US Fifth Fleet chief: A remote-control boat attacked a Saudi frigate on Jan. 30

The boat that attacked a Saudi frigate in the Red Sea on Jan. 30 was not manned by Yemeni Houthi suicides; it was an unmanned, remote-controlled craft filled with explosives, Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, head of the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, said Monday. Continue reading

Report: Hezbollah-Linked Company Exporting Millions to U.S. Despite Sanctions

Hezbollah fighters hold their party flags / AP

 

Hezbollah financiers circumvent sanctions to export Congolese lumber to U.S., Europe

A new report says that an African lumber company owned by major financiers of the Hezbollah terror group has circumvented sanctions and managed to export millions of dollars worth of timber to U.S. companies.

The investigation by Global Witness, a D.C.-based group that aims to uncover global corruption, focused on an African-based company called Congo Futur, which was targeted by sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department because the Tajideen family, which gives millions of dollars to Hezbollah, owns it. Continue reading

Russia to give Syrian army high-precision weapons

Loitering bomb [DEBKAfile]

 

It came in an announcement by Ilyas Umakhanov, deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council, who said, “Russia will continue an asymmetrical response (to terrorism) in Syria, which may include the regrouping of forces and means…and of course the supply of high-precision weapons to the Syrian government.”

He added that “It is impossible to defeat terrorism only by efforts of one country. Terrorism has assumed a global character and, having achieved obvious victory in one place, there is no reason to create additional vacuums where terrorists can resume military operations.” Continue reading

US mulls naming Revolutionary Guard as terrorist organization

A number of US intelligence and security services are considering recommending the Trump administration to place the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the US list of terrorist organizations, Reuters quoted senior White House officials as saying. Such a step would help impose additional sanctions on Tehran but complicate US military operations in Iraq where the IRGC is arming and training Iraqi Shiite militias to fight the Islamic State organization. Continue reading

Iran Is More Powerful Than Ever

 

A dramatic fulfillment of a forecast made by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry back in the early ’90s

When Iran test-fired ballistic missiles last week, United States President Donald Trump angrily tweeted that “Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE.” The era of American appeasement toward Iran that took place under the Obama administration appears to be over. But, as the Washington Post noted this weekend, the U.S. faces an Iran “that is now more powerful than at any point since the creation of the Islamic republic nearly 40 years ago.”

Iran now stands at the apex of an arc of influence stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean, from the borders of NATO to the borders of Israel and along the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It commands the loyalties of tens of thousands in allied militias and proxy armies that are fighting on the front lines in Syria, Iraq and Yemen with armored vehicles, tanks and heavy weapons. They have been joined by thousands of members of the [Islamic] Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s most prestigious military wing, who have acquired meaningful battlefield experience in the process. Continue reading

Israel deploys ‘Star Wars’ missile killer system

FILE PHOTO: An “Arrow 3” ballistic missile interceptor is seen during its test launch near Ashdod, Israel December 10, 2015. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

 

The Defence Ministry said the U.S.-funded Arrow 3 system, jointly developed by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and U.S. firm Boeing Co. , was handed over the Israeli Air Force.

The Arrow 3, together with the Arrow 2, which has been operational since 2000, would “significantly reduce the possibilities of ballistic missiles” hitting Israel, the ministry said in a statement. Continue reading

Iran exporting arms to Hizballah in violation of embargo: US envoy to UN

In her final appearance before the Security Council on Wednesday, outgoing US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that Iran is exporting weapons to the Hizballah organization and is thus once again in violation of resolution 2231, which bans arms sales by Tehran. She urged council members to demand Tehran to abide by the resolution that also specifies the schedule for a partial lifting of sanctions under the nuclear agreement between Iran and Western powers. 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

Iran Steps Up Threats to Israel, U.S.

 

  • “En Sha’a Allah [God willing], there will be no such thing as a Zionist regime in 25 years. Until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists.” — Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, September, 2015.
  • “If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.” — Ahmad Karimpour, a senior adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit, the Quds Force.
  • Iran is also attempting to intimidate Donald Trump from taking a tough stance against Iran. Trump ought to be wary of falling into Iran’s tactical game of fear-mongering. For Iran, US concessions and silence in the face of Iran’s threats mean weakness and fear. On the other hand, when Iran sees that the US is taking a robust stance and that the military option is always on the table, Tehran retreats.
  • As long as Iran’s Supreme Leader is alive and as long as the ruling clerics preserve the political establishment, Iran will maintain the core pillars of its foreign policies and revolutionary principles: these are anchored in anti-Israeli, anti-American and anti-Semitic politics. Iranian politicians across the political spectrum totally agree on these fundamentals.

Iran’s threats against Israel and the US are becoming bolder and louder. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is now repeatedly threatening Israel’s annihilation relatively soon.

