Thursday, February 22, 2018

Indian ocean: China sends 13 ship fleet into India's front yard in which to send message during Maldives crisis

(New Delhi) Currently there is a political crisis in the Maldives. The President Abdulla Yameen, has taken on an air of a policy of connecting Islam with anti-Western rhetoric and as India the big neighbour across the way is Hindu has made his bed with China, which just happens to be India’s nemesis .

Anyway early in February, the Maldives Supreme Court dropped charges against opposition leader and pro-Indian former President Mohammed Nasheed, and ordered that 12 opposition parliamentarians who had been stripped of their seats be reinstated. President Abdulla Yameen was having none of that and overruled the court’s decision and declared a state of emergency. Two Supreme Court judges and another former pro-Indian president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, were arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. In the chaos that ensued, both Yameen and Nasheed appealed to regional powerhouses for their support. Yameen sent envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in a bid to strengthen his position. Nasheed, who is currently outside the Maldives, took to Twitter to request a military-backed envoy from India. The EU  sent in a delegation and held a meeting with the opposition, but was denied talks with the ruling government, which it has accused of cracking down on democracy.

Whilst India has remained silent on sending forces to restore law and order, China firmly told New Delhi not to send in any forces (As it did in 1998 after a coup)

Well, the situation has become much more complicated as it has been reported that China has sent in a task force of 13 ships into the Eastern Indian ocean for some very strange reason, of which they are remaining tight lipped about.  The task forces consists of two 052D destroyers, a 054A frigate, and a 071 dock landing ship. A supply ship is also part of the flotilla. This has been beefed up by the 27th escort convoy comprising a destroyer, frigate and a replenishment ship  and the 28th convoy escort formation in the western Indian Ocean. 13 ships in total.

The 7500 tonnes Type 052D guided missile destroyer (Luyang-III class) is among the world's biggest and most capable destroyers. Equipped with advanced radar and two 32-cell Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for various missiles. It is presumed that the Type 052D  has capabilities similar to those of the US Arleigh Burke class general-purpose destroyers.
Type 052D 
The 4000 tonne Type 054A frigate (Jiangkai II) is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates, the first of which entered service with the People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2007. It has a hard-to-pick stealthy design and good anti-ship and counter-submarine capability.

Type 054A
The 25000 tonne Type 071 amphibious transport ship is geared for beach landing troops. An array of amphibious landing craft, assault vehicles and two back-up helicopters are used for sea-to-land deployment of around 800 troops, equivalent of an army battalion.

 “Overall, the Chinese Navy is sending out an amphibious convoy fleet with strong regional air defence, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities and the ability to deliver rather large-scale amphibious troops quickly,”
It appears that things may become very complicated 

Malaysia 10 suspect ISIS terrorists arrested.

(Kuala Lumpur) Police in Malaysia have reported that between January and February this year they arrested 10 suspected Islamic terrorists who were part of ISIS communication pipeline set up to channel  ISIS fighters to the Philippines.

The first series of arrests were made on Jan 25 and Jan 26 against five men — two Malaysians and three Philippine nationals aged between 33 and 50 — in Sandakan, Sabah. The group includes a 27-year-old man from the Philippines who is believed to be a senior leader of the notorious Abu Sayyaf, a Philippine terrorist group known for kidnapping and beheading foreign tourists. The next series of arrests was against four individuals — two male Filipinos and a Malaysia woman aged between 27 and 32 — in Penampang, Sabah on Feb 4.

Follow-up operations led to the arrest of a 48-year-old Filipino man, who has Malaysian permanent-resident status, on Feb 6 in Sandakan.

Based on the arrests in Sabah, the Police reported it was learned that the Abu Sayyaf group was attempting to form a terror cell in Sabah so that they could successfully arrange for the safe passage of IS militants in the region to the southern Philippines.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Germany: Public outcry over Syrian living on benefits with his 2 wives and 6 children.

(Schleswig-Holstein) A documentary about Ahmad A. A 32 year old Syrian refugee in Germany, who happily lives on state handouts with his two wives and six kids, has angered many in the country where polygamy is against the law.

The Spiegel TV film which was aired over the weekend, told  the story of 32-year-old Ahmad A. who fled Syria  back in 2015 with his large family, and found  asylum in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany.
Apprantly the German authorities weren't that bothered by not only that he had 2 wives, but that he married his second wife when she was just 13 years old, well below Germany’s age of consent.

His first wife, was 14 at the time of the marriage. He also has a third wife in Syria, but he told the TV presenters that the house needed to be bigger for her to come as well. His two wives reside in separate rooms on the second floor and Ahmed said he makes sure there’s no issues  between them. The family’s bedroom is located on the first floor, with Ahmad specifying that he only sleeps with one wife at a time there.

