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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

4 Russian Cruise Missiles Accidentally Hit Iran (No Kidding)

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

At least four Russian cruise missiles are reported to have accidentally hit the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to two U.S. officials quoted on Thursday by CNN.

The missiles allegedly crashed Wednesday (Oct. 7) as they flew over Iran after being launched from Russian ships in the south Caspian Sea. They were headed for targets in Syria, via the Kurdistani skies of Iran and Iraq, where the missiles were seen flying low in the air.

(video footage courtesy of the UK’s Daily Mail)

Russian officials said they coordinated the attack with Syria, Iran, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrilla fighters using air, land and sea forces. The launch involved 26 cruise missiles fired from naval vessels about 900 miles away from their intended targets.

Most of the attack was allegedly focused on Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists, but it was clear that Russia was intent on pushing back Syrian opposition forces who had recently gained ground near the coast as well.

There have also been reports of Russian jets intimidating coalition forces as they fight to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S.-led coalition is fighting Assad’s forces and is backing the self-described “moderate” rebel faction.

Russia Takes over Syrian Civil War, Hits Rebels with Missiles

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Moscow is becoming the de facto capital of Syria, if not Iran.

Russian cruise missiles bombarded positions of rebels fighting the Assad regime, which is totally dependent on Russia and is virtually owned by it.

Iran also might find itself under the thumb of Russia. USA Today reported Thursday that Tehran pressed President Vladimir Putin to become directly involved in the Syrian civil war, which has left the country disintegrated.

Basher al-Assad has held on to power only through the generous supply of weapons from Russia. Now he has the Russian Air Force pummeling rebel positions.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Tehran-backed Hezbollah terrorist army has been fighting alongside Assad’s soldiers but have suffered a huge number of casualties.

The Associated Press reported that the commander of Iran’s special elite forces travelled to Russia in August to convince Putin to join the fray, and the counties now operate an intelligence center in Baghdad.

Russia is the only major power that has had the guts to move into Syria. President Barack Obama backed off his threat earlier this year to intervene after there was proof that Assad was using chemical weapons.

Russia intervened and worked out a sleight-of-hand act by which Assad handed over his chemical and biological stockpile to international inspectors. The Obama administration easily swallowed the tale that Assad handed over all of the weapons, many of which were in Syria courtesy of none other than Russia.

Iraq has been disappointed with the American-led strike force’s inability to pulverize the Islamic State (ISIS), and Russia has used ISIS as the perfect excuse to move into Syria, set up an air force base and stake its presence as the power broker in the region.

Whether or not President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry really believed Putin’s promise that Russian forces are in Syria only in order to wage war on ISIS, their illusion that their words speaker louder than action has left them too paralyzed to do anything about it. It was clear from day one that Moscow’s real objective is to save Assad.

Four Russian warships launched 26 missiles against rebel forces as wells ISIS on Wednesday in addition to aerial attacks that have allowed Assad’s foot soldiers to try to take over more territory.

NATO Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia’s military actions are “troubling escalation” and added:

My concern is that the Russians are not mainly targeting ISIS but they are targeting other opposition groups and they are supporting the (Assad) regime.

It’s a bit late for his concern.

Syrian rebels are firing anti-tank missiles at Assad’s soldiers who have Russian aerial support.

Syrian activist Raed Fares was quoted by AP as saying:

Russia is targeting civilians and the Free Syrian Army brigades that are supported by America. They are not targeting the Islamic State as they claimed. Russia is here to keep Assad in power, so they will strike what Assad strikes.

The rebels, and even ISIS, don’t have much of a chance against the superior Russian firepower.

Regardless of its ulterior motives, Russia is the only country in the world that has taken the initiative to directly confront ISIS.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter thinks that Russia is on the wrong track, despite the failure of 7,000 strikes by the U.S.-led force to seriously damage ISIS.

He said in Rome:

We believe Russia has the wrong strategy. They continue to hit targets that are not ISIL. This is a fundamental mistake.

If he is wrong and Russia succeeds, it will decide the future of Syria, if not Iran.

Kerry Drafts Americans in War on ISIS, Offers $5 Million for Information

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. has posted a $5 million reward to any American who can turn over “information that will disrupt the trade of oil and trafficking of antiquities that benefit the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”

The press release on the notice from the State Dept.’s Rewards for Justice added:

Today’s announcement marks the first time the U.S. Secretary of State has authorized a Rewards for Justice offer for information that could be used to disrupt sale or trade in oil or antiquities by, or on behalf of, a terrorist organization.

