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US F-22 fighter jets to soon hover over the Pacific amid mounting tensions with China

The United States Air Force is sending more than two dozen F-22 stealth fighters to an exercise in the western Pacific this month, 'sending strong signals of confrontation' apparently to China.

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US F-22 fighter jets to soon hover over the Pacific amid mounting tensions with China
US F-22 fighter jets to soon hover over the Pacific amid mounting tensions with China

The latest move is an unusually large deployment of the powerful jets that analysts say will send a strong message to a possible adversary in China.

Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii this week said approximately 25 F-22s Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard and from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, will deploy this month to Guam and Tinian islands for Operation Pacific Iron 2021.

"We have never had this many Raptors deployed together in the Pacific Air Forces area of operations," Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, told CNN.

The F-22s are fifth-generation combat jets, the world's most advanced fighter aircraft, incorporating stealth technologies and connecting on-board sensor systems with off-board information systems to give their pilots a detailed view of the battle space. US F-35s are another example.

Deploying a large number of F-22s for the exercise sends an immediate message to China at a time when relations are tense over Pacific flashpoints like Taiwan and the South China Sea, said Carl Schuster, a Hawaii-based defense analyst and a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center. Normal F-22 deployments consist of six to 12 aircraft, he said.

"The Pacific Air Force is demonstrating that it can deploy as many or more fifth-generation aircraft into the theater on short notice than (China) currently has in its entire inventory," he said.

The Chinese air force has about 20 to 24 operational fifth-generation fighters, Schuster said, but he noted Beijing's capabilities are improving at a rapid pace.

The US Air Force has around 180 F-22s in its fleet, although only about half are mission capable at any one time due to maintenance requirements, according to Air Force statistics. So the US will be sending about 25% of mission F-22s to the Pacific Iron exercise.

Because of their ability to evade radar detection, F-22s would be expected to be among the first weapons used in any conflict, tasked with taking out an adversary's air defenses among other missions.

SOURCE: CNN INTERNTIONAL 

Faisal Ali Ghumman is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Faisal Ali Ghumman is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 3 months.

Pakistan

Pakistan sees surge in COVID cases, active tally reaches 1,194,198

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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Pakistan sees surge in COVID cases, active tally reaches 1,194,198

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 4,062 cases of coronavirus were reported while 84 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,497.

The total number of cases has reached 1,194,198.

As many as 1,076,112 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,383 critical cases.

Punjab                 

The number of patients swelled to 408,758 in the province with 12,135 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 441,410 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,073.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 166,564 in the province with 5,175 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,480 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,037 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 714. On the other hand, there are 10,109 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 101,840 cases in the capital city while 879 people have lost their lives.

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Pakistan

‘Covid fourth wave’: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity rate falls to 5.45%

Islamabad: Pakistan is witnessing daily surge in COVID-19 cases with authorities linking the upswing to the deadly fourth wave. Today country’s positivity rate is on 5.45%.

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‘Covid fourth wave’: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity rate falls to 5.45%

As per National Command and Control Center (NCOC), Pakistan conducted a total of 57,792 tests in the last 24 hours.

Around 3,153 cases of coronavirus were reported while 58 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,720.

As per the command centre, total confirmed cases are 1,204,520 whereas 5,370 are under critical care.

Punjab              

The number of patients swelled to 413,182 in the province with 12,211 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 444,464 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,133.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 168,258 in the province with 5,250 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,569 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,268 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 718. On the other hand, there are 10,162 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 102,617 cases in the capital city while 887 people have lost their lives.

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North Macedonia: Massive fire engulfs COVID hospital, kills ten patients

Skopje: At least 10 people were killed and many more injured after a massive fire broke at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in Tetovo, North Macedonia.

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North Macedonia: Massive fire engulfs COVID hospital, kills ten patients

The huge blaze erupted Wednesday night—claiming lives of ten. Fire services and rescue teams rushed to the scene and fought to douse the flames for a couple of hours.

It’s not yet clear how the large blaze started or how many patients were inside.

While the cause has yet to be established, the country's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev posted on social media that the fire had followed an on-site explosion.

Footage shared on social media showed a building in flames and a thick cloud of black smoke billowing into the air near a main road in the city of Tetovo.

The facility was reportedly built last year to help care for COVID-19 patients.

Tetovo deputy fire Chief, Saso Trajcevski said, "The fire was huge because the hospital is modular, there was plastic".

The fire occurred as the former Yugoslav republic celebrated the 30th anniversary of its independence, with festivities in the capital Skopje, including a military parade.

However, investigators have gone to the scene to determine the cause of Yesterday’s fire.

Meanwhile, North Macedonia has been battling a surge in COVID-19 cases recently with 701 new cases and 24 deaths in the past 24 hours.

It has recorded more than 6,100 fatalities in total since the start of the COVID outbreak.

Macedonia government had to impose stricter measures, in a bid to prevent the spread of virus.

North Macedonia has a population of around 2 million and its healthcare services are run down as hospitals are overwhelmed in some areas, particularly where vaccination rates are low.

Covid-19 hospitals in other countries have been hit by explosions followed by fires. In Iraq, dozens of people were killed in fires that occurred after oxygen cylinders exploded in April and July.

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