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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 1:30 pm

25768.77 in reply to 25768.76 
 WAR DRUMS: Syria Missile Strike ‘within hours’: Eastern Mediterranean on Alert for ‘possible launch’
Apr 10, 2018 | 0  |     
 
WAR DRUMS: Syria Missile Strike ‘within hours’: Eastern Mediterranean on Alert for ‘possible launch’
British and French forces could launch an imminent missile strike on Syria within a matter of hours, aviation monitors have revealed.   A coalition force could fire “air-to-ground or cruise missiles” in the wake of a horrifying chemical attack on innocent civilians in Syria last week. Aviation experts AirLive have reported this evening a “rapid alert notification” warning aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean to
 
be wary of a sudden missile strike. AirLive said the alert was issued by Eurocontrol this evening for a “possible launch … within the next 72 hours”. AirLive said: “According to reports, British forces are mobilizing at their bases in Cyprus and Rafale fighter jets could takeoff from St Dizier airbase in France for possible strikes against Syria.” 
READ MORE https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/944260/syria-missile-strike-uk-france-chemical-attack-russia-eurocontrol
 
Syria MISSILE STRIKE 'within hours': RAF on ALERT for possible launch
BRITISH and French forces could launch an imminent missile strike on Syria within a matter of hours, aviation monitors have revealed.
By JOEY MILLAR
PUBLISHED: 01:44, Wed, Apr 11, 2018 | UPDATED: 10:44, Wed, Apr 11, 2018
 
British ambassador Ed Llewellyn addresses citizens rights
A coalition force could fire “air-to-ground or cruise missiles” in the wake of a horrifying chemical attack on innocent civilians in Syria last week.
 
Aviation experts AirLive have reported a “rapid alert notification” warning aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean to be wary of a sudden missile strike.
 
AirLive said the alert was issued by Eurocontrol for a “possible launch … within the next 72 hours”.
 
AirLive said: “According to reports, British forces are mobilising at their bases in Cyprus and Rafale fighter jets could takeoff from St Dizier airbase in France for possible strikes against Syria.”
 
Syria chemical attackGETTY
 
Syria chemical attack: Missiles could be fired at Syria within a matter of hours
The Eurocontrol alert said: “Due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours, and the possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, due consideration needs to be taken when planning flight operations in the Eastern Mediterranean / Nicosia FIR area.”
 
The UK has said military intervention is a possibility following the chemical attack in Douma.
 
Syrian opposition activists and rescuers said poison gas was used on the rebel-held town near the capital, an allegation strongly denied by the Assad government.
 
Families were reportedly found suffocated in their homes and shelters, foaming at the mouth. 
 
Russian jet shot down in Syria's Idlib province, pilot killed
Sun, February 4, 2018
Rebel fighters shot down the Russian warplane and captured the pilot, who was later killed after he fought the rebels
 
PLAY SLIDESHOW
People walk amidst the rubble of the Russian Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet scattered on the ground EPA1 of 11
The rubble of the Russian Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet scattered on the ground
Rebel fighter taking a picture of a downed Sukhoi-25 fighter jet
Smoke billowing from the site of a downed Sukhoi-25 fighter jet in the the Syrian city of Saraqib
Reports suggested more than 500 people, mostly women and children, were taken to medical centres with difficulty breathing, foaming at the mouth and burning sensations in the eyes.
 
The attack comes almost exactly a year after a chemical atrocity in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun killed dozens of people.
 
Earlier today Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump have said the world must act to ensure those behind a suspected chemical attack in Syria are held to account, as Washington considers a multinational military response.
 
Mrs May spoke with Mr Trump by telephone on Tuesday afternoon, agreeing that the reported attack was "utterly reprehensible" and that the international community must respond to uphold the worldwide prohibition on chemical weapon use.
 
Syria chemical attackGETTY
 
Children receiving treatment after last week's sick chemical attack
"They agreed they would continue working closely together and with international partners to ensure that those responsible were held to account," a statement from Downing Street office said.
 
Mrs May had earlier agreed the same thing in a call with French President Emmanuel Macron.
 
A White House statement said Trump and May "agreed not to allow the use of chemical weapons to continue".
 
Speaking at a meeting of the Security Council last night, the UK's permanent representative to the UN Karen Price said the use of chemical weapons was an "escalatory act". 
 
Nigel Farage warns Theresa May over taking action against Syria
Play Video
"The responsibility of the cruelty in Syria belongs to Syria and its backers in Russia and Iran. 
 
"The use of chemical weapons is an escalatory and diabolical act.
 
"What Russia is trying to do, it strikes me, Mr President, is to turn the debate in this Council away from a discussion of the use of chemical weapons into a dispute between East and West, presenting itself as the victim."
 
On Monday, military chiefs in the UK were instructed to draw up options for a joint strike, with eight GR4 Tornado jets based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus considered for use. 
 
They have 'Storm Shadow' missiles that have a range of more than 150 miles and enable pilots to avoid Syrian anti-air defences. 
 
RELATED ARTICLES
WE WILL RESPOND: May, Trump and Macron vow to act after Syria attack
World War 3: Russia's response will be to strike back if US hit Syria
 









WAR DRUMS: Top Iranian official warns that Israel attack will be met with response


Apr 10, 2018 | 0  |     
WAR DRUMS: Top Iranian official warns that Israel attack will be met with response
The top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Tuesday described a strike on a military air base in Syria as “Israel’s crime” and said it would “not remain without response,” the Lebanese al-Mayadeen channel reported.  Ali Akbar Velayati was speaking on arrival in the Syrian capital Damascus, reported al-Mayadeen, which is well-connected in government-held parts of Syria.
Seven Iranian military personnel were killed in the strike on the Tiyas, or T-4, air base near Homs, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday. Syria, Iran and Russia have accused Israel of being behind the attack – something Israel has neither confirmed nor denied. However, Israel has carried out numerous strikes in Syria, with some intended to stop Iran and allies including the Lebanese group Hezbollah from gaining strength near its borders. 
READ MORE http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/Top-Iranian-official-says-Israel-to-face-response-over-air-base-549380
TOP IRANIAN OFFICIAL SAYS ISRAEL TO FACE 'RESPONSE' OVER AIR BASE ATTACK
Syria, Iran and Russia have accused Israel of being behind a strike on a Syrian air base - something Israel has neither confirmed nor denied.
BY REUTERS   APRIL 10, 2018 14:43  
1 minute read.
> Reports: Israel warned U.S. of Syria strike, Kremlin says left in the dark
> Moscow calls in Israeli ambassador after alleged attack in Syria
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Top Iranian official says Israel to face 'response' over air base attack
An Israeli F-16 fighter jet. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
BEIRUT - The top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Tuesday described a strike on a military air base in Syria as "Israel's crime" and said it would "not remain without response," the Lebanese al-Mayadeen channel reported.
Ali Akbar Velayati was speaking on arrival in the Syrian capital Damascus, reported al-Mayadeen, which is well-connected in government-held parts of Syria.
Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page. 
Seven Iranian military personnel were killed in the strike on the Tiyas, or T-4, air base near Homs, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.
Syria, Iran and Russia have accused Israel of being behind the attack - something Israel has neither confirmed nor denied.
However, Israel has carried out numerous strikes in Syria, with some intended to stop Iran and allies including the Lebanese group Hezbollah from gaining strength near its borders.
WATCH http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/Top-Iranian-official-says-Israel-to-face-response-over-air-base-549380
Syria claims U.S. launched missile strike on air base; Pentagon denies it, April 9, 2018 (Reuters)


WAR DRUMS: U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, “Harassed” By Russian Warplanes
Apr 10, 2018 | 0  |     
WAR DRUMS: U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, “Harassed” By Russian Warplanes
As the situation in Syria continues to escalate, guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook has weighed anchor off Syrian territorial waters, and is reportedly being “harassed” by low-flying Russian warplanes, which have buzzed the “Arleigh Burke” class warship at least four times according to CNN Turk.   It is claimed that the US Donald Cook-named destroyer left Cyprus ‘s Larnaca port and landed near Syrian territorial waters. It was claimed that the missile destroyer named “Arleigh Burke” class Donald Cook
(DDG-75) reached Tallus 100 kilometers and had 60 Tomahawk fuses on board. -CNN Turk (translated) . A Navy source confirmed the deployment with the Washington Examiner, who said that the guided-missile-destroyer had just completed a port call in Cyprus, while the Pentagon reportedly draws up plans for how to deal with the situation. U.S. military planners have drawn up more than one option for possible military action against Syria, including a strike similar to last year’s attack in which 59 sea-launched cruise missiles inflicted heavy damage on a Syrian Air Force airfield in Homs.
 READ MORE https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-09/us-navy-destroyer-armed-tomahawks-arrives-syrian-coast-harassed-russian-warplanes
 
U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, "Harassed" By Russian Warplanes
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by Tyler Durden
Tue, 04/10/2018 - 03:45
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As the situation in Syria continues to escalate, guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook has weighed anchor off Syrian territorial waters, and is reportedly being "harassed" by low-flying Russian warplanes, which have buzzed the "Arleigh Burke" class warship at least four times according to CNN Turk. 
 
 
 
Of note, the Donald Cook has 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles on board.
 
 
Via @evacool_f
It is claimed that the US Donald Cook-named destroyer left Cyprus 's Larnaca port and landed near Syrian territorial waters. It was claimed that the missile destroyer named "Arleigh Burke" class Donald Cook (DDG-75) reached Tallus 100 kilometers and had 60 Tomahawk fuses on board. -CNN Turk (translated)
A Navy source confirmed the deployment with the Washington Examiner, who said that the guided-missile-destroyer had just completed a port call in Cyprus, while the Pentagon reportedly draws up plans for how to deal with the situation. 
 
U.S. military planners have drawn up more than one option for possible military action against Syria, including a strike similar to last year’s attack in which 59 sea-launched cruise missiles inflicted heavy damage on a Syrian Air Force airfield in Homs.
 
Pentagon officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the options now are similar to those presented to President Trump after last year’s chemical attack in northern Syria that killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including women and children.
 
But officials said the president could decide to choose a more robust option this time, given that Syrian President Bashar Assad didn’t seem to get the message last time. -Washington Examiner
What is surprising is that according to the latest Stratfor naval map, there was no other major naval support - either amphibious or carrier strike groups - in the vicinity of Syria as of April 5.
The destroyer's aggressive positioning comes hours after Israel conducted a Monday morning strike on Syria's T-4 airfield, situated about halfway between Homs (Syria's third-largest city) and Palmyra (famously the site of ancient ruins). RT reports that two Israeli F-15 jets fired eight guided missiles at the airfield from Lebanese airspace. The jets never entered Syria.
 
The IDF has long noted the T-4 base for its housing of Iranian and Quds forces with the backing of Syria.
View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
IDF
?
@IDFSpokesperson
 For a long time Iran and the Quds Force have been operating, with the backing of Syrian forces and the approval of the Syrian regime,  from the Syrian T-4 Airbase near Tadmor.
7:36 PM - Feb 10, 2018
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US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reports on Monday "I don't rule out anything right now," when asked about a potential response - noting Russia's alleged involvement. 
“The first thing we have to look at is, why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons?” he said. “And so, working with our allies and our partners from NATO to Qatar and elsewhere, we are going to address this issue.”
Last year, the U.S. warned the Kremlin ahead of the strike so that Russia could make sure its planes and personnel in Syria were not in harm’s way.
This time, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has issued an explicit warning to Washington that any “military intervention” in Syria would be “unacceptable” and would lead to the “most serious consequences.”
The U.S. acted alone in April last year, but this time it could work through a coordinated international response. -Washington Examiner
Britain and France have also hinted at possible military action in Syria - following comments by British Foreign Secretary, who spoke by phone with French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday, saying that there should be "no impunity for those that use such barbaric weapons," in reference to the gas attack. 
Speaking to reporters at a Monday cabinet meeting, President Trump said he would be making a decision "very quickly, probably by the end of today" about the U.S. response. 
“This is about humanity. We're talking about humanity, and it can't be allowed to happen,” Trump said.
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Eva J. Koulouriotis
@evacool_f
 #BREAKING 
Information about the #USA destroyer USS Donald Cook carrying #Tomahawk missiles, which was anchored near the coast of #Cyprus, is moving towards the #Syria-n coast.
It seems that the next 48 hours will be hot in the eastern Mediterranean.#Russia #Iran #France #Israel
6:53 PM - Apr 9, 2018
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Meanwhile, Russia appears to be making preparations for an imminent, US-led attack and according to unconfirmed reports, there have been "intensive flights of Russian aircrafts along the Syrian coast & over Khmeimim base, in addition to the intense flights of military aircrafts belonging to the Assad regime in the sky of Homs. There is great anticipation from Assad and Russia for a possible blow."
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Eva J. Koulouriotis
@evacool_f
 #BREAKING
now intensive flights of Russian aircrafts along the Syrian coast & over Khmeimim base, in addition to the intense flights of military aircrafts belonging to the Assad regime in the sky of Homs. There is great anticipation from Assad and Russia for a possible blow.#USA
12:27 AM - Apr 10, 2018





WAR DRUMS: Russia jams U.S. drones in Syria
Apr 10, 2018 | 0  |     
WAR DRUMS: Russia jams U.S. drones in Syria
The Russian military has been jamming some U.S. military drones operating in the skies over Syria, seriously affecting American military operations, according to four U.S. officials.  The Russians began jamming some smaller U.S. drones several weeks ago, the officials said, after a series of suspected chemical weapons attacks on civilians in rebel-held eastern Ghouta. The Russian military was concerned the U.S. military would retaliate for the attacks and began jamming the GPS systems of drones operating
in the area, the officials explained. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., reacted to the news of Russian scrambling Tuesday by saying “Russia wants to undermine our interests at every turn.” “It is insane to think that Russia is anything but an adversary,” said Sasse. Jamming, which means blocking or scrambling a drone’s reception of a signal from a GPS satellite, can be uncomplicated, according to Dr. Todd Humphreys, 
READ MORE https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/russia-has-figured-out-how-jam-u-s-drones-syria-n863931
Russia has figured out how to jam U.S. drones in Syria, officials say
Four U.S. officials said Russia's signal scrambling has seriously affected military operations.
by Courtney Kube / Apr.10.2018 / 9:32 AM ET / Updated Apr.10.2018 / 4:16 PM ET
 
An RQ7 Shadow aircraft ascends after its launch from a pneumatic catapult launcher at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.Dan Joling / AP file
WASHINGTON — The Russian military has been jamming some U.S. military drones operating in the skies over Syria, seriously affecting American military operations, according to four U.S. officials.
 
The Russians began jamming some smaller U.S. drones several weeks ago, the officials said, after a series of suspected chemical weapons attacks on civilians in rebel-held eastern Ghouta. The Russian military was concerned the U.S. military would retaliate for the attacks and began jamming the GPS systems of drones operating in the area, the officials explained.
 
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., reacted to the news of Russian scrambling Tuesday by saying "Russia wants to undermine our interests at every turn."
"It is insane to think that Russia is anything but an adversary," said Sasse.
Jamming, which means blocking or scrambling a drone's reception of a signal from a GPS satellite, can be uncomplicated, according to Dr. Todd Humphreys, the director of the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 1:18 pm

WAR DRUMS: U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, “Harassed” By Russian Warplanes
Apr 10, 2018 | 0  |     
WAR DRUMS: U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, “Harassed” By Russian Warplanes
As the situation in Syria continues to escalate, guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook has weighed anchor off Syrian territorial waters, and is reportedly being “harassed” by low-flying Russian warplanes, which have buzzed the “Arleigh Burke” class warship at least four times according to CNN Turk.   It is claimed that the US Donald Cook-named destroyer left Cyprus ‘s Larnaca port and landed near Syrian territorial waters. It was claimed that the missile destroyer named “Arleigh Burke” class Donald Cook
(DDG-75) reached Tallus 100 kilometers and had 60 Tomahawk fuses on board. -CNN Turk (translated) . A Navy source confirmed the deployment with the Washington Examiner, who said that the guided-missile-destroyer had just completed a port call in Cyprus, while the Pentagon reportedly draws up plans for how to deal with the situation. U.S. military planners have drawn up more than one option for possible military action against Syria, including a strike similar to last year’s attack in which 59 sea-launched cruise missiles inflicted heavy damage on a Syrian Air Force airfield in Homs.
 READ MORE https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-09/us-navy-destroyer-armed-tomahawks-arrives-syrian-coast-harassed-russian-warplanes

U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, "Harassed" By Russian Warplanes
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by Tyler Durden
Tue, 04/10/2018 - 03:45
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As the situation in Syria continues to escalate, guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook has weighed anchor off Syrian territorial waters, and is reportedly being "harassed" by low-flying Russian warplanes, which have buzzed the "Arleigh Burke" class warship at least four times according to CNN Turk. 



