US arms Syrian rebels with first heavy weapons, anti-tank BGM-71 TOW missiles – raising war stakes

Two Syrian rebel militias judged moderate in Washington have in the last few days taken delivery and begun using – mostly in the Idlib region – the first advanced US weapon to be deployed in more than three years of civil war, debkafile’s military sources reveal. It is the heavy anti-tank, optically-tracked, wire-guided BGM-71 TOW, which is capable of piercing 50mm thickness of Syrian tank armor and Syrian fortifications at a range of 4 kilometers. Armed with this weapon now are Brig-Gen. Abdul-Hila al Bashir, the new commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, which is headquartered at the Golan town of Quneitra, and Jamal Maarouf, head of the rebel Syrian Revolutionary Front fighting in the north.

The appearance of this advanced missile radically alters the balance of strength on the Syrian battlefield. It also denotes a striking change in Obama administration policy, which hitherto flatly resisted every demand to provide Syrian rebel groups with the heavy arms essential for them to have any chance of standing up to Bashar Assad’s superior military strength. Continue reading

Israel report: Iran directed this month’s rocket attacks on Israel

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs asserted that Iran was ordering its Palestinian and Lebanese proxies to attack Israel. In a report, the center cited rocket and improvised explosive device strikes along Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria in March 2014.

“All of these attacks on Israel come in the wake of the green light given by Iran against the backdrop of changing power equations in the broader Middle East,” the report, titled “Iran’s Fortunes Rising in a Middle East Vacuum,” said. Continue reading

Turkey Warns Russia it Will Blockade Bosphorus if Violence Occurs

According to diplomatic sources, Turkey has threatened Russia with a blockade of the Bosphorus Strait

The threat to close the Bosphorus to Russia comes from a report by Hvylya, citing a Turkish diplomatic source. According to the source, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan yesterday spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone and warned of the consequences for conflict with Ukraine. The Hvylya source was also reported on by UNIAN. Continue reading

At least 50 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel – pro-Iranian Jihad Islami payback for missile ship seizure

The pro-Iranian Palestinian Jihad Islami terror group rained Wednesday, March 12 a heavy, continuous missile barrage against Israel, just two days after the Israeli presentation in Eilat of the illicit cargo of Iranian arms destined for terrorists aboard the Klos C, which Israeli commandos captured on the Red Sea last week. The presentation included 60 M302 short-range missiles made in Syria and flown to Iran for shipment to Gaza and Sinai via Sudan.

Iron Dome missile interceptors were activated against the barrage. No casualties or damage have been so far reported. Red alert signals sent hundreds of thousands of citizens running for shelter. Continue reading

First US-Israeli intelligence collaboration in four years against an Iranian military target: Iranian missile ship

In an unusually frank disclosure, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday night, March 5, that US intelligence services and military had worked with Israel to track the Iranian Panama-flagged ship KLOS C, which was apprehended by Israeli naval commandos on the Red Sea earlier that day carrying missiles for Gaza via Sudan. The ship was boarded by the Israeli elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) and found to be carrying dozens of 302mm rockets made in Syria with a range of 150 km made in Syria. It is now on its way to Eilat.

The White House spokesman said that Washington worked with Israeli through intelligence and military channels, and at the national security adviser level, as soon as it knew the shipment was on the move. He said that President Barack Obama also directed the US military to work out contingencies in case it became necessary to intercept the vessel (thereby sanctioning military action). Continue reading

The Crimean Conflict

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – As the Crimean crisis escalates, the German Navy is dispatching one of its spy ships to the Mediterranean. The “Alster,” which had already been carrying out espionage on the Syrian war zone, is reported to have sailed from its homeport. Whether it will pursue a route through the Mediterranean to the Black Sea remains the Bundeswehr’s secret. With the Crimean conflict, the power struggle over the Ukraine is involving an area of utmost geostrategic importance to Moscow. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is stationed on the Crimean Peninsula, which is considered “Russia’s diving board into the Mediterranean,” where Russia has increased activities since 2013, seeking to counterbalance the USA. It is already being speculated, that the pro-western putschist government could annul the accord on stationing the Black Sea Fleet, thereby depriving Russia of this strategic position. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow has had to watch how NATO has expanded its position in the Black Sea – with Bundeswehr participation and at the expense of Russia. Crimea’s geostrategic importance explains why Germany – unlike in the case, for example, of Yugoslavia – is trying to prevent the peninsula’s secession and a rapprochement with Russia by all means. Continue reading

Western sources: Israel Air Force hits SS-21 batteries, first attack in Syrian war on nuclear-capable missiles

Western military and intelligence sources report that Israeli Air Force strikes in Lebanon and Syria overnight Monday, Feb. 24 came on the heels of the first use in the three-year Syrian war of a Russian-made nuclear-capable Tochka (Point) surface missile - NATO-coded SS-21 Scarab - which carries a 480-kilo warhead with a range of 70 km. These missiles were fired earlier Monday in the Syrian-Hizballah battle for Yabroud. There was no information about the effect of the Israeli strikes.

