Vital Oil Shipping Lane Becomes Target In Yemen’s Civil War

 

Yemen’s strategic Red Sea port, through which some 4 million barrels of oil flow daily to Middle Eastern markets, is becoming a focal point in the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and China is the only power with the economic deal-making leverage to keep this from becoming much more than a proxy battle.

The Red Sea port, near the Bab al-Mandab strait, is currently controlled by Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis, and whoever maintains control of it has a strategic advantage. This port is a pathway connection the Middle East (where the world’s largest proven oil reserves are) and Sub-Saharan Africa (a region expected to see a four-fold increase in energy demand by 2040), making it a coveted geopolitical prize for regional powers, but a livelihood-destroying burden for Yemen’s residents. Continue reading

Obama Admin Loyalists, Government Insiders Sabotage Trump White House

White House

White House / Getty Images

 

Former admin planted series of landmines to subvert Trump team

The Obama administration worked in its final weeks in office to undermine the incoming Trump White and continues to do so, according to multiple sources both in and out of the White House.

Behind the effort, these sources say, are senior government officials who previously worked under President Obama and remain loyal to his agenda. These individuals leak negative information about the Trump White House and its senior staff to a network of former Obama administration officials who then plant this information in key media outlets including the Washington Post and New York Times. Continue reading

Iran Steps Up Support for Houthis in Yemen’s War

Newly recruited Houthi fighters in Sanaa, Yemen, Jan. 3, 2017 / REUTERS

 

LONDON/ANKARA/DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is sending advanced weapons and military advisers to Yemen‘s rebel Houthi movement, stepping up support for its Shi’ite ally in a civil war whose outcome could sway the balance of power in the Middle East, regional and Western sources say.

Iran’s enemy Saudi Arabia is leading a Sunni Arab coalition fighting the Houthis in the impoverished state on the tip of the Arabian peninsula–part of the same regional power struggle that is fueling the war in Syria.

Sources with knowledge of the military movements, who declined to be identified, say that in recent months Iran has taken a greater role in the two-year-old conflict by stepping up arms supplies and other support. This mirrors the strategy it has used to support its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in Syria. Continue reading

Is A Russian-Iranian Energy Pact In The Making?

Oil Rigs

 

In the lead-up to President Rouhani’s visit to Moscow, expected to take place in late March, a plethora of news regarding joint Russo-Iranian energy projects has been circulating on the Internet. A three-year long negotiation process regarding a 100,000 barrels-per-day swap contract is believed to be agreed upon, premised on Iran providing Russia (most likely, Rosneft) oil from Kharg Island or other hubs in the Persian Gulf in return for cash and Russian goods that Iran would “require”. Teheran also woos LUKOIL, currently Russia’s only major oil producer in the Caspian, to participate in swap deals bound for Iran’s Neka Port (in return for Iranian crude provided from Kharg Island or other Persian Gulf hubs), albeit on a much smaller scale at 4000 to 5000 barrels per day. To top it all up, numerous Russian oil companies have committed themselves to developing Iran’s hydrocarbon fields. Continue reading

IRGC commander: Hizbullah more prepared than ever for massive attack on Israel

Hizbullah has missiles that can reach every part of Israel, an IRGC commander said.

 

Hizbullah is producing its own missiles in well-protected factories in Lebanon and has raised its level of preparedness for a massive attack on Israel, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander said.

Iran has opened factories in Lebanon to manufacture long-range missiles as well as other munitions and has recently passed ownership of the factories to Hizbullah, the commander, who opted to remain anonymous, told Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida. Continue reading

Germany’s Geopolitical Interests

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – In spite of the Turkish government’s recent provocations, Berlin is steadfastly maintaining its cooperation with Ankara. Over the past few days, members of the Turkish government have affronted several EU countries as “fascist,” thereby again provoking sharp protests. For some time, human rights organizations and other critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been up in arms over Ankara’s brutal violations of human and civil rights, its attempt to establish a presidential dictatorship and its arbitrary incarceration of citizens of foreign countries. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that her objective was to prevent Turkey from “becoming even more alienated from us,” which is why we must persist in our cooperation. Since some time, government advisors in Germany’s capital have been warning that Ankara is seriously considering joining the Chinese-Russian Alliance (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO), and that, within the Turkish establishment, voices calling for Turkey to leave NATO are growing louder. That would be a serious setback for Berlin’s ambitions to become a world power, which for geostrategic reasons, is dependent on its cooperation with Ankara. Continue reading

Iran sending troops, ammunition to Syria and Yemen battlefields via civilian flights

Iran ships large amounts of ammunition in the cargo holds of Mahan Air flights, an IRGC official said.

