Saturday, December 16, 2017

There is More Than One Truth To Tell In The Awful Story of Aleppo

Western politicians, “experts” and journalists are going to have to reboot their stories over the next few days now that Bashar al-Assad's army has retaken control of eastern Aleppo. We’re going to find out if the 250,000 civilians “trapped” in the city were indeed that numerous. We’re going to...

Congress authorizes anti-aircraft missiles for Syrian opposition

Washington, D.C. – Congress for the first time authorized the Department of Defense to provide vetted-Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. The provision is contained within the $619 billion Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the Senate on Dec. 8 and the House on Dec. 2. Under the bill,...

More Special Operations forces are headed to Syria. Here’s what they’re going to do.

As Syrian fighters push toward the Islamic State’s de-facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced Saturday that additional U.S. Special Operations forces will head into the country to help the fledgling offensive. The additional 200 troops will bolster the 300 or so already in...

Saudi Central Bank Systems Said to Be Struck by Iran Malware

State-sponsored hackers who unleashed a digital bomb in key parts of Saudi Arabia's computer networks over the last two weeks damaged systems at the country’s central bank, known as the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, according to two people briefed on an ongoing investigation of the breach. The central bank said...

Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong

The Iraqi army, backed by US-led airstrikes, is trying to capture east Mosul at the same time as the Syrian army and its Shia paramilitary allies are fighting their way into east Aleppo. An estimated 300 civilians have been killed in Aleppo by government artillery and bombing in the...

Egypt’s Unlikely Ardor for Trump: Why Cairo Welcomes His Presidency

More than three weeks after the election, the American public remains divided over Donald Trump's surprise victory. Six thousand miles away, however, one U.S. ally has demonstrated a far more unified response. Egyptians, particularly those of a pro-government bent, are among the world’s happiest people about the Trump win. That...

Whither the Iran Deal Under Trump?

How the president-elect might pick apart one of the Obama administration's signature accomplishments. In the aftermath of Donald Trump's upset victory, no foreign policy question looms larger than the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. That central component of President Barack Obama’s legacy was the focus of Trump's contempt on...

Shiite Militias Are Crashing the Mosul Offensive

Pro-Iran militias are looking to settle an old grudge in one of the Islamic State's strongholds in northern Iraq. One of the mysteries about the ongoing offensive in Mosul, where Iraqi security forces are now pressing into the northern, eastern, and southern edges of the city, has been the apparent...

Bolton calls regime change the only long-term solution in Iran

John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations and a contender to be the next secretary of state, argued Thursday that the United States should support a push for regime change in Iran, calling it the “only long-term solution” to threats the country poses in the Middle East. “The...

Bibi’s Trump Dilemma: Why a Friendlier Washington Is a Mixed Blessing for Israel

On November 9, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated President-elect Donald Trump through a video message, in which the Israeli leader could barely contain his giddiness at the prospect of a friendlier White House. The ruling Israeli right-wing coalition, which sees Trump as a potential champion of Greater Israel, believes...

Trump And Iran: What The Next Administration Can Do

The United States’ relationship with Iran tops the list of foreign policy issues that will confront President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office in January. Like many of the other Republican presidential candidates, Trump was an early and staunch opponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the...

Spain king to visit Saudi with sale of warships on agenda

Madrid (AFP) - Spain's king will begin his first state visit to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with the possible sale of five warships to the oil-rich kingdom on top of the agenda, sparking protests from rights groups. Felipe VI will be accompanied during his three-day visit by Foreign Minister Alfonso...

UN: ISIL executes civilians en masse in Iraq

UN details series of reported ISIL abuses and warns that the armed group is stockpiling chemicals in civilian areas. ISIL fighters have reportedly shot and killed scores of civilians in Mosul in recent days, according to the UN, which has also confirmed the discovery of a mass grave in the nearby...

Trump Hasn’t Mastered the Art of Killing the Iran Deal

The presidency-elect can’t kill the agreement directly – but he could undermine it from within. America has never known so little about a president-elect. After Trump ran a campaign almost completely void of substance, speculation about his positions regarding key national security issues is doomed to be based on nothing...

Donald Trump Likely to End Aid for Rebels Fighting Syrian Government

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump said Friday that he was likely to abandon the American effort to support “moderate” opposition groups in Syria who are battling the government of President Bashar al-Assad, saying “we have no idea who these people are.” In an interview with The Wall Street Journal...

Never Trump GOP preparing to work with Trump to squeeze Iran

Republicans in Congress who vigorously opposed Donald Trump's run for president are now preparing to work with the incoming Trump administration on a number of foreign policy and national security issues where their policies overlap. First on their agenda is drastically increasing sanctions on Iran. “There are several issues that...

