Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Monday, March 27th, 2017

US Has no Plans to Increase Mideast Forces: Pentagon Chief

US Has no Plans to Increase Mideast Forces: Pentagon Chief

TOKYO - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday the U.S. cannot afford to ignore destabilizing moves by Iran, but has no plans to respond by increasing American military forces in the Middle East.
Mattis spoke at a joint news conference in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart, Tomomi Inada. Mattis held a series of high-level meetings in Seoul and Tokyo this week on his first overseas trip as Pentagon chief. He was returning to Washington Saturday.
Asked about U.S. concern about China's militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea, Mattis was critical of China's moves but said U.S. military action was not appropriate.
In an opening statement at his news conference, Mattis also explicitly stated that the Trump administration will stick to the previous U.S. stance that the U.S.-Japan security treaty applies to defending Japan's continued administration of the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, which are contested by China.
In response, China's Foreign Ministry reasserted its claim of sovereignty over the tiny, uninhabited islands and called on the U.S. to cease "making wrong remarks" over the issue.
Saturday's news conference was Mattis' first since taking office Jan. 20. He is the first career military officer to serve as defense secretary since George C. Marshall, a former Army chief of staff, in 1950-51 during the Korean War. Mattis served 41 years in the Marine Corps, including a stint on Okinawa.  (AP)