Iran vs West, strategies & tactics – Jerusalem Studio 442 

Posted August 24, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized



Iran Kicks Off ‘Massive’ War Games, Unveils Homemade Russian Missile System

Posted August 22, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Iran Kicks Off ‘Massive’ War Games, Unveils Homemade Russian Missile System

‘The drill is a real one because the battlefield, enemy and the fighters are real

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani / Getty Images

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ ground forces kicked off a “massive” set of war drills Thursday as the country unveiled its own homemade version of Russia’s advanced S-300 missile defense system in yet another showing of Tehran’s growing readiness for a possible war.

Iranian military leaders said the war games will mix with actual fighting as the IRGC forces seek to cleanse what they described as “anti-revolutionary terrorist groups” from along the country’s borders. The operations follow an attack on IRGC units in July that killed one and injured one other.

“The drill is a real one because the battlefield, enemy and the fighters are real,” Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the IRGC’s ground force, was quoted as telling the country’s state-controlled press. “Some terrorists might be hiding at the bordering areas and they will be targeted during the Qadir drills.”

The war games come as Iran unveiled its own version of the Russian-made S-300 missile defense system, a highly advanced radar system that Iran had been seeking to employ for years.

The radar can target ballistic missiles, such as those Israel or America might use in a war, and is said to be capable of targeting multiple points at once.

“Bavar 373 is the most important indigenized missile defense system whose design and manufacturing started a few years ago and can engage multiple targets in high altitudes,” Gen. Amir Hatami, Iran’s defense minister, said at a Thursday ceremony unveiling the new military hardware.

Iranian military leaders say the system is even more advanced than its Russian counterpart and can detect 60 targets simultaneously while engaging six of them at once.

“The system is much more powerful than the Russian S-300 and some of its features could be compared with S-400,” Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency reported, referring to the even more advanced Russian version of the missile system.

Iran began building its own version of the missile system after Russia balked on selling it the S-300 following pushback from America and other Western nations seeking to confine Tehran’s advancing military might.


Trump Reminds American Jews of a Basic Truth

Posted August 22, 2019 by Peter Hofman
Categories: Uncategorized

By JoeSettler – 20 Av 5779 – August 21, 2019

Photo Credit: Yad Vashem

The Boemestrasse Synagogue in Frankfurt, Germany, burning on November 10, 1938.

We have a tradition in Judaism, that when Jews start and want to forget they are Jews, the non-Jews come around and remind us. Usually the method involves a lot of discrimination, violence and ultimately mass-murder.

Yesterday we witnessed something very different, something unusual.

President Trump, who has been nothing but pro-Israel and pro-Jewish, reminded American Jews that they are Jewish, and as Jews they have a responsibility and obligation to their family and community of fellow Jews. He said it out of concern (with a little politics thrown in).

At this point there should be no question in anyone’s mind that Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are virulent anti-Semites, and they are building a political and ideological base who are legitimizing their behavior.

There’s no question that all decent members of the Democratic party should be unequivocally vomiting them out – especially the Jewish members of Congress. This goes far beyond party and partisan politics.

But we’re not seeing that. We are not seeing them doing the right thing, and certainly the Jewish thing.

We are not seeing the Jewish Democrats unequivocally rejecting these anti-Semites. Instead we see them falling into the petty political traps traps that Tlaib and Omar are putting down.

Trump said a basic truth yesterday – and because, I believe, he honestly likes and respects the Jewish people, he tried speaking to that basic truth – Jews have an obligation to defend and protect their fellow Jews, which includes Israel, from these dangerous haters.

Trump said it from a position of concern. He wasn’t claiming Jews have dual-loyalty as one Jewish writer incredibly claimed. Trump understands basic Jewish history. Trump understands we’re one big Jewish family and people. Trumps sees this unchecked antisemitism, and I believe it concerns him.

Regardless of his motivation, Trump reminded the Jews that have forgotten, they have an obligation to protect their own – and he said it in a nice way.

When Tlaib, Omar and friends get into power – they’ll be reminding the Jews of that same basic truth – but they’ll be doing it the old-fashioned way.


Posted August 22, 2019 by Peter Hofman
Categories: Uncategorized

Spacecom says it will be the most advanced satellite to provide communication services to sub-Saharan Africa.

BY EYTAN HALON  AUGUST 7, 2019 15:19 3 minute read.  

