Pence Issues Turkey Ultimatum: “Choose Between Remaining NATO Member Or Buying Russian S-400”

wo days after we reported that the US had halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey as part of the ongoing rift over Erdogan’s plans to move forward with taking delivery of the advanced Russian S-4000 anti-air defense system, on Wednesday the US escalated the war of words with its NATO ally when Vice President Mike Pence threatened Turkey’s future role in the NATO alliance, warning it against “reckless decisions,” like following through with the purchase of the Russian-made air defense system.

Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?,” Pence tweeted on Wednesday, after making similar remarks at a NATO summit in Washington.

Vice President Mike Pence

@VP

Replying to @VP

.@POTUS has made it clear that we will not stand idly by while @NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries that threaten the cohesion of our alliance.

Vice President Mike Pence

@VP

Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?

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Despite repeated warnings from the US, Turkey has refused to drop its scheduled purchase the Russian weapons system, which is scheduled to be delivered in July. After the Pentagon halted deliveries of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet and related equipment to Turkey and halted training of Turkish pilots, Ankara remained defiant with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telling the NATO summit that the purchase was “a done deal.”

Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are currently meeting head-to-head at the summit to discuss the F-35 dispute.

As RT reports, the Turkish FM said that operating the two weapons systems at once “will not be a threat” to the F-35 or other NATO systems. US lawmakers and military officials disagree and have repeatedly warned that Turkey’s deployment of the S-400 would give the Russian system opportunity to learn how to track and spot the F-35, with potentially deadly consequences for the jet in future conflicts.

Despite the escalating war of words, the US has thus far failed to lure its NATO ally away from the Russian system and to Raytheon’s more expensive Patriot missile system, despite offering it to Ankara at a knock-down rate earlier this year.

Complicating matters, Turkey is a core partner in the F-35 program, which is US’ most expensive military project to date, and is responsible for the procurement of several components of the ultra modern fighter jet. If both sides cannot reach a deal, the US will need to find new suppliers for parts of the fighter’s fuselage, landing gear, and cockpit displays.

So far both Erdogan and Trump have kept a low profile on the topic, refusing to get dragged in and escalating the F-35 delivery matter into a full-blown political crisis which if left unchecked could result in a political fiasco similar to that which unfolded last summer, when Turkey’s detention of US pastor Brunson led to brief US sanctions being imposed against the Asian nation and which culminated with a recession in Turkey and its currency plunging to all time lows. (Click to Source)

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Furious Over Trump’s Decision on Golan Heights, Erdogan Confirms Hagia Sophia Will Become a Mosque

03-29-2019 – Will Maule, Faithwire

 

The United States converts S.Arabia into a nuclear force under the “Agenda of the Century” and the Turkey-Iran Prevention

 

The US offers Saudi Arabia the secrets of nuclear technology just like Russia does with Turkey, creating an awe-inspiring rival in the Middle East that becomes dangerously “radioactive” in view of the developments of the Age Agreement for which first has informed pronews.gr

An agreement aimed at “lasting peace” between the Sunni Arab states and Israel and the simultaneous isolation of Shi’ite Iran and Turkey’s imperial aspirations.

US Energy Minister Rick Perry has secretly approved six licenses to companies to deploy nuclear-related technology, related services and technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, reveals a document that was brought to the attention of the Reuters news agency yesterday .

The Donald Trump government implicitly seeks to conclude a much broader agreement to make US nuclear technology available to the United States.

Saudi Arabia is known to seek at least two nuclear power stations. Companies from different countries – the USA, South Korea, Russia – are competing for the project. Which or who the sponsor or sponsors is expected to be revealed by Riyadh this year.

Permissions signed by Perry (“810 Authorizations”) allow US companies to start preparatory work with a view to an agreement, but not to dispose of equipment to be installed in a plant, he explained a source informed of the licenses that were approved, subject to not to be named.

The fact that the permits were signed, the Daily Beast news site first revealed.

According to the Ministry of Energy, the companies were those that the Trabble Government has asked to keep the authorization approvals secret.

US parliamentarians are deeply worried that if the US shares nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia, it could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Saudi Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman had told CBS last year that the kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if Iran did so, which Riyadh considers his main rival in the region.

