News

February 9, 2018
 

News Briefs – February 9, 2018

Myanmar’s place at U.S. military drills in Asia draws ire

U.S. lawmakers are demanding Myanmar’s exclusion from U.S.-led military exercises in neighboring Thailand next week amid pressure for more American sanctions in response to atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

Myanmar’s planned participation in the Cobra Gold exercise, which starts Feb. 13, comes as its security forces are accused of killing hundreds if not thousands of civilians and burning down villages after Rohingya militant attacks last summer. More than 680,000 Rohingya — loathed in majority Buddhist Myanmar and denied citizenship — have fled to Bangladesh.

That makes the country’s involvement in Cobra Gold all the more controversial although Myanmar has taken part before. The exercises are America’s largest, annual multi-nation drills in the Asia-Pacific. The Pentagon says up to three officers from Myanmar are being invited as observers. AP
 

Lebanon labels Israeli border wall an ‘aggression’

Lebanon’s top security body has instructed the country’s military to confront any Israeli “aggression” on its land or maritime borders.

The statement by the Higher Defense Council Feb. 7 did not elaborate but it comes amid escalating tensions between the two neighbors, who are technically at war.

At the heart of the current dispute is a new oil and gas exploration deal on the countries’ maritime borders. Israel contests Lebanon’s rights to one area.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is protesting a controversial wall that Israel is planning to build along its southern border. Lebanon says it would encroach on its territory.

The defense council said the wall is an aggression against Lebanon’s sovereignty. AP




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