Moscow & Tehran prepare to arm Hizballah, including with Iranian air defense missiles

 

Hizballah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, last week proposed that Iran re-arm the Lebanese army with new weapons including anti-air missiles. Zarif responded that Tehran is ready to assist Lebanon “in every field” – including the military sphere. He spoke in general terms, but DEBKAfile’s military sources report that, behind closed doors, the Iranian foreign minister offered the Lebanese army a set of Iranian Bavar 373 air defense missile systems, which are a close replica of the Russian S-300s deployed around military and nuclear sites across Iran. Iran nay decide against sending these missiles to Lebanon, lest they are destroyed by Israel, but the offer in itself is raising raised the military temperature around Lebanon. Quite simply, all the parties concerned are aware that the Lebanese government will decline this offer, because by closing the Iranian door they will open it to the start of Russian weapons supplies to Lebanon and Hizballah. Tehran has no objection to advanced weapons reaching Hizballah from Russia. The Iranians will claim that it is par for the course. Kurdish forces in Syria are armed by the Americans to fight Islamic State terror, and Hizballah is fighting the same foe. Continue reading

EU Concerned by Iran Missile Work, Regional Security Role

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union said on Monday it was gravely concerned by Iran’s ballistic missile launches and tests and called on Tehran to stop activity that deepened mistrust and destabilized the region.

Iran has expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles, in defiance of opposition from the United States and expressions of concern by European countries. Tehran says the program is purely defensive. Continue reading

New Lebanese government dominated by Hizballah

Prime Minister Saad Hariri heads the new Lebanese government set up on Thursday after a nine-month stalemate over the pro-Iranian Shiite Hizballah’s demands. Continue reading

Iran Suspected in Worldwide Cyberattacks

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‘Unprecedented’ cyberattacks targeting Western governments and organizations have been traced to hackers in the Islamic Republic.

FireEye, a California cybersecurity and intelligence firm, released a report on January 9 linking Iran to a pattern of cyberattacks dating back to 2017. These attacks targeted nations in North America, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The report states, “This campaign has targeted victims across the globe on an almost unprecedented scale, with a high degree of success.” Continue reading

Israeli Report: Invasion of Iran May Be Necessary

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A worst-case scenario would begin with a war in the north that trickles south.

An Israeli government report is warning the country that it must prepare for the possibility of going to war with Iran—invading the Islamic Republic—in order to prevent it from becoming fully entrenched in Syria. Continue reading

Invading Israel

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An IDF entry point to a Hezbollah tunnel from Lebanon (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Iran’s war against Israel is heating up rapidly: Iran is moving beyond threats and mobilizing for hostilities.

Jerusalem—On Nov. 13, 2018, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government was on the edge of collapse. In one 25-hour period, the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hamas launched over 400 rockets, missiles and mortars into Israel from the Gaza Strip. It was the largest single-day barrage ever. For those Israelis within range of the missiles, it was the last straw. I spoke to Israelis who experienced the attacks, and most of them emphasized the need to push back against Hamas to stop the incessant fire. Living under the constant threat of war and the stress of having less than 10 seconds to get to a bomb shelter is clearly taking a toll. Continue reading

Netanyahu: US will run economic war against Iran, leaving military drive to Israel

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That the US retains the economic side of the war on Iran leaving the military campaign for Israel to manage – in the words of Prime Minister/Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – defines the new reality set out by the Trump administration. Continue reading

Iran navy launches stealth warship in the Gulf

Note: Video available at the source.

 

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s navy on Saturday launched a domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth properties, as tensions rise with arch-enemy, the United States.

In a ceremony carried live on state television, the Sahand destroyer — which can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply — joined Iran’s regular navy at a base in Bandar Abbas on the Gulf. Continue reading

Iranian air freighters now routed to Beirut instead of Syrian air bases

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Day by day at least one, if not two, Iranian transport aircraft, are landing at Beirut international airport in the past week, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Flights to Syrian air bases have all but ceased. On their return flights, they refuel at Damascus airport. Most of the incoming aircraft are Boeing 747s of Qeshm Fars Air, which serves Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Intelligence watchers, speculating about the reason for the accelerated Iranian air runs to Beirut and the nature of their cargoes, suggest that they are anxious to avoid encounters with the USAF aircraft circling Syrian skies (as DEBKAfile first revealed on Nov. 22). Another conjecture is that, since the Russian- S-300 air defense systems won’t be operational before the end of January, Iran and Russia agreed that it would be less hazardous for Iranian air deliveries to be routed to Beirut than to risk possible Israel air strikes over Syria. Continue reading

“Arab NATO” Gaining Momentum? Washington’s ‘Plan B’ For Countering Russia

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All wars initiated or supported by the US establishment  from the occupation of Iraq in 2003, to the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, and to regime-change efforts in Syria in 2011 and the occupation of a third of Iraq in 2014  have failed in their goal of stoking the fire of sectarian war between Sunni and Shia in the Middle East. The failure of this strategy has pushed the US establishment towards two new options: the first, of using the media to reveal Saudi Arabia’s intention to harm the Iranian economy and assassinate its military commanders. The second is to promote and advertise for an “Arab (Sunni) NATO Army”. The goal is to keep the possibility of sectarian war alive. Continue reading

What Happens to the World When America Stops Standing for What’s Right?

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A security personnel looks out from the entrance of the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP PHOTO/PETRAS GIANNAKOURIS)

 

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi drives home the consequences of the Trump administration’s refusal to champion democratic values around the globe.

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi has shocked many in the United States, but it should not come as a surprise. Indeed, it is a logical outgrowth of the policies that the Saudi leadership has been pursuing for the past two years, and the support that it has found for its approach in the Trump White House and parts of the American establishment. Continue reading

Russia declares electronic war on Israel ranging over Syria, E. Mediterranean

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Within two weeks, Russia will arm Syria with S-300 air defense systems and start jamming navigation in the E. Mediterranean – two of the three measures announced by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on Monday, Sept. 24 “in response to Israel’s role in downing the Russian IL-20” on Sept. 17.

Syria’s air defense electronic capacities will be boosted to level that of Russian forces in the country. But the most significant measure announced by Shoigu was: “Russia will jam satellite navigation, on-board radars and communication systems of combat aircraft, which attack targets in the Syrian territory, in the regions over the waters of the Mediterranean Sea bordering with Syria.” Continue reading

Russia shuts E. Mediterranean to air and sea traffic for “military exercise”

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

Putin is ready go all the way against the US in Syria. Where does this place Israel?

 

Russian-Syrian success in the high-stakes Idlib offensive would give Tehran a major victory and renewed footing in Syria. This would torpedo the US-Israeli campaign to drive the Iranians out.

After a series of aerial bombardments, the Russian-Syrian-Iranian offensive to gain control of Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, is ready to go, having meanwhile gained the valuable increment of Hizballah fighters. After returning home from the Syrian battlefields, these Lebanese Shiite fighters were given fresh orders over the weekend to return to Idlib and Hama. Continue reading

IRGC commander claims ‘Islamic Army’ near Golan Heights, ready to fight Israel

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In a recent speech, IRGC deputy commander Hossein Salami boasted of the creation of an “Islamic army” near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which he warned threatened to “end” Israel.

“Today, an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan,” Salami said, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

Continue reading