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’s Rev Guards place command post and 5 bases in Kirkuk

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

The Turkish-US visa spat was triggered by Kurdish dispute, Ankara’s flight from NATO to the Russian-Iranian fold

 

As of Monday, Oct. 9, US missions in Turkey have suspended non-immigrant visa services and closed their doors to the public, while Turkish consulates in the United States have suspended “all visa services” to Americans. The Turkish currency immediately plummeted on world markets. The ostensible cause of the visa spat was the arrest in Turkey of a local US consulate employee on suspicion of links to Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish cleric living in exile in America, whom President Tayyip Erdogan accuses of orchestrating the failed coup against him in 2016. Washington says the charge is baseless and damaging bilateral relations. Continue reading

President Erdogan says ‘era of a submissive Turkey’ is over

Turkey’s President and the leader of ruling Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey on July 25, 2017.

 

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan prepares for a meeting with top European Union officials in the midst of an intensifying diplomatic row with Germany.

JULY 25, 2017 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ramped up his anti-Western rhetoric Tuesday ahead of a meeting between his foreign minister and top European Union officials, saying the era of a submissive Turkey bowing to every Western demand is over.

Turkey has been mired in an escalating diplomatic row with European Union powerhouse Germany following the arrests last week of a group of human rights activists, including a German national, on terror-related charges. Earlier, a German-Turkish journalist was arrested for allegedly spying and aiding Kurdish rebels. Continue reading

Erdoğans Transition

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – The German government is negotiating new German Turkish arms deals, as was confirmed by the German Ministry of Economics. Brigitte Zypries (SPD), Minister of the Economy, spoke with the CEO of Rheinmetall weapons manufacturer about upgrading the Turkish Leopard battle tank. “In principle,” such deals with NATO partners “can not to be restricted,” according to Berlin. The German government is also seeking to re-invigorate German-Turkish economic cooperation, to strengthen bilateral relations. Germany does not want to loose Turkey as a “bridge” connecting Germany and the EU to the Middle East. Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ankara is not only strengthening the country’s economy and, in the long run, make it one of the world’s top ten economies (“Vision 2023”), he is also planning to transform the country into an independent regional power, forming alliances as it chooses – no longer dependent on the western states. The reorientation of its foreign policy is accompanied by the country’s transformation into a presidential dictatorship. Continue reading

Drone Images Expose Major US, Jordan Military Build-up On Syrian Border

 

The US and Jordanian military forces may be prepping a massive invasion of Syria, if intelligence reports gathered from surveillance drones suggest. Continue reading

US Marines in Syria to defend Kurds against Turkey

The US has sent a group of US Marines armed with eight-wheeled Stryker armored carriers to northern Syria as a buffer between Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces, after Turkish air strikes killed 20 members of the US-backed Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) militia, injured 18 and destroyed the local Kurdish command headquarters. Clashes broke out between Turkish and Kurdish forces after the air strikes.

It was the second time American armored troops had stepped in to separate Turkish and the Kurdish YPG militia that leads the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), to which the Americans assign a major role in the offensive to capture Raqqa from ISIS. On March 17, US Marines advanced towards the northern Syrian town of Manbij when the Turkish army was on the point of fighting the Kurdish militia for control of the town. Continue reading

US Air Force to quit Incirlik, move to Syria base

After seeing what transpired in Turkey last year, it’s definitely believable that America wants out of it. However, this story adds a twist to the plot. Not only is moving one USAF airbase into Syria odd, but five in total is a tell-tale sign of something possibly larger around the corner.

For this to happen Assad would have to be gone. Either by peaceful means or force. Syria would then be split up among three or four powers — likely American, Russian and Chinese/European forces. The Chinese have mobilized 150,000 PLA troops not only for a possible North Korean fallout.

It’s also interesting to note that the Bundeswehr (German army) is also on the move and positioning itself. Perhaps this is part of its military ‘golden triangle‘ (see also HERE) strategy.

It’s a bit of a mystery now, so this story is something to keep an eye on.

 

 

Several US engineering teams are working round the clock to build a big new air base in northern Syria after completing the expansion of another four. They are all situated in the Syrian borderland with Iraq, DEBKAfile’s military forces report.

This was going on over the weekend as senators, news correspondents and commentators were outguessing each other over whether the US missile attack on the Syrian Shayrat air base Friday, in retaliation for the Assad regime’s chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, was a one-off or the start of a new series. Continue reading

Railway line to connect Iran to Mediterranean Sea through Iraqi, Syrian Kurdistan: Rouhani

This is less about business & economics as it’s more about Iran’s Middle East hegemonic grab. This railway, while serving economic purposes, will also serve military ones. They will now be able to supply efficient logistical support to the Iranian military in the Mediterranean. This is a a road to war under construction and a direct threat on Europe’s doorstep.