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Israeli-owned Amos-17 commercial communications satellite, li

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Israeli-owned Amos-17 commercial communications satellite, lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral. (photo credit: REUTERS)

David Grossman’s novel, A Horse Walks Into a Bar, the story of a stand-up comedian working through conflicts during one night’s performance, has been optioned by Village Roadshow Pictures for a feature film adaptation.

The novel, first published in 2014 in Hebrew, was translated into English and won the 2017 Man Booker Prize.SpaceX successfully launched Israeli communication satellite Amos-17 into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air ForceStation on Tuesday night, promising increased internet connectivity for sub-Saharan Africa once operational.

Manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems International, Ramat Gan-based Spacecom’s Amos-17 satellite soared into the Florida sky at 19:23 p.m. local time (02:23 a.m. Israel time) on-board a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, en route to its 17°E orbital position over central Africa.

The satellite separated from the launcher’s second stage 33 minutes after ignition as planned, and is in constant contact with its ground station.

Amos-17 will commence a sequence of in-orbit tests in the coming weeks, expected to take approximately three months, prior to beginning commercial operations.

“Amos-17 places us directly into the exciting growth of Africa’s Sub-Saharan vibrant markets,” said Spacecom CEO and president David Pollack following the launch.

“As a leading multi-regional satellite operator, Spacecom is introducing the most technologically advanced satellite with HTS beams to service Africa where Amos-17 will deliver a large selection of services to a variety of broadcast, broadband and telecom clients.”

The 6.5-ton, high-power HTS satellite, the company says, will provide extensive C-band HTS, Ka-band and Ku-band capabilities to meet Africa’s fast-growing communication demands. It will offer increased connectivity between Africa, the Middle East, India, China and as far west as Brazil.

“A proud morning, with the news of the successful launch of the Amos 17 satellite,” President Reuvin Rivlin wrote on Twitter. “Thank you and congratulations to our friends at @AMOSSpacecom and @SpaceX for their important work on behalf of the State of Israel.”

Iraq closes airspace to stop Israeli strikes on pro-Iranian militia sites – DEBKAfile

Posted August 18, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Iraq closes airspace to stop Israeli strikes on pro-Iranian militia sites – DEBKAfile

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has issued an unprecedented order placing Iraqi air space off limits to all aircraft without his personal authorization. The decree issued on Friday, Aug. 16 was one of three steps Baghdad has taken to put a stop to Israeli air strikes on pro-Iranian Shiite militia targets, whether by jets, drones or missiles.

The three steps revealed here by DEBKAfile are:

  1. An investigation to get to the bottom of the explosions on Aug. 12 that destroyed the ammunition depot at Al Saqr (or Camp Falcon as it is called by the e Americans) I in South Baghdad. Flying Katyusha ammo and mortar shell fragments killed at least one in the city and injured scores of others.
    Al Saqr is the command center of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU), the largest Shiite militia in Iraq, which is led by Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, a lieutenant of the Iranian Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
    One source reported on Saturday that evidence had been found in the ruins of an attack by missiles fired from drones. Another source countered that the camp had not been attacked but was destroyed by a fire. The prime minister has given the investigators a week to submit their findings.
    Before this event, the Israeli Air Force is known to have struck two Shiite militia sites in Iraq by multiple incoming aircraft or UAVS. The first, on July 19, targeted the Hash Haabi militia’s 52nd Brigade, a subsidiary of the Bader Brigades – both loyal to Iran – in Salahuddin province near the town of Amerli northeast of Baghdad. The second, on July 28, raided Camp Ashraf, in the Diyala Governorate near the Iranian border and 40km north of Baghdad.
  2. The Iraqi prime minister has given the pro-Iranian militias one month to remove their camps and ammunition stocks from the country’s main cities. By complying with this order, Iran’s armed Shiite pawns would lose their main strongholds in Baghdad and other important Iraqi cities. However, they have consistently flouted such orders in the past.
  3. Abdul-Mahdi, who as prime minister officiates also as commander in chief of Iraq’s armed forces, stated explicitly that no aircraft of any kind may enter Iraqi air space without permission from him in person or an official appointed by him. “All special aviation permits to enter Iraqi air space granted to Iraqi or non-Iraqi entities are hereby cancelled, including “reconnaissance, armed reconnaissance, fighter aircraft, helicopters and drones of all kinds.” The decree went on to specify: “Any air traffic lacking this permission will be considered hostile and targeted by Iraqi air defenses immediately.”