Israel won’t let Iran have military presence in Syria, Netanyahu tells Russian PM

Israel will prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria, and will continue to intervene to stop Iran arming Hezbollah and other Shiite militias there, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, on Thursday in Jerusalem. Moscow is a staunch supporter of Basher Assad’s regime and...

Obama directs Pentagon to target al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, one of the most formidable...

President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to find and kill the leaders of an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria that the administration had largely ignored until now and that has been at the vanguard of the fight against the Syrian government, U.S. officials said. The decision to deploy more drones and...

American And Saudi Weapons Recoverd From ISIS Positions In Mosul

An anonymous Iraqi official recently stated that front line troops “always see US helicopters flying over the ISIL-controlled areas and dropping weapons and urgent aids for them.” Mosul, Iraq — Since the beginning of Operation: Inherent Resolve, the Islamic State has shown itself to be a very shadowy force. Many...

Abadi says we are ready if Turkey wants war

What is Turkey up to? The question gained fresh urgency today as Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik and Land Forces Commander Gen. Zeki Colak inspected troops in Hatay near the Syrian border a day after Turkish forces backed by tanks and other combat vehicles massed near the town of Silopi on Turkey's border...

What is Turkey up to in northern Syria?

The Oct. 25 bombing by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is leading Operation Euphrates Shield, is symptomatic of the struggle currently taking place in northern Syria on the al-Bab/Manbij axis. It also underlines the geopolitical conflict pitting...

Iranian politicians hail election of Lebanon’s new president

Iranian politicians from across the spectrum have praised the election of a new president in Lebanon. The Lebanese parliament elected Michel Aoun Oct. 31, ending a more than two-year presidential vacuum in the country. In Tehran, the move was warmly welcomed. President Hassan Rouhani called Aoun and congratulated him on...

Syria rejects Russian proposal for Kurdish federation

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Dozens of Russian aircraft land daily at Khmeimim air base near Latakia, Syria. One such aircraft from Moscow that landed Sept. 17 didn’t attract attention, but its passengers, eight officials of Russia's Foreign and Defense Ministries, were carrying documents that one day could alter the political scene of...

What Turkish raid on Syrian Kurds means for Ankara-Washington ties

Turkish jets pounded US-backed Syrian Kurdish-led forces during the early hours of Oct. 20 in an apparent attempt to prevent them from establishing a long-coveted corridor to link up territories under their control in northern Syria. The Turkish attacks follow sustained threats from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take further action against the...

Erdogan talks with Putin on Al-Nusra withdrawal from Aleppo

Russia tells US to separate rebels from terrorists. MOSCOW, OCTOBER 19 - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Tuesday evening with Russian President Vladimir Putin about an accord to make troops of Al-Nusra Front, now known as Fateh al-Sham Front, withdraw from Aleppo "as requested" by Moscow...

The Real Purpose Behind the Liberation of Mosul?

When Mosul falls, Isis will flee to the safety of Syria. But what then? The entire Isis caliphate army could be directed against the Assad government and its allies – a scenario which might cause some satisfaction in Washington. Syria’s army and Hezbollah and Iranian allies are preparing for a massive...

Egypt’s Sisi defends tough but unavoidable economic reforms ahead of IMF loan

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has defended what he described as "tough but unavoidable" reforms ahead of a $12bn International Monetary Fund loan to revive his country's ailing economy. "The reforms are tough but they're unavoidable to save the economic situation," Sisi said in an interview published on Saturday by...

Al-Qaeda Fighters In East-Aleppo (Defined) Down To Three!

The pro-jihadist "west" is doing its best to define the number of civilians in east-Aleppo up and the number of al-Qaeda fighters in the city down. If the current numbering trend continues there will be a no al-Qaeda fighters left in east-Aleppo even as none have left. They will...

Hillary Clinton Acknowledges Saudi Terror Financing in Hacked Email, Hinting at Tougher Approach

Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have maintained their alliance for seven decades despite disagreements over oil prices, Israel, and, more recently, the Obama administration’s rapprochement with Iran. Judging by a 2014 email purportedly written by Hillary Clinton to John Podesta, her current campaign chairman, and published by WikiLeaks, there have...

ISIS fighters will be allowed to flee Mosul and retreat to Syria under agreement...

The US is said to have agreed for the safe transfer of terrorists from Iraq to Eastern Syria on the premise ISIS militants fight Russian troops when they get there, a news agency has claimed. The agreement is said to involve 9,000 extremists who will leave Mosul for eastern areas...

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