The first US embassy is dedicated in Jerusalem

US Ambassador David Friedman opened the ceremony with the American anthem and a video message of congratulations from President Donald Trump declaring that every nation has the right to choose its capital, including Israel, and pledging friendship. Continue reading

Iran heats war rhetoric to cover up military buildup in Syria

Tension between Tehran and Jerusalem has been high since April 9, when an Israel air strike knocked out a Revolutionary Guards air force command center at the Syrian T-4 air base. But, apart from blistering threats of retaliation, Iran has none nothing. Israel celebrated its Independence Day under clear skies, although the following day, Friday, April 20, the Guards deputy commander Gen. Hossein Salami warned that Iran’s hand “was on the trigger of its missiles” and Israel’s air bases were “within reach.” But Tehran sees an opportunity for taking a high tone against Israel following three developments:

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Moscow turns against Israel, suspects its air strike in Syria was a feeler for a US offensive

 

Moscow’s tone towards Israel turned hostile on Monday, April 9, after its claim that the IDF conducted an air strike on the Syrian T-4 airbase that morning. This claim was in itself a departure from the Kremlin’s longstanding line of letting Israel’s military operations pass without comment. Stepping away from this custom, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that two Israeli F-15 fighter jets carried out a guided missile air strike on the T-4 air base in Homs from Lebanese air space. Syria was said to have shot down 5 out of the 8 missiles fired, while three landed in the western part of the base. The Moscow statement stressed: “There were no Russian advisers among those injured” – 14 in all, according to some sources. Continue reading

Saudis summon Lebanese PM moments before Beirut falls into Iranian orbit

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s switch of loyalty to Hizballah and Iran shocks Riyadh and dismays Israel.

The Lebanese Sunni politician and his family have long been inextricably tied to Saudi Arabia and its royal house, as well as professing a pro-West orientation. However, it was suddenly noticed in Riyadh, as well as Jerusalem, that the most devoted Saudi loyalist in Beirut had quietly crossed the lines. Hariri had quietly decided to follow the Iranian star and throw in his political lot with his old enemy, the Shiite Hizballah. And they had promised he would retain the premiership after Lebanon’s May 8 general election, in which their Shiite March 8 Alliance was sure to win a majority in parliament. Continue reading

Russia to Israel: We will defend you if Iran attacks, but also defend Iran’s presence in Syria

This is a mixed message with the aim of outwardly projecting propaganda in the sense that the Iranian buildup isn’t a threat, when in reality Russia is saying the Persian state has green light to do as it pleases with full protections. They are baiting Israel into attacking, and they just might should the threat level continue to increase in this Middle Eastern game of chicken.

“If Iran attacks Israel, Russia will stand alongside the US to defend Israel,” said Russian ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein at the Munich security conference last week –  in a mixed message from Moscow. This assurance is part of the effort Moscow has been making for some time to allay Israel’s concerns and stop the Netanyahu government from agitating against the peril posed by an Iranian military presence in Syria.  The Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu carried this message when he paid an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem last October. Continue reading

Iranian Presence in Mediterranean Sea Alarms Israel

 

‘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.”

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Trump is first US president to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He ordered State to build new US embassy in Jerusalem

 

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, President Donald Trump made history by announcing that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The city is not just the heart of three great faiths but also of one of the most successful democracies in the world, he said, a society where people are free to practice their faiths. It is the city which the Jews established in ancient times.  He announced that Vice President Mike Pence would soon leave for the Middle East. 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

Report: Israel Vows to Destroy Iranian Positions within 40 KM of Syrian Border

Israeli soldiers stand atop tanks overlooking the border between Israel and Syria. (photo credit:RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)

 

Syrian President Bashar Assad reportedly offered Netanyahu a comprehensive deal that would include a demilitarized zone stretching 40 kilometers from the border.

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida revealed on Sunday that an Israeli source disclosed a promise from Jerusalem to destroy all Iranian facilities within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Israel’s Golan Heights.

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Ignoring empty threats, Iran tightens its military noose around Israel

Hamas’ Saleh Arouri in Tehran.

 

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

Iran too “shoots rockets all over the place” with no US action

The nuclear twinning of North Korea and Iran is a long established fact. Shortly after Iran’s ballistic missile test Saturday, Sept. 23, North Korea was suspected of conducting another nuclear test. A magnitude-3.4 zero-depth quake was detected in North Korea, at roughly the same site as the shallow quake on Sept. 3 that was caused by nuclear test. China’s seismic service, says the quake is likely caused by an explosion. The service later found that it was an earthquake after all.

Two dictators, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Kim Jong-il, followed by his son, Kim Jong-un, have for years used their nuclear and missile collaboration to fertilize their programs while taunting the world. Continue reading

State Department Waging “Open War” on White House

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and President Donald J. Trump (right) on February 1, 2017. (Image source: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

 

  • “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.” — Foreign policy operative, quoted in the Washington Free Beacon.
  • Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Rex Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict President Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.
  • “Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.” — Veteran foreign policy analyst, quoted in the Free Beacon.

The U.S. State Department has backed away from a demand that Israel return $75 million in military aid which was allocated to it by the U.S. Congress. Continue reading

Russia flies 2,000 mercenary troops into Syria

 

Russia is engaged in a major buildup in Syria, both in support of the de-escalation zones established in conjunction with the United States, and in order to solidify its military control of the country.

debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported exclusively on Wednesday, August 2, that 2,000 mercenaries had just been airlifted into the country, boosting to a total of 5,000 the number of mercenaries on hire from the Wagner Group private contractors for service under the Russian flag in Syria. They are all retirees from elite units of the Russian ground forces, air force or navy. Continue reading

The IRGC—Terrorism’s Goliath

ISIS has captivated Western attention for so long with its gruesome beheadings, stabbings, vehicular homicides, shootings and bombings in Europe and the United States, the horrific aftermaths deservedly the focus of television news, that virtually forgotten is the world’s biggest terror threat – Iran’s IRGC, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The IRGC, often misidentified in Western press as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps dwarfs ISIS by any measure.

ISIS never had more than about 30,000 fighters, equipped mostly with small arms, with very little access to high-tech weaponry.

In contrast, the IRGC has about 125,000 fighters. It is the only terror organization in the world with an army, navy, and special forces.

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Turkey: Erdogan’s Obsession to Take Jerusalem

Jerusalem, with the Temple Mount in foreground. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images))

 

  • Simply put, Jerusalem’s Judaic history dates back to thousands of years before the birth of Islam, only in the seventh century CE.
  • As an American friend delicately asked: “Isn’t Turkey supposed to be investing millions to help rebuild Gaza?”
  • Not, it seems, when Islamist ideology is involved.

Less than a year ago, Turkey and Israel agreed to end their six-year-long diplomatic stand-off and officially “normalized” their relations. They appointed ambassadors Kemal Okem to Israel and Eitan Na’eh to Turkey, two prominent career diplomats, who, since then, have been struggling actually to normalize formally normalized ties. As some observers, including your humble correspondent, cautioned in 2016:

“Erdogan had pragmatically agreed to shake hands with Israel, but his ideological hostility to the Jewish state and his ideological love affair with Hamas have not disappeared; so the Turkish-Israeli ‘peace’ would not be easy to sustain”. Continue reading