It’s A “Geopolitical Earthquake”: A Stunned World Responds After Saudi Alliance Cuts All Ties With Qatar

 

Virtually nobody saw it coming.

Late on Sunday night, the Saudi-led alliance of Gulf Arab states, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain including Egypt, shocked the world when they announced they had severed ties and closed borders with one of the Gulf’s wealthiest, if smallest, neighbors Qatar, a (now former) member of the Gulf Cooperation Council in what we called a “geopolitical earthquake” and what Bloomberg dubbed an unprecedented move designed to punish one of the region’s financial superpowers for its ties with Iran and Islamist groups in the region.” Continue reading

Radical Iran-led Axis Confronted with U.S. Deterrence for First Time

The conflict in Syria has long ceased being a civil war, becoming instead a clash between coalitions and blocs that divide the entire Middle East.

The Iranian-led axis is the most dangerous and highly armed bloc fighting in Syria. Bashar al-Assad’s regime is not an independent actor, but rather, a component of this wider axis. In many respects, Assad is a junior member of the Iranian coalition set up to fight for him.

Feeling confident by its growing control of Syria, Iran also uses its regional coalition to arm, finance, and deploy Shi’ite jihadist agents all over the Middle East, and to attack those who stand in the way of Iranian domination.

The Iranian-led axis has been able to spread violence, terrorism, and Islamic militancy without facing repercussions. Continue reading

An Unhinged McCain Calls for More War in Syria, Says Russia is Guilty of War Crimes

 

John McCain was on Face the Nation today, getting his neocon on, discussing the next steps that needed to be taken in Syria — dealing with Assad.

He approved of the President’s strikes — calling it a good ‘first step.’ But, he wants MOAR — accusing both Syria and Russia of war crimes, in addition to blaming Assad for the rise of ISIS. You cannot make this stuff up. Continue reading

China’s First Overseas Military Base Nearing Completion

Chinese military officers bid farewell to members of a Chinese medical contingent as it leaves for West Africa to help in the fight against Ebola from the airport in Beijing, China, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. China’s first overseas military base should be ready this summer close by the operations hub of U.S. Africa Command in Djibouti. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

 

Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of AfriCom, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he expected the Chinese base on the Horn of Africa to be operational later this summer.

Without getting specific, Waldhauser said he recently met with Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh “and expressed our concerns about some of the things that are important to us about what the Chinese should not do at that location.” Continue reading

Trump: ‘Highly successful’ Yemen raid on group tied to San Bernardino attack produced ‘vital intelligence’

Navy SEAL Ryan Owens

 

The U.S. special operations raid in Yemen in which Navy SEAL Ryan Owens lost his life was highly successful and resulted in “large amounts of vital intelligence,” President Donald Trump said on Feb. 28 in his address to a joint session of Congress.

“Ryan died as he lived: A warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” Trump said.

Owens’ widow, Carryn Owens, was a guest of the president for the speech. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia says it’s ‘Ready to Send Ground Troops’ to Syria

[Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP]

 

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, has said the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to “fight ISIS” following the meeting between US Senator John McCain and the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The Saudi foreign minister said Saudi forces could battle ISIS alongside US special forces in Syria, Süddeutsche Zeitung repoted on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia is a long-term supporter of various radical jihadi groups, including Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), opposing the Syrian government.

Any involvement of Saudi forces in the conflict in Syria will clearly lead to the escalation of the war. Continue reading

A President’s Policy

BERLIN (Own report) – Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President-elect of the Federal Republic of Germany is the epitome of the past two decades of Berlin’s expansionist policy – from the war over Kosovo to intervention in the Syrian war. As State Secretary in the Federal Chancellery, Steinmeier was implicated in the aggression against Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, with which Germany, in violation of international law, entered its first war of aggression since 1945. As head of the Federal Chancellery, he had participated in the struggle to obtain access to Russia’s vast natural gas reserves. As Foreign Minister, he was massively striving to roll back Russia’s political influence by associating Ukraine with the EU, even condoning a coup – with fascist participation – in Kiev. Steinmeier’s activities had also been influenced by the so-called war on terror. In the Chancellery, he played a leading role in cooperation with the CIA’s torture program. In the fall of 2002, he helped to prevent an innocent native of Bremen from being released to Germany from the US Guantanamo torture camp. He was complicit in the interrogation of German suspects in Syrian and Lebanese torture chambers. Just recently, Steinmeier provided political support to a jihadist militia, classified a terror organization by the German judiciary. Continue reading

Russia, Iran Supporting Taliban to ‘Undermine’ U.S. Mission in Afghanistan

Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan / AP

 

Moscow working to ‘publicly legitimize’ Taliban

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that Russia and Iran are supporting the Taliban in part to undermine the U.S. and NATO mission to attain peace and stability in the nation.

Army Gen. John Nicholson told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iran is providing the Taliban in western Afghanistan with military and logistical support. Continue reading

Mattis: ISIS ‘couldn’t last 2 minutes in fight with our troops’

Defense secretary nominee Gen. Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis believes ISIS is “al-Qaida on steroids” and must be defeated in head-to-head “battles of annihilation” that leave “no survivors” on the enemy side, according to a recent discussion he participated in with a conservative think tank.

Mattis made the eye-opening remarks in a little-noticed interview with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, Calif., where he is a visiting fellow. Continue reading

Why Trump and US intel clash over Russia

 

America’s intelligence chiefs may have been singing their swan’s song Thursday and Friday (Jan. 5-6) when they hurled allegations of election-meddling “ordered at the highest Kremlin level” against Russia at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington. The committee’s chair John McCain picked up the ball and declared that Russian hacking was “an act of war,” after hearing grim testimony from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the National Security Agency head Adm. Michael Rogers.

