rick rozoff

Turkey makes unveiled threat to Greece over Aegean islands
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 27 2021

Turkish defense minister urges Greece for disarmament of Aegean Island
Hurriyet, Jul 26 2021

Turkey expects Greece to adopt peaceful political solutions rather than aggressive ones, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Jul 27, calling for the disarmament of the Greek islands that have non-military status through treaties. Citing the militarization efforts of Greece on its islands in the Aegean, Akar reacted to Greece’s purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France, and said during his visit to Turkey’s Syrian border for inspection of Turkish troops: “We always tell our Greek neighbors that we favor finding political solutions to problems through peace, tranquility and dialogue within the scope of agreements. Our Greek neighbors, on the other hand, have not given up on provocative statements and aggressive rhetoric. Our Greek neighbors have an aggressive attitude to lay claim to them as well. There is the [1923] Lausanne agreement and also the [1920] Paris agreement. Our Greek neighbors tend to ignore and neglect even these. This is unacceptable. There are islands that have non-military status through treaties. The parties made this agreement and said, ‘These islands can’t be armed; they will have non-military status,’ and we agreed to this. Now they are getting armed. The Greeks say, “There is a threat.” There is never any threat. We do not harbour any aggressive attitude towards Greece at the moment. We call for dialogue, international agreements, the law, conventions. However, this peaceful approach of ours is constantly turned upside down with provocative statements. Athens is in the midst of an arms race. They buy planes, weapons, equipment. It is not possible to change the balance of power with three or five used aircraft. We continue to hold consultative talks with Greece as well as deconfliction talks through NATO. We have had three meetings so far. We sincerely invite our Greek neighbors to hold the fourth meeting in Ankara, and expect them to support peaceful solutions and thus make the Aegean and Mediterranean seas of peace and contribute to the welfare of the parties. Otherwise, it makes no sense for Greece, which is in so much debt, to deal a blow to the welfare of its people with additional expenses. Because we favor the peoples of the two countries living in peace and prosperity in good neighborly relations. All our work is directed towards this. There exists a long-standing bilateral agreement under which no naval exercises are held during tourism season or the national days and holidays of both sides. Unfortunately, our Greek neighbors ignore this and violate it. Our call for peace, international law and good neighborliness should not be mistaken for weakness. We are determined to protect and safeguard our rights and interests in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus as well as the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. We will not allow any fait accompli in the region.”

Diary of a US interceptor-missile warship
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 27 2021

USS Ross Completes 11th Patrol in US Sixth Fleet, Returns to Rota, Spain
US Navy, Jul 27 2021

  • Patrol 11 began with Ross’s participation in Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST), a two-week British-led exercise designed to evaluate and increase the warfighting abilities of any allied navies who participate.
  • After FOST, Ross moved on to the North Sea, and then on to the Hebrides Range to take part in Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield (ASD/FS) in early June. During ASD/FS, Ross fired an SM-2 missile at an air target simulating incoming fire, proving the ship’s ability to conduct ballistic-missile defense.
  • After successful completion of ASD/FS, Ross moved south and joined the Moroccan-led exercise African Lion. This included multiple surface navigation exercises, as well as several weapon shoots with participating ships.
  • Following African Lion, Ross transited to the Mediterranean Sea, and made a stop in Souda Bay, Greece.
  • In late June, Ross departed Greece and transited to the Black Sea, making a stop in Odesa, Ukraine to mark the beginning of its participation in Exercise Sea Breeze.
  • During Sea Breeze, Ross conducted surface navigation exercises, weapon shoot evolutions, and many other exercises with participating ships from 30 countries….Ross also had the opportunity to host Ukranian President Vladimir Zelenksy aboard the ship for a tour.
  • After Sea Breeze, Ross moved on to Varna, Bulgaria, to begin participating in the Bulgarian-led exercise Breeze. During Breeze, Ross was able to take part in various exercises, including surface navigation, with 13 other NATO Allies and partners.

Four US Navy destroyers are based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle.

USS Ross. Photo: US Navy.

Tajik president, Chinese defense minister discuss Afghan situation
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 27 2021

Tajik president discusses Afghanistan with Chinese defense minister
Interfax (Ru)

DUSHANBE – Tajik President Emomali Rahmon discussed the situation in Afghanistan with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe in Dushanbe on Tuesday, the Tajik presidential press service said. “The Tajik leader spoke with alarm about the critical development of the situation in this neighboring country, including districts bordering Tajikistan, and informed the defense minister of friendly China about the measures being taken by Tajikistan to reinforce the Tajik-Afghan border and bolster its defense capability on the whole.”

