Sheikh Imran Hosein on Saudi regime Analysis
Poor Bibi “Dangerfield,” he don’t get no respect.
The demonization of Iran serves as a distraction from violence against the Palestinians
Israels testing new chemical bombs on Gaza, here you see a child whose nervous system has collapsed. pic.twitter.com/U57NVpu3Sf
— The Miami Voice (@themiamivoice) October 2, 2018
VIENNA, Austria — The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog Tuesday refused to “take at face value” Israel’s claims that Iran is harboring a secret atomic warehouse, fending off pressure to inspect the allegedly suspect site. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the claim in front of the U.N. General Assembly last week.
Without explicitly referring to Netanyahu’s claim, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano insisted that the agency’s independence was “of paramount importance” for its work.
The IAEA “uses all safeguards-relevant information available to it but it does not take any information at face value,” Amano said in a statement.
Netanyahu accused Iran of operating a “secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.”
He urged the IAEA to inspect the site.
Amano said the IAEA would not be told how to do its work.
“All information obtained, including from third parties, is subject to rigorous review,” he said, adding that the IAEA “must always be impartial, factual, and professional.”
Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to scale down its nuclear activities and submit to IAEA inspections in exchange for relief from sanctions.
“I thank the American government and the Congress for their commitment to Israel and the American aid funds in the coming decade. To Israel and the world complex security challenges, primarily the Iranian aggression. The United States ‘ unguarded support for Israel’s right to defend itself is from the pillars of the inter-state relationship.”
אני מודה לממשל האמריקני ולקונגרס על מחויבותם לישראל ועל כספי הסיוע האמריקנים גם בעשור הקרוב.
בפני ישראל והעולם אתגרים ביטחוניים מורכבים, ובראשם התוקפנות האיראנית. התמיכה הבלתי מסויגת של ארה”ב בזכותה של ישראל להגן על עצמה היא מעמודי התווך בקשר האיתן בין המדינות
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) October 2, 2018
Israel bitterly opposes the deal and congratulated U.S. President Donald Trump for his decision to walk away from it earlier this year. In April Netanyahu tried to shake up the debate over the Iran nuclear deal by showing offseized in an Israeli raid. Netanyahu said flatly, in a dramatic presentation in English, that “Iran lied” about its nuclear ambitions.
He claimed that a secret archive taken from a warehouse in Tehran included plans to build atomic warheads.
The IAEA — the entity tasked with inspecting and verifying Iran’s compliance with the terms of the 2015 agreement — issued a statement, however, indicating that Israel’s trove of Iranian archives did not appear to change the understanding of what the Islamic Republic did, or when.
“The Agency’s overall assessment was that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003.
The Agency also assessed that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities,” the agency said in a written statement. “The same report stated that the Agency had no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”
The IAEA has repeatedlyunder the deal.
Amano said on Tuesday that evaluations of Iran’s compliance were “ongoing.”
The annulal State Department report on terrorism says that terrorist attacks were down by 23% world wide in 2017. The report attributed this decline in some large part to the defeat of ISIL in Iraq and Syria. (Obviously, they haven’t disappeared there, and pockets continue to offer resistance, but let’s face it, the ‘caliphate’ is a shadow of its former self and the “state” journalists hyped in 2015 that had a ‘9 million’ population is all gone (it was never that big or consolidated).
The problem with the State Department report is that it is highly partisan and ideological, which somewhat undermines its credibility.
One of the biggest flaws is unwillingness to give Iran and Lebanon’s Hizballah any credit at all for their role in defeating Salafi extremists.
Iran and Shiite militias it backed were crucial to the defeat of ISIL in Iraq, and it seems clear that despite denials, the US military de facto cooperated with them on occasion. Iran’s positive role in helping roll back Salafi extremism and tamp down on terrorism is not mentioned by the report. But if it is true that the partial demise of ISIL is responsible for a fall in terrorist attacks by a quarter, then France, for instance, owes a great debt of gratitude to Iran and Hizbullah and other Shiite militias.
Let us just consider the muddle that is this paragraph:
- “In the Levant, Jordan and Lebanon both remained committed Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS partners. Jordanian security forces thwarted several plots and apprehended numerous terrorists in 2017; the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) expelled ISIS militants along the Lebanese-Syrian border near Aarsal. Still, several terrorist groups continued to operate in Lebanon throughout the year, most notably Hizballah. The terrorist group remained the most capable terrorist organization in Lebanon, controlling areas across the country.”
