Regional News • Middle East
NATO expands Iraq mission up to 4000 soldiers

NATO is expanding its mission in Iraq to about 4000 soldiers. This was decided by the Alliance's defence ministers, as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced. The aim is to prevent the jihadist militia "Islamic State" from gaining strength again.

NATO has been training security forces in Iraq since 2017. So far, the training and advisory mission has a maximum strength of 500 soldiers, of which around 300 are currently in the country, according to the alliance. Iraqi soldiers are trained in particular in the defusing of explosive devices, maintenance and medical care. In addition, they are advising the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and other security authorities.

Regional News • World
USA imposes sanctions on Turkey over purchase of Russian missile system
USA imposes sanctions on Turkey over purchase of Russian missile system
Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The U.S. is imposing sanctions on NATO ally Turkey over its deployment of Russia's S-400 missile defense system. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday in Washington that punitive measures would be imposed against the Defense Security Directorate (SSB). The directorate reports to the office of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The sanctions included a ban on all U.S. export licenses and permits for SSB, Pompeo announced.

Any assets of SSB chief Ismail Demir and other U.S. executives would be frozen. They would also be subject to entry restrictions. At the same time, Pompeo stressed that Turkey is a "valued ally" of the U.S. and an important security partner in the region, and that they would like to see continued cooperation in the defense sector.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Navalny poisoning should have international consequences according to NATO
Representative image of Jens Stoltenberg in 2020
Representative image of Jens Stoltenberg in 2020 Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stated that "the use of such a weapon is horrific. All allies today were united in condemning this attack" as Navalny is recovering in a German hospital from the assassination attack.

He added that "this is not just an attack on an individual but on fundamental democratic rights. And it is a serious breach of international law which demands an international response".

Regional News • Europe
Gas deposits dispute in the Mediterranean: Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus start military manoeuvres
Turkish Navy
Turkish Navy Credit: T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı

The NATO partners Greece and Turkey are in dispute over gas deposits in sea areas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea claimed by both countries, but also by Cyprus.

Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus are now launching a large-scale maneuver in the eastern Mediterranean. The joint exercise is to last until Friday. In addition to three Greek F-16 aircraft, three French Rafale jets are also taking part.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump moves 9,500 troops out of Germany

The US military has been ordered by the commander-in-chief president Donald Trump to move almost 9,500 troops out of Germany. In the announcement, the White House has stated that the move comes after the NATO has increased its overall spending and there was less need for a large contingent of troops in Germany.

Regional News • Europe
North Macedonia joins NATO as 30th membership state

The European country North Macedonia has officially joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that he thinks North Macedonia joining NATO "is good for the stability of the Western Balkans and it is good for international peace and security" and that "friends and Allies are more important than ever".