NATO threatens Russia with war games, tanks, missiles – daily
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 27 2021

US, NATO scaling up activity in Ukraine and Georgia
TASS, Jul 27 2021:

NATO is gradually scaling up activity in the post-Soviet space, with its active stage of the Three Swords 2021 military exercises underway in Ukraine’s Lvov Region with the participation of Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian and US forces. On Monday, the Agile Spirit 2021 drills are starting in Georgia, which will involve about 2,500 troops from 15 NATO states and partners (Ukraine and Azerbaijan), Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. Like before, these drills are of an anti-Russian nature, the newspaper pointed out, with provocative statements aimed at Moscow heard from some NATO officials. Military expert Nikolai Shulgin told Nezavisimaya Gazeta: “As far as I know, Poland will purchase American Abrams tanks for protection against the “Russian threat” to the tune of $6b. About 1k tanks can be purchased with this money ($6m each). That is, an entire army (four divisions) of American tanks will appear near the borders of Russia and Belarus. Tanks are mainly an offensive means. This means that Warsaw has aggressive plans regarding its eastern neighbors. According to Western media, works on deploying Aegis Ashore systems to the tune of over $180m have begun in Poland’s Reznikowo. This will be the second US missile base in Europe after the Deveselu base in Romania was established in 2015. Tomahawk cruise missiles can be launched from the Aegis ground launch systems located in Poland and Romania, which can destroy targets deep inside Russia. This is a factor of concern as well. Warsaw is clearly provoking Moscow to respond. At the same time, not only are the Poles trying to strengthen their defense, they are helping their allies in the post-Soviet space.” Polish troops are set to take part in a joint airborne operation during the Agile Spirit 2021 drills together with their US, English and Georgian colleagues at one of the bases in Georgia. Russia cannot ignore such challenges, the newspaper points out, adding that the Russian military on the border with Georgia and at Russian bases in South Ossetia and Abkhazia are on standby, taking part in maneuvers and drills. The joint strategic drills of the Union State (Russia and Belarus) Zapad-2021 can be considered a response to NATO as well. Media reports say that Russian troops and equipment are already being deployed to Belarus within the framework of the upcoming exercises planned for September.

US leads multinational military exercise with East African, Indian Ocean nations
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

Exercise Cutlass Express kicks off in Djibouti
US Navy, Jul 27 2021

Maritime forces from East Africa, West Indian Ocean nations, Europe, North America, and several international organizations began the multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express 2021 (CE21) with an opening ceremony held at the Doraleh Coast Guard Training Center in Djibouti, Djibouti, Jul 25 2021. CE 21, sponsored by AFRICOM and led by US Naval Forces Europe & Africa, US Sixth Fleet increases interoperability between the US, African nations and international partners. “For the first time in more than a decade, the official force of the Djiboutian Coast Guard and Djiboutian Navy will participate in the exercise, not only in Djibouti, but also in Kenya.” Exercises like Cutlass Express in East Africa/Western Indian Ocean, Obangame Express in the Gulf of Guinea, and Phoenix Express in the Mediterranean fall under the international collaborative maritime capacity-building program Africa Partnership Station.

Seychelles holds opening ceremony for Exercise Cutlass Express 21
US Navy, Jul 27 2021

“We look forward to the start of Cutlass Express (CE21) as we strengthen our mil-mil relationships and continue to build regional partnerships,” said US Naval Forces Europe, Reserve Detachment 118 Commanding Officer, Capt Cannon Neslen. Participating nations in Cutlass Express 2021 include Comoros, Djibouti, Georgia, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, UK and US.

Reports of intensified Azerbaijani attacks on Armenia
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

Azerbaijani army resumes shelling of Armenian posts
Panarmenian.net, Jul 27 2021

The Azerbaijani military has resumed its shelling of Armenian positions in Yeraskh, Ararat province, as of Monday, Jul 26 afternoon, the Defense Ministry reports. In particular, the Azeri troops used various caliber weapons to fire on Armenian positions beginning from 3:30 pm local time.

Azerbaijani forces target Armenian positions in Gegharkunik, Ararat
Panarmenian.net, Jul 27 2021

The Azerbaijani forces opened fire on the Armenian positions stationed in border areas of Gegharkunik province in the wee hours of Monday, July 26. Later in the day, the Azeris violated the ceasefire from Nakhijevan too, using various caliber weapons to shell the Armenian positions in Yeraskh, Ararat province.

Armenian soldier heavily wounded in Azeri shooting
Panarmenian.net, Jul 27 2021

Armenian serviceman Arman Atesyan, who was seriously wounded in Azerbaijan’s ceasefire violations in Gegharkunik province, has regained consciousness, his life is no longer in danger. Atesyan and two others were injured in Azerbaijan’s shooting on Jul 23. Azerbaijani forces violated Armenia’s border in several sections in the provinces of Syunik and Gegharkunik on May 12 and 13 and are still refusing to withdraw their troops from the area. Two Armenian servicemen have been killed in Azerbaijan’s shooting, several others have been wounded, while six troops were captured on May 27, although four of them have already returned home.