In addition, the kingdom reacts to the American claim that any sale accompanied by two clauses would prevent it from acquiring material suitable for the construction of nuclear weapons secretly: a ban on uranium enrichment and the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

Congressional concerns over the sale of nuclear technology and the availability of know-how in Saudi Arabia intensified in early October 2018, after Jamal Kassogi, a self-exiled journalist in the United States, was murdered in the consulate of the kingdom in Constantinople.

Authorizations were approved after November 2017, but it is unclear in the document the Reuters saw if some of them were signed after the killing of Casagi.

Democratic MP Brad Sherman has asked US Secretary of State Mike Pombeo to publish the names of the companies that received these licenses by mid-April. Pompeo replied that he would examine it.Sherman also complained that the Government of Trab is trying to avoid Congress in the availability of nuclear technology in Saudi Arabia. Pompeo argued that the government is working to ensure that any agreement on the transfer of nuclear technology does not increase the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Last month, Democratic MPs complained that White House executives are defying warnings that they may violate the law by working with former officials and the group

IP3 International to promote a multi-billion dollar deal to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

It is ignored if IP3 International is among the licensed companies.

It is noted that Moscow first revealed for the first time that Mr Trump promotes the “Agreement of the Century”, an agreement between the US, Israel and the Arab states, provides for a plan to resolve the Palestinian and Syrian “Israeli mold” and an attack on Iran, something that has been sounding for a long time, but no one confirms it.

It is an agreement that, if achieved, will change the face of the Middle East. For this reason, “diplomatic fever” prevails in all European capitals, Moscow, Washington and throughout the Middle East.

This US government decision is part of the “Solution of the Century” of the pro-Israeli US plan in the Palestinian, ie the implementation of Israeli plans for full annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Jerusalem-West Bank) by Israel, but also full recognition of the Palestinian state. (Click to Source)

New Turkey-Iran-Qatar axis is rising in Middle East, and it has Saudi Arabia furious

Published time: 22 Mar, 2019 16:34

A new alliance being formed by Qatar, Turkey, and Iran, with the potential to receive the backing of Russia and China, is a major concern to the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

The aftermath of over eight years of war in Syria has changed the regional dynamics in a way almost certainly never envisioned by the United States and its allies. Through leaked documents, we have known for some time now that Washington’s interim goal was to, at the very least, destabilise the Assad government in the hopes of scaling back Iranian influence. (Its ultimate goal was quite clearly regime change, which was very close to fruition during at least one stage of the war).

This anti-Assad strategy has, of course, backfired to the point where Iranian-backed forces have essentially amassed along the Syria-Israel border, threatening Washington’s most beloved ally in the region. The other notable – and realistically, most important – development is that Russia, not the United States, emerged out of the rubble of Syria as the major power-broker and military tactician.

However, it seems as though the aftermath of Syria is just the beginning of a tectonic move in a massive direction away from the status quo. Eight years on since the war in Syria broke out, and we are now beginning to see some other major concrete shifts within the regional alliances which has Washington’s traditional allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, starting to tremble.

As of now, Qatar, Iran, and Turkey are forming a regional alliance, which is irking Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States – and they only have themselves to blame. After Saudi Arabia led a coalition of nations that attempted to bully Qatar into submission and accept a long list of inconceivable demands in June 2017, Qatar soon found it could rely on some key partners to weather the Saudi-led storm. These partners are now openly forming a new alliance, which will upend the entire balance of power in the Middle East.

The strengthening of ties between this axis of nations is quite remarkable, when one considers that they each held completely paradoxical positions regarding the Syrian conflict. The horror of this shift from a Western perspective can be seen brilliantly in an Asia Times article entitled ‘America’s Syrian humiliation is worse than it looks’.

When Saudi Arabia blocked Qatar’s only land border and the UAE in turn blocked shipments from its ports to Doha, Qatar quickly found friends in Oman, Turkey, and Iran to bypass this nonsensical blockade. Qatari flights were rerouted over Iranian airspace and Turkey upped the ante on its military presence in the country as a sign of strength and commitment. Eventually, daily life in Qatar could continue quite reasonably. This is not to say that Qatar didn’t experience difficulties, particularly regarding oil prices, real estate prices, tourism, and the slowdown in economic growth. Then again, Qatar was able to draw from its reserves to counter the effects, minimising the damage done by its neighbours.

By the end of 2017, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan had all increased bilateral trade with Qatar, benefitting all four countries. In the less than six months since the ‘Qatar crisis’ had begun, trade between Iran and Qatar reportedly increased by 117 percent. At the time, experts studying the crisis predicted that commercial relations between the two countries would remain intact, even following the closure of the Saudi-led Qatar crisis.