Of note, the Donald Cook has 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles on board.


Via @evacool_f
It is claimed that the US Donald Cook-named destroyer left Cyprus 's Larnaca port and landed near Syrian territorial waters. It was claimed that the missile destroyer named "Arleigh Burke" class Donald Cook (DDG-75) reached Tallus 100 kilometers and had 60 Tomahawk fuses on board. -CNN Turk (translated)
A Navy source confirmed the deployment with the Washington Examiner, who said that the guided-missile-destroyer had just completed a port call in Cyprus, while the Pentagon reportedly draws up plans for how to deal with the situation. 

U.S. military planners have drawn up more than one option for possible military action against Syria, including a strike similar to last year’s attack in which 59 sea-launched cruise missiles inflicted heavy damage on a Syrian Air Force airfield in Homs.

Pentagon officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the options now are similar to those presented to President Trump after last year’s chemical attack in northern Syria that killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including women and children.

But officials said the president could decide to choose a more robust option this time, given that Syrian President Bashar Assad didn’t seem to get the message last time. -Washington Examiner
What is surprising is that according to the latest Stratfor naval map, there was no other major naval support - either amphibious or carrier strike groups - in the vicinity of Syria as of April 5.
The destroyer's aggressive positioning comes hours after Israel conducted a Monday morning strike on Syria's T-4 airfield, situated about halfway between Homs (Syria's third-largest city) and Palmyra (famously the site of ancient ruins). RT reports that two Israeli F-15 jets fired eight guided missiles at the airfield from Lebanese airspace. The jets never entered Syria.

The IDF has long noted the T-4 base for its housing of Iranian and Quds forces with the backing of Syria.
View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
IDF
✔️
@IDFSpokesperson
 For a long time Iran and the Quds Force have been operating, with the backing of Syrian forces and the approval of the Syrian regime,  from the Syrian T-4 Airbase near Tadmor.
7:36 PM - Feb 10, 2018
905
853 people are talking about this
Twitter Ads info and privacy
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reports on Monday "I don't rule out anything right now," when asked about a potential response - noting Russia's alleged involvement. 
“The first thing we have to look at is, why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons?” he said. “And so, working with our allies and our partners from NATO to Qatar and elsewhere, we are going to address this issue.”
Last year, the U.S. warned the Kremlin ahead of the strike so that Russia could make sure its planes and personnel in Syria were not in harm’s way.
This time, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has issued an explicit warning to Washington that any “military intervention” in Syria would be “unacceptable” and would lead to the “most serious consequences.”
The U.S. acted alone in April last year, but this time it could work through a coordinated international response. -Washington Examiner
Britain and France have also hinted at possible military action in Syria - following comments by British Foreign Secretary, who spoke by phone with French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday, saying that there should be "no impunity for those that use such barbaric weapons," in reference to the gas attack. 
Speaking to reporters at a Monday cabinet meeting, President Trump said he would be making a decision "very quickly, probably by the end of today" about the U.S. response. 
“This is about humanity. We're talking about humanity, and it can't be allowed to happen,” Trump said.
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Eva J. Koulouriotis
@evacool_f
 #BREAKING 
Information about the #USA destroyer USS Donald Cook carrying #Tomahawk missiles, which was anchored near the coast of #Cyprus, is moving towards the #Syria-n coast.
It seems that the next 48 hours will be hot in the eastern Mediterranean.#Russia #Iran #France #Israel
6:53 PM - Apr 9, 2018
14
23 people are talking about this
Twitter Ads info and privacy
Meanwhile, Russia appears to be making preparations for an imminent, US-led attack and according to unconfirmed reports, there have been "intensive flights of Russian aircrafts along the Syrian coast & over Khmeimim base, in addition to the intense flights of military aircrafts belonging to the Assad regime in the sky of Homs. There is great anticipation from Assad and Russia for a possible blow."
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Eva J. Koulouriotis
@evacool_f
 #BREAKING
now intensive flights of Russian aircrafts along the Syrian coast & over Khmeimim base, in addition to the intense flights of military aircrafts belonging to the Assad regime in the sky of Homs. There is great anticipation from Assad and Russia for a possible blow.#USA
12:27 AM - Apr 10, 2018
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Apr 2018, 8:13 pm

Iran threatens Israel and ‘its masters’ after striking Syria, killing 7 Iranians
https://worldisraelnews.com/iran-threatens-israel-masters-syria-strike
April 10, 2018
A leading adviser to the Iranian supreme leader announced that the recent attack on a Syrian airbase attributed to Israel, which Tehran claims killed seven members of the Iranian military, will not go “unanswered.”
By: World Israel News Staff
Following an air strike on the Syrian Tiyas Military Airbase on Monday, subsequently attributed to the Israeli military, Iran’s Ali Akbar Velayati issued several threats targeting Israel. Velayati, who serves as a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made the threats on Tuesday speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).


Reports after the strike indicated that at least 14 were killed, with Iranian officials announcing that seven members of its military died in the attack. One of the dead was identified as a colonel in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ air force.The Syrian media claimed that Syrian forces intercepted eight out of the 20 missiles launched at the site.


Responding to the strike, Velayati told IRNA “Defenders of the holy shrines are still standing by the Syrian people and government and will continue their fight against the enemies of the Islamic Ummah, particularly the Zionist regime and its masters. The crimes will not remain unanswered.”


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attempted to connect Monday’s air strike to recent gains in the Syrian civil war purportedly achieved by brutal dictator Bashar Assad’s forces.


“The Zionist regime and the US have in different stages rushed to the scene to boost the morale of terrorists,” he said, according to Iran’s Press TV. “Whenever the terrorists face defeats, the Zionist regime launches operations and so do the Americans,” Zarif declared.


Assad has recently been accused of multiple chemical attacks on his own people, including an alleged chemical attack in Douma last weekend that left dozens dead. While Assad and his allies deny perpetrating chemical weapons attacks, the international community continues to collect damning evidence.


“The Assad regime has blatantly violated the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council resolutions, and no drumbeat of nonsensical claims by either the regime or its protectors can hide this truth,” declared US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert in a recent statement.
President Donald Trump also recently communicated the US’ intention to address Assad’s actions and the snowballing crisis in Syria
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Apr 2018, 6:47 pm

https://www.mintpressnews.com/syria-becomes-world-war-powderkeg-china-joins-russian-alliance-assad/219617/
Syria Becomes World War Powderkeg As China Joins Russian Alliance With Assad
With China’s presence in Syria — and on the side of Russian and Syrian forces, no less — the last remaining global superpower has injected itself in the most hotly-contested military conflict on the planet.
by James Holbrooks
August 19th, 2016
By James Holbrooks
59 Comments
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Soldiers with the People’s Liberation Army at Shenyang training base in China, March 24, 2007. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

According to state-run Chinese news outlet Xinhua, the Chinese military — citing remarks made by a high-ranking military official during a rare trip to Damascus — is seeking closer ties with war-torn Syria, offering to supply humanitarian aid and even train Syrian military personnel.

On Tuesday, the Director of the Office for Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, Guan Youfei, flew to Damascus to have discussions with Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij,Xinhua says. Director Guan, speaking with Xinhua, noted historical ties between the two countries and highlighted the positive role China has played in seeking a resolution to the fighting in Syria.

Reuters points out that Xinhua, paraphrasing Guan’s words, states: “China’s and Syria’s militaries have a traditionally friendly relationship, and China’s military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation.”

China depends on the Middle East for oil imports, but in the past has tended to leave diplomacy to member nations of the U.N. Security Council — chiefly, the U.S., Britain, France, and Russia. However, China has inserted itself more deeply of late.

Writes Reuters:

“But China has been trying to get more involved, including sending envoys to help push for a diplomatic resolution to the violence there and hosting Syrian government and opposition figures.”

The news comes as Syrian government forces, backed by Russian airpower, have established a siege around Aleppo, the last remaining enemy stronghold. Syrian and Russian forces have established humanitarian corridors for which civilians and even rebel fighters can escape — and maintains daily ceasefires for them to do this. Given these developments, it appears the last stand of the rebels may be imminent.

As Underground Reporter has previously written:

“All evidence points to the fact that the Syrian government is attempting to give the rebels within Aleppo a chance to surrender without further bloodshed. The rebels, however, appear steadfast. It was recently reported that 7,000 fighters are headed toward Aleppo from the southwest.”

Interestingly — and, to be sure, concerningly — Xinhua noted that while Director Guan was in Damascus on Tuesday, he met with a Russian general; though the agency provided no further comment on the matter.

In April, China sent a special envoy to Syria in order to work toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The man sent to participate in the talks had previously “praised Russia’s military role in the war, and said the international community should work harder together to defeat terrorism in the region,” according to Reuters.

The prospect of Chinese involvement in Syria could prove troublesome to that very “international community.” While, thus far, China hasn’t demonstrated a desire to involve itself in the fighting directly, its presence will almost certainly escalate tensions between itself and the United States.

Remember, the U.S. and China are on the verge of all-out naval warfare in the South China Sea, with neither side willing to give an inch. Recall also that U.S.-led NATO is in Eastern Europe, along the border with Russia, conducting what many have called provocations in an attempt to elicit a response from the Russian military.

Now, with China’s presence in Syria — and on the side of Russian and Syrian forces, no less — the last remaining global superpower has injected itself in the most hotly-contested military conflict on the planet.

As Zero Hedge fittingly summarized:

“Which means that at this moment, every major world superpower is officially involved in the Syrian war, which has on various occasions been aptly called a powderkeg for what may be the next global military conflict — to be sure, all required players are now officially involved.”

This article (Syria Becomes World War Powderkeg as China Joins Russian Alliance With Assad) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to James Holbrooksand UndergroundReporter.org.

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Apr 2018, 12:11 pm

Iran claims Syria gas attack reports ‘excuse’ for military action
Apr 8, 2018 | 1  |     
Iran claims Syria gas attack reports ‘excuse’ for military action
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday reports of a gas attack in Syria were not based on facts and were an “an excuse” by the United States and Western countries to take military action against Damascus, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.  “Such claims and allegations by the Americans and some
Western countries point to a new plot against the Syrian government and people, and are an excuse to take military action against them,” IRNA reported foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. The news agency also quoted Qasemi saying that the reports of the gas attack “do not match facts.”  
READ MORE http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Iran-says-Syria-gas-attack-reports-excuse-for-military-action-549174
Jerusalem Post  Breaking News
IRAN SAYS SYRIA GAS ATTACK REPORTS 'EXCUSE' FOR MILITARY ACTION
DUBAI - Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday reports of a gas attack in Syria were not based on facts and were an "an excuse" by the United States and Western countries to take military action against Damascus, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

"Such claims and allegations by the Americans and some Western countries point to a new plot against the Syrian government and people, and are an excuse to take military action against them," IRNA reported foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. The news agency also quoted Qasemi saying that the reports of the gas attack "do not match facts."

BREAKING: Airstrike on Syria’ reports of fighter jets and missiles over Lebanon
Apr 8, 2018 | 0  |     
BREAKING: Airstrike on Syria’ reports of fighter jets and missiles over Lebanon
DEVELOPING: Reports of explosions have been heard at Syria’s Tiyas Military Airbase amid reports of jets flying across Lebanon into Syria as well as unknown projectiles, it has been reported.  Lebanon residents have reported hearing unidentified jets towards Syria. Speculation is rising of a foreign attack against the Syrian regime just a day after a chemical attack. It happened roughly at 3.30 am local time on
Monday. Residents reported hearing loud booms and the sound of jets. There are reports that Syrian air defense has intercepted missiles. There are also reports that US warships from the Mediterranean are reportedly launching Tomahawk missiles into Syria. Syrian state television has reportedly confirmed. 
READ MORE https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/943275/Syria-airstrike-USA-explosions-Lebanon-Assad-fighter-jets-T4-Tiyas-news-latest
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Apr 2018, 9:28 am

2 Israeli warplanes carried out strikes on Syrian airbase – Russian MoD
https://www.rt.com/news/423545-israel-planes-syria-strike/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Published time: 9 Apr, 2018 07:08
Edited time: 9 Apr, 2018 07:30
Get short URL https://on.rt.com/92t5
2 Israeli warplanes carried out strikes on Syrian airbase – Russian MoD
An Israeli air force F-15 fighter jet ©️ Amir Cohen / Reuters
2399
Two Israeli F-15 fighters targeted Syria’s T-4 airbase in Homs province, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday. The jets fired eight guided missiles, but five of them were shot down before they hit the airfield.
READ MORE: Several killed & injured in ‘missile attack’ on airbase in Homs – Syrian state media

In a statement on Monday, the Russian military said: “Two Israeli Air Force F-15 jets fired eight guided missiles at the T-4 airfield.” The Israeli aircraft did not enter Syrian airspace and launched the strikes while flying over Lebanon.

“Syrian air defense units have shot down five guided missiles,” the military said, but confirmed that three of the missiles “reached the western part of the airfield.”

Citing its own correspondent, Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen channel said earlier on Monday that an Israeli reconnaissance aircraft was airborne during the attack on the Syrian base. The missiles crossed Lebanese airspace over Keserwan and Bekaa, heading towards Syria, according to the broadcaster.

MORE TO FOLLOW

Several killed & injured in ‘missile attack’ on airbase in Homs – Syrian state media
https://www.rt.com/news/423540-syria-homs-airbase-missiles/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Published time: 9 Apr, 2018 01:32
Edited time: 9 Apr, 2018 07:26
Get short URL 
https://on.rt.com/92t0
5850
A military airport in Homs province has been targeted in a “missile attack,” SANA reports. Although Syrian air defense systems allegedly intercepted at least eight projectiles, several people were reportedly injured and killed.
Several missiles struck Syria's Tiyas Military Airbase in the Homs governorate (also known as T-4 Airbase) on Sunday night, SANA reports, citing a military source. As a result of the strike, there were several “martyrs [killed] and wounded ,” the agency added, without specifying the number of casualties.

The attack has “probably” been carried out by the United States, the agency said, but US officials have firmly denied such allegations. While the US Defense Department is "aware" of reports of an alleged missile strike, it has dismissed the reports of any US involvement.

Read more
FILE PHOTO: Syrian soldiers are seen in the rebel-held Douma district in the Eastern Ghouta countryside, Syria, on March 28, 2018. ©️ Ammar SafarjalaniMoscow calls ‘chemical attack’ in Douma ‘fake news,’ warns against Syrian intervention
“At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” the Pentagon told Reuters in a statement. “However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable.”

France, also suspected of being involved in the attack, denied any responsibility for the military strike, AFP reported on Monday.

According to Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen broadcaster, the missiles were coming from the Mediterranean Sea, through Lebanese airspace. Meanwhile, Al Masdar News is reporting that “unknown jets” have entered Syrian airspace from Lebanon, and is speculating that the jets could be Israeli. In response, the Syrian Air Defense system at Mezzeh Air Base was activated, the report added.

Almost precisely a year ago, on April 7, 2017, the US carried out a strike against Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, launching a volley of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea. Back then, Washington justified the attack as a necessary response in the wake of reports of a deadly chemical attack in Idlib province, without waiting for any investigation into the incident.

The latest news come as Damascus faces fresh accusations of allegedly targeting civilians in a chlorine attack, which were put forward by the controversial White Helmets group, which is always to the fore in Western media coverage of the Syrian conflict.

Damascus, meanwhile, has denied the accusations, while the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the latest reports as another example of a “continuous series of fake news about the use of chlorine and other chemical agents by the government forces.”

READ MORE: Red Crescent found no trace of previous 'Ghouta chem attack' used by US to blame Damascus & Moscow

Talking to RT, Sreeram Chaulia, a professor at India’s Jindal School of International Affairs, noted that the Israeli Air Force has already been striking Syria in recent years, targeting the supply lines of Hezbollah. But this time, he said, it looks “like an impending US or French missile strike” carried out in response to the recent alleged chemical incident in Douma.

However, if the Israelis were behind the reported missile attack, it means that Tel Aviv has now been “dragged into the core of the [Syrian] conflict.” Israeli involvement in the Syrian war has deepened, and that is “a matter of grave concern,” Chaulia said. He also pointed out that the attack on the military compound in Homs took place after US President Donald Trump announced a withdrawal from Syria, adding that this sequence of events “puts the US back in.”

