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Political, Social and Religious Commentary => Politics => Topic started by: patrick jane on May 14, 2019, 12:18:23 pm

Title: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: patrick jane on May 14, 2019, 12:18:23 pm
US B-52 bombers send warning message to Iran

The State Department says Secretary Pompeo is meeting with the NATO secretary general and the foreign ministers from Germany, France and the U.K.; Rich Edson reports. #AmericasNewsroom #FoxNews

2 minutes

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Title: Re: The Iran War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on May 14, 2019, 12:19:51 pm
Iran-US tensions are reaching new heights – and neither is likely to blink

Long-term standoff threatens to turn into crisis after alleged sabotage of two Saudi tankers

Iranian demonstrators burn a makeshift US flag during a rally in Tehran last week. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

A festering four-year war, crippling sanctions, threats to maritime oil trade and a US naval battlegroup steaming for the Persian Gulf. Such developments were troubling enough, before two Saudi tankers were reportedly sabotaged off the UAE coast on Sunday – a development set to ratchet tensions between Tehran and Washington to new and combustible highs.

With Riyadh claiming significant hull damage to its ships and the UAE claiming the damage was done inside its territorial waters, what last week was a looming standoff is now a real-time crisis with potent implications for both global energy security and regional stability.

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, staring down Iran has been top of the agenda among many to have passed through the revolving door of his inner circle. For the current uber-hawks, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the national security adviser, John Bolton, there has hardly been a higher calling. Both have been pivotal in focusing Trump on Iran, and imposing new comprehensive sanctions on its economy. And both drove the bellicose rhetoric that last week spelled out the same scenario to which the region awoke on Monday.

According to Riyadh, one of the “sabotaged” tankers was en route to a Saudi port to upload oil to be exported to the US. Stopping such a shipment would be consistent with an act of revenge for crippling Iranian exports and for making good on threats to disrupt global energy routes – although on Monday Iran vehemently denied playing a role.

Bolton’s prediction of a “credible threat” from Iran, or its proxies, to the oil interests of Washington, or its allies, however looks prophetic in the royal courts of the Gulf. And what regional officials are calling a “terrorist attack” is certain to similarly energise a White House that has at times appeared to be itching for a confrontation with a foe it now faces in most corners of the Middle East.

Iran has steadily become the sum of all fears in the eyes of the US and its regional allies; its creeping influence across the Arab world, belligerence towards Israel and perceived readiness to act on its threats to a decades old regional order, which – not without irony – was upended by the US invasion of Iraq.

Trump’s backers ignore the Bush administration’s intervention, blaming instead Barack Obama’s pivot towards Iran and his signature nuclear deal for kickstarting Iran’s adventurism. While Obama’s gestures were hardly seen in Tehran as trust-building measures and did nothing to slow a regional consolidation, Iran’s ascendancy started before him and has continued since.

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard arrive for a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in February 2019. Photograph: Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

Tehran’s view has been rather different. It views the US as a capricious actor whose presence and interventions has destabilised the region for decades. In Trump’s America, it sees a player with the same sort of ideological zeal that it is accused of wielding itself. A self appointed global sheriff not worthy of the badge and to whom it can never bow.

The ill-fated reality of 2003 gave Tehran a bridgehead in Iraq and a springboard into Syria that, nearly eight years into the civil war, has brought the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps to within striking distance of Israel’s north. Iran’s proxies have also helped weigh down Saudi Arabia in Yemen, lay the foundations for a parallel state in Iraq and energise a still rumbling opposition movement in Shia-majority Bahrain.

The loaded geopolitics have rarely strayed far from oil though. And with Iran’s embattled economy dependent on oil exports and the US once again enthusiastic for Saudi crude, a flashpoint in the Strait of Hormuz, through which 35% of the world’s oil is shipped, has long been likely.

Tensions have been boiling since the Trump administration’s decision to lift sanctions waivers from eight countries that import Iranian oil. The stated goal of this was to collapse Iran’s exports to “zero”. Exports had already taken a hit when Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal signed by his predecessor last November – partly in the hope of renegotiating a better deal. Ever since, Iran has prevaricated on its own commitment to a multilateral pact, which delivered revenue streams and global legitimacy, albeit briefly. Last week, Iran said it would no longer honour parts of the deal and had no interest in discussing a revised version.