For anyone who knows anything about Lebanon, this passage reads as Orwellian.
So the Lebanese Armed Forces are good guys who expelled ISIl from the Lebanese-Syrian border near Arsal. But Hizbullah is a terrorist group spread all around Lebanon.
Let’s back up a little. First of all, it is true that the Lebanese Army played a role in defeating ISIL in eastern Lebanon. But, despite official denials, it is absolutely certain that they had help in this campaign.
Help from Hizbullah?
Help from Hizbullah.
So how come the defeat of ISIL around Arsal is credited wholly to the Lebanese army, and Hizbullah’s significant role is written out of history? This is a US government document, but it ought to be reporting the facts, not Mike Pompeo’s flights of fancy.
There is a further problem. Hizbullah is a party with a paramilitary. That party and its allies made major gains in last May’s parliamentary elections, winning 68 seats in the 120-member national legislature. (The allies include Christians). No new government has been formed, but the old one was a government of national unity in which Hizbullah and its allies were very powerful.
That is, you can’t praise the Lebanese Army as an anti-terrorist force and accuse Hizbullah of being nothing but terrorists if Hizbullah is a dominant force in the civilian government that gives orders to the Lebanese Army.
Both Hizbullah as a party and Hizbullah’s small paramilitary of some 25,000 are considered “terrorists” in Washington, D.C., though the designation is purely political, pushed by the Israel lobbies. Hizbullah doesn’t routinely kill civilian non-combatants to shape civilian politics, which is the definition of terrorism. Almost all its kinetic action since 2013 has been dedicated to fighting Sunni and Salafi rebels in Syria. This endeavor included battling ISIL and the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate.
The report blames Iran for backing Hizbullah (which is apparently what it means by lambasting Iran as the biggest supporter of terrorism, a silly piece of propaganda). But it does not blame Saudi Arabia for having backed the Army of Islam (Jaysh al-Islam) militants in Syria, who were never designated terrorists for political reasons, since they were fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad, whom the US wanted to overthrow.
Jaysh al-Islam certainly fit the profile of an extremist terrorist group. Saudi Arabia appears to have directed its attacks on Syrian government buildings, e.g. At one point John Kerry let the cat out of the bag and admitted that the Army of Islam is a terrorist organization supported by the Saudis.
Nor is Israel criticized for giving aid to and supporting Syrian rebels, some of whom appear to have included the Nusra Front, a designated terrorist group and al-Qaeda affiliate.
For more Orwellianism, consider this paragraph:
- In Yemen, the ongoing conflict between the Government of Yemen and Houthi forces continued to create a security vacuum for al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS’s Yemen branch to exploit. AQAP used its tribal connections to continue to recruit, conduct attacks, and operate in areas of southern and central Yemen with relative impunity, although counterterrorism operations eliminated key leaders and pressured the group’s networks. AQAP also released several videos reiterating its intent to attack the West. Although significantly smaller than AQAP, ISIS’s Yemen affiliate conducted large-scale attacks targeting security forces and government targets in Aden.
Read between the lines and it becomes clear that the joint Saudi-UAE-led war on Yemen has thrown the country into turmoil and allowed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to recruit and attack “with relative impunity.” AQAP was responsible for the underwear bomber over Detroit late in 2009 and has plotted against the US on several occasions. It would be bad for AQAP to have a free hand.
The Saudi and UAE-led war on Yemen has given al-Qaeda in that country a new lease on life. The object of their ire, the Houthi government of north Yemen, has fought al-Qaeda.
In contrast, the Associated Press discovered extensive cooperation between Saudi Arabia/ the UAE and al-Qaeda.
Maybe I am naive in expecting close analysis and clarity in a government document. After all, the State Department reports to Donald J. Trump.
But the US government has to make up its mind who the real enemy is. If it is ISIL and al-Qaeda, then the US needs Iran as an ally.
At start of cabinet meeting prime minister also thanks US for closing PLO mission in Washington, and marks 9/11 terror attack
These are like the emperor with no clothes…everyone with eyes and a brain laughs to see and hear them. But no one says a damn thing in fear of losing his head.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened his cabinet meeting Wednesday by stressing that the world must unite against not only against the threat of “Islamic State”, but also against that of Iran.