Strategic importance: Ukraine, Turkey develop drones for wars in Donbass, Caucasus
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

Turkey’s Bayrak Makina to install Ukrainian engines on all its UAVs
Ukrinform, Jul 27 2021

Turkey-based arms producer Bayrak Makina is currently using Ukrainian engines in the production of their new-generation Akıncı combat drones, further planning to install them on all company products. “Relations in the field of drone production between Ukraine and Turkey have become strategically important, especially in recent years. Ukraine’s aviation industry technology is at the highest level, world-standard level. And we have something to offer each other in this cooperation … we are sure that through the efforts of our researchers, Turkish and Ukrainian, we will reach new horizons in the production of high-quality unmanned aerial vehicles,” Bayraktar said. Several Bayraktar TB2 drones are already in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine and have been tested in the combat zone in the country’s east.

Turkish shelling injures several Syrian civilians
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

Several citizens injured in shelling attack by Turkish occupation on villages in Aleppo countryside
SANA, Jul 27 2021

SANA reporter quoted local sources as saying that several artillery and rocket shells launched by the Turkish occupation forces and their terrorist mercenaries fell in the vicinity of the villages of al-Hoshariya and al-Arimah, north of al-Bab city, and the villages of Sheikh Issa and Ahras which are affiliated with the Tel Refaat township in the northern countryside, causing the injury of a number of civilians, in addition to damages to property, agricultural fields and some public utilities.

Belarus: Material damage done by Western invasion in WW2 estimated at $500b
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

Belarus’ material damage due to WW2 estimated at $500b
Belta (Belarus)

MINSK, 26 July – The material damage caused to Belarus by Germany’s actions during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 is estimated at $500b at least, BelTA learned from Prosecutor General of Belarus Andrei Shved on 26 July. The Prosecutor General’s Office is now evaluating the possible material damage caused to Belarus by actions of Germans and their accomplices during the Great Patriotic War. According to Andrei Shved, after studying all the archive data, including records of the Nuremberg Trials, one can say that the damage has to be at least $500b in current prices. “Certainly, it may be not quite natural for us to evaluate the pain, the people’s suffering in some equivalents but it has to be done in order to outline the scale of the tragedy as a whole,” the official said.

Pentagon’s Missile Defense and Space Division commander gets award in Lithuania
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

EUCOM Missile Defense and Space Branch Chief receives Lithuanian Armed Forces Medal
EUCOM, Jul 27 2021

On Jun 14 2021, Lithuanian Air Force Commander Colonel Dainius Guzas presented [USEUCOM Policy and Engagement Branch Chief for the Missile Defense and Space Division Navy Commander John Anthony] Campigotto with the Lithuanian Armed Forces Medal of Distinction awarded by Lithuania’s Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys. The award citation lauded Campigotto’s “immense contribution and improvement of the architecture of the Integrated Air and Missile Defence in the Baltic States, coordination of the US and Allied defence plans and strengthening of Air Defence in the Baltic region.”

Azerbaijani, Turkish, Pakistani parliament chiefs to meet, visit conquered Nagorno-Karabakh
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

Baku to host trilateral meeting of chairs of parliaments of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Pakistan
Trend.az, Jul 2021

A trilateral meeting of the chairmen of the parliaments of Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey will be held for the first time in the Azerbaijani parliament on Jul 27, the PR and Press Department of the Azerbaijani parliament told Trend on Jul 26. During the visits, the chairmen of the parliaments of Pakistan and Turkey are expected to visit the territories liberated from the Armenian occupation.

NATO’s legacy in Libya lingers on
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

At least 57 migrants die in shipwreck off Libyan coast
Trend.az, Jul 27 2021

At least 57 people drowned on Monday after a boat capsized off the Libyan coast near Khums, the latest tragedy in the central Mediterranean, the UN International Organization for Migration said, Trend reports citing Reuters. IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli said in a tweet: “According to survivors brought to shore by fishermen and the coast guard, at least 20 women and two children were among those who drowned.”

NATO takes command in Libya air operations
NATO, Jul 2021

Photograph from NATO

US leads 15-nation military exercise in Georgia
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jul 26 2021

Georgian-made armored vehicles and more than 2500 soldiers from 15 countries: military exercise “Agile Spirit 2021” has started
Rustavi (Georgia), Jul 27 2021

Until Aug 6, soldiers from NATO member and partner countries will conduct various types of military operations. Along with Georgia, the US was also involved in planning multinational military exercises. Colonel Chris Marshall says that through strong spirit training, cooperation at the tactical level between units of NATO member and partner countries will be further developed.

Multinational Agile Spirit Drills Begin in Georgia
Civil.ge, Jul 27 2021

About 2500 troops from fifteen NATO members and partners (Georgia, the US, the UK, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Azerbaijan, Spain, Canada, Italy and Lithuania) are participating in the drills on Jul 26 to Aug 6. Of the military personnel, 1,600 are Georgian troops, 700 US servicemen while 250 from other participants, the US Army Europe reported. The drills will five cover locations in Georgia: Vaziani Training Area, Vaziani Military Airport, Orpholo Training Area, Senaki Air Base, and Sorta/Eki training area.

War games in the Caucasus

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