Several things are abundantly clear though; sanctions, including banking restrictions, are hitting the Iranian economy hard, limiting its capacity to sustain its people, or allies, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, where fighters have taken substantial pay cuts in recent months. More importantly though, Iran cannot let itself be seen to capitulate to the US moves. To do so would risk far more than its post-2003 gains.

Washington appears to be betting on just such a surrender, and has pushed brinkmanship to its limits. On Monday, it warned US citizens in Iraq and elsewhere in the region to be vigilant. The risks of miscalculation on either side are higher than they’ve been in the past 16 years.
Title: Re: The Iran War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on June 11, 2019, 08:54:12 pm

Iran's Zarif warns US 'cannot expect to stay safe'

Foreign minister issues warning over 'economic war' being conducted against Islamic Republic through US sanctions.

Iran's foreign minister has warned the United States that it "cannot expect to stay safe" after starting what he called an "economic war" against his country.

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comments on Monday during a joint press conference with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, who was visiting Tehran in an attempt to defuse regional tensions.

Friction between Tehran and Washington ratcheted up last month, a year after US President Donald Trump's decision to pull Washington out of a 2015 nuclear deal brokered between Iran and world powers and reimpose sweeping sanctions on Tehran.

Under the deal, which was signed in Vienna by the US, France, Britain, Germany, China, Russia and Iran, the Islamic Republic agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

The sanctions bar Iran from accessing the US financial system or trading in US dollars.

"Mr Trump himself has announced that the US has launched an economic war against Iran," Zarif told reporters, speaking alongside Maas. "The only solution for reducing tensions in this region is stopping that economic war."

He also warned: "Whoever starts a war with us will not be the one who finishes it".

Since its unilateral withdrawal, the Trump administration has pursued a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, which it accuses of being a destabilising actor in the Middle East. In recent weeks, it has also sent additional military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, in response to unspecified Iranian threats to US troops and interests in the region.

Describing his talks with Maas as "frank and serious", Zarif said Germany and the European Union could have an "important role" to play in defusing the situation and noted that "Tehran will cooperate with EU signatories of the deal to save it".

For his part, Maas said that Germany, France and Britain were doing their "utmost to prevent the failure of the deal", which is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"We won't be able to do miracles, but we are trying as best as we can to do prevent its failure," Maas said.

The other signatories to the deal, China and Russia, have stated their desire to keep the JCPOA alive.

Saad Jawad, a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics' Middle East Centre, said Tehran expected the remaining signatories to the deal to work harder to salvage it.

"Iran thinks that because the Europeans were signatories to the original 2015 agreement, that they should do everything in their power to erase all the sanctions imposed by the United States, or at least avoid them, because Iran has not harmed or gone against the agreement," he told Al Jazeera.

INSTEX ready soon?

In an effort to protect at least some of Iran's economy and keep the nuclear deal alive, France, Britain and Germany set up a special-purpose vehicle for facilitating non-dollar trade with Iran.

The three EU members maintain the nuclear pact remains the best way to limit Iran's enrichment of uranium, a potential pathway to the development of nuclear weapons, and have been trying to get Tehran to keep to its commitments under the deal.

Maas said the payment system, known as INSTEX, (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) should soon be operational after months of work.

"This is an instrument of a new kind so it's not straightforward to operationalise it," he said, pointing to the complexity of trying to install a totally new payment system.

"But all the formal requirements are in place now, and so I'm assuming we'll be ready to use it in the foreseeable future," added Mass about the system for barter-based trade with Iran.

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Title: Re: The Iran War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on June 15, 2019, 12:13:38 pm
Tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman highlight point of leverage for Iran

Tensions are high in the Middle East after attacks on two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf that U.S. officials are blaming on Iran. U.S. sanctions on Iran already had raised the potential risk of a response in the region. Charlie D'Agata reports from along the Gulf of Oman and explains why this area is such a flashpoint.

1 minute

LONDON — Explosions crippled two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday in what the United States called “unprovoked attacks” by Iran, raising alarms about immediate security and potential military conflict in a vital passageway for a third of the world’s petroleum.

Iran called the accusations part of a campaign of American disinformation and “warmongering.”

The explosions forced the crews of both vessels to evacuate and left at least one ablaze, and hours later the causes were still under investigation. Yet the backdrop of steeply rising threats between President Trump and Iranian leaders gave the stricken ships a grave significance even before the facts became clear.

