Islamic State Working to Make US Military’s Fears Come True

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

In the 4½ months since U.S.-backed forces declared victory over the Islamic State terror group’s last shred of territory in Syria, there has been a steady drumbeat of doubt.

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A modern ‘Trojan Horse’ to stop Iran’s ship seizures in the Strait of Hormuz

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Iran has seized another oil tanker in the Persian Gulf — this one, it says, was smuggling oil to Arab nations — weeks after it detained a British-flagged tanker and attacked several others.

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Iran Boosts Aide To HAMAS To $360 Million – Reports

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Two weeks after a visit to Tehran by representatives from HAMAS, Israeli media on Tuesday August 6 reported an eye-catching increase in Iran’s financial assistance to this Palestinian group.

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Shin Bet says it thwarted terror bombing in Jerusalem planned by Hamas

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Shin Bet security service says it thwarted plans by Hamas members from Hebron to conduct a bombing attack in Jerusalem earlier this summer, retrieving the three-kilogram explosive device they intended to use.

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Lebanon’s Hezbollah faces huge financial, political challenges

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based political party, is facing huge political and financial challenges because of the increased U.S. sanctions against Iran and the party’s military involvement in different parts of the Arab world, analysts told Xinhua.

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Islamic State wages desert-based insurgency in Iraq and Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Islamic State is far from dead in Iraq and Syria. Despite losing its physical caliphate, the group maintained enough manpower and resources to continue waging an insurgency in both countries. And America’s partners and allies may not have adequate resources to finish off or contain the jihadist menace, as they “struggle” to hold territory liberated from the so-called caliphate’s grip.

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Military and Political Dynamics in the Gulf

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Persian Gulf remains a potential flashpoint as the United States and its allies increase their deployments and Iran strengthens its defense posture.

Iran’s seizure of another Gulf oil tanker in early August demonstrates Tehran’s confidence in its strategic position throughout the region.

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In response to West Bank terror, Netanyahu hints at annexation of Area C

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at the possibility of applying sovereignty to the West Bank settlements on Sunday, hours after the body of terror victim Dvir Sorek was found with stab wounds in Gush Etzion.

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Qatar bank accused of allowing terror financing in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Funds transferred from accounts in the Qatari-state controlled Doha Bank were transferred to extremist groups perpetrating atrocities in Syria, a claim issued at the UK High Court has said.

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U.S. and Turkey Avoid Conflict by Agreeing on Buffer Zone in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The United States and Turkey agreed on Wednesday to create a safe zone in northeastern Syria that would allow Turkey to protect its borders from Syrian-Kurdish forces that it regards as a terrorist threat and provide Syrian refugees in Turkey a safe space to return home.

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Chinese Air Force flies new version of fighter bomber

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force is now flying a new type of warplane that is based on the JH-7 fighter bomber, which Chinese military experts said is likely to have enhanced flight performance and firepower compared to its predecessors.

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Syria slams US-Turkish safe zone deal as ‘blatant aggression’ against its sovereignty

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Damascus has rejected as “blatant aggression” a recent deal between the US and Turkey on the creation of a so-called safe zone in the northern part of Syria, where Washington-sponsored Kurdish militants have been active to Ankara’s dismay.

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Trump Names Counterterrorism Chief as Acting Director of National Intelligence

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

U.S. President Donald Trump has wiped the slate clean at the nation’s lead intelligence agency.

Trump accepted the resignation Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon late Thursday, less than two weeks after announcing the agency’s director, Dan Coats, would also be leaving.

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Al-Qaeda launches deadly attack on army base in southern Yemen

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Officials say at least 19 killed in assault on the camp in Abyan province, a day after dozens die in attacks in Aden.

An al-Qaeda attack on a military camp in war-torn Yemen has killed at least 19 soldiers, security officials said, a day after dozens of people were killed in separate assaults by Houthi rebels and the Islamic State in Aden.

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Al-Qaeda Is as Strong as Ever After Rebuilding Itself, U.S. Says

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Al-Qaeda and its affiliates remain as much of a threat to the U.S. as “it has ever been” after the terrorist group rebuilt itself while the U.S. and other nations focused on destroying Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a State Department official said.

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Hezbollah is the Real Government in Lebanon

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Lebanese government has been disabled for a while due to a concocted crisis, the intentions behind which go much further exploiting the deaths of two young men in the village of Qabr Shmoun, in Mount Lebanon’s Aley District.

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IS Stepping Up Attacks in Iraq’s North

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Islamic State (IS) militants killed four security officials late Wednesday near the northern city of Kirkuk, local officials said.

The attack, which was carried out on a checkpoint manned by local Kurdish security forces, also left at least eight people wounded, local sources said.

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Hezbollah Turning Syria Villages on Israel Border Into Fortresses

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A year ago, Russia promised to keep Iran away from border. We agreed on Iran, not on its proxies, Moscow tells a concerned Israel

Compared to Gaza, the Iranian front – which to Israeli eyes stretches from the Persian Gulf through Iraq and into Syria and Lebanon – is bustling with action. Throughout July, reports attributed two attacks in Iraq to Israel and at least three other attacks in southern Syria, which were directed against the military apparatus Hezbollah is building on the Syrian side of the border on the Golan Heights – and in one case included the killing of a local activist.