“It is doing so to a certain extent against “Islamic State” but it is not doing so against Iran,” he said. “On the contrary, what we are seeing is that while Iran is sending terrorist cells to Europe, European leaders are appeasing – and reconciling with – Iran, in the same week that the terrorist cells were due to carry out their operations, which we helped thwart. This is unacceptable.”
Osama bin Laden is dead, “justice has been done”
Osama bin Laden is dead, “justice has been done”, and yet the US war on Afghanistan continues 17 yrs on. They were not in there for bin Laden in the first place. According to a 1986 state department report, opium “is an ideal crop in a war-torn country since it requires little capital investment, is fast growing and is easily transported and traded”. The US regime is not ‘winning’ in Afghanistan because it is strictly a war for profit. Like all wars. It’s imperialism, stupid!
2,000 U.S. military personnel have died, the civilian death toll in Afghanistan from the fighting and air strikes, more than 10,000 people killed in 2017 alone. The Taliban is fighting the imperialists and the US puppet govt. just like Ho Che Minh in Vietnam. Allegations of CIA drug trafficking
“The biggest hurdle for Washington is self-imposed: It needs to take seriously the Iranian quest for ‘democracy’.”
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal, and to relentlessly pressure the Islamic Republic, has elicited a predictable response. Critics cite history, particularly a counterproductive 1953 coup, as a reason to oppose the strategy. But looking more closely at the past shows that a regime-collapse containment policy is the best way to effect change.
Westerners often look at Iran as an island of autocratic stability, as they once did with the U.S.S.R. American and European officials tend to see the mullahs’ tools of repression as indomitable. But for much of the past century Iran has been locked in a convulsive struggle between rulers wanting to maintain their prerogatives and the ruled seeking freedom.
The Constitutional Revolution of 1905 first injected the notions of popular representation into Iran’s bloodstream. During the first half of the 20th century, feisty Parliaments had little compunction about flexing their muscles. The local gentry would marshal the peasants, laborers and tribesmen into polls that would choose each Parliament. It wasn’t a Jeffersonian democracy, but the system had legitimacy. Bound to each other by land, family, tradition and the vote, the governing class and the people created mechanisms for addressing grievances. Consequently the Parliaments were sensitive to local concerns.
The first Pahlavi monarch, Reza Shah, challenged this system by imposing his will in the name of modernity. After his abdication in 1941, constitutional rule again gained strength. Yet it was Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, deposed in the 1953 coup, who tried to derail Iran’s democratic evolution. Forget for a moment the nefarious Central Intelligence Agency intrigue; what happened in 1953 was an Iranian initiative.
There is a fundamental rule about American interventionism today: It takes two to tango. The 1953 coup proves it. Mossadegh [overthrown by a coup organized by MI6 and aided by the Central Intelligence Agency], who had once been a champion of the rule of law and national sovereignty, became increasingly autocratic and vainglorious after Parliament nationalized the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. in 1951. In trying to navigate the financially ruinous aftershocks of that decision, the prime minister rigged elections, sought to disband Parliament, and usurped the powers of the monarchy.
Iran’s politicians, military men and mullahs then came together to take down the premier. The public mostly rallied to the monarch, Mohammad Reza, a figurehead around whom diverse forces gathered. The CIA was involved in the coup planning but gave up once the initial operation failed. Iranians took control and removed the prime minister. In doing so, they sought to revive their economy and protect their political institutions. Mossadegh fell not because of a plot hatched in Langley but because he lost elite and popular support within his own country.
After naming himself “king of kings” in 1971, Mohammad Reza did his best to subvert good governance. He wasted much of Iran’s oil wealth on arms. He reduced the venerable Iranian Parliament to a rubber stamp. His secret police managed to be incompetent and hated. He alienated the clergy and replaced the old elite with a coterie of sycophants.
Yet the 1979 revolution, which overthrew the shah, was bound to disappoint a public clamoring for democracy. The first constituency to give up on theocracy was the students, whose protest in 1999 ended the attempt by the regime to reform itself. Then came the titanic Green Movement of 2009. A fraudulent presidential election sparked a massive protest that discredited the regime among the middle class. In December 2017, nearly 100 Iranian cities and towns erupted in protest. The poor were thought to be the regime’s last bastion of power, tied to theocracy by piety and the welfare state. Yet this time they hurled damning chants.