The US forces command, which maintains several large air bases in Iraq with thousands of military personnel, responded: “We are guests within Iraq’s sovereign borders,” and therefore, “The US-led coalition has immediately complied with all the directives received from our Iraqi partners as they implement the prime minister’s order.”

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Abdul-Mahdi’s actions are far from being plain sailing. In the first place, Iraq is not armed with the advanced air defense systems capable of identifying or downing Israel’s F-35 stealth aircraft. In the second, how can he stop Turkish Air Force intrusions of Iraqi air space for ongoing raids of Kurdish PKK bases in northern Iraq, a region in which Baghdad maintains no air defense units?

This predicament has an unexpected twist: The Turks have recently began using Israel-made Heron UAVs in those raids. The Iraqi air force is not up to identifying whether an incoming drone belongs to the Turkish or the Israeli air force.


IDF kills armed Gazans on Israeli border as tensions spike 

Posted August 18, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: IDF kills armed Gazans on Israeli border as tensions spike | The Times of Israel

Suspected infiltration attempt comes hours after three rockets fired at southern Israel from the Strip, one of which struck a home in Sderot

Israeli Air Force helicopter fires a missile into Gaza, near the Gaza-Israel border, May 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israeli Air Force helicopter fires a missile into Gaza, near the Gaza-Israel border, May 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israeli forces shot dead a group of armed Palestinians along the Gaza Strip’s security fence late Saturday night, hours after three rockets were fired at southern Israel from the restive coastal enclave.

The exact number of Palestinians killed during the suspected infiltration was not immediately known. Gaza-based news outlets reported four or five people killed in the strike.

The Israeli military said an attack helicopter and a tank were used to kill the suspected terrorists as they approached the fence.

“A short while ago, IDF troops spotted armed suspects near the security fence around the northern Gaza Strip. An IDF attack helicopter and a tank fired at them,” the army said in a statement.

Israeli troops also fired flares throughout the area in order to assist in the efforts to locate the suspected terrorists.

An army spokesperson said there were no reports of Israeli casualties.

The Hamas-linked Palestinian Information Center said the men had been on the Gaza side of the fence when they were killed, and that some of the bodies had been confiscated by Israel, citing “local sources.” The reports could not be confirmed.

Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said that Israel later conducted artillery strikes on its positions east of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, near where the men had approached the fence to enter Israel.

Palestinian media reported that the men were members of the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military wing, Saraya al-Quds. This could not be immediately confirmed.

The suspected infiltration attempt came as violence between Israel and Gaza has ramped up considerably in the last three weeks.

On Saturday night, the cities of Beersheba, Ashdod, Ofakim, Gan Yavne and Yavne opened their municipal bomb shelters ahead of expected reprisal rocket attacks. The Magen David Adom ambulance service also said it was going on high alert.

Earlier on Saturday night, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired three rockets at southern Israel, two of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the military said.

Fragments from one of the Gaza rockets struck the yard of a home in the town of Sderot, causing damage.

There were no physical injuries caused by the shrapnel in Sderot. One woman received medical treatment after she suffered an acute anxiety attack because of the impact, medics said.

In addition, two people sustained minor injuries while running to bomb shelters, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service. Elsewhere, three other people were treated for acute anxiety attacks brought on by the rockets. One of them, a 76-year-old woman, required hospitalization, medics said.

Shrapnel also landed inside a community in the Sha’ar Hanegev region of southern Israel, northeast of Gaza, causing no injuries, local officials said.

It was the second night in a row that sirens sounded in Sderot.

On Friday night, terrorists in the Strip fired at least one rocket into Israel, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the IDF said.

There were no reports of injury or damage.

In response, the Israeli military struck two underground sites belonging to Hamas.

The rocket fire came after several thousand Palestinians joined protests on the Gaza Strip border earlier Friday, with several hundred rioting and throwing stones and explosive devices at Israeli troops.

Soldiers responded with tear gas and occasional live fire. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 16 Palestinians had been injured.

For the past year, Palestinians have staged regular marches on the Gaza border known collectively as the Great March of Return. The spring of 2019 saw a dramatic increase in the level of violence along the Gaza border, with near nightly riots and airborne arson attacks, but the violence waned in recent weeks due to a de facto ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group.

However, recent weeks have also seen several serious infiltration attempts into Israel.