[Read: Operator says a ‘flying object’ struck one tanker, not a mine]

By afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that American intelligence agencies had concluded Tehran was behind the disabling of both ships. He pointed to the weapons used, the expertise and resources required and the similarity to other recent attacks attributed to Iran.

The most compelling evidence to support Mr. Pompeo’s claim was video footage released Thursday night by the United States Central Command. A military spokesman, Capt. Bill Urban, said the video showed an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps patrol boat pulling up alongside the Kokuka Courageous, one of the stricken ships, several hours after the initial explosion, and removing an unexploded limpet mine in broad daylight.

Also on Thursday night, the United States military released two photographs of the ship’s hull, showing damage and what it said was likely the unexploded mine.

“Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security,” Mr. Pompeo told a news conference in Washington.

[More: “Iran did do it,” President Trump said in an interview Friday.]

Senior American officials had already blamed Iran for similar attacks last month against four tankers on the same waterway. Iranian officials, who denied any involvement in those attacks, also rejected assertions they were behind the events on Thursday and said Iran had been framed.

“Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning,” Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, wrote on Twitter. Mr. Pompeo, firing back at his news conference, said Mr. Zarif “may think this is funny, but no one else in the world does.”

The Kokuka Courageous was about 20 miles off the Iranian coast when it transmitted an emergency call for help after an initial explosion. When the crew surveyed the damage from the first explosion, they saw a second unexploded mine attached to the hull and evacuated the ship, according to the American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive intelligence matter.

The confrontation also played out at the United Nations in a meeting of the Security Council, where the acting United States ambassador, Jonathan Cohen, told other members that Iran was behind the attacks. Iran’s United Nations mission issued a statement afterward denouncing the “inflammatory remarks” by the American representative, calling them part of “another Iranophobic campaign” of disinformation.

“The U.S. and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous plots as well as false flag operations in the region,” the Iranian statement said.

Earlier Thursday, the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, expressed “deep concern” that the new episode might lead to a military escalation.

[Read more about the narrow waterway that is the world’s most important oil route.]

Besides its importance as a petroleum highway, the Persian Gulf also divides bitter and heavily armed rivals, with Iran on one side and the American-backed Arab monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the other.

The two sides have fought for years through surrogate forces in neighboring countries, including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Bahrain. Saudi and Emirati forces have been battling directly for more than four years to roll back a takeover of Yemen by a faction aligned with Iran.

Anxieties over the shared dependence on the vulnerable Persian Gulf shipping lanes have always been central to their animosities, and a commitment to guaranteeing the flow of oil through the same channels is behind the substantial American military presence in the region.

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Iranian officials on Thursday suggested the new attacks might be the product of an elaborate conspiracy by their enemies, seemingly pointing to American allies like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Israel, which have long urged Washington to take a more muscular approach to Iran.

But many analysts said there was a growing consensus in the West that Iran had been behind last month’s attacks, which took place near the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. And they argued that Iran appeared to be seeking to demonstrate it could imperil the world’s oil markets, but without leaving the kind of fingerprints that could trigger American military retaliation.

“As long as there is significant ambiguity the attacks won’t produce a casus belli,” or cause for war, said Jack Watling, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute in London. “But Iran is demonstrating its capabilities. It is saying, ‘We can impose a cost on our adversaries in this confrontation, and it will be high.’”

Crude oil prices rose more than 3 percent in response to the crippling of the two ships on Thursday, indirectly boosting Iran’s revenue as an oil producer.

The initial White House response on Thursday was measured. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Trump had been briefed and that the “U.S. government is providing assistance and will continue to assess the situation.”

It was only a few hours later that Mr. Pompeo publicly blamed Iran.

The escalation came against the backdrop of a visit to Iran by the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, who was hoping to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington and avert any “accidental clashes.”

Mr. Abe was carrying a note from Mr. Trump to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, who rebuffed the overture. “I do not see Trump as worthy of any message exchange, and I do not have any reply for him, now or in future,” Mr. Khamenei said Thursday after meeting with Mr. Abe, according to the ayatollah’s website.

The animosity between Washington and Tehran began rising a year ago after President Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 deal with international powers that limited Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for eased economic sanctions on the country of 80 million people.

