These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
Regional diplomacy has always been one of cooperation and mutual understanding, and has enjoyed the benefits of soft power for many a year, however, the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea are slowly seeing diplomacy slipping out of favor in return for hard power. Tensions have been slowly rising in the region, and one can clearly see nervous twitches emerging from globally interested parties. North Korea’s recent media attention has started to attract international observation recently with the death of Kim Jong-nam, but more so has been the detail to the North Korean missile testing which has seen the US introduce the Thaad missile defense system deployed.
Heavily armed US Marines and Army Rangers are preparing for a decisive battle in northern Syria. An additional 400 US troops arrived in Syria over the past days bringing the number of American forces there to 900. Days earlier, American troops were spotted patrolling in the town of Manbij also in northern Syria. The United States says it is now focusing on capturing the city of Raqqah, which is the main stronghold of Daesh terrorists. The US-led forces spokesman Col. John Dorrian says:“We are preparing logistical and fire support to enable a successful assault on Raqqah.”
A failed operation by US special forces in Yemen has brought back into the spotlight what many describe as the forgotten war. The operation - that was the first ordered by the new US President Donald Trump - may sooner or later turn into a controversy. This is not because of its failure to achieve the objectives which purportedly were to hit certain Al-Qaeda elements. Rather, the fact that the mission ended in the killings of up to a dozen civilians – mostly women and children – has already raised eyebrows in Washington and elsewhere. Yet, regardless, many have already started to wonder why Yemen has suddenly been put on the top of the agenda of Trump administration only weeks into office. A surge in Trump’s interest in Yemen is specifically felt when considering that the US military has conducted more than 40 drone attacks in the country over the past few days.