Iran, Qatar, and Turkey also signed a land transportation pact in August of that year which would help reduce the cost and transit period for the exchange of goods. Seeing as Saudi Arabia effectively blockaded the flow of goods into Qatar, it should not be hard to see that even this agreement alone bore major significance.

Qatar for its part has invested heavily in Turkey, well over $20 billion in total. As explained previously by Al-Jazeera, this is the second-highest in terms of value by any country, demonstrating the importance these two nations have given to each other.

By most accounts, the Gulf States need Turkey on their side in order to contain Iran. A recent report published by Middle East Eye revealed how Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt hatched a plan with Israel to scale back the regional influence of Turkey and Iran, with Turkey deemed to be the biggest military threat to these Gulf states’ interests.

As it transpires, the Qatar-Turkey-Iran axis could potentially provide a major buffer to the so-called Arab NATO, which will be headed by Saudi Arabia. While Saudi Arabia appears to have managed to bring Pakistan on side, it still remains that Pakistan shares a border with Iran and relies heavily on China, another key ally of Iran. Islamabad’s anti-Iran stance can therefore only stretch so far.

The fact is that this alliance on the face of it will likely bear the support of Russia and its military will also be of a major concern to the anti-Iran alliance. As it stands, Russia, Iran, and Qatar provide over half of the world’s known gas reserves. Not to mention that Iran and Qatar share the world’s largest gas field, another major concern for the Saudi-led bloc.

Saudi-owned media has already voiced its opposition to this newfound alliance, which can be seen most openly in an article in Al Arabiya entitled ‘How Iran, Turkey use Qatar to undermine regional security and US interest’. According to Al Arabiya, there is a “risk” of Qatar “breaking away from the Arab orbit and posing a serious threat to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.” The Qatar-Iran entente, “previously concealed, is out in the open,” the article also notes.

To put it simply: Qatar has irrevocably joined with Ankara and Tehran against its former Arab allies,” the article’s sources surmise. “It has conclusively positioned itself in a regional alliance that pursues geopolitical dominance by driving instability.”

Qatar is “playing with fire” the article states. At around the same time, Qatar had called for a new alliance to replace the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), further demonstrating this shift in perspective.

According to Russian think tank Katehon, the new Qatar-Iran-Turkey axis is already well underway and has the power to control Asia, west India and Pakistan and challenge the “demonic trio” of the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

Do not underestimate the role of small Qatar in this triple alliance with latent empires,” the think tank is cited as saying. “The fact is that the huge financial resources, as well as the successful geographical location of the emirate, allow it to resist even the all-powerful Saudi Arabia, which also claims regional domination.

Thus, international pressure and economic restrictions prompted three completely different states, despite geopolitical differences, to begin rapprochement in the economic sphere. How this will turn out in the future depends primarily on the actions of the United States, which, undoubtedly, will try to break up the emerging triple alliance.” (Click to Source)

 

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Syria vows to ‘liberate’ the Golan

Syrian government responds to Trump, says Golan Heights will remain “Syrian and Arab”.

Elad Benari, Canada, 23/03/19 00:09

The Syrian government on Friday vowed to recover the Golan Heights after US President Donald Trump said it was time to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the region, Reutersreports.

Damascus said on Friday the Golan would remain “Syrian, Arab” and added that Trump had shown contempt for international law.

“The Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian national land through all available means,” the Syrian government said, according to Reuters.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed Trump’s announcement on Thursday and described it as a “Purim miracle.”

The Arab world, unsurprisingly, condemned the move. Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said in criticizing the move that “The territorial integrity of states is the most fundamental principle of international law.”

“Attempts by the US to legitimize Israel’s actions against international law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region. Turkey supports Syria’s territorial integrity,” he added.

