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Rockets Reportedly Hit Near US Base North Of Baghdad (Again)

Rockets Reportedly Hit Near US Base North Of Baghdad (Again)

Another day, another rocket (alleged) rocket attack on a US airbase in Iraq.

Al-Sumaria reports that rockets hit the Balad Air Base, about 40 miles north of Baghdad, where US troops are stationed.

The source said in an interview with Alsumaria News, “A missile, whose type was not specified, fell this evening, to the Fadlan area of ​​the Dujail district near Balad Air Base,” without giving further details.

Local news also reports no people were harmed.

This is the same base as was hit 5 days ago.

Just hours ago it was  reported  that 90% of American advisors withdraw from Balad Air Force Base in Salah al-Din Governorate, including staff of Lockheed Martin, which specialize in operating F-16s, after recent threats in Iraq.

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As a reminder, contrary to the carefully built narrative that the US and Iran have become nothing short of BFFs, the risk for re-escalation remains huge. As Stratfor noted this week, Iraq, in particular, could present a theater for action, as Iranian-allied Iraqi militias have also been galvanized by the recent U.S. strikes and likely will be keen to seek retribution.

If an attack by those militias kills a U.S. soldier or contractor in Iraq or Syria, the risks of escalation to a direct military exchange between the United States and Iran would again climb. After all, the United States will hold Iran responsible for the actions of some of its allied militias, especially the mostly Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.

As such, contrary to the desires of bullish daytraders, the existence of these triggers for potential escalation and the atmosphere of tension that will linger between the two adversaries keeps the long-term risk of a military confrontation alive, even if their current face-off goes no further.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Claims To Have Video Evidence Of Oil Tanker Attacks

Iran Claims To Have Video Evidence Of Oil Tanker Attacks

By – Oct 16, 2019, 2:30 PM CDTJoin Our Community

Drone

Iran has claimed that it has footage of last week’s attack on its oil tanker while off the Saudi Arabian Jeddah port, and it proves that the attacks were carried out by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, according to Mehr news agency, who quoted Abolfazl Hassan Beigi, Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission member.

This evidence, Hassan Beigi said, will be provided to the UN and Security Council.

“Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are trying to put the blame on the ISIL [Islamic State] or the Taliban for the attack, but the documents dismiss such a notion as no ISIL or Taliban terrorists are present in the Red Sea,” Hassan Beigi said, adding that both ISIS and the Taliban were created and sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday, in his first media conference in over a year, that the attack on the tanker would not go unpunished, adding that it was “carried out by a government” rather than an individual.

Rouhani stopped short of naming that state actor, however.

“If a country thinks that it can create instability in the region without getting a response, that would be a sheer mistake,” Rouhani said.

The Iranian tanker, the Sabiti, was attacked last Friday in the Red Sea, damaging the vessel and causing oil to spill into the water. The Sabiti belongs to the National Iranian Oil Company.

The attack on the Iranian oil tanker follows the September 14 attack on Saudi Aramco’s oil infrastructure that took offline nearly 6 million bpd of production. Tensions in the Middle East have been flaring up as the United States continues to sanction Iran’s oil industry for noncompliance with the nuclear deal.

“New Cold War” Unleashing “Geopolitical Chaos”: China Reacts To US Offensive Missiles In Asia

“New Cold War” Unleashing “Geopolitical Chaos”: China Reacts To US Offensive Missiles In Asia

China’s Global Times — the communist country’s hawkish, belligerent state tabloid — has responded to the Pentagon’s Friday announcement stating the US is looking to deploy intermediate range ballistic missiles to Asia “within months,” warning “it will certainly trigger an intense arms race in the region.”

Its editorial board, long understood as a mouthpiece of the state, has slammed remarks made by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper outlining the new mid-range ballistic missile deployment plans, crucially which came immediately on the heels of the formal collapse of the landmark US-Russia INF treaty, saying American greed and naked drive for hegemony will spark a dangerously unprecedented arms race which will fuel further “instability” across Asia. The Global Times commentary opens with:

The US is greedily pursuing an absolute and all-sided military superiority to consolidate its hegemony. It refuses to accept any relative balance of power. Such a stubborn and overbearing country has become the largest source of Asia’s instability.

