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India All Set To Buy S-400 Triumf Missile Systems from Russia

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After China, India is all set to acquire S-400 Triumf Missile Systems from traditional ally Russia. The S-400 Triumf missile systems are capable of detecting, tracking, and destroying stealth fighters, strategic bombers, missiles, drones, and spy planes at an altitude of 30km and a range of up to 400 km.

The Indian government has started its final communications with the Russian administration over the acquisition of 5 S-400 Triumf air missile systems worth INR 39,000 crore (over USD 5.5 billion). India hopes to sign the deal during the financial year 2018-19, with the expected delivery of the first S-400 SAM (surface-to-air) missile system, and its launchers, radars, and launcher vehicles within two years. The S-400 Triumf comes with an all-terrain transporter-erector-launcher vehicle, a battle-management system of command post and launchers, and acquisition and engagement radars.

All S-400 Triumf Missile Systems To Be Delivered Within 5 Years

A source from the Indian defence ministry said that the 5 S-400 Triumf systems will be delivered within 54 months of signing the contract. The systems, he added, can tackle medium-range ballistic missiles as well as cruise missiles. Meanwhile neighbouring nation China has already started getting the deliveries of six of the S-400 batteries ‘SA-21 Growler’. The deal for the same had been signed with NATO in the year 2014. Some reports, however, claim that some auxiliary components of the missile systems were damaged last week in the storm while being shipped from Russia to China. Russia is also expected to sell its air defence systems to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Read: Why is Saudi Arabia Dumping American Patriot Missiles for Russian S-400?

The S-400 Triumf missile systems in India can be deployed for the protection of a city in times of a war or even for neutralising Pak’s Nasr (Hatf-IX) nuclear missiles which the neighbouring nation often claims of as a counter to India strategy of ‘Cold Start’.

S-400 Triumf – The Longest Long-Range Anti-Aircraft Missile Systems

The S-400 Triumf is capable of tracking between 100 to 300 targets at a time via the long-range radars. The systems are also equipped with hypersonic and supersonic missiles that can be used to intercept incoming threats from different ranges. The finalisation of the acquisition deal for the same by India was first reported in the year 2015 following a clearance from the Defence Acquisitions Council. The signing of the agreements for the 5 S-400 systems was then carried out post the meeting of Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin at a summit in October 2016 in Goa along with the agreements for 200 Kamov-226T light helicopters and 4 Grigorivich-class frigates. The cost for the entire agreement was then reported to be around USD 10.5 billion.

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India Committed to Funding, Building Chabahar Railway Project In Iran – Indian Officials

TOI quoting senior officials at the Indian embassy in the Iranian capital said, “India is committed to building the Chabahar-Zahedan railway line and is continuously engaged with Iranian authorities concerned to take this important project forward.”

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On the recent reports that Iran had sidelined India from the Chabahar port railway project, New Delhi has contradicted Iran’s assertions that it is out of the Chabahar-Zahedan rail project.

Iran-India Chabahar Port Deal: Iran Kicks-Out India from Chabahar Rail Project citing funding delays

Senior Indian officials saying that New Delhi remained “committed” to financing and building the railway which is a vital part of the Chabahar port project, reports the Times of India.

TOI quoting senior officials at the Indian embassy in the Iranian capital said, “India is committed to building the Chabahar-Zahedan railway line and is continuously engaged with Iranian authorities concerned to take this important project forward.”

US Troops Withdraw From Five Bases in Afghanistan As Part Of Peace Deal With Taliban – Officials

The Iranian government source according to the reports explained – It was anticipated that besides investment in the Chabahar Port, New Delhi could also play a significant role in financing and building this vital transit route from Chabahar to Zahedan and from Zahedan to Sarakhs at the border with Turkmenistan which in the absence of active Indian engagement & funding is being developed by Iran.

US exasperated over Iran-China $400 billion pact

The Zahedan railway project reportedly has two elements — the ‘sub-structure’ which is earth-moving and making the ground for the tracks and the ‘super-structure’ which comprises the tracks and rakes. Tehran is responsible for the first part while New Delhi for the rest. However, the Indian part needs steel which is presently under US sanctions, and this has caused a delay, states the TOI report.

