As US sanctions resume, Iran starts annual air defense drill

The annual drill coincides with the resumption of US sanctions on the country. (File/AFP)
Updated 05 November 2018

As US sanctions resume, Iran starts annual air defense drill

  • Both the national army and the Revolutionary Guard are taking part and that all ammunition used in the drill is produced in Iran

TEHRAN: Iran has kicked off air defense war games as the United States re-imposed all American sanctions that were lifted under the nuclear deal with world powers.
State TV broadcast footage of Iranian air defense systems and anti-aircraft batteries in the maneuvers underway Monday and Tuesday across a vast stretch of the country’s north.
Iranian army Gen. Habibillah Sayyari says both the national army and the Revolutionary Guard are taking part and that all ammunition used in the drill is produced in Iran.
The start of the exercise, an annual event on Iran’s military calendar, coincides with the resumption of US sanctions on Iran’s vital oil industry.
The Trump administration hopes the sanctions will change Iran’s policies in the region, especially support of militant groups and its ballistic missiles program.


Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

Updated 38 min 55 sec ago

Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

  • EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities as demanded by the US is not a genuine cease-fire
  • He calls on Ankara to immediately stop military operations,

BRUSSELS/ANKARA: Macron critizes Turkey's aggression in Syria as "madness', bewails NATO inaction

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has bemoaned Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria as “madness” and decried NATO’s inability to react to the assault as a “serious mistake.”

“It weakens our credibility in finding partners on the ground who will be by our side and who think they will be protected in the long term. So that raises questions about how NATO functions.”

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities is not a genuine cease-fire and called on Ankara to immediately stop military operations in Syria.

Dareen Khalifa, a senior Syria analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the cease-fire had unclear goals. 

There was no mention of the scope of the area that would be under Turkish control and, despite US Vice President Mike Pence referring to a 20-mile zone, the length of the zone remains ambiguous, she said.

Selim Sazak, a doctoral researcher at Brown University, believed the agreement would be implemented and the YPG would withdraw.

“The agency of the YPG is fairly limited. If the deal collapses because of the YPG, it’s actually all the better for Ankara,” he told Arab News. “What Ankara originally wanted was to take all of the belt into its control and eliminate as many of the YPG forces as possible. Instead, the YPG is withdrawing with a portion of its forces and its territory intact. Had the deal collapsed because of the YPG, Ankara would have reason to push forward, this time with much more legitimacy.”