According to Lebanese sources, however, the target was a cluster of five Hizballah bases or command posts in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley. Hizballah casualties were reported. Continue reading

Russia Buying Out US Influence with $2 Billion Arms Deal for Egypt

The seeds were sewn when the Obama administration decided to overthrow the Mubarak regime and replace it with the Muslim Brotherhood, which subsequently failed as his military reinstated the previous government.

Egyptian military chief Abdul al-Sisi to sign up with Russia for massive arms deal that will make Cairo less dependent on the US.
Egyptian military chief Abdul al-Sisi to sign up with Russia for massive arms deal that will make Cairo less dependent on the US.

Egyptian army chief and probable next president, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, landed in Moscow Wednesday and is expected to sign up with Russia for a $2 million arms deal in another move that could diminish American influence over Cairo as well as the entire Middle East.

The United States pooh-poohed the idea that it was losing its clout in Cairo, but Russia now is set to take advantage of Saudi financial aid to Egypt and boost its defense sales and to further erode the Obama administration’s position. Continue reading

Geostrategically Very Prominent

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – The German government has sought to reach new agreements on strategies involving Syria and Ukraine in several meetings with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey. Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minster Steinmeier met with Prime Minister Erdoğan yesterday. Steinmeier had already received his counterpart Davutoğlu at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday. Because of rivalry with Moscow over influence on Kiev, one of the topics of discussion in Berlin is Ankara’s possible “financial contributions” to the Ukraine. Turkey is holding talks with Iran on the war in Syria, obviously designed to complement the “P5+1″ negotiations with Iran – which include Germany. Ankara is also intensifying its cooperation with the autonomous government of Kurdish Northern Iraq. Should Syria disintegrate, it could expedite the territorial reorganization of the region, particularly of the Kurdish speaking territories. To secure its influence on Turkey’s foreign policy, Berlin had initiated a “strategic dialogue” with Ankara last year, which should now be put to the test in relationship to the Ukraine and Syria. Continue reading

Report: Assad stockpiling chemical weapons as ‘insurance policy’

Embattled Syrian leader Bashar Assad is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction rather than handing over them as agreed last summer, the Sunday Times reported, quoting Israeli and Russian sources.

The report cites the sources as saying that the WMDs, which include chemical and biological weapons, are being upgraded with North Korean and Iranian assistance, and are believed by the Israelis to be located in Western Syria, in “the heartland of his Alawite sect”. They are to serve, the paper said, “as an insurance policy in case (Assad’s) country is eventually partitioned.” Continue reading

170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities, says IDF intel head

170,000 certainly ups the ante and brings credibility to Iran’s latest threat of slaughtering all of America’s military bases within its reach.

The head of Israel’s most powerful intelligence agency depicted Wednesday a changing battlefield in which offensive cyber capabilities will, in the near future, represent the greatest shift in combat doctrine in over 1,000 years. For now, though, he said, the 170,000 rockets and missiles pointed by enemy states at Israel represented the most pressing threat, a danger he placed even above Iran’s rogue nuclear program.

“Cyber, in my humble opinion, and you don’t have to agree with me, will be revealed in a not very long time as a revolution greater than the creation of gunpowder or the usage of the aerial space at the start of the past century,” said Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate. Kochavi, a former infantry officer, called the possibilities inherent in cyber warfare “nearly limitless, and that is not a metaphor.” Continue reading

Iran threat: ‘U.S. military bases will be turned into a slaughterhouse

One shouldn’t dismiss Iran’s remarks as science fiction or some sort of hollow threat with no bite and all bark. The US Military’s logistics in the Middle East region throughout the last 5 years or so has taken a hit as nations are wanting to kick out America and side with the Sino-Soviet axis powers. To get around this, America has had to find a physical way around and has done so to a large extent, but it still prolongs the ETA of personnel — something that can be a decisive and critical factor in war. Combine this with the ‘pivot to Asia’ which has dimished the naval presence in the region and we have a recipe for disaster.

Should an all-out regional war take place, one shouldn’t expect an Iranian invasion, but an Iranian onslaught with tens of thousands of missiles pouring down on American bases — and there hasn’t been any news regarding a deterrance for this. The casualties could be in the tens of thousands, or more. The United States might in fact have the Persian empire surrounded and will likely decisively win a war against it, but Iran won’t go without leaving deep scars. The cost of war against Iran will be costly in blood, politically around the world and economically.

This would also provide justification for China and Russia, along with their allies, to drop the US Dollar and send the US back into the stone age. It’s but one of quite a few scenarious, but plausible.

NICOSIA — Iran has warned of massive retaliation against the United States.

Iranian parliamentarians said Teheran could attack all 32 U.S. military bases in the Middle East and South Asia.

The parliamentarians said the Iranian attack would be launched in retaliation for any U.S. war against Teheran. Continue reading