Israel Navy’s defense of Mediterranean gas fields hinges heavily on upgraded Barak and intelligence

Posted September 2, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Defense of Israel, IDF, Iran / Israel War, Iran scam, Iranian proxies, Israel, Israeli gas fields

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Israel Navy’s defense of Mediterranean gas fields hinges heavily on upgraded Barak and intelligence, DEBKAfile, September 2, 2015

noble_energyIsraeli elite unit practices defense of gas field

The Israeli Navy Wednesday, Sept. 2, staged a defensive exercise, which centered on the elite Shayetet 13 unit silently and smoothly driving off the terrorists who had “captured the Yam Tethys Mediterranean gas field, off the coast of the southern Israeli port of Ashkelon. This demonstration and the weapons used exposed but a small part of the IDF’s scope and capabilities. The key, say our military experts, is intelligence – strategic and tactical – for early warning of enemy plans of attack and its actions in real time – whether by sabotage or long-range missile or drone.

Navy commander Brig. Ram Rotberg, leading a tour of military correspondents, outlined the potential threats addressed by the latest defense doctrines. They include the Russian Yakhont anti-ship missile which is in hands of Hizballah and the Syrian army, with a range of 300 km, a speed of 2 mach and the ability to cruise as low as ten meters, way under most radar systems, with a payload of 300 kg of explosives.

Another is the Iranian Ababil drone, believed to have been upgraded with navigation capabilities and the ability to carry tens of kilos of explosives. Iran is also ceaselessly developing new missiles and rockets, some of which are no doubt being supplied to the Lebanese Hizballah and the Palestinian Hamas.

The counter-measures and weapons unveiled in the Navy drill Wednesday were as follows:

1. The Barak 8 multi-purpose seaborne missile defense system (sea-to-sea, sea-to-air, sea-to-coast and sea-to-missile) has been upgraded to offer the gas rig the same sort of protection as Iron Dome provides on land. It is designed to intercept surface to sea missiles, ballistic missiles with GPS guidance systems and primitive rockets. It is 4.5 meters long, weighs 275 kg, has a speed of two mach, and effective range of around 100 km and carries a 75 kg payload of explosives.

Last year, a Barak 8 was reported to have intercepted a Russian Yakhont during a war game.

2.  A system of sensors installed on and below the sea’s surface to detect terrorists attempting to climb onto the gas rigs, and an active-passive obstacle field around the installation.

3. UAV’s and spy balloons will be on 24/7 patrol over the gas rigs.

4. Additional missile systems are available or in the works for supplementing the current defenses. They include Rafael’s Spyder surface-to-air missiles and David’s Sling.

Mikulski pushes Obama’s Iran nuke deal over the top in Senate

Posted September 2, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Defense of Israel, Democrats, Foreign policy, Iran scam, Israel, Obama, Obama's legacy, P5+1, Republicans, U.S. Congress

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Mikulski pushes Obama’s Iran nuke deal over the top in Senate, The Hill, Jordain Carney, September 2, 2015

(“Mikulski added that in the wake of the Iran deal, the United States must ‘reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of Israel.'”  Commitments from Obama are, at best, ephemeral.  Israel can rely only in herself. — DM)

mikulskibarbara03022015getty_1

Mikulski was one of 11 remaining undecided Democrats. Opponents needed all 11 to buck Obama and vote against the deal if they were going to be able to block it in the Senate.

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Sen. Barbara Mikulski said on Wednesday that she will support President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, all but ensuring the agreement will survive an attack in the Senate.

“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” the Maryland Democrat, who is retiring after her current term, said in a statement. “I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal.”

Mikulski’s decision hands President Obama a needed foreign policy win after a months-long lobbying effort by administration officials to shore up support for the agreement.

Democrats have rallied around the deal since leaving town in August, giving Obama the 34 senators he needs to back the agreement and uphold a veto of a potential resolution of disapproval.

Mikulski was one of 11 remaining undecided Democrats. Opponents needed all 11 to buck Obama and vote against the deal if they were going to be able to block it in the Senate.

She said that while reviewing the deal she focused on a handful of questions, including whether it blocks Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, what sanctions would be lifted and if a better alternative could be reached if Congress rejects the deal.

Republicans have argued that the Obama administration could force Iran back to the negotiating table, but Mikulski said on Wednesday that the two alternatives to the deal were either more sanctions against Iran or military action.

“Maintaining or stepping up sanctions will only work if the sanction coalition holds together. It’s unclear if the European Union, Russia, China, India and others would continue sanctions if Congress rejects this deal. At best, sanctions would be porous, or limited to unilateral sanctions by the U.S.,” she said, adding that the “military option is always on the table for the United States.”

Mikulski, as well as undecided Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), have been under intense pressure from opponents of the deal and pro-Israel advocates to reject the Iran nuclear agreement.

She tried to preempt some of their criticism on Wednesday, touting her support for Israel and noting that she considered how the deal would affect the country.