The port, however, is doing exhilarating business and has been shielded from US sanctions purely by Indian diplomacy.

Fact Check – Why Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine Does Not Signal an End to COVID-19 Pandemic?

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US Troops Withdraw From Five Bases in Afghanistan As Part Of Peace Deal With Taliban – Officials

The US has withdrawn from five military bases in Afghanistan. Afghan media outlet Tolo reported the five U.S. bases that closed are located in Helmand, Uruzgan, Paktika and Laghman provinces, in southern and eastern Afghanistan. 

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The US has closed five military bases in Afghanistan as part of an agreement with the Taliban, a Pentagon official said Tuesday. The official, who wanted to remain anonymous, confirmed the bases were in Helmand, Uruzgan, Paktika and Laghman provinces.

According to the deal, the US had 135 days to fulfil its pledge to reduce troops to 8,600 from nearly 14,000 in the conflict-hit country, which ended Monday.

The agreement was signed Feb. 29 and is aimed at reducing violence in hopes of fostering bilateral talks between the Afghan government and the extremist group to end the war-torn nation’s 18-year conflict.

The Taliban agreed not to allow al-Qaeda, Daesh or any other militant group to operate in areas they control, as part of the pact.

“The U.S. has worked hard to carry out the 1st phase of its commitments under the Agreement, including to reduce forces & depart five bases. NATO troops have come down in proportional numbers,” Khalilzad said on Twitter.

Afghan media outlet Tolo News reported the five U.S. bases that closed are located in Helmand, Uruzgan, Paktika and Laghman provinces, in southern and eastern Afghanistan. The larger U.S. bases in Bagram, located outside Kabul, and Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan remain open.

Despite the reduction in U.S. soldiers as part of the pact, violence between the Taliban and Afghan forces has spiked in recent months, according to the Afghan government.

Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, US President Donald Trump has reiterated his resolve to “bring our soldiers back home” from Afghanistan, publicly questioning the purpose of the U.S. military presence in the war-torn region of Afghanistan.

Donald Trump reemphasised his objective amid reports that the ongoing U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan “is well ahead of schedule” outlined in a historical pact signed between the US and Taliban to end the nearly 19-year-old war.

“We are acting as a police force, not the fighting force that we are, in Afghanistan,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. After 19 years, it was time for Afghan authorities to police their own country, he wrote.

Under the U.S.-Taliban pact, Washington had promised to reduce its military strength in Afghanistan from about 13,000 to 8,600 by mid-July before withdrawing all soldiers, along with several thousand partners in a NATO-led non-combatant mission by mid-2021.

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Pakistan Affirms Full Support To Turkey On The Eve Of Defeated Coup In Ankara

Pakistan, he added, “stands by Turkey and has been taking all possible steps to support Turkey’s efforts to address the threat posed by Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO),” the group behind the defeated coup.

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Pakistani PM Imran Khan has reaffirmed his country’s support and solidarity for Turkey on the eve of the July 15, 2016, defeated coup. Pakistan and Turkey share a historical bond and both nations are viewed as ‘iron brothers’. 

“Four years ago the Turkish people displayed their characteristic resilience and legendary bravery to defy the forces of darkness targeting Turkey’s peace and stability as well as its democratic institutions,” Imran Khan said in his message for Democracy and National Unity Day, a public holiday in Turkey.

“The saga of human courage and determination witnessed on July 15, 2016 was indeed an inspiration for millions across the globe and will be remembered in the annals of history.”

Drawing parallels with Khilafat Movement, Khan said the spirit of Turks on that day was similar to what “motivated our forefathers not to hesitate from making any sacrifice for their Turkish brethren a century ago.”

In 1918, South Asian Muslims struggled to save the Ottoman Empire from falling.

“We join the people of Turkey in honouring the martyrs and supporting their families,” the Pakistani premier said.

Pakistan, he added, “stands by Turkey and has been taking all possible steps to support Turkey’s efforts to address the threat posed by Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO),” the group behind the defeated coup.

The speakers of lower and upper houses of parliament also expressed solidarity in separate statements.

“We always have, and will continue to stand by Turkey in the face of all challenges,” said Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

Pakistanis stood by Turkey on the night of July 15, 2016, and will continue to do so, said National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser.

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