American Grid System Gears Up For Cybersecurity Upgrade

Cyber

 

The American grid system is getting a cybersecurity upgrade, a new Reuters article reports.

The Department of Energy announced a program on Wednesday to protect the nation’s power grid from cyberattacks and natural disasters. Continue reading

Obama-era cash traced to Iran-backed terrorists

The U.S. government has traced $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to terrorists. According to sources, Iran has used the funds to pay Hezbollah, Quds Force and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The money supplied to Iran has also been traced back to Iran’s backing of Houthi rebels seeking to take power in Yemen. Hezbollah fighters stand on their army vehicle at the site where clashes erupted between Hezbollah and al-Qaida-linked fighters in Wadi al-Kheil or al-Kheil Valley in the Lebanon-Syria border, Saturday, July 29, 2017. A cease-fire went into effect between the militant Hezbollah group and al-Qaida-linked fighters on Thursday morning as negotiations were underway to reach a deal that would eventually lead to the evacuation of Syrian fighters to the northwestern rebel-held province of Idlib. The truce followed a six-day offensive by Hezbollah and Syrian troops who besieged al-Qaida-linked fighters in a small border area. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) (Associated Press)

 

The U.S. government has traced some of the $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.

According to knowledgeable sources, Iran has used the funds to pay its main proxy, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, along with the Quds Force, Iran’s main foreign intelligence and covert action arm and element of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The U.S. money supplied to Iran as part of an arms settlement dating back to the 1970s also has been traced to Iran’s backing of Houthi rebels seeking to take power in Yemen. Iran has been supporting the Yemen rebels as part of a bid to encircle and eventually take control of Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Putin plans to end Alawite hegemony in Damascus and evict pro-Iranian Shiite militias including Hizballah

Vladimir Putin has drawn up this plan for the Sochi conference. He will put it before Binyamin Netanyahu when they meet on Monday, Jan. 29.

DEBKAfile reports that the Russian president has prepared a plan for Syria’s post-war future for presentation to the Syrian peace conference which begins on the same day at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Moscow has taken into account 1,600 Syrian government and opposition participants. Some rebel groups have announced a boycott. DEBKAfile reports that the absentees are pro-Assad and pro-Iranian groups who are boycotting the event to reflect their masters’ objections to the Russian president’s plans. Unless he decides to back down at the last moment, those plans are substantially as follows:

Continue reading

Russia finalises S-400 missile system deal with Turkey

 

Russia said Thursday that it had completed negotiations with Turkey for the sale of an S-400 air defence missile system, with delivery scheduled for late 2019.

“Practically speaking, the contract is entering the phase of realisation,” said Vladimir Kozhin, a presidential aide who oversees matters of military cooperation. “All parameters, all technologies, the entire deal has been agreed.” Continue reading

A major showdown awaits Palestinian leader in Riyadh

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is on his way Tuesday to Riyadh where he faces a stern demand to break away from the Turkish-Qatari-Jordanian line-up fighting US political steps in the region. DEBKAfile reports that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman will not give way on this demand and, if Abbas holds out, the showdown could end in the Saudis cutting off assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Continue reading

Has Iran given cruise missiles to Hizballah as well as Yemen’s Houthis?

 

The maiden operational launch of Iran’s Soumar Kh-55 cruise missile was apparently entrusted to Yemen’s Houthis against a UAE target. Has it been given to Hizballah, another Iranian proxy?

Yemen’s Houthi rebels last week showed on their TV channel video footage of Iran’s most highly advanced Soumar.Kh-55 cruise missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead.  They claimed to have fired it at the unfinished Abu Dhabi power plant on Dec.3. The United Arab Emirates refuted this claim, saying that any missile reaching their air space would have been intercepted by advanced Emirati air defenses. Continue reading

New US military moves in the Mid-East & Israel’s Syria air raid were coordinated

 

The US hands-off to Iran’s top general in Iraq, Ali Abdullah Saleh’s changeover of sides in the Yemen war and Trump’s’ thinking on Jerusalem – all signal a new, proactive US strategy for the region.

Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo was uncharacteristically frank when he addressed high-ranking US military and security officials on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Reagan Presidential Foundation. He revealed that he had sent a note to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Al Qods chief, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and explained: “I sent it because he had indicated that forces under his control might in fact threaten US interests n Iraq.” Continue reading

Berlin’s Beacon Policy

BERLIN(Own report) – Germany and the three remaining major West European EU member countries should formulate a joint foreign policy and implement it even without an EU-wide consensus, demands Norbert Röttgen, former Chair of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in the German Bundestag. Such an approach would be inevitable, because a foreign policy consensus in the EU is impossible “within the foreseeable future,” although rapid and resolute activity is needed to reach an “equal footing with the USA and Russia.” Experts are proposing, as an alternative, the introduction of foreign policy decisions being taken at majority votes. This would mean that EU countries – against the will of their respective governments – could, for example, be forced into serious conflicts with third countries. Reflecting major shifts in the global political fabric, these proposals have become elements of an intense debate within Berlin’s political establishment. The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is warning against the escalation of conflicts, for example, with China, and the military does not rule out the possibility of Berlin’s loss of power, through the potential disintegration of the EU.

