Hezbollah blasts US over new Iran mining sanctions

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

Lebanese terror group says US ignores international law, follows ‘law of the jungle,’ amid escalating row between Washington and Tehran.

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China Launches Two New Missile Destroyers Amid US Show of Force in S China Sea

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Over the past two weeks, the US and its regional allies demonstratively sailed through the disputed maritime territory, with six vessels including two US guided missile destroyers taking part in ‘enhanced interoperatibility’ drills last week.

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Pompeo to Meet With Putin, Lavrov Amid Tensions

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week, as the two countries clash over a number of issues including Venezuela, Iran, and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

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Afghan Official: US Diversion of Funds Not to Undermine Security Cooperation

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Posted in category Afghanistan, Eurasia, South East Asia

Afghan officials are downplaying the significance of the United States diverting funds from its military mission in Afghanistan, as a senior American diplomat has arrived in Kabul for high-level discussions.

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Taliban Train Sights on Aid Groups, an Ominous Turn in Afghanistan

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Posted in category Afghanistan, Eurasia, South East Asia

A Taliban attack on two aid organizations last week, the deadliest episode in a recent surge of violence against humanitarian workers in Afghanistan, is a signal to many that as peace talks falter, the insurgents are lashing out against so-called soft targets.

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Iran may attack Israel if U.S. standoff escalates: Israeli minister

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

An Israeli cabinet minister warned on Sunday of possible direct or proxy Iranian attacks on Israel should the stand-off between Tehran and Washington escalate.

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Libye : Fayez al-Sarraj va rencontrer Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel et Giuseppe Conte

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Le chef du gouvernement libyen d’union nationale (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, va entamer mardi une tournée des principales capitales européennes pour y “réunir des soutiens contre l’agression” du maréchal Khalifa Haftar, a annoncé lundi le ministère des Affaires étrangères.

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Turkey kills 28 Kurdish militants in retaliation to attacks

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Turkey killed 28 Kurdish militants on Saturday in retaliation to an attack which left three Turkish soldiers dead, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

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Dozens killed as Russian, Syrian air attacks in Idlib intensify

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The escalation has raised fears that a truce that lasted almost eight months in Idlib will be declared over.

Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have intensified their air offensive on the country’s rebel-held northwest for a fifth consecutive day in a widening campaign, killing and wounding dozens and forcing thousands to flee their homes.

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Syrian rebels say goal of Russia’s Idlib assault is to take highways

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Syrian rebels backed by Turkey said on Monday that Moscow and its Syrian government ally were trying to wrest control of two major highways in their last enclave in the northwest of the country in a bid to shore up Syria’s sanction-hit economy.

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The Hezbollah Sleeper Agent Busted for Black Ops in America

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Ali Kourani allegedly helped a global terrorist network plot revenge against the U.S. from a home in the Bronx. He was undone after running a stop sign with 190 pairs of Uggs.

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Aircraft carrier sent to Middle East after indications Iran planned attack on US forces

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

The United States deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in response to “clear indications” Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, U.S. officials said.

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Bahrain court jails 19 over Iran, Hezbollah links

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Bahrain’s highest court slapped 19 people with jail terms after they were convicted of maintaining links with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, as reported on Anadolu Agency.

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UN launches innovative programme to detect and disrupt terrorist travel

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

A new programme aimed at improving the tracking of suspected terrorists, using state-of-the-art software, was launched by the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) on Tuesday.

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Pompeo Visits Iraq Amid Reports of Iranian Missile Threat

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made an unscheduled visit to Iraq, amid growing tensions with Iran after intelligence reports indicated that Iran moved short-range ballistic missiles by boat in waters off its shores.

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Islamic Jihad debuts new missile with attack on Israel, pledges bigger surprises

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, has unveiled its latest domestic missile by firing it at targets in the Israeli occupied territories.

The resistance group released a video on Sunday which showcased the new missile, dubbed Badr 3, before cutting to footage of it being launched at positions in the city of Ashkelon, which is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Tel Aviv.

The missile carried a 250-kilogram (551 lb) warhead, a major leap from its predecessor which had a much smaller 40-kilogram warhead.

The video shows at least four Badr 3 missiles roaring into the dark of the night on May 4 and 5. Ashkelon is 13 kilometers north of the fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The al-Quds Brigades warned Israel that “what is coming next will be even greater.”