 

The Iranian troops ride in the rear of the planes and exit via a rear door “separate from the regular passengers,” an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) official told the anti-government “Amed News” website.

Teheran is also using the civilian flights to transfer wounded and dead soldiers, the official said. Continue reading

Netanyahu: Iran seeks to build naval base in NW Syria

Speaking to reporters while flying home after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said that he had told Putin that Iran wants to build a naval base in Syria. According to the prime minister, the Russian leader understood the message that Israel wants to send. Continue reading

US armored column at Manbij to block Russians

The Pentagon announced Tuesday, March 6, that a US armored convoy was deployed around the disputed northern Syrian town of Manbij, and in an unusual move, released a video depicting the convoy and its men.

A US military spokesman tweeted that the US deployment was a deliberate action taken to assure that forces within the US-led coalition deterred aggression and kept the focus on defeating ISIS.

Affirming that the US-led coalition was aware of the location of Russian-backed Syrian forces, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters Monday. Continue reading

Iran is source of 80%+ of Israel’s security problems – Netanyahu

“Iran is the greatest generator of terrorism in the world,” Netanyahu said at a ceremony marking 25 years of the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires by Hizballah. He said it is necessary to fight this terrorism “which is just one of Iran’s arms of aggression, that includes the drive for nuclear arms, the development of ballistic missiles, and the sowing of instability through the Middle East.” In addition, he said, the Iranian regime “continues to threaten Israel with destruction.” Continue reading

Iranian Navy Arms Itself with ‘Smart’ Torpedoes

 

In late February, the Iranian Navy held the Velayat 95 naval exercises, during which the new Valfajr ‘smart’ torpedoes were tested, the Tehran Times newspaper reported. Continue reading

Saudi King Goes East In Search Of Friends And Cash

 

The Saudi King kicked off a month-long tour of Asia this week, as the oil kingdom looks to bolster ties in the east as it loses confidence in the U.S. as a stable ally.

The trip began in Malaysia where King Salman inked a $7 billion deal, promising to invest in a Malaysian petrochemical complex run by state-owned oil company Petronas. From there, he will tour Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China and the Maldives. Continue reading

How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower

How did a country smaller than El Salvador with a population of eight million and few natural resources become a military superpower within a few decades?

In The Weapon Wizards:  How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), authors Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot explain this remarkable phenomenon.  Calling on their experience as Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veterans and seasoned national security analysts, they present an intriguing and engrossing account of Israel’s defense capabilities development.  From a country lacking bullets and aircraft, Israel transformed itself into one of the most effective militaries in the world and the sixth-largest arms exporter globally.  Today, Western powers, including the U.S., France, the UK, Russia and China, all come to Israel to learn and establish joint ventures. Continue reading

Palestinian official: ‘I pray to Allah that Iran will produce 1,000 nuclear bombs’

Salah Zawawi

 

Israel is “truly terrified” of the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) envoy to Iran said, adding he hoped Teheran would “produce 1,000 nuclear bombs.”

The comments by Salah Zawawi were made in a Feb. 20 interview on Iran-backed Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV and were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Continue reading

Nuclear missiles tested in IRAN despite tough talking from Trump administration

Iranian defence minister Hossein Dehghan said nuclear missile tests were successful [Getty]

 

NUCLEAR MISSILE tests have been successfully carried out in Iran, according to the country’s defence minister.

The Iranian Navy test-fired its Nasr sea-launched cruise missile, Hossein Dehghan said.

Firing at set targets the Navy carried out its war games in the Perisan Gulf – in an area covering 2 million sq km. Continue reading