Iran smuggling tanker seizure
Iran says it has seized a smuggling tanker in the Persian Gulf region despite US military intervention to help it escape. The seizure was made by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on July 6. An IRGC Navy commander said the vessel was carrying one million liters of smuggled Iranian diesel fuel. Ramazan Zirahi said the seizure was made upon the inspection of the vessel whose captain was in contact with the US command and control center to help it flee. The US also dispatched two A10 fighter jets, a P8 reconnaissance aircraft, two Seahawk helicopters, an MQ9 drone and several patrol vessels to help the smuggling tanker. Zirahi said Iranian forces warned them off and escorted the tanker to Bushehr port. The IRGC commander added that this is not the first time the US has sought to help smuggling vessels in the Persian Gulf but it has been frustrated on every occasion.
Ukraine NATO bid
Moscow warns that Ukraine’s membership at NATO would have very negative consequences for European security. Peskov’s remarks came ahead of the alliance’s summit in Lithuania this week. He said Kiev is putting pressure on NATO countries to get an invitation to join the alliance. Meanwhile, the Membership Action Plan which was part of Ukraine’s requirement to join NATO has been lifted. Still, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made it clear that Kiev will not become a member while the war is still going on. NATO has already given full backing to Ukraine by providing weaponry worth billions of dollars since the war began in February 2022. Russia has time and again cited NATO’s eastward expansion as the reason for its military operation in Ukraine.
No end in sight to the Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. Occupation forces shoot a young man near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
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