Hamas targets Israeli armored vehicle

Meanwhile, Hamas’ military wing, known as the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, published a new video that showed an Israeli armored vehicle being targeted with a Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missile.

The attack took place on Sunday in an undisclosed location north of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas conducts first ever drone attack against Israeli military

In a separate report, Israeli media stated that a Hamas drone had fired a missile at an Israeli military convoy.

The extent of the damage and possible casualties were not immediately clear.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said, “At this stage, with the strides made in developing better missiles, not a single point in all of the occupied Palestinian lands will be safe from the missiles of the resistance.”

The attacks came in response to a series of deadly airstrikes by Israel against various targets in besieged Gaza, which began on Saturday and killed 27 Palestinians, including two pregnant women and two infants. More than 100 others were wounded in the attacks.

The upsurge in violence came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his military to continue massive strikes on the enclave.

Tensions erupted on Friday after four Palestinians were killed, two in an Israeli air raid on southern Gaza and two during the regime’s live fire at anti-occupation protesters near the fence separating the besieged coastal enclave from the occupied territories.

Nearly 700 rockets were launched from Gaza in retaliation and four Israelis were killed in two days of hostilities, with more than 80 others wounded.

Trump fumes over resistance’s missile prowess

Gaza’s surprising ability to retaliate the Israeli aggression drew an angry response from US President Donald Trump, who personally threatened residents of the blockaded enclave with “more misery.”

“Once again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its citizens,” he wrote.

“To the Gazan people – these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace – it can happen!” he wrote in a tweet.

Palestinian resistance groups had previously warned Israel against testing their patience.

Hamas staged an impressive counter-attack during the latest military flare-up between the two sides in November, when it fired more than 460 rockets at the occupied lands in less than 24 hours in response to Israeli aggression.

Requiem for Iron Dome, rest of Israeli missile defenses

The missile attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad more than anything have proven futile the multi-billion dollar Iron Dome missile defense system that Tel Aviv has long promoted as an agile response to rockets.

While it is not yet clear how the system fared against the recent barrage of Palestinian missiles, the fact that Israel had to accept ceasefire deals both this time and back in November speaks volumes about the true potentials of the Iron Dome.

Back in November, Tel Aviv’s move in accepting truce led to a huge backlash, leading Avigdor Lieberman to step down as the minister of military affairs. Hamas hailed the resignation as “an admission of defeat” by Israel and a “political victory” for the Palestinian resistance.

US Expediting Navy Carrier to Arabian Sea as ‘Unmistakable Message to Iran’

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

The United States is speeding up the arrival of a naval aircraft carrier strike group to the Arabian Sea after concerns Iran may be planning an attack against American or allied targets.

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US Wary of Chinese, Russian Military Presence in Arctic

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Aimed at countering China and Russia’s expansion in the Arctic, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday the United States will increase its military presence in the polar region.

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Afghans demand ceasefire on both sides as first step to peace

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Afghanistan, Eurasia, South East Asia

Thousands of Afghans taking part in a rare grand assembly to discuss a possible peace deal with Taliban militants are demanding a ceasefire on both sides as a first step, officials said on Thursday.

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Escalated bombing in Syria’s Idlib displaces nearly 140,000, UN says

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Fighting in northwestern Syria has displaced nearly 140,000 people since February, the UN said on Wednesday, as the regime and its ally Russia have stepped up their bombardment.

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White House Considers Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Terror Group

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today released a new resource detailing the Muslim Brotherhood’s established ties to more than 40 radical extremists, including terrorist groups, foreign fighters and extremism propagandists. The Brotherhood officially maintains a platform of non-violence, but has supported violent terrorism across the Middle East. The Brotherhood’s long-standing aims are to use its ideology to foment violence and terror, and implement sharia within a global caliphate.

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More U.S. troops could be heading to Africa following the collapse of the ISIS caliphate

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Magreb

As both a candidate and commander-in-chief, President Trump put an emphasis on ending America’s involvement in conflicts overseas, especially in Syria and Afghanistan. But the reality has been more complicated; following the collapse of the ISIS caliphate, there are fears the terror group will spread instability to other areas, including Africa. And those fears have the Pentagon re-focusing on what has largely been a forgotten continent that’s never gotten the lion’s share of resources or funding for anti-terror operations.

