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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin Yesterday at 7:17 pm

Trump administration reduces U.S. spending in Syria by $200 million
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/foreign-policy/trump-spending-syria-allies.htm?
August 18, 2018

Trump administration reduces U.S. spending in Syria by $200 million
lev radin / Shutterstock.com
President Donald Trump achieved another victory on the foreign policy front this week.

Reports indicate that the Trump administration will no longer be looking to spend $200 million for Syria stabilization. But this is not to say that the United States is withdrawing its help … at least, not yet.

Money coming from the right places
The announcement came this past Friday when U.S. officials notified Congress that they will be looking to spend the $200 million intended for Syria in other areas.

This was made possible by the other members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, who have agreed to allocate $300 million to Syria stabilization. One-third of that amount will come from Saudi Arabia alone. Other participants include Australia, Denmark, The European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

This means that all current stabilization projects in Syria will continue. In other words, it is a win-win for the United States.

Ask and you shall receive
According to Heather Nauert, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and the Spokesperson for the United States Department of State, the contributions followed a request by President Trump for U.S. partners to “share the burden of promoting stability in Syria to safeguard the military gains” achieved against IS and to secure its defeat.

Most of the contributed money will be used to rebuild Syria in the wake of recent wars. The work will include such things as establishing running water and electricity and removing landmines.

Once Syria is back up on its feet, the idea is that it will help with the Syrian refugee problem since these individuals will be able to return to their home country.

Looking forward
Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, stressed on Friday that the withdrawal of funds does not mean that the U.S. is also withdrawing from Syria. “We are remaining in Syria,” he told reports.

Of course, ISIS has yet to be defeated, and a U.S. retreat could repeat the mistake of allowing the terrorist organization to regain ground and power.

Are you looking forward to an end of U.S. involvement in Syria?
Yes
No
Having said that, President Trump has stated that a goal of his is to end U.S. involvement in Syria. The U.S. withdrawal of funds is a step in that direction.

It is not exactly clear where these funds will now be used. Nauert hinted Friday that they will be used “on other key foreign policy priorities.” Either way, it is a return of taxpayer money, and hopefully will be put to a better use.
August 18, 2018

Trump administration reduces U.S. spending in Syria by $200 million
lev radin / Shutterstock.com
President Donald Trump achieved another victory on the foreign policy front this week.

Reports indicate that the Trump administration will no longer be looking to spend $200 million for Syria stabilization. But this is not to say that the United States is withdrawing its help … at least, not yet.

Money coming from the right places
The announcement came this past Friday when U.S. officials notified Congress that they will be looking to spend the $200 million intended for Syria in other areas.

This was made possible by the other members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, who have agreed to allocate $300 million to Syria stabilization. One-third of that amount will come from Saudi Arabia alone. Other participants include Australia, Denmark, The European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

This means that all current stabilization projects in Syria will continue. In other words, it is a win-win for the United States.

Ask and you shall receive
According to Heather Nauert, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and the Spokesperson for the United States Department of State, the contributions followed a request by President Trump for U.S. partners to “share the burden of promoting stability in Syria to safeguard the military gains” achieved against IS and to secure its defeat.

Most of the contributed money will be used to rebuild Syria in the wake of recent wars. The work will include such things as establishing running water and electricity and removing landmines.

Once Syria is back up on its feet, the idea is that it will help with the Syrian refugee problem since these individuals will be able to return to their home country.

Looking forward
Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, stressed on Friday that the withdrawal of funds does not mean that the U.S. is also withdrawing from Syria. “We are remaining in Syria,” he told reports.

Of course, ISIS has yet to be defeated, and a U.S. retreat could repeat the mistake of allowing the terrorist organization to regain ground and power.

Are you looking forward to an end of U.S. involvement in Syria?
Yes
No
Having said that, President Trump has stated that a goal of his is to end U.S. involvement in Syria. The U.S. withdrawal of funds is a step in that direction.

It is not exactly clear where these funds will now be used. Nauert hinted Friday that they will be used “on other key foreign policy priorities.” Either way, it is a return of taxpayer money, and hopefully will be put to a better use.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Aug 2018, 12:31 pm

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/blast-in-northern-syria-kills-at-least-18-cause-unclear-1.6365979?utm_campaign=General&utm_medium=web_push&utm_source=Push_Notification
Blast Near Syrian-Turkish Border Kills at Least 18; Cause Unclear
The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, says the blast occurred Sunday in the village of Sarmada near the Turkish border

The Associated Press SendSend me email alerts
Aug 12, 2018 1:37 PM
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Destroyed buildings are seen on August 12, 2018 following an explosion at an arms depot in a residential area in Syria's northern Idlib province city of Sarmada in which 12 people were reportedly killed
Destroyed buildings are seen on August 12, 2018 following an explosion at an arms depot in a residential area in Syria's northern Idlib province city of Sarmada Photo by OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP
Erdogan denies Turkey is in economic crisis: 'It's just fluctuations'
Turkey helping Syrian rebels to build new 'national army' to fight Assad
Syrian opposition activists say an explosion in the country’s north has killed at least 18 people and wounded many others. The cause of the blast wasn’t immediately known.

The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, says the blast occurred Sunday in the village of Sarmada near the Turkish border and “killed and wounded dozens.” The explosion collapsed a five-story building, burying many of the victims.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 18. It’s unclear if the casualties are all civilians.

The Observatory says an arms depot in the basement of a building had detonated. It says the depot was run by an arms dealer close to the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee.

Meanwhile, Syrian government forces are fighting rebels in Idlib province.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Tue 31 Jul 2018, 5:24 pm

https://www.rt.com/usa/434670-trump-meet-rouhani-any-time/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Trump says he’s ready to meet Iran’s Rouhani ‘any time’ & with ‘no preconditions’
Published time: 30 Jul, 2018 18:40
Edited time: 31 Jul, 2018 10:08
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Trump says he’s ready to meet Iran’s Rouhani ‘any time’ & with ‘no preconditions’
Donald Trump holds a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppi Conti ©️ Brian Snyder / Reuters
US President Donald Trump has said that he is willing to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani with no preconditions. “Anytime they want,” he told reporters, “if they want to meet, I’ll meet.”
Trump made his comments while speaking to reporters after a White House meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti on Monday. “I would certainly meet with Iran, if they were ready to meet,” he said.
A self-described negotiating genius, Trump added that he would “meet with anybody.”
Read more
US Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis ©️ Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith, Department of Defense US not planning Iran regime change, Australian report is ‘fiction’ – Mattis
While Trump and his cabinet have taken a hardline approach to Iran, Trump has threatened foreign adversaries with war before, and then softened his tone and welcomed them to the negotiating table, as was the case with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran deal this year – which offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for halting nuclear expansion – but hinted on Monday that he would be open to negotiating a new agreement with Tehran “If we could work something out that’s meaningful, not the waste of paper like the other deal was.”
In the meantime, the US looks set to continue its pressure campaign of sanctions and threats against the Islamic Republic.
Last week, Trump threatened Rouhani with “CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” in a bizarre all-caps warning via Twitter.
Trump was responding to an earlier statement from Rouhani who urged Washington to refrain from provoking Iran unless it wants “the mother of all wars” to break out.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 9:30 am

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa-rouhani/irans-rouhani-warns-trump-about-mother-of-all-wars-idUSKBN1KC07Z
Iran's Rouhani warns Trump about 'mother of all wars'
Reuters Staff
4 MIN READ
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday cautioned U.S. President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran, saying “war with Iran is the mother of all wars”, but did not rule out peace between the two countries.

Iran faces increased U.S. pressure and looming sanctions after Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats, Rouhani said: “Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret,” the state new agency IRNA reported.

“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said, leaving open the possibility of peace between the two countries, at odds since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests,” Rouhani said, in an apparent reference to reported efforts by Washington to destabilize Iran’s Islamic government.

In Washington, U.S. officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Trump administration had launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups.

Current and former U.S. officials said the campaign painted Iranian leaders in a harsh light, at times using information that is exaggerated or contradicts other official pronouncements, including comments by previous administrations.

Rouhani scoffed at Trump’s threat to halt Iranian oil exports and said Iran has a dominant position in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping waterway.

“Anyone who understands the rudiments of politics doesn’t say ‘we will stop Iran’s oil exports’...we have been the guarantor of the regional waterway’s security throughout history,” Rouhani said, cited by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are halted.

Rouhani’s apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries came in reaction to efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

Iranian officials have in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action.

On Sunday, Iran’s ground forces commander became the latest military figure to back Rouhani’s apparent threat, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported.

“The Strait of Hormuz region must either be safe for all or be insecure for everyone,” said General Kioumars Heydari, quoted by Tasnim.

Separately, a top Iranian military commander warned that the Trump government might be preparing to invade Iran.

“The enemy’s behavior is unpredictable,” Tasnim quoted military chief of staff General Mohammad Baqeri as saying.

“Although the current American government does not seem to speak of a military threat, according to precise information it has been trying to persuade the U.S. military to launch a military invasion (of Iran),” Baqeri said.

Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of new U.S. sanctions, putting oil markets under huge strain amid supply outages elsewhere.

Washington initially planned to shut Iran out of global oil markets completely after Trump abandoned the deal that limited Iran’s nuclear ambitions, demanding all other countries stop buying Iranian crude by November.

But the United States has somewhat eased its stance, saying it may grant sanction waivers to some allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies.

FILE PHOTO: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attends a news conference at the Chancellery in Vienna, Austria July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo
Reporting by Dubai newsroom; editing by Jason Neely and Dale Hudson
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
CONTINUED.......