Then, laying out sweeping demands for Iran to alter its policies toward the region, Mr. Trump in April ratcheted up the pressure by imposing severe sanctions aimed at cutting off Iran’s exports of oil, the lifeblood of the now-struggling Iranian economy. He also designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a part of the military, as a terrorist group.

In May, citing unspecified warnings of imminent Iranian attacks on American allies or interests, the Trump administration announced it was dispatching an aircraft carrier group to the Persian Gulf as a deterrent.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter last month. “Never threaten the United States again!”

Donald J. Trump

 If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!

3:25 PM - May 19, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
127K people are talking about this

Iranian leaders, in response, have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a potential Persian Gulf chokepoint. After complying with the nuclear pact for a year even after the American withdrawal, Iran has also raised the possibility of breaching the accord by taking initial steps to expand its supply of enriched uranium.

Some Iranian allies around the region have stepped up their attacks on allies of Washington, fueling fears of a wider conflict. The Houthi faction in Yemen, which is backed by Iran, has launched attacks on Saudi oil pipelines and other targets, and this week a Houthi missile hit the arrivals hall of a Saudi airport, injuring 26 people, according to Saudi news reports.

The attacks in May on the four tankers near Fujairah were relatively minor, causing only limited damage to the hulls. An international investigation presented to the United Nations later concluded that the damage was done by divers deployed from small “fast boats” who had placed limpet mines against the hulls.

On a visit to the United Arab Emirates about two weeks ago, John R. Bolton, President Trump’s national security adviser, said Iran was “almost certainly” responsible. A few days later, Mr. Pompeo called the attacks “efforts by the Iranians to raise the price of crude oil.”

The explosions that disabled the tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday were far more severe.

Both took place around dawn, with distress calls at 6:12 a.m. and 7 a.m., according to a statement from the United States Fifth Fleet, which said the U.S.S. Bainbridge, a guided missile destroyer, was “rendering assistance.”

A Norwegian company that owns one of the ships, the Front Altair, confirmed that it was on fire. The crews of both vessels — about 23 in one and 21 in the other — were evacuated in lifeboats.

The owners and operators of both vessels described the incidents as deliberate attacks.

The Front Altair, registered in the Marshall Islands, was chartered by the CPC Corporation, the Taiwanese oil company, to carry naphtha, a petroleum product, from the Emirati port of Ruwais to Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The Kokuka Courageous was carrying methanol, headed from the Saudi port of Al Jubail to Singapore. Yutaka Katada, the president of the ship’s operator, Kokuka Sangyo, told a news conference that its Filipino crew had abandoned ship in lifeboats after what he described as two attacks three hours apart.

Shipping industry representatives underscored the channel’s critical importance. “Some 30 percent of the world’s crude oil passes through the Straits,” Paolo d’Amico, the chairman of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, said in a statement. “If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

Reporting was contributed by Eric Schmitt and Edward Wong from Washington, Ben Dooley and Makiko Inoue from Tokyo, Vivian Yee from Beirut and Rick Gladstone from New York.

A version of this article appears in print on June 13, 2019, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Pompeo Blames Tehran For Blasts on 2 Tankers And Sees ‘Clear Threat’. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
Title: Re: The Iran War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on June 20, 2019, 07:37:53 pm
Congressional leaders briefed on Iran's attack on U.S. drone

President Trump and top congressional leaders were briefed at the White House Thursday after Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. military drone. CBS News White House correspondent Ben Tracy discussed the latest on CBSN.

4 minutes

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Title: Re: The Iran War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on June 24, 2019, 04:08:53 pm
The Truth About the Gulf of Oman Attacks and War with Iran

Did Iran really attack a U.S. oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman or was this another false flag event propped up to push for war with Iran, just like the Gulf of Tonkin and Vietnam? The crew of the oil tanker was rescued by Iran and the crew members thanked Iran for saving them, yet our leaders say Iran attacked the tankers?

28 minutes

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Title: Re: The Iran War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on October 16, 2019, 03:06:02 am
Title: Re: The Iran War 2019
Post by: Bladerunner on October 16, 2019, 09:22:36 pm

Little early don't you think for the goblins to come out...still got half a month left.

Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on January 03, 2020, 02:14:25 pm


US kills Iran’s most powerful general in Baghdad airstrike

BAGHDAD (AP) — The United States killed Iran’s top general and the architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport early on Friday, an attack that threatens to dramatically ratchet up tensions in the region.

