Iran Steps Up Support for Houthis in Yemen’s War

Newly recruited Houthi fighters in Sanaa, Yemen, Jan. 3, 2017 / REUTERS

 

LONDON/ANKARA/DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is sending advanced weapons and military advisers to Yemen‘s rebel Houthi movement, stepping up support for its Shi’ite ally in a civil war whose outcome could sway the balance of power in the Middle East, regional and Western sources say.

Iran’s enemy Saudi Arabia is leading a Sunni Arab coalition fighting the Houthis in the impoverished state on the tip of the Arabian peninsula–part of the same regional power struggle that is fueling the war in Syria.

Sources with knowledge of the military movements, who declined to be identified, say that in recent months Iran has taken a greater role in the two-year-old conflict by stepping up arms supplies and other support. This mirrors the strategy it has used to support its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in Syria. Continue reading

Russia gearing up to be first world power to insert ground forces into Syria

And now we know why U.S. Patriot missiles were removed from Turkey.

 

Despite strong denials from Moscow, Russian airborne troops are preparing to land in Syria to fight Islamic State forces. The surprise attack on Monday, Aug. 31, by ISIS forces on the Qadam district of southern Damascus, in which they took over parts of the district – and brought ISIS forces the closest that any Syrian anti-Assad group has ever been to the center of the Syrian capital – is expected to accelerate the Russian military intervention.

Moscow is certainly not ready to endanger the position of President Bashar Assad or his rule in Damascus, and views it as a red line that cannot be crossed. If Russia intervenes militarily in this way, Russia will be the first country from outside the Middle East to send ground forces into the Syrian civil war. Continue reading

‘Hackers’ give orders to German missile battery

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German-owned Patriot missiles stationed in Turkey were briefly taken over by hackers, according to media reports on Tuesday.

The attack took place on anti-aircraft ‘Patriot’ missiles on the Syrian border. The American-made weapons had been stationed there by the Bundeswehr (German army) to protect Nato ally Turkey.

According to the civil service magazine, the missile system carried out “unexplained” orders. It was not immediately clear when these orders were carried out and what they were. Continue reading

Jordan wargames: Patriot batteries, F-16s and 4,500 US troops near Syrian border

Multinational military exercise ‘Eager Lion’ has been launched in Jordan amid condemnation from neighboring Syria and its ally Russia. The US brings Patriot missile batteries to the Syrian border, which could remain deployed afterwards.

The exercises will last for 12 days, bringing together about 8,000 personnel from 19 countries, mostly Arabic, but also including the US and Europe. The maneuvers will also involve some 3,000 Jordanian and 500 British troops.  Continue reading

Beijing War Prep – China moves mobile missiles near coast amid tensions with Japan over islands

The PLA war machine’s intimidation is more than a test for the Japanese. Rather, it’s a test for the United States to show itself to Japan as either a reliable ally or an unreliable ally. At the rate the USA is disarming combined with the economy’s effect on the military and national security, it’s no longer unthinkable that it wouldn’t even be able to protect itself within the next four to ten years — let alone Japan or another ally.

United States intelligence agencies recently detected China’s military shifting road-mobile ballistic missiles closer to its southern coast near the disputed Senkaku Islands amid growing tensions between Beijing and Japan over the islands dispute.

U.S. defense officials said the movements are being watched closely as China’s military is also holding large-scale military exercises that some fear could be a trigger for a conflict with Japan that could involve U.S. forces. Continue reading