The authors further warn US plans will “break the status quo” in Asia, unleashing “geopolitical chaos” by deploying offensive weapons, because “Any country accepting US deployment would be against China and Russia, directly or indirectly, and draw fire against itself.”

“Asian countries must collectively resist the US’ attempt in creating new crisis in this region and prevent it from provoking extreme arms races and forcing all countries to take sides,” the editorial urges further. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here is what experts say about Putin’s threat to aim missiles at US

Here is what experts say about Putin’s threat to aim missiles at US

His fiery speech was more about creating headlines in Russia, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no reason to worry.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy types of weapons which can be used not only in respect of those territories from which the direct threat to us originates, but also in respect of those territories where the centers of decision-making are located,” said Putin, in his annual address.

While U.S. missiles already target Russia (whose weapons, in turn, target the United States), placing missiles closer, in Europe, would allow them to reach their targets in 10 – 12 minutes, a shorter strike time Putin noted as a threat.

But aside from sounding like an extended Moscow remix of “Fire & Fury” (President Trump’s own threat against North Korea), Putin’s speech didn’t actually signify a dangerous shift in U.S.-Russia relations, according to experts.

The speech, said Yuval Weber, an associate professor at Daniel Morgan Graduate School and a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, is one of a trio of major set-piece addresses by the Russian president, which included a call-in show and a Q&A with reporters “that are both very theatrical, and akin to a ‘State of the Union’ address.”

Weber said it’s important to note the domestic content of the speech. Putin’s approval ratings are dropping in the country, which has also seen “limited positive economic news.”

President Putin, he said, “needed something to create headlines and especially headlines focused on his comparative advantage, or core strength, security.”

Although Russia has been violating the the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and also wanted out, the United States’ withdrawal provided the perfect “ex post justification because they get to claim that they follow the rules while their opponents are dangerous and erratic,” said Weber, answering questions via e-mail.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Israel and Syria Exchange Missiles; IDF Denies Missiles Fired, Netanyahu And Other Officials Recommended Indicted As UN Passes Anti-Israel Resolutions

Israel and Syria Exchange Missiles; IDF Denies Missiles Fired, Netanyahu And Other Officials Recommended Indicted As UN Passes Anti-Israel Resolutions

Tensions are rising again between Israel and Syria as the two countries have exchanged missile fire over the past 24 hours.

According to The Jerusalem Post, an IDF Spokesperson confirmed that Israel’s air defense system identified a single Syrian surface-to-air missile that fell into Golan Heights after the Syrian regime stated it had downed “hostile targets” over the southern part of the country.

However, the spokesperson denied that Israel had struck an Iranian base in Syria despite several reports indicating an attack had taken place against Iranian militia. Alleged video of the incident uploaded to Twitter reported by Newsweek, has been purged as Twitter suspended the account.


Embedded video


“Air defense intercepts hostile targets over al-Kiswah and downed them,” a military source was quoted by SANA.

According to numerous local reports, the downed targets that the Syrian army was talking about are Israeli missiles which were targeting positions of Iranian proxy militias in southern Syria.

Saudi-owned TV station Al-Arabiya is further reporting Israeli planes attacked Iranian targets in Syria close to where the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah.

The Syrian Defense Ministry corroborated those events, stating on Thursday that “our air defenses are thwarting hostile targets over the area of Al-Kiswah and are shooting them down.”

Explosions were also reported in and around the Syrian capital of Damascus, near its international airport, which Israel has previously claimed in another strike that Iran was using the airport to supply terror groups with advanced weaponry.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Threatens To Destroy Russian Nuclear-Capable Missile System If Necessary

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison on Tuesday warned that the U.S. could be forced to “take out” missiles Russia is developing that violate a Cold War-era treaty. If completed, the 9M729 Russian missile system could give it the capability to launch a missile strike on Europe with little or no notice, the Associated Press reported.