Read more
FILE PHOTO: Palestinian demonstrators gather at the Israel-Gaza border during clashes with Israeli troops east of Gaza City, on April 6, 2018. ©️ Mohammed SalemForget about Gaza, bomb Assad! Israeli hawks urge US to strike Syria over Douma ‘chem attack’
Amid escalating tensions, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US Central Command (CENTCOM), have allegedly been compiling lists of potential targets and attack options to present to Trump and his national security team, senior US military officials told Israel’s i24NEWS.

Israeli officials had, throughout Sunday, advocated striking targets in Syria, calling on Washington to retaliate against Damascus in response to the alleged Douma chemical attack. The charge was led by the Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who told the Army Radio on Sunday that he personally hopes that the US would take military action against the Syrian government. Among an array of politicians, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog also called on the US to take “decisive military action” against Syria. The idea of Israel’s intervention in Syria was also supported by the Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who urged his followers “to try and stop this massacre.”

Donald Trump’s fury, meanwhile, focused on Damascus and the Syrian president Bashar Assad, whom the US president called an “animal.” The US leader also lashed out against Iran and Russia for supporting Assad, saying there is a “big price” to pay for the latest chemical attack.

Trump has already held talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, after which both leaders decided to form a united front against Russia at the upcoming United Nations Security Council meetings, planned for Monday. Macron previously indicated that France might consider unilateral actions, including a military strike if chemical weapons were ever used in Syria again.

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Several killed & injured in ‘missile attack’ on airbase in Homs – Syrian state media
https://on.rt.com/92t0
Published time: 9 Apr, 2018 01:32
Edited time: 9 Apr, 2018 07:26
https://www.rt.com/news/423540-syria-homs-airbase-missiles/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications

A military airport in Homs province has been targeted in a “missile attack,” SANA reports. Although Syrian air defense systems allegedly intercepted at least eight projectiles, several people were reportedly injured and killed.
Several missiles struck Syria's Tiyas Military Airbase in the Homs governorate (also known as T-4 Airbase) on Sunday night, SANA reports, citing a military source. As a result of the strike, there were several “martyrs [killed] and wounded ,” the agency added, without specifying the number of casualties.

The attack has “probably” been carried out by the United States, the agency said, but US officials have firmly denied such allegations. While the US Defense Department is "aware" of reports of an alleged missile strike, it has dismissed the reports of any US involvement.

Read more
FILE PHOTO: Syrian soldiers are seen in the rebel-held Douma district in the Eastern Ghouta countryside, Syria, on March 28, 2018. ©️ Ammar SafarjalaniMoscow calls ‘chemical attack’ in Douma ‘fake news,’ warns against Syrian intervention
“At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” the Pentagon told Reuters in a statement. “However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable.”

France, also suspected of being involved in the attack, denied any responsibility for the military strike, AFP reported on Monday.

According to Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen broadcaster, the missiles were coming from the Mediterranean Sea, through Lebanese airspace. Meanwhile, Al Masdar News is reporting that “unknown jets” have entered Syrian airspace from Lebanon, and is speculating that the jets could be Israeli. In response, the Syrian Air Defense system at Mezzeh Air Base was activated, the report added.

Almost precisely a year ago, on April 7, 2017, the US carried out a strike against Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, launching a volley of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea. Back then, Washington justified the attack as a necessary response in the wake of reports of a deadly chemical attack in Idlib province, without waiting for any investigation into the incident.

The latest news come as Damascus faces fresh accusations of allegedly targeting civilians in a chlorine attack, which were put forward by the controversial White Helmets group, which is always to the fore in Western media coverage of the Syrian conflict.

Damascus, meanwhile, has denied the accusations, while the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the latest reports as another example of a “continuous series of fake news about the use of chlorine and other chemical agents by the government forces.”

READ MORE: Red Crescent found no trace of previous 'Ghouta chem attack' used by US to blame Damascus & Moscow

Talking to RT, Sreeram Chaulia, a professor at India’s Jindal School of International Affairs, noted that the Israeli Air Force has already been striking Syria in recent years, targeting the supply lines of Hezbollah. But this time, he said, it looks “like an impending US or French missile strike” carried out in response to the recent alleged chemical incident in Douma.

However, if the Israelis were behind the reported missile attack, it means that Tel Aviv has now been “dragged into the core of the [Syrian] conflict.” Israeli involvement in the Syrian war has deepened, and that is “a matter of grave concern,” Chaulia said. He also pointed out that the attack on the military compound in Homs took place after US President Donald Trump announced a withdrawal from Syria, adding that this sequence of events “puts the US back in.”

Read more
FILE PHOTO: Palestinian demonstrators gather at the Israel-Gaza border during clashes with Israeli troops east of Gaza City, on April 6, 2018. ©️ Mohammed SalemForget about Gaza, bomb Assad! Israeli hawks urge US to strike Syria over Douma ‘chem attack’
Amid escalating tensions, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US Central Command (CENTCOM), have allegedly been compiling lists of potential targets and attack options to present to Trump and his national security team, senior US military officials told Israel’s i24NEWS.

Israeli officials had, throughout Sunday, advocated striking targets in Syria, calling on Washington to retaliate against Damascus in response to the alleged Douma chemical attack. The charge was led by the Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who told the Army Radio on Sunday that he personally hopes that the US would take military action against the Syrian government. Among an array of politicians, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog also called on the US to take “decisive military action” against Syria. The idea of Israel’s intervention in Syria was also supported by the Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who urged his followers “to try and stop this massacre.”

Donald Trump’s fury, meanwhile, focused on Damascus and the Syrian president Bashar Assad, whom the US president called an “animal.” The US leader also lashed out against Iran and Russia for supporting Assad, saying there is a “big price” to pay for the latest chemical attack.

Trump has already held talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, after which both leaders decided to form a united front against Russia at the upcoming United Nations Security Council meetings, planned for Monday. Macron previously indicated that France might consider unilateral actions, including a military strike if chemical weapons were ever used in Syria again.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!




Several killed & injured in ‘missile attack’ on airbase in Homs – Syrian state media
https://www.rt.com/news/423540-syria-homs-airbase-missiles/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Published time: 9 Apr, 2018 01:32
Edited time: 9 Apr, 2018 07:26
Get short URL
5850
A military airport in Homs province has been targeted in a “missile attack,” SANA reports. Although Syrian air defense systems allegedly intercepted at least eight projectiles, several people were reportedly injured and killed.
Several missiles struck Syria's Tiyas Military Airbase in the Homs governorate (also known as T-4 Airbase) on Sunday night, SANA reports, citing a military source. As a result of the strike, there were several “martyrs [killed] and wounded ,” the agency added, without specifying the number of casualties.

The attack has “probably” been carried out by the United States, the agency said, but US officials have firmly denied such allegations. While the US Defense Department is "aware" of reports of an alleged missile strike, it has dismissed the reports of any US involvement.

Read more
FILE PHOTO: Syrian soldiers are seen in the rebel-held Douma district in the Eastern Ghouta countryside, Syria, on March 28, 2018. ©️ Ammar SafarjalaniMoscow calls ‘chemical attack’ in Douma ‘fake news,’ warns against Syrian intervention
“At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” the Pentagon told Reuters in a statement. “However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable.”

France, also suspected of being involved in the attack, denied any responsibility for the military strike, AFP reported on Monday.

According to Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen broadcaster, the missiles were coming from the Mediterranean Sea, through Lebanese airspace. Meanwhile, Al Masdar News is reporting that “unknown jets” have entered Syrian airspace from Lebanon, and is speculating that the jets could be Israeli. In response, the Syrian Air Defense system at Mezzeh Air Base was activated, the report added.

Almost precisely a year ago, on April 7, 2017, the US carried out a strike against Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, launching a volley of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea. Back then, Washington justified the attack as a necessary response in the wake of reports of a deadly chemical attack in Idlib province, without waiting for any investigation into the incident.

The latest news come as Damascus faces fresh accusations of allegedly targeting civilians in a chlorine attack, which were put forward by the controversial White Helmets group, which is always to the fore in Western media coverage of the Syrian conflict.

Damascus, meanwhile, has denied the accusations, while the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the latest reports as another example of a “continuous series of fake news about the use of chlorine and other chemical agents by the government forces.”

READ MORE: Red Crescent found no trace of previous 'Ghouta chem attack' used by US to blame Damascus & Moscow

Talking to RT, Sreeram Chaulia, a professor at India’s Jindal School of International Affairs, noted that the Israeli Air Force has already been striking Syria in recent years, targeting the supply lines of Hezbollah. But this time, he said, it looks “like an impending US or French missile strike” carried out in response to the recent alleged chemical incident in Douma.

However, if the Israelis were behind the reported missile attack, it means that Tel Aviv has now been “dragged into the core of the [Syrian] conflict.” Israeli involvement in the Syrian war has deepened, and that is “a matter of grave concern,” Chaulia said. He also pointed out that the attack on the military compound in Homs took place after US President Donald Trump announced a withdrawal from Syria, adding that this sequence of events “puts the US back in.”

Read more
FILE PHOTO: Palestinian demonstrators gather at the Israel-Gaza border during clashes with Israeli troops east of Gaza City, on April 6, 2018. ©️ Mohammed SalemForget about Gaza, bomb Assad! Israeli hawks urge US to strike Syria over Douma ‘chem attack’
Amid escalating tensions, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US Central Command (CENTCOM), have allegedly been compiling lists of potential targets and attack options to present to Trump and his national security team, senior US military officials told Israel’s i24NEWS.

Israeli officials had, throughout Sunday, advocated striking targets in Syria, calling on Washington to retaliate against Damascus in response to the alleged Douma chemical attack. The charge was led by the Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who told the Army Radio on Sunday that he personally hopes that the US would take military action against the Syrian government. Among an array of politicians, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog also called on the US to take “decisive military action” against Syria. The idea of Israel’s intervention in Syria was also supported by the Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who urged his followers “to try and stop this massacre.”

Donald Trump’s fury, meanwhile, focused on Damascus and the Syrian president Bashar Assad, whom the US president called an “animal.” The US leader also lashed out against Iran and Russia for supporting Assad, saying there is a “big price” to pay for the latest chemical attack.

Trump has already held talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, after which both leaders decided to form a united front against Russia at the upcoming United Nations Security Council meetings, planned for Monday. Macron previously indicated that France might consider unilateral actions, including a military strike if chemical weapons were ever used in Syria again.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
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The Turkish Military Has Now Taken Control Of 282 Villages In Syria,

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 12:19 pm

The Turkish Military Has Now Taken Control Of 282 Villages In Syria, And They Are Expanding Deeper Into Syria And Eventually Want To Invade Iraq
http://shoebat.com/2018/03/27/the-turkish-military-has-now-taken-control-of-282-villages-in-syria-and-they-are-expanding-deeper-into-syria-and-eventually-want-to-invade-iraq/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+shoebat+%28Walid+Shoebat%29
by Ted on March 27, 2018 in Featured, General
By Walid Shoebat & Theodore Shoebat

The Turkish military has now taken control of 282 villages, in the area of Afrin in Northern Syria. Turkish forces are getting deeper and deeper into Syria and eventually want to invade Iraq. Just days ago shoebat.com reported on how Erdogan has vowed to continue mobilizing his forces into Iraq. According to sources on the ground, Turkish forces have already taken the Syrian town of Tel Rifaat.

What is most interesting about this story is that the Turkish military is not taking these towns and villages alone, but is doing so in conjunction with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the very militia that the CIA backed and armed at the beginning of the Syrian Civil War. Now the Turkish government is backing the remnants of the FSA, after many of its members have defected to ISIS or other Islamist insurgent groups.

We know for a fact that the CIA backed, trained and armed the fighters for the FSA. One FSA fighter, who just went by “Fighter A,” in a 2014 interview with Vice said that he was trained in a camp in Daara, Jordan (right next to the border with Syria), and that his trainers were Americans in military uniform:

“The Americans who taught us wore military uniforms I did not recognize. We called them by their first names, and they spoke English to us. … We were trained in urban warfare and street fighting: how to break into buildings as a team, how to blow up houses held by the enemy, and how to free captives. … Before the camp I used a Kalashnikov and light machine guns, and at the camp I was trained to shoot faster and more accurately. Mortars and anti-tank missiles like the SPG-9 were new to me.

According to a 2015 report from the Daily Beast, “the FSA has managed to hold its ground because its campaign is clearly being coordinated and encouraged by Western and regional intelligence services, which have displayed a newfound willingness to allow more defensive weaponry to their proxies.” Supposedly, under the Trump administration, the flow of supplies to the FSA has been cut off. Now, Turkey is backing the FSA, with a report from Newsweek speaking of “a Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army group opposed to ISIS, the Syrian military and the mostly Kurdish forces supported by the Pentagon, all of which are vying for control in northern Syria.”

So Turkey is now leading the very forces that the CIA established, armed and trained, to fight against a US-led Kurdish force that is armed by the Americans. So, in other words, the Americans are doing what they do best and are playing both sides. Having armed one side, and now arming the other side, the two sides are now killing each other under the auspices of the military industrial complex. The same report from Newsweek states:

The Free Syrian Army was also the primary recipient of CIA funding to overthrow Assad, but this support diminished as ISIS and Al-Qaeda became increasingly influential among rebels. Turkey attempted to unify the remains of the Free Syrian Army in northern Syria in May, and reports emerged in July that the Trump administration had cut all CIA funding to rebel groups that refused to stop fighting Assad and at times clashed with the Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which is now the U.S.’s primary partner in Syria.

We know that the CIA armed and trained the FSA; we now know that Turkey is leading the FSA. The common report that Trump stopped the arming of the FSA because they are terrorists, or because they “refused to stop fighting Assad” is hard to believe. The United States has simply delegated the directing of the rebels to Turkey, allowing Ankara to advance into Syria. Last year the Daily Beast reported on “the possibility that Turkey and Qatar would fill the breach” in directing the rebels. As we have said before, Turkey’s strength stems from the Gladio program in which the CIA armed Turkey to the point that it is the second most armed country in NATO. The US wanted Turkey to become a superpower, and is allowing Turkey to conduct its policy of expansionism.

For one, lets look at some of the history of the US’ military industrial complex’s instrumental role in the Islamization of the world.

For decades the US has purchased oil from OPEC at very high prices, in exchange for oil rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran to purchase American weapons. In other words, ‘We buy your oil, you buy our weapons.’ With the US spending tremendous amounts of money for Mid-east oil, the Shah of Iran, with the exhortation of Nixon and Kissinger, in the words of a New York Times article: “took the initiative for OPEC’s enormous increase of oil prices in 1973; the oil revenues thus obtained helped him order more weapons and launch big projects.”

The American greenback given for oil, would be used by Saudi Arabia to fund the CIA-backed Muslim Brotherhood and also the Muslim World League, which was founded by the Saudi king Faisal in 1962. Part of Faisal’s motive behind the League was to “set up an ‘Islamic bloc,’ complete with American support,” against the secular leader of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser. There are European sources that say that the World Muslim League was funded by the Arabian-American Oil Company (Aramco). For example, the French writer Richard Labévière, states that the League “received funds from Aramco” (Labévière, Dollars for Terror, p. 42). Now, why would the CIA be interested in the Saudi’s rivalry with Gamal Abdel Nasser?

Nasser was very much so favored by the Soviets, and so it makes sense that that is why the US would back the anti-Soviet Muslim Brotherhood. What does this mean? Gladio. Operation Gladio, which we have talked a lot about here on shoebat.com, was a project conducted by the CIA and other intelligence agencies of NATO countries, specifically those of Western Europe and Turkey, to arm and train neo-Nazi and nationalist terrorists to create paramilitary armies to fight the Soviet Union. In this policy, the CIA and NATO were not just arming and training Nazis and nationalists, but also anti-Soviet Islamic fundamentalists. Hence why the CIA armed the Taliban.

With American dollars paying for Saudi oil, all throughout the Muslim world, from the Middle East to Indonesia, Saudi Wahhabi madrassas were being built. With this intensification of Islamic fundamentalism, there began to be a violent Islamization of Afghanistan, which really destabilized the region, which was then under Soviet control. Diego Cordovez and Selig S. Harrison write on the CIA’s collaboration with the Islamists in Afghanistan to repulse the Soviets and their sympathizers:

“Savak [Iranian intelligence] and the CIA worked hand in hand, sometimes in loose collaboration with underground Afghan Islamic fundamentalist groups that shared their anti-Soviet objectives but had their own agendas as well. The Afghan fundamentalists were closely linked, in turn, to the Cairo-based Ikhwan ul-Musulmeen (Muslim Brotherhood) and the Rabitat-al-Alam-al-Islami (Muslim World League), a leading exponent of Saudi Wahabi orthodoxy. As oil profits sky-rocketed, emissaries from these newly affluent Arab fundamentalist groups arrived on the Afghan scene with bulging bankrolls. Like Savak, they hired informers who attempted to identify Communist sympathizers throughout the Afghan government and armed forces.” (Diego Cordovez & Selig S. Harrison, Out of Afghanistan, p. 16)

The United States’ involvement with Saudi Arabia and the development of its Islamist network was also interconnected with the US weapons dealing apparatus. One of the best examples of this was the multi-billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, who became the marketing arm for Lockheed Martin, one of the largest defense companies in the world. Khashoggi was very close with president Richard Nixon and even promised him good relationships with Arab capitals. Khashoggi attended the 1973 Nixon inaugural.