“I have been an unabashed and unwavering supporter of Israel. I have persistently supported the sanctions that brought Iran to the table,” she said. “With the horrors of the Holocaust in mind, I have been deeply committed to the need for a Jewish homeland, the State of Israel, and its inherent ability to defend itself.”

Mikulski added that in the wake of the Iran deal, the United States must “reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of Israel.”

The Fiction of Political Islam

Posted September 2, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Defense of Israel, Egypt, Foreign policy, Gaza, Hamas, Iranian proxies, Islamic supremacy, Islamism, Morsi, Obama, Obama and Israel, Obama's America, Obama's legacy, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian heroes, Palestinians, Political Islam, Reform Islam, Siani, Sisi, Support for terrorism, West Bank

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The Fiction of Political Islam, The Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, September 2, 2015

  • To this day, the Obama administration mourns the fall of Egypt’s Islamist President Morsi, and turns a cold shoulder to forward-looking President el-Sisi, who is (sometimes) trying to take Egypt into the 21st century and extricate Egypt from its economic and societal crisis.
  • Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against the Egyptian regime is a perfect example of how this “political movement” is in reality a terrorist movement whose objective is the violent overthrow of Egypt’s government. The White House, fully aware of the facts, continues hosting senior Muslim Brotherhood officials and shows them respect during consultations about the American Islamic community and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
  • Events in Sinai prove there is no such thing as “political Islam.” There is a radical Islamist leadership that represents itself to the gullible West as “moderate,” preaches violence from mosques, cloaks itself in ideological-religious tradition, and employs Islamist terrorists to attack civilians and Egyptian government targets.
  • It is hard not to conclude, looking at President Obama’s record (ignoring protesters of 2009 in Iran; “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone”; the dictatorial way the Iran deal is bypassing the democratic process) that in his heart-of-hearts, he is far more committed to supporting extremist Islamist regimes — whether the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood — than to supporting democracy, individual freedoms or human rights.
  • The Europeans are more aware of the situation but woke up too late. As hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim lands continue to pour over Europe’s open borders, there is little doubt that radical Islam is poised to take over the West. Islamic communities and terrorist cells continue to mushroom throughout the cities of Europe.
  • The world is beginning to understand that the catastrophes of the Middle East have nothing to do with the resolution of the Palestinian issue but are caused by the innate homicidal tendencies of the Arab rulers and the regional Islamist terrorist organizations.

Hamas is in trouble. Its relations with Egypt are going from bad to worse, and the influx of money, primarily from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the mosques in the Western world — where charity (zakat) was collected to finance anti-Israel terrorism — has dwindled to almost nothing. So has the flow of arms and explosives from Iran, Libya, Sudan and Lebanon. The resulted is the weakening of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, making it ever more difficult for Hamas to continue its ongoing subversion of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and its non-stop attempts to overthrow President Mahmoud Abbas to take over the West Bank and establish there the sort of Islamic emirate it established in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas’s military buildup was halted when the President Mohamed Morsi’s radical Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was toppled and General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected President. Morsi, it will be recalled, strangely received support from President Obama until he was ousted. The Obama administration supported him despite Morsi enabling for the flow of money and arms to Hamas in Gaza to continue unhampered through the tunnels in the Sinai Peninsula. The weapons were used not only to attack Israel, but also to sabotage peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and, indirectly, to attack the Palestinian Authority.

The Islamist terrorism festivities ended when President el-Sisi clamped down on the Islamists in Egypt, destroyed the tunnels and sealed Egypt’s border with Gaza. Since el-Sisi has been president of Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood rule has ended and the tunnels have been destroyed. It is hard to fathom why, to this day, the Obama administration mourns the fall of the Islamist Morsi administration and turns a cold shoulder to forward-looking el-Sisi, who is (sometimes) trying to take Egypt into the 21st century and extricate Egypt from its economic and societal crisis.

Since el-Sisi has been in power, money and arms no longer flow through the tunnels into the Gaza Strip; instead they began to flow in the opposite direction, from the Gaza Strip into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Since the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated terrorist organizations, Hamas among them, have not accepted defeat, there has been an increase in terrorist attacks targeting the Egyptian regime both inside the country proper and in the Sinai Peninsula. The terrorist campaign receives ongoing support from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, and the ISIS-affiliated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Both continuously attack the Egyptian police and army in the Sinai Peninsula, murder Egyptian officials and target Egyptian institutions.

The endless terrorist campaign in Egypt has proven yet again that the claim of a political Islam, separate from the terrorist organizations, is simply a lie. Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against the Egyptian regime is a perfect example of how the “political movement” tries to represent itself as dealing only with the da’wah [proselytizing], while in reality it is a terrorist movement whose objective is the violent overthrow of el-Sisi’s administration. The White House, fully aware of the facts, continues hosting senior Muslim Brotherhood officials and shows them respect during consultations about the American Islamic community and U.S. policy in the Middle East.