President Hassan Rouhani, a lackluster apparatchik of the security state, once thought that a nuclear deal would generate sufficient foreign investment to placate discontent. That aspiration failed even before the advent of President Trump. The Islamic Republic—with its lack of a reliable banking system or anything resembling the rule of law—is too turbulent to attract enough investors. It is probably internally weaker than the Soviet Union was in the 1970s.
The essential theme in modern Iranian history is a populace seeking to emancipate itself from tyranny—monarchal and Islamist. Devising a strategy to collapse the clerical regime isn’t difficult: The U.S. can draw on Persian history and on experience with the Soviet Union. It will require patience. Iranians usually don’t hold 1953 against the U.S. Neither do the children of the revolutionary elite, who so often find their way to the U.S. and Britain. The biggest hurdle for Washington is self-imposed: It needs to take seriously the Iranian quest for democracy.
Mr. Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council for Foreign Relations.
“Israel is universally rejected in the United States for the first time. Not one member of Congress voted in alliance with Israel’s request. Not one. Unimaginable!”
The unanimously passed US House of Representatives amendment, which bans President Donald Trump from declaring a war on Iran, shows Israel is universally rejected in the United States for the first time, according to an American political commentator and journalist.
Gordon Duff, senior editor at Veterans Today, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday, after the US House of Representatives unanimously passed an amendment on Wednesday that bans Trump from declaring a war on Iran without the Congress’s approval.
The amendment, introduced by Democratic Representative Keith Maurice Ellison and cosponsored by a number of other Democratic as well as Republican lawmakers, made clear Congress’s position that no law exists which gives the president power to launch a military strike against the Islamic Republic.
“It could be seen in a couple of ways,” Duff said. “But one is it’s a total rejection of the policies of Trump and [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo by the entire House of Representatives – something that’s never before seen in the United States.”
“It could also be seen as a prelude to the impeachment of President Trump. There is no other question about this that his policies rejected his relationship with Israel,” he stated.
“Israel is universally rejected in the United States for the first time. Not one member of Congress voted in alliance with Israel’s request. Not one. Unimaginable!” he concluded.
PressTV-US House bans Trump from declaring war on Iran
The US House of Representatives passes an amendment that bans President Trump from declaring a war on Iran without the Congress’s approval.
Ellison’s amendment came two weeks after Washington unilaterally walked out of a multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and major powers in 2015. The move was construed by many as a declaration of war against Tehran.
“The unanimous passage of this bipartisan amendment is a strong and timely counter to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and its increasingly hostile rhetoric,” Ellison said.
Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany.
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
In February, Israel accused Iran of sending an armed drone into its territory, which Iran denied, and the Syrian Golan is no part of Israel territory, after which an Israeli plane was shot down while bombing Syria – the first time the country had lost an aircraft in combat in 35 years. Israel has since retaliated with bolder strikes on Iranian positions in Syria which have killed at least 13 Iranian nationals.
It is understandable that observers are alarmed about an Iran-Israel conflict in the aftermath of the violation by Trump of the 2015 Iranian nuclear enrichment treaty. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu worked hard to undermine the treaty in the US, using cut-outs such as allegedly corrupt casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who bought the Republican Party in Congress with massive campaign contributions.
The Israelis struck a Golan village in Syria, baiting Hizbullah and Iran into a response, and then used the response as a pretext for a substantial set of bombing raids on alleged Iranian facilities in Syria. Netanyahu appears to have cleared these strikes with Vladimir Putin, who seems to have okayed them as long as they did not threaten Syrian regime stability or harm Russian military forces in Syria.
Israel’s security cabinet believes Iran “has gotten the Israeli message, and won’t mess with us in the near future,” officials told Hadashot TV news Friday night, a day after Israel launched dozens of strikes on Iranian military sites in Syria in response to an Iranian missile barrage directed at Syria’s Golan Heights occupied by Israel illegally.
Israeli leaders assess that the Israeli action has made it clear to Tehran that it does not possess the operational infrastructure it needs in Syria to successfully contend with IDF capabilities, the report said.