The Arab League also rejected Trump’s announcement, saying it fully supports Syrian sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat, meanwhile, claimed the move would result in regional “destabilization and bloodshed”. (Click to Source)

 
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The Prophetic Impact Of A U.S. Withdrawal From Syria

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BY BRITT GILLETTE/END TIMES BIBLE PROPHECY FEBRUARY 19, 2019

Back in December, President Trump said the United States will soon withdraw military forces from Syria. In a video tweet, he announced American military personnel are “all coming back, and they’re coming back now.”
He never provided a timeline for withdrawal. However, Department of Defense officials claimed the withdrawal would take 30 days. A week later, President Trump changed the timeline from 30 days to 4 months.
And since then, John Bolton, President Trump’s national security advisor said certain conditions could leave American troops in Syria for months or years to come. Nevertheless, the U.S. withdrew some equipment in mid-January.
So which one is it? Will they stay or will they go? As of now, it’s unclear when or if American forces will completely withdraw. But if they do, the implications will be significant. A U.S. withdrawal will create clear winners and losers.
The Winners
U.S. troops and their allies in Syria currently control about one-third of the country. Their presence provides a check on the actions of others in the region. If the U.S. pulls out, it’s uncertain their current allies can maintain control of that territory. In all likelihood, it will be divided among other competing interests. Here are the leading candidates:
Russia – If the U.S. pulls out of Syria, one of the biggest winners will be Russia. Russia is a longtime ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s relationship with the Assad family goes back to the Cold War era and the days of the Soviet Union. With vital naval and air bases in Syria, Russia can’t afford to see Assad toppled. This is why Russia entered Syria in 2015 with thousands of ground troops and air support. Russia’s entry turned the tide of the Syrian civil war.
Because of this, Assad owes his survival to Russia. This means, without U.S. influence in Syria, Russia alone will decide its future. The U.S. won’t have any leverage when it comes to shaping post-war Syria. This will make Russia a big winner in the Syrian conflict. It secured its only naval and air bases in the Mediterranean. It also expanded its role in Syria as well as its Middle Eastern sphere of influence.
Iran – Iran is another big winner. If the U.S. leaves, Iran and Russia will be the most powerful forces left. As Assad’s two closest allies, they’ll have a free hand to do whatever they want. Iran has long sought to dominate the region, if not directly, then through the use of proxy armies such as Hezbollah. A U.S. withdrawal gives Iran a clear path to the Mediterranean. Iran will have a corridor to transport troops and weapons to regional allies (such as Hezbollah) in both Lebanon and Syria.
This also gives them the ability to position their own military forces and intelligence assets on Israel’s border. Since first entering Syria in 2015, the U.S. has worked to disrupt Iranian activities from areas it controls (either directly or through allies). If the U.S. leaves Syria, these activities will stop. This will only enhance Iran’s power and influence.
Turkey – Turkey also wins big from a U.S. withdrawal. Turkey already controls territory in northern Syria. In Syria, the U.S. allied itself with Turkey’s longtime enemy, the Kurds. Kurdish forces control large areas of Syrian territory, including areas along the Turkish border. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would love to remove them, but the U.S. presence in Syria has held him back.
The risks associated with an attack on the Kurds are too great. Any incident between Syrian and U.S. troops will trigger a crisis. But if the U.S. leaves, all that changes. The risk of an accidental military conflict with the U.S. disappears. Turkey will be free to attack Kurdish forces.
The Losers
Russia, Turkey, and Iran are the clear winners. But a U.S. withdrawal will also create losers. Two in particular stand out:
The Kurds – The Kurds are a Middle Eastern ethnic group living in an area covering parts of northern Iran, northern Iraq, northern Syria, and southeastern Turkey. Each nation has long seen the Kurds as a threat to break off and form their own nation. Due to a long history of conflict, Turkey views the Kurds as a terrorist group and a threat to Turkish national security.
Despite protests from Turkey, the United States allied itself with the Kurds to fight Islamic State terrorists. To date, the alliance has been successful. It severely diminished the Islamic State presence in Syria. The alliance has also protected the Kurds from a Turkish attack. All that will change if the U.S. withdraws from Syria. Abandoned, the Kurds will almost certainly face a Turkish invasion.
Israel – While the Kurds face a potential conflict with Turkey, by far the biggest loser when it comes to a U.S. withdrawal from Syria is Israel. Removing U.S. forces from Syria will have huge implications for Israeli security.
A U.S. pullout means a permanent presence of Iranian forces on Israel’s border. This means Iran can directly supply Hezbollah and other terrorist groups with advanced weapons and rockets that can reach deep into Israeli territory. The presence of Iran and its proxy groups in Syria poses a mortal threat to Israel.
While Iran could directly attack Israel now, it would almost certainly be destroyed by an Israeli counterattack. But if Iran attacks Israel through proxy groups such as Hezbollah, it can claim it had no hand in the attack. This only increases the likelihood of war.
Russia is no friend of Israel either. Russia has a history of anti-Semitism and aligning itself with Israel’s enemies. As the region’s sole nuclear power, Israel is Russia’s key obstacle to spreading control and influence throughout the oil rich Middle East.
Meanwhile, Israel’s longtime ally Turkey is breaking ties with its secular past. Erdogan is pushing Turkey toward a more antagonistic stance when it comes to the U.S. and Israel. In short, post-war Syria is more of a threat to Israel than the pre-war Assad regime.
It’s not a stretch to imagine all three of these nations – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – uniting in opposition to Israel. And right now all three are consolidating power on Israel’s northern border. In doing so, they’re setting the stage for the fulfillment of a 2,600 year old prophecy.
Where We’re Headed
Long ago, the prophet Ezekiel described an invading force that will form in the last days. In Ezekiel 38-39, he describes this force in detail. Ezekiel said invaders will come from the north of Israel, and a man named Gog will lead them (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Here are the nations who will join Gog, followed by their modern day names:
Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey
Notice anything? That’s right. The three most powerful nations on the list – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – now reside in Syria. If U.S. troops pull out of Syria, their absence will pave the way for further influence in Syria from these three nations. They’ll consolidate their power until every square inch of the nation becomes a de facto province of one of the three. On February 14, the leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey met in Sochi, Russia to devise a joint plan to wipe out terrorists in Syria.
Their military forces are now cooperating in Syria. This puts their joint military forces right on Israel’s border. And not just any border – Israel’s northern border. Ezekiel said this invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). So now we have the three most powerful nations in Gog’s invading force cooperating with each other and stationed on Israel’s northern border. Is this mere coincidence? I don’t think so.
Never before have the military forces of these three nations been on Israel’s northern border at the same time. And never in the history of the world, have the three cooperated militarily. Until now… The Bible said this would happen, and here we are.
The stage is now set for the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies. Eventually, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). The world will not come to Israel’s defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. He’ll put His full power on display and supernaturally destroy Israel’s invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23).
So what does this mean? It means you should expect more and more events in Syria to align with Ezekiel’s account. Expect this alliance to get closer. Expect Israel to become more isolated. And expect the other nations Ezekiel cited to join Russia, Iran, and Turkey.
Most of all, recognize we’re in the last days (Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 39:25-29), and live your life in expectation of the soon return of Jesus Christ. (Click to Source)
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Hezbollah leader warns Israel over attacks in Syria

