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Global Events Report - Mars cycle February 18 – 24, 2015

February 12 – Minsk, Ukraine:  The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine have agreed on a deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine.  The ceasefire takes effect February 15.  Mars (fighting) is conjunction Sun (world leaders) in the Mars cycle. 

February 15, Midnight – Ukraine:  Following an upsurge in fighting a cease fire goes into effect. 

Libya: Islamic State releases a video purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians.

Egypt: In response to the executions by Islamic State Egypt launches air strikes on the city of Darna in Libya.  The Libyan government condemns the attack.

February 16 – Egypt: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi calls on the international community to intervene against Islamic State militants in Libya.  He claims what is happening in Libya is a threat to world peace and security.

February 17 – Ukraine: The fighting persists around the government held town of Debaltseve in Ukraine’s east with Kiev forces and Pro-Russian separatists blaming each other for continued attacks.  

February 18 – Ukraine: Kiev says peace hopes ‘being destroyed’ as rebels assault Debaltseve. Ukraine accuses rebels and Russia of destroying a fragile, three-day ceasefire. 

Washington: The US hosts an international Anti-Terror Summit with local lawmakers and leaders from 60 countries attending.

February 19 – Ukraine: Fighting rages unabated despite the ceasefire and Ukraine forces in Debaltseve carry out a ‘planned and organized’ retreat. The rebel advance on Debaltseve is widely condemned and President Petro Poroshenko calls for UN peacekeepers to be deployed to eastern Ukraine to enforce a ceasefire. 

Washington: US President Barack Obama speaking at the Terrorism Summit says the US is "not at war with Islam - we are at war with the people who have perverted Islam". He said those heading groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda were not religious leaders but terrorists.

Washington: The US says it is "deeply troubled" by reports of fighting in eastern Ukraine despite the ceasefire agreement.  Nato's top military commander, Gen Philip Breedlove, said the ceasefire existed in name only.

February 20 – Ukraine: Britain and the European Union are accused of a "catastrophic misreading" of the mood in the Kremlin in the run-up to the crisis in Ukraine.  British defence secretary Michael Fallon said that the EU had not realised the depth of Russian hostility to its plans for closer relations with Ukraine. And Vice president of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said Russian president Vladimir Putin was a "real and present danger" to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and NATO was getting ready to repel any aggression.

Moscow:  Russia bridles at the comments and calls them ‘completely intolerable’. 

Washington:  US officials say they have signed a deal with Turkey to train and equip Syrian opposition forces in their war against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The US also said a major ground offensive aimed at recapturing the Iraqi city of Mosul from IS fighters is expected to begin within months.
Myanmar:  Scientists claim that a drug-resistant malaria has been detected at the Myanmar-India border and now poses an "enormous threat" to global health. The malaria infection kills about 584,000 people each year. In the Myanmar Mars cycle Mars – the planet of infections – is cusp ruler of house 6 – sickness. The drug resistant malaria has also been detected in Cambodia, Loas, Thailand and Vietnam.

Australia:  Cyclone Lam makes landfall in the Northern Territory and cyclone Marcia makes landfall in Queensland within hours of each other.  Marcia is a Category 5 tropical cyclone with wind gusts up to 285 kilometres per hour.  In the Australian Mars cycle Mars – the planet of disasters – is cusp ruler of house 4 – weather events.

Ukraine: Fighting persists in east Ukraine despite new European efforts to ensure a ceasefire takes hold. The Ukrainian military said pro-Russian separatists had attacked positions held by government troops 49 times in the past 24 hours, using rockets, artillery and armoured vehicles. Ukraine accuses Russia of sending additional troops and tanks to the rebel held town of Novoazovsk.

Syria: Due to an "exponential rise" in atrocities in Syria UN investigators are considering reversing a long-held policy and revealing the names of an estimated 200 people suspected of committing war crimes.

February 21 – Baga, Nigeria: The Nigerian army recaptures the town of Baga. Scores of people were killed there in January by Boko Haram.
Turkey: Hundreds of Turkish forces enter war-town northern Syria to evacuate troops guarding an historic tomb. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad condemns the incursion as ‘flagrant aggression’.

Indonesia: In a sign of increasing tension due to Indonesia’s recent execution of a Brazilian drug smuggler Indonesia recalls its envoy to Brazil. Brazil and The Netherlands had previously withdrawn their ambassadors to Indonesia. And there’s tension between Australia and Indonesia over the death penalty (Mars). 

Britain: Police in Britain have launched an appeal to find three London schoolgirls who are believed to be making their way to Syria to join ISIL militants.

February 22 – Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels start removing heavy weapons in accordance with the ceasefire agreement.

Kharkiv, Ukraine: An explosion at a pro-Ukraine march kills three and injures more than 10.  The government describes it as a terrorist attack. 

February 23 – Ukraine: The Ukrainian military says it cannot start withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line in the east until the pro-Russian rebels stop shelling its positions. 

Turkey: British police officers are in Turkey as the search continues for three schoolgirls believed to be heading for Syria to join Islamic State militants.

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin says a war with Ukraine is unlikely, but refuses to hold more meetings with France, Germany and Ukraine over the ceasefire. Mr Putin said ‘I think that such an apocalyptic scenario is unlikely and hope this will never happen.’

Copyright DW Sutton, 2015. All rights reserved.

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