Jordan Developing New Fighting Vehicle
Vol: 2 Issue: 29 Thursday, November 29, 2001
The Jordanians are developing a new advanced infantry fighting vehicle. The development and production of the Tiger vehicle is a joint venture of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
The Tiger program was announced in March in Abu Dhabi and is meant for deployment in the UAE. Development and production will take place in Jordan by the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau. The UAE’s Bin Jaber group is providing the funding.
Russian Troops Back In Afghanistan
A contingent of 88 men from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has set up a small camp on a patch of land near the Bulgarian embassy in central Kabul, surprising Western observers, Washington Post reported on 27 November. Russian officials said that the contingent came at the invitation of the Northern Alliance and that they planned to build a medical facility and rehabilitate their long-abandoned embassy. Interestingly, there wasn’t a doctor in the crowd.
Russian Arms Dealers Busy
The Russians have been dumping weapons like they were free all around the Middle East and Central Asia. Now the Russians are working an arms deal with Greece.
Officials from the two countries are laying the groundwork for the sale of defense systems, such as air defense, to Greece. Russia is also offering to upgrade tanks and artillery for the Greek military. A visit by Russian Deputy Defense minister M.A. Dimitriev to Athens was the backdrop, and soon, another Russian arms deal was born.
Dimitriev met Greek Defense Minister Yannos Papantoniou, ostensibly to prepare the defense agenda for the visit next month to Greece by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin plans to push for the sale of Russian military systems to Athens.
Greece is the only NATO member to have bought military systems from Russia. These include the purchase of the S-300 anti-aircraft system meant for the Republic of Cyprus but obtained by Greece when Turkey threatened to prevent deployment of the S-300 on the divided island of Cyprus by declaring war on Russia.
While Russia Woos The Greeks . . .
The Germans are negotiate their own arms deals with Greece’s mortal enemy, the Turks.
Turkish officials said Ankara and Berlin have agreed in principle to the sale of up to 400 howitzers to the Turkish military. The howitzers are mounted on tanks.
But the deal is not without its critics. They say tht Turkey would use the howitzers for an operation in Iraq and an offensive against Kurdish insurgents. Germany has blocked several deals because of the Turkish conflict with the Kurds as well as Ankara’s human rights record. In addition, the European Union has been angered by Ankara’s opposition to the accession by the Republic of Cyprus.
Somali Rebels Offer Israel Use of Bases
Voice of Israel Radio reported yesterday that Somali rebels have offered Israel the use of naval and air bases in areas they control. Rebel leaders made the offer to Knesset member Modi Zandberg in Ethiopia. In return, the rebels want defense and humanitarian aid from Israel. Zandberg conveyed the proposal to the Prime Minister’s office. Jerusalem is now studying the offer.
Iraq Training Mujhideen Fighters
According to Istikhbarat Intelligence services, Qusay Hussein, son of Saddam Hussein and head of Iraq’s Istikhbarat intelligence services, is training Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MEK) guerrillas in urban and guerrilla warfare and assassination. Qusay is also deputy commander of the Iraqi Republican Guards. The MEK guerrillas are being trained at the al-Fujayr military camp.