The Obama administration began to take notice of ISIS years ago, but it wasn’t until the beheading of Americans journalist James Foley last year that Americans began realizing the power and growing threat of the criminal and terror organization.

More than one year after the brutal murder of Foley, the first of three Americans who so far have been beheading victims, Kerry unveiled his weapon to defeat ISIS. His boss, President Barack Obama, told the United Nations this week that military force is not enough to overcome the radical Islamist group.

One of the reasons that has been true is that the United States foreign policy experts never really know who is on first in the Middle East. After having helped Hosni Mubarak out of power and into jail and ushering Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi in power and then out of power, U.S. army officers trained and armed “trusted” rebels to fight the Assad regime. The unit graduated from training and promptly turned over the American weapons to Al Qaeda.

Apparently lacking information on ISIS’ illegal trade, Kerry now has drafted Americans into the war, figuring that good citizens will come up with the goods to lead to the disruption of ISIS criminal trade.

The State Dept. announced:

The U.S. Department of State expects this reward offer will encourage individuals to come forward with information regarding persons or entities engaged in the production, facilitation, processing, smuggling, distribution, sale, and trade of oil and antiquities that would benefit ISIL, as well as the information on the smuggling networks, methods, and routes underlying these activities.

While the United States has allowed Syria to create a military base in Syria, right across from the Israeli border, Kerry has let loose his doomsday weapon to help wipe out ISIS.

Naïve is one of the kindest words that can be used to describe American foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, a policy that has left a huge vacuum that Russian President Vladimir Putin is filling to the hilt by taking over Syrian airspace and carrying out aerial attacks.

Putin claims that the only reason Russia is bombing Syria is to attack Islamic State (ISIS) forces. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that official said a Russian bombing raid in Syria on Wednesday targeted an area held by rebel forces that are backed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Israel Must Be Prepared to Also Redraw the Map

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Russia, Iran, ISIS, Turkey, Kurds… everyone seems to be playing, except Israel.

The map of the Middle East is being redrawn, while Israel is simply trying to just hold on to what it has, hoping Jordan doesn’t collapse tomorrow, Hezbollah doesn’t take over the Golan Heights, ISIS doesn’t overrun the Sinai and that Iran and Russia don’t conquer what’s left of Syria.

While the regional powers are working hard to redraw the maps, extend their power and control, Israel is simplistically bragging about being an “Oasis in the Jungle.”

Unfortunately, Israel will find itself in an even tougher neighborhood once the lines are permanently redrawn, and that oasis will be even harder to maintain.

Instead of building more border trenches and wall, Israel needs to seriously consider regional expansion, just like everybody else is doing.

Israel needs to start pushing the jungle back, not staving it off

Israel should be prepared for the upcoming collapse of Jordan and to take over that country’s administration.

Instead of letting Hezbollah encroach on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, Israel needs to be considering how to fully take control there too, which might be openly picking a side.

And it’s only a matter of time before we find ourselves back in Hezbollah’s southern Lebanon.

Israel’s position of passivity and overt non-interference is temporarily keeping things quiet inside our borders, but by not openly taking sides, we’re also setting ourselves up for a worse situation down the road.

One solution Israel needs to consider is a new Israeli model of regional conflict management – some expansionist empire building and developing patron-client relationships, just like Iran, Russia and the other countries are openly doing.

The regions of Jordan and the Syrian Golan Heights must fall under Israeli rule, with the local limited-autonomy governments answering to Israel. We don’t need to transfer our citizens over, only our governmental administration.

In exchange, as part of the Israeli empire (and not the Iranian or ISIS empires), Israel will supply our client states with water resources, training to help them maintain their borders and assistance building their economies. This will help push back the jungle away from our borders.

We all know that sooner or later Israel will be heading back into southern Lebanon. It’s going to be a very, very difficult war.

A buffer zone needs to be carved out again to keep Hezbollah away so we don’t end up back there every few years, fighting an even more difficult war than the previous one.

If we don’t join in and play the regional game of redrawing the map, we’re going to instead find ourselves boxed in by the really bad guys, and that’s going to be much worse.