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa-rouhani/irans-rouhani-warns-trump-about-mother-of-all-wars-idUSKBN1KC07Z
WORLD NEWSJULY 23, 2018 / 6:24 AM / UPDATED 16 MINUTES AGO
Trump warns Iran to 'never, ever threaten' U.S. or suffer consequences
Brendan O'Brien, Warren Strobel
3 MIN READ

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday not to threaten the United States or face the consequences, hours after Rouhani told Trump that hostile policies toward Tehran could lead to “the mother of all wars.”

In a late night Twitter message directed at Rouhani, Trump wrote: “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”

RELATED COVERAGE
Iran will resist Trump's 'psychological warfare': senior Guards commander to ISNA
The escalation in rhetoric came as the Trump administration has launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Iran has faced increased U.S. pressure and looming sanctions following Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran has said its nuclear work is just for electricity generation and other peaceful projects.

In a speech late on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced Iran’s leaders as a “mafia” and promised unspecified backing for Iranians unhappy with their government.

Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats earlier on Sunday, Rouhani said: “Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret,” according to a report by the state new agency IRNA.

“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said, leaving open the possibility of peace between the two countries, at odds since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Rouhani also scoffed at Trump’s threat to halt Iranian oil exports and said Iran has a dominant position in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping waterway.

Rouhani’s apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries came in reaction to efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

Washington initially planned to shut Iran out of global oil markets completely after Trump abandoned the deal that limited Iran’s nuclear ambitions, demanding all other countries stop buying Iranian crude by November.

But the United States has somewhat eased its stance, saying it may grant sanction waivers to some allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about his summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as he begins a meeting with members of the U.S. Congress at the White House in Washington, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
Reporting by Brendan O'Brien and Warren Strobel; Additional reporting by Dubai newsroom; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Nick Macfie

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
TOP NEWSJULY 23, 2018 / 9:06 AM / UPDATED 20 MINUTES AGO
Iran will resist Trump's 'psychological warfare': senior Guards commander to ISNA
Reuters Staff

1 MIN READ

Ankara (Reuters) - Overnight threats by President Donald Trump against Iran amount to “psychological warfare”, and Tehran will continue to resists its enemies, a senior commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Monday.

“We will never abandon our revolutionary beliefs ... we will resist pressure from enemies... America wants nothing less than (to) destroy Iran ... (but) Trump cannot do a damn thing against Iran,” Iranian Students News Agency ISNA reported Gholamhossein Gheybparvar as saying.

Trump told President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday to stop threatening the United States or face the consequences, hours after Rouhani told Trump that hostile policies toward Tehran could lead to “the mother of all wars.”

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by John Stonestreet

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/mike-pompeo-world-must-help-iranians-prepare-for-revolt
Mike Pompeo: World must help Iranians prepare for revolt
by Joel Gehrke
| July 22, 2018 11:20 PM
Mike Pompeo
“There are times when things happen that are unexpected, unanticipated; our revolution would be one of them,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Sign up for Daily on Defense
President Trump plans to help set the conditions for a successful revolution by the Iranian people against the Islamic Republic, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday.

“There are times when things happen that are unexpected, unanticipated; our revolution would be one of them,” Pompeo said Sunday night at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.,

“We don't know the right moment, we don't know the day,” he continued, “but we do know the things that the world is obligated to do, so that when the right time comes — when the right moment comes — the opportunity is even more likely to find it's fulfillment.”
Trump caves to Putin
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Trump’s team has taken care to avoid calling directly for regime change, perhaps due to the historical baggage of the CIA’s role in a 1953 coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. Pompeo, addressing an audience of Iranian-Americans, all but made the case for rebellion. And he didn’t shy from repeated references to the American Revolution against the British Empire.

“Iranians want to be governed with dignity, accountability, and respect,” he said, noting the outbreak of protests in recent months. “The United States hears you. The United States supports you, the United States is with you ... because we, too, took a hard first step towards becoming a free country a few years’ back.”

Pompeo sought to stoke that frustration, peppering his address with examples of corruption at the highest levels of the regime. “These hypocritical holy men have devised all kinds of crooked schemes to become some of the wealthiest men on earth, while their people suffer,” he said, referring to the clerical order running the country.

He took aim most notably at Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader who controls $95 billion — “with a ‘b,’" he emphasized — as a “slush fund” for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. And that focus on financing militants comes at the expense of the Iranian people, Pompeo argued.

“Today, thanks to regime subsidies, the average Hezbollah combatant makes two to three times what an Iranian firefighter makes on the streets of Iran,” Pompeo said. “The Iranian economy is going great, but only if you're a politically-connected member of the elite.”

That criticism also encapsulates the administration's case for renewing economic sanctions on the regime, pursuant to Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal. "We have an obligation to out maximum pressure on the regime's ability to generate and move money," he said.

Pompeo’s remarks were briefly interrupted by a protester denouncing the separation of families at the southern border as part of the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration. The outburst frustrated the audience, but the diplomat stayed on message.

“If there were only so much freedom of expression in Iran,” he said.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Jul 2018, 6:31 pm

Israeli warplanes strike targets in western Syria – report
Published time: 22 Jul, 2018 17:02
Edited time: 22 Jul, 2018 17:36
Get short URLhttps://on.rt.com/9auh
Israeli warplanes strike targets in western Syria – report
An Israeli F15 fighter jet. ©️ Amir Cohen / Reuters
Israeli fighter jets have carried out an airstrike near the town of Masyaf in the province of Hama in western Syria on Sunday, state-run SANA news agency reports.
There were no casualties as a result of the air raid, “with the aggression causing only material damage,” the agency reported.

The Lebanese Al Mayadeen channel reported that Israeli planes fired missiles from Lebanon’s airspace, targeting a scientific facility. Reports on Twitter said the attack was aimed at a Syrian military facility.

READ MORE: Netanyahu: Trump & Trudeau asked Israel to evacuate White Helmets from Syria

Earlier in July, Syria blamed Israel of attacking its T-4 airbase in Homs Province. The base’s air defenses have intercepted several missiles and hit one of the Israeli aircraft, the state media reported. It’s the second time this year the T-4 airfield was targeted by Israeli air force as a raid in April killed several Syrian troops and Iranian military advisors stationed at the facility

In recent months, Israel has been frequently carrying out missiles strikes in Syria due to concerns that its main geopolitical rival, Iran, which is helping the government in Damascus to fight terrorists, may use the Syrian territory as a foothold to attack the Jewish state.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 12:15 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/431140-trump-putin-meeting-helsinki/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Putin-Trump meeting set for July 16 in Helsinki, Kremlin confirms
Published time: 28 Jun, 2018 12:02
Edited time: 28 Jun, 2018 12:04
Get short URL  https://on.rt.com/98o4
Putin-Trump meeting set for July 16 in Helsinki, Kremlin confirms
FILE PHOTO ©️ Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik
The much-anticipated summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump is set to take place in Helsinki on July 16th. Previous media reports said the Finnish capital was selected during discussions between Moscow and Washington.
Putin will meet with his US counterpart in the Nordic nation, on July 16th  the Kremlin confirmed. Earlier in the day, CNN and Fox News reported Helsinki was selected as the venue of the much-anticipated summit

READ MORE: Trump to meet Putin regardless of ‘noise’ at home as it’s in US national interest – Bolton

Previously, the Russian president’s adviser Yury Ushakov said the one-on-one is likely to last “for a few hours,” adding that a working breakfast and other protocol events are also scheduled. The adviser called the sit-down “the main international event of this summer,” given its importance for the two powers and the global community.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who visited Moscow on Wednesday, said that “despite the political noise in the US,” direct communications between Trump and Putin are in the “best interest of our country.”

“A full range of issues” will be discussed by the pair when they finally get together, including arms control, alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and Moscow rejoining the G8, he said.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 18 Jun 2018, 9:26 am

https://www.rt.com/news/430046-syria-army-positions-strike/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
US-led coalition strikes Syrian army positions in Deir ez-Zor province – state media
Published time: 17 Jun, 2018 22:39
Edited time: 18 Jun, 2018 06:47
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US-led coalition strikes Syrian army positions in Deir ez-Zor province – state media
FILE PHOTO: Fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir ez-Zor ©️ Rodi Said / Reuters
US-led coalition aircraft have reportedly bombed Syrian military positions in the Al Bukamal area of Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria, state media outlet SANA reports, citing a military source.
The strike, according to the military source, allegedly targeted a Syrian “military position” in al-Harra, southeast of Al Bukamal. There are dead and wounded following the strike, the source added.

The strike was “probably” carried out by American drones, a source from among the local pro-government forces told Reuters, adding that the attack allegedly targeted Iraqi factions between Albu Kamal and Tanf, as well as Syrian military positions. 

The Pentagon, however, denied any involvement. “Not a US or Coalition strike,” US Department of Defense spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik, about the reported attack.

Read more
FILE PHOTO: A US fighter stands near a military vehicle, north of Raqqa city ©️ Rodi SaidAll remaining ISIS resistance zones in Syria are in US-controlled areas – Russian MoD
The reported strike would not be the first time the US-led coalition targeted the positions of Syrian military and pro-Damascus forces in Deir ez-Zor, where the Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operate.

The SDF, with the support of the US-led anti-IS coalition, began Operation Roundup on May 1, with a declared goal of driving out remaining jihadists from the Iraq-Syria border region and the middle Euphrates River Valley. To help their allies gain ground, the coalition has conducted 225 strikes with 280 engagements in May. “This demonstrates a 304 percent increase over the 74 strikes conducted in March and a 123 percent increase over the 183 strikes recorded in April,” the Pentagon noted earlier. US-led strikes in the vicinity of Abu Kamal have been carried out daily during June, allegedly targeting IS positions and supply routes.

Damascus has repeatedly denounced Washington’s actions as a violation of Syrian sovereignty, arguing that the US presence only benefits terrorists and those who want to carve up the country.