919 (1)While being hosted by the State Department on a visit to Washington in January 2015, Muslim Brotherhood judge Waleed Sharaby (left) flashed the organization’s four-finger “Rabia” sign. At right, ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (from the Muslim Brotherhood) displays the Rabia sign.

The events in the Sinai Peninsula prove there is no such thing as “political Islam.” There is a radical Islamist leadership that represents itself to the gullible West as “moderate,” preaches violence from the mosques, cloaks itself in ideological-religious tradition, and employs a hard core of Islamist terrorists to carry out attacks on civilians and Egyptian administration targets.

In the meantime, the real victims are the Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorism has paralyzed Egypt’s tourist industry, as foreigners fear to visit Egypt’s antiquities. And now there are terrorist threats to the New Suez Canal, a project initiated and carried out under the leadership of General Sisi to turn both banks of the two canals into an international logistics, commercial and industrial area.

The Islamists’ plans are clear. First, they want to leverage violence, murder and countless Egyptian army casualties into establishing an autonomous terrorist enclave in the Sinai Peninsula. Then they will try to overthrow the Egyptian government and reinstate an Islamist Muslim Brotherhood regime headed by Morsi. That is exactly what their offshoot, Hamas, did in the Gaza Strip when it liquidated Palestinian Authority officials and established an Islamic emirate. The writing on the wall is still illegible as far as the U.S. government is concerned. Or else the Obama administration is still in the thrall of extremist Islam and its Muslim Brotherhood leaders. The two main ones are Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has just called new elections so that he can try again to acquire enough seats in parliament to amend Turkey’s constitution to award himself a one-man Sultanate, an absolute dictatorship-for-life to go along with his new palace. The other is Mohamed Morsi, whom Obama apparently is still backing.

It is hard not to conclude, looking at the U.S. president’s record (ignoring the protesters of 2009 in Iran; “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone” and the dictatorial way the Iran deal has been short-circuited to bypass the democratic process) that in his heart-of-hearts, he is far more committed to supporting extremist Islamist regimes — whether the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood — than to supporting democracy, individual freedoms or human rights.

The Europeans are more aware of the situation but unfortunately woke up too late. As hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim lands continue to pour over Europe’s open borders, there is little doubt that radical Islam is poised to take over the West. Islamic communities and terrorist cells continue to mushroom and gather strength throughout the cities of Europe.

From the beginning of the wave of attacks in Egypt, senior Egyptian security officials threatened Hamas. Egypt warned Hamas to stop training, arming and sending its terrorists to collaborate with ISIS operatives in attacks against the Egyptian army. Hamas steadfastly denies any involvement, even as it continues collaborating with ISIS against Egypt.

As far as Hamas is concerned, destroying the Egyptian army is essential, because its continued actions along the Rafah border and in Sheikh Zuweid in the northern Sinai Peninsula prevent Hamas from acquiring money and stockpiling weapons to fight Israel, which weakens its subversion against Mahmoud Abbas and its plans to take over the West Bank.

Despite profuse denials, at the end of August 2015, four operatives from Hamas’s military-terrorist wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, were taken off a bus by armed Egyptians on the way from Rafah through the Sinai Peninsula to Cairo. Hamas immediately accused Israeli intelligence of responsibility and warned the Egyptian authorities that “the abduction of its operatives will not go unpunished.”

In response, Dina Ramez, a co-host on Egypt’s official TV station, called Hamas out on its lies and denials of its terrorist activities in the Sinai Peninsula against the Egyptian regime. She asked Hamas, “If you are not involved in terrorism, what were your senior Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives doing in Sinai?” and called them “cockroaches.”

Sources in Hamas called her a “whore,” and called Egypt a loser country defeated by Israel, using a peace treaty to sell Palestine to the enemy. Was that really the way to thank Egypt for everything it has done for the Palestinians, sacrificing its army and soldiers for us? It is a sad situation for the Palestinians and for our leadership.

What have we Palestinians gained from Hamas’s military actions against Egypt? What have we gained from our solidarity with Islamist organizations fighting against Assad in Syria, or joining organizations such as the “Palestinian Liberation Army” fighting for Assad? Why are we killing each other in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp? Why do we refuse everything the Israelis offer us?

Anyone who remembers history remembers the ungrateful path trodden by the Palestinians against the Kingdom of Jordan, when our leaders, headed by Arafat, tried in 1970 to overthrow King Hussein, despite the refuge Jordan offered us during the catastrophes of the Nakba in 1948 and the Naksa in 1967. Then we did the same thing in Lebanon, to where we fled from Jordan. The PLO relocated its headquarters to Beirut, and went on to turn Lebanon into a terrorist country and the lives of the Lebanese into a nightmare. If the Israelis had not invaded Lebanon in 1982, and forced the PLO to relocate to Tunisia (where its behavior was also criminal), the Palestinians definitely would have destroyed Lebanon.