ISIS Video Claims Burning of Four Men Fighting with Iran-Backed Forces

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The Islamic State (ISIS) has posted a new gruesome video showing four men in orange jumpsuits being burned alive while hanging upside down from a scaffold.

The victims were said to be members of the Popular Mobilization Forces, allied with the Iraqi government and backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Long War Journal reported.

The ISIS said the executions were in revenge for a Shi’ite leader’s execution of a Sunni Muslim victim, who was burned to death while the Shi’ite leader mocked the ISIS.

In a separate report from Orient-News,net, the ISIS allegedly used mustard gas Tuesday in an attack on Aleppo, injuring 20 people, most of them civilians.
It was the second time in a week that people arrived at a local hospital with breathing difficulties.

Israel and the Kurds, a Clandestine Love Affair of Regional Outcasts

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) That Israel is a country surrounded by hostile neighbors is hard to deny. However, Israel does have a few friends in the Middle East, most notably, the Kurds. The Kurds, who comprise 15-20% of Iraq’s population are major trading partners with Israel, and the two peoples also share the bond of having common enemies, if not friends. Kurdish fighters are struggling to resist the onslaught of the violently radical Islamic group, ISIS, and need money and weapons to prevail. The Kurds have been selling oil independently of the Iraqi government to France, Italy, Greece and Israel. Their sale of oil to Israel must be executed secretly, since the Iraqi government is hostile to Israel and does not recognize its existence. To avoid detection, some speculate that a quantity of oil is shipped through Cyprus before heading to Israel. It is estimated that Israel purchased $1 billion of crude from the Kurds or 19 million barrels, which comprise 77% of Israel’s total oil consumption.

It is rumored that, in addition to purchasing oil, Israel is funding the Kurds in their efforts to strengthen the Kurdistan Regional Government in its fight against the Caliphate and the Iraqi Shiite government.

Israelis and Kurds share more than a trade relationship and a desire to keep ISIS at bay–the two groups are closely linked genetically. A 2001 study conducted by a team of Israeli, German and Indian scientists discovered that Jews around the world are more closely related genetically to the Kurds than to the Semitic Arabs, for instance. The research involved examining 526 Y chromosomes from 6 populations (Kurdish Jews, Kurdish Muslims, Palestinian Arabs, Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, and Bedouin from Southern Israel) and compared it with data from 12 populations, including Russians, Poles, Belorussians, Berbers, Spaniards, Portuguese, Arabs, Armenians and Anatolian Turks. Kurdish Jews and Sephardic Jews showed striking similarities, and the majority of Ashkenazi Jews who possess Eu9 genes are descended from Judeans who lived in Israel two thousand years ago. Areilla Oppenheim of Hebrew University wrote in the November 2001 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics that Jews are closer genetically to Northern Mediterranean populations (Kurds, Armenians, Anatolian Turks) than to populations in the Southern Mediterranean (Arabs and Bedouin).

The history of Jews and Kurds can go a long way in explaining this genetic link. Most of the Biblical ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (aka Smaria) were taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 721-755 BCE, and were sent to Media, Assyria and Mesopotamia, or modern Kurdistan. When Nebuchadnezzar II came to power, he brought the Jews from Israel to Babylon, adding to the numbers already delivered there by the Assyrians. When the Persian King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Israel, a large number of them, who had accumulated wealth, stayed behind. The Jews who remained in Babylon, which contained within its borders Kurdistan, maintained contact with their brethren in Israel, and supplied them with goods as well as some scholars, such as Hillel, head of the Sanhedrin around the time of King Herod. A revolt against the Roman Emperor Trajan (ruled from 98 to 117 CE) met with a bloody reprisal, but, under the authority of the Persians and the Parthians, Babylonian Jews enjoyed a degree of autonomy.

Kurdistan was the birthplace of the Babylonian Talmud and a center of Jewish scholarship. Many conversions were performed back then, and among them were Kurdish King Manobazes, his wife, Queen Helena, and their son Izates (although some historians question this because of a chronological discrepancy). A consensus of scholars agree that Judaism was well-established in Kurdistan by the 2nd century CE. Despite conversions to Christianity in the 4th and 5th centuries, the tradition of Jews in Kurdistan extended until the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. Kurdish Jews spoke an Aramaic dialect and visited the tombs of Jonah and Daniel, located in Kurdistan.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-and-the-kurds-a-clandestine-love-affair-of-regional-outcasts/2015/08/25/

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