US ‘losing its cards’ in Syria: Highlights of RT’s interview with Bashar Assad

“The United States is losing its cards. The main card was Al-Nusra, that was called ‘moderate,’ but when scandals started leaking that they’re not moderate, that they’re Al-Qaeda, which is supposed to be fought by the United States, they started looking for another card. This card is the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] now,” Bashar Assad told RT in a recent interview.

READ MORE: US warns against attacking its troops after Assad says they’ll leave Syria ‘one way or another'

Most of the Syrian territory has been liberated by government forces, with the help of Russian air power and Iranian advisers on the ground. The only remaining major pockets of militants are found in the US-protected zones of ‘interest.’ In addition to the coalition’s air support, over 2,000 US soldiers are embedded with the SDF in the northeast, as well around Al-Tanf base, established not far from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Read more
FILE PHOTO: The US flag flutters on a military vehicle in Manbij countryside, Syria, on May 12, 2018. ©️ Aboud HamamNo agreement on Southern Syria’s de-escalation zone until US leaves al-Tanf base – Damascus
Damascus says that the American presence discourages ‘moderate’ militants from engaging in any constructive negotiations with the government. After each Syrian military victory or successful reconciliation effort, the US and its partners are trying to counteract these gains by “supporting more terrorism, bringing more terrorists to Syria, or by hindering the political process,” Assad told RT in a recent interview, blaming the US for prolonging the seven-year war.

“Somehow, they’re going to leave,” Assad said, adding that the Syrian government will focus on dealing with the US-backed forces, including the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), “with the Americans, or without the Americans.”

Washington seemingly took Assad’s statement as a threat and has warned the government troops against any attempt to remove them by force. “Any interested party in Syria should understand that attacking US forces or our coalition partners will be a bad policy,” Director of Joint Staff Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie noted.

The US will remain in Syria as long as needed, to maintain the so-called “deconfliction zone” under the coalition's umbrella, the US military official added. Damascus, however, does not recognize any unilaterally declared “deconfliction zones” – unlike the internationally recognized “de-escalation zones,” which Russia, Turkey and Iran established, with the full support of the United Nations Security Council.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jun 2018, 11:19 am

Iran’s Supreme Leader: We will increase nuclear enrichment capacity
https://worldisraelnews.com/irans-supreme-leader-we-will-increase-nuclear-enrichment-capacity/?
 June 5, 2018
Iran’s Supreme Leader: We will increase nuclear enrichment capacityAyatollah Ali Khamenei (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via
Iran is threatening to boost its nuclear enrichment program to levels in breach of the 2015 agreement. 
By: World Israel News Staff and AP
Iran’s top leader threatened that anyone who fires one missile at his country “will be hit by 10” in response, but he dismissed fears of a possible regional war as “propaganda” by the West.
Addressing thousands of Iranians at a ceremony Monday in tribute to the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Europeans should “avoid miscalculations” leading them to believe that if they fail to stand up against US sanctions, Iran will continue to abide by its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The Iranian nation will not tolerate both sanctions and nuclear restrictions,” he stated, according to Iran’s Fars news.
Khamenei said he has ordered atomic authorities to increase the country’s nuclear enrichment capacity.

“The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran should also take the introductory measures for the execution of the President’s order from tomorrow,” he stated.

The increase, 190,000 SWUs (Separate Working Units of uranium enrichment), would not exceed limits set by the nuclear accord, which European countries have said they hope to salvage.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said last week that Tehran is capable of and prepared to increase the amount and level of its uranium enrichment.

“We have done the needed preparations in different fields to return to the pre-nuclear deal era, but we hope never to reach that point,” Salehi told reporters.

“If we decide to develop certain operations, including enrichment, we will be ready to increase production enrichment, for instance,” he added.

Salehi will reportedly inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UN’s nuclear watchdog, of increased production of UF6 gas meant to be injected into centrifuges banned from use under the nuclear accord.

Khamenei’s remarks came as Iran and the Europeans are in talks on how to preserve the nuclear deal after the US withdrew from the agreement.

President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that the US would no longer remain part of the JCPOA and promised to re-impose the highest level of economic sanctions against Iran in response to Tehran’s development of its nuclear program.

In the meantime, Yukiya Amano, director of the IAEA, called on Iran to provide “timely and proactive cooperation” during inspections that are part of the deal meant to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

Amano spoke Monday to the board of governors of the IAEA in Vienna. Last month, in its first report since the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, the IAEA said that Iran has remained below the maximum level to which it allowed to enrich uranium and appears to be fulfilling other obligations. But Iran is slow when it comes to “complementary access” inspections, the report added.

“Timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access would facilitate implementation … and enhance confidence,” Amano said.

Netanyahu seeking to alter deal
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left Monday for a round of diplomatic meetings in Berlin, Paris and London with the future of the Iran nuclear deal in focus.

Israel is hoping that the American withdrawal will lead the European leaders to address the deal’s shortcomings, including “sunset” provisions that end restrictions on Iranian nuclear activities in less than a decade as well as permitting Iran to continue developing long-range missiles that could eventually deliver nuclear warheads to targets around the globe.

In a joint press conference with Merkel, Netanyahu noted that Khamenei “said again that Israel is a cancer that has to be eradicated, will be eradicated from the earth. And this is amazing that in the beginning of the 21st century, somebody talks about destroying Israel. It means destroying another six millionplus Jews. It’s quite extraordinary that this goes on, but this is what we face.”

“And it’s important to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We commit, and I commit again, that we will not let that happen,” he stated.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sat 02 Jun 2018, 11:11 pm

Assad Threatens Retaliation, Vows To Reclaim Syrian Territory Out of the Hands of US-Backed Forces
https://www.westernjournal.com/assad-threatens-retaliation-vows-to-reclaim-syrian-territory-out-of-the-hands-of-us-backed-forces/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=conservative-brief-WJ&utm_campaign=dailypm&utm_content=western-journalBy Will Racke 
May 31, 2018 at 12:00pm
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday that his government will move to reclaim territory currently held by U.S. troops and their allies, whether by negotiations or by force.

In an interview with RT, the Russian state’s international broadcaster, Assad said he had begun “now opening doors for negotiations” with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which control much of northeastern Syria after expelling Islamic State militants there.

“This is the first option. If not, we’re going to resort to … liberating those areas by force,” Assad said, according to Reuters. “We don’t have any other options, with the Americans or without the Americans.”
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 Assad says U.S. must leave Syria, vows to recover SDF areas https://reut.rs/2L9c26d 
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Assad says U.S. must leave Syria, vows to recover SDF areas
President Bashar al-Assad said the United States should learn the lesson of Iraq and withdraw from Syria, and promised to recover areas of the country held by U.S.-backed militias through negotiati...
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Assad is now firmly in control of most of Syria after seven years of a brutal civil war that has killed an estimated 500,000 people, displaced roughly 6 million more inside the country, and forced another 5 million to flee abroad as refugees.

TRENDING: Blue Wave Drying Up as Polls for NJ Senate Race Show Incumbent Dem. Struggling

Backed by allies Russia and Iran, Assad has recently crushed rebel and Islamic militant resistance in Damascus, the capital, as well as Aleppo and Homs, Syria’s other principal cities.

Some parts of Syria remain outside the government’s control, however, including border areas near Jordan, Israel and Turkey. Nor does Assad’s reach extend into northeastern Syria, where U.S. special operations troops are helping the Kurdish-dominated SDF defeat the remnants of ISIS.

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Assad has previously characterized Washington’s intervention in Syria as an illegal occupation of a sovereign country.
In his Thursday interview, he reiterated that claim and warned that an extended American presence in Syria would result in an insurgency similar to the one that followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“They came to Iraq with no legal basis, and look what happened to them,” Assad said. “They have to learn the lesson. Iraq is no exception, and Syria is no exception. People will not accept foreigners in this region anymore.”

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 Without foreign interference we could settle situation in Syria in a year – Assad to RT - WATCH: https://www.rt.com/on-air/ 
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President Donald Trump has struggled to define the military mission and broader strategic goals for Syria since inheriting the U.S. intervention from the Obama administration.
In April, Trump said he wanted to withdraw U.S. troops “very soon” but also expressed support for leaving a “strong and lasting footprint.”
Trump is under pressure from inside and outside his administration to keep American troops in Syria as a way of maintaining leverage over Assad in post-war negotiations.
Additionally, Iran hawks in Trump’s cabinet, along with regional allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, have argued for a long-term U.S. military intervention in Syria to counter Tehran’s influence there.

RELATED: Fearing Russia, Poland Offers US $2 Billion for Permanent Military Presence

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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 10:26 pm

IRAN WITHDRAWING
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that Iranian advisers and Hezbollah fighters will be withdrawing from the southern Syrian regions of Daraa and Quneitra near Israel's Golan Heights. Israel and Russia have been in constant talks to figure out a way to keep Iran out of the border area. Defense Minister Lieberman visited the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow yesterday. One Russian news outlet reported that Russia would like to reach an agreement that would deploy Russian military police and order the pullout of all Iranian forces from the border region. Syrian President Assad has denied that there are any Iranian troops in Syria. 
MORE https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5275778,00.html?utm_source=email
Monitor says Iran to pull out of southern Syria
Iranian troops and fighters of Lebanon's Hezbollah terrorist group have begun preparing to withdraw from Syrian territory adjacent to the country's border with Syria, a Syrian war monitor says.
Ynet reporters and The Associated Press|Published:  05.31.18 , 20:01
A Syrian war monitor says Iranian troops and fighters of Lebanon's Hezbollah group are getting ready to withdraw from southern Syria.
 
Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter 
 
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday Iranian advisers and Hezbollah fighters will be withdrawing from the southern regions of Daraa and Quneitra near Israel's Golan Heights.
 