The reporters asked how much financial support he gets each month. Ahmad replied
 "I do not know. The money is transferred and I go to the bank and pick it up. "
Ahmad  also stated that he is very happy to be living in Germany.:
"I thank you very, very, very much with Mama Merkel. She is the only person who has felt the suffering of the Syrians. I also thank the Germans. Even if there are racists among them. But the Germans have experienced war and show great compassion for the Syrians. "
Ahmad A. could take a German course and find work - but he prefers to remain home to be with the children. As you can guess, this story hasn’t gone down well with the German –Tax paying- public  who are angry not only about his life on benefits, but by the fact he is allowed to have 2 wives sanctioned by a state where it is illegal to be a bigamist. 

Mali: Two French soldiers killed by explosive device

(Bamako) The French president’s office has reported that on Wednesday two French soldiers were killed after their armoured vehicle was hit by an explosive device in Mali. No further information has been forthcoming.
Graphic taken from French MOD PDF
France currently has a 4,000-strong counter-terrorism force in Mali, which is part of Operation Barkhane, (supported by Germany/UK and Holland) meant to fight extremist groups in the African region of the Sahel, which also includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger.

Somalia: US Airstrike takes out 3 Al-Shabab terrorists

(Jilib) The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) reported on Wednesday that they had taken out 3 Al-Shabab terrorists in an air-strike in the south of Somalia

India: Muslims declare war on Pampers (Nappies/diapers)

(Hyderabad) Muslims in India have gone ballistic over how somebody claims to have seen the name Mohammed inside the face of a cartoon cat used to advertise ‘Pampers nappies’ . In fact faster than you could utter ‘Alis snack bar’  outraged religious fellows have stripped bare the locals shops of the offending packs of pampers and filmed themselves burning them in the street.

Apparently the nose of the cat ,two whiskers and eye spells 'Mohammed. As written on the right.

After becoming all inflammatory in the street over a total disregard for Indian Muslims, they descended on the local cop shop in which to hand over a letter of protest demanding the Police take action against this attack on peaceful Muslims.

I don't even know where to begin, how the hell can anybody construe that half a cats face is Mohammed written in Urdu/Arabic. I suppose, I had best make sure Mrs Miggins is kept inside from now on:
Mrs Miggins

US: Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor undergoes flight testing.

(Amarillo)  The Bell V-280 Valor is a tiltrotor aircraft being developed by Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin for the United States Army's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. Designed for a cruising speed of 280 knots  (hence the name V-280) a top speed of 300 knots , a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi . The V-280 is one of two prototypes battling to replace the ubiquitous Blackhawk Helicopter.    

Whilst similar looking to the V22 Osprey a major difference, is that the engines remain in place while the rotors and drive shafts tilt. A driveshaft runs through the straight wing, allowing both prop rotors to be driven by a single engine in the event of engine loss. Which I am led to believe has been a major issue with the V22 . The V-280 has retractable landing gear, a triple-redundant fly by wire control system, and a V-tail configuration. The wings are made of a single section of Carbon fibre reinforced polymer composite, reducing weight and production costs. The V-280 will have a crew of 4 and be capable of transporting up to 14 troops.

Anyway the V-280 is currently undergoing flight tests in Texas where it has reached a flight speed of 80 knots and flying at an altitude of 1,000ft above ground and demonstrated those things which make Aircraft airworthy. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Syria: Pro-Assad forces arrive in Afrin

(Afrin)  Syrian government forces have entered the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, which in turn provoked  an immediate response from Turkish forces besieging the area with an artillery strike.  The convoy of pro-Syrian government fighters in pickup trucks mounted with heavy weapons entered Afrin, where Turkey has been conducting a month-long military operation. Whilst the Kurds have done extremely well in keeping the Turkish advance to under 10km.

Key: Blue= Turkish advance. Dark Green =Turkish proxies. Red= Syrian. Light Green=Kurds. Pink= contested.
After a month of fighting and thus militarily aren’t in acute need of more soldiers, the moral support from Assad and the extra weaponry (As in anti-Aircraft missiles) send a huge  message to Anakara that they may have bitten off more than they can chew here. And let’s be serious, as soon as the Turkish body count starts to climb, Turkish Publish support will waiver.

Gaza: New female centric TV station launched.

(Gaza City) A female-led television station has officially launched in Gaza.  Concentrating on the huge untapped female market Taif TV is designed to allow women in the enclave a medium designed around them and not politics.  However as this is Gaza, such a vehicle for women attracted hostility even before it was launched with Hamas, holding up the launch day due to the station not having the correct paperwork in place (Read that as bribe)