Archive

14.07.2018 - 14:36 [ Elijah J. Magnier ]

US message to Assad: “We will pull out of al-Tanf and the North if Iran withdraws from Syria”

Russia played the role of postman for the exchange of the US-Assad messages. President Assad, however, informed the Americans that Iran is not interested in remaining in Syria once all terrorist Takfirees are killed and when its function is no longer required.

The bottom line is that Assad and his allies believe that the US-French-UK withdrawal from Syria would actually be an achievement. Moreover, both Iran and Hezbollah consider their withdrawal both a fact and a necessity, once Assad is no longer in need of their contribution.

12.07.2018 - 14:30 [ CBS News ]

Trump declares victory at NATO, says U.S. now „treated fairly“

Less than an hour before Mr. Trump addressed reporters in the hastily called news conference, NATO leaders reportedly declared an emergency session over the U.S. leader’s hammering of America’s allies over their defense spending. In a series of tweets from the Belgian capital before Thursday’s meetings, Mr. Trump complained the United States „pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe“ and demanded that members of the military alliance meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, which „must ultimately go to 4%!“

12.07.2018 - 13:19 [ CNN ]

Trump says NATO allies agreed to boost defense spending after his pressure

President Donald Trump said Thursday in an unscheduled news conference that all NATO members have agreed to increase their defense spending after he told them he was „extremely unhappy.“
„Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they never thought of before,“ Trump said.

11.07.2018 - 17:46 [ Stripes.com ]

UK to nearly double troops in Afghanistan after Trump request

The United Kingdom will nearly double the number of troops it has in Afghanistan in response to a request by President Donald Trump for additional support in America’s longest war.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday that 440 more British servicemembers would deploy to the country, bringing the U.K.’s total contribution to about 1,100 troops.

11.07.2018 - 17:21 [ Al-Masdar News ]

Breaking: Rebels to allegedly surrender southern districts of Daraa city to Syrian Army

If these reports prove true, then the battle for Daraa city will end in a decisive victory for the Syrian Arab Army after several years of war.

Furthermore, the rebels will find themselves trapped in the western countryside of the Daraa Governorate, as the Syrian Army moves towards this region.

11.07.2018 - 17:16 [ Syrian Arab News Agency ]

Army discovers US-made weapons left behind by terrorists in Daraa eastern countryside

A field commander said that the army units on Wednesday found underneath caches for the terrorists groups in a number of the villages and towns in southeastern and northeastern countryside of Daraa, including US TOW launch pads, US-made armored vehicles, armored vehicles equipped with machineguns 14,5-57 and 30, tanks and anti-aircraft guns.

11.07.2018 - 17:14 [ Al-Masdar News ]

Assad vows to retake all of Syria, no matter who controls the area

“The president emphasized the need for “dialogue between Syrians at all levels,” which he emphasized should lead to a “pact of national accord.” Assad accused the Western powers and the US specifically of “obstructing the activation of the political process” in the war-torn country.

The seven year war in Syria has had a severe impact on the country’s economy. In May, Assad estimated that the country may need up to $400 billion and over a decade to rebuild.

02.07.2018 - 10:15 [ Haaretz ]

‚One Little Kick and It’s Done‘ Senior Trump Advisers Believe It’s Possible to Hasten Collapse of Iranian Regime

Senior U.S. and Israeli sources tell Haaretz that White House is divided over Iran strategy, with John Bolton pushing for regime change and James Mattis striving for new agreement with Islamic Republic

30.06.2018 - 12:10 [ Hurriyet ]

Netanyahu warns Merkel of new refugee crisis sparked by Iran

(5.6.2018) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday that Iranian meddling in the Middle East could touch off massive new refugee flows to Europe, as they clashed about the future of the nuclear deal with Tehran.

21.06.2018 - 19:29 [ Eric H. Yoffie / Haaretz ]

Counting Down to Donald Trump’s Complete Betrayal of Israel on Iran

But another alternative, more likely in many ways, is that rigorously enforced sanctions will push the Iranians to renounce the agreement themselves and resume nuclear enrichment activity. As Amos Yadlin and Ari Heistein point out in The Atlantic, Iran will choose negotiations over bomb building only if there is „the credible threat of a military strike.“

And while many in Israel and the Jewish community do not want to admit it, such a threat simply does not exist.