The army has told ministers in the top forum that it thus believes the current round of hostilities to be over, though tensions in the Zionist occupied north will persevere, and border incidents are still possible.
Speaking in Syria’s Golan earlier Friday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman sent a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad, telling him to “throw” Iranian forces out of his country.
Liberman visited the northern city of Katzrin to debrief residents following Israel’s largest air campaign in Syria in more than 40 years, in which it said it bombed over 50 Iranian targets.
The sortie came after Iran fired 20 missiles toward Israel [legally Syria] just after midnight on Thursday morning, the IDF said, forcing illegal Zionist residents of the Syrian north into bomb shelters. Military reported Four of the missiles were knocked down by the Iron Dome air defense system and the rest fell short of Syrian territory, occupied by Israel illegally. But actually what Israel calls an attack was Iran using anti-aircraft system to protect it’s legal defense forces in Syria.
Liberman urged Syria to expel the Revolutionary Guard’s al-Quds Force, which Israel lied about the missile attacks early Thursday morning.
“I want to use this opportunity to give Assad a message,” he said. “Throw out the Iranians, throw out Qassem Soleimani and the Quds force. They don’t help you, they only harm you, and their presence makes us to bomb you because we don’t like it..”
Liberman also told Israelis they should not let the threat from Syria deter them from visiting the Syrian Golan. “You can come, you can return to the bed and breakfasts, to tour, to hike, ” he said. “There are truly amazing views and among the most beautiful places [they’ve occupied illegally] , and there is no problem. We are back to normal.”
He said that it was a mistake to think that Thursday morning’s attacks on the Iranian bases had completely solved the problem, but that the army was ready for anything and would continue to do whatever necessary to ensure Israel [occupied Syria] is secure.
The defense minister welcomed Iran’s statement that it did not want an escalation between the two countries and stressed that Israel was also not looking for more confrontation with anyone.
“We did not cross Iran’s borders,” he said. “They came here.” [LOL, where is here? Golan Syria? The Iranians are in Syria legally. Everywhere. The Israelis are not welcome in any part of Syria including the Syrian Golan. Legally they have been ordered to get out]
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that Israel would be victorious in its “ongoing campaign” against Iran.
“I have established a basic principle: Whoever strikes us, we are going to strike them,” Netanyahu said.
Israel has long warned it will not accept Iran entrenching itself militarily in neighboring Syria, where the Islamic Republic backs Assad’s regime in the country’s seven-year civil war.
The Jewish state has said said it also conducts operations in Syria to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to Iran-backed Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed ‘terror’ group [Hezbollah’s function is to protect the sovereignty of Lebanon] which is said to have 140,000 missiles and rockets aimed at Israel from Lebanon. [Israel is perpetually at war with all it’s neighbors.]
“Netanyahu appears to have inoculated himself against looming corruption charges due to the dramatic developments on the security front.”
Distorting the timeline of events is a longtime Israeli strategy to make its enemies look like the aggressors and pass itself off as the victim. Israel’s massive aerial attacks earlier today on Iranians and Syrians — its most extensive cross-border strikes in decades — are carrying out this propaganda strategy to perfection, and even normally skeptical news outlets are being fooled.
Here’s the actual order of events:
* Just one hour after Donald Trump violated the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, Israel launched missiles against targets south of Damascus, Syria, reportedly killing 15 people, at least 8 of them Iranians.
* In response, Iran early this morning apparently struck back with 20 rockets aimed at the Golan Heights, (which is occupied by Israel since 1967 but is still legally part of Syria).
* Hours later, Israeli warplanes attacked dozens of allegedly Iranian targets in Syria.
The mainstream Western media is falling into Israel’s propaganda trap. Most reports are treating the Iranian rockets as the original provocation, and framing Israel’s massive air strikes as the (understandable) response. Unusually, the New York Times coverage was actually moderately less biased than other outlets, such as the Washington Post and the BBC. The Times at least noted — down in paragraph 12 — that Israel had first attacked Syria right after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran deal.
Nor, so far, are the major media connecting Benjamin Netanyahu’s belligerence to his desperate need to distract from the multiple domestic corruption investigations against him and his wife — an angle some of the Israeli press is not too squeamish to note. In the excellent online publication, +972, Dahlia Scheindlin notes today that Netanyahu’s strategy is working; he “appears to have inoculated himself against looming corruption charges due to the dramatic developments on the security front.” She adds that the latest Israeli opinion polls show Netanyahu’s Likud party with its highest level of support in a decade.