SARAH EL DEEB
Associated Press – 
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FILE – In this Aug. 2, 2013, file photo, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rally to mark Jerusalem day or Al-Quds day, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. On Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, the head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group is warning Israel of widening its attacks in Syria because a miscalculation can drag the region into a war. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

BEIRUT (AP) — The head of the militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon warned Israel late Saturday over its continued attacks in Syria, saying a miscalculation could drag the region into a war.

Hassan Nasrallah made the comment during a wide-ranging interview that lasted more than three hours with the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV station.

Nasrallah said Iran, Syria and Hezbollah could “at any moment” decide to deal differently with Israel’s actions in Syria and hinted that Tel Aviv might be a target.

Addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said: “Be cautious. Don’t continue what you are doing in Syria. Don’t miscalculate and don’t drag the region into a war or a major confrontation.”

Nasrallah said circumstances in the region have changed as Iran and its allies, including his group, expand their influence in the region. This means any war can be on more than one front, Nasrallah warned.

Israel has recently increased its attacks on suspected Iranian military targets in Syria, confirming such targeting in a shift from its longstanding policy of playing down or not commenting on its military activities in the war-torn country.

Israel considers Iran to be its greatest enemy, and it has repeatedly warned that it will not allow Iranian troops — who have been fighting alongside Syrian government forces — to maintain a permanent presence in postwar Syria.

In the latest violence, the Israeli military claimed responsibility for a series of airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria last Monday, saying it was responding to an Iranian missile attack a day earlier. The Iranian launch followed a rare Israeli daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

Nasrallah said Israel has failed to realize what he said are its goals in Syria: undermining the Syrian government, forcing Iran from Syria and preventing Hezbollah from acquiring precision missiles. He also said Netanyahu is the person “most disappointed” by U.S. plans to withdraw from Syria and cited the pullout as another “failure.”

Nasrallah’s appearance followed news reports in Israel and elsewhere that his health was failing. He dismissed the reports as “lies.”

