Iran official urges pressure on Turkey over dams

The centerpiece of Turkey's GAP is the Atatürk Dam which is one of the largest in the world.

The centerpiece of Turkey’s GAP is the Atatürk Dam which is one of the largest in the world.

 

An Iranian official has urged active diplomacy with Turkey towards tackling the problem of dust storms, which chronically blight regional states as a result of Ankara’s massive dam building projects.

As part of its Southeastern Anatolia Project known as GAP, Turkey has built 22 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which also run across Syria, Iraq and Iran. Continue reading

The Winds of War

 

This is a video of Putin explaining the balance of power from the Russian viewpoint. He is absolutely correct in saying that an anti-missile system neutralizes opposition. It would certainly embolden the war hawks into believing that they could defeat Russia and rule the world at the expense of American and Russian citizens.

Montesquieu, who influenced the Founding Fathers in creating the Constitution, met the political leader and soldier known as the Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736). The political discussions between these two men helped Montesquieu understand the evils of government and forged the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and the right to bear arms. The Prince of Savoy was considered, even by Napoleon, as one of the seven greatest strategists in military history. He fought against the Turks (1683-1688, 1697, 1715-1718) and he fought against the French in the War of the Grand Alliance (1689-1691). He was also the teacher of Frederick the Great of Prussia (b 1712; 1740–1786) who he shaped into a brilliant military strategist. Continue reading

ISIS advances on Baghdad, faces little resistance

The Islamic State continued its push toward Baghdad and on other fronts. Saturday, the group took the Iraq-Syrian town of Husaybah on the Tigris, rounding off its control of the border and the river and gaining an easy and rapid route for transferring reinforcements between the two countries. Continue reading

ISIS gains highlight ‘aggressive’ use of water as weapon of war

 

BEIRUT: Militants from ISIS now control or threaten key facilities on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, generating fears that the Al-Qaeda splinter group could turn off the taps to the Shiite south of Iraq, sparking a massive humanitarian crisis.Last month’s ISIS-led offensive across Iraq saw it overrun cities and battle for oil refineries as the national army melted away, but it has also been waging a war for water, trying to wrest control over rivers, dams and desalination plants in a bid to solidify its territorial gains.

Control of water is seen as key to the viability of the fledgling caliphate declared by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Without water, seasonal droughts cannot be managed, electricity cannot be generated, proper sanitation practices are near impossible and the local economy grinds to a virtual halt.

“When it comes to creating an Islamic state, it is not just about the control of geographic areas in Syria and Iraq. In order to form a viable state, one must control the state’s most vital infrastructure, which in Iraq’s case is water and oil,” said Matthew Machowski, a research fellow at Queen Mary University. Continue reading

US arms Syrian rebels with first heavy weapons, anti-tank BGM-71 TOW missiles – raising war stakes

Two Syrian rebel militias judged moderate in Washington have in the last few days taken delivery and begun using – mostly in the Idlib region – the first advanced US weapon to be deployed in more than three years of civil war, debkafile’s military sources reveal. It is the heavy anti-tank, optically-tracked, wire-guided BGM-71 TOW, which is capable of piercing 50mm thickness of Syrian tank armor and Syrian fortifications at a range of 4 kilometers. Armed with this weapon now are Brig-Gen. Abdul-Hila al Bashir, the new commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, which is headquartered at the Golan town of Quneitra, and Jamal Maarouf, head of the rebel Syrian Revolutionary Front fighting in the north.

The appearance of this advanced missile radically alters the balance of strength on the Syrian battlefield. It also denotes a striking change in Obama administration policy, which hitherto flatly resisted every demand to provide Syrian rebel groups with the heavy arms essential for them to have any chance of standing up to Bashar Assad’s superior military strength. Continue reading