Larry Derfner, the American-turned-Israeli who is one of that country’s most experienced reporters, is hammering away at the truth on his Facebook page:
I’ve been arguing all day against Israel’s policy of continually bombing Syria, Lebanon and Iran, pointing out that they’re not bombing us, we’re bombing them, which means we’re not acting in self defense, we’re the aggressors. . . For [people with the opposing opinion] it doesn’t matter how many times Israel bombs the enemy and the enemy doesn’t bomb back — Israel is still bombing in self-defense and the other side is still the aggressor. Why? Because Israel is Israel and Iran/Syria/Lebanon is Iran/Syria/Lebanon. Israel is right because it is good and they are wrong because they are bad. . .
Journalist Jamal Ghosn says this is the latest in a long string of threats, while Israel violates Lebanese sovereignty every day.
This is the title of the “Arab” Zionist station: depicting the Israeli enemy as a victim. “Launching rockets from Syria on the Golan… Israel is responding. ” Israel is answering? Israel has carried out more than 110 raids on Syria in the past years, and Golan is Syrian territory according to International law.
May 2018 Trump exits the Iran deal, an hour later Israel is flying over Lebanon [illegally] and bombing Syria [illegally].
June 9-10, 1967: Israel attacks Syria, occupying the country’s Golan Heights during its Six Day War on Arab territories.
October 5, 2003 (Ain es Saheb airstrike): An Israeli warplane squadron attacks a camp about 24 kilometers northwest of the Syrian capital, Damascus, injuring a civilian guard.
September 6, 2007: Israel attacks Dayr al-Zawr Province in northeastern Syria, striking what it says is a suspected nuclear reactor.
November 11, 2012: Israel fires a “warning shot” in the direction of Syria, alleging that it is responding to a stray mortar round fired from the southwestern Syrian province of Quneitra.
November 17, 2012: Israel opens artillery fire against positions belonging to the Syrian Army, alleging that it was retaliating for attacks on an Israeli patrol near the demilitarized zone. It later stages a direct strike at the source of mortar shells that it says the Syrian Army fired in response to the first Israeli strike.
January 30, 2013: Israeli warplanes strike a convoy that Tel Aviv claims was carrying weapons to Hezbollah.
March 24, 2013: The Israeli military releases a guided missile at a Syrian trench used for deploying machineguns. It alleges it is responding to shots fired at Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights, though affirming that none of its troops had been wounded in the alleged incident there.
May 21, 2013: Israeli forces attack what they say is the source of fire targeting an Israeli vehicle in the Golan Heights.
July 17, 2013: The Israeli military fires at a group of unidentified individuals on Syria’s border after an Israeli patrols comes under purported fire near the demilitarized zone.
August 17, 2013: Israeli forces hit a Syrian Army outpost with a guided missile, alleging that they are responding to Syrian mortar rounds.
March 18, 2014: Israel hits Syrian military targets, including a military headquarters and an Army base, with artillery and aerial fire, describing the attacks as tit-for-tat strikes after a purported explosive goes off near an Israeli military vehicle close to the Syrian border. It says one Israeli soldier was killed in the alleged incident.
March 28, 2014: Israeli forces fire volleys of bullets at what the regime calls the source of Syrian mortar shells fired at Israeli military positions on Mount Hermon in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
June 23, 2014: The Israeli regime bombards Syrian Army targets several times, killing at least 10 Syrian soldiers in response to an alleged strike a day earlier on a water truck moving along the border fence.
July 15, 2014: The Israeli military kills 18 Syrians, including eight civilians, in attacks on three locations on Syrian soil. It says it had come under rocket attack in the occupied Golan Heights earlier.
September 23, 2014: Israel downs a Syrian military aircraft that it alleges wandered into the occupied Golan Heights.
August 20, 2015: Israel takes Quneitra and its neighboring province of Rif Dimashq under successive airstrikes, hitting Syrian military outposts and soldiers. The regime claims it had come under rocket fire in the occupied Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee area earlier. It kills five civilians in an attack on a vehicle a day later, claiming it is seeking to take out those behind the rocket attacks.