A Syria-based official with the Iran-led axis of resistance denied the report saying it is “untrue.” The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, gave no further details.
 
Syrian rebel forces near Golan Heights (Photo: Reuters)
 
Russian news outlets had recently reported that Moscow wants to cut a deal that would see Russian military police deployed to areas near Israel. The agreement would envisage the pullout of all Iranian forces from the area and require Syrian rebels to surrender heavy weapons.
 
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin had a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the situation in Syria.
 
The Kremlin said the conversation focused on "some aspects of the Syrian settlement," which it didn’t specify, following up on the two leaders' talks in Moscow earlier this month.
 
The Syrian government’s plans to recapture rebel-held areas near the border raised Israeli concerns that its backers—Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah—could take up positions along the frontier. Netanyahu has warned that his government would not allow Iran to maintain a permanent military presence anywhere inside Syria.
 
Quneitra in ruins, devastated by 8-year-long civil war (Photo: Reuters)
 
The phone call came as Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was visiting Moscow Thursday for talks on the situation along Syria’s border with Israel.
 
The meeting took place at the Russian Ministry of Defense in Russia's capital and took more than an hour and a half. It dealt with security issues concerning the two countries and security coordination between them, the situation in Syria, and Israel's efforts to prevent Iran from establishing itself in Syria.
 
The report on the Iranian pullout came shortly after Syrian President Bashar Assad rebuffed claims of an Iranian military presence in his country.
 
In an interview with Russia Today, Assad said Iran's presence in Syria was limited to officers who were assisting the Syrian army. Apparently referring to the May 10 attack by Israel, the Syrian president said "we had tens of Syrian martyrs and wounded soldiers, not a single Iranian" casualty.
 
Syrian President Assad; Energy Minister Steinitz (Photo: Reuters)
 
However, Iran-backed militias, including Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group, have played a big role in support of Assad during the conflict. Iran's Revolutionary Guards have also deployed in the country.
 
In response, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz accused Assad of lying, calling his interview "cheap propaganda.
 
"There are Iranian forces and there is Iranian presence in Syria, everybody knows that. Iranian troops and even a general were killed in Syria, both recently and in the past," Steinitz told Ynet in an interview.
 
"This isn't the first time Assad has lied. He also said there were no chemical weapons in Syria, and that he never used chemical weapons—and we know the truth behind that," he went on to say. "Assad allowed the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Shiite militias supported by Iran to enter Syria. Furthermore, recently, an Iranian drone infiltrated Israel—coming from Syrian territory—and was shot down. Who operated it? Where did it come from?"
Yoav Zitun, Alexandra Lukash and Nir Cohen contributed to this article.
First published: 05.31.18, 20:01 


Assad denies there are Iranian troops in Syria
 May 31, 2018
Assad denies there are Iranian troops in SyriaSyrian President Bashar al-Assad (AP/Ibrahim Usta)
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Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad claimed in an interview with Russian TV that only a small number of Iranian officers are in Syria.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Russian TV Thursday that Syria had no Iranian troops on its soil.
“We never had, and you cannot hide it,” Assad said. “We have Iranian officers who work with the Syrian Army as help, but they don’t have troops.”
In an interview with Russia Today, Russia’s international broadcaster, Assad charged the Israeli government with lying about the Iranian military presence in his country, which would give them an excuse to attack his military.
“[The Israelis] said that they attacked Iranian bases and camps, as they said, allegedly, and actually we had tens of Syrian martyrs and wounded soldiers, not a single Iranian…. So, it’s a lie,” he stated.
Assad stands contradicted
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 31 May 2018, 1:33 pm



‘We were close to direct conflict between Russia & US inside Syria’ – Bashar Assad
https://www.rt.com/news/428299-assad-syria-russia-interview/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Published time: 31 May, 2018 05:28
Edited time: 31 May, 2018 09:28
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‘We were close to direct conflict between Russia & US inside Syria’ – Bashar Assad
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Syrian President Bashar Assad says Moscow deterred the West from launching a devastating country-wide air strike last month, and believes that Damascus has nearly won the seven-year war, despite continued US “interference.”
“With every move forward for the Syrian Army, and for the political process, and for the whole situation, our enemies and our opponents, mainly the West led by the United States and their puppets in Europe and in our region, they try to make it farther – either by supporting more terrorism, bringing more terrorists to Syria, or by hindering the political process,” Assad told RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev, during a sit-down interview in Damascus, noting that without outside funding his opponents inside the country could be subdued “within a year.”
After having to switch its support between the various anti-Assad factions, and the recapture of the key cities of Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor by government forces over the past two years, Washington, the Syrian leader believes, is “losing its cards” and can be brought to the negotiating table.
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President Bashar Assad. ©️ SANANo answer to ‘Animal Assad’: Syrian leader tells RT he does not have insulting nickname for Trump
“Our challenge is how can we close this gap between their plans and our plans,” Assad said.

‘World didn’t buy US chemical weapons story’
The Syrian leader believes, however, that the closer the deadly conflict comes to an end, the more desperate his opponents’ measures become. He cited the alleged Douma chemical weapon attack (“Is it in our interest? Why, and why now?” he asks) as a last-ditch Western attempt to sway international opinion – one that failed.

“They told a story, they told a lie, and the public opinion around the world and in the West didn’t buy their story, but they couldn’t withdraw. So, they had to do something, even on a smaller scale,” Assad said, referring to the joint airstrikes against purported Syrian chemical weapons facilities, carried out on April 14 by the US, UK, and France.

Assad says Moscow also played a role in restraining Washington’s influence and meddling in the region, both generally since its invitation to aid Damascus in September 2015, and in this particular incident.

‘Russia deterred larger-scale attack on Syria’
“The Russians announced publicly that they are going to destroy the bases that are going to be used to launch missiles, and our information – we don’t have evidence, we only have information, and that information is credible information – that they were thinking about a comprehensive attack all over Syria, and that’s why the threat pushed the West to make it on a much smaller scale,” the Syrian president said.
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 Russian electronic warfare firm to upgrade products after studying US #Tomahawks downed in #Syria https://on.rt.com/96bt 
8:41 PM - May 29, 2018
Russian electronic warfare firm to upgrade products after studying US Tomahawks downed in Syria —...
A Russian military contractor, specializing in electronic warfare, will use information gained from dissecting a US Tomahawk cruise missile, used during an attack on Syria, to boost the capabilities...
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With Western ‘advisers’ deployed alongside their proxy forces in Syria, Assad also thanked Russia for not triggering face-to-face confrontation with the US, which is operating in close proximity both in the air and on the ground.

“We were close to have direct conflict between the Russian forces and the American forces, and fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership,” Assad told Gazdiev. “We need the Russian support, but we need at the same time to avoid the American foolishness in order to be able to stabilize our country.”

‘Either you have a country or you don’t have a country’
Despite praising the diplomatic efforts of the Astana peace process, and emphasizing the government’s own drive to win the hearts and minds by restoring order in liberated areas, and initiating a process of reconciliation, Assad says there are still some victories that will have to be won on the battlefield.
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 Militants linked to ISIS feeling increasingly comfortable in refugee camp located near US military base - Lavrov https://on.rt.com/969d 

2:35 PM - May 28, 2018

ISIS-linked militants show up in Syrian refugee camp under US control – Lavrov — RT World News
Militants linked with the terrorist group Islamic State are feeling increasingly comfortable in a refugee camp located near a US military base in southern Syria, the Russian foreign minister said.

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“Factions like Al-Qaeda, like ISIS, like Al-Nusra, and the like-minded groups, they’re not ready for any dialogue, they don't have any political plan; they only have this dark ideological plan, which is to be like any Al-Qaeda-controlled area anywhere in this world. So, the only option to deal with those factions is force,” Assad said, emphasizing that there is no stepping back now.

“The more escalation we have, the more determined we’ll be to solve the problem, because you don’t have any other choice; either you have a country or you don’t have a country,” the Syrian president told RT.

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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 21 May 2018, 11:30 pm

‘Strongest sanctions in history’: Pompeo issues 12 demands to Iran, vows ‘unprecedented pressure’
https://www.rt.com/usa/427312-us-iran-financial-pressure/
Published time: 21 May, 2018 13:13
Edited time: 21 May, 2018 15:14
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‘Strongest sanctions in history’: Pompeo issues 12 demands to Iran, vows ‘unprecedented pressure’
©️ Raheb Homavandi / Reuters
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Tehran will struggle to “keep its economy alive” if it does not comply with a list of 12 US demands, including Iranian withdrawal from Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed on Monday.
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Washington think tank, Pompeo laid out a list of 12 “basic requirements” for Iran. The demands call on Iran to withdraw from Syria, "release all US citizens," end support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, stop “enrichment" of uranium, and promise never to process plutonium. Iran must also allow "unqualified access to all nuclear sites throughout the country," Pompeo said.

He promised that the US would impose the "strongest sanctions in history" if Iran failed to comply with these demands.


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Demands from #Iran , Pompeo:
•Close heavy water reactors
•Allow IAEA inspectors everywhere
•End ballistic missile 
•Release US citizens 
•End support to Hezbollah, Hamas, IJ, Houthis, Taliban
•Iran must withdraw from Syria
•Iran must support Iraq Gov, disarm Shia militias

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Pompeo said that “the sting of sanctions will be painful” and Iran will struggle to “keep its economy alive” if Tehran “does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen.”

“Thanks to our colleagues at the Department of Treasury, sanctions are going back in full effect and new ones are coming … These will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history,” Pompeo said.


The secretary of state also pledged that the US "will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world, and we will crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East."

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©️ Kevin LamarqueUS 'has bigger stick' to hold EU hostage over Iran sanctions – ex-EU Commissioner to RT
Speaking directly to the Iranian people, Pompeo claimed that “President [Hassan] Rouhani and Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif… are your elected leaders. Are they not the most responsible for your economic struggles?" He added: “The United States believes you deserve better.”

