(TMU) – India told its armed forces on Monday to make emergency procurements to stock up its war reserves in the wake of escalating conflict with China along the Line Of Actual Control (LAC), which is the long disputed border between India and China. In addition, the India Navy has also been given the go-ahead to deploy its assets near the Malacca Strait, and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter the Chinese, the India Economic Times reported.
This follows the first bloody conflict between the two Asian powers for the first time in 40 years with the killing of dozens of troops from India and China along a contested border of both countries in the Himalayas. The situation spurred after a failed diplomatic meeting in Galwan River valley, which is in the Himalayas region of Ladakh.
The Times of India corroborated the Economic Times claims, stating that Indian forces are in a “warlike alert.” The Indian Air Force (IAF) is also seeking a go-ahead to purchase 33 fighter aircrafts from Russia, according to reports. These will include 12 Sukhoi 30 MKI and 21 Mig-19 fighter jets.
TMU previously reported that both countries counterparts Wang Yi and Indian diplomat Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have now discussed the situation via a phone call with both coming to an agreement that the conflict needs to “cool down.”
While things have thus far calmed down according to China, India is still on alert for potential war responses. Hindustan Times also reports that China has begun cyberattacks against Indian infrastructure including government information websites and financial services like ATMs.
China stated the overall situation was “stable and controllable,” on Thursday through its Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
“We believe that guided by the important consensus reached between the two leaders, China and India can properly deal with the current situation, jointly uphold peace and stability in the border areas, and ensure a sound and steady development of bilateral relations,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.
Lijian added, the two sides are in close communication on solving the problems via diplomatic and military channels, the spokesperson told reporters.
“As the world’s two largest developing countries and emerging economies, China and India have far more common interests than differences. The two sides should follow the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and ensure that China-India relations move in the right direction in line with the interests and expectations of both nations,” Zhao said.
However, China’s spokesperson still blamed India for the conflict, stating:
“The whole thing happened because India’s frontline troops, in violation of the agreement reached at the Commander-level meeting, once again crossed the Line of Actual Control for deliberate provocation, and even violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went to the terrain for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties,” Zhao added.
According to Hindustan Times, Indian and Chinese delegations, led by major generals, met on Thursday near Patrol Point 14 in Galwan Valley as part of military engagements to de-fuse tensions on the disputed border. This was the seventh meeting between Major General Abhijit Bapat, commander of Karu-based headquarters 3 Infantry Division, and his Chinese counterpart since the stand-off began in early May, and the third after Monday night’s clash that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
The Guardian reports that China released 10 Indian soldiers after an agreement on the release was reached at major general-level talks between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army. China further used its state-backed mouthpiece, the ‘Global Times’, to threaten India with military pressure from China, Pakistan, and even Nepal on Wednesday if the border tensions escalated.
The Global Times quoted an individual at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Hu Zhiyong, in its one-sided and biased editorial, stating, “India has engaged in border disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal at the same time. As Pakistan is a reliable strategic partner of China, and Nepal also has close ties with China, and both of them are key partners under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, if India escalates border tensions, it could face military pressure from two or even three fronts, which is far beyond India’s military capability and this might lead to a disastrous defeat for India.”
Last Sunday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army conducted military drills in high altitude conditions with tanks prior to the incident with India on Monday, The Diplomat reported.
35 dead and injured on Chinese side during clash in Galwan Valley: official sources quoting US intelligence reports
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) June 17, 2020
NATO has responded with U.S. representative Kay Bailey Hutchison stating China is being watched by the West due to its growing aggression with its neighbors like Japan and India and other territories like Taiwan. Hutchison insisted that “It’s much more on our radar screen, and I think it should be because we should assess the risk, hope for the best but prepare for the worst,”
Hutchison remarked that “So we know that China has the capability to compete on a level playing field, and we’re asking them to do that, but we’re also turning a wary eye to their behavior right now in the South China Sea, militarizing islands that they said would never be done, as well as the clampdown on Hong Kong.”
When the representative was asked if an actual military confrontation was on the horizon, she replied, “I think NATO is now looking to the East.”
A spokesperson for U.S. President Donald Trump has said he has “no formal plans” to mediate between India and China.
“There are no formal plans,” White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters, but said Trump is “aware” and monitoring the tumultuous situation.
Indian media reported a total of 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the brawl earlier this week, citing the toll from a military authority, while the casualties of the Chinese side remains unclear. U.S. intelligence sources have, however, speculated that at least 35 soldiers were killed from China during the hand to hand combat dispute with iron rods, rocks and studded clubs.
However, while the conflict with China may be ending, another escalation has since happened with Pakistan. When this was going to press, Pakistan accused India of “unprovoked” shelling fire in the disputed Kashmir region, which resulted in the deaths of four civilians.
For a timeline update from the Indian side of the conflict with China see the Indian Economic Times here.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.