Archive for July 8, 2018

International Community Ignores Genocide of Christians in Nigeria

July 8, 2018

Report: Israel Allegedly Strikes Syrian T-4 Air Base, Again

July 8, 2018

F-16 Fighting Falcon (Suffa)

Photo Credit: USAF Staff Sgt. Brian J. Valencia

Syria’s T-4 air base, home to Iranian military personnel, was attacked late Sunday night in a repeat air strike, allegedly by Israeli warplanes, according to a Syrian military source who spoke with Al Masdar News.

The Israeli fighter pilot who reportedly carried out the strike succeeded in hitting the target despite having to dodge several S-200 air defense missiles fired by the Syrian military.

No further details were made available.

The Israel Air Force attacked the T-4 (Tiyas) air base this past April, destroying a military drone center that had sent a military attack drone packed with explosives into Israeli territory. At least seven Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps soldiers and seven Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers were killed in that attack.

The air strike followed a fierce exchange in which an Israel Air Force F-16 was hit by a Syrian anti-Aircraft S-300 missile and crashed in Israeli territory during a retaliatory attack that followed the entry of the Iranian drone into Israeli airspace. Both the pilot, who was seriously injured, and the navigator ejected and taken to Maimonides Medical Center in Haifa. Both survived and eventually returned to service.

The IAF launched two more waves of attack on Iranian and Syrian anti-aircraft missile sites, in what the commander, Brigadier General Tomer Bar, described as “a complete operational success, including the thwarting of the UAV, attacking the sources of the fire, and in a subsequent response.”

Israel has made it clear that it is determined to continue undermining Iranian efforts to entrench itself militarily in Syria and will do whatever it takes to stop the transfer of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet this week with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and on the agenda will be — again — the issue of eliminating Iran’s presence in Syria.


July 8, 2018


Why is the Israeli army so powerful? What are the key elements explaining such a military success? Today we are going to tell you the 5 key facts that explain this.




Dutch carrier KLM to halt flights to Iran due to US sanctions

July 8, 2018

Source: Dutch carrier KLM to halt flights to Iran due to US sanctions | The Times of Israel

Airline cites ‘negative results and financial outlook’ following Trump’s pullout from nuclear deal

A KLM Royal Dutch airplane (Wikimedia commons/ Arpingstone- public domain)

A KLM Royal Dutch airplane (Wikimedia commons/ Arpingstone- public domain)

Dutch airline KLM has said it will halt flights to Tehran “as a result of the negative results and financial outlook” following the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear accord.

The airline, part of the Air France KLM group, made the announcement in a short statement on its website Saturday.

KLM said its last flight will leave Amsterdam on September 22 and return on September 23.

KLM ceased flights to Tehran in 2013, resuming them in 2016 after the nuclear deal was signed. That deal saw sanctions on Iran lifted in exchange for it limiting its enrichment of uranium.

US President Donald Trump announced in early May the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal and the reinstatement of sanctions against the country, as well as against foreign companies who do business with it.

Air France resumed flights to Tehran in 2016 after an eight-year absence. The airline continues its flights.

On Saturday, the world’s third largest shipping container group, the French-owned CMA CGM, decided to withdraw from Iran over the threat of US sanctions, its chief executive said.

“Because of the Trump administration, we have decided to end our service to Iran,” Rodolphe Saade told an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence in southern France.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini (L); Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) and political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Abbas Araghchi take part in a Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal on July 6, 2018 in Vienna, Austria. (AFP/APA/Hans Punz)

On Friday, the remaining partners in the 2015 nuclear deal vowed to keep Iran plugged into the global economy despite the US withdrawal and sanctions threat.

Britain, France, and Germany along with Russia and China met with Iran in Vienna to offer economic benefits and assurances that would lessen the blow of sweeping US sanctions announced by Trump.

The foreign ministers Friday agreed on an 11-point list of joint goals in the Austrian capital, where the accord was signed with the aim of stopping Iran from building the atomic bomb in return for sanctions relief.

In the joint statement, they reconfirmed their commitment to the deal and its “economic dividends” for Iran, which has suffered worsening financial turbulence since Trump abandoned the accord, and vowed to work for “the protection of companies from the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions.”

