Unfolding Russian, US and Israeli military steps are raising the big power stakes in Syria on the eve of a Trump-Putin summit, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Russian special forces have arrived and been attached to the Syrian military command in the southern Al-Safa region east of the Druze town of Sweida – officially as “advisers” to the Syrian offensive against ISIS, and markers of Islamist targets for Russian air strikes. Russia pulled those units out in June after helping Bashar Assad’s army capture rebel-held territory on Israel’s Golan and Jordan’s borders. Now, the Russians are attached to the Syrian Army’s elite 42nd Brigade-Ghiath Forces of the 4th Division. Continue reading →
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Arab foreign ministers to discuss creating MESA.
According to the State Department, Pompeo met Friday with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council+2 group of nations. The department’s readout, provided by Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Heath Nauert stated: Continue reading →
The Pentagon is removing Patriot missile systems from several Middle Eastern countries next month, an a move that the Wall Street Journal says coincides with a “realignment of forces and capabilities as the military steps up its focus on threats from China and Russia,” citing multiple senior military officials.
The relocation of the systems out of the Middle East, which hasn’t been previously disclosed, is one of the most tangible signs of the Pentagon’s new focus on threats from Russia and China and away from the long-running conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan.Continue reading →
The Russian Defense Ministry suddenly announced Thursday morning, Sept. 20, the closure of the eastern Mediterranean to air traffic and shipping – from the Syrian and Lebanese coasts to Cyprus -due to a snap “military exercise.” Continue reading →
BERLIN/BAGHDAD/AL AZRAQ (Own report) – Berlin is considering the establishment of a permanent Bundeswehr base in the Middle East, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said during her recent visits to Jordan and Iraq. German Armed Forces could be stationed at Jordan’s Al Azraq Airbase for an extended period in relative proximity to Iraq – similar to the US Persian Gulf bases. Despite the military victory already achieved over the IS, the Bundeswehr’s deployment will, for the time being, be continued within the framework of the Anti-IS Coalition, to help rebuild Iraq, the German minister announced in Baghdad. Berlin has been seeking new influence in Iraq, for quite some time, also because Iran has been able to enhance massively its position in the country over the past few years. German Tornados taking off from Al Azraq Airbase, have already furnished reconnaissance data leading to the bombing of a school. Their flights over Syria are possibly in violation of international law. Continue reading →
Project Iran” was set up during Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott’s talks with top US brass in Washington on June 29 for coordinated US-Israeli military operations against Iran.
IDF Operations Chief Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon was named to head it. He was with the chief of staff when he sat down with Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Joseph Votel, head of CENTCOM in Washington. At 53, Alon accepted the post although he was ready to retire from the service after an impressive career spanning 34 years. It included valuable experience as commander of special operations forces and oversight of the integration of special undercover units in the intelligence corps for action behind enemy lines. He led several combat divisions before being promoted to OC Central Command. In 2015, he took over the General Staff’s Operations Branch. Eisenkott persuaded him to stay on as the first holder of a job just created of Director of the “Iran Project” – the IDF codename for a newly-established US-Israeli task force for executing potential decisions to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, ballistic missiles and/or military bases in the Middle East. Continue reading →
Israel’s armed forces are distributing tents, food, water and medicines to the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees reaching its Golan border in flight from the incredibly brutal Russian and Syrian air strikes on southern Syria. The figures are staggering – 342 air strikes on Thursday night, June 28, against rebel-held towns near the Israeli and Jordanian borders – of which 299 were conducted by the Russian air force and 43 by Syrian pilots. Nawa, a town opposite the Israeli Golan border took the heaviest bombardment. Continue reading →
In position off the Syrian coast is the nuclear-powered USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier – from which the US, UK and France launched their April 14 attack on the Syrian army for launching a chemical attack. The US Navy strike group entered the eastern Mediterranean over last weekend. US task force commander Rear Adm. Eugene Black announced that its arrival “sends a powerful signal to our partners that we are committed to maintaining peace and security in the region and everywhere that there is a threat of terrorism.” Continue reading →
‘Iran is now sufficiently emboldened as to directly attack Israel.’
On February 10, an Israeli Army helicopter shot down an Iranian drone that had penetrated Israeli airspace from Syria. With that, a new, dangerous period began in the decades-old war between Israel and Iran. But just how dangerous it was remained largely unclear until the Israeli military allowed the media to report more about it two months later on April 13.
Until February 10, Iran had always attacked Israel via its terrorist proxy entities. But on that day, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror proved ready and willing to directly send forces against Israel. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
Turkey’s megalomaniac is out shopping for excuses to turn on NATO and join the China-Russia axis… which eventually will happen.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is refusing to let NATO off the hook for an inadvertent yet insulting gesture that prompted him to remove 40 Turkish troops from a joint military exercise in Norway.
Russia Today reports that Erdogan has rebuffed a NATO apology for what he called “impudence” after his name was included on an “enemies chart” shared with military officials participating in the exercises. Erdogan’s name was reportedly included alongside a photo of Turkish founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.Continue reading →
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 18, 2012. Their meeting focused on nuclear cooperation, among other things. (Image source: kremlin.ru)
Russia’s ROSATOM already has nuclear cooperation deals with Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others. Turkey is just the latest to benefit — possibly along with Iran and North Korea, both of which have been openly threatening to destroy America — from Moscow’s play for power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
The West would also do well not to feel secure in the knowledge that Turkey is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Nuclear reactors in the hands of a repressive Islamist authoritarian such as Erdogan could be turned into weapons factories with little effort.
Turkey’s announcement over the summer that it had signed a deal with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) — of Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One stardom — to begin building three nuclear power plants in the near future is cause for concern. The $20 billion deal, which has been in the works since 2010, involves the construction in Mersin of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — Turkey’s first-ever such plant— will be operational in 2023. Continue reading →
Several months after an unprecedented collapse in relations between two NATO member states, on Thursday Germany’s military announced it has finished its withdrawal from Turkey’s strategic airbase Incirlik, which as a reminder was prompted by Ankara’s refusal to allow visits by German parliamentarians. Going forward, Bundeswehr planes will instead be based in Jordan. Continue reading →
The US military folded its tents at Zaqaf, its last base in eastern Syrian Zaqaf base near the Iraqi border and Hizballah and other pro-Iranian militia moved in, without a pause. The changeover was accomplished Wednesday when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrived home after a speech informing the UN General Assembly: ”Israel will defend itself with all its military strength and act to prevent Iran establishing itself in Syria… and establishing new bases along our northern border.” Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott in his New Year message elaborated on this pledge. Continue reading →