Pakistan: Indian fire kills 1 soldier in Kashmir

Pakistan: Indian fire kills 1 soldier in Kashmir
Pakistani troops patrol near the Line of Control in Chakothi sector, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on August 29, 2019. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 27 September 2020

Pakistan: Indian fire kills 1 soldier in Kashmir

Pakistan: Indian fire kills 1 soldier in Kashmir
  • India and Pakistan routinely accused each other of unprovoked attacks along the tense Kashmir frontier
  • Pakistan says India has violated the truce more than 2,000 times this year alone

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military said Sunday that Indian troops opened fire across the border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing one soldier.
In a statement, it said Pakistani troops responded by targeting the Indian posts where the fire originated, causing “substantial damage” on the Indian side but gave no details.
The Indian army said its troops “befittingly” responded to Pakistani firing and shelling along the Line of Control on Saturday in southern Rajouri district. It reported no damage or casualties.
India and Pakistan routinely accused each other of unprovoked attacks along the tense Kashmir frontier in violation of a 2003 cease-fire agreement. Pakistan says India has violated the truce more than 2,000 times this year alone.
Kashmir is split between the nuclear-armed rivals and both claim it in its entirety. They have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
Tensions soared in February 2019, when a suicide bombing killed 40 Indian troops in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, and India retaliated with airstrikes inside Pakistani territory. Pakistan shot down one of the warplanes in Kashmir and captured a pilot who was quickly released. India said the strikes targeted Pakistan-based militants responsible for the suicide bombing.
Relations have been further strained since August last year, when India revoked the Muslim-majority region’s decades-old semi-autonomous status, touching off anger on both sides of the frontier. Since then, troops have frequently traded fire, leaving dozens of civilians and soldiers dead on both sides.


Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
Updated 25 January 2021

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
  • Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft
  • France has sided with Greece in a dispute with Turkey over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean

ATHENS, Greece: Greece signed a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) deal with France on Monday to purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions remain high with neighbor Turkey.
Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft built by Dassault Aviation over two years, starting in July.
France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades.
Tension spiked again last summer when a Turkish exploration mission in disputed waters triggered a dangerous military build-up.
Greece and Turkey have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving the dispute peacefully. Senior diplomats from the two countries met in Istanbul Monday to resume the process that had been interrupted for nearly five years.
But Athens says it will continue a multibillion-euro program to upgrade its military following years of cuts due to the country’s financial crisis.
France and the United States are in competition to provide the Greek navy with new frigates, while Greece’s government recently approved plans to cooperate with Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems to create a new military flight academy in southern Greece.
“The upgrade in the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force by means of both the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and the new state-of-the-art training center is critical for Greece to present a credible deterrence,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, told The Associated Press.
“It also provides Athens an enhanced ability to exercise more strategic autonomy when EU and NATO frameworks are deemed inadequate, making Greece more of a player in its own right.”
Starting in May, mandatory national service in the Greek Armed Forces will be increased from nine to 12 months to boost the number of people serving in uniform. While in Athens, Parly will also holding talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.