Pompeo also said he's sure that over time, Washington's allies will warm to the Trump administration's now unpopular stance on Iran.

Washington’s strategy is to weaken Iran economically, rather than engage in an actual war, Dr. Said Sadik, Professor of political sociology at the American university of Cairo, told RT in response to Pompeo’s address. “What the [US] is doing now is increase sanctions trying to undermine the power of Iran regionally, economically with the hope that that would lead to unrest and disturbances in Iran, that it would make the Iranian government stop trying to help its allies or extend its influence in the area. This is basically what they want.”

Sadik added: “I don’t think they want a war because war is very expensive and dangerous in this strategic area…What they want is to weaken Iran financially, economically, with the hope that the Iranian government will not be that powerful in the area as it is now.”

The speech comes after Trump announced earlier this month that he was pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal. Europeans allies had pleaded with Trump not to withdraw from the historic accord, which put tight restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani described the US pull-out from the deal as a "historic experience for Iran," adding that "by exiting the deal, America has officially undermined its commitment to an international treaty."

Iran says it expects the EU to continue to honor the agreement, despite Washington’s withdrawal from the accord. Inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have repeatedly confirmed that Iran is in full compliance with its obligations under the deal.

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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 21 May 2018, 11:29 pm

Putin, Assad hold ‘extensive’ negotiations in Sochi on peace process
May 20, 2018
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Putin, Assad hold ‘extensive’ negotiations in Sochi on peace process
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After sending tanks and warplanes to Syria in 2015 to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s heavy-handed campaign against opposition forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin finally appears ready to push his ally towards accepting peace. The two leaders, who together share responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrian civilians, held “extensive” negotiations in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Thursday to discuss the peace process.

According to Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Assad told Putin he would send delegates to a committee previously established to draft a new Syrian constitution. Putin and Assad also addressed the need to step up humanitarian relief in war-torn Syria.

Before nominating Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize, however, skeptics warn that Moscow may simply be purchasing time for its ally to consolidate its recent territorial gains and beat back the remaining rebel forces.

Suing for peace or buying some time?
During his third recognized visit to Russia since fighting broke out in Syria in 2011, Assad congratulated his patron on a recent reelection victory in March and thanked the Russian military for its support in regaining control of Syria. Russia joined the civil war at a critical juncture in 2015, and with help from an Iranian-backed foreign legion, has successfully turned the tide in the seven-year conflict.

Opening remarks from the meeting were recorded and published on a Russian state media website. Addressing Putin, Assad confirmed his commitment to the peace process:

Stability is improving, and all that opens the doors to the political process, which we started a while ago. I have always said, and I repeat it again, that we have always wholeheartedly supported the political process, which should proceed in parallel with the war on terrorism.

We know that will not be easy, since there are countries which do not want stability to return to Syria. However, together with you and our other partners and friends, we will move firmly forward with the peace process.

Constitutional Congress
In January, Russia, Iran and Turkey presided over the Sochi Congress and worked with UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura to establish a Constitution Commission consisting of 150 members, many from previously marginalized Syrian groups. The country’s current constitution invests enormous authority in the hands of the president and is a source of grievances for many of Assad’s enemies.

Should the US stay out of Syria?
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Although Assad’s concessions are overwhelmingly preferable to the continued suffering of millions of Syrian citizens, skeptics noted that the current constitution would have been perfectly adequate for protecting these lives if Assad valued the lives of his people.

Furthermore, the current negotiations only came after Moscow’s military intervention killed any chances for a transitional governing body in Syria which would have established a new government through a mutual veto process between the regime and the opposition.

Slow motion reform
Now, according to Frederic C. Hof of the Atlantic Council think tank, Syrians are left with “a slow-motion process involving a changed constitution and national elections.”  

Where the international community sees an authoritarian regime brutally crushing a fragmented rebellion, Putin calls the internecine fighting a continuation of the war on terrorism.

“The terrorists have laid down their arms in key locations in Syria, which has allowed for the restoration of Syrian infrastructure,” Putin told his ally at Sochi. “And of course now, after these military successes, additional conditions have doubtless been created for the renewal of a fully-fledged political process.”

While Assad’s commitment to sending a state delegation to Geneva to negotiate a new constitution is promising, there are too many reasons to doubt the good intentions of a mass-murderer like the Syrian president and his deceitful patrons in Moscow.

For now, fair and free elections appear as distant as ever.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 10 May 2018, 3:33 pm

Israel Launches Airstrikes Against Iranian Base in Syria, Preventing Iranian Attack
https://www.patriotnewsalerts.com/israel-launches-airstrike/?utm_medium=ci&utm_source=push&utm_campaign=pna
May 9, 2018
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Only hours after President Trump pulled America out of the Iranian nuclear deal, missiles started to fly.

Syrian media has reported on Tuesday, Israel launched an air strike on an Iranian military outpost near Damascus.

Iranian Activity
Based on several reports, it appears Israel noticed significant activity from the Iranians on the ground in the aftermath of the Trump announcement.

A report came across Twitter the Israeli IDF had noticed, “unusual movements of Iranian forces in Syria.”

Israel then warned its people in the Golan Heights to prepare bomb shelters for use.

Air Strike Hits Its Target
Not long after that warning was issued, reports of an air strike started to dominate the internet.

At first, there were just sounds of explosions reported, then more detail started to come to light.

The Associated Press reported two missiles had been shot down by the Israelis.

However, Israel, as of this writing, has yet to confirm or deny the strike.

Retaliation
While Israel is not saying a word, Iran has not been so shy.

Iranian leadership has said it will retaliate for the attack.

In addition to this attack, Iran is looking for revenge from an attack against an air base last month.

That attack reportedly killed seven Iranian military personnel.

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There was also an attack in north Syria, for which Iran holds Israel responsible.

Reportedly, more than a dozen pro-government fighters were killed in that attack.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 10 May 2018, 10:31 am

https://www.rt.com/news/426302-syria-israel-damascus-rockets/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Israel launches massive missile strikes in Syria
Published time: 9 May, 2018 22:54
Edited time: 10 May, 2018 07:25
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Israel launches massive missile strikes in Syria
FILE PHOTO: An Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet ©️ Amir Cohen / Reuters
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Syrian air defenses were deployed to thwart an attack by the Israeli rockets, Syria’s state SANA news agency reported. The bombing is reportedly being carried out by Israeli warplanes from Lebanese airspace.
Syrian air defenses engaged missiles that Israeli warplanes are launching from outside the country's territory, SANA reported on Thursday. The bombardment appeared to go on for hours, with the first missile strikes reported at about 1:30 am Damascus time on Thursday (22:30 GMT).

Early Thursday morning, IDF spokesman Avichay Adraee confirmed that the Israeli army was continuing to hit “Iranian targets” in Syria, warning that any retaliation by Syrian forces would be met with “extreme seriousness.”

SANA has released footage of Syrian air defense systems responding to incoming missiles.
The Israeli strikes are seen as a continued retaliation to what Israel claims were some 20 rockets launched by Iran’s Quds Force from Syrian territory into the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan Heights earlier in the night. The Israel Defense Forces said its Iron Dome systems intercepted some of the projectiles and the reported attack resulted in no injuries.
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An Israeli tank in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights ©️ Amir CohenIsrael-Syria cross-border strikes reported in occupied Golan Heights
Around the same time, Syria’s state media reported that Israel shelled the city of Baath in the northern Quneitra governorate.

Tensions were ramped up in the region after US President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the accord, hailed the decision, which drew sharp condemnation from Europe, Russia, China and other non-signatory countries. A day after Trump reneged on the internationally acclaimed agreement, Israel hit a Syrian army position in the Kisweh area south of Damascus.

Israel has been claiming that Iran is setting up bases of operations in Syria in order to stage attacks against the Jewish state. It has launched numerous air strikes against Syrian government-controlled territories, targeting alleged Iranian positions.
The Golan Heights in southwestern Syria have been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and are internationally recognized as a Syrian territory.



28 Israeli jets fired about 60 rockets in overnight strikes on Syria – Russian MoD
https://www.rt.com/news/426328-israel-28-jets-syria/
Published time: 10 May, 2018 08:49
Edited time: 10 May, 2018 08:58
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28 Israeli jets fired about 60 rockets in overnight strikes on Syria – Russian MoD
FILE PHOTO. ©️ Jack Guez / AFP
Some 28 Israeli aircraft fired around 60 air-to-surface rockets in a massive overnight strike in Syria, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Syrian air-defense systems managed to intercept more than half of the missiles.
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READ MORE: Iran will take long time to recover after Israel hit ‘dozens’ of targets in Syria – IDF
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https://www.rt.com/news/426325-massive-attack-israel-syria/
Iran will take long time to recover after Israel hit ‘dozens’ of targets in Syria – IDF
Published time: 10 May, 2018 08:28
Edited time: 10 May, 2018 08:39
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Iran will take long time to recover after Israel hit ‘dozens’ of targets in Syria – IDF
Missile fire is seen over Daraa, Syria May 10, 2018. ©️ Alaa al-Faqir / Reuters
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Israel has carried out what it calls one of the most extensive military operations in years against dozens of “Iranian” targets in Syria. Tehran will need “a lot of time” to recover from the massive attack, according to the IDF.
Iran paid a “heavy price” with multiple Israeli airstrikes against what Tel-Aviv says were targets belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp’s Quds Force, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Thursday. The overnight strikes came in response to an attack aimed at Israeli targets in the Golan Heights, which Tel-Aviv attributes directly to the Iranian forces. The alleged Iranian attack resulted in no casualties or damage to Israeli infrastructure, as no rockets hit Israeli-held territory. 