21.06.2018 - 19:22 [ theMedialine.org ]

PM Netanyahu: We Are Prepared For War With Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip

The comments come amid reports of discord within the Israeli security cabinet over how to deal with the growing incidence of so-called “Terror Kites” being launched from the Palestinian enclave into Israel. Along with the child’s toy, incendiary objects ranging from helium balloons—some containing explosive devices—to rigged condoms have wreaked havoc (…)

07.06.2018 - 10:09 [ actionnewsnow.com ]

Mattis pressed on Bolton’s, Giuliani’s support for regime change in Iran

(10.5.2018) Mattis sidestepped questions from lawmakers Wednesday about whether Bolton’s and Giuliani’s vocal support for regime change in Iran has directly influenced the current US strategy, but offered little indication that Trump and his top advisers have reached a consensus on the administration’s long-term vision.

„Our problem with Iran is not with the Iranian people. It is with the regime. But I would let Mr. Bolton and Mr. Giuliani speak for themselves,“ Mattis said, adding that he would prefer not to comment on the specific instances in which both men have pushed for regime change in the media.

06.06.2018 - 22:46 [ Haaretz ]

How Russia Angered Iran in Syria and Had to Pull Its Troops From the Lebanese Border

There was no comment from the Russian military about the incident. Russia has faced calls from Israel to rein in Iran in Syria, where Israel has mounted numerous attacks against Hezbollah and other targets it has described as Iran-backed.

„Perhaps it was to assure the Israelis,“ said the commander, adding that the move could not be justified as part of the fight against the Nusra Front or Islamic State because Hezbollah and the Syrian army had defeated them at the Lebanese-Syrian border.

06.06.2018 - 22:44 [ eurasiafuture.com ]

Are Hezbollah and Russia on a Collision Course in Syria?

Lebanon’s recently re-appointed Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri of the Amal Movement, a close political ally of Hezbollah, has recently given an interview with Sputnik where he openly contradicted the desires expressed by Russian President Putin who has called for a pull out of all foreign troops from Syria so that the military phase of the conflict can transition to a negotiated political settlement.

06.06.2018 - 08:38 [ Fortune.com ]

Congress Is About to Decide Whether to Give Trump More or Less Power to Expand Wars

America has a war problem. Government officials assure us we’ve brought Al Qaeda to its knees and prevented ISIS from establishing a caliphate. Yet with every passing year since 9/11, we’re at war with more groups, and in more countries, than before. And there’s no end in sight.

No one seriously thinks Congress had this in mind back in 2001,

05.06.2018 - 12:42 [ War is Boring ]

The Trillion-Dollar Military Budget: The hidden costs of ’national security‘

(26.7.2017) You wouldn’t know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the military, politicians and the president, but these are the best of times for the Pentagon.

Spending on the Department of Defense alone is already well in excess of half a trillion dollars a year and counting. Adjusted for inflation, that means it’s higher than at the height of Pres. Ronald Reagan’s massive buildup of the 1980s and is now nearing the post-World War II funding peak.

And yet that’s barely half the story. There are hundreds of billions of dollars in “defense” spending that aren’t even counted in the Pentagon budget.

Under the circumstances, laying all this out in grisly detail — and believe me, when you dive into the figures, they couldn’t be grislier — is the only way to offer a better sense of the true costs of our wars past, present and future, and of the funding that is the lifeblood of the national security state.

03.06.2018 - 17:13 [ Haaretz ]

Israel and Russia Agree to Remove Iranian Forces From Syrian Border, Report Says

(1.6.2018) According to the paper, the understandings were reached after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the telephone, while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had held talks with his Russian counterpart.

03.06.2018 - 10:41 [ FirstPost.com ]

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to push his stance on Iran to leaders during Europe trip

Merkel, May and Macron are still waiting for the Israelis and Americans to present another way to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, but are under no illusions it will happen in next week’s meetings, according to a European diplomat.

03.06.2018 - 10:37 [ ABC News ]

Ex-Israeli spy chief: Netanyahu planned Iran strike in 2011

Tamir Pardo, who served as head of the Israeli intelligence agency from 2011 to 2016, told Israeli Keshet TV’s investigative show Uvda that the order was not given „for the sake of a drill,“ according to excerpts of the interview released ahead of the broadcast on Thursday evening.