The US’ role in the Islamization of the world interconnects with the Nixon administration’s support for the Pakistani government’s genocide of the people of Bangladesh in 1971 in which between 300,000 to 3 million people were slaughtered. In 1970, Bangladeshi separatists won a landslide victory in the elections. In 1971, Pakistani forces, with the backing of the CIA, entered Bangladesh and commenced the slaughter in one of the most recent holocausts that very few ever talk about. Ten million Bangladeshis were displaced and fled to India where they died in droves in horrid refugee camps. Nixon and Henry Kissinger supported the Pakistani government, as we read in a report from the New York Times: “…President Richard M. Nixon and Henry A. Kissinger, his national security adviser, vigorously supported the killers and tormentors of a generation of Bangladeshis.”

The CIA also pushed for the Islamization of Iran, when they recruited Islamic mullahs to support the coup against Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953. Years later, in 1979, the Shah of Iran was overthrown — with the backing of the US government — and the Islamism of the Ayatollah took over. So when people blabber on about “IRAN IS A TERRORIST STATE”, remember that the US enabled it to become a terrorist state.

With the rise of Islamism, the civil war in Syria and the carnage in Iraq, we are now seeing the rise of Turkey with its armies expanding into Syria and heading towards Iraq. This was all part of the plan of Gladio, since during Operation Gladio the US government armed Turkey to the teeth for supposedly the purpose of preparing Turkey for a Russian invasion of the Middle East. As Swiss historian Daniele Ganser has written:

“As Turkey furthermore guarded a third of NATO’s total borders with Warsaw Pact countries, the Turkish elite became an excellent defense contractor for the United States military industry and recipient of billions in US aid. Armed by the United States during the Cold War, Turkey set up the largest armed forces in Europe, and the second largest in NATO after the United States. In a reckless gamble the United States in 1961 stationed even nuclear missiles in Turkey targeting the Soviet Union.” (Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, ch. 17, p. 225)

When ISIS was on its killing spree in Syria and Iraq, the media talked about ISIS non-stop. But now we have something worse than ISIS in Syria: we have the second more armed country in NATO, and it is on the warpath, heading right for Iraq, and with its technology it will orchestrate a genocide far worse than what ISIS did. But remember, what was the mission of Gladio: it was to spark violent nationalism in Europe and in Turkey, by having Nazi and nationalist terrorists do terrorist attacks and then blame them on leftists or Soviet agents. With the migrant crises, we are seeing the increase of terrorism in Europe, and with this, we are seeing the sudden surge in ethno-nationalism. What caused the so-called migrant crises? It was all of the violence in the Middle East caused by CIA operations and the war mongers like those in PNAC (Project for the New American Century).

In 1998, John Bolton signed a declaration, alongside other operatives for the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), calling for the Clinton administration to remove Saddam through military force. The statement that Bolton signed asked president Clinton “to turn your Administration’s attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam’s regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater.” Lets also not forget the Center for Security Policy, another CIA front that was backed by CIA director William Casey, and that has for decades pushed for arming insurgents and for destructive interventionist policies.

In 2001, the Center for Security Policy posted an article by the former director of the CIA James Woolsey, in which he said: “We need to arm the Iraqi opposition in the north and south and provide advisers and other assistance, as in Afghanistan.” These think-tanks, like PNAC and the Center for Security Policy, are reflections of the continuation of policy, from Afghanistan to now, and that is the arming of insurgents and the facilitation of the rise of insidious ideologies.

These think-tanks are also a reflection of the scientific elite. The Center for Security Policy was financially established by Richard Mellon Scaife, a multi-billionaire who, while funding numerous right-wing think-tanks, was a major funder of Planned Parenthood, giving millions to the eugenist organization. It is this type of war mongering, fueled by the military industrial complex, that has caused the violence that led to the migrant crises. The migrants’ presence in Europe has provoked the nationalist surge, which means the legitimization of eugenics and racialist ideologies. The rise of Turkey and the resurgence of violent nationalism (Nazism) in Europe, goes all the way back to Gladio.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 8:11 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/421855-damascus-market-attack/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
At least 35 killed in Damascus market shelling – health official
Published time: 20 Mar, 2018 18:38
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At least 35 killed in Damascus market shelling – health official
FILE PHOTO. ©️ Ammar Safarjalani / Global Look Press
Dozens of civilians have been killed and injured in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana, after militants targeted a local market with a rocket.
At least 35 people have been killed in the attack, SANA news agency reports, citing Haysam Al-Husseini, the Damascus Hospital director. “35 dead bodies have been delivered to the hospital following the rocket attack on the market in the Kashkul district of Jaramana,” Al-Husseini said.


While a total number of wounded remains unclear, it is likely that dozens have been injured in the incident. Earlier, RIA Novosti reported, citing local police, that 24 people were killed and 32 injured in the shelling. The militants have apparently launched a massive artillery attack on the residential neighborhoods of the capital, as some 20 civilians have also been injured in two other separate incidents on Tuesday, according to media reports.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 15 Mar 2018, 9:57 pm

US warns it may begin bombing Syria in retaliation for attacks against Ghouta
March 14, 2018
US warns it may begin bombing Syria in retaliation for attacks against Ghouta
Image via Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com
No matter what President Donald Trump does, Democrats will accuse him of being in cahoots with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That is not likely to change, even with President Trump’s latest action.
The United States is furious about Russia and Syria’s bombardment of the eastern Ghouta region of Syria that has murdered countless innocent people.
https://www.patriotnewsalerts.com/us-syria-warning/?
No More Games.
United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley warned on Monday that America “remains prepared to act if we must,” if the U.N. Security Council doesn’t, Reuters reported.

The United States has demanded that the Security Council call for, and enforce, a 30-day ceasefire in Damascus and eastern Ghouta.

It is in Ghouta that Syrian forces, backed by Iran and Russia, claim that they are fighting terrorists but are slaughtering innocent civilians along with the rebels.

Approximately 1,160 people have been murdered in the onslaught since Feb. 18 as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad works to destroy the last rebel stronghold and end the rebellion against his brutal, dictatorial regime.

Not The Path We Prefer.
Ambassador Haley expressed to the U.N. that fighting is not America’s first choice, but it will be forced to step in if the slaughter of innocent men, women and children continues.

“It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again,” she said. “When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action.”

Ambassador Haley was referring to a United States strike on a Syrian air base last year after it was determined that Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people.

The Assad regime is backed by Putin and Russia, and President Trump has taken a hardline stance against them.

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But the truth is that it won’t change the mind of Democrats.

Democrats and their followers need to believe that President Trump only won the 2016 presidential election because of Russia’s help in order to keep what is left of their sanity.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 15 Mar 2018, 3:03 pm

US Monitoring Possible North Korea Military Base in Syria…
Mar 14, 2018 | 0  |     
US Monitoring Possible North Korea Military Base in Syria…
The United States is monitoring information indicating that North Korea may be running a large underground military base in Syria that could be used for advanced weaponry and nuclear-related work, according to regional reports and U.S. officials tracking the situation.  Regional reports have begun to surface indicating North Korea has neared completion of the construction of an underground military base located near Qardaha in Syria, the hometown of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“According to … satellite images and a military source the underground facility has been under construction for seven years, started by the beginning if the Syrian revolution in March 2011,” Zaman Al Wasl, a Syrian news outlet, reported earlier this month. “The high level of secrecy and tight guard in the North Korean base raise speculations whether it’s a nuclear facility or overseas depot for North Korean weapons.” U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon they are monitoring these reports and efforts by North Korea to help Assad rebuild Syria’s chemical weapons factories. 
READ MORE http://freebeacon.com/national-security/u-s-monitoring-possible-north-korean-military-base-syria/

Kim Jong-UnKim Jong-Un / Getty Images
BY: Adam Kredo   
March 14, 2018 12:20 pm

The United States is monitoring information indicating that North Korea may be running a large underground military base in Syria that could be used for advanced weaponry and nuclear-related work, according to regional reports and U.S. officials tracking the situation.

Regional reports have begun to surface indicating North Korea has neared completion of the construction of an underground military base located near Qardaha in Syria, the hometown of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"According to … satellite images and a military source the underground facility has been under construction for seven years, started by the beginning if the Syrian revolution in March 2011," Zaman Al Wasl, a Syrian news outlet, reported earlier this month. "The high level of secrecy and tight guard in the North Korean base raise speculations whether it's a nuclear facility or overseas depot for North Korean weapons."

U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon they are monitoring these reports and efforts by North Korea to help Assad rebuild Syria's chemical weapons factories.

"We are aware of reports regarding possible DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] assistance to Syria to rebuild its chemical weapons capabilities," a State Department official, speaking on background, told the Free Beacon. "We take these allegations very seriously and we are working assiduously to prevent the Assad regime from obtaining material and equipment to support its chemical weapons program."

The Trump administration has been engaged in efforts to counter North Korea's proliferation in Syria, particularly its efforts to supply Assad with chemical weapons.

"The United States has long expressed its deep concerns about both the assistance the DPRK provides to Syria's weapons programs and Syria's ongoing possession and use of chemical weapons—both activities in defiance of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions," the State Department official said.

The underground North Korean military base could be hiding more than just chemical weapons, according to regional reports indicating that the sheer size of the base, which is mostly situated within a mountain, raises concerns of nuclear work.

Purported satellite images of the base circulating on the internet indicate that only a small portion of the facility is visible from above ground.

"Long tunnels have been built during the last seven years in a deep valley in Qardaha under the supervision of North Korean experts," the Zaman Al Wasl outlet reported.

The United Nations recently cited North Korea for its increased efforts to meddle in Syria and provide the Assad regime with new caches of chemical weapons.

This has fueled U.S. concerns about the hermit nation at a time when the Trump administration is pursuing diplomatic talks regarding North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Evidence that North Korea is working to bolster the Assad regime is likely to fuel further international tensions as Iran and Russia undertake similar efforts. The newest underground facility may facilitate further Iranian and North Korean military collaboration.

The Trump administration is continuing efforts to crackdown on this military collaboration and is urging allies to apply similar pressure.

"North Korea is a significant threat to international security and the Assad regime's ongoing use of chemical weapons is a similar affront to international law," the State Department official said. "We work with all our partners to uphold U.N. Security Council Resolutions and prevent North Korea and Syria from further threatening international peace and stability."
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 08 Mar 2018, 7:32 pm

Aid trucks flee as more than 700 are killed in war-torn region of Syria
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/conservative-news/aid-flee-700-killed.htm?utm_source=boomtrain&utm_medium=NS1&utm_campaign=1520454700427&utm_source=boomtrain&utm_medium=NS1&utm_campaign=1520454700321
March 6, 2018
Aid trucks flee as more than 700 are killed in war-torn region of Syria
A_Lesik / Shutterstock.com
A desperately needed aid convoy left Syria’s Eastern Ghouta before it could finish delivering its full payload Monday.

The first aid mission to the region in weeks came to a halt amid shelling in the heavily besieged Damascus suburb, where more than 700 people, including children, have been killed in recent weeks.

Humanitarian groups claim government forces deliberately removed supplies from the convoy to deny life-saving treatment to civilians.

The aborted mission comes amid a sustained effort by the government to reclaim the last major rebel-held area with relentless ground and aerial bombing campaigns.

UN aid convoy aborts mission amid bombing
The first mission to reach Eastern Ghouta since mid-February was forced to end Monday amid shelling. A convoy of forty trucks delivered aid for about nine hours before leaving Eastern Ghouta.

The Red Cross, UN World Food Program and Syrian Arab Red Crescent were able to deliver some supplies, including food for 27,500 and first-aid for 70,000, before sustained bombing forced them to leave. Some 393,000 civilians remain trapped in the region.

10 out of the 46 trucks were never emptied, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  The supplies delivered by the convoy will lessen the suffering in the region, according to humanitarian groups, although it will not be enough to heal the damage dealt in the war-torn region.

“The convoy is a positive first step and will lessen the immediate suffering of some civilians in the Eastern Ghouta region,” said Robert Maridni, Middle East Director of International Committee of the Red Cross.

“But one convoy, however big, will never be enough given the dire conditions and shortages people are facing. Repeated and continuous humanitarian access is essential and more must be granted in the coming period.”

A tweet from the UNCHR’s Syria representative speaks to the urgency of its mission and the difficulty of carrying it out amid relentless government bombing campaigns.

“We delivered as much as we could amidst shelling. Civilians are caught in a tragic situation,” wrote Saajad Malik.
Sajjad Malik
@malik_sajjad
HAPPENING NOW @UN @ICRC_sy @SYRedCrescent aid convoy to #EasternGhouta exiting #Duma after nearly 9 hours. We delivered as much as we could amidst shelling. Civilians are caught in a tragic situation.
6:51 PM - Mar 5, 2018
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Violence continues despite truce, ceasefire
Ghouta has seen rising death tolls in recent weeks, as sustained shelling campaigns by pro-Assad forces on the besieged Damascus suburb have left scores dead, including children.

Violence in the region has continued unabated despite a 30-day ceasefire ordered by the UN Security Council on February 25. A five-hour truce Monday did not stop government strikes from killing 79 people, according to the Syrian American Medical Society charity.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 80 people were killed Monday. At least 719 have been killed in recent weeks.

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Government sabotage
The aborted aid mission comes amid intensified shelling by pro-Assad forces on the rebel-held enclave, which has resisted government control since 2012. The relentless offensive has enabled pro-government and Assad-friendly forces to reclaim a third of Eastern Ghouta in days, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Assad maintains that the rebels are “terrorists” and denies targeting civilians. But activists say that government officials removed essential supplies such as trauma kits and other surgical tools from the convoys. A World Health Organization official told Reuters that 70 percent of its first-aid supplies were removed by government officials, in what has been called a deliberate government effort to deny life-saving treatment to civilians living in the rebel-held area.

The UN has another aid convoy scheduled Thursday.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Tue 06 Mar 2018, 7:55 pm

Turkish airstrike kills at least 36 inside Syria
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/foreign-policy/turkish-airstrike-kills-36.htm?utm_source=aimtell&utm_campaign=automated_push&utm_medium=push
March 5, 2018

Turkish airstrike kills at least 36 inside Syria
Orlok / Shutterstock.com
The Syrian civil war has been going on for almost seven years, and there’s still no end in sight. The U.S. has chosen to back the Kurdish militia controlling much of northeastern Syria, called the People’s Protection Units (YPG), putting it at odds with several other factions and countries in the area.

Turkey is also involved in the conflict and has vowed to crush the YPG. On Saturday, Turkish aircraft hit northeastern Syria, targeting pro-government forces and killing at least 36.

A Deadly Attack with Long-Term Consequences
The Turkish airstrikes were meant to clear all Kurdish groups from the region of Afrin. They’re part of a bigger offensive that began in January—an operation that the Syrian government says is a “blatant attack” on its national sovereignty.

The government, led by Bashar al-Assad, sent in forces to help back the YPG. Turkey, however, sent aircraft to engage those forces on Syrian territory, and has already had troops on the ground there.

Is Turkey going too far?
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Last week marked a bloody time for Turkish troops; 8 soldiers were killed and 13 were injured in the battles in Afrin. The airstrikes are thought to be a counter to those losses.

Turkey’s attack puts the Middle Eastern country at direct odds with the United States, its NATO ally. The attack could increase tensions at the NATO table, leading to peripheral issues with other nations as well.

What is Going On Over There?
Turkey says the YPG is simply another reincarnation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a group that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the country has been fighting for decades. The Workers’ Party has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey; Erdogan says the YPG is just more of the same.

The Turkish president said the U.S., under President Donald Trump, is “creating a terror army” and said that Turkey would do what was necessary to “suffocate” it.

The United States, however, has continued to back the Kurdish militia with air strikes that helped the YPG drive militant Islamic State fighters from the area. The YPG says it has nothing to do with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

The ongoing war has driven hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee their homes and go to Europe, demanding asylum. The large majority end up in Germany, but many are arriving in Greece by the sea route in poorly constructed boats.