READ MORE: Israeli missiles hit Syrian radar, air defense sites – state media

“Iran will need a lot of time and resources to rehabilitate its operational, military and intelligence infrastructures we hit tonight,” an IDF spokesman said, according to Ynet, warning that “any other attempt” to hurt Israel will “pay even more.”

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Jonathan Conricus
@LTCJonathan
 The IDF has struck dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria in response to the Iranian rocket attack against Israel. Quds force is behind attack and has played the initial price. IDF remains ready for various scenarios but does not seek to escalate the situation.

5:10 AM - May 10, 2018
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A map of the military targets provided by the Israeli army shows multiple sites near Damascus and also near the Syria-Israel border. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman claims “all the Iranian infrastructure” in the Arab republic was hit.

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FILE PHOTO: An Israeli Air Force F-15 fighter jet releases flares during an aerial demonstration ©️ Amir CohenBlasts heard in Damascus amid massive Israeli missile strikes (VIDEO)
While claiming that Tel-Aviv is not seeking further escalation, the IDF says that “the Syrian regime will be held accountable for everything happening in its territory,” and has warned against any retaliatory attack.

“They must understand that if it rains here, it will pour there,” Lieberman said at the Herzliya security conference near Tel Aviv several hours after the operation. He added that Israeli forces remain on high alert, but hopes this “chapter” is finished.

The overnight assault on the Syrian territory was one of the largest in recent years, according to the IDF statement. It said that Israeli jets hit intelligence sites and arms depots, among other military targets allegedly operated by the Iranian forces. Syrian state media earlier said that a Syrian radar was hit in the attack, while “tens” of incoming missiles were shot down. 

The attack may be the largest since 1974, when Israel and Syria signed a disengagement agreement that ended the 1973 Arab-Israeli War (The Yom Kippur War), according to Haaretz, which cited an unnamed source in the Israeli security establishment. 


IRANIAN BASE ATTACKED
The Syrian army has claimed that Israel attacked a base near Damascus last night. The anti-government Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 15 people, including eight Iranians, were killed in the attack.

The attack came after the IDF ordered the opening of bomb shelters in the Golan because of "a series of irregular identifications among Iranian forces in Syria”. It is assumed that the base contained missiles that the Iranians were preparing to launch against Israel.

On Monday Arab media outlets reported that eight soldiers from the Syrian army's aerial defense force were killed in a mysterious explosion that took place Sunday on the Damascus-Suwayda road. The soldiers were from the battalion responsible for shooting down an Israeli fighter jet 2 months ago.

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Israeli missiles hit Syrian radar, air defense sites – state media
Published time: 10 May, 2018 01:43
Edited time: 10 May, 2018 09:06
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Israeli missiles hit Syrian radar, air defense sites – state media
FILE PHOTO: An Israeli F16 fighter jet takes off during an exercise ©️ Amir Cohen / Reuters
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Some of the missiles Israel launched into Syrian territory have broken through the defenses deployed by Damascus and hit radar and air defense positions, state media outlet SANA said, citing a military source.
The missile barrage, reportedly launched by Israeli warplanes from outside Syrian territory, took place late Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning and targeted areas in the Quneitra and Homs areas near Damascus. Syrian air defense systems responded and shot down "tens" of incoming missiles, according to SANA.

"Some of them managed to target a number of air defense (positions), radar and an ammunition depot," the source cited by SANA said.

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FILE PHOTO: An Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet ©️ Amir CohenIsrael launches massive missile strikes in Syria
Videos posted online by locals appear to show flashes from air defense missiles visible from the capital.

The Israeli army said it was attacking "Iranian targets" inside Syria. It earlier said its positions in the occupied part of the Golan Heights were targeted by some 20 missiles launched by "Iranian forces" from the Syrian-controlled part. At about the same time, Syrian media reported Israeli shells hitting the country's territory. Neither of those attacks resulted in any casualties, according to official sources.

Israel has been claiming that Iran is setting up bases of operations in Syria in order to stage attacks against the Jewish state. It has launched numerous air strikes against Syrian government-controlled territories, targeting alleged Iranian positions.
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Israeli strikes on Syria said to kill at least 23, 18 of them foreigners
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-strikes-on-syria-said-to-kill-at-least-23-18-of-them-foreigners/?utm_source=israeli-strikes-on-syria-said-to-kill-at-least-23-18-of-them-foreigners&utm_medium=desktop-browser&utm_campaign=desktop-notifications
Watchdog reports at least five regime troops among dead; Russian defense ministry says 28 IAF jets fired 70 missiles at targets
By AFP and TOI STAFF
Today, 1:14 pm  0
A photo provided by the pro-regime Syrian Central Military Media, shows anti-aircraft fire rise into the sky as Israeli missiles hit air defense positions and other military bases around Damascus, Syria, on May 10, 2018, after the Israeli military says Iranian forces launched a rocket barrage against Israeli bases on the Golan Heights, in the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)
A photo provided by the pro-regime Syrian Central Military Media, shows anti-aircraft fire rise into the sky as Israeli missiles hit air defense positions and other military bases around Damascus, Syria, on May 10, 2018, after the Israeli military says Iranian forces launched a rocket barrage against Israeli bases on the Golan Heights, in the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)
Israeli strikes on several areas of Syria overnight killed at least 23 fighters, including five Syrian regime troops and 18 other allied forces, a monitor said Thursday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the regime troops killed in the strikes included an officer, adding that the other casualties included Syrians and foreigners.

It didn’t say whether any Iranians were among the foreigner casualties.

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Some 20 rockets were fired at northern Israeli military bases by Iranian forces from southern Syria just after midnight, Israel said, prompting extensive retaliatory raids. The Israel Defense Forces said that it suffered no casualties, either on the ground or in the air, and that no rockets fired from Syria made impact in Israeli territory.

Russia’s defense ministry said Israel’s strikes on Syria saw 28 planes take part in raids with a total of around 70 missiles fired.

“28 Israeli F-15 and F-16 aircraft were used in the attack, which released around 60 air-to-ground missiles over various parts of Syria. Israel also fired more than 10 tactical ground-to-ground missiles,” the ministry said in a statement quoted by the Interfax news agency.


An illustrative map showing the general locations of Israeli strikes in Syria in response to a presumed Iranian attack on the Golan Heights on May 10, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)
The IDF said it had hit dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria overnight.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the IDF had destroyed “nearly all” of Iran’s military infrastructure sites in Syria.

Four of the 20 projectiles launched by Iranian troops at Israel were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and the rest fell in Syria, IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said. The rockets included both Grad and Fajr-5 models, according to the military.

The IDF said the initial missile barrage was launched by members of the IRGC’s al-Quds Force. It appeared to be the first time Israel attributed an attack directly to Iran, which generally operates through proxies.

In all, the army said it carried out approximately 50 retaliatory raids against IRGC targets, including intelligence centers, weapons depots, storage facilities, observation posts, and logistics centers in Syria, as well as the rocket launcher that carried out the initial attack.

The overnight exchange was the largest-ever direct clash between the Iranian and Israeli militaries, and appeared to be the largest exchange involving Israel in Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

An Iron Dome missile defense system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, is deployed in northern Israel on May 7, 2018. (Jalaa Mary/AFP)
The military said it also targeted a number of Syrian air defense systems — SA-5, SA-2, SA-22 and SA-17 batteries — that had fired at Israeli planes, despite the military’s Arabic-language spokesperson explicitly warning earlier that “any Syrian involvement will be met with the utmost severity.”

In the days and weeks before the Iranian barrage, defense officials repeatedly warned that Israel would respond aggressively to any attack from Syrian territory.

Tehran has repeatedly vowed revenge after the T-4 army base in Syria was struck in an air raid — widely attributed to Israel — on April 9, killing at least seven members of the IRGC, including a senior officer responsible for the group’s drone program.


Rockets Launched Into Israel
Shalom, Elaine,

Iranian forces fired some 20 rockets into the Golan Heights in northern Israel tonight, and Israel is preparing for the possibility of all-out war.

Thank God, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted some of the rockets, and right now there are no reports of any casualties. Israelis in the northern part of the country are taking refuge in bomb shelters. But Iran is a relentless foe committed to Israel’s destruction, and attacks could escalate at any time.
 
We ask you to pray for Israel in her time of need. Pray that God will protect the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces as they bravely defend their country.

Pray that He will thwart Israel’s enemies in their attempts to destroy the Jewish state. And pray that Israelis caught in the line of fire will be safe, and will receive the lifesaving assistance they need.
 
In the Bible, God promises Israel that “no weapon forged against you will prevail” (Isaiah 54:17). As we hold to this promise, we pray that God will bless Israel, and all of us, with peace in this time of war and strife.

Visit our Stand for Israel blog for updates on this crisis and urgent prayer needs.

The Fellowship
http://www.ifcj.org/news/stand-for-israel/
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 03 May 2018, 12:52 pm

2 killed as Russian Su-30SM jet crashes off Syrian coast
https://www.rt.com/news/425704-russian-jet-crash-syria-latakia/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Published time: 3 May, 2018 08:18
Edited time: 3 May, 2018 09:20
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2 killed as Russian Su-30SM jet crashes off Syrian coast
FILE PHOTO: A Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker-C fighter. ©️ Vitaliy Timkiv / Sputnik
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A Russian military jet has crashed off the coast of Syria’s Latakia, killing two pilots on board, the Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed.
On Thursday morning, a Russian Su-30SM went down in the Mediterranean Sea after taking off from Khmeimim Airbase. Pilots “fought to take the aircraft under control till the last minute,” the Russian Defense ministry said. Both of them died as the result of the incident.

The crash may have been caused by a bird hitting the engine, the ministry said, citing preliminary data. The aircraft did not come under fire.

