SHAFAQNA-- Jordanians have staged an anti-US demonstration in the capital, Amman, to protest against the proposed deployment of US troops on the kingdom’s border with Syria.
Hundreds of Jordanian protesters took to the streets on Friday to express their opposition to the planned deployment of 200 US troops in their country, AP reported.
The demonstrators said the deployment could be just the beginning of a process that paves the way for US interference in the Syrian unrest. They also burned American flags.
They also said that they do not want to see a US-led invasion of Syria, like the 2003 war in Iraq, based on faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction.
"No to US troops in Jordan. This is not in our national interest," the demonstrators chanted.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on April 17 that Washington is sending an additional 200 troops to Jordan to help contain the violence in Syria, increasing speculations that US is setting the stage for intervention in Syria.
The planned deployment comes as the Pentagon has recently reviewed military options for Syria. Hagel has called military intervention in Syria "an option, but an option of last resort."
There have been several dozen American troops, mainly special forces, in Jordan since last year.
Jordan’s opposition party, the Islamic Action front, has also denounced the presence of American troops in the kingdom and has asked the government to review its decision to authorize the deployment of foreign troops on Jordan’s soil.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution to approve the creation of a 12,600-strong UN peacekeeping force in Mali starting on July 1, which would be able to request the support of French troops if needed to combat rebel threats.
Experts from the 15 Security Council members are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the resolution, drafted by France and obtained by Reuters news agency, which would authorise peacekeepers and French troops to use "all necessary means" to protect civilians and stabilise key cities, especially in Mali's desert north.
The Security Council hopes to adopt the resolution, which may be revised during negotiations, by the end of April.
A senior UN official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the operation would be the fourth largest UN peacekeeping force and cost up to $800m annually.
France, aided by some 2,000 troops from Chad, began a military offencive in January to drive out fighters, who had hijacked a revolt by Mali's Tuareg rebels and seized two-thirds of the West African country.
France has started withdrawing its 4,000-strong force and plans to have just 1,000 by the end of the year. Chad said on Sunday it would also withdraw from Mali after helping the French drive rebels from northern towns, mountains and deserts.
Syria had said Mali's north was in danger of becoming a springboard for extremist attacks on the region and the West.
"French forces will be ready to provide support [to the peacekeepers]," said a senior Security Council diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
"You can't ask the blue helmets [peacekeepers] to engage in counterterrorism."
The draft Security Council resolution proposes that a UN peacekeeping force - to be known as MINUSMA - take over authority on July 1 from a UN-backed African force in Mali that has been deployed there to take over from the French forces.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Tens of thousands of people rallied Sunday against U.S. plans to deploy Osprey hybrid aircraft on a southern Japanese island amid renewed safety concerns.
The protesters — as many as 100,000, according to organizers — gathered at a seaside park on Okinawa to demand that the plan to deploy 12 MV-22 Osprey aircraft on the island be scrapped, saying they are unsafe. The U.S. plans to deploy the Osprey, which takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane, to replace older CH-46 helicopters that are already there.
Safety concerns boiled over after Osprey crashes in Morocco and Florida earlier this year. An incident in North Carolina last week that officials called a “precautionary landing” further aggravated the sentiment.
“We refuse to accept a deployment of Osprey that has already proven so dangerous,” said Atsushi Sakima, mayor of Okinawa’s Ginowan City, home to the base where the Ospreys will be deployed. “Who is going to take responsibility if they crash onto a populated neighborhood?”
Participants cheered in support, waving red banners and placards with a message saying “Osprey No!”
The tilt-rotor planes have been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States says they have a solid record and can fly faster and carry bigger loads than the CH-46, which it is replacing worldwide.
Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has asked Japan’s central government to seek a full U.S. investigation into the Osprey crashes and suspend their deployment until the aircraft’s safety is verified.
The Osprey deployment plan has also reignited longstanding anger over the heavy presence of American troops on Okinawa and has become a headache for officials in Tokyo and Washington hoping to calm anti-base sentiment. More than half of the roughly 50,000 U.S. troops stationed throughout Japan are based on Okinawa.
Okinawans are particularly angry because the Ospreys will be deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which the two countries decided to close more than a decade ago. The base has remained in operation because a replacement site hasn’t been readied. —www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Tehran Times
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has described as “a political mistake” his country’s agreement to let the deployment of US missile system on its territory by 2018.
“Our mistake was that while accepting the US proposal, we have not taken into account a political risk related to the change of the US president. We have paid a too high political price for that,” Komorowski told the Wprost magazine, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.
“Spending large sums on military hardware is actually meaningless if it is not secured from… the missile attack and air raids,” Komorowski said.
The United States had scrapped plans in September of 2010 for a missile system in the Czech Republic and Poland.
Moscow welcomed the move, and Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev said later that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members, Poland and Lithuania.
Last year, however, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Washington’s plans to deploy the US new-generation ballistic missile system in Poland by 2018.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: WR NEWS