The furious clamor keeping the alleged Russian hacking scandal on the boil is being orchestrated by the outgoing president and his intelligence chiefs to ramp up US-Russian friction to an eve-of-cold war pitch.

DEBKAfile’s Washington and intelligence sources find that the campaign is prompted by five motives:

1. The president-elect not only proposes to put relations with Moscow on a new and different footing, his transition teams are already at work with Putin’s advisers to chart areas of cooperation between the two powers, ready for the Trump administration to go forward when he moves into the White House on Jan. 20. Continue reading

Aleppo, Mosul and the Hegemony

BERLIN/DAMASCUS/BAGHDAD (Own report) – In light of the western powers’ possible massive loss of influence in the Middle East, German foreign policy-makers are intensifying their threats of sanctions on Moscow. Norbert Röttgen (CDU), Chair of the Foreign Policy Committee of the German parliament calls for economic punishment to be imposed for suspected or actual war crimes committed by the Russian military in East Aleppo. The renowned British Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, strongly criticizes the rampant propaganda campaign raging – also here in Germany – around the hard fought battle for East Aleppo. Fisk notes that it is remarkable that the militias in East Aleppo are being euphemized as “rebels,” because one of the most powerful among them is an Al Qaeda subsidiary. After all, that embellishes and is protective toward those responsible for 9/11. Besides, the large number of civilian casualties caused by western air raids in the war against IS is being ignored. A renowned NGO source in the USA estimates currently more than 2,000 civilians killed. The notorious double standards of western propaganda are accompanying the US and European powers’ unsuccessful efforts to thwart Russia’s rising influence in the Middle East. Continue reading

Europe: Christmas Shoppers in Jihadist Crosshairs

In Ludwigshafen, Germany, a “‘strongly radicalized” 12-year-old boy “of Iraqi heritage” planted a bomb at a Christmas market at the end of November. (Image source: Focus video screenshot)

 

 

  • In Ludwigshafen, Germany, a “‘strongly radicalized” 12-year-old boy “of Iraqi heritage” planted a bomb at a Christmas market at the end of November.
  • Previously, the festive shopping tradition of Christmas markets had become “potent symbols of freedom,” with Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière, urging people to stick to unserem Leben — “our way of life.”
  • In Birmingham, England, the Christmas market has concrete barriers installed to deter vehicular suicide bombers. According to the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service, the magnitude of the terrorism faced by the UK is “unprecedented.”
  • French security forces thwarted attacks planned for December 1, against Disneyland Paris and the Christmas market on the main thoroughfare of the French capital, the Champs-Elysée.
  • With a pro-Sharia (Islamic law) advocate now secretary of state in the Berlin regional senate, and other Muslims even refusing to shake the hand of the German President Joachim Gauck at events designed to promote integration, Germany’s “way of life” is changing fast.

As the winter nights lengthen, an even darker shadow is falling across the run-up to the Christmas holidays in several European nations. Families in markets and shopping districts across the continent are buying presents in the knowledge that jihadists mean to target them. Continue reading

REVEALED: Germany home to more than 10,000 ‘SAUDI-BACKED’ Islamic extremists, report says

AT LEAST 10,000 Islamic extremists living within Germany are being supported by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, a shock new report has claimed.

The number of fundamentalists swearing allegiance to the Salafi group in Germany is on rise and Gulf countries have been accused of increasing their support to the terror cell.

German media claimed Berlin’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) have accused Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of funding religious groups and conversion groups, as well as financing the building of mosques and backing hardline imams.

Continue reading

Russia flies Chechen commandos to Syria

 

Moscow started to deploy Chechen special operations forces units to Syria this week, DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal. The troops come from elite units of the Chechen military with extensive field experience in urban warfare. Some of the units fought in eastern Ukraine in the past two years and, before that. in Chechnya for suppressing radical Islamic terror organizations linked to Al Qaeda and the Salafi movement.

The soldiers called up for the deployment in Syria were ordered to report to the Khankala base east of the Chechen capital Grozny. They are being vetted by Russian officers who determine which are suitable for the Syrian mission. Continue reading

Missiles for the Jihad

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlins demands for a renewed ceasefire are being accompanied by reports of the possible initiation of a program to supply insurgents in Aleppo with man portable anti-aircraft missiles. The Syrian government and Moscow must immediately return to a ceasefire, admonished German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The combat in Aleppo is intolerable. Even though the combat is becoming increasingly gruesome, the ceasefire had been doomed to fail from the beginning, because important insurgent militias – partisans of the West – rejected it and continued their combat. They even refused to accept a key element of the ceasefire, rejecting the demand that they halt their collusion with al Qaeda and its Syrian affiliate, the Jabhat al Nusra / Jabhat Fatah al Sham. That demand was considered particularly important because, as experts have been warning for months, al Qaeda is establishing a jihadi emirate in northern Syria. Confronted with the eventuality that the Syrian army may recapture Aleppo, Washington is now considering supplying man portable air defense systems, or “MANPADS,” to insurgents allied with al Nusra – similar to the ones the US had previously provided the mujahidin fighting the Soviet military in Afghanistan. The German government remains silent because its own preferences will benefit – even though the missiles could wind up in the hands of al Qaeda.

Continue reading