In a span of 10 days, six armed Palestinian terrorists — many of them current and former Hamas members — got through the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip before being killed by Israeli troops. In one case on August 1, the gunman opened fire at IDF soldiers, injuring three of them, before he was shot dead.

Last Saturday, a group of four heavily armed terrorists, carrying assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and rations, attempted to infiltrate Israeli territory before they were spotted and shot dead by troops on the border.

The Hamas terror group, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, has sought to distance itself from these attacks, saying they were carried out by angry young men.

Hamas deployed additional troops to the frontier in a bid to prevent breaches of the border fence, understanding that these cross-border attacks risked provoking a harsh response by the Israeli military, according to the Palestinian Amad news outlet.


US issues warrant for seizure of Iranian tanker in Gibraltar

Posted August 17, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: US issues warrant for seizure of Iranian tanker in Gibraltar | The Times of Israel

Justice Department says Grace 1 part of scheme to illegally support Syria, one day after judge approves its release

A view of the Grace 1 supertanker standing off the British territory of Gibraltar, August 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Marcos Moreno)

A view of the Grace 1 supertanker standing off the British territory of Gibraltar, August 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Marcos Moreno)

AFP — The US Justice Department issued a warrant Friday for the seizure of the Iranian oil supertanker Grace 1, one day after a Gibraltar judge allowed the release of the detained vessel.

The Justice Department alleged the ship was part of a scheme “to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” which the US has designated a foreign terrorist organization.

The warrant said the vessel, which remained anchored in the British Mediterranean territory late Friday, and all the oil aboard are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as well as bank fraud, money laundering, and terrorism statutes.

It also ordered the seizure of $995,000 in an account at an unnamed US bank associated with Paradise Global Trading LLC, which it called a shell company associated with businesses which act for the Revolutionary Guards.

There was no immediate word from Britain or Gibraltar over whether they would act on the warrant, as Iran said it was sending a new crew to pilot the tanker and its 2.1 million barrels of oil.

A stern view of the Grace 1 super tanker in the British territory of Gibraltar, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, seized last month in a British Royal Navy operation off Gibraltar. (AP Photo/Marcos Moreno)

On Thursday a Gibraltar judge ordered the release of the Grace 1, six weeks after it was detained on suspicion of violating international sanctions on Syria, the alleged planned recipient of the crude oil it was carrying.

The judge rejected a last-minute legal move by Washington demanding that the ship remain detained.

The July 4 seizure came amid surging tensions in the Gulf after several alleged Iranian attacks on smaller tankers.

The US — citing Tehran’s threat to American allies — expanded its military presence in the region with a new aircraft carrier task force, missile batteries and strategic bombers.

Iran called the detention of the Grace 1 an “illegal interception” staged by the United States, while Washington cheered it as “excellent news.”

Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since US President Donald Trump withdrew last year from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran, reimposing crippling unilateral sanctions.

In the wake of Grace 1’s detention, on July 19 Iran seized the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz.

In this July 21, 2019 photo, a speedboat of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard moves around a British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday by the Guard, in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. (Morteza Akhoondi/Mehr News Agency via AP)

Tehran said the ship was in violation of “international maritime rules,” but the move was widely seen as retaliation for the Grace 1.

Thursday’s release of the Grace 1 came after Gibraltar’s government said it had received written assurances from Iran that the ship would not be headed for countries “subject to European Union sanctions.”

“We have deprived the Assad regime in Syria of more than $140 million worth of crude oil,” Gibraltar chief minister Fabian Picardo said.

The US-issued seizure warrant would require Britain to decide whether to act again to detain the vessel, and it was not clear if that would happen.

Earlier Friday, Iranian officials said the tanker was preparing to set sail under an Iranian flag and would be renamed the Adrian Darya for the voyage.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that the US attempt at “piracy” had failed, saying it showed Washington’s “contempt for the law.”

But according to an AFP source, the ship was awaiting the arrival of a new Iranian crew before it would leave Gibraltar. The original captain and crew were Indian nationals.

On Thursday the US State Department threatened to issue a visa ban on anyone working on the ship.

Iran denied Friday it had made any promises about the ship’s destination to secure the release, saying Gibraltar was only seeking to “save face.”

“Iran has given no assurances over the Grace 1 not going to Syria to secure its release,” a s

tate media website quoted foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying.

“The tanker’s destination was not Syria… and even if it was, it did not concern anyone else.”