25 Oct 17. Qatar, Russia sign agreements on air defense, supplies. Qatar signed a military technical cooperation agreement and memorandum of understanding on air defense and military supplies with Russia on Thursday, a statement from the Qatari defense ministry said.
Moscow – Russia – 09/05/2017 – Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu salutes during the 72nd anniversary of the end of World War II on the Red Square in Moscow. REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov/Pool
It did not give details but Russia has been more active in the region since Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Qatar in June, triggering the worst diplomatic crisis in the Gulf in years. The agreements were signed between Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who visited the Gulf state on Wednesday, and Qatari Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed al-Atiyya. Earlier this month, Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to help Saudi Arabia in its efforts to develop its own military industries. The kingdom agreed to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems. Qatari and Russian ministers said they also discussed the Gulf and Syrian crises and “combating terrorism and violent extremism”. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Reuters)
25 Oct 17. British troops to patrol outside Al Asad Air Base in fight against ISIS. British troops deployed at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq are set to patrol outside their base perimeter in support of the ongoing fight against ISIS.
Soldiers from the British Army’s 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, are currently providing infantry, counter-IED, engineering and combat medical training to the Iraqi Security Forces.
More than 600 British soldiers are on the ground to help train Iraqi forces at this time.
UK troops have helped train more than 58,000 Iraqi Security Forces in battle-winning infantry, counter-IED, engineering and combat medical skills to date.
Additionally, aircraft from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) have carried out in excess of 1,600 strikes against ISIS.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “The fight against ISIS reign of terror is not over and as the nature of the coalition campaign changes, the role we play must adapt too.
“By training Iraq forces we are helping with the long-term stability of the country and our own security here at home.”
The UK is also deploying a team of British military medical personnel to Al Asad, while extending the deployment of British engineers at the base by a further six months.
A Light Surgical team comprising RAF medics and personnel from the Army Medical Corps is also expected to provide medical treatment to Coalition forces within the critical ‘golden hour’ after being wounded.
More than 1,400 personnel from all three UK military services are currently supporting the fight against ISIS. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Oct 17. Azeri budget receives slight boost. Azerbaijan has announced plans for a slight increase in defence spending in 2018, with the government outlining defence and national security as a priorities.
The draft budget released by the Ministry of Finance on 9 October outlines plans to increase the defence budget to AZN2.73bn (USD1.6bn), representing a 3.7% increase over 2017’s allocation of AZN2.64bn. The 2018 allocation includes AZN1.36bn in funding for the armed forces, AZN0.1bn for national security, and AZN1.258bn in other defence expenditure.
Despite the increase in the defence budget, spending will fall slightly against GDP from 5.5% to 5.4% and also as a share of the state budget from 14.7% to 13.1%. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Oct 17. Dunford: Battle Against Violent Extremism at Inflection Point. The conflict against extremist organizations is at an inflection point, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford hosted the chiefs of defense from 73 coalition nations to discuss the ongoing conflict against violent extremism worldwide.
The meeting comes a