Full Coverage: Iran
The targeted killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, could draw forceful Iranian retaliation against American interests in the region and spiral into a far larger conflict between the U.S. and Iran, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

Iranian state TV carried a statement by Khamenei also calling Soleimani “the international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

Also, an adviser to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned President Donald Trump of retaliation from Tehran. “Trump through his gamble has dragged the U.S. into the most dangerous situation in the region,” Hessameddin Ashena wrote on the social media app Telegram. “Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.”

Iranian state television later in a commentary called Trump’s order to kill Soleimani “the biggest miscalculation by the U.S.” in the years since World War II. “The people of the region will no longer allow Americans to stay,” the TV said.

The airport strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, and five others, including the PMF’s airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda, Iraqi officials said.

Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.

The dramatic attack comes at the start of a year in which Trump faces both a Senate trial following his impeachment by the U.S. House and a re-election campaign. It marks a potential turning point in the Middle East and represents a drastic change for American policy toward Iran after months of tensions.

Tehran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone and seized oil tankers. The U.S. also blames Iran for a series of attacks targeting tankers, as well as a September assault on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry that temporarily halved its production.

The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The 62-year-old Soleimani was the target of Friday’s U.S. attack, which was conducted by an armed American drone, according to a U.S. official. His vehicle was struck on an access road near the Baghdad airport.

A senior Iraqi security official said the airstrike took place near the cargo area after Soleimani left his plane and joined al-Muhandis and others in a car. The official said the plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria.

Two officials from the PMF said Suleimani’s body was torn to pieces in the attack, while they did not find the body of al-Muhandis. A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.

It’s unclear what legal authority the U.S. relied on to carry out the attack. American presidents claim broad authority to act without the approval of the Congress when U.S. personnel or interests are facing an imminent threat. The Pentagon did not provide evidence to back up its assertion that Soleimani was planning new attacks against Americans.

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Trump owes a full explanation to Congress and the American people. “The present authorizations for use of military force in no way cover starting a possible new war. This step could bring the most consequential military confrontation in decades,” Blumenthal said.

But Trump allies were quick to praise the action. “To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more,” tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

For Iran, the killing represents more than just the loss of a battlefield commander, but also a cultural icon who represented national pride and resilience while facing U.S. sanctions. While careful to avoid involving himself in politics, Soleimani’s profile rose sharply as U.S. and Israeli officials blamed him for Iranian proxy attacks abroad.

While Iran’s conventional military has suffered under 40 years of American sanctions, the Guard has built up a ballistic missile program. It also can strike asymmetrically in the region through forces like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The U.S. long has blamed Iran for car bombings and kidnappings it never claimed.

As the head of the Quds, or Jersualem, Force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani led all of its expeditionary forces and frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Quds Force members have deployed into Syria’s long war to support President Bashar Assad, as well as into Iraq in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, a longtime foe of Tehran.

Soleimani rose to prominence by advising forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and in Syria on behalf of the embattled Assad.

U.S. officials say the Guard under Soleimani taught Iraqi militants how to manufacture and use especially deadly roadside bombs against U.S. troops after the invasion of Iraq. Iran has denied that. Soleimani himself remains popular among many Iranians, who see him as a selfless hero fighting Iran’s enemies abroad.

Soleimani had been rumored dead several times, including in a 2006 airplane crash that killed other military officials in northwestern Iran and following a 2012 bombing in Damascus that killed top aides of Assad. Rumors circulated in November 2015 that Soleimani was killed or seriously wounded leading forces loyal to Assad as they fought around Syria’s Aleppo.

Soleimani’s killing follows the New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack, which ended Wednesday, prompted Trump to order about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

It also prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to postpone his trip to Ukraine and four other countries “to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Wednesday.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

“The game has changed,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq — including the Dec. 27 rocket attack that killed one American — will be met with U.S. military force.