President Trump has not responded publicly to the news of the Turkish attacks.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 01 Mar 2018, 8:12 pm

Report: 25 are dead after U.S. coalition strike in Syria
February 28, 2018
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/national-security/25-are-dead-syria.htm?utm_source=boomtrain&utm_medium=automated&utm_campaign=ci1&utm_source=boomtrain&utm_medium=automated&utm_campaign=ci1
Report: 25 are dead after U.S. coalition strike in Syria
Orlok / Shutterstock.com
A U.S. airstrike has killed at least 25 civilians in Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province, according to a human rights monitor operating in the region.

Despite exhaustive efforts by the U.S.-led coalition in Syria to avoid civilian casualties, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has confirmed that at least half of those killed by the airstrike were women and children.

A tragic loss
The tragic setback occurred as military commanders for the combined joint task force Operation Inherent Resolve focus on denying the Islamic State their last significant enclave in Syria.

Some of the heaviest fighting throughout the seven-year civil war has occurred in recent days between rebel militias and the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, prompting the United Nations to sponsor a resolution demanding a 30-days ceasefire so that civilians may evacuate the area.

The U.S.-led coalition continues to experience pockets of resistance from the Islamic State, but with help from a conglomerate of Syrian militias and Kurdish rebels, American air power has been focused on uprooting entrenched jihadist fighters from both sides of the Euphrates River in the east.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon responded to questions regarding the collateral damage occurring in the settlement of Dahra Alouni by noting that there is an ongoing investigation examining the airstrike.

“We take all allegations seriously,” Alouni said, “and as we always do we will put it into our civilian casualty assessment and we will publish the results of those on a monthly basis.”

Rules of disengagement
It is no coincidence that ISIS has experienced its most stunning and complete defeats during the Donald Trump administration. Former President Barack Obama described the Islamic State as the “JV” of terrorist organizations before handicapping his own ground commanders by declaring, “I want no civilian casualties. Zero.”

Obama lacked confidence in his military leaders and, thus, allowed politically-driven civilians to administer the war on their behalf. This overcautious and noncommittal strategy produced predictable results: it forced coalition air sorties to return to base without dropping a single bomb, while innocent civilians were slaughtered on the battlefield.

U.S. House Representative Ed Royce complained at the time that an unacceptable 75 percent of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria were denied under the Obama administration.

Referring to the Islamic State by the Arabic transliteration of their name, Daesh, military flight operations expert Scott Wolff explained why Obama erred by turning his military commanders into prisoners of their own rules of engagement:

Daesh has effectively used our own ROE against us since the outset. While aircraft are returning to their deployed locations with unused munitions, Daesh has slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands of non-combatants and laid waste of all types of structures and historical artifacts. The collateral damage and civilian casualties are staggering, regardless of the U.S. pilots’ inability to drop weapons on legitimate targets.

A new beginning
However, when Trump assumed the responsibility of commander-in-chief, he quickly reasserted military stewardship for the war against ISIS. This included a decision to empower generals with the authority to confirm or deny airstrikes, completing reshaping the pace and initiative or the war.

Although the coalition did not drop more bombs on targets in the region, the decision to return authority to the military served as a force multiplier, and ISIS began surrendering huge swaths of territory to advancing ground forces in both Iraq and Syria.

Still, Trump’s strategic vision for defeating ISIS came with a cost, and his critics are quick to point out that civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria soared by some 200 percent in 2017. However, these unfortunate deaths occurred in support of massive ground operations in both Iraq — where ISIS was effectively routed — and Syria, where the jihadist militants were forced to give up their capital in Raqqa.

A Pentagon official explained the sudden uptick in casualties at the time:

Despite U.S. strikes being the most precise in the history of warfare, conducting strike operations in the heavily-populated areas where ISIL hides certainly presents challenges. We are fighting an enemy who goes out of their way to put civilians at risk. However, our pilots understand the need for the tactical patience in this environment. This fight against ISIL is not the kind of fight from previous decades.

Respect for life
Although the rules of engagement have changed to allow U.S. generals to wage an effectively lethal counterinsurgency in Syria, the American commitment to preserving innocent life at all costs remains.

The loss of civilian life under a bloodthirsty Islamic Caliphate in Syria would far exceed that experienced from even the most aggressive air campaign targeting the tyrannical Islamist empire.

Without this context, it is easy to lose sight of the mission and the capacity for evil from the Islamic State.

America will continue to accomplish its strategic goals in the region while taking prudent countermeasures to reduce or eliminate the unnecessary loss of human life.

This is what separates the U.S. military from the Islamic State, and countless enemies before them.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 6:46 pm

Israeli Satellite Images Reveal: Iran Builds Military Base Near Damascus
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/israeli-satellite-images-reveal-iran-builds-military-base-near-syria-1.5863736?Fox News published the images showing a military base northeast of Syria's capital. According to the report, Iran's Al Quds force is operating the post

Amos Harel Feb 28, 2018 10:08 AM
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Israeli satellite images reveal: Iran builds military base near Damascus
Israeli satellite images reveal: Iran builds military base near Damascus.: Imagesat International (ISI)
Thirteen Israeli border points raising tensions with Lebanon
Iran is trying to avoid a clash but may surprise Israel
To push Iran back, Israel ramps up support for Syrian rebels, 'arming 7 different groups'
Iran has established a military base outside Syria's capital city of Damascus. Fox News published the Israeli satellite photos showing the base eight miles northwest of Damascus on Wednesday.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

Israeli satellite images reveal: Iran builds military base near Damascus
Israeli satellite images reveal: Iran builds military base near Damascus.Imagesat International (ISI)
The images reportedly show two warehouses storing missiles capable of hitting all of Israel. According to the report, members of the Iran Revolutionary Guard's special operations Quds Force are operating the base.

Last week, the New York Times reported the locations of dozens of bases in Syria operated by Iranian forces, including a map showing the location of a T4 airbase near Tadmor. Also in the map was the airport of Damascus, which Israel has reportedly attacked on multiple occasions.

>> Thirteen Israeli border points raising tensions with Lebanon <<


Iranian officials openly claim that they are working to build an axis of resistance to Israel and the U.S. in the region. Iranian strategy is based on building ties with local forces who share the same goals.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to the report in an interview with Wednesday morning saying, "There's nothing new under the sun, and there is no need to treat all information in the media as absolute. We are listening and following the events. We will also act in the international arena to achieve everything possible." 

Iranian presence in Syria
At the Munich Security Conference last week, Netanyahu warned that Israel would act against Iran if needed. "We will act if necessary not just against Iran's proxies but against Iran itself," he said, holding up a piece of an Iranian drone Israel shot down after it infiltrated its territory.

"Iran continues to try to cross those red lines," said the prime minister. "Last week its brazenness reached new heights, literally new heights. Israel will not allow the Iranian regime to put a noose of terror around our neck." Netanyahu asked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was sitting in the crowd: "Do you recognize it? You should, it’s yours. Don’t test us."

Netanyahu added: "This action is intended to fight Iranian aggression on the ground toward the upcoming decision in Washington on the Iran deal. I will be meeting President Trump soon and this will be our first topic of discussion, this bad agreement that allows Iran to run on the highway towards nuclear weapons. The current situation needs to be changed with or without a change in the agreement."

Two weeks ago, an Iranian drone that crossed into Israeli airspace was intercepted by the Israel Air Force, sparking a flare-up between Israel and Syria, with an Israeli F-16 shot down and an extensive Israeli strike against Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria.

In December, Syrian state television reported that Israeli warplanes struck a military base near Damascus. According to the pro-Assad news outlets, the target of the attack was an Iranian military base and the Israeli aircraft had been launched from Lebanese airspace. The reports also said that Israeli surface-to-surface missiles had been intercepted by Syrian air defenses.

The report did not divulge further details as to the attack's target or of casualties sustained. Forces connected to the Syrian military told Reuters that the Israeli Air Force fired six missiles that caused a large fire in the area.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 8:24 pm

Analysis Putin's Newest Stealth Fighters Are Nonoperational. So Why Deploy Them to Syria?
https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/.premium-russia-s-stealth-fighters-in-syria-are-putin-s-election-gimmick-1.5847755?utm_source=Push_Notification&utm_medium=web_push&utm_campaign=General
The Russian Air Force doesn’t need the Sukhoi 57 to bomb more civilians in Syria. But on an election year, it looks good on television screens back home
Anshel Pfeffer Feb 26, 2018 12:56 PM
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In times of war, new weapons are often rushed to the front and pressed into service before they have been properly tested. There is little choice, and any operational edge can be critical on the battlefield....



Opinion Iran Is Trying to Avoid a Clash but May Surprise Israel
https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/iran-wants-to-avoid-a-clash-but-may-surprise-israel-1.5850054
Tehran will find it hard to remain silent for long if Israel strikes Iranian targets; at some stage it might shock us with the timing, weapons or method
Ephraim Kam Feb 26, 2018 8:31 PM
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Iran's military chief Mohammad Bagheri, right, on a visit to Turkey.
Iran's military chief Mohammad Bagheri, right, on a visit to Turkey. Reuters / Stringer
How Syria's devastating war keeps getting worse and now threatens a global conflict
Iran to continue assault on rebel-held Damascus enclave despite UN call for truce
After over 500 killed, UN finally agrees on month-long truce in Syria, with Russia's backing
The latest confrontation between Israel and Iran on the northern front was predictable. We can assume that neither side wanted the clash, but with Tehran having sent substantial Iranian and Shi’ite combat forces to Syria while arming Hezbollah with advanced weapons, and with Israel determined to check the danger, a clash was almost inevitable.

On top of that is the consensus among Israel’s leaders that Iran presents the most serious threat to Israel. This perception is based on a number of elements: Hezbollah and its huge missile system, Iran’s large and improved missile system, and Tehran's policy of encircling Israel with radical Shi’ites, marked by the anti-Israel front in Syria and Lebanon.

Clearly if Iran goes nuclear some day this threat will increase to an unprecedented level. But the balance of powers is more complex. The main tool used by the Israel Defense Forces in Syria is the air force, and Iran has no answer to it; its own air force is based on planes 30 to 40 years old and clearly can’t cope with its Israeli rival.

In addition, Iran has to operate forces hundreds of kilometers from its borders without any real defense when they’re subject to Israeli attacks and provocations by Sunni groups in Syria. Weapons convoys to Hezbollah and arms plants in Syria are exposed to attacks.

The United States also poses a threat to Iran. The Trump administration has defined Iran as a threat of the highest order to the United States and its allies due to its use of terror, intervention in other countries, construction of a large missile system, and above all its attempt to produce nuclear weapons.

The U.S. administration hasn’t yet taken any practical steps to stop the threat, and it’s not clear whether it will, but Iran isn’t certain it won’t, and the last thing Tehran wants is a confrontation with the United States. Meanwhile, the declaration by Washington that it will leave a military force in northern Syria for an indefinite period to check Iranian influence should worry Tehran.

Although Russia – currently the most influential player in Syria – stands alongside Iran and recognizes Iran’s right to maintain forces in Syria, there are differences of opinion, conflicts of interest and suspicions between Tehran and Moscow. As a result, Iran fears that if an overall agreement in Syria is achieved, Russia won’t insist on leaving Bashar Assad’s regime in place if it receives a promise that it can continue to use its air base and naval base there.

If the Assad regime is ousted in the context of an agreement, Iran’s influence in Syria will suffer a serious blow. Iran thus hasn’t yet responded with fire to attacks against weapons convoys and factories in Syria.

Even when Iran challenged Israel in the most recent clash, it did so with a drone, not by opening fire. Since early 2015, Hezbollah has also refrained from responding to what could be perceived as Israeli provocations. This reluctance to respond apparently stems from a recognition of Israel’s significant military advantage in the north.

The Iranians are also likely to fear that a confrontation with Israel would give Israel a chance to attack the nuclear weapons sites in Iran. Moreover, Iran apparently doesn’t seek a confrontation because its top priority is to stabilize the Assad regime and exploit its standing in Syria to strengthen its influence in Iraq and Lebanon. An entanglement with Israel could block these goals.

Iran’s supreme regional goal is to entrench itself in Syria and its neighbors for the long term. It has already paid a high price for this in blood and money, and there’s no reason to assume that it will give this up. Israel, meanwhile, must prevent Iran from leaving its forces and the Shi’ite militias in Syria – including Hezbollah – for the long term. This basic conflict could lead to a confrontation again – and there’s no evidence yet of a responsible adult among the great powers to ease the conflict of interests.

The bottom line is that Iran is trying to avoid a confrontation with Israel, but will find it hard to remain silent for long if Israel strikes Iranian targets. Thus we must take into account that at some stage Iran will take a military action to deter Israel. Iran will want to surprise Israel – with the timing, weapons or method. For that purpose it will prefer to activate Hezbollah and other Shi’ite militias so as not to get involved itself.

Iran may instruct Hezbollah to use its missile system, despite the risks involved both to it and its emissaries. Iran would probably try to exploit an opportunity when Israel is preoccupied with another crisis – the main candidate is a conflict with Hamas in Gaza. And of course there’s also the possibility of a mistake in judgment that would get Iran embroiled in a conflict with Israel.

Ephraim Kam is a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Feb 2018, 11:30 pm

Russia admits that U.S. airstrike killed Russian citizens in Syria
February 18, 2018
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/foreign-policy/russia-admits-us-syria.htm?Russia admits that U.S. airstrike killed Russian citizens in Syria
Free Wind 2014 / Shutterstock.com
After pro-regime forces closed in on a U.S.-backed Kurdish base in Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zor province on Feb. 7, the U.S.-led forces took defensive action with an airstrike that reportedly killed over 100 Russian mercenaries.

In a stunning development, Moscow’s Foreign Ministry admitted on Thursday that as many as five “Russian citizens” embedded with soldiers loyal to the Syrian government of Bashar Al Assad may have been killed by the American airstrike. 

“According to preliminary information, we could be talking about the deaths of five people — presumably Russian citizens — as a result of an armed confrontation whose causes are being examined,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a press briefing Thursday.

The admission is the first official acknowledgment that American forces have killed Russian nationals in the Syrian theater. 

Slain mercenaries
Zakharova insisted that the slain fighters were not from the Russian armed forces, leading U.S. military officials to speculate that they belonged to a Russian mercenary group.

However, former Pentagon official Mark Simakovsky believes that these private contractors are working in league with Russian military planners. He explained:

The Russians in many areas, including Ukraine, have claimed that their forces are not involved. But it’s a fig leaf, because their forces are involved…[and] have coordination and liaison with Russian intelligence and security forces.

The private Russian security firm Wagner is known to operate with pro-Assad forces in Syria, clandestinely deploying thousands of contract soldiers to the region to fight rebel groups and the remnants of the Islamic State. Russian law formally bans mercenary service, and Moscow has never publicly acknowledged the role of private security operations in the Syrian theater.

Earlier this week, a Reuters report listing the names of two Russian contractors killed in the Deir al-Zor incident likely compelled Moscow officials to acknowledge their deaths in following days. However, sources also told Reuters that “dozens” of other Russian fighters were also killed in the blast, a narrative disputed by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The fog of war
The Pentagon has defended the airstrike, arguing that it was an act of “self-defense…to defeat an unprovoked military attack.” Officials elaborated on the incident, claiming, “The enemy moved in an approximate battalion-sized dismounted formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.”

In an attempt to avoid inadvertently eliminating any Russian support elements that were attached to the approaching forces, the U.S.-backed Coalition attempted to contact Russia through a “deconfliction” telephone line to advise them of the unprovoked attack.

Simakovsky believes that both the U.S. and Russia have no interest in either purposefully or inadvertently attacking one another. While their goals in the region are different, the analyst argued that the U.S. “doesn’t want to be killing Russian citizens in Syria. So, I think both sides will be more careful.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Syria in December and signaled his intent to begin sending Russian forces home. However, 2018 has included many setbacks for Moscow, including drone attacks on Russian air bases and the loss of a Russian jet and its pilot earlier this month.

The U.S. coalition is supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) opposed to the Assad regime and the dwindling Islamic State. Approximately 2,000 U.S. service members are present in the country, mostly special forces operators supporting the SDF.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Feb 2018, 2:28 pm

‘Time is now to act against Iran,’ says US national security adviser
 February 18, 2018
‘Time is now to act against Iran,’ says US national security adviserUS National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster (Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP)
“What’s particularly concerning is that this network of proxies is becoming more and more capable,” McMaster said at the Munich Security Conference, adding that the time has come to act.
By: JNS.org
US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster warned the international community that the time has come to act against Iranian proxies in the Middle East.
“What’s particularly concerning is that this network of proxies is becoming more and more capable, as Iran seeds more and more… destructive weapons into these networks,” McMaster said at the Munich Security Conference, according to Reuters.
Sounding the alarm on the urgency of halting Iranian efforts across the region, McMaster said, “So the time is now, we think, to act against Iran.”
McMaster accused Iran of planning to use “Hezbollah-style” proxy armies in Iraq and Syria to weaken and destabilize regional Arab governments.
He criticized the international community’s 2015 nuclear accord signed by Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany, and the European Union, saying the world should address “serious flaws in the Iran deal and counter Iran’s destabilizing activities, including its development and proliferation of missiles.” McMaster singled out German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and South Korean investments as helping to fund Iran’s missile program and terror activities in the Middle East.
MORE https://worldisraelnews.com/time-is-now-to-act-against-iran-says-us-national-security-adviser/?