„When he tells you to start the countdown process, you know that he isn’t playing games with you,“ Pardo is quoted as saying. „These things have enormous significance.“

01.06.2018 - 20:06 [ Haaretz ]

Ex-Mossad Chief Says He Questioned Legality of Netanyahu’s Order to Prepare Iran Strike

(31.5.2018) According to the show, Netanyahu told Pardo and then chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz to prepare the military to be able to launch an attack on Iran within 15 days of being given the order to do so.

The interview with journalist Ilana Dayan is to be broadcast on Thursday.

23.05.2018 - 20:26 [ Tulsi Gabbard, Abgeordnete des U.S. Repräsentantenhauses / Twitter ]

Im urging my colleagues to vote YES on the Gabbard amendment that will be up for a vote today in the House which will simply strip Section 1225 from the #NDAA – upholding our constitutional responsibility and preventing this blank check for endless war from becoming law.

23.05.2018 - 20:15 [ Antiwar.com ]

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges Congress To Oppose Authorization for War Against Iran

(22.5.2018) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the floor today urging support for her amendment in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that upholds Congress’s constitutional power to declare war. The congresswoman’s amendment strikes the language of Section 1225 of the FY2019 NDAA that authorizes the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State to develop and implement a strategy to counter the “destabilizing activities of Iran” and only afterwards inform Congress. The amendment will be on the House floor for a vote tomorrow, May 23.

20.05.2018 - 15:57 [ Washington Post ]

As Senate plans war powers debate, one liberal Democrat seeks stronger constraints on White House

Merkley’s proposal, detailed to The Washington Post in advance of its release, has several key differences from the Corker-Kaine measure unveiled last month that helped break a deadlock in the debate over war powers on Capitol Hill.

One is that Merkley explicitly writes in a three-year time limit, or a “sunset,” until the war authorization expires and lawmakers are forced to revisit the issue.

15.05.2018 - 16:23 [ BusinessInsider.com ]

Russia appears to have turned its back on Iran’s forces in Syria — and now Israel looks in charge

Russia on Friday reportedly declined to export its advanced S-300 missile defense system to Syria.
A bunch of Syrian air defenses reportedly were destroyed by Israel on Wednesday, but Russia still declined.
The developments indicate Russia may have turned its back on protecting Iranians, who were the targets of the Israeli airstrikes on Wednesday night.
Now, undefended Iranian forces in Syria are at the mercy of Israel, who seems capable of striking when and where it likes, despite Iran being Russia’s ally.

15.05.2018 - 10:33 [ Vice ]

I Got Arrested Today While Praying the US Finally Confronts Poverty

It isn’t because we are poor as a nation. It is because our abundant wealth is held in the hands of the few and spent on war and militarism. As Rev. Barber observed regarding the most recent spending bill Congress passed, “The Republicans are bragging about doing right by the military and the Democrats are bragging about doing right by the middle class and no one is talking about the poor.”

11.05.2018 - 15:42 [ Bradley Burston / Haaretz ]

Dumping Iran Deal May Well Spur Regime Change. But It Could Be Trump’s Regime. Or Bibi’s

Here are two former salesmen backed by the same casino mogul, gambling their entire legacies and careers on one spin of an untested roulette wheel. Here are two men betting against the house, wagering that by bucking the entire world, they can land a jackpot as big as it gets: in one stroke, toppling the rulers of Iran, ruining and obliterating the hated memory of Barack Obama, and, most importantly, proving their detractors entirely and diametrically wrong.

Two men, that is, trying their best not to count the large number of roulette slots reading „War,“ „World Economic Crisis,“ and „Domestic Political Backlash.“

What happens, that is, if the bet goes south?

09.05.2018 - 17:02 [ Times of Israel ]

Death toll from Syria strike rises to 15, including 8 Iranians — monitor

It is not the first time that Kisweh has been targeted. In December, Israel reportedly bombed military positions in the area south of Damascus, including a weapons depot.

Since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Israel has repeatedly targeted positions of the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group backing it inside the country.