The Su-30SM is the first warplane in the Su-30 family of “Flankers” to be lost by the Russian military.

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 fall of a #Russian plane in the sea off the port city of #Jabla in #Syria

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Russian military aircraft are stationed in Syria as part of a deal between Moscow and Damascus. In 2017, Russian and Syrian authorities agreed to prolong their presence in the country after President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of a significant number of troops from Syria. Khmeimim Airbase near Latakia and the naval site in the port city of Tartus have been handed over to Russia for 49 years with an option of automatic extension.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Apr 2018, 8:38 am

https://www.timesofisrael.com/18-iranians-including-top-officer-reportedly-killed-in-blast-on-syria-base/
Monitor: 26 pro-regime fighters, mostly Iranians, killed in blast on Syria base
https://www.timesofisrael.com/18-iranians-including-top-officer-reportedly-killed-in-blast-on-syria-base/?utm_source=18-iranians-including-top-officer-reportedly-killed-in-blast-on-syria-base&utm_medium=desktop-browser&utm_campaign=desktop-notifications
Watchdog says raids 'probably' carried out by Israel, but state-owned media says US and British forces launched attacks on Hama and Aleppo from Jordan
By AGENCIES and TOI STAFF
Today, 8:07 am  8
An explosion is seen coming from an army base, allegedly used by Iran-backed militias, outside the northern Syria city of Hama on April 29, 2018. (Screen capture; Facebook)
Missile strikes against Syrian regime forces in the central province of Hama overnight killed 26 pro-regime fighters, mostly Iranians, a monitor said Monday.

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said the fighters had been killed in a raid, “probably” carried out by Israel, on the 47th Brigade base in Hama.

“At least 26 fighters were killed, including four Syrians,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based war monitor. “The others are foreign fighters, a vast majority of them Iranians.”

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“Given the nature of the target, it is likely to have been an Israeli strike,” he said, adding that strikes also hit an air base in nearby Aleppo province where surface-to-surface missiles were stored.

State media reported overnight that “enemy missiles” had struck government targets in Hama and Aleppo provinces, without mentioning any casualties or who may have been responsible.

There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties: Syrian opposition officials have reportedly said that 18 Iranians, including a senior Revolutionary Guards military official, were killed, according to Israel Radio. Other opposition-linked outlets placed the overall number of fatalities at 38.

While some sources blamed Israel for the strikes, Syrian state-owned news site Tishreen said late Sunday the raids were carried out by United States and British forces. The Western troops launched nine ballistic missiles from military bases in northern Jordan that struck Syrian bases near Aleppo and Hama, the news outlet said on its Facebook page.

Other media outlets claimed the attacks were carried out by aircraft bombers, and Hezbollah-linked sources and other regime outlets attributed the strikes to Israel.

There was no official statement from the US or Britain about the attack. As a rule, the Israeli Air Force does not comment on its activities abroad.

Israel’s Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told Army Radio on Monday morning that he was “not aware” of the latest strikes.
MAP 
But, he said, “all the violence and instability in Syria is the result of Iran’s attempts to establish a military presence there. Israel will not allow the opening of a northern front in Syria.”


The official SANA news agency reported that some “enemy missiles” targeted the Syrian regime’s military positions in the provinces of Hama and Aleppo, without identifying the attackers.

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights monitor confirmed the firing of missiles, adding that “Iranian elements” were stationed at two of the targeted bases.

Videos of the blast show a fireball light up the night sky.
VIDEO 
The Hama facility was said to house a weapons depot, which accounted for the size and intensity of the blast, which could be seen from kilometers away and reportedly registered on seismographs in the area.

The Orient news outlet noted that the base was known to be the headquarters of Iranian militiamen and had been “heavily involved” in attacks against rebel forces in the area.

Earlier this month, seven Iranian military personnel were killed in an airstrike on Syria’s T4 air base in Homs. Syria, Iran and Russia blamed Israel for that attack. Israel did not confirm or deny it.

Earlier Sunday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel will uphold its right to operate in Syria against any threats, and will not be deterred if Russia supplies the Syrians with advanced air defense systems. He added that Israel will stop at nothing to prevent Iran from using Syrian territory as a base to attack Israel.

“We will maintain freedom of operation in all of Syria,” Liberman said, when asked about Russia equipping Syria with advanced systems.

Israel has repeatedly voiced concerns that, as well as trying to deliver advanced weaponry to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, Iran has been using the unrest in Syrian as a means to establish forward operating bases that could be used to launch rocket attacks and other military action against Israel.

Israel, Liberman said, “will prevent Iran from establishing a forward base in Syria at any cost.”

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.



https://www.timesofisrael.com/jordan-israel-palestinians-in-rare-japan-hosted-meeting/
Jordan, Israel, Palestinians in rare Japan-hosted meeting
Parties meet to advance an agro-industrial park intended to enhance cross-border trade and cooperation
By AP and TOI STAFF
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Economy Minister Eli Cohen, left, shakes hands with Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono before a meeting on the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity," at Dead Sea, Jordan, April 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
Economy Minister Eli Cohen, left, shakes hands with Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono before a meeting on the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity," at Dead Sea, Jordan, April 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
The Japanese foreign minister has presided over a rare meeting of Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian officials to push ahead with an agro-industrial park intended to enhance cross-border trade and cooperation.

Taro Kono, the Japanese minister, acknowledged late Sunday that it “has not been easy for the four parties to get together under current circumstances.”

Israel and Jordan only recently patched up relations after a months-long diplomatic crisis. Officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank meet only intermittently because of ongoing deadlock in peace efforts.

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The summit was attended by Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and Jordan’s Planning Minister Imad Fakhoury.

Sunday’s meeting focused on the Japan-backed Jericho Agro-Industrial Park in the West Bank, near an Israeli-controlled border with Jordan. Twelve companies operate at the park, launched more than a decade ago. Kono says he hopes more will join, including Japanese firms.


Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, left, shakes hands with Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono before a meeting on the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity,” at Dead Sea, Jordan, April 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
The industrial zone was set up by Japan as part of the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity Initiative aimed at promoting economic cooperation between Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan.

Although Japan has never played an influential role in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in December, Kono reportedly invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to a four-way peace summit in Tokyo that would also include Jared Kushner, who is overseeing US President Donald Trump’s efforts to revive peace talks.

According to Israel’s Channel 10 news, Netanyahu said he was open to attending, but only if the US agreed. “If Kushner is there, I will also be there,” the report quoted Netanyahu as telling Kono.

The TV channel in December said the proposal was first made to Netanyahu by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when the two met in New York during the UN General Assembly in September last year. It said Netanyahu told Abe he would only attend if the summit was coordinated with the US, which has traditionally been the arbitrator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The reports did not say how Abbas responded to Kono’s proposal.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sun 29 Apr 2018, 12:36 pm

Threat to Turkey comes from ‘strategic partners’ – Erdogan
Published time: 22 Apr, 2018 01:47
Edited time: 23 Apr, 2018 07:32
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FILE PHOTO: President Erdogan poses with police officers ©️ Kayhan Ozer / Reuters
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Turkish President Recep Erdogan has sharply criticized the US and other NATO allies for their support of and reliance on Kurdish militias to keep a foothold in Syria, reiterating that Ankara views them as a threat to its security.
“We cannot buy weapons from the US with our money, but unfortunately, the US and coalition forces give these weapons, this ammunition, to terrorist organizations for free,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, in an interview on Turkish channel NTV.

READ MORE: Turkey repatriates gold from US in bid to ditch dollar

“So where does the threat come from? It comes primarily from strategic partners,” he stated, emphasizing that Washington continues to funnel truck- and planeloads of weapons into Northern Syria.

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S-400 battery is being deployed in Russia on Jan 13, 2018. ©️ Aleksey MalgavkoTurkey ‘may face sanctions’ for buying Russian S-400 missiles and not toeing US line – diplomat
“The US sent 5,000 trucks loaded with weapons to northern Syria,” the Turkish leader said, reiterating concerns he repeatedly voiced before, especially following the launch of military operations in northern Syria.

On January 20, Turkey launched a cross-border offensive into Syria with the aim of dislodging Kurdish “terrorists” from Afrin. The assault, codenamed Operation Olive Branch, has strained relations between Washington and Ankara – which has since threatened to expand the operation to Manbij and beyond. The Kurdish YPG are key US allies on the ground in this area, but Ankara views them as an offshoot of the terrorist-designated Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Washington, for its part, has also been critical of Ankara’s growing “misalignment” with the West and of its cozier relations with Russia and Iran. Ankara’s decision to buy S-400 air defense systems from Russia exposes Turkey to possible US sanctions, Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell recently warned, noting that “it is in the American national interest to see Turkey remain strategically and politically aligned with the West.”

“The ease with which Turkey brokered arrangements with the Russian military to facilitate the launch of its Operation Olive Branch in the Afrin district –arrangements to which America was not privy– is gravely concerning,” he said. “Turkey lately has increased its engagement with Russia and Iran.”
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sun 29 Apr 2018, 12:34 pm

Turkey ‘may face sanctions’ for buying Russian S-400 missiles and not toeing US line – diplomat
Published time: 19 Apr, 2018 16:50
Edited time: 20 Apr, 2018 07:02
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Turkey ‘may face sanctions’ for buying Russian S-400 missiles and not toeing US line – diplomat
S-400 battery is being deployed in Russia on Jan 13, 2018. ©️ Aleksey Malgavko / Sputnik
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Ankara’s decision to buy S-400 air defense systems from Russia exposes Turkey to possible US sanctions and may bar it from getting F-35 jets, a State Department official said, adding that Turkey should “align with the West.”
The warning came on Wednesday from Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell, who spoke to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on behalf of his department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

Read more https://www.rt.com/news/421335-turkey-s400-complex-deliveries/
S-400 missile air defence systems on the streets of the Russian city of Volgograd ©️ Tatyana MaleyevaRussia to speed up S-400 deliveries to Turkey – Lavrov
“Ankara should be mindful of the risks in making strategic concessions to Moscow in order to achieve its tactical objectives in Syria. Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions under section 231 of CAATSA and adversely impact Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program,” he said.

