Extraordinary Western military movements in Md East before Trump’s Iran decision – some via Israel

 

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Unusual Western military movements in the Middle East in the past 48 hours may tie in with President Donald Trump’s decision to jump forward his decision on the Iran nuclear deal. He released a Twitter post on Monday, May 7 saying: “I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00 pm.” – i.e. four days before the May 12 deadline. DEBKAfile‘s Washington and military sources report exclusively that the president’s announcement came against the background of unusual US, British and French forces heading for the Middle East and deploying in countries bordering on Syria. These startling events point suggestively in two directions: Continue reading

Russia to treat US jets in Syria as ‘targets’ after America guns down first regime warplane

A Syrian jet (similar to the one pictured on 23 March 2017) was shot down by US forces on Sunday [Getty]

 

Russia has said it will treat US warplanes operating in parts of Syria where its air forces are also present as “targets” amid a diplomatic row caused by the downing of a Syrian jet.

The country’s defence ministry said it would track US-led coalition aircraft with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down.

A hotline set up between Russia and the US to prevent mid-air collisions will also be suspended. Continue reading

Reports: U.S. forces take control of Syrian air base

The facility, near the city of Rmeilan in Hasakah province, is the first U.S.-controlled air base in Syria.

A spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the base was handed over to the U.S. to support Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It had been under the control of the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) for over two years. Continue reading

Iranian Warships Confront U.S. Navy On ‘Daily Basis’

U.S. naval forces operating in and around the Strait of Hormuz, a critical shipping lane, are “routinely approached by Iranian warships and aircraft” on a “nearly daily basis,” according to a Pentagon official familiar with operations in the region.

During these interactions between U.S. and Iranian forces, American aircraft and ships are routinely photographed by the Iranians for intelligence purposes, according to the official, who said that most confrontations between the sides are “conducted in a safe and professional manner.” Continue reading

Turkish President Declares Lawrence of Arabia a Bigger Enemy than ISIS

In a stunning speech, Erdogan railed against Western “spies” and journalists and seemed to endorse the ISIS plan to redraw the region’s borders.

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took on the iconic Lawrence of Arabia Monday in a furious anti-Western diatribe.  The Turkish president compared the outside meddling in the region now to the role the renowned British army officer played during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans during World War I. And Western diplomats here say the tirade bears a rather striking resemblance to some of the propaganda that has come out of the so-called Islamic State, widely known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL.

Last week, stung by Western criticism of Turkey’s conspicuous absence from the U.S.-led air combat against the terror organization, and the refusal of the Turkish government to rescue the besieged town of Kobani, just across the Syrian border, Erdoğan insisted he had no sympathy for the jihadists.

Continue reading