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U.S./AFGHANISTAN – President Donald Trump has decided on America’s policy for Afghanistan after a “rigorous” review says Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. Details are not yet announced. 16 years into America’s longest war the Taliban and other anti-government groups control almost half of the country.

IRAQ/ISIS – The operation to retake the town of Tal Afar, Iraq began yesterday.  The town is the last urban area held by ISIS in Iraq. It is on a major ISIS supply route to and from Syria. Iraq’s Shia militia are expected to play a bigger role in the operation than they did for Mosul and this may exacerbate ethnic and religious tensions.

VENEZUELA/PARLIAMENT – President Maduro’s controversial constituent assembly is to take over powers from the opposition-led congress. Members of congress said it was another step in a coup by the President.

VENEZUELA/ORTEGA – Former attorney-general Luisa Ortega, and her husband, politician German Ferrer, have fled to Mexico via a speedboat and then plane. The government had accused Ortega and Ferrer of illegal acts after she threatened to open an investigation into alleged fraud surrounding July’s election, which led to the creation of the new constituent assembly.

VENEZUELA/MILITARY – The government plans to hold a nationwide military exercise called Bolivarian Sovereignty 2017 on Aug 26/27. This may be a response to Donald Trump’s bellicose remarks, it might also be to test to see if units obey orders.

IRAN/CASUALTY – Another senior Revolutionary Guard officer has been killed in Syria. Brigadier General Se Mostafa Khosh Mohammadi is the latest fatality. The Guards are losing about 8 men a month in Syria.

IRAN/ROUHANI – Iran’s parliament has approved most of the Cabinet ministers selected by President Hassan Rouhani for his 2nd term. Among them is Javad Zarif the highly rated veteran Iranian diplomat who negotiated the country’s 2015 nuclear deal as foreign minister.

AUSTRIA/MIGRANTS – Austria is sending 70 soldiers to the Brenner Pass on Austria-Italy border to prevent migrants from entering the country. Austria says up to 1,000 migrants enter the country each month, many of them via the Pass.

COMING UP – The joint S Korean/U.S. military exercise is the one to watch.  They are an annual event and usually coincide with bellicose language from N Korea and sometimes a missile test. This year’s ‘Ulchi-Freedom Guardian’ exercise comes amid even greater tension than usual. The North has warned that the war games constituted “reckless behaviour driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.”




1 Comment on "Things We Lost In The Mire – 33"

  1. Good old pompous, say one thing, do another, Austria. Two years ago they were calling the Hungarians Nazi’s for stopping migrants at the border, then within weeks putting up barbed wire themselves. Within a year they were offering to help bolster the Hungarian border defences with Serbia while simultaneously threatening to sue them if they didn’t take back migrants that Austria refused entry at their border with Hungary. Well at least it seems to have taken their minds off interfering in how we procure our energy supply here in the UK.

    A lot of hypocrisy doing the rounds at moment as per usual. Another contaminated food scandal broke over the weekend, this time involving Dutch and German pork containing hepatitis E. It is the second scare in short order involving EU produce following of course the eggs contaminated with Fipronil. Only a month ago UK journalists could find nothing more substantial to talk about during Liam Fox visit to the US than chlorine washed chicken and the risks to food safety of a US/UK trade deal. Fox was even dared to eat a chlorinated chicken. Presumably David Davis will now be warned on continuing to allow free access to EU agricultural products given the obvious risk they present and Keir Starmer and all other champions of the single market will be dared to eat some Schweinshaxe or at the very least a chunky German pork sandwich. No?, well now theres a surprise.

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