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US military ends reporting on security situation in Afghanistan’s districts

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Afghanistan, Eurasia, South East Asia

The U.S. military and NATO have stopped producing an assessment that was considered key for measuring progress against the jihadist insurgency in Afghanistan, according to a report released on April 30 by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The metric, which tracked district stability, was one of the “most widely cited Afghan security metrics.” But it will no longer be available to the public, or those tasked with oversight.

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Grave concern over escalating humanitarian crisis, casualties, displacement across northwest Syria: UN

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The UN has said it is “gravely concerned” over reports of a worsening humanitarian situation facing civilians across northwest Syria, with rising casualties, and “waves of displacement” due to intensifying conflict.

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Violent Standoff in Tripoli; Civilians Displaced, Suffering

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Magreb

“We need this war to end and to go back to civilian life,” says Mohammed, a 27-year-old soldier at a base in the suburbs of Tripoli.

Less than a month ago, peace talks were planned and the reunification of Libya was back on the table. Now, fighters are in their fourth week of battle as the eastern forces of Khalifa Haftar try to take over the capital in the west.

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Venezuelan Opposition Leader Tries New Tactic to Topple Maduro

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president, says a staggered industrial action would start Thursday, leading to a general strike.

The strike is the latest strategy in his effort to force President Nicolas Maduro out of power through a popular uprising. Two days of rallies in the streets of Caracas have led to violent clashes between Guaido’s supporters and Venezuelan forces, but the military’s top officers have yet to heed Guaido’s call to defect from Maduro.

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Pompeo: US Prepared for Military Intervention in Venezuela

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, May 4, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States is prepared to intervene militarily to stem the ongoing unrest in Venezuela.

“Military action is possible,” the top U.S. diplomat told the Fox Business Network. “If that is what is required, that is what the United States will do.”

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Report: The return of ISIS fighters threatens European security

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

A new study explores how Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia are dealing with hundreds of returnees, and what effect this could have on the European Union

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Unraveling the Rawi Terrorist Financing Network

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Bottom Line Up Front:

The U.S. Treasury Department recently imposed sanctions on the Rawi terrorist financing network, which helped move funds for the so-called Islamic State.

The network was truly global in nature; headquartered in Iraq, it had connections that spanned the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
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Senior U.N. official meets Taliban negotiators in Qatar

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The United Nations’ top official in Afghanistan met the Taiban’s chief negotiator in Qatar on Thursday, the movement’s chief spokesman said, as moves continue to try to start full peace negotiations to end more than 17 years of war.

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$360 Million U.S. Lawsuit Against Iran And Syria For Funding Hamas Killers In Israel

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

“When I shot the woman,” Yahya Haj Hamed told investigators, “I saw there were three or four children in the car, but I didn’t fire in their direction. We got back into our car and drove off.” Yahya, a member of a Hamas terror cell, had already “fired in the direction” of the woman’s husband, the children’s father, “who was killed on the spot.”

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Proposes Prisoner Exchange With U.S.

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran

Iran’s foreign minister offered publicly on Wednesday to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the United States, saying he had been authorized to conduct such talks.

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U.S. called on to boycott German cars until Hezbollah banned from Germany

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The newly formed Committee to Ban Hezbollah in Germany called on US consumers to boycott German automobiles in an advertisement in The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected outlawing Hezbollah.

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ISIS’s Newest Recruiting Tool: Regional Languages

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

When ISIS claimed responsibility for the coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka that killed more than 350 people, it did so, as one would expect, in Arabic and English. But it also issued statements in other languages—including Tamil.

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Iran Oil Waivers Ended

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Bottom Line Up Front:

The Trump administration ended a key waiver on Iran oil sanctions as part of an effort to apply maximum pressure on Iran’s economy and its regime. 

The end of the waiver program will reduce Iran’s oil exports further but is unlikely to bring them to a halt. 

Several countries, including China and Turkey, are likely to continue at least some Iranian oil importation, challenging the Trump administration to risk a rift by imposing actual sanctions.

The U.S. decision further increases the potential for Iran to exit the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal and even the possibility of increased hostilities between Washington and Tehran.    
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