation that develops into a conventional war and then escalates.
President Trump’s threatening posture toward North Korea — most recently exhibited at the United Nations, where he warned that the U.S. could “totally destroy” the country — has prompted military strategists to examine what would actually happen if a war broke out.
The scenarios are a sobering corrective to the notion that North Korea’s nuclear capacity could be taken out in a single strike, or that the regime would prove as fragile as that of Saddam Hussein in Iraq or Moammar Kadafi in Libya.
“Too many Americans have the view that it would be like the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan, or like combat operations in Libya or Syria, but it wouldn’t remotely resemble that,’’ said Rob Givens, a retired Air Force brigadier general who spent four years stationed on the Korean peninsula.
And that is before the North Koreans turn to nuclear weapons. “There is only one way that this war ends,” Givens said. “With North Korea’s defeat — but at what cost?”
James Stavridis, a retired Navy admiral and dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said the horrific war many have long feared with North Korea is a distinct possibility. He puts the chances of conventional conflict with North Korea at 50-50 and the chances of nuclear war at 10%.
“We are closer to a nuclear exchange than we have been at any time in the world's history with the single exception of the Cuban missile crisis,’’ Stavridis said.
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