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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Confirmed: Quds Force Official Assassinated By Israel

An exclusive report by this journalist first revealing that senior members of the Iranian Quds Force were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Syria last month has been confirmed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

In response to a similar report on a Syrian news website last week, a Revolutionary Guard spokesman, Ramadan Sherif, confirmed that Iranian Gen. Hassan Shateri was killed when Israeli aircraft bombed a convoy in Syria that had been on its way to Lebanon.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency further confirmed Shateri had been “murdered by mercenaries and supporters of the Zionist entity while on his way from Damascus to Beirut.”

Iran claimed Shateri was in Lebanon to help oversee reconstruction of areas that had been affected by the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, including rebuilding public schools, hospitals and mosques. However, informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to KleinOnline identified Shateri as the Quds Force commander responsible for coordinating the arming of Hizbullah in Lebanon, including restocking the terrorist group with advanced missiles.

The Quds Force is a special unit of the Revolutionary Guard responsible for what the Guard calls its “extraterritorial operations.”

Almost Certain: Benghazi Facility
Used To Aid Syrian Rebels

KleinOnline has reconfirmed with multiple knowledgeable Middle Eastern security sources that the U.S. special mission in Benghazi was utilized to coordinate Arab arms shipments and other aid to the so-called rebels fighting in Libya and later in Syria.

This reporter first broke the story on the Benghazi gun running issue just 13 days after the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks. The scandal has been garnering more news media attention after Sen. Rand Paul asked outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the claims during hearings over the Benghazi affair two weeks ago. Clinton pleased ignorance.

Now knowledgeable security sources have reconfirmed the use of the Benghazi mission in aiding the rebels, who are known to be saturated by Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups.

In September, KleinOnline broke the story that the slain U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials.

In November, Middle Eastern security sources described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with countries, most notably Turkey, on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Assad’s regime, the security officials said.

While the White House has been largely mum on the alleged use of the Benghazi mission to aid the rebels, Obama administration officials did claim the White House rejected a plan to supply arms to the Syrian rebels.

If, indeed, President Obama rejected the arms plan, it would mean the White House went against the recommendations of outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and then-CIA Director David Petraeus.

The plan was said to have been generated by Petraeus and Clinton.

During Senate hearings on Benghazi last week, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked Panetta and Dempsey whether they had supported a plan “that we provide weapons to the resistance in Syria.”

“We do,” Panetta replied.

“You did support that?” McCain asked again.

“We did,” added Dempsey, who was sitting next to Panetta.

Neither Dempsey nor Panetta elaborated on their positions.

The New York Times reported the White House rebuffed the Clinton-Petraeus plan developed last summer to arm and train Syrian rebels over concerns it could draw the U.S. into the Syrian conflict and the arms could fall into the wrong hands.

The plan reportedly called for vetting rebels and arming a group of fighters with the assistance of Arab countries. KleinOnline reported Stevens himself was leading the vetting efforts, working with the Saudis to send names of potential jihadi recruits to U.S. security organizations for review. Names found to be directly involved in previous attacks against the U.S., including in Iraq and Afghanistan, were ultimately not recruited by the Saudis to fight in Syria.

Islamic Jihad Hopes
To Disrupt Obama’s Visit

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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