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House Homeland chief calls for ‘high state of alert’ ahead of Sept. 11

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Tuesday that the United States should be on a “high state of alert” as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches. On CNN’s “The Situation Room,” McCaul was asked whether the U.S. should take special precautions for this year’s Sept. 11, due to threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ... Read More »

U.S. condemns Israeli expropriation of West Bank land

The United States levied unusually harsh criticism at Israel on Tuesday, denouncing plans to seize a large tract of West Bank land for Israeli homes. The State Department called on Israel to reverse its announced plan to appropriate nearly 1,000 acres in the occupied West Bank. “We are deeply concerned about the declaration of a large area as ‘state land’ ... Read More »

Israel Says Hamas Is Hurt Significantly

A senior Israeli military intelligence official acknowledged on Tuesday that only several hundred Hamas operatives out of a total that he put at 16,000 were killed during this summer’s 50-day war in Gaza, leaving the group’s fighting force largely intact. The official, briefing reporters at military headquarters here on the condition of anonymity, in line with army protocol, added that ... Read More »

After Gaza war, poll finds support for Hamas rises

The popularity of the Hamas militant group among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has spiked significantly following the 50-day war with Israel, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday. The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and headed by leading Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, indicates that 61 percent of Palestinians would ... Read More »

Turkey Caught Between Allies, Jihadists

As US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel prepares to visit Turkey and the US government tries to build a “coalition of the willing” to take on Islamic militants in Syria, the Turkish government ponders how to cooperate without further antagonizing the jihadists. Hagel’s stop in Turkey will come near the end of a six-day international trip which begins Wednesday. “We ... Read More »

Yemen president dismisses government to end stand-off

Yemen’s president has dismissed his government and promised to review fuel subsidy cuts in a bid to end a stand-off with Zaidi Shia rebels. Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi would name a new prime minister to form a national unity administration, state media reported. However, the initiative was rejected by the rebels, who are known as Houthis. Thousands of their supporters have ... Read More »

Confusion as Ukraine and Russia announce progress towards peace

Ukraine said on Wednesday its president had agreed with Russia‘s Vladimir Putin on steps towards a “ceasefire regime” in Kiev’s conflict with pro-Russian rebels, but the Kremlin denied any actual truce deal, sowing confusion on the eve of a NATO summit. “The parties reached mutual understanding on the steps that will facilitate the establishment of peace,” said a statement by ... Read More »

Obama to Islamic State: ‘We will not be intimidated’

President Obama warned the killers of American journalist Steven Sotloff on Wednesday that the U.S. reach is long and “justice will be served” for his brutal murder. Obama, speaking at a news conference in the Estonian capital, also sharpened his tone against the Islamic State group that controls parts of northern Iraq and Syria. Obama, however, gave no clear details ... Read More »

Breedlove: Size of NATO Response Force Still Up for Debate

NATO leaders heading to Wales this week will discuss how to best enhance the NATO Response Force — a multinational force, which brings together land, air, maritime and special operation forces — amid Russia’s growing intervention in the east and southeast regions of Ukraine. While reports have surfaced that some 4,000 troops capable of moving in 48-hours notice will encompass ... Read More »

Ukrainian troops routed as Russia talks tough

The ferocity of the attack on the fleeing Ukrainian troops was clear, days after the ambush by Russian-backed separatist forces. More than 30 military vehicles lay in charred piles Tuesday. Villagers said dozens were killed, and some remained unburied. One soldier was blown out of his armored vehicle — apparently by a shell — his body left dangling from power ... Read More »

UK Proposes Joint NATO Expeditionary Force

Britain expects to sign at the upcoming NATO summit meeting a letter of intent with six partner nations to form a joint expeditionary force, separate from the alliance’s plan to forge a very high readiness force to act as spearhead for the NATO response force, British officials said Sept. 1. Both projects stem from the deepening Ukraine crisis, as NATO ... Read More »

Chinese jet’s run-in with P-8 seen as pattern

When an armed Chinese fighter jet recently buzzed a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft over international waters in the South China Sea, it was just the latest in a series of low-level confrontations between the two militaries. The spate of incidents is raising new questions about what is driving China’s aggressive posture and also prompting a new push to bring China ... Read More »

China confirms CH-4 UCAV in PLA service at ‘Peace Mission 2014’ drill

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) showcased a CH-4 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) during the multilateral ‘Peace Mission 2014′ exercise featuring Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) members in Inner Mongolia in late August. In a rare move, and indicating strong confidence in the platform, state media showed footage of a missile hitting a simulated enemy vehicle. Feng Aiwang, commander ... Read More »

Philippines Says It Foiled Anti-Chinese Airport Plot

Philippine authorities said they thwarted a plot to set off home-made explosive devices at Manila’s international airport and a nearby mall owned by Filipino billionaire Henry Sy, arresting three men who planned the attack to protest China’s assertiveness in the region. The suspects will be arraigned today and may be charged with illegal possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit ... Read More »

PLAN’s 17th Type 056 corvette begins sea trials

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) appears to have begun sea trials for its 17th Type 056 Jiangdao-class missile corvette Suqian , based on photographs circulated on Chinese internet sources. The 1,500-tonne vessel (pennant number 593) was spotted on several occasions at sea in waters around Hangzhou Bay in the last two weeks of August. Suqian was built by Shanghai ... Read More »