Although there were no concrete pledges or deadlines, they also vowed efforts to keep open financial channels with Iran, promote export credit cover, and maintain open air, sea, and overland transport links.

Sign of War?

July 8, 2018

“The IDF is prepared for several scenarios and ready to defend the citizens of the State of Israel and its sovereignty” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

Lior Sharon

Antiroket Israel, Iron Dome, meluncurkan amunisi pencegat roket-roket Hamas, 16 November 2012. Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen

The IDF deployed several Iron Dome batteries in southern Israel Thursday following a situational assessment, the military told The Jerusalem Post.

“The IDF is prepared for several scenarios and ready to defend the citizens of the State of Israel and its sovereignty,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

On Thursday, an IDF drone fired “a missile at a motorcycle” east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported, adding that while there were no injuries the motorcycle was destroyed.

The IDF has been carrying out strikes in the Gaza Strip against vehicles used by terrorist cells who launch incendiary aerial devices into Israel. The Hamas terrorist group in turn has launched mortar shells towards southern Israeli communities.

On June 20, Hamas, along with Islamic Jihad, launched a barrage of 45 mortars shortly after IAF jets struck three targets in the Strip in response to incendiary kites and explosive balloons launched towards southern Israel.

Seven of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and another three fell inside the Strip. Four were found inside communities in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing damage to nearby homes and cars. One landed in the yard of an empty kindergarten.

A week later, at least 13 mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip after the IAF struck a vehicle said to have been heavily involved helping in Palestinians in launching incendiary devices into Israel. Two of the mortar shells were intercepted by the Iron Dome system over the city of Sderot.

Earlier on Thursday, the Defense Ministry announced that it had successfully conducted a planned missile test launch of the Iron Dome system from the Palmachim air base.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, the series of experiments were led by Rafael, the main contractor of the Iron Dome system, along with Elta and with the participation of the Israel Air Force and Navy.

During the test the various types of targets which simulate the emerging threats developing in the area were launched.

“Homa [missile defense] will continue to develop the Iron Dome system in order to deal with the emerging threats in the arena in order to best protect the State of Israel,” read the statement.

Israel continuously improves the technology behind the country’s anti-missile systems and last year the Defense Ministry carried out a number of experiments using American- made components in the course of the missile interception tests for the first time.

The experiments, which were conducted in the south of the country, focused on the use of the “Tamir” interceptor and it’s ability to intercept a number of targets which were fired simultaneously at different ranges.

The Rafael-built system carries 24 pounds of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 kilometers away and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. which produces the radar system for the Iron Dome system through its ELTA division, has reported sales of it to various armies around the world.

Israel’s air defenses currently include the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets and the Arrow system which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. The David’s Sling missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300km.

For the full article – click here

Israel ranks 8th on US News & World Report list of powerful countries

July 8, 2018

Source: Israel ranks 8th on US News & World Report list of powerful countries – Israel Hayom

( This, with over a million less population than the state of New Jersey… – JW )

The Creeping War against Iran is Still on the Cards

July 8, 2018

08.07.2018 Author: Salman Rafi Sheikh

Source Link: The Creeping War against Iran is Still on the Cards

{Watching the Mullahs squirm at the hands of their own people will be the premier sight to behold. – LS}

On June 27 and June 28, in a series of tweets from his official account, the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo went out of the way to praise protests in Iran, calling it a backlash against the “corruption, injustice and incompetence of their leaders.” It was no surprise to see Israel’s Netanyahu also praising the Iranians, asking further as to “why is Iran so poor? Why is unemployment so rampant? The answer is in two words: the regime. Iran’s dictators plunder the country’s wealth… The Iranian people are the ones that suffer.”  Clearly, both the United States and Israel are, if not directly fuelling the protests, certainly involved in an active encouragement of the crisis, an indication of how desirable the goal of regime change in Iran remains. Their encouragement isn’t simply restricted to social media. In fact, the US withdrawal from the Iran deal despite the EU’s opposition and the IAEA’s confirmation of Iranian compliance is also a part of their policy of regime change. Withdrawal has rather expectedly been followed by resumption of sanctions, a step that has always been taken with one cardinal objective in mind: forcing the country into an economic crisis so that wide spread protests may take place, leading to an overthrow of the undesirable regime. Above mentioned tweets and video messages confirm this undoubtedly, also confirming how the Trump administration has ‘pivoted’ to an Israeli agenda, totally scrapping the Obama administration’s legacy of a hard negotiated settlement with Iran.