The Middle East is in chaos, and Palestinian factionalism and ingratitude continue to inflame the dissolution of the Arab states and the internal Palestinian division between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

The world is beginning to understand that the catastrophes of the Middle East have nothing to do with the resolution of the Palestinian issue, but are caused by the innate homicidal tendencies of the Arab rulers and the regional Islamist terrorist organizations.

The only person left who believes the Israeli-Palestinian nonsense is President Barack Obama, even though he is witness to the murders, rapes, beheadings and the millions of refugees, next to which the Palestinian issue is an old, irrelevant and very tired joke.

Why won’t Obama stop lying about Iran’s military budget?

Posted September 2, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Foreign policy, Iran military, Iran scam, Iran's military spending, Iranian proxies, Obama, Obama's America, Obama's legacy, P5+1, Supreme Leader, U.S. Congress

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Why won’t Obama stop lying about Iran’s military budget? Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, September 2, 2015

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Obama claimed that ISIS was only a “jayvee” team even as it was capturing Iraqi cities. Now he wants us to believe that Iran is just another “jayvee” team even as it’s taking over Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Like the rest of his Iran deal talking points, the one about Iran’s tiny military budget is false, and not only is it false, but his claim about how small Iran’s military budget keeps changing.

A few weeks ago, in a speech at American University, he was  claiming that “The defense budget of the United States is more than $600 billion. To repeat, Iran’s is about $15 billion.”

“Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us,” Obama had told the New York Times in April.

Just now, he told the Forward, “As I pointed out repeatedly, Iran’s annual defense budget is about $15 billion.”

What is Iran’s military budget? Read Obama’s lips. It’s either $15 billion or $30 billion.

Either Iran’s military budget changes every time Obama gives a speech or he’s playing with numbers to make it seem small. If $30 billion still seems big, how about $15 billion? And if $15 billion is still too big, get ready for the $7.5 billion Iranian defense budget. How can you be worried about that?

Obama is borrowing a trick from the Manchurian Candidate. No one is talking about how big Iran’s military budget is, but debating how small it is. And how small is it?

Iran’s military is at over 500,000 in strength. The Basji militia claims to be able to mobilize millions more. It has a nuclear weapons program and some of the most advanced indigenously developed weapons programs in the region. Iran is currently involved in wars in Syria and Iraq. Its proxy armies have carved up Lebanon and Yemen, and are slavering over Bahrain.

Not bad for $15 billion or $30 billion or whatever Obama is claiming it is this week.

Of course Iran’s budget isn’t $15 or $30 billion. It spent $11 billion on the Bushehr reactor alone. Its nuclear program cost upward of $100 billion. Obama’s deal requires him to claim that the program is peaceful, but who really believes that a country sitting on a mountain of gas and oil blew that much money just to lower the cost of electricity a little bit?

How much money is Iran really spending to expand its territory and influence?  Iran is allegedly spending billions a month to back Assad’s military campaign. The total may come to as much as $35 billion a year.

That’s more than more than twice as much as Obama’s current estimate of its military budget.

The Hezbollah terror group has received billions from Iran over several years. Islamic Jihad in Israel gets between $100 and $150 million a year.  Iran cut off aid to Hamas due to the Sunni-Shiite shift. Since then relations are slowly being restored, but it’s unclear how much money this will mean for the terror group. In 2007, Iran had pledged $250 million in aid. It’s unknown how much money Iran is spending on its Houthi terrorists in Yemen or how much money it’s spending on Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria.

In 2007, a senior Hezbollah terrorist captured by the US claimed that Iran was providing $3 million a month to Shiite terror groups to attack Americans in Iraq. Considering that the Shiite militias now dominate Baghdad and other parts of Iraq and number in the tens of thousands, it’s a safe bet that the bill for maintaining Tehran’s terrorist army in Iraq has gone up a whole lot since then.

It’s unknown how much Iran is spending on its Shiite militias in Syria, but the NDF reportedly has 100,000 men and is being trained and financed by Iran.

And this is just the visible ground forces.

Iran also has an international terrorist network which it has used to carry out terror attacks everywhere from Argentina to Thailand to Saudi Arabia to Paris. No country since the USSR has anything like it in its scope and organizations like that cost money. We can’t even begin to guess how much Iran spends on it.

But there are hints. The investigation into Iran’s bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Argentina was stymied by bribery attempts and climaxed in the assassination of Alberto Nisman, the Special Prosecutor who had accused President Kirchner of a cover-up in return for business deals with Iran.

That sort of arrangement doesn’t come cheap. Iran is willing to spend a lot of money to maintain a global terror network and then to clean up after it.

So what is Iran’s real military budget?

It has the biggest ballistic missile arsenal and the only known nuclear weapons program in the region. It has the largest number of active military personnel in the region and its militias control large sections of four other countries. It has indigenously developed fighter jets and a global terrorist network. It has drone bases, submarines and is the “the holder of the largest chemical weapons stockpile” in the area.