Israel slams Polish PM for saying Jews also perpetrated the Holocaust
 February 17, 2018
Israel slams Polish PM for saying Jews also perpetrated the HolocaustPM Benjamin Netanyahu (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
“The Polish Prime Minister’s remarks here in Munich are outrageous. There is a problem here of an inability to understand history and a lack of sensitivity to the tragedy of our people,” Netanyahu stated regarding Morawiecki’s claim that Jews also perpetrated the Holocaust.
By: AP
Israeli politicians accused Poland’s prime minister of anti-Semitism Saturday for equating the Polish perpetrators in the Holocaust to its supposed “Jewish perpetrators,” setting off a new chapter in an angry dispute over Poland’s new bill criminalizing the mention of Polish complicity in the Nazi-led genocide.
MORE https://worldisraelnews.com/israel-slams-polish-pm-for-outrageous-wwii-jewish-perpetrators-remark/?


WATCH: How a war between Israel and Hezbollah would play out
 February 18, 2018
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Dr. Martin Sherman, founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, describes how he believes a war between Israel and Hezbollah would play out, saying that what is required is a show of force against Iran and its proxies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=cIbXYIL4Wes
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Feb 2018, 2:16 pm

Assad regime assault kills more than 100 in Syria
https://worldisraelnews.com/assad-regime-assault-kills-100-syria/? February 20, 2018
Assad regime assault kills more than 100 in SyriaThe war in Syria. (AP/Hussein Malla)
Syrian government forces shelled rebel-held Damascus suburbs, killing nearly 130 people in two days.
By: Associated Press
Intense Syrian government shelling and airstrikes on rebel-held Damascus suburbs killed nearly 130 people in two days, marking some of the deadliest bombardment of the rebellious region in three years, a monitoring group and paramedics said Tuesday.
Retaliatory shells rained down on Damascus, killing at least eight people and causing panic among residents of the Syrian capital, seat of President Bashar Assad’s power.
The violence in the capital and nearby areas came as scores of pro-government gunmen began entering the northern Kurdish enclave of Afrin. Turkish troops shelled the areas shortly after the fighters entered the area, forcing journalists to flee. Turkish state media reported the pro-government forces then fell back 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Afrin city.
The targeted suburbs — scattered across an area known as eastern Ghouta — have been subjected to weeks-long bombardment that has killed and wounded hundreds of people. Opposition activists say government forces have brought in more reinforcements in recent days, suggesting a major assault is imminent to recapture the area that is the last main rebel stronghold near Damascus.
The area that has been under tight siege since last year is home to some 400,000 people as well as thousands of insurgents belonging to different factions. The most powerful are the ultraconservative Army of Islam and Failaq al-Rahman with a small presence of al-Qaida-linked fighters.
Pulling the injured from the rubble
Videos from the eastern suburbs showed paramedics pulling out the injured from under the rubble while others are seen frantically digging through the debris in the dark, in search for survivors.
Monday’s bombardment that killed nearly 100 people saw the use of warplanes, helicopter gunships, missiles as well as artillery, in a major escalation of violence near President Bashar Assad’s seat of power.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was the deadliest days in eastern Ghouta since 2015, adding that 20 children and 15 women were among those killed.
The opposition-affiliated Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, said the shelling and airstrikes killed 98 and that some people are still under the rubble. It said the dead included one of the rescue group’s members, Firas Jomaa.
Both the Observatory and the White Helmets reported more airstrikes and shelling on Tuesday in eastern Ghouta as rebels pounded Damascus with mortar shells. The White Helmets reported 15 deaths on Tuesday while the Observatory said 23 people were killed.
The Observatory said the “crazy shelling” appears to be paving the way for a wide ground offensive on eastern Ghouta. If captured by government forces it would be another major victory for Assad since the conflict began seven years ago.
Rebels retaliated by hitting some Damascus neighborhoods with mortar shells, killing eight persons, including three children, and wounding 15 people, according to the state news agency SANA. On Tuesday morning, Damascus residents reported shelling of areas in central Damascus.
“Shells are falling like rain. We are hiding in the corridor,” a Damascus resident told The Associated Press, asking that her name not be mentioned for her own safety. She spoke while hiding in the corridor of an office building.
‘A bloody day’
“It’s a bloody day,” said Abdelrahman Shahin, a 31-year-old resident of Damascus who was walking on the street when a shell landed on a nearby taxi, killing the driver and a passenger in front of his eyes.
“They both died,” he said, visibly shaken. “The driver was out for his livelihood, his family will be waiting for him,” he said.
Syrian state TV later reported live from the streets of Damascus to show what it called the people’s “steadfastness” despite the shelling. The TV reporter said residents expressed hope that the Syrian army would retake eastern Ghouta.
Army of Islam official Mohammed Alloush and Nasr al-Hariri, who heads the committee that represents the Syrian opposition, described what is happening in eastern Ghouta as a new “Holocaust” committed by the government and its backers Iran and Russia.
The U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura decried a recent upsurge in violence, expressing concerns that eastern Ghouta could fall victim to widespread bloodshed like that in northern Aleppo more than a year ago. Assad’s forces captured Aleppo in December 2016 in his biggest victory since the conflict began in March 2011.
“Bottom line: if we have learned something from Aleppo, (it’s) time to actually avoid all this,” de Mistura said.
The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, issued a one-page statement of protest against the killings and carried a headline, saying: “Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?”
The headline was followed by a blank space underneath. UNICEF said it issued this blank statement because “we no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross also issued a statement saying that “this cannot go on.” It added that “distressing reports” of dozens injured and killed every day in eastern Ghouta with “families trapped, with no safe place to hide from shelling. Dozens of mortars in Damascus cause civilian casualties and spread fear. We cannot let history repeat itself.”
“The humanitarian situation of civilians in East Ghouta is spiraling out of control,” said Panos Moumtzis, the U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, in a statement late Monday.
“It’s imperative to end this senseless human suffering now. Such targeting of innocent civilians and infrastructure must stop now,” he said.
In northern Syria, Syrian state TV reported that Turkish troops shelled the entrance of the northern Kurdish enclave of Afrin shortly after scores of pro-government fighters entered the area. The TV showed shells falling in an area where journalists gathered Tuesday afternoon forcing some of them to flee the area.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 11:49 pm

Israel, Iran Face Off in Munich Over the Future of the Middle East
Feb 19, 2018 | 0  |     
Israel, Iran Face Off in Munich Over the Future of the Middle East
In the latest confrontation between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif faced off at a global security summit in Munich, Germany. During his remarks, Netanyahu held up a piece of an Iranian drone shot down over Israel just last week.
“Iran also denies that it committed an act of aggression against Israel last week, that it sent a drone into our airspace to threaten our people. Well, here is a piece of that Iranian drone or what’s left of it after we shot it down. I brought it here so you can see for yourself,” he said. “Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should, it’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran – do not test Israel’s resolve.” 
READ MORE http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2018/february/israel-iran-face-off-in-munich-over-the-future-of-the-middle-east


Israel, Iran Face-Off in Munich Over the Future of the Middle East
02-19-2018
Chris Mitchell
JERUSALEM, Israel – In the latest confrontation between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif faced off at a global security summit in Munich, Germany.
During his remarks, Netanyahu held up a piece of an Iranian drone shot down over Israel just last week.


"Iran also denies that it committed an act of aggression against Israel last week, that it sent a drone into our airspace to threaten our people. Well, here is a piece of that Iranian drone or what's left of it after we shot it down. I brought it here so you can see for yourself," he said. "Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should, it's yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran – do not test Israel's resolve."
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Zarif brushed off Netanyahu's claim.
"You were the audience for a cartoonish circus just this morning, which does not even deserve the dignity of a response," said Zarif, who represented Iran during negotiations over the Iranian nuclear deal, signed in July 2015.
He also denied that Iran wants to dominate the Middle East.
"Iran believes that our security in the Persian Gulf requires a fresh regional security architecture. We believe in, and have proposed, creating what we call a strong region rather than a strong man in the region," Zarif said. "And you've got to notice the difference. We want a strong region; we do not want to be the hegemon in the region as we believe the era of hegemony is long passed."
 
But Netanyahu reiterated what he and others believe is Iran's goal to dominate the region.
"And nowhere are Iran's belligerent ambitions clearer than in Syria. There Iran hopes to complete a contiguous empire linking Tehran to Tartous, the Caspian to the Mediterranean," Netanyahu explained. "For some time I've been warning about this development. I've made clear in word and deed that Israel has red lines it will enforce. Israel will continue to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria. Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror base from which to threaten Israel.


Netanyahu reminded ministers from around the world of history's lesson when Britain's Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement appeasing Adolph Hitler, which led to World War II.
"And 80 years ago another event took place here with far-ranging consequences. A disastrous agreement was signed here that set the world on a course toward history's most horrific war. Two decades after World War 1, two decades after a war that claimed 16 million lives, the leaders who met in Munich chose to appease Hitler's regime rather than confront it."
The US-led Iranian nuclear deal, signed in July 2015 by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, Russia, France, China) plus Germany, lifted economic sanctions in exchange for Iran imposing limitations to its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10:46 am

Putin warns Israel to be careful on further strikes in Syria
February 12, 2018
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/foreign-policy/iran/putin-warns-israel-syria.htm?
Putin warns Israel to be careful on further strikes in Syria
Slavko Sereda / Shutterstock.com
Vladimir Putin warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday that Israel must avoid provoking further tensions in Syria.

His demand followed an afternoon of Israeli airstrikes on targets in Syria prompted by the loss of an Israeli plane to Syrian anti-aircraft fire, the first time an Israeli plane has been shot down since 1982.

Putin obviously has a vested interest in making excuses for Iran, but the Russians can’t expect Israel to watch Iran entrench its position in Syria, funnel guns to Hezbollah, and harass Israel from across the border with impunity. If Russia wants to escalate the situation, that’s on them. In that case, it might not be long before hostilities commence.

Putin to Israel: Be careful
A phone call between Putin and Netanyahu Saturday brought Israel and Iran back from the brink of war following an afternoon of Israeli airstrikes on Syrian and Iranian targets set off by the downing of an Israeli plane.

Israel had already carried out two bombing raids when Putin and Netanyahu agreed to end the hostilities. Putin warned Netanyahu to avoid taking any action that could lead to “a new round of dangerous consequences for the region.”

In effect, Putin laid the blame on Israel for defending its own interests — despite Russia’s partner, Iran, starting the conflict.

While initially urging “all parties” to exercise caution earlier Saturday, Russia clearly sided with Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah in calling for Israel to respect Syrian sovereignty.

“We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation. We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region. It is absolutely unacceptable to create threats to the lives and security of Russian servicemen who are in Syria at the invitation of its legitimate government to assist in the fight against terrorists,” Russia’s foreign ministry said Saturday afternoon.

Netanyahu told Putin that Israel would defend itself from aggression and would fight Iranian entrenchment “in Syria or anywhere else.”

The Russians also said that military advisers stationed in Syria had been endangered by Israeli bombardments over the weekend.

“The creation of any threat to the lives and safety of Russian military servicemen currently in Syria on the invitation of its lawful government to help fight terrorists is absolutely unacceptable,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Israel has a right to retaliate
Putin is blaming Israel for defending its sovereignty against unprovoked incursions.

The chain of events began Saturday when an Iranian drone sailed into Israeli airspace. The drone was shot down by an Israeli helicopter, prompting an Israeli raid on the Syrian airbase that launched the drone. Syrian anti-aircraft fire then brought down an Israeli plane on its return flight, the first time an Israeli plane was brought down by enemy fire since the 1982 Lebanon War.

Given Russia’s support of Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, it doesn’t make sense for Putin to blame his own allies. But he can’t expect Israel to sit back and do nothing when harassed.

Israel made it clear that it wouldn’t accept unprovoked hostilities with the weekend’s round of airstrikes, which killed six.

“Yesterday we dealt severe blows to the Iranian and Syrian forces,” Netanyahu said Sunday. “We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules of action have not changed one bit. We will continue to strike at every attempt to strike at us. This has been our policy and it will remain our policy.”

Netanyahu warned on Saturday that Israel would not tolerate Iran’s growing presence in Syria, given Iran’s hostility to Israel and its support of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanon terror group that vows to destroy Israel. Israel has expressed worries that an entrenched position in Syria will enable Iran to more easily funnel weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and harass Israel across the border.

This weekend’s stand-off confirms what Israel has long suspected about Iran’s involvement in Syria.

Instead of blaming Israel, Russia should use its influence with the Assad regime, and Iran, to prevent further provocations.


Three powerful Democrat congressmen held secret meeting with Iranian president
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/national-security/democrat-congressmen-secret-meeting.htm?
February 11, 2018

Three powerful Democrat congressmen held secret meeting with Iranian president
Friscocali / CCL
Democrats are not exactly known for keeping the best company, and a bombshell revelation in a report by The Wall Street Journal underscores the hateful ideology present within the party’s ultra-left fringe.

Three Democrat congressmen from the Congressional Black Caucus reportedly attended a private dinner party hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2013 — and they were inexplicably accompanied by Nation of Islam black nationalist and outspoken anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Dining with the enemy
Democrat Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Andre Carson of Indiana, and Gregory Meeks of New York met with the leader of the top state sponsor of terrorism, according to the same government that these politicians claim to represent. The dinner date occurred just hours after Rouhani addressed the United Nations General Assembly to declare his nation’s “right to nuclear enrichment,” before slamming the U.S. and Israel for a multitude of imagined offenses.

While a prominent Nation of Islam publication celebrated the 2013 event featuring their controversial leader, most Americans remained ignorant of the event until the Journal’s Friday report explicitly named the Democrat attendees.

Months after this dinner party, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the highest authority in the Islamic Republic, provided a nine-point plan for the destruction of Israel, which included arming Palestinian citizens and normalizing rocket attacks on Israeli citizens. Given Iran’s historical commitment to the elimination of Israel, the invitation of an unapologetic anti-Semite like Farrakhan makes sense.

The Nation of Islam is so extreme in their hatred for white Americans and Jewish people that even the far-left leaning Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the Farrakhan-led organization as a hate group for its “theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders.”

As recently as an appearance at a 2017 Saviours’ Day event, Farrakhan argued that modern Jewish people are “not really Jews but are in fact Satan.” They are “great and master deceiver[s],” he said, and encouraged his followers to consider them “the enemy of God and the enemy of the righteous.”

Friends in low places
Yet, this was the representative that Democrats felt comfortable associating with in the presence of Israel’s number one regional rival. Ellison failed to mention this dinner party when he campaigned for the Democratic National Committee chair in 2017, insisting that his only ties to Farrakhan were limited to the 1995 Million Man March.

Farrakhan disputed Ellison’s attempt to distance himself from the Nation of Islam, insisting that Ellison and Carson visited him in 2015.

However, Ellison is by no means the highest ranking Democrat with undeniable ties to the racist reverend. The Congressional Black Caucus held a secret meeting with Farrakhan in 2005, an event where then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama can be seen in a photo grinning while standing beside the polarizing Farrakhan.

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The Nation of Islam photographer who snapped the damaging photo agreed to keep it secret until long after Obama’s political career was over. The 21 other current members of the Congressional Black Caucus who attended the 2005 event with Farrakhan were unwilling to denounce the reverend when The Daily Caller contacted them.

The fact that Democrats would find it appropriate to attend an Iranian dinner party with a hateful anti-Semite is more than troublesome.

Just two years later, Obama signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — was this meeting an early sign of Obama’s commitment to passing the Iran nuclear deal?

The world may never know.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 12 Feb 2018, 11:07 pm

https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-may-need-to-alter-its-syrian-air-strategy-but-not-because-of-a-downed-f-16/?utm_source=idf-may-need-to-alter-its-syrian-air-strategy-but-not-because-of-a-downed-f-16&utm_medium=desktop-browser&utm_campaign=desktop-notifications
IDF may need to alter its Syrian air strategy, but not because of a downed F-16
Army, analysts agree: Israeli aerial superiority shouldn't be in question because one plane got shot down -- but Russia's reaction to this weekend's events is a different matter
Judah Ari Gross
By JUDAH ARI GROSS
Today, 4:57 pm 2
In this image made from video provided by Yehunda Pinto, the wreckage of an Israeli F-16 is seen on fire near Harduf, northern Israel, February 10, 2018. (Yehunda Pinto via AP)
The apparent downing of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by Syrian air defenses was an enormous public relations win for dictator Bashar Assad and his allies Iran and Hezbollah.

