Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Updates from volatile Middle East hotspots

Where to begin?! ... Oh yeah, on yet another front in the global war against Islamic terrorism - Ethiopian forces have killed 111 Islamic militant rebels and captured more than 100 who crossed over from Eritrea earlier this month, the state news agency says. Another 18 of the Ethiopian rebels were wounded during a major military sweep in the remote north, Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) said on Tuesday, quoting the defense ministry.

Ethiopia, the major power in the Horn of Africa, has frequently accused its smaller northern neighbor Eritrea of backing, arming and harboring a variety of Islamic insurgents. Eritrea called the report a "total fabrication" intended to divert attention from Ethiopian troop movements on the border with Somalia, where Addis Ababa has watched the rise of Islamists in Mogadishu with nervousness. Mogadishu's newly ruling Islamists have accused Ethiopia of sending soldiers over the border. Addis Ababa denies that.

So there you go - Ethiopia - another reluctant warrior-nation dragged into this global war, being a Christian majority and a democracy - it comes with no surprise that newly installed Islamic militant government in Somalia on the south, and Eriterian rebel activity in the north presents a direct threat to stability of that nation.


MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's special services to hunt down the killers of four Russian hostages in Iraq, the Kremlin said. "The president has ordered the special forces to take all necessary measures to find and destroy the criminals who killed Russian diplomats in Iraq," the Kremlin press service said. It did not specify what forces might be involved. Agents of the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Federal Security Service - the main successor to the KGB - could be considered special forces.

Putin also said Russia "will be grateful to all its friends for any information on the criminals," the Kremlin said. The order follows Monday's confirmation by the Foreign Ministry that four Russian Embassy workers seized in Iraq in early June had been killed. Earlier Wednesday, the lower house of the Russian parliament decried the murders and said that "occupying" countries are losing control in Iraq.Russia has strongly opposed the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq.The statement by the State Duma "deplores the death of our compatriots ... expresses profound indignation over the fact of their brutal murder and strongly denounces the criminals, who committed that heinous crime."

So does this mean that Russian leadership finally put the dots together and linked their problems in Chechnya with Islamic terrorists abroad; and does this mean that Putin decided to forgo Ideological differences and actually commit Russian intelligence agents (FSB), and SpetzNaz (special forces) to the Iraqi campaign in this global war? We'll have to wait and see.


Gaza Strip - Israel kept up the pressure on Palestinian militants to release a captive Israeli soldier Wednesday, sending its warplanes to bomb a Hamas training camp after knocking out electricity and water supplies for most of the 1.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip. Palestinians dug in behind walls and embankments, preparing for a major strike after Israel sent in troops and tanks, and bombarded bridges and a power station. At mid-afternoon, warplanes fired missiles at open fields in northern Gaza in an effort to prevent Palestinians from launching rockets from the area, the military said. Separately, Israel attacked a rocket-making factory in southern Gaza. Later, Israeli aircraft struck a training camp of the Hamas militant group in Rafah, witnesses said. The army had no immediate comment.

It was Israel's first ground offensive since pulling its soldiers and settlers out of Gaza last summer. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would not balk at "extreme action" to bring Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19, home but did not intend to reoccupy Gaza.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas deplored the incursion as a "crime against humanity," and a leading Hamas politician issued a call to arms against the Israeli troops. Israeli warplanes fired at least nine missiles at Gaza's only power station, cutting electricity to 65 percent of the Gaza Strip, engineers at the station said. The station's three functioning turbines and a gasoline reservoir were engulfed in flames. Wasfi Kabha, the Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs in the Hamas, said that the Israeli attacks were creating a "humanitarian crisis."

Here is what I don't get, past all the moral and legal issues in this mini-invasion or "punitive action" - why does Israel takes out bridges, water and power supplies, making majority of population suffer, supposedly over the action of the few? So, there idefinitelyly more to this at this story develops.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

BAH!!!! With regards to the Ethiopian security are making a mountain out of a molehill. The rebels are not from fact we don't have much evidence to actually believe they were in fact rebels. How do we know this? Because anytime there is an incident in Ethopia they generally blame about 4 or 5 different bodies (Eritrea, Somalia, Terrorism, Oromo freedom fighters etc)....that is poor investigative techniques.

Also...that country is not comfortably a christian majority. There are a large number of muslims, pagans, and jews that inhabit the land.

All that aside.....I think Putin is moron for sending in special forces. All he is doing is trying to show the people that he isn't lazy and negligent. I bet these so called elite commandos will nab just about any terrorist they find and accuse him/her for the death of russian diplomats.


10:12 AM, June 29, 2006  

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