Clearly, a joint US-Israeli plan against Iran is working, indications of which had already started to come as early as December 2017 when, as a senior US official said, after two days of talks at the White House, US and Israeli officials had reached an understanding, signing a secret pact, to counter Iranian actions. Several working groups, in this behalf, had also been established with an explicit purpose of targeting Iran’s nuclear and missile programme, Iran’s actions in Syria and its support for Hezbollah.

While the reported signatory to this document is the ousted national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, the appointment of John Bolton, the confirmed paid speaker for an Iranian militant group, does also confirm, as we have previously pointed out, how regime change agenda is absolutely back on Iran.

John Bolton, as could be expected, is now already deeply involved in setting up task forces to unsettle Iran in a big way. The purpose of this force is—again unsurprisingly—to exploit protests in Iran to the advantage of both the US and Israel.

The task force, with its world-wide anti-Iran mission, has been established at a time when the remaining signatories of Iran-nuke deal are trying to persuade Iran to stay in the deal. According to Iran’s IRNA news agency, Iranian officials will be meeting EU officials in Vienna on Friday, July 6, to discuss the new “incentive package” the EU has prepared to preserve the deal.

Israel, however, has other plans. According to the reports, the purpose of the task-force is also to use Iran’s internal crisis to build international opposition against the regime. As such, Israel will be sending diplomatic missions to EU, the UNO and even the World Bank to build pressure on what the Israeli officials call the “ayatollahs” in Iran to globally isolate them, put them under sanctions, heat things up in Iran and thus force them out of power.

The plan is also a clear manifestation of what Saudia’s Muhammad Bin Salman, a partner of the US and Israel against Iran, had said a year ago about fighting the war between the Sunni and the Shia not anywhere else, certainly not in Saudi Arabia, but within Iran itself.

Planning for this is already underway. And, an important aspect of this is, apart from encouraging internal crisis by strangulating its economy, is also to stir up Baloch insurgency in Iran by building Arab support for the Baloch against Iran. A Saudi funded think-tank, Arabian Gulf Centre for Iranian Studies, said in one of its 2016 report that the Saudis could “persuade Pakistan to soften its opposition to any potential Saudi support for the Iranian Baluch”, arguing further that “Arab support for the Iranian Baluch is a matter of strategic necessity in confronting the Iranian hegemony in the region.”

By thus heating things up, it is clear that the US-Israel and Saudia are not avoiding a war with Iran; they’re actually preparing the ground for it as Iran has already warned to increase the enrichment level to 20 per cent if the agreement falls apart.

And, If push comes to shove, this would be a win for the hawks in both the US and Israel, who have long been advocating to scrap the deal and have completely ignored sane voices within the same administration. For instance, within the US even, a number of still serving officials from the military and defence establishment had warned against and opposed the US decision to withdraw from the deal.

Even the defence secretary James Mattis is on record to have said that he has read the agreement thrice and found it to be “pretty robust”; Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford says, “Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations” and that quiting the deal “would have an impact on others’ willingness to sign agreements”; the head of US Strategic Command, Gen. John Hyten says, not only is Iran in compliance with JCPOA”  but also “it’s our job to live up to the terms of that agreement”; and the head of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel says the nuclear deal is “in our interest” because it “addresses one of the principle threats that we deal with from Iran.”

With the latent reasons for withdrawing from the deal thus now in the limelight and certainly not unknown to any observer of geo-politics, one can certainly expect that a US-Israeli-Saudi effort to topple the Iranian regime from within is in its practical phase, which means that the nexus is shifting its geo-political chessboard from Syria to Iran. How long before we would start hearing people from within Iran, gaining foreign support, and chanting such slogans as “Ayatollahs must go”!