One intrepid videographer even managed to reach the scene and get footage of the plane still burning after the crash, giving them a “victory picture.”

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In Israel, the downed F-16 prompted widespread hand-wringing and discussions about whether or not the Jewish state still maintains air superiority in the region.

So first, let’s be clear: It doesn’t.

Israel hasn’t had true air superiority in the region since late 2015, when Russia decided to install an S-400 missile defense battery in Syria powerful enough to track the vast majority of Israeli airspace.


S-400 Triumf missile defense system at the Russian Hmeimin military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria, on December 16, 2015. (Paul Gypteau/AFP)
Since then, Israel has effectively been operating in Syria by the grace of Moscow.

“A fly can’t buzz above Syria without Russian consent nowadays,” an Israeli defense official told the International Crisis Group think tank after the S-400 was installed.

Still, Israeli officials insist that the military is prepared to act with or without Russia’s tacit approval — but more on that later.

The F-16 was shot down on Saturday morning after it and seven other fighter jets took part in an airstrike on the T-4 military base near Palmyra in central Syria, from which the IDF says an Iranian operator flew an Iranian drone into Israeli territory an hour earlier.

The downing of the F-16 might have ended a false notion of the Israeli Air Force’s invincibility, but it does not have serious negative consequences for Israel’s aerial dominance, experts say.


View of the remains of an F-16 plane that crashed near Kibbutz Harduf on February 10, 2018. (Anat Hermony/Flash90)
Far more serious is the potential for Russia to end the policy it has maintained until now of not taking direct action against Israeli planes conducting airstrikes against targets in Syria.

Let’s keep it in proportion. The important thing is that an hour after this plane fell, we went out and destroyed about half of Syria’s air defenses

The Israeli military does not see the downing of the F-16 as the disastrous loss it’s being painted as and still considers itself as having aerial superiority, though it does recognize it as a “significant event,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told The Times of Israel on Monday.

“Yes, a plane was shot down,” he said. “But let’s keep it in proportion. The important thing is that an hour after this plane fell, we went out and destroyed about half of Syria’s air defenses.”

Conricus clarified that the army was still working out its assessments of exactly what percentage of the Syrian air defenses were destroyed, saying it could be between a third and a half.

“It was a respectable percentage, a serious blow to Syrian anti-aircraft capabilities. We’ll only know for sure if we ever have to attack again,” he said.

How it came down
The initial assessments of the event indicate that the plane was brought down while flying over Israel after a large volley of anti-aircraft missiles — at least five, but possibly more — were fired at it, Conricus said.

The army said it was still investigating if the plane was brought down because it was operating at a high altitude to ensure its bombs were hitting their targets, which made it easier for Syrian air defenses to spot and fire at it, and failed to react quickly enough, as was reported in Israeli media outlets on Sunday.

Conricus said the initial investigation should be completed shortly, after reviewing the evidence and speaking with the flight crew.

There are many levels of protection for a plane during a mission: intelligence, electronic [warfare], the flight team itself. We’re going to go level by level to find out what happened

On Monday, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily also reported that another fighter jet was also targeted by the Syrian anti-aircraft missiles in the same barrage but managed to escape.

It therefore does not appear to be the result of any kind of new Syria capability or unknown Israeli vulnerability, but some combination of human error, lucky timing and, perhaps, a degree of hubris by the flight team.

“There’s no [new] issue that we hadn’t previously identified. We operate in Syria continuously, conducting thousands of missions in Syria in just the last year,” Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein Dar, head of the air force’s Training and Doctrine Division, told the Ynet news site, referring to both airstrikes and far more common reconnaissance operations.

“There are many levels of protection for a plane during a mission: intelligence, electronic [warfare], the flight team itself. We’re going to go level by level to find out what happened,” said Ein Dar.

Dominance in the air battle
Regardless of the exact cause of the F-16’s destruction, one event is not what determines air superiority, according to Yiftah Shapir, a former air force officer and analyst on quantitative military balance who has written on the concept.


An Israeli Air Force F-16C takes off during the Blue Flag air exercise at the Ovda air force base, north of the Israeli city of Eilat, on November 8, 2017. (Jack Guez/AFP)
Air superiority is defined by NATO as “that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force.”

As a result, Shapir said on Monday, “You never look at one lone case. You calculate the possibilities. If X air defense can bring down this or that many airplanes, then you can say if it’s prohibitive or not.”

Those equations don’t change because of one airplane, said Shapir, a senior research fellow at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies.

It doesn’t mean anything about our air superiority. You can have superiority and you can win, while still losing people

Lt. Col. (res.) Reuven Ben-Shalom, a former IAF pilot and current analyst, was even more direct.

“It doesn’t mean anything about our air superiority. You can have superiority and you can win, while still losing people,” he said.

Ben-Shalom described the downing of an F-16, sinking of a ship or destruction of a tank as simply the cost of waging war, though he said it’s not one the Israeli public is used to paying.

“It is a matter of perception by the Israeli public and by our enemies. Don’t get me wrong, perception is important, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect reality,” he said.

The issue, according to Ben-Shalom and Shapir, is in part that the Israeli Air Force has been too good in recent years, leading to unrealistic expectations.

“It is nothing short of a wonder that in the operations in Gaza [terrorist groups] haven’t been able to take a fleck of paint off our aircraft,” Shapir said, noting that these groups have shoulder-fired missiles and other weapons that could feasibly hit an Israeli helicopter or low-flying plane.

According to Ben-Shalom, who runs a strategy firm, these victories have made “us used to acting freely and nothing happening.”

Even air superiority’s more advance form, air supremacy, in which the military has total control of the skies, is not challenged by one aircraft getting shot down.


The canopy, ejection seat, pilot’s helmet and survival gear from an American F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet that was shot down by the Serb military in the Kosovo war on March 27, 1999. (Marko M/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)
The United States, for example, is still considered to have maintained air supremacy over the Serb military in the Kosovo war, despite a F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet getting shot down by an obsolete SA-3 anti-aircraft system in 1999.

“The Americans don’t make such a big deal out of it when you lose an aircraft because that’s the nature of war,” Ben-Shalom said.

Notably, the last time Shapir said Israel had air supremacy in the region was also the last time the Israeli Air Force had aircraft shot down: in 1982, when two helicopters and an A-4 Skyhawk fighter jet were brought down by Syrian air defenses.

The Russian complication
While the downing of the F-16 might not indicate a change in Israeli air dominance, it is not yet fully clear what impact this weekend will have on the air force’s freedom of operation in Syria.

On the one hand, the air force’s destruction of a large percentage of Syria’s air defense would indicate that Israel could operate more freely in the country in the future.

The serious blow to the Syrian anti-aircraft systems, which air force officials say was the most significant of its kind since 1982, was also meant to send a message to Assad of what’s to come if he again fires on Israeli aircraft. If that was internalized by the despot, this too could smooth the way for future Israeli missions in Syria.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, November 20, 2017. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin via AP)
But on the other hand, there is rising concern over how Russia — by whose grace Israeli pilots are currently flying — will react to its ally, Assad, getting pummeled by Israel.

Moscow, which has not accepted Israel’s claims, could make its efforts more difficult, risky and complicated, Ben-Shalom said, though he is convinced that Israel could get by even if Russia took a more antagonistic view.

According to Shapir, the problem is not the capabilities of Russia’s S-400 themselves, but that Israel would rather not go to direct war by attempting to disable the system, which it might be more inclined to do if it belonged to another country.

“[Israel’s freedom of movement] isn’t limited because the system is an S-400, but because it is flying the Russian flag,” he said.

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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Feb 2018, 8:47 pm

Friend or Foe? Why Assad Quietly Aids Syrian Kurds Against Turkey
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/why-assad-quietly-aids-syrian-kurds-against-turkey-1.5807846?Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces let Kurdish reinforcements reach Afrin
Haaretz and Reuters Feb 11, 2018 12:19 PM
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Turkish artillery fires toward Syrian Kurdish positions in Afrin area, Syria, from Turkish side of the border in Hatay, Turkey, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018
Turkish artillery fires toward Syrian Kurdish positions in Afrin area, Syria, from Turkish side of the border in Hatay, Turkey, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018AP Photo
In first, Israel and Iran are engaged in a head-to-head confrontation in Syria
Non-Syrian nationals killed in Saturday's Israeli airstrikes in Syria
Skipping Israel, U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson embarks on Middle East visit
Syria's U.S.-backed Kurds are getting indirect help from an unlikely source in their war against Turkey in the northwestern region of Afrin: President Bashar Assad.

In a country currenlty engulfed by multiple conflicts - with Israel trying to blunt Iranian influence, Russia attempting to build a premanent presence and NATO allies Turkey and the U.S. on a collision course in the northwest - Assad's aid to the Kurds is just the latest bizarre turn in a complicated conflict.

Pro-government forces and Kurdish-led forces have fought each other elsewhere in Syria and Damascus opposes the Kurds' demands for autonomy. But in Afrin they have a common enemy and a mutual interest in blocking Turkish advances.

Turkey, which regards the Kurdish YPG militia in Afrin as a threat on its southern border, launched an assault on the region last month. Seeking to shield Afrin, the Kurds asked Damascus to send forces into action to defend the border.

Maps showing areas of control in Syria, Jan 08 and Feb 05
Maps showing areas of control in Syria, Jan 08 and Feb 05Reuters
The government shows no sign of doing so, but it is providing indirect help by allowing Kurdish fighters, civilians and politicians to reach Afrin through territory it holds, representatives of both sides told Reuters.



Assad stands to gain while doing little.

The arrival of reinforcements is likely to sustain Kurdish resistance, bog down the Turkish forces and prolong a conflict that is sapping the resources of military powers that rival him for control of Syrian territory.

For the United States, it is yet another complication in Syria's seven-year-old war, and a reminder of how its Syrian Kurdish ally must at times make deals with Assad even as it builds military ties with the United States.

Lacking international protection, the Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria say they have reached agreements with Damascus to allow reinforcements to be sent to Afrin from other Kurdish-dominated areas -- Kobani and the Jazeera region.

"There are different ways to get reinforcements to Afrin but the fundamental route is via regime forces. There are understandings between the two forces ... for the sake of delivering reinforcements to Afrin," Kino Gabriel, spokesman for the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said.

While the Kurds depend on Assad to reach Afrin, Kurdish sources say they also enjoy leverage over Damascus because it needs their cooperation to source grain and oil from areas of the northeast under Kurdish control.

A commander in the military alliance fighting in support of Assad said "the Kurds have no option but coordination with the regime" to defend Afrin.

"The Syrian regime is helping the Kurds with humanitarian support and some logistics, like turning a blind eye and allowing Kurdish support to reach some fronts," said the commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Turkish campaign moves slowly

The Turkish military is making slow gains nearly three weeks into the operation it calls "Olive Branch".

Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade insurgency in Turkey and is regarded as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.

The United States has relied on the YPG as a vital ground component of its war against Islamic State, and has backed the group in other Kurdish-run regions in northern Syria along the border with Turkey.

But U.S. forces are not in Afrin, so have been unable to shield Afrin from the attack by Turkey, its NATO ally.

The Kurds meanwhile accuse Russia of giving a green light for the Turkish attack by withdrawing observers it deployed in Afrin last year.

The Afrin war marks another twist in the complicated story of relations between Assad and the Syrian Kurdish groups, spearheaded by the YPG, that have carved out autonomous regions in northern Syria since the war began in 2011.

The YPG controls nearly all of Syria's frontier with Turkey. But Afrin is separated from the bigger Kurdish-controlled region further east by a 100 km-wide zone controlled by the Turkish military and its Syrian militia allies.

For much of the war, Damascus and the YPG have avoided confrontation, at times fighting common enemies, including the rebel groups that are now helping Turkey attack Afrin.

But tensions have mounted in recent months, with Damascus threatening to march into parts of eastern and northern Syria captured by the SDF with support from the U.S.-led coalition.

Underlining that, pro-Syrian government forces attacked the SDF in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, drawing coalition air strikes overnight that killed more than 100 of the attackers, the coalition said.

"The regime has allowed the YPG to bring people into Afrin, while attacking it east of Euphrates (River). I think that is indicative of the state of relations right," said Noah Bonsey, International Crisis Group's Senior Analyst on Syria.

He added: "There is still a significant gap between the YPG and regime positions on the future of northeastern Syria."

Fighting for Afrin

The main Syrian Kurdish groups remain wedded to their vision of a Syria where they enjoy autonomy in a form of federalism that is at odds with Assad's determination to recover all Syria.

Each side has allowed the other to maintain footholds in its territory. In Kurdish-held Qamishli, the government still controls the airport. In the Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo, a government city, Kurdish security forces patrol the streets.

Scores of Kurds from Sheikh Maqsoud have gone to Afrin to support the fight, Kurdish officials there said. The short journey requires movement through areas held by the government or its Iran-backed Shi'ite militia allies.

"Of course people went from Sheikh Maqsoud - in the hundreds - to bear arms and defend Afrin," said Badran Himo, a Kurdish official from Sheikh Maqsoud.

"Around 10 of them were martyred (killed)," he told Reuters as Kurdish security forces held a rally to commemorate one of the dead.

Earlier this week, witnesses say a civilian convoy of hundreds of cars drove to Afrin from other Kurdish-held areas in a show of solidarity.

The Syrian government has ignored appeals by the Kurdish authorities to guard the Syrian border at Afrin.

"We tried to convince them, via the Russians, to at least protect the borders, to take a position, but we did not reach (get?) a result," Aldar Khalil, a top Kurdish politician, told Reuters.

"If they don't protect the borders, then at least they don't have the right to block the way for Syrian patriots who are protecting these borders, regardless of other domestic issues."
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Feb 2018, 3:11 pm

Syrians fire at Israeli drone in Golan Heights, hit Druze village
https://worldisraelnews.com/syrians-fire-israeli-drone-golan-heights-hit-druze-village/?
February 8, 2018
Syrians fire at Israeli drone in Golan Heights, hit Druze villageTown adjacent to the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights. (Andrew McIntire/TPS)
A house in the Druze village of Majdal Shams was hit by gunfire from Syria, the IDF said Thursday.
By: TPS
According to the IDF, damage to the house in Majdam Shams was reported but there were no injuries. The IDF statement noted that the house was hit when shots were fired at an Israeli drone.
Bajat Abu Jabal, a resident of Majdal Shams, said her daughter’s home was hit by shrapnel.
“The gunfire hit my daughter’s house,” Abu Jabal said. “She was alone with her two children, aged three and four. Of course, the children were very frightened cried a lot after the strike – their house is 20 meters from the border. There are always hits there. There was no damage. We hope for peace to come soon.”
Reports suggested the UAV was a Skyrider military drone on an inteligence gathering mission.
The Syrian civil war has placed residents of Israel’s northern-most town, located on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon along the international border with Syria, in a complicated situation. Many people say they consider themselves Syrian, rather than Israeli, and nearly everybody in town has close family across the border. The fighting is easily, and often, audible from the center of town, so much so that one mother told this reporter in 2013 that her children could distinguish different types of weapons by the screeches of the bullets they heard.
However, Druze Israelis in other areas of the country have told this reporter that Golan Heights residents find themselves in a complicated position because they fear that international pressure could one day force Israel to withdraw from the area, leaving them at the mercy of the notoriously brutal Assad regime.