This doesn’t come cheap and you can’t have all that on the military budget of Colombia. If you believe Obama, then Iran has a smaller military budget than Israel and Saudi Arabia even though the military spending in both countries is largely focused on countering threats from Iran. If you believe Obama, Iran is no match for any of its neighbors, and yet it’s conquering or terrorizing them one by one.

But with Obama, the devil is usually in the details. He emphasizes the “defense budget”, but despite its official claims, Iran doesn’t play defense. It goes on the offensive. Its constitution states that its military is an “ideological army” built to fulfill “the ideological mission of jihad in Allah’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of Allah’s law throughout the world.”

Or as the Ayatollah Khomeini said, “Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males… to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.”

Iran doesn’t have a defense budget. Like Nazi Germany or the USSR, its entire system is militarized. A portion of its money goes to the business of government. A portion of that exists officially as a defense budget, most of which is swallowed up by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). The IRGC is a terrorist group with its own army and air force that is involved in wars across the region.

None of these numbers really mean anything because Iran’s accounting would make the mafia blanch. Iran is an oligarchy built on a complex network of organizations. State-owned enterprises, generals, Islamic foundations and terrorist bosses move money around using everything from oil to heroin.

The official budget means even less than it does in Russia. It’s just a number you read in the newspaper.

The IRGC controls construction companies, nuclear plants, airports, banks and ports. Imagine if GE, HSBC and Berkshire Hathaway were all one entity and had their own army. That’s the IRGC. Its annual revenue is estimated to be higher than Obama’s estimate for Iran’s entire defense budget.

Iran doesn’t have a defense budget. Its economy is its military budget. The IRGC controls at least a third of the country’s GDP and the vast majority of its exports. It claims a majority of the official defense budget, but unofficially it controls a majority of Iran’s economy.

It’s also responsible for exporting terrorism worldwide.

Obama’s claims about Iran’s tiny defense budget, which shrinks every time he gives a speech, are a lie. He claims that the “Gulf States, combined, spend about eight times” as much as Iran does. In fact, Iran spends at least as much if not more because most of its military budget is as black as night.

Ever since he struck a deal with Iran’s terror regime, he’s been knowingly passing on misinformation from that regime. And Obama can’t even seem to keep the phony budget numbers he’s using straight.

Obama has told many lies about his Iran deal. But this is more than just another lie. Minimizing Iran’s military spending to make it look as harmless as possible endangers American national security. There are already reports that Obama worked to tamper with ISIS intelligence materials to make the terror group look weak. It was his insistence that ISIS was only a jayvee team that let it take over cities.

Now he wants to convince Americans that Iran is just another jayvee team we shouldn’t take seriously. Pay no attention to the nukes or the worldwide terror rings. Its fake military budget is so small.

Obama deserves to be called out for every lie he has told about his disastrous Iran deal. But it’s important to our national security to call him out for his big lie about Iran’s little military budget.

Palestinians: Turning Refugee Camps into Weapons Warehouses

Posted September 1, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Human rights, Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria, Syria war, UNRWA

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Palestinians: Turning Refugee Camps into Weapons Warehouses, The Gatestone InstituteKhaled Abu Toameh, September 1, 2015

  • Most of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria have long served as large weapons warehouses controlled by various militias belonging to different groups. This has been happening while the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is formally in charge of the refugee camps, continues to look the other way.
  • The 120,000 Palestinians living in Ain al-Hilweh are “unfortunate” because they are not being targeted by Israel. Otherwise, there would have been an international outcry and the UN Security Council would have held an emergency session to condemn Israel and call for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Instead, Ain al-Hilweh may soon fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists.
  • The Syrian Army has also been dropping barrel bombs on the camp almost on a weekly basis. But because Israel cannot be blamed, Palestinians killing Palestinians is not something that the international media and community are interested in.
  • Instead of admitting their responsibility for turning the camps into military bases, Palestinian leaders often prefer to blame others, preferably Israel, for the plight of their people.

Palestinians are once again paying a heavy price for allowing terror groups and armed gangs to operate freely inside their communities. But this is not happening in a refugee camp in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Rather, it is taking place in Lebanon, one of three Arab countries that host hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

This explains why the international media and human rights organizations have shown little interest in what is happening inside the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, Ain al-Hilweh.

For the past two weeks, dozens of Palestinian families from Ain al-Hilweh have fled their homes after fierce clashes that erupted between Fatah militiamen and terrorists belonging to a radical Islamist gang affiliated with Al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

The UN Security Council has clearly not heard of the fighting in Ain al-Hilweh. That is why it has not even issued a statement expressing “concern” over the plight of the Palestinians in the camp.

The international media, for its part, has thus far shown little interest in the story. Why? The answer, as usual, is simple: No Israeli involvement.

The 120,000 Palestinians living in n Ain al-Hilweh are “unfortunate” because they are not being targeted by Israel. Otherwise, there would have been an international outcry and the UN Security Council would have held an emergency session to condemn Israel and call for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

But, because Israel cannot be blamed, Palestinians killing Palestinians is not something that the international media and community are interested in.