09.05.2018 - 16:47 [ AP Archive / Twitter ]

Iranian official tells Assad that US and allies have been defeated in Syria

(30 Apr 2018) Syrian President Bashar Assad met a visiting Iranian official in Damascus on Monday who claimed what he called „the project“ of the United States and its allies in Syria had been defeated. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who heads Iran’s parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, spoke hours after reports of a missile attack that killed dozens of Iranian fighters in northern Syria on Monday.

07.05.2018 - 20:27 [ Al-Masdar News ]

Syrian Army, Palestinian forces enter Yarmouk Camp after massive push into ISIS pocket

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), alongside their Palestinian allies, continued their field operations inside the southern districts of Damascus on Sunday.

Led by their Republican Guard, the Syrian Arab Army managed to score a big advance inside the Yarmouk Camp, liberating a large part of the northwestern corridor of this historically Palestinian district.

06.05.2018 - 10:09 [ CBS News ]

U.S. freezes funding for Syria’s „White Helmets“

(3.5.2018) „Our meetings in March were very positive. There were even remarks from senior officials about long-term commitments even into 2020. There were no suggestions whatsoever about stopping support,“ Raed Saleh, the group’s leader, told CBS News.

Now they are not getting any U.S funding as the State Department says the support is „under active review.“ The U.S had accounted for about a third of the group’s overall funding.

06.05.2018 - 10:04 [ New York Times ]

As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In

(8.4.2018) The reported chemical attack on Douma, a suburb of the capital, Damascus, on Saturday seems to have squeezed Mr. Trump between conflicting impulses, and raised the political and military stakes as he charts the United States’ future in Syria.

On one hand, he has emphatically expressed his desire to bring American troops home as soon as possible in line with his “America First” approach. On the other, he has vowed to punish some bad actors, and withdrawing from Syria could open him up to criticism at home and abroad.

05.05.2018 - 20:49 [ .israelnationalnews.com ]

IDF Chief of Staff: War with Gaza likely in 2018

(4.2.2018) In what has been the direct and pointed warning to date, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot predicted at Sunday’s cabinet meeting that a new conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror organization in Gaza was likely in 2018 resulting from Hamas‘ mismanagement of the Gaza Strip and the correspondingly difficult humanitarian conditions.

05.05.2018 - 20:14 [ Jonathan S. Tobin / Algemeiner ]

Abbas Isn’t the Real Problem

Anyone possible successor will be a slave to the same mindset that prevented Abbas from ever embracing peace. As long as Palestinians are more worried about suing Britain for the Balfour Declaration than building up their own institutions, and regard Tel Aviv as much an illegal settlement as the most remote West Bank hilltop caravan, Israelis know that the 100-year-old war on Zionism won’t be over.

05.05.2018 - 14:47 [ Middle East Monitor ]

Syrian army controls 65% of Yarmouk Refugee Camp, say Russians

“This area was a stronghold for Daesh terrorists during the past six years,” ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a press conference. “They arrived in the area after they were beaten in different places across Syria.” Government forces, he added, now control 65 per cent of the area, even as operations continue to push Daesh out completely.

04.05.2018 - 14:51 [ popularmechanics.com ]

How a Syrian Airstrike Got Help From Space

(24.4.2018) Space electronic warfare Capt. Andrew „Ghost“ Harris and space weapons officer Capt. Ryan „Pippin“ Foster have an urgent task—to make sure the coming allied strike takes full advantage of U.S. satellites in orbit.

“For something of this scale, this is one of—if not the—first time we have had space guys directly involved in the planning, influencing that mission, and developing effects specifically designed to support its execution,” says Morgan. “I’ve been involved in the Air Force for 24 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

04.05.2018 - 09:33 [ Amos Harel / Haaretz ]

Israel Hopes Trump Scrapping Nuclear Deal Could Ultimately Lead to Iran Regime Change

In recent weeks, these two campaigns are merging, and are expected to combine even more closely in the weeks ahead, as can be seen in the Mossad’s operation to steal the Iranian nuclear archive; Netanyahu’s pressure on the U.S. to abandon the nuclear accord; the series of air strikes attributed to Israel against Iranian targets in Syria; and concerns that an Iranian retaliation would ensure another round of fighting that will bring the two sides closer to war.