Karam reported from Beirut. Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Zeke Miller in Washington, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed reporting.
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on January 07, 2020, 10:09:07 pm
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on January 08, 2020, 03:13:25 am
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on January 08, 2020, 04:46:42 am
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on January 09, 2020, 04:39:55 am
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: Bladerunner on January 09, 2020, 07:16:44 pm

it is about time'
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on January 10, 2020, 11:28:18 am
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: patrick jane on January 20, 2020, 02:38:02 am
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War 2019
Post by: Bladerunner on January 21, 2020, 02:46:31 pm

Don't worry about the US and IRAN...It will not happen. It appears that prophecies have named the IDF of Israel as the powers to take the might of Iran away from them.

Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: patrick jane on June 04, 2020, 09:55:00 am
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: Firestarter on June 04, 2020, 11:03:51 am
I’m not sure about Syria’s President Bashir al Assad, but I suspect that Assad is nothing more or less than “controlled opposition”.

Bashir al Assad was educated in England.
In 2000, Bashar al-Assad “secretly” married the British-born and raised Asma Akhras (she’s stil a British citizen), who has worked at Deutsche Bank Group and J.P Morgan:
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: Firestarter on June 04, 2020, 11:04:27 am
As for Iran I have no doubt, ever since Anglo-American intelligence put Ayatollah Khomeini in power, Iran has been under complete control of the same elite that controls big oil:

Current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is another crooked lawyer. In the 1970s, Rouhani was educated in England.
Mohammad Zarif is another lawyer, who was the Foreign Affairs Minister in Iran from July 2013 to February 2019. In 1977, when he was a teenager, Zarif left Iran to study in the US.
In San Francisco, Zarif joined the Islamic Student Association and made friends who later became political figures in Iran, including the brother of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iranian president from 1989 to 1997.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody that Donald’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross profits from business with Iran.
Wilbur Ross’s Diamond S Shipping is in business with Iran.

To Trump fans it could be quite a shock that none other than Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka were in business with the Azerbaijani Mammadov family since 2008, who were business partners of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The Trump Organization has also rented space to state-controlled Iranian Bank Melli that funded the Islamic Revolutionary Guard:
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: patrick jane on June 29, 2020, 05:30:14 pm
Iran issues arrest warrant for President Trump over Qassem Soleimani killing


Iran has issued an arrest warrant for President Trump and 35 others over the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani and has requested Interpol for help, according to the Fars news agency.
Photo via @WFLA
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: patrick jane on July 13, 2020, 12:23:12 pm
Third major explosion in Iran in 3 weeks; Gen. Jack Keane reacts

5 minutes
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: Bladerunner on July 13, 2020, 08:58:19 pm
Third major explosion in Iran in 3 weeks; Gen. Jack Keane reacts

5 minutes

He served our country and I thank Him. interesting topic

Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: patrick jane on August 14, 2020, 05:41:09 pm
Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: Bladerunner on August 14, 2020, 09:06:31 pm

A build up to the Psalm 83 War?

Title: Re: The Iran & Syria War
Post by: patrick jane on September 12, 2020, 10:22:12 pm

Bahrain Makes Peace with Israel, Following United Arab Emirates

Today’s deal will normalize diplomatic, commercial, and security ties. Trump administration hopes more Arab nations soon follow.

Bahrain has become the latest Arab nation to agree to normalize ties with Israel as part of a broader diplomatic push by President Donald Trump and his administration to fully integrate the Jewish state into the Middle East.

Trump announced the agreement on Friday, following a three-way phone call he had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The three leaders also issued a brief six-paragraph joint statement, attesting to the deal.

“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today!” Trump tweeted.

The announcement on the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks came less than a week before Trump hosts a White House ceremony to mark the establishment of full relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Bahrain’s foreign minister will attend the event.

“There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than this agreement,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

It represents another diplomatic win for Trump less than two months before the presidential election and an opportunity to shore up support among pro-Israel evangelicals. Just last week, Trump announced agreements in principle for Kosovo to recognize Israel and for Serbia to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” Trump, Netanyahu, and King Hamad said in the statement. “Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.”

Most people vividly remember where they were on the dreadful day, 19 years ago, when terrorists hijacked planes, weaponizing them as bombs to be flown into buildings. As a sophomore studying at Union University (Jackson, TN), I remember the images flashing across the TV screen as we paused our “Becoming a Global Christian” class. The professor, the students, we were all speechless as we witnessed live coverage of the second plane hitting the second tower.