The clashes in Ain al-Hilweh have so far resulted in the killing of four Fatah militiamen. At least 35 people were wounded in the fighting, which has been described as the worst in years. According to eyewitnesses, the rival parties have used various types of weapons to attack each other, including rocket-propelled grenades.

The four dead men have been identified as Fadi Khdeir, Ala Othman, Rabi Mashour and Hussein al-Saleh.

1233Smoke from explosions rises from Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, Aug. 25, 2015. (Image source: Arab Tomorrow video screenshot)

The latest round of fighting in Ain al-Hilweh began after Islamist terrorists tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Abu Ashraf al-Armoushi, a senior Fatah security commander. Earlier, the terrorists managed to kill another top Fatah official, Talal al-Urduni.

Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon have always been considered “extraterritorial” zones, managed exclusively by various armed groups. The Lebanese police and army have no role in maintaining law and order inside the camps. As in most similar situations, where armed clashes have erupted inside refugee camps, all that is left for the Lebanese Army to do is monitor the situation from a distance.

In 2007, however, the Lebanese Army was forced to intervene to stop armed clashes at another refugee camp, Nahr al-Bared. Dozens of people, many of them soldiers, were killed in the fighting, which also resulted in the near destruction of the camp. Nearly 30,000 Palestinians were displaced, and Nahr al-Bared remains a closed military zone.

Residents of Ain al-Hilweh are worried that they will meet the same fate as Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. Yarmouk was once home to some 200,000 Palestinians. Today, the number of the residents has dropped to 12,000. Hundreds of Yarmouk residents have been killed and injured in fierce fighting between rival militias during the past four years. The Syrian Army has also been dropping barrel bombs on the camp almost on a weekly basis.

Yarmouk, Nahr al-Bared and Ain al-Hilweh continue to pay an extremely heavy price for agreeing to turn their camps into military bases. Most of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria have long served as large weapons warehouses controlled by various militias belonging to different groups. This has been happening while the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is formally in charge of the refugee camps, continues to look the other way.

As the fighting in Ain al-Hilweh shows, the Palestinians have once again fallen victim to what many of them describe as the “chaos of weapons.” It is this type of anarchy that allowed Hamas to expel the Palestinian Authority from the Gaza Strip in 2007. Refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are also full of weapons and gunmen belonging to various groups, including Fatah and Hamas.

Maher al-Shawish, a Palestinian writer and political analyst from Lebanon, says that Ain al-Hilweh is now facing a serious humanitarian crisis due to the ongoing fighting. “If you see the destruction inside the camp, you will realize that it is facing a real catastrophe that needs to be stopped immediately,” al-Shawish said. “The clashes are disgraceful for the Palestinian cause.”

But instead of admitting their responsibility for turning the camps into military bases, Palestinian leaders often prefer to blame others, preferably Israel, for the plight of their people.

Ain al-Hilweh may soon fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists. Yet instead of facing this threat and calling on the international community to assist in foiling the terrorists’ plan, Gen. Subhi Abu Arab, a top Fatah security commander in Lebanon, chose to hold Israel responsible. Needless to say, Israel has nothing to do with the latest round of fighting in Ain al-Hilweh or the “chaos of weapons” inside Palestinian refugee camps.

Still, Palestinian officials such as Gen. Abu Arab never miss an opportunity to lay the blame at Israel’s door. They also continue to lie to their people by claiming that Israel is behind Islamic State. Referring to the clashes in Ain al-Hilweh, Gen. Abu Arab had no problem explaining that, “This is a Zionist scheme to eliminate the right of return, displace the Palestinians and stir trouble inside the camp by using a fifth column.”

As long as Palestinian and Arab leaders continue to believe conspiracy theories and refuse to wake up to the reality of the dangerous situation inside the refugee camps, the Palestinians of Ain al-Hilweh, like those of Yarmouk, sadly will face a bleak future.

Russia gearing up to be first world power to insert ground forces into Syria

Posted September 1, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Al Qaeda, Combat troops, Department of Defense, Foreign policy, Iran - Syria war, Middle East, Russia, Russia - Syrian war

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Russia gearing up to be first world power to insert ground forces into Syria, DEBKAfile, September 1, 2015

Russian_airborn_troops_syria_1.9.15Russian airborne troops for Syria

Despite strong denials from Moscow, Russian airborne troops are preparing to land in Syria to fight Islamic State forces. The surprise attack on Monday, Aug. 31, by ISIS forces on the Qadam district of southern Damascus, in which they took over parts of the district – and brought ISIS forces the closest that any Syrian anti-Assad group has ever been to the center of the Syrian capital – is expected to accelerate the Russian military intervention.

Moscow is certainly not ready to endanger the position of President Bashar Assad or his rule in Damascus, and views it as a red line that cannot be crossed. If Russia intervenes militarily in this way, Russia will be the first country from outside the Middle East to send ground forces into the Syrian civil war.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that discussions by the Russo-Syrian Military Commission, which was established last month in Moscow to coordinate the intervention, accelerated during the last few days.