02.05.2018 - 11:54 [ Haaretz / googleusercontent.com ]

Under Cover of Iran, Netanyahu Just Took Three New Steps Toward Fascism

As the prime minister spoke, however, as a war-anxious nation and an attentive, approving White House hung on his every word, a little over 30 miles up the road, in Jerusalem, a mortal threat to Israel was being assembled under our very noses. In the Knesset, no less. A set of three time bombs, complex, deadly, radioactive.

Each of them a step toward annihilating Israel as we have come to know it. Each of them a step toward dictatorial rule, toward fascism. Each of them approved by – spurred by – Netanyahu himself.

01.05.2018 - 11:28 [ Newsweek ]

Israel’s Netanyahu Can Now Declare War on Iran With Single Vote

Following a 20-minute presentation in which Netanyahu accused Iran of covertly pursuing nuclear weapons, reports emerged that the Israeli Knesset approved 62 to 41 the amendment to Israeli law regarding the authorization for the declaration of war. The new regime included a clause suggested by Netanyahu himself, one that requires only Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s approval to initiate a war „in extreme situations,“ according to the state-run Kann News and Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

29.04.2018 - 10:04 [ Washington Post ]

Pompeo, in Saudi Arabia, talks tough on Iran, Gulf dispute

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using the Middle East leg of his first trip abroad as America’s top diplomat to call for concerted international action to punish Iran for its missile programs. He’s also urging Saudi Arabia and its neighbors to resolve a long-festering dispute with Qatar that U.S. officials say Iran is exploiting to boost its influence in the region, including in Yemen and Syria.

27.04.2018 - 19:35 [ Independent.co.uk ]

Korean War to be declared officially over after 65 years, following historic summit between North and South

The war began in 1950 and most fighting came to an end with an armistice three years later. But peace was never officially declared and the two countries have been officially at war ever since.

At their first summit in more than a decade, the two sides announced they would seek an agreement to establish „permanent“ and „solid“ peace on the peninsula.

27.04.2018 - 11:45 [ New York Times ]

Koreas Set Bold Goals: Peace by Year’s End and No Nuclear Arms

The leaders of North and South Korea agreed on Friday to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and, within the year, declare an official end to the Korean War that ravaged the two nations from 1950 to 1953.

At a historic summit meeting, the first time a North Korean leader had ever set foot in the South, the leaders vowed to negotiate a peace treaty to replace a truce that has kept an uneasy peace on the divided Korean Peninsula for more than six decades, while ridding it of nuclear weapons.

26.04.2018 - 10:27 [ Daily Sabah ]

France, US and Middle Eastern partners to discuss Syrian crisis in Paris

The meeting will bring together a group of nations – including France, the U.S., Britain, Saudi Arabia and Jordan – which belong to the U.S.-led coalition against the Daesh terror group, dpa learned from diplomatic sources on Tuesday. It was not clear which officials would be sent by the participating nations.

More than 70 countries and around 20 international organizations are expected in Paris on Wednesday for the „No Money for Terror“ conference.

26.04.2018 - 10:25 [ europa.eu ]

2018 Brussels Conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region: Departure and doorstep DE (Maas)

As the situation on the ground in Syria deteriorates, the second Brussels Conference on „Supporting the Future of Syria and the region“ focuses on humanitarian support and bolstering the UN-led political peace process in Geneva. The conference takes place on 24 and 25 April 2018 and is co-hosted by the European Union and the United Nations.

25.04.2018 - 09:01 [ Patrick Wintour / theGuardian.com ]

Syria: western nations seek to bypass Russian veto at UN

Called “uniting for peace”, it would enable nine members of the 15-strong security council to bypass a Russian veto and refer the matter to a full vote at the general assembly. It would then require a two-thirds majority by the general assembly for an attribution mechanism to be agreed.

The 1950 “uniting for peace” route was explicitly designed to be used when the security council could not meet its responsibilities over maintenance of peace.

25.04.2018 - 08:54 [ Saeid Golkar / Al Jazeera ]

Is a military coup possible in Iran?

If the situation gets worse and the stability of the clerical regime is endangered, Ayatollah Khamenei has the power to overthrow Rouhani’s administration. Hardliners in the Iranian regime believe that self-reliance and resistance against the hegemonic powers of the West can solve Iran’s problems. Ayatollah Khamenei could decide that the best plan of action at this time is to remove moderates from power and install hardliners.