“It is time now for Russia to come to the table and stop the violations,” Hutchison told reporters in Brussels, where US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis would later meet his NATO counterparts. She added that if the system became operational, the U.S. “would then be looking at the capability to take out a missile that could hit any of our countries in Europe and hit America.”

The Novator 9M729 missile system

Hutchison also urged Russia to cease development of the missile system, which fits into a class of banned weapons under the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

“There will come a point in the future in which America will determine that it has to move forward with a development phase that is not allowed by the treaty right now,” Hutchison said.

Earlier in the day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia to be more transparent, and explain its alleged breaches of the INF Treaty.

She also noted that the US had no intentions of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), adding, however, that it might occur because of Russia. The pact bans countries from developing land-based cruise missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,410 miles. NATO officials have said the nascent Russian system fits into that category, the AP reported.

According to the US, the new Russian 9M729 missile systems violate the conditions of the pact, as they give Russia the possibility of launching a nuclear strike in Europe with little or no notice.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Robert Fisk: “I Traced Al-Qaeda Missile Casings In Syria Back To Their Original Sellers”

Finally, a journalist for a mainstream UK media outlet is methodically tracking weapons shipment serial numbers and English-language paperwork recovered from al-Qaeda groups in Syria, and he’s literally showing up at arms factories and questioning arms dealers, including officials at the Saudi Embassy in London, asking: why are your weapons in the hands of terrorists? 

Veteran Middle East war correspondent Robert Fisk recently published a bombshell report entitled, I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to. In it Fisk recalls a bit of detective sleuthing he’s lately been engaged in after stumbling upon a batch of missile casings and shipment paperwork last year hidden in what he describes as “the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo” with the words “Hughes Aircraft Co/Guided Missile Surface Attack” emblazoned on the side of the spent tubes.

Of course, the Syrian government recaptured the area from Islamist insurgents including al-Nusra terrorists and their allies in December 2016, and has made rapid gains throughout the country’s east and south since; and Fisk has been trekking around the country to see what he can find.

Image source: Washington Business Journal

His “detective story” as he calls it actually seems to solicit the help of the public, and begins as follows:

Readers, a small detective story. Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. And this number: STOCK NO 1410-01-300-0254. And this code: DAA A01 C-0292. I found all these numerals printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In Major Escalation, Israel Unleashes Airstrikes, Shelling On Syria In Retaliation For Alleged Iran Attack

Summary:

The situation is fluid to say the least, but as far as we can tell this is what has happened tonight so far:

1. Sirens go off in Golan Heights

2. Loud explosions heard

Then blame-game begins…

3. AP: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Wednesday that Israel has attacked targets of the Syrian military on the outskirts of Quneitra.

4. AP: Activists reported rocket fire from Israel into southern Syrian just before midnight Wednesday.

5. AP: The Israeli army says it is investigating and has no further details.

6. IDF report that Iranian Quds force fired 20 rockets towards forward IDF positions on Golan Heights.

7. According to al-Mayadeen (pro-gov) 10 positions of the Israeli Army were shelled with rockets, and several vehicles were targeted with guided missiles.

8. The IDF views this event with great severity and remains prepared for a wide variety of scenarios.

9. Exchanges continue…

So it is unclear who started the ‘fight’ but for now rocket exchanges continue.

*  *  *
Update III: AP reports the two sides’ versions of events…

Israel:

Iranian forces based in Syria fired 20 rockets at Israeli front-line military positions in the Golan Heights early Thursday, the Israeli military said, triggering an Israeli reprisal and further escalating heightened tensions between the two bitter enemies in neighboring Syria.

The Israeli military said its Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted some of the incoming projectiles, while others caused only minimal damage. There were no Israeli casualties.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Al Quds force had fired the rockets at several Israeli bases, though he would not say how Israel had determined the Iranian involvement. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Israeli-controlled Golan.

