China began combat drills near the Taiwan Strait on Friday (18 September), the same day a senior US official began high-level meetings in Taipei, as Beijing denounced tightening ties between Chinese-claimed Taiwan and the United States.
The United States plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles and drones to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China.
Turkey said on Monday (31 August) that its Oruç Reis exploration vessel will now carry out seismic surveys in a disputed part of the eastern Mediterranean until 12 September, in a move likely to stoke tensions in the region.
Numerous Chinese and US military exercises, Taiwan missiles tracking Chinese fighters and plummeting China-US ties make for a heady cocktail of tension that is raising fears of conflict touched off by a crisis over Taiwan.
Taiwan unveiled a T$42.1 billion ($1.4 billion) increase for next year’s planned defence spending on Thursday (13 August), as China announced details of its latest combat drills near the democratic island.
Iran launched a missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East.
US President Donald Trump issued a new threat to Tehran on Sunday (19 May), tweeting that a conflict would be the “official end” of Iran, as Saudi Arabia warned it stood ready to respond with “all strength” and said it was up to Iran to avoid war.
Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships off the coast of Russia-annexed Crimea on Sunday (25 November) after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors, in a move that risks igniting a dangerous new crisis between the two countries. The EU has called for de-escalation.
British, French and German fighter jets simulated flight interceptions over Western Europe on Wednesday (12 September) as part of NATO drills to deter Russian planes from entering allied airspace and to showcase European efforts to integrate their air defences.
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid called for US Patriot missiles and troops to be deployed to her small Baltic state yesterday (4 April), telling AFP it was necessary to make deterrence "believable" for Russia.
Russia is reinforcing its Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad with two small warships armed with long-range cruise missiles to counter what it sees as a worrying NATO build-up in the region, Izvestia reported today (26 October).
The escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict earlier this year has left Armenia with no option. The only way to resolve the conflict is to end the occupation and come to the negotiating table, argues Kamal Makili-Aliyev.
Russia and NATO must agree on common rules to handle unexpected military encounters to reduce the risk of inadvertently triggering a war between Moscow and the West, a group of former foreign and defence ministers said today (26 August).
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