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
A February 9, 2018 article on the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese website Dahiya claims that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad recently rejected an Israeli demand, relayed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, to remove some 70,000 Iranian long-range missiles that Hizbullah has deployed throughout Syria and are aimed at Israel. The article claimed further that Syria and Hizbullah will wage a “joint missile campaign” against Israel, and that Iranian experts are ready to launch missiles at Israel from every part of Lebanon and Syria. According to the article, Assad has instructed his army to help Hizbullah construct and camouflage missile silos across the country; moreover, intense activity is underway to bring more Iranian missiles to Syria via Iraq, so that within a year Hizbullah will have 500,000 missiles in Syria, in addition to the ones it has already deployed in Lebanon.
The article was published following reports on Israeli airstrikes in Syria on February 7, and just before the incident in which Israel fired on Iranian military facilities in Syria following the penetration of an Iranian drone into Israeli territory.
The following are translated excerpts from the article.
A Russian-Backed Iraqi Shi’ite Force With Its Own Air Power Will Move Into Syria And Possibly Lebanon Later This Spring.
According to the independent security and intelligence journalists at DEBKA, the next military conflict between Iran and Israel will break out in late April or early May. Continue reading
‘Iranian ports in the eastern Mediterranean are a real risk for Israel.’
Israeli Adm. Shaul Chorev (Ret.) has warned that Israel’s next proxy war with Iran “could see a focus on the [Mediterranean] Sea.”
The Jerusalem Post quoted the retired naval officer on January 28 as cautioning that the strategy of Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, clearly shows that “they will target Israeli strategic assets.” To do that, he said, they could use suicide vessels or land-to-sea missiles.
Iran “is on the verge of reaching the Mediterranean, including the use of Syrian ports by the Iranian Navy,” Chorev said. “Iranian ports in the eastern Mediterranean are a real risk for Israel.”
A US aircraft carrier has been dispatched from a naval base in Virginia days after a Russian spy ship was spotted just 27 miles off the coast.
The USS George HW Bush, a Nimitz-class supercarrier, was deployed from Naval Station Norfolk, in southeastern Virginia, on Tuesday morning, according to maritime traffic monitors.
Naval trackers show the 1,092ft aircraft carrier is sailing through the Atlantic Ocean but details of its mission were not immediately available. Continue reading
Iran has achieved milestones of leverage and influence that rival any regional power in the past half-century. While there are limits to how far it can extend its authority, Tehran’s rapid rise poses new challenges to the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia as it undermines their previous dominance. How far can Tehran extend its reach?
BAGHDAD; AND KABUL, AFGHANISTAN—With opulent furnishings and the finest cut-crystal water glasses in Baghdad, the new offices of the Iranian-backed Shiite militia exude money and power – exactly as they are meant to. At one end of the meeting room is a set built for TV interviews, with gilded chairs and an official-looking backdrop of Iraqi and militia flags, lit by an ornate glass chandelier. Continue reading
The US does not intend to end or even curtail its military presence in Iraq (as well as Syria) after the defeat of the Islamic State. It is planning to turn Iraq into a major theater of confrontation with Iran. There are signs that a war with Iran may be much closer than we think.
CIA director Mike Pompeo, an official known for his staunch opposition to Iran, has warned Tehran that the United States would hold it accountable for any attacks it conducted on American interests. Addressing high-ranking US military and security officials on Saturday, Dec. 2, at a defence forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California, Pompeo said that he had sent the letter to General Qassem Suleimani, a leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and elite Quds. “What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold him and Iran accountable… and we wanted to make sure that he and the leadership of Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear,” the CIA director explained. Continue reading
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
Dimitris Avramopoulos has confirmed: “We are working towards a common goal with Turkey and we want to give visa-free travel to the Turkish citizens with a biometric passport in a short period of time.
“I am now in the last level…we work closely with Turkey, in close working relationship and trying to fulfill all the necessary needs. When the stay of the visions takes place, it will make people more contact and strengthen our partnership.”
Lowe and behold the ‘islamic NATO’ discussed in the previous posts:
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
The turmoil in the Middle East has been instigated in part by fiscal mismanagement. When the money was rolling in with high oil prices, it was assumed, as always, that whatever trend is in motion will remain in motion. Consequently, the government expanded their spending assuming money would continue to flow in. When oil broke, the fiscal mismanagement has been exposed for all to see if they care to look.
Falling oil prices have decimated revenues and trade in the region. Security worries about terrorism, particularly in the US, have led to cuts in airline routes. Then there has also been a long-running diplomatic and trade impasse between Saudi Arabia and its allies on the one hand, and Qatar on the other. Now the good-old-days of easy money and rapid growth has led to concerns about over-capacity, waste, and corruption that nobody cared about when money flowed like oil.
Please see the source for the video.
General Ismail Kawthari, Deputy Commander of the IRGC Tharallah Base, told Al-Alam TV that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had said “that this entity [Israel] must be wiped off the Planet Earth within 25 years,” but that in his own opinion, that was the maximum period, and “God willing, it will happen before that.” The interview aired on September 27.
Interviewer: Iran has provided aid to Hizbullah, Syria, and the resistance movements in Palestine for almost four decades, but it has paid a steep political price for this. Will Iran continue to pursue this policy of support for the axis of resistance, despite the political price this exacts? Continue reading
Iran pressed ahead with its plans this week, regardless of the loud scorn and threats poured on Tehran from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Washington.
On Friday, Oct. 20, less than two weeks after Saleh Arouri, Deputy Chief of the Hamas political bureau, approved an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement between his party and the rival Fatah, he was leading a large Hamas delegation to Tehran. Continue reading
A German newspaper reported last week that at least one European intelligence agency has already warned that the Islamic State is exploring the use of chemicals for attacks in Europe. Such an eventuality would be a radical departure from prior attacks by the Islamic State in the West. In the past, the militant group has shown a strong preference for low-tech means of dispensing violence, such as firearms, vehicles and knives. But it has utilized chemical substances in Iraq and Syria, and its technical experts have amassed significant knowledge about weaponized chemicals. Continue reading
Military sources in Iraq reported Wednesday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) operational Al Qods arm had planted a command center and five bases in the Iraqi oil town of Kirkuk, after driving the Kurds out. An officer called Haji Ihsan was given this command. Continue reading