“I don’t suffer from any health problems,” said Nasrallah, who seemed relaxed and at times joked with his interviewer and sipped on tea and water. “I have been active, and I also lost weight,” he said with a giggle.

The Hezbollah leader regularly addressed his supporters and made TV appearances about pressing issues in the region and Lebanon. But the 59-year-old Nasrallah, who has led his group through different wars with Israel for nearly three decades, had not appeared since November despite Israeli escalation in Syria and along Lebanon’s borders.

Nasrallah described his silence as intentional, saying Hezbollah chose not to address Israel’s attacks so as not to feed what he called an Israeli “publicity stunt.”

In December, the Israeli military launched “Operation Northern Shield” to detect and destroy what it has described as a vast network of Hezbollah tunnels built for militants to sneak across the border into Israel, capture territory and stage attacks. Israel discovered at least six tunnels, which it said were Hezbollah’s prime strategic investment for its next potential war.

In the first comments about the tunnel operation, Nasrallah played down the discoveries, saying Hezbollah would need more than a few tunnels if it ever decided to invade Israel.

He also said at least one of the tunnels was built more than a decade ago.

“This is a 13-year-old (Israeli) intelligence failure,” Nasrallah said. (Click to Source)

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Iran general says Tehran aims to wipe Israel off the ‘global political map’

Revolutionary Guard deputy leader Hossein Salami warns Israel that any war it starts ‘will end with its elimination’

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IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami. (YouTube screen capture)

 

The deputy head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Monday that Tehran’s strategy was to eventually wipe Israel off the “global political map.”

Asked by a reporter in Tehran about Israeli threats to strike Iranian forces deployed in Syria, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami was quoted by Iranian news outlets as saying, “Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that.”

He added: “We announce that if Israel does anything to start a new war, it will obviously be the war that will end with its elimination, and the occupied territories will be returned. The Israelis will not have even a cemetery in Palestine to bury their own corpses.”

Salami’s comments followed a series of reciprocal taunts by Israeli and Iranian leaders in recent weeks as tensions have risen on the Israeli-Syrian border between IDF and Iranian forces.

Last week, Israel reportedly conducted a rare daylight missile attack on Iranian targets in Syria. In response, Iran fired a surface-to-surface missile from Syria at the northern Golan Heights, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system over the Mount Hermon ski resort, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Hours later, in the predawn hours of January 21, the Israeli Air Force launched retaliatory strikes on Iranian targets near Damascus and on the Syrian air defense batteries that fired upon the attacking Israeli fighter jets, the army said.

Twenty-one people were killed in the Israeli raids in Syria on January 21, 12 of them Iranian fighters, a Britain-based Syrian war monitor said the following day.

According to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 12 of those killed were members of Salami’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, six were Syrian military fighters, and the other three were other non-Syrian nationals.

Israel sees Iranian entrenchment in Syria as a major threat and in recent years has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria against targets linked to Iran, which alongside its proxies and Russia is fighting on behalf of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Earlier this week, Iran’s military chief of staff indicated Tehran was preparing to adopt offensive military tactics to protect its national interests, an apparent reference to its posture in Syria toward Israel.

“Among the country’s broad strategies, there is a defensive strategy. We defend the independence and territorial integrity and national interests of the country,” Gen. Mohammad Bagheri was quoted as saying by Press TV on Sunday.

He said Iran did not intend to seize foreign territory, but “to protect our national achievements and interests, we may adopt an offensive approach.”

Also Sunday, the commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces, Brig. Gen. Kiumars Heidari, said his troops had transformed into a “forward-moving and offensive” force.

“To protect Iran, the armed forces no longer need asymmetric approaches, and we are at a stage where we can defend our homeland… by using good offensive approaches,” he said, according to Press TV.

The announcements by top Iranian brass comes days after the Islamic Republic held its annual infantry drill, involving some 12,000 troops, fighter jets, armored vehicles and drones.

The exercise, which Iranian officials called “war games,” involved newly developed rapid redeployment units, and focused on combat against enemies and armed militants, Reuters reported on Thursday.

General Heidari told state TV last week the exercise exemplified Iran’s military capabilities, and demonstrated to its enemies that they would be dealt a “rapid and crushing blow” if they attacked the Islamic Republic, Reuters reported.