Our intelligence sources point out that the concerted activities of the commission are taking place amid the nearly complete paralysis of the US Central Command-Forward-Jordan (CCFJ), where operations against the rebels in southern Syria, including those holding positions across from Israel’s Golan, are coordinated. Officers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel are attached to the CCFJ.

Most of the operations of the CCFJ have been halted due to a conflict that erupted between the Syrian rebels and the U.S. Central Command, CENTCOM. The US military is opposed to the rebels cooperating with Al-Qaeda-linked groups, such as the Al-Nusra front, while the rebels claim that this cannot be avoided fir they are to defeat the forces of Bashar Assad and Hizballah.

The paralysis of the CCFJ is spurring the Russians to try to show that their “central command” for Syria is operating without any difficulties.

In recent weeks, the Russians have taken four military steps related to Syria:

1. On Aug. 18, six of Russia’s advanced MIG-31 Foxhound interceptor aircraft landed at the Syrian Air Force’s Mezze Airbase, which is the military section of Damascus international airport. After the fighters landed, they were immediately followed by giant Russian Antonov AN-124 Condor cargo planes carrying 1,000 of Russia’s 9M133 Kornet anti-tank missiles.

The advanced jets are intended to serve as air support for the Russian units that arrive in Syria.

2. Before the Russian planes landed in Damascus, Moscow reached an agreement with Washington for the removal of NATO’s Patriot missile batteries from Turkey. The removal was carried out gradually during the month of August, thus preventing the possibility that NATO Patriot missiles could hit Russian fighters carrying out operations in Syrian airspace.

3. During the last week of August, a large number of Russian troops, mostly logistical teams whose job is to lay the groundwork for the arrival of the combat units, arrived in Syria. The troops were seen in Damascus and in Jablah district of Lattakia province, where the Russian forces are building a military base.

4. Our intelligence sources also report that Moscow has started to supply Damascus with satellite imagery of the ground situation on the different fronts.

DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that all of these preparatory steps by Moscow for the introduction of ground forces are being carried out in coordination with Washington and Tehran.

The more that the three capitals tighten their coordination in support of Assad, the sooner the Russian intervention is expected to take place.

Khamenei: U.S.Is The Enemy’; ‘We Must Combat The Plans Of The Arrogance With Jihad For The Sake Of Allah

Posted September 1, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Death to America, Death to Israel, Diplomacy, Dishonor, Foreign policy, Iran, Iran / Israel War, Iran scam, Iranian anti-semitism, Iranian proxies, Iraq war, Islamic supremacy, Israel, Khamenei, Middle East, Obama, Obama's affinity for Iran, Obama's America, Obama's legacy, P5+1

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Khamenei: U.S.Is The Enemy’; ‘We Must Combat The Plans Of The Arrogance With Jihad , MEMRI, September 1, 2015

(Does Iran’s Supreme Leader refer to Obama’s America or to the United States? There’s a difference. — DM)

On August 17, 2015, just over a month after the announcement of the JCPOA in Vienna, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a speech at a conference held by the Iranian Shi’ite Ahl Al-Bayt organization that the U.S. is the embodiment of the enemy of the Islamic peoples and of Iran. It must be fought with military, cultural, economic, and political jihad, he said, adding that Islamic Iran is not interested in reconciling with it. He further claimed that the U.S. is attempting to divide the Islamic world into Shi’ite and Sunni camps that will wage a religious war against each other, and in this way gain it will be able to gain control over the peoples of the region.[1]

Iran, he stressed, stands behind the resistance axis, opposes the division of Syria and Iraq, and will continue to support anyone who fights Israel.

Following are excerpts from a report on the speech that was posted on Khamenei’s website (Leader.ir):

“[Khamenei said:] ‘We must combat the plans of the arrogance [i.e. the West, led by the U.S.] with jihad for the sake of Allah.’ The Leader pointed to ‘America’s efforts to exploit the results of the nuclear talks and exert economic, political, and cultural influence in Iran’ and to the plots of the power-hungry order aimed at sowing conflict and gaining influence in the region. The Leader called for ‘adopting the correct plans in order to wisely and consistently fight this plot, in an offense against it and a defense against it.’

“[Khamenei said:] ‘Jihad for the sake of God does not only mean military conflict, but also means cultural, economic, and political struggle. The clearest essence of jihad for the sake of God today is to identify the plots of the arrogance in the Islamic region, especially the sensitive and strategic West Asian region. The planning for the struggle against them should include both defense and offense.

“[He continued:] ‘The plots of the arrogance in the region have continued for a century, but [its] pressure and plotting increased after Iran’s Islamic Revolution [1979], in order to prevent [this Revolution] from spreading to other countries. For 35 years, the regime in Iran has been subjected to threats, sanctions, security pressure, and various political plots. The Iranian nation has grown accustomed to this pressure. After the Islamic awakening movement blossomed in recent years in North Africa [i.e. the Arab Spring], the enemy greatly stepped up its plots in the West Asian region because of its panic.

