- Philippines to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Bataan Death March
- North Korea appears to be preparing for new underground nuclear test
- Japan deploys Patriot missile batteries in Tokyo over N. Korean missile test
- Syria's army fires across border into Turkey's refugee camp, killing two
- Lebanese journalist killed by Syrian army firing into Lebanon
- Turkey reconsiders its position on military action against Syria
Philippines to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Bataan Death March
The Philippines on Tuesday will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Bataan Death March. More than 76,000 Filipino and American soldiers surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army, following the fall of Bataan on On April 9, 1942. They were forced to march the 128-kilometer stretch from Bataan to Capas, Tarlac, but thousands of them died or killed along the way either due to extreme fatigue due to lack of food and water and lack of sleep. Many of the prisoners of war (POW) who could no longer walk were shot to death or bayoneted by their Japanese captors. An estimated 10,000 Filipino and American POW died before they could reach Capas. The Bataan Death March followed the attack on Pearl Harbor by only a few months, and for the first time, Americans became aware that the war with Japan would not end easily, but would go on for years. Zambo Times (Manila) and U.S. Air Force
North Korea appears to be preparing for new underground nuclear test
Satellite images show that North Korea is digging a new tunnel underground in the country's nuclear test site, where it conducted previous nuclear tests, first in 2006 and then in 2009. According to a South Korean intelligence official, "North Korea is making clandestine preparations for a third nuclear test at Punggye-ri in North Hamkyong Province, where it conducted two nuclear tests in the past." This comes at a time when North Korea is just about to launch a long-range missile test. It was just a few weeks ago that the North Koreans promised to end nuclear development, including development of long-range missiles. Korea Herald
Japan deploys Patriot missile batteries in Tokyo over N. Korean missile test
Japan has deployed Patriot missile batteries in Tokyo and dispatched destroyers, as North Korea makes final preparations for a long-range test rocket launch that has received world wide condemnation. In addition, Philippine Airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways are changing flight paths, while Philippine officials have declared a no-fly zone and urged ships and fishing boats to avoid northeastern territorial waters where rocket debris may fall. AFP and AP
Syria's army fires across border into Turkey's refugee camp, killing two
Turkey on Monday said that the Kofi Annan peace plan has become irrelevant, on a day when two Turks – a policeman and a translator – and four Syrians were injured at a refugee camp in the border province of Kilis from bullets fired from Syria. Other reports indicate that two Syrians were killed as well. Turkey's Foreign Ministry said that all Syrians who take shelter in Turkey were under the country’s "full protection," and warned that "the necessary measures will be implemented if such incidents are repeated." Hurriyet (Istanbul) and AP
Lebanese journalist killed by Syrian army firing into Lebanon
Whereas Syria's attack across Turkey's border may have been a first, Syria has frequently fired into Lebanon's border, and Syrian troops have crossed the border into Lebanon in pursuit of refugees, leading to the killing and wounding of several Lebanese citizens in recent months. On Monday, three Lebanese journalists came under fire by a two-hour barrage of bullets from Syria's army, killing Ali Shaaban, a cameraman. "Ali Shaaban became a martyr after the Syrian army opened fire on Al-Jadeed’s car," said a colleague. Lebanon is split politically, because Syrian government ally Hizbollah is part of the Lebanese government. Daily Star (Beirut)
Turkey reconsiders its position on military action against Syria
During the last year, Turkey has talked about some military options -- establishing a "buffer zone" or "humanitarian corridor" on Syrian soil, where Syrian refugees could go and be protected by Turkey's army -- but has repeatedly said that no action could be taken without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. In lieu of such action, Turkey has built several refugee camps on Turkish soil, with a capacity of about 45,000 refugees, still well above the 24,000 refugees currently housed.
But Monday's actions by Syria's army, firing across the border into Turkey and Lebanon, has caused Turkey to reevaluate its options. Even without U.N. approval, Turkey can still legally intervene militarily into Syria because of the "Adana Agreement," signed by Turkey and Syria in Adana, Turkey, on October 20, 1998. According to the Adana Agreement:
- Syria may not permit any activity that jeopardizes the security and stability of Turkey. The influx of Syrian refugees is jeopardizing Turkey's security and stability.
- Syria may not allow the supply of weapons or money to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK terrorists]. There is some evidence that in recent months, Syria has been supplying weapons to PKK terrorists, and allowing them to establish training camps on Syrian soil.
Turkey may even ask NATO to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that an attack on any member shall be considered an attack on all. The article was invoked by the US for the first time in October 2001, after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Zaman (Istanbul) and Zaman