Iran regularly holds exercises to display its military preparedness and has vowed to respond strongly to any attack by Israel or the United States, both of which view it as a regional menace. (Click to Source)

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World War 3 Cometh: Syria Is Threatening To Bomb The Airport In Tel Aviv And Iran Is Pledging To Wipe Israel Off The Map

 

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We always knew that this was coming.  We always knew that there would eventually be a war between Israel and Iran, but we had hoped that it could be put off for as long as possible.  Well, now it appears that time may have run out.  The exchange of missiles between the IDF and Iranian forces based in Syria on Sunday represented a major escalation of a conflict that has been simmering at a low level for months.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pledging to continue to “strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria”, and on the other side the Iranians and the Syrians have changed the rules of the engagement to allow for a military response against Israel every time Israel strikes targets inside Syria.  What this means is that there are going to be more missiles going back and forth, and it seems inevitable that both sides will eventually cross the point of no return.

And even now, we may be dangerously close to that line.  In the aftermath of the missile exchange on Sunday, the Israeli Minister of Intelligence declared that Israel is now in “an open confrontation with Iran”…

Yisrael Katz, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence, later told Galatz that the policy for taking on Iran in Syria had changed and that the Jewish state was now in “open confrontation” with Iran.

This is an open confrontation with Iran. When we need to step it up, we’ll step it up,” Katz said while again adding that Israel would not allow the continuing Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

But the Iranians are not going anywhere, and they do not intend to back down at all.  So Israel will continue to strike the area in and around the airport in Damascus, and the Syrians are threatening to hit Ben Gurion Airport in return…

Syria’s United Nations envoy called on the world body’s Security Council to take measures against Israel’s continued assault on Syrian territories, as reported by the Syrian news agency Sana, wondering whether it would take a Syrian attack on Tel Aviv Airport to draw the council’s attention.

“Does drawing the attention of the war-makers in this Council require us to exercise our legitimate right to self-defense and respond to Israeli aggression on Damascus International Airport by responding in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?” the Syrian envoy, Dr. Bashar Al-Ja’afari, asked.

If Ben Gurion gets hit, we will immediately see fireworks in the Middle East like we haven’t seen in decades.

And the Iranians fully expect such a conflict to break out.  In fact, earlier this week the commander of Iran’s air force boldly declared that his forces “are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth”…

The head of Iran’s air force said on Monday the country was ready to fight Israel and destroy it.

Speaking to the Young Journalist Club, a website supervised by state television, Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said: “The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth.”

The Iranians fully mean what they are saying.  They absolutely hate Israel with a passion and they will not stop until it no longer exists.

Last month, another top Iranian official made it exceedingly clear what Iran intends to do…

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander for Cultural and Social Affairs, said in a December 28 interview with the Iraqi television network Al-Nujaba that the “Islamic revolution in Iran will not back down” from the goal of “wiping out” the Jewish state.

And he went on to add that he plans to personally raise a flag over the city of Jerusalem once they conquer it…

He vowed to take part in that effort. “We were, we are, and we will continue to be the soldiers of Imam Khamenei,” he said, “until our last breath and until the last drop of our blood. I myself will hoist the flag of the Islamic Revolution in Jerusalem, Allah willing.”

Are you starting to understand why war between Israel and Iran is inevitable?

Iran is run by a bunch of nutjobs that all believe that they have a religious duty to wipe Israel off the face of the planet.  They think about this every day when they wake up, and they are still thinking about it every day when they go to sleep.

And if Israel and Iran go to war, guess who else will almost certainly enter the conflict?

President Trump has pledged to do whatever it takes to defend the nation of Israel, and it was recently revealed that at one point the White House actually asked the Pentagon to draw up a plan for bombing Iran.

Of course the Russians are already allied with Iran and their forces are already in Syria, and so they could easily be dragged into the conflict on the other side.

What we are talking about is an apocalyptic scenario which could easily lead to the outbreak of World War 3.

But we have gotten this far without a major regional war erupting in the Middle East, and hopefully cooler heads will prevail and things will calm down in the days ahead.

Because war is truly a horrible thing, and nobody should want to see a conflict erupt in which millions of people could potentially die. (Click to Source)

 

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Israel Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria, Exposes Final Hezbollah Terror Tunnel

Netanyahu on Sunday confirmed that the IDF nailed hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria, in addition to discovering a sixth and final tunnel dug by Hezbollah terrorists.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday confirmed that Israel has struck hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria, including a weapons facility in a weekend airstrike, as the military announced the discovery of a sixth and final tunnel dug by the Lebanese terror group for cross-border attacks.