Israel “views this Iranian attack very severely,” Conricus told reporters. He said Israel had responded, but did not provide details.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A shooting war between the US and Russia appears imminent.

Following overnight speculation that the US may launch a missile strike on Syria at any moment, this morning Trump tweeted that “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia,  because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”


Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!


Trump’s comments came in response to a statement by the Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin who said overnight that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria will be shot down and their launch sites targeted in response to Trump promise of a forceful response to an alleged chemical attack on a rebel enclave near Damascus.

“If there is a strike by the Americans, then we refer to the statements of President [Vladimir] Putin and the chief of staff that the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,” Zasypkin told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

WW3 Approaches, Expert Warns: ‘North Korea Will Test ICBM During Olympics’

WW3 Approaches, Expert Warns: ‘North Korea Will Test ICBM During Olympics’

icbm-nuclear

Defcon analysts are claiming North Korea and their round pint-sized tyrant, Kim Jong-Un, will test another intercontinental ballistic missile, and much “sooner than expected.” This test is likely to occur during the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The shocking warning from Defcon comes amid news that the South and the North have rekindled talks about the Olympics. Defcon has monitored and analyzed nuclear threats against the United States since 1984 and classes the immediacy of the threat numerically and by color. The US is currently at Defcon 5, code Green, meaning there are no imminent nuclear threats against the country.

But according to Defcon analyst, Harry Kazianis, the North will most likely conduct their next ICBM test during the Winter Olympics, which is set to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February of this year. “They are going to test an ICBM, or nuclear weapon, or try to hack these Olympics. They are not going to do nothing. They are going to do something,” Kazianis said.

North Korea has been ignoring calls to put an end to its threatening rhetoric, fueling fears of  among the international community. Kazianis also warned that leader Kim Jong-un could exploit the Winter Olympics to showcase his military arsenal in front of the world despite the offering of the proverbial olive branch to neighboring South Korea. “Of course, the South Koreans are going to try and make the best of it but I guarantee the North Koreans are going to use this for propaganda advantage,” Kazianis reiterated.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

North Korea Threatens “Merciless Strike” As US-South Korea Wargames Begin

North Korea Threatens “Merciless Strike” As US-South Korea Wargames Begin

Residents of Japanese coastal towns are holding evacuation drills as North Korea warned Sunday that the upcoming US-South Korea military exercises are “reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.”

Nearly 130 people took part in the drill in Kotoura, which has a population of 18,000, a town official said. Reuters reports that for 10 minutes, people ducked down covering their heads with their arms. Many of those taking part said they were worried. North Korea has in the past threatened to attack Japan, a staunch U.S. ally and host to U.S. military bases.

As sirens blared from speakers in the town of Kotoura, children playing soccer outside ran to take shelter in a school, along with their parents and their team coach.

“I’ve been concerned every day that something might fall or a missile could fall in an unexpected place due to North Korea’s missile capabilities,” said the coach, Akira Hamakawa, 38.

As a reminder, Japan is the only country in the world to be attacked with nuclear weapons, and so perhaps the threats from North Korea today are a little closer to heart than for many around the world.

Following North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s statement last week that he would “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees,” as US-South Korean military exercises begin, CNN reports that Pyongyang also declared that its army can target the United States anytime, and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland can “dodge the merciless strike.”

The messages in Rodong Sinmun, the official government newspaper, come a day before the US starts the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises with South Korea.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China Prepares Countermeasures Against South Korea Missile Shield

China Prepares Countermeasures Against South Korea Missile Shield

The recent deployment by South Korea of the controversial US-made Terminal High Altitude Area ­Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in response to potential ballistic threats from North Korea, has led to a furious response by China, whose first-strike ability would be compromised under the existing military configuration.  And as BBC reports, “the deployment in South Korea of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system has been slammed by Beijing. Now the Chinese Communist Party is calling on its people to embrace their ill will towards their neighbours” and notes that as anti South-Korea fever sweep China, local school students chant “Boycott Sth Korea!”, and smash South Korean appliances as the “communist Party unleashes anti-Korea spirit.”