WATCH: US-led forces kill 100 pro-Assad fighters in Syria
February 8, 2018
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More than 100 fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been killed in US-led coalition air and artillery strikes on pro-regime forces.
US-led forces kill 100 pro-Assad fighters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cuyC3K78jQ


US strikes Syrian forces; Assad regime says US ‘supports terrorism’
https://worldisraelnews.com/us-strikes-syrian-forces-assad-regime-says-us-supports-terrorism/?
February 8, 2018
US strikes Syrian forces; Assad regime says US ‘supports terrorism’An airstrike in Syria. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)
Syrian state-run media said Thursday a rare U.S. strike on government-backed troops in eastern Syria killed and wounded dozens of tribal fighters, calling it a new effort “to support terrorism.”
By: Associated Press
The U.S.-led coalition said its action was in “self-defense,” citing a major attack on its allied forces and U.S. advisers in Deir el-Zour province by at least 500 fighters, battle tanks, howitzers and mortars.
The overnight attack, which a U.S. military official earlier said killed about 100 of the attackers, added another layer to the Syrian conflict that is once again plunging into a new and unpredictable spiral of violence.
The attack in Deir el-Zour province in northeastern Syria occurred in crowded battle space. A stronghold of Islamic State militants until late last year, the province also was the group’s main source of oil revenue. U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces have been fighting for control of Deir el-Zour with rival Russian-backed Syrian troops that are reinforced by Iranian-supported militias.
The U.S.-backed forces control areas east of the Euphrates River and most of the oil and gas fields, while government forces are based in the west. Previous friction was reported before, but Wednesday’s incident appeared to be the largest since last year. The IS militants have been dispersed in the province, which also has a number of U.S. bases.
In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, Col. Thomas F. Veale said the coalition reported to the Russians the buildup of the pro-government forces in the area before the attack, and communicated with them during and after it. The Russian officials offered assurances that they would not engage the coalition forces in the area, Veale said.
“Pro-regime forces initiated hostilities with artillery pieces (howitzers). Additionally, Syrian pro-regime forces maneuvered T-55 and T-72 main battle tanks with supporting mortar fire in what appears to be a coordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of the Euphrates River de-confliction line in Khusham, Syria,” Veale said.
By crossing the river, the pro-government forces would have violated the existing de-confliction agreement between Washington and Moscow, approaching U.S.-backed forces based near an oil field in the area. Russia is the main ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Asked if Russia was responsible for not stopping the attack, Veale said: “The de-confliction effort has served its purpose. Just as the coalition does not direct the operations of the SDF, the Russians do not direct operations of the Syrian regime.”
Veale said they suspect the Syrian pro-government forces were trying to seize terrain from the U.S.-backed forces liberated from IS militants last year, including major oil fields in the area.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the U.S. airstrike wounded 25 pro-Syrian volunteers. It alleged that the incident showed that Washington was not interested in fighting Islamic militants but wanted “to seize and hold Syrian economic assets.”
Syria’s state media said the coalition bombed government-backed troops in Khusham, describing them as tribal fighters. The media cited reports of dozens killed and wounded.
The official state news agency SANA said the local fighters were battling IS militants and the U.S.-backed SDF in the area.
SANA labeled it an “aggression” and a “new massacre.”
The head of the SDF unit in the area, Ahmed Abu Khawla, told AP the attackers were government-backed local militias known as the National Defense Forces. He said they started the attack near oil fields on the east side of the Euphrates.
“It was a little bit stronger than the usual clashes in the area. Everyone is back to their bases,” said Abu Khawla, the head of the Deir el-Zour Military Council. “It is now normal.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, said Deir el-Zour province continues to be tense following the foiled attack and the U.S. response, and said there were reports of a new mobilization to the area.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists in Syria, said the Khusham area, near one of the province’s largest oil fields, saw intense clashes with heavy weaponry late Wednesday between pro-Assad forces and the SDF
The clashes prompted the coalition response with land-to-land missiles and airstrikes, the Observatory said. It added that at least 45 pro-government troops, including Arab and Asian fighters, were killed.
Last summer, the coalition shot down Iranian-made armed drones and aircraft affiliated with the Syrian government in southern Syria, after they came dangerously close to U.S-backed forces and advisers.
The U.S. airstrike coincides with escalating violence in Syria.
Turkey, a NATO member, has been carrying out a military offensive to clear a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia from a northwestern border town, increasing tensions between Washington and Ankara.
The Syrian government also has been pressing its campaign against a rebel-held area near the capital of Damascus. On Thursday, the Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets, said 35 people were killed in a number of towns in the eastern Ghouta area, which has been pummeled by a combination of artillery and airstrikes.
Activists have recorded at least 169 killed since Monday in eastern Ghouta.
Meanwhile, Turkish officials said the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran will meet in Istanbul to discuss peace efforts for Syria.
The officials said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the summit in a telephone call Thursday. It was not immediately clear when the Istanbul meeting would take place.
The Turkish officials said the two also agreed that efforts to create “observation posts” in Syria’s Idlib province as part of a de-escalation agreement among Turkey, Russia and Iran should gain momentum. Turkey already has deployed troops in Idlib to such posts, and some of its soldiers have come under attack.
They also discussed the humanitarian situation in the Ghouta region.
The officials provided the information on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.


Israeli fighter jets attack Syria, largest since 1982; Israeli F-16 downed
February 10, 2018
Israeli fighter jets attack Syria, largest since 1982; Israeli F-16 downedIAF strikes Iranian targets in Syria. (Youtube/Screenshot)
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Responding to a barrage of Iranian anti-aircraft missiles launched from Syria over Israeli territory, the IAF carried out the largest air strike since the First Lebanon War in 1982.
By: TPS and World Israel News Staff
Israeli fighter planes conducted the largest strike on Syria since the First Lebanon War on Saturday morning, hitting a mobile Iranian control center that had sent a drone into Israeli airspace and then striking 12 targets in the country.
The incident began in the early hours of Saturday morning when an Iranian UAV was spotted on its way into Israeli airspace and was shot down by an Apache attack helicopter once it reached Israeli territory on the Golan Heights. In response to the Iranian violation of Israeli sovereignty, Israeli Air Force (IAF) jets flew deep into Syria to hit the drone’s launch and control center near Palmyra some 160 kilometers north of Damascus.
As the jets returned home, a barrage of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles fired at the planes as they flew over Israeli territory, causing one F-16 to crash. One of the pilots suffered severe injuries as the result of what doctors described as penetration wounds, suggesting that he may have been hit by shrapnel from an anti-aircraft missile.
In an extensive briefing to military reporters following the incident, IAF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar said the Israeli attack was the largest since the First Lebanon War in 1982.
“We attacked advanced long-range surface-to-air missiles, components of the [Syrian] air-defense system and various Iranian targets,” Bar said.
“We will not allow Iran to become entrenched in Syria and we will do everything necessary to prevent that,” he stated.
Bar said this was the first time that an Iranian drone, operated by Iranians, had crossed into Israeli territory. He described the drone as having a “low imprint” and challenging to detect. The IAF destroyed the mobile control center as it was on the move inside the T4 airbase and while under fire from surface to air missiles.
‘IAF’s aerial superiority has not been affected’
“The drone is in our hands and we will study it,” Bar said.
“The IAF is prepared for any scenario and any eventuality while continuing to guard Israel’s skies and maintain its freedom of operation,” he continued.
MORE https://worldisraelnews.com/israel-conducts-largest-air-strike-since-first-lebanon-war/?February 11




https://worldisraelnews.com/watch-israel-downs-iranian-drone-strikes-targets-inside-syria
WATCH: Israel Destroys Iranian Drone, Strikes Targets Deep Inside Syria
February 10, 2018
The Israeli Air Force identified and shot down an unmanned Iranian drone operating in Israeli airspace near the border with Syria.
BREAKING NEWS - ISRAEL STRIKES IRANIAN TARGETS IN SYRIA, IAF F-16 CRASHES - Feb. 10, 2018
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ILTV ISRAEL DAILY
Published on 10 Feb 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKl5sFcLarg


‘Our warnings were 100% correct,’ Netanyahu says about latest Iranian aggression
https://worldisraelnews.com/warnings-100-correct-netanyahu-says-latest-iranian-aggression/? February 10, 2018
‘Our warnings were 100% correct,’ Netanyahu says about latest Iranian aggressionPM Benjamin Netanyahu (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
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Regarding the latest aggression from Iran, Netanyahu said that “our warnings were 100% correct,” stressing that Israel will continue to protect its sovereignty and security.
By: World Israel News
In response to the landing of an Iranian drone from Syria on Israeli territory Saturday morning, the Israeli Air Force conducted the largest strike on Syria since the First Lebanon War, which included hitting a mobile Iranian control center.
Following the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “I have been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel. This morning Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty. They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel. And this demonstrates that our warnings were 100% correct. Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today’s aggression. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereignty and our security.”
The Israeli leader also said that he informed Russian President Vladimir Putin of Israel’s determination to continue defending itself against Iranian aggression from Syrian territory. “We agreed the security coordination between our armies will continue,” he said.
Russia backs the Assad regime and maintains a large military presence in the country.
Pentagon supports Israeli response
Netanyahu also discussed the latest developments with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“Israel is our closest security partner in the region and we fully support Israel’s inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people,” Pentagon spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway stated.
“We share the concerns of many throughout the region that Iran’s destabilizing activities that threaten international peace and security, and we seek greater international resolve in countering Iran’s malign activities,” Rankine-Galloway said.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sat 10 Feb 2018, 1:34 pm

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/latest-israel-syria-escalation-this-is-what-we-know-1.5806653?utm_source=Push_Notification&utm_medium=web_push&utm_campaign=General
Iranian Drone Infiltration, Downed Israeli Fighter Jet: What We Know About Latest Israel-Syria Escalation

Here are the events that transpired on Saturday morning, step by step

Haaretz Feb 10, 2018 11:18 AM
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The remains of an Israeli F-16 that crashed after coming under fire by Syrian air defenses, February 10, 2018.JACK GUEZ/AFP
Israel struggles to draw new red lines in Russia’s Syria playground
Israeli army: This is a serious Iranian attack on our territory
Israel: In new 'large-scale strike,' military bombs 12 Syrian, Iranian targets

■ Iranian drone infiltrates Israeli airspace early Saturday morning

■ Israeli aircraft intercept the Iranian drone

>> The worst escalation between Israel and Iran yet | Analysis

■ Israel bombs Iranian drone control site in Syria in response to infiltration

■ Syrian SA-5 and SA-17 air defense batteries target Israeli F-16 jet, prompting the pilots to eject


■ Two pilots evacuated to hospital, one in serious condition

>> Israel struggles to draw new red lines in Russia’s Syria playground | Analysis

■ Israel responds to downing of jet with a fresh strike, targeting 12 sites in Syria, four of which are Iranian

■ Israeli military says "Syrians and Iranians are playing with fire"

■ Senior Israeli official says Israel views the incidents of the border with "grave severity"

>> Seven comments on escalating Israeli-Iranian game of chicken in Syria | Analysis


■ Sources in Damascus say that downing of Israeli jet was "strategic decision," but Syria has no interest in full-scale war

■ Iran, Hezbollah warn Israel: Next act of aggression will carry 'severe response'
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Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sat 10 Feb 2018, 11:07 am

Israeli Army: This Is a Serious Iranian Attack on Our Territory
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-this-is-a-serious-iranian-attack-on-our-territory-1.5806539
Israeli army says prepared for all scenarios after Iranian drone shot down and Israeli strikes in Syria ■ Israeli F-16 downed, pilots safe

Yaniv Kubovich Feb 10, 2018 7:41 AM
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Missile contrails seen in Israel during overnight strike in Syria
Missile contrails seen in Israel during overnight strike in Syria
Israel downs Iranian drone, strikes Syria; Israeli F-16 shot down, pilots safe
Alleged Israeli strike on Syria facility targeted Hezbollah's efforts to enhance missile capabilities
Israeli army spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manelis said Saturday morning that Iran has carried out "a dangerous attack on Israeli territory" after an Iranian drone was shot down over Israeli territory. According to Manelis, Israel struck deep in Syrian territory, targeting the trailer from which the drone was launched.

skip - strike
IDF has targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the #UAV into Israeli airspace. Massive Syrian Anti-Air fire, one F16 crashed in Israel, pilots safe. #Iran is responsible for this severe violation of Israeli sovereignty. Event ongoing, more to follow.

— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) February 10, 2018
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According to the Israeli army, Syrian anti-aircraft missiles targeted an Israeli F-16, prompting the pilots to eject. The plane went down in northern Israel. The two pilots were taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Israeli F-16 crash site, today
Syrian anti-aircraft fire triggered rocket sirens in northern Israel, first in the northern Israeli town of Beit She’an and later in the surrounding areas and Golan Heights. "As part of the country's defenses, sirens were activated but there was no danger for the residents of Beit She'an," Manelis said.


The Syrian army and rebels in the Syrian Golan Heights are currently exchanging heavy fire.


Iranian Drone, Downed Israeli Fighter Jet: What We Know About Latest Israel-Syria Escalation
Here are the events that transpired on Saturday morning, step by step


Haaretz Feb 10, 2018 11:18 AM
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/latest-israel-syria-escalation-this-is-what-we-know-1.5806653
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The remains of an Israeli F-16 that crashed after coming under fire by Syrian air defenses, February 10, 2018.JACK GUEZ/AFP
Israel downs Iranian drone, strikes Syria; Israeli F-16 shot down, pilots safe
Israeli army: This is a serious Iranian attack on our territory
Israel: In new 'large-scale strike,' military bombs 12 Syrian, Iranian targets


■ Iranian drone infiltrates Israeli airspace early Saturday morning

■ Israeli jets intercept the Iranian drone

>> The worst escalation between Israel and Iran yet | Analysis


■ Israel bombs Iranian targets in Syria in response to the drone infiltration

■ Syrian air defenses target an Israeli F-16 jet, prompting the pilots to eject

■ Two pilots evacuated to hospital, one in serious condition

■ Israel responds to downing of jet with a fresh strike, targeting 12 sites in Syria, four of which are Iranian


■ Israeli military says "Syrians and Iranians are playing with fire"

■ Senior Israeli official says Israel views the incidents of the border with "grave severity"

■ Sources in Damascus say that downing of Israeli jet was "strategic decision," but Syria has no interest in full-scale war


Haaretz


https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/red-alert-sirens-sound-heavy-aerial-activity-in-northern-israel-1.5806508
Israel Downs Iranian Drone, Strikes Syria; Israeli F-16 Shot Down, Pilots Safe
One pilot in serious condition ■ Israel attacks Syrian, Iranian targets in fresh strike ■ Rocket sirens sound throughout northern Israel

Yaniv Kubovich, Jack Khoury, Noa Landau and Noa Shpigel Feb 10, 2018 8:00 AM
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Israeli F-16 crash site, today
Weapons factories are the real Israel-Lebanon flashpoint – not the border wall
Alleged Israeli strike on Syria facility targeted Hezbollah's efforts to enhance missile capabilities


An Israeli F-16 was downed Saturday morning after Israel intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria into Israeli territory. According to the Israeli army, Syrian anti-aircraft missiles targeted the jet after Israel responded to the infiltration of the drone with a strike in Syria.

The two F-16 pilots ejected as the plane went down in northern Israel. The pilots were taken to the hospital in stable condition. One of the pilots is in serious condition. Following the downing of the jet Israel responded with a fresh "large-scale strike" in Syria.


To really understand the Middle East and stay up-to-date, subscribe to Haaretz

Early Saturday an Iranian drone was intercepted in Israeli airspace. IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Israel "identified an Iranian drone drone which took off from Syrian territory. The drone was identified by IAF systems and was downed by an IAF helicopter. The Iranian drone fell in our territory and is in our possession."

In response, the Israeli military struck targets in Syria. Manelis said the targets included the trailer from which "the Iranians launched the drone," adding that, "This was a surgical action deep in Syria, target destroyed."

Missile contrails seen in Israel during overnight strike in Syria

Manelis confirmed that sirens were activated but said civilians were not in danger.

"This is a serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory," Manelis said "Iran is dragging the region into a situation in which it doesn't know how it will end. We are prepared for a variety of incidents...whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price."


Rocket sirens sounded for a second time following the downing of the jet. Syrian state TV reported explosions in the Damascus area, calling them new "Israeli aggression."

Shortly afterwards, the Israeli military said it has carried out a fresh 'large-scale strike' against 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. The targets included four Syrian air-defense batteries and four Iranian targets, the military said.



According to official Israeli sources, since the incidents began Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been holding security consultations and approving the necessary actions in real-time. Members of the Israeli security cabinet have been briefed on the details.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will hold a special security assessment meeting shortly with the IDF chief of staff and senior army and security officials.

Syrian television claimed Saturday morning more than one Israeli aircraft was hit by Syria's defense systems.

Due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire, says the army, rocket sirens sounded in multiple areas of northern Israel, first in the northern Israeli town of Beit She’an and later in the surrounding areas and Golan Heights.

This is a developing story.

Analysis Israel-Syria-Iran Flare-up: With Newfound Confidence, Assad Moves From Threats to Action
If it turns out Iranian soldiers or 'advisers' were killed in the Israeli strike, the situation may go from bad to worse

Amos Harel Feb 10, 2018 10:27 AM
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The incident Saturday on the Israeli-Syrian border signifies a grave escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel on one hand and Iran and the Assad regime on the other. The threats have been replaced by
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-with-newfound-confidence-assad-moves-from-threats-to-action-1.5806625


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