Speaking to the IDF Galilee Division near the Lebanese border, Netanyahu commented, “In the past 48 hours, Israel attacked an Iranian weapons warehouse at the international airport in Damascus. This reflects our consistent policy and strong determination to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria. If necessary, we will step up these attacks.”

He added, “At the same time, the IDF has exposed a sixth tunnel – the largest of all – that crossed into Israeli territory. This brings Operation Northern Shield to a successful close. We will continue to monitor all activity by Hezbollah, and by Iran and its proxies. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure the security of Israel.”

The statements marked a rare, public acknowledgment of Israeli attacks against Hezbollah and its patron Iran in neighboring Syria, where Israel is long believed to have targeted Iranian weapons shipments to the Lebanese Shiite group.

At his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu also publicly confirmed the strike as he thanked outgoing military chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot for long years of service and particularly his marshaling of Israel’s campaign against Iran in recent years.

“We have operated with impressive success in thwarting Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria, in the framework of which the military has struck hundreds of times against Iranian and Hezbollah targets,” Netanyahu said. “In the last 36 hours alone, the air force struck storage facilities with Iranian weapons at the Damascus International Airport. The bulk of recent attacks show how we are more committed than ever to act against Iran in Syria, as we promised.”

Coupled with the announcement that after Sunday’s discovery, Israel was wrapping up its operation to destroy Hezbollah’s tunnel network into Israel, the weekend strike in Syria is widely seen as Eisenkot’s “parting shot” as his four-year tenure as military chief ends. He will be replaced on Tuesday by Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi.

After keeping a low profile throughout most of his term, Eisenkot gave a series on interviews over the weekend focusing on his shifting the military’s attention toward Iran directly, instead of just engaging its lesser proxies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza.

In a New York Times interview published Friday, Eisenkot said that Israel “has struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit” as part of his showdown with Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

Eisenkot also revealed the government approved his shift in strategy in January 2017, stepping up airstrikes in Syria. In 2018 alone, he said Israel’s air force dropped 2,000 bombs in Syria.

Operation Northern Shield

A far more visible part of his legacy has been the recent Lebanese border operation, which thwarted Hezbollah’s prime strategic investment for its next potential war.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Sunday the final tunnel was the largest discovered so far, running hundreds of meters from under a Lebanese home and deep into Israeli territory. Israel launched “Operation Northern Shield” early last month to detect and destroy a vast network of Hezbollah tunnels the group hoped terrorists could use to sneak across the border and attack Israeli civilians.

Conricus said the latest tunnel originated from the Lebanese border town of Ramyeh, was 55 meters deep and ran 800 meters inside Lebanese territory and also “dozens” of meters into Israel. It included stairs, a rail system and a wide a passageway that allowed for the movement of equipment and a large number of forces.

The tunnel would be destroyed in the coming days, Conricus said, adding that while more tunnels still existed on the Lebanese side of the border, this effectively marked the end of the ambitious military operation.

“We have achieved the goal that we set out to achieve,” he said. “According to our intelligence, there are no longer any cross-border attack tunnels into Israel.”

Netanyahu also commented on the tunnels in his address to the IDF Galilee Division on Sunday, “I think that everyone understands that a very serious threat was averted here. Hezbollah’s operational plan was to use the tunnels weapon to infiltrate many fighters, between 1,000-2,000 terrorists, into the Galilee, to seize communities here. Everyone understands how the war would look if Hezbollah battalions were in the Galilee, and with the Iranian army opposite the Golan Heights. We have prevented this – and will continue to prevent it.”

The tunnels violate a cease-fire resolution that ended a devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006. Conricus said the U.N. peacekeeping mission, known as UNIFIL, was updated on the latest development.

In the wake of the tunnel discoveries, Israel has asked the international community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and launch action against its state-within-a-state operation in Lebanon. The military said its forces would stay deployed along the border to monitor for any other possible underground activity, and said it holds the Lebanese government responsible for everything happening within its territory.

The Hezbollah terror group, which acts independently in Lebanon, has yet to comment on the tunnels.

In recent years, Hezbollah has been bogged down in fighting in Syria on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government. But with that war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel. (Click to Source)

Reported by: Associated Press and United With Israel
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