Mitchell is far from being the first US official to express opposition to Ankara’s purchase of advanced Russian anti-aircraft weapons. But interestingly, he came up with quite a novel justification for his position. Earlier, the Americans said Turkey’s use of the S-400 system would compromise NATO’s communications and cause interoperability problems, which are legitimate concerns for the alliance. But Mitchell’s threat was purely about geopolitical loyalties.

“Turkey lately has increased its engagement with Russia and Iran,” he said. “The ease with which Turkey brokered arrangements with the Russian military to facilitate the launch of its Operation Olive Branch in Afrin District – arrangements to which America was not privy – is gravely concerning.”

The diplomat notably said that “it is in the American national interest to see Turkey remain strategically and politically aligned with the West.” Mitchell’s entire address to the committee was remarkably forthcoming. For instance, he described America’s goals in Syria as defeating the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), ensuring that “a Syria that is unified and stable emerge[s] from the conflict; and above all to prevent Iran, that aids and abets Hezbollah and that seeks the destruction of the state of Israel, from extending its malign influence in the region.”

Washington for years insisted that fighting IS was its sole wish in Syria and used a UN Security Council resolution calling on all nations of the world to fight the jihadists as a legal fig leaf to justify deploying some 2,000 troops in Syria against the wishes of its government.

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Royal Saudi Air Force jets fly in formation during a graduation ceremony for air force officers at King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh January 1, 2013. ©️ Fahad ShadeedTrump’s Syria withdrawal plan: Arab occupational force and Arabs will pay for it – report
Naturally, America wants Turkey to be “a long-term factor in thwarting expansion by Russia and Iran, as outlined in the National Security and National Defense Strategies,” and not pursue a self-interest policy, according to the US official.

Unfortunately, Mitchell didn’t go into detail on the stated US goal of “stabilizing Syria” and how it correlates to carving up part of the country – which is what the US essentially did. But he made clear that regime change is in the cards.

“Moscow’s support for the Syrian regime is intolerable for America and all civilized nations,” he claimed, after accusing Damascus and Moscow of doing such terrible things as supporting peace talks in Astana, which he believes are meant to subvert discussions in Geneva. Mitchell did not elaborate on what the US prefers to call the tactics it used in Raqqa and whether it is finally going to help clear the piles of dead bodies left in the aftermath of the city’s bombardment.

As for the Astana talks, the UN, which is holding talks in Geneva, has a radically different point of view, having publicly thanked Russia, Turkey and Iran on many occasions for contributing to the peace effort.



https://www.rt.com/news/421335-turkey-s400-complex-deliveries/
Russia to speed up S-400 deliveries to Turkey – Lavrov
Published time: 15 Mar, 2018 02:13
Edited time: 15 Mar, 2018 07:22
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Russia to speed up S-400 deliveries to Turkey – Lavrov
S-400 missile air defence systems on the streets of the Russian city of Volgograd ©️ Tatyana Maleyeva / Reuters
2003
Moscow is positive about the request by Ankara to speed up the delivery of its S-400 air defense systems to Turkey, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, said after talks with visiting Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“In response to the request by our Turkish partners to speed up the originally planned delivery terms, we are reacting positively,” Lavrov told journalists in the Russian capital on Wednesday. The FM refrained from announcing any dates, only saying that the implementation of the S-400 deal is among the issues “now discussed in practical terms by specialists; they aren’t for public disclosure.”

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FILE PHOTO.  ©️ Evgeniy Biyatov‘US won’t even sell us rifles’: Turkey’s FM explains purchase of Russian S-400 air-defense systems
Moscow and Ankara signed a $2.5 billion agreement on the procurement of Russia’s most advanced S-400 Triumph (known to NATO as the SA-21 Growler) system in December. The delivery of the first complexes to Turkey is scheduled to begin in early 2020, Russian presidential aide for the defense industry cooperation, Vladimir Kozhin, told Rossiya 24 channel on Monday. He noted that Russia had accommodated Turkey’s wish to accelerate the implementation of the contract. 

“The sooner Turkey receives [the S-400 missile system] the better. Works are continuing to this end,” Cavusoglu said to the same question, as cited by the Hurriyet Daily News.

The deal has strained the already uneasy relations between Turkey and its NATO ally, the US. Washington staunchly opposed the deal, warning Ankara in October that it might face “necessary consequences” in the event that the deal plays out. Buying a Russian-made system, which is not interoperable with the NATO infrastructure, might prevent Turkey from being a part of any future air-defense NATO system, the US military warned.

READ MORE: US State Dept boasts 'billions' of arms deals diverted from Russia, refuses to name any 

In the worst case scenario, Washington can slap Ankara with sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was signed in August and aimed, in particular, at hindering Russian arms exports.

Turkey has vowed to stick to the deal despite the pressure.

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©️ Michael Reynolds‘Breaking point in relations with US’ – Turkish FM
On Tuesday, Cavusoglu, who was on a two-day visit to Moscow, stressed that Turkey’s NATO membership does not make it a US vassal.

“Turkey is a NATO member, but we are an independent state, we are not a satellite state,” Cavusoglu said during a public talk with students at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, adding that Turkey has “the same right and liberty” as the other NATO members to buy arms from third parties.

He also brushed off concerns that the systems could be employed in the Turkish army operations against Kurds, stating that the S-400 is not intended to be used in Turkey’s offensive in Syria’s Afrin, and will be only deployed as a defensive system “if Turkey is attacked.”

In a recent interview with the German Zeit newspaper, Cavusoglu defended Turkey’s decision to opt for the Russian S-400 complexes, noting that a potential deal to purchase the US Patriot anti-air missiles will likely get stuck in Congress. “We even had troubles with buying simple rifles from the US due to concerns of the Congress. We had to buy it from someone,” he said, adding that he would not rule out Turkey buying the US-made systems in the future, as long as Washington is able to guarantee the lawmakers’ consent.

The S-400 anti-aircraft system is equipped with four types of interceptor missiles operating at ranges from 400 meters to 40 kilometers and is capable of destroying aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Sat 28 Apr 2018, 11:40 am

Russian, Iranian and Turkish FMs speak to press in Moscow
Published time: 28 Apr, 2018 11:35
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Russian, Iranian and Turkish FMs speak to press in Moscow
The foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran are holding a joint media conference in Moscow after their latest trilateral meeting.
VIDEO
Russia’s Sergey Lavrov, Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu and Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif have gathered in the Russian capital to discuss the progress of Syrian de-escalation effort as well as other issues of regional importance, like the risk of the US withdrawal from a nuclear deal with Iran.
MORE https://www.rt.com/news/425393-lavrov-iran-turkey-press/
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel-Russia-Turkey

Post  Admin on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 12:08 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/425157-macron-trump-iran-deal/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=push_notifications
Macron: It doesn't look like Trump will stay in Iran nuclear deal
Published time: 25 Apr, 2018 23:43
Edited time: 26 Apr, 2018 07:50
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Macron: It doesn't look like Trump will stay in Iran nuclear deal
French President Emmanuel Macron in Washington DC, US, April 25, 2018. ©️ Brian Snyder / Reuters
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French President Emmanuel Macron believes US President Donald Trump is leaning towards getting the US out of the Iran nuclear deal. The US leader is not ready to go back on his pre-election promise, Macron told media.
"Just like you do, I listen to what President Trump is saying, and it seems to me that he is not very much eager to defend [the Iran nuclear deal]... I have in mind that it is his campaign commitment that he made a long time ago. So I do not know what the American decision will be, but if you take a rational look at the announcements and the comments made by President Trump, it seems to me that he will not do his utmost to preserve the JCPOA," Macron said during a press conference at the George Washington University at the end of his three-day trip to the US.

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French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump, April 24, 2018.  ©️ Jonathan Ernst‘Beautiful friendship’? Trump and Macron’s awkward body language (VIDEO)
Macron also reiterated his plan to expand the nuclear deal with Iran to include provisions for restraining Tehran's influence in the Middle East. He called the JCPOA, under which Iran agreed to abandon its nuclear program and which is set to expire in 2025 if it does not fall apart before that, just one of four "pillars." The others include forcing Iran to also abandon its ballistic missile development and containing its influence in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. In return, the Western powers will not reintroduce economic sanctions against Tehran.

The fact that he appears to be unable to change Trump’s mind on the deal, which has been hanging in the balance for over a year, does not mean that the trip was a failure, Macron said, noting that his goal was to push for a new, much broader agreement that would include Iran and the US.

“I want to be the honest broker of the situation,” Macron said.

He went on to praise the US president’s deal-making skills, saying what he called the US' “strategy of increasing tension” with Iran can bear fruit.

“His experience with North Korea is that when you are very tough, you make the other side move and you can try to go to a good deal or a better deal,” Macron said, calling Trump a “dealmaker."

READ MORE: Iran has no reason to trust any new deal Macron & Trump devise – experts

Analysts are skeptical that Tehran would accept any new deal, especially one which simply makes more demands of it, since it has lost any trust it might have had in the US and its allies.

"This is completely self-illusion to think that you can arrive at a new deal by linking it to non-nuclear issues, regional issues et cetera, because Iran, for its part, can advance its counter-argument that Yemen should be brought in, and the US and the French misbehavior, the rogue unilateral aggression against Syria," Kaveh Afrasiabi, a former adviser to the Iran nuclear negotiators, told RT.
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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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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.
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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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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.
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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."
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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
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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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