However, while eliciting up a traditional nationalistic response by China was to be expected, what is more troubling is that according to the South China Morning Post, China is set to deploy anti-radar countermeasures which will neutralize the South Korean THAAD. The THAAD system consists of a sophisticated radar and interceptor missiles designed to spot and knock out incoming ballistic missiles.

Speaking to retired PLA general Wang Hongguang, the SCMP reports that China knew it might not be able to stop Seoul deploying a US anti-missile system “and was prepared to counter with its own anti-radar equipment.” The comments came as a South Korean court’s decision to uphold the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye had fanned hopes Seoul might put plans for the Terminal High Altitude Area ­Defence system on hold.  Park supported the installation of the system to help protect South Korea against threats from North Korea, which Beijing says can peer through China’s defences. However, such a de-escalation does not appear to be imminent.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ukraine Prepares for an Attack Against Russia

Ukraine Prepares for an Attack Against Russia

The post-coup leaders of Ukraine have routinely said that Ukraine should destroy Russia; and, now, starting on February 24th, they are placing into position the key prerequisite for doing so, which is the advanced Anti-Ballistic-Missile, or ABM, system, S-300, which is described as follows by wikipedia

“The S-300 is regarded as one of the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems currently fielded.[3] Its radars have the ability to simultaneously track up to 100 targets while engaging up to 12/24/36 targets. The S-300 deployment time is five minutes.[3] The S-300 missiles are sealed rounds and require no maintenance over their lifetime. An evolved version of the S-300 system is the S-400 (NATO reporting name SA-21 Growler), which entered limited service in 2004.”

The S-300 (otherwise called “SAM C-300”) is designed to protect against retaliation. The entire purpose of ABMs is to disable retaliation. In that sense, ABMs are the most aggressive weapons of all. They are specifically designed to prevent retaliation from a nation that has been attacked and that is responding by sending in its own bombers to retaliate.

Here is one report, February 24th, of installation of these ABMs, from the region near Odessa, including a photo of these weapons on a truck:

http://trassae95.com/all/news/2015/02/24/ot-chetyreh-do-shesti-kompleksov-raket-s-300-proehali-po-odesse-foto-20927.html

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Next War In The Middle East Has Begun And Israel Vows ‘To Act Powerfully On All Fronts’

The Next War In The Middle East Has Begun And Israel Vows ‘To Act Powerfully On All Fronts’

Israel and Hezbollah are at war.  On top of everything else that is going on in the world, now we have a new war in the Middle East, and nobody is quite certain what is going to happen next.  Israel has been preparing for this moment for more than 8 years.  So has Hezbollah.  According to some reports, Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 50,000 rockets since the end of the Hezbollah-Israel war in 2006.  If all-out warfare does erupt, we could potentially see tens of thousands of missiles rain down into an area not too much larger than the state of New Jersey.  And of course the Israeli military is also much more sophisticated and much more powerful than it was back in 2006.  If cooler heads do not prevail, we could be on the verge of witnessing a very bloody war.  But right now nobody seems to be in the mood to back down.  Hezbollah is absolutely fuming over an airstrike earlier this month that killed six fighters and a prominent Iranian general.  And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel is “prepared to act powerfully on all fronts” in response to a Hezbollah ambush that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven.  Just such an incident is what sparked the war between the two sides back in 2006.  But this time, a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah could spark a full-blown regional war.

Earlier this month, Israel launched a surprise assault against a group of Hezbollah fighters that Israel believed was planning to conduct terror attacks inside their borders.

But in addition to killing six Hezbollah fighters, a very important Iranian general was also killed.  Needless to say, Iran is furious

Iran has told the United States that Israel should expect consequences for an attack on the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights that killed an Iranian general, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Revolutionary Guards General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi died alongside six fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah group in the January 18 attack on forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.

And we didn’t have to wait too long for a response.  An IDF convoy was hit by anti-tank missiles near the Lebanon border.  Two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven were wounded.  The following is how the Jerusalem Post described the attack.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

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