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US officials say Islamic State still poses global threat

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The Islamic State remains a global threat despite losing the once vast territory it held in Syria and Iraq, U.S. officials said Thursday in warning about persistent violence from underground cells and an expansion of militants into new areas.

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Yemeni armed forces unveil new generation of domestically-built Borkan missiles

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Yemeni Armed Forces have unveiled a new generation of domestically-built Borkan (Volcano) long-range missiles, which could act as a game changer in the face of the Saudi-led military aggression against the Arab country.

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A Russian-American Missile Treaty Dies. That May Be Bad News For China

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

One of the most important arms control treaties of the Cold War — signed by Washington and Moscow 32 years ago — has all but died. For disarmament advocates, that’s bad news.

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US Leaves INF Treaty, Says Russia ‘Solely Responsible’

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The United States on Friday pulled out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty to develop its own new missiles after the Russians refused to destroy their new missiles NATO says violate the pact.

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UN Security Council continues to report on al Qaeda-Taliban alliance

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Afghanistan, Eurasia

Since July 2018, the UN Security Council has published at least four reports highlighting the ongoing and close relationship between the Taliban and al Qaeda.

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Turkish Security Council Mulls Syrian Operation, Despite Washington’s Warnings

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Turkey’s National Security Council met Tuesday to decide whether to launch a military offensive into Syria against the YPG Kurdish militia.

With Washington backing the YPG and warning against any unilateral action, the two NATO allies could be on a collision course.

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UN: Islamic Jihad Union operates in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Afghanistan-based Uzbek jihadist group Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) is also operating inside Syria, according to a new report released by the United Nations Security Council.

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WASHINGTON AND RIYADH IN LOCKSTEP ON FOREIGN POLICY

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The Trump administration is so firmly aligned with Saudi Arabia, even bipartisan measures in Congress to curtail U.S. arms sales to Riyadh have failed.

The deployment of 500 American troops to Saudi Arabia is intended to demonstrate a united front against the prospect of growing Iranian aggression.

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Bulgaria’s $1.26Bln Deal for 8 US F-16 Jets Comes Into Effect

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The contract for Bulgaria’s $1.26 billion deal to purchase eight new F-16 fighter jets and supporting equipment went into effect on Tuesday following its publication in the Bulgarian State Gazette.

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US Spy Chief Dan Coats to Resign

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced his national intelligence chief, Dan Coats, is resigning after two years on the job and frequent policy clashes with the White House.

Coats tendered his resignation in a letter to Trump dated Sunday.

Trump tweeted Sunday that Coats will step down August 15. He thanked Coats for “his great service to our country.” He said he will nominate Texas Republican Congressman and Trump loyalist John Ratcliffe as his replacement.

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Romania Says It Blocked A Russian Arms Shipment To Serbia

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Romania has announced it has blocked a Russian military shipment to Serbia earlier this month because of international sanctions against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine.

In a statement released on July 26, the Romanian Foreign Ministry said that it could not issue a transit permit for the shipment due to a European Union embargo introduced in 2014. The statement gave no further details.

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Turkey: Russia Completes First Part of Delivery of Missile Defense System

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

The Turkish government says Russia has completed delivery of the first shipment of Moscow’s S-400 missile defense system, which has been a point of contention with the United States. The announcement comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirms his commitment to use the system next year, while reaffirming his commitment to deepening ties with Russia.

“In the coming spring, God willing in April 2020, we will be able to start using this system,” Erdogan said in a televised speech to party officials at the presidential palace.

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Bahraini militias threaten attacks over state executions

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

As Bahrain is set to imminently execute two individuals accused of terrorism, Iranian-backed militant groups on the island have threatened retaliatory actions against the state.

Ali Mohamed al Arab and Ahmed Isa al Malali are expected to be executed by the Bahraini government for allegedly joining a militia group and committing terrorist attacks.

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Iraqi warplanes kill four Islamic State terrorists in Anbar

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Anbar (IraqiNews.com) – Four members of the Islamic State terrorist group were killed Sunday in an air raid on a terrorist hotbed in Anbar province, a tribal militia commander said.

“Iraqi warplanes have targeted a secret tunnel of the Islamic State militant group in al-Madham district, 90 km south of Ain Assad airbase in western Anbar,” Qatari al Obeidi told Alsumaria News TV channel.

“The airstrike left four Islamic State terrorists killed,” Obeidi said, adding that the bombardment destroyed a large cache of IS ammunition and weapons inside the tunnel.

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Iraqi security apprehend six Islamic State militants in Mosul

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Mosul (IraqiNews.com) – Iraqi security forces arrested on Sunday six members of the Islamic State terrorist group in Nineveh province, the Interior Ministry said.

“Based on judicial arrest warrants, six Islamic State terrorists were busted by the 12th emergency troops of the Nineveh Operations Command in Mosul city,” Alsumaria News TV channel quoted the ministry as saying in a press statement.

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Turkey determined to destroy ‘terror corridor’ in Syria despite talks with US to establish a safe zone

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday his country is determined to destroy what he called a “terror corridor” in northern Syria — regardless of whether or not Turkey and the United States agree on the establishment of a so-called “safe zone” there.

U.S. and Turkish officials have been holding talks on creating a safe zone east of the Euphrates River to address Turkey’s security concerns stemming from the presence of Syrian Kurdish fighters in the region. Turkey views the Kurdish fighters — who have