Like the UAE agreement, Friday’s Bahrain-Israel deal will normalize diplomatic, commercial, security, and other relations between the two countries. Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, had already dropped a prohibition on Israeli flights using its airspace. Saudi acquiescence to the agreements has been considered key to the deals.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner noted that the agreement is the second Israel has reached with an Arab country in 30 days after having made peace with only two Arab nations—Egypt and Jordan—in 72 years of its independence.

“This is very fast,” Kushner told The Associated Press. “The region is responding very favorably to the UAE deal and hopefully it’s a sign that even more will come.”

Netanyahu welcomed the agreement and thanked Trump. “It took us 26 years between the second peace agreement with an Arab country and the third, but only 29 days between the third and the fourth, and there will be more,” he said, referring to the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan and the more recent agreements.

The agreement will likely be seen as a further setback to the Palestinians who tried unsuccessfully to have the Arab League condemn normalization with Israel until they have secured an independent state. That was one of the few cards still held by Palestinians in negotiations as peace talks remain stalled.

The joint statement made passing mention of the Palestinians, saying the parties will continue efforts “to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realize their full potential.”

The agreement makes Bahrain the fourth Arab country, after Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE, to have full diplomatic ties with Israel. Other Arab nations believed to be on the cusp of fully recognizing Israel include Oman and Sudan. While tacitly blessing the deals, Saudi Arabia—the regional power player—is not expected to move as quickly.

Like the UAE, Bahrain has never fought a war against Israel and doesn’t share a border with it. But Bahrain, like most of the Arab world, long rejected diplomatic ties with Israel in the absence of a peace deal establishing a Palestinian state on lands captured by Israel in 1967.

The agreement could give a boost to Netanyahu, who was indicted on corruption charges last year. Deals with Gulf Arab states “are the direct result of the policy that I have led for two decades,” namely “peace for peace, peace through strength,” Netanyahu has said.

The Israeli-UAE deal required Israel to halt its contentious plan to annex occupied West Bank land sought by the Palestinians. Telephone calls soon began working between the nations as they continue to discuss other deals, including direct flights.

While the UAE’s population remains small and the federation has no tradition of standing up to the country’s autocracy, Bahrain represents a far-different country.

Just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, the island of Bahrain is among the world’s smallest countries, only about 760 square kilometers (290 square miles). Bahrain’s location in the Persian Gulf long has made it a trading stop and a naval defensive position. The island is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and a recently built British naval base.

Bahrain is acutely aware of threats posed by Iran, an anxiety that comes from Bahrain’s majority Shiite population, despite being ruled since 1783 by the Sunni Al Khalifa family. Iran under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had pushed to take over the island after the British left, though Bahrainis in 1970 overwhelmingly supported becoming an independent nation and the UN Security Council unanimously backed that.

Since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Bahrain’s rulers have blamed Iran for arming militants on the island. Iran denies the accusations, though weapons experts suggest explosives found there bear similarities to others linked to Iran. Israel and Iran view each other as top regional enemies.

Outside of those tensions, Bahrain’s Shiite majority has accused the government of treating them like second-class citizens. The Shiites joined pro-democracy activists in demanding more political freedoms in 2011, as Arab Spring protests swept across the wider Middle East. Saudi and Emirati troops ultimately helped violently put down the demonstrations.

In recent years, Bahrain has cracked down on all dissent, imprisoned activists, and hampered independent reporting on the island. While the Obama administration halted the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain over human rights concerns, the Trump administration dropped that after coming into office.

Bahrain’s royal family and officials have come out in support of the Israel-UAE agreement. However, civil society groups and others have condemned the move and warned the monarchy not to follow in the UAE’s footsteps—despite Bahrain’s yearslong flirtation with Israel and Jewish leaders. Unlike the Emirates, Jews had a historical presence on the island and some still live there.

In 2017, two prominent US rabbis said Bahrain’s king told them he hoped the Arab boycott of Israel would end. An interfaith group from Bahrain that year also visited Israel, though the state-run Bahrain News Agency later said that it didn’t “represent any official entity” after an uproar erupted on social media.

Bahrain has increasingly relied on support from other nations as it struggles with its debts, particularly neighboring Saudi Arabia. In that way, Bahrain has followed in lockstep with Riyadh, meaning any normalization with Israel likely got the kingdom’s approval though Saudi Arabia has for its part remained silent since the Emirati announcement.

Associated Press writers Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Ilan Ben Zion and Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem contributed to this report.