OPEC’s Clash With U.S. Oil Is Nearing Its Day of Reckoning

 

  • Strategy of cartel has helped to deplete half surplus stocks
  • Bolstering prices is emboldening American shale-oil drillers

The clash between OPEC and America’s oil industry is reaching a day of reckoning.

The U.S. shale revolution is on course to be the greatest oil and gas boom in history, turning a nation once at the mercy of foreign imports into a global player. That seismic shift shattered the dominance of Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel, forcing them into an alliance with long-time rival Russia to keep a grip on world markets. Continue reading

Saudi vows new Islamic alliance ‘will wipe terrorists from the earth’

Lowe and behold the ‘islamic NATO’ discussed in the previous posts:

Is Saudi Arabia building an ‘islamic NATO?’

Trump to unveil plans for an ‘Arab NATO’ in Saudi Arabia

 

A member of the Saudi Royal Guard stands on duty inside the hall where the first meeting of the defence ministers of the 41-member Saudi-led Muslim counter-terrorism alliance is taking place in the capital Riyadh on November 26, 2017 (AFP Photo/Fayez Nureldine)

 

Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth” as officials from 40 Muslim countries gathered Sunday in the first meeting of an Islamic counter-terrorism alliance.

“In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries… with no coordination” among national authorities, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defence minister, said in his keynote address to the gathering in Riyadh.

“This ends today, with this alliance.” Continue reading

Former Kremlin Foreign Policy Advisor Karaganov: We Are In A New More Perilous Cold War

Sergey Karaganov (Source: Karaganov.ru)

 

Former Kremlin Foreign Policy Advisor Sergey Karaganov stated that the world is living in a new Cold War, which is worse than the previous one.[1] “Nowadays the risk of war is much greater than in the past. One of the reasons is that there is no system of agreements, no hot lines and no channels for consultation between the defense ministries. We have prevented a war in Europe by disrupting plans to involve Ukraine into Western alliances. If Ukraine had become a member of NATO, a war would have become unavoidable,” said Karaganov.

He further stated that Russia and China are the “main providers of security” in the world today, explaining that China is providing economic security, while Russia is providing military-strategic security. According to Karaganov, Europe is becoming increasingly focused on itself, while America is destabilizing the world. He then added that multipolarity that Russia had vigorously promoted in order to destroy the unipolar American system is no longer a goal in itself. “Now it is just a transitional period in the history of international relations,” said Karaganov.

Following are excerpts from Karaganov’s interview:[2]

Russia And China Are The Main Providers Of Security In The World Today

Continue reading

Armed with German Help

 

BERLIN/RIYADH(Own report) – Germany is helping Saudi Arabia establish an independent arms industry. Via its South African subsidiary, the Rheinmetall Group has already set up an ammunition factory in Riyadh, in which Saudi Arabia can produce artillery shells and bombs for its Air Force. Next month, a Rheinmetall manager will be appointed chair of the new arms producer – SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries). Saudi Arabia, which competes with Russia for the third place of countries with the highest military budgets, is seeking to buy half its weaponry eventually from domestic companies. SAMI should thus become one of the 25 most important arms manufacturers in the world – with close contacts to US arms manufacturing giants and the EU’s military industry. This project is being launched at a time when Riyadh is on an extremely aggressive course, to win a power struggle with Iran for predominance in the Middle East.

Continue reading

Israel Ready to Share Iran Intel With Saudi Arabia

Israel Ready to Share Iran Intel With Saudi Arabia

Israeli Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot told a Saudi Arabian newspaper his country is ready to share its intelligence on Iran with the Saudi military.

 

The intrigue surrounding a potential Israeli-Saudi alliance to confront Iran’s aggression in the Middle East took another strange turn Thursday when a Saudi newspaper reported on an in-depth interview it conducted with the Israeli Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. Continue reading

Iran already has 13 bases in Syria and tens of thousands of troops. Is their removal realistic?

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman again warned Wednesday, Nov. 15, that Israel would not permit Iran to establish a military presence in Syria, and the skeptics would soon discover this. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said earlier this week that Israel reserves its freedom of military action in Syria to defend its borders. Continue reading

Sisi: I am not for war, but Gulf security is a red line

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said on Wednesday his country does not support a military escalation in regional tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Continue reading