 

An Iranian train. Photo: Tansim

 

SNE, Iranian Kurdistan— An extended railway construction is underway to connect Iran to the Syrian west coast on the Mediterranean Sea, crossing the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq, according to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who visited Kurdish provincial capital of Sanandaj in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat) Saturday as part of his reelection campaign.

Rouhani described the construction of Tehran-Sanandaj railway as one of “the most important infrastructure projects” in the country and added that it would create many job opportunities. Continue reading

Tehran will fight Turkey’s role in Mosul operation

https://i0.wp.com/www.debka.co.il/dynmedia/photos/2016/10/24/src/Bashiqa_B.jpg

 

The involvement of Turkish special operations, armored and artillery forces in support of the Kurdish Peshmerga battle to drive ISIS out of Bashiqa, 12 south of Mosul, marks a pivotal moment in the US-led coalition’s anti-ISIS offensive to free Iraq’s second city. The entire Mosul operation hangs in the balance since Turkey stepped into the fighting in Iraq, at the initiative of the US. Instead of fighting ISIS, the coalition’s partners are squaring off to fight each other.

debkafile’s military sources report that Turkey was allowed to gatecrash the fighting around Mosul after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited the KRG capital of Irbil Sunday, Oct. 23. He urged Kurdish leaders to bow to President Tayyip Erdogan’s demands for a role in the battle. Continue reading

The big Mosul offensive is stuck, halted by ISIS

Less than a day after its launch, the big Mosul offensive prepared for more than a year by the US, the Iraqi army, Kurdish forces and others, ground to a halt Tuesday Oct. 17, debkafile’s military sources report – although none of the parties admitted as much.  Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi said his troops were busy opening up corridors for some million civilians to escape, while US sources suggested that the Islamic State would use primitive chemical weapons against the advancing Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

Both had the ring of cover stories to account for the spearhead forces, the Iraq army’s 9th Armored Division and the Federal Police special anti-terror units, being thrown back Tuesday on their way to Mosul from the east and the south, while still 10-15km short of the city. They sustained heavy losses in lives and hardware.

The 9th Division and its newly-supplied heavy US Abrahams tanks were stopped at al-Hamdaniyah outside Mosul and retreated, recalling a previous defeat at ISIS hands in June 2014, when troops of the same division fled under Islamist attack, leaving their tanks behind. Continue reading

Turkey extends mandate for troops in Iraq, Syria

Turkey’s parliament on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a one-year extension of an existing mandate to use Turkish troops abroad in Syria and Iraq.

The mandate was first approved by parliament in October 2014 and was renewed for another year in September 2015.

It allows military action in Turkey’s two southern neighbours against Islamic State jihadists and other groups deemed by Ankara to be terror organisations. Continue reading

Inside the Combined Air and Space Operations Center

BERLIN/DAMASCUS/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The German Bundeswehr’s concrete role in the widely criticized air attacks carried out by the anti-IS coalition and its members has not become clear, even after the coalition’s air strikes on Syrian government forces near Deir al-Zor. The Bundeswehr is supporting air strikes on IS/DAESH not only by furnishing in-flight refueling – already more than 1,100 times – but also by supplying intelligence information. This information is passed on to all coalition members through the “information space” in the anti-IS coalition’s Combined Air and Space Operations Center at the Al Udeid Air Base (Qatar), where several Bundeswehr officers are stationed. Observers assume that some of this intelligence, for example, can be used also by Turkey to prepare its operations against Kurdish units in Northern Syria. It is not clear, whether this data has played a role also in preparing attacks, resulting in civilian casualties, such as the anti-IS coalition’s air strikes on Manbij in mid-July, wherein more than 100 people were killed. Last June, the Bundeswehr declared that it had already evaluated more than 11,000 reconnaissance photos and passed them on to its allies fighting the war against IS.

Continue reading

Western Democracy Gone Mad

For decades, but especially following the U.S. overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 and the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. government has tried to promote the establishment of democracies in the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and elsewhere around the globe.

This should come as no surprise.  Centers for the Study of Democracy have become an integral feature of universities throughout the United States and Western Europe.  They replaced older schools of realpolitik that used to be taught.  Professors, politicians, and international organizations aggressively promote the doctrine of democracy. Continue reading

All-out Turkish-Kurd war. Barazani goes to Tehran

https://i1.wp.com/www.debka.co.il/dynmedia/photos/2016/08/25/src/5.jpg

 

An all-out Turkish-Kurdish war has boiled over in northern Syria since the Turkish army crossed the border last Wednesday, Aug. 24 for the avowed aim of fighting the Islamic State and pushing the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia back. Instead of falling back, the Kurds went on the offensive and are taking a hammering. This raging confrontation has stalled the US-led coalition offensive against ISIS and put on indefinite hold any US plans for campaigns to drive the jihadists out of their Syrian and Iraqi capitals of Raqqa and Mosul. Continue reading