November 28, 2016: Israel hits an abandoned UN building in the occupied Golan Heights, claiming it is suspected of being used by the militants.
March 16-17, 2017: Israel confirms, for the first time, that it targeted what it called a convoy belonging to the Hezbollah resistance movement near the Syrian ancient city of Palmyra. The attack marked the deepest foray by Israel into Syrian territory yet.
April 23, 2017: Israel’s military strikes positions on the outskirts of Quneitra’s capital city of the same name, killing three forces allied with the Syrian government.
June 24, 2017: Israeli warplanes destroy two Syrian tanks and a machine gun position in response to alleged shells hitting Israel the previous day, killing several Syrian soldiers and civilians.
June 24-26, 2017: Israel kills 13 Syrian soldiers in repeated attacks on Syrian military targets in Quneitra.
October 21, 2017: Israel hits Syrian artillery positions after five mortar rounds come down in an open area in the occupied Golan Heights. Syrian government sources say later that the mortar fire, which caused no damage or casualties, had been aimed at “terrorists linked to Israel.” The terrorists, they say, “had [themselves] launched mortar shells, upon the instructions of the Israeli occupation, on an area of empty land inside the occupied territories to give the Israeli enemy a pretext to carry out its aggression.”
February 10, 2018: The Israeli military conducts strikes against Syrian positions. The Syrian military hits at least one Israeli F-16 warplane during the attacks.
The Israeli military confirms the downing of the F-16.
“I took over at the end of the Vietnam War. I was in control, right? Big general in charge. So I say, ‘Cut off the shipment of weapons.’ So I tell the Pentagon, ‘Cut off the shipment of weapons.’ I got a phone call from Henry Kissinger saying, ‘The weapons are going to continue at the wartime rate.’ -General Truffey
Netanyahu and his favorite Arab sidekick Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are in the driver’s seat. So much for “America First.”
2 May, 2018
Developments with respect to the JCPOA are consistent with those in the other major theater where US policy, led by Israel and Saudi Arabia, clashes with Iran: a stepped-up war in Syria. According to the Israeli site DEBKAfile, during his April 29 visit to Israel – the day before Netanyahu’s presentation – newly minted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Israeli prime minister and gave him a thumbs-up for military action.
Syria is viewed mainly as a chessboard piece in a larger game: Irania delenda est.. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said “the Iranian regime is in its final days and will soon collapse.”
The Russians, in particular, have painful experience with Washington regarding matters they thought were settled, only to see the western side contemptuously discard any commitments: NATO expansion (after a promise not to expand eastward “by one inch”), US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty (reportedly at the urging of John Bolton, now back in power as Trump’s National Security Adviser), UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1244 regarding Kosovo’s status as an autonomous province of Serbia (until Washington and Brussels insisted on independence), UNSC approval for a limited “humanitarian mission” in Benghazi in 2011 (until NATO opted for an unlimited kill-Ghaddafi mission), or the various agreements on Ukraine (the February 2014 power-sharing deal between President Viktor Yanukovych and the “Maidan” leaders that didn’t even last one day, the Minsk I and II agreements that were never fully implemented), and so forth.
The pieces are falling into place for a repeat of 2003, with the “q” in Iraq changed into an “n” for Iran. A number of Washington big shots, including many with influence with Trump, are supporters of the terrorist Islamic-Marxist – and of course Saudi-funded – “People’s Mujahedin” (Mojahedin-e Khalq; MEK).
Despite no discernible domestic support in Iran, MEK is being groomed as the core of a replacement “democratic” regime to be installed at the appropriate time, a kind of collective equivalent of Ahmed Chalabi who was “parachuted” into Iraq as Washington’s satrap in 2003.
The fate of the Iran nuclear deal and the course of the war in Syria are two sides of the same coin. The questions of whether or not Iran did have a military nuclear program, or lied about it, or is capable of restarting one are today as irrelevant as whether or not Saddam Hussein really had “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs) in 2002. Claims of Iran’s having violated the JCPOA are significant mainly as props for what comes next.
WMDs or no WMDs, the current Washington administration – that includes some of the very same people who served in the George W. Bush administration – has decided on regime change in Iran the way they had earlier decided on regime change in Iraq. If that can be done via political and economic means, they’re happy to go that route. It military force is needed, that’s on the table too.