According to Iran’s Press TV, Khamenei recently stated:

“The Zionist regime — as we have already said — will cease to exist in the next 25 years if there is a collective and united struggle by the Palestinians and the Muslims against the Zionists.” Continue reading

Greece and Iran: The Dark Side of the Relationship

As you can glean from the article, there’s a lot more to the EU than business as usual. Some things will never see the light of day, but here we have a glimpse into the darker inner workings and depth of corruption within the Greek system. Greece is an extremely sick nation.

Greek problems aren’t limited to a constant economic and political hammering by Germany. The wounds are many, and bone deep.

It makes you wonder where you would even start to get your nation out of this mess if you were an honest Greek.

 

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, on February 8, 2016. (Image source: Office of the Supreme Leader)

 

  • The Iranian government, with these two cases (Kabis and Noor 1), seems to hold in its hands a bomb that can blow up the Greek economic and political system. If Greek authorities seriously investigate these cases, they will trigger a domino-effect of disclosures that could well destabilize Greece’s government.
  • Iran can blackmail and manipulate its political influence inside Greece, or Iran can use its ability to destabilize a member of NATO and Eurozone, Greece, to strengthen its international position.

As Sunnis and Shiites are fighting for regional hegemony in the Middle East — Syria, Yemen — Greece, as geographical gate for Europe and the Balkans, is a trophy country for the Iranian regime. In recent years, the Iranians have been exploiting the corrupt establishment’s thirst for money. Through drug dealing and oil smuggling, Iran seems to be trying to buy political influence and access to the Greek media. Well-informed diplomatic sources say that the Iranian Embassy in Athens is extremely active in Greece’s political and economic life behind the scenes. Continue reading

Iran’s rising influence raises Saudi eyebrows

http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/photograph-of-a-map-of-the-middle-east-picture-id157381001?

 

While the post-sanction era seems prosperous for Iran, it seems worrisome for Iran’s major foe, Saudi Arabia, which is being confronted by Iran’s rising influence in the Middle East and the anticipation of Iran achieving a nuclear weapon soon. Continue reading

“Syrian 5th Corps” is new Shiite foreign legion

https://i1.wp.com/www.debka.com/dynmedia/photos/2016/12/03/src/Fifth_Corps.jpg

 

Syria and its allies came closer than ever to taking Aleppo on Friday, Dec. 2, when they captured the Tariq al-Bab district to gain control of 60 percent of the rebel-held eastern part of the city.

Drawing on the lessons of this success, the winning forces have begun building a military outfit modeled on the format of the victorious coalition. It is designated the “Fifth Corps” of the Syrian army, but debkafile’s military and intelligence sources can identity the new unit as the framework for an international Shiite brigade or foreign legion. Continue reading

Israel Air Force officer: ‘Syria’s the global stage, everybody’s playing there’

This is likely the very first time it’s been reported that Russia is launching ballistic missiles into Syria from its own territory. Using war as a playground for new toys is not new, however.

 

An Israeli F-16I fighter jet during an exercise in the United States in 2009. (Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald/US Department of Defense/Wikimedia)

 

 

Senior official gives military’s view of Syrian civil war, and how Israeli jets navigate the dangerously full skies next door

For years, Israel was without rival in the skies over the Middle East, but with the Russian military placing an advanced anti-aircraft system — the S-400 — in Syria, that dynamic has changed and turned the once open skies into a far more difficult space to navigate, according to a senior Israeli Air Force official.

“We’re living in interesting times,” the officer told reporters Sunday night, speaking on condition of anonymity. Continue reading

Iran said to have developed Shi’ite proxy force in Iraq for deployment elsewhere

The Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces has some 80,000 fighters. /AFP

 

Iran has in place thousands of loyal Shi’ite militiamen in Iraq that could be used as a permanent force in the region, deploying to hot spots in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, analysts say.

There are some 80,000 fighters under Iran’s direction in the Hizbullah Brigades, Badr Organization and other groups that fall under the Iraq-approved umbrella group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. Continue reading

Iran Victorious in Lebanon’s Presidential Election

Michel Aoun delivers a speech on November 6 after he was elected as the 13th president of Lebanon. (Ratib Al Safadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

 

A win for the region’s terrorists and dictators

A week after Lebanon’s election, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with Lebanon’s newly appointed Christian president, Michel Aoun. The November 7 meeting points to the close bond between the fledgling president and his Shiite allies. Zarif is the first foreign minister to meet with the new president.

Iran’s hasty visit underscores the importance of the Iranian-Lebanese alliance. The smiles on Zarif’s face also show the election victory was as much a win for Iran as it was for Aoun.

Iran is happy to have secured such a close friend at the top of Lebanon’s political structure. Aoun is a close ally of Iran’s terrorist group, Hezbollah. He is also a political ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and an opponent of Saudi Arabia.

Continue reading