“‘The enemies thought that they could suppress the Islamic awakening movement, but it cannot be suppressed. It continues, and sooner or later it will prove itself as reality.

“‘The power-hungry order led by the United States of America is the perfectly clear embodiment of “the concept of the enemy.” America has no human morality. It carries out evil crimes under the guise of flowery statements and smiles. The enemy’s plot is two pronged: creating conflict and [exerting] influence. [The enemy sows conflict] among governments, and, worse, among the nations. At this stage, they are using the Shi’a and the Sunna to create conflict among the nations. Britain is an expert in sowing conflict; the Americans are its apprentices.

“‘Establishing violent despicable criminal takfiri circles, which the Americans have acknowledged establishing, is the main means of sowing conflict, ostensibly religious conflict, among [the Muslim] nations. Sadly, some innocent and ignorant Muslims have been fooled by this plot, and have been tricked by the enemy and fallen into its trap. Syria is an obvious example of this. When Tunisia and Egypt, with Islamic slogans, ousted their infidel governments, the Americans and Zionists decided to use this formula to eliminate the countries of the resistance, turning their attention to Syria. After the events in Syria began, some ignorant Muslims were tricked by the enemy and dragged Syria to its current situation. What is happening today in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and other countries, which some people insist on calling “a religious war,” is in no way a war of religion [i.e. Sunni vs. Shi’ite], but a political war. The most important duty today is to remove these conflicts.

“‘I have explicitly stated that Iran reaches out in friendship to all the Islamic governments in the region, and that we have no problem with Muslim governments. Iran has friendly relations with most of its neighbors. Some still have conflicts with us; they are stubborn, and carry out nefarious acts, but Iran aspires to good relations with its neighbors and with the Islamic governments, especially with the governments in the region. The basis for Iran’s conduct comprises the principles laid out by Imam Khomeini, which he used to bring about victory for the Islamic Revolution, and he led it to a phase of stability.

“‘One of the principles of the [Islamic] regime [in Iran] is to be “forceful against the disbelievers, merciful amongst themselves [Koran 48:29].” On the basis of Imam Khomeini’s lesson, we do not wish to reconcile with the arrogance, but we aspire to friendship with our Muslim brothers. When we support [any of] the oppressed, we ignore the religious element; we provide the same aid to our Shi’ite brothers in Lebanon and to our Sunni brothers in Gaza. We see the Palestinian issue as the chief issue of the Islamic world.

“‘There must be no exacerbation of the conflict in the Islamic world. I oppose any conduct, even by Shi’ite circles, that creates conflict. I condemn the insults against the sanctities of the Sunna.

“‘The U.S. has aspired for decades to infiltrate the region and regain its lost reputation. The Americans wish to infiltrate Iran with the [JCPOA] agreement, whose fate in Iran and in the U.S. is still unknown. But we have decisively blocked this path, and we will do anything to keep them from infiltrating Iran economically, politically, and culturally.

“‘Iran’s regional policy is the opposite of America’s. While [America] seeks to divide the countries of the region and to create statelets that obey it, this will not happen. Some were amazed by statements I made in the past about America’s attempt to divide Iraq, but today the Americans themselves honestly acknowledge this. The Americans’ clear goal is to divide Iraq, and, if they can, Syria as well. But the territorial integrity of the countries of the region – Iraq and Syria – is very important to Iran.

“‘Iran supports the resistance in the region, including the Palestinian resistance, and we will support anyone who struggles against Israel and strikes at the Zionist regime. Iran’s chief policy is a struggle against America’s policy of division and its sowing of conflict. We do not recognize the Shi’a that is based in London and works in the service of the arrogance.

“‘In contrast to unfounded claims, Iran is not interfering in Bahrain and Yemen, but will continue to support the oppressed. The massacre of oppressed Yemenis and the destruction of that country must be strictly condemned. Promoting some [Saudi] political goals via foolish methods results in ongoing crimes against the Yemeni people.

“‘There are also painful events in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Muslims must be wise and vigilant, and thus they will solve these problems.

“‘The Islamic Radio and Television Union [organization in Iran] is an important center in the struggle against the dangerous empire of the sophisticated American-Zionist media mafia. We must strengthen and grow this movement…

“‘The future of the region belongs to the Muslim nations. Islam’s might is clear and will be maintained because of the presence of the fighting men and women.'”[2]

_________________

Endnotes:

[1] It should be noted that in the main Friday sermon in Tehran on August 28, 2015, prayer leader Ayatollah Kazem Seddiqi advised the officials in the government of Iranian President Hassan Rohani not to be misled by the West and the U.S. following the JCPOA, because they are “cannibals, liver-eaters, and anti-religion.” Fars, Iran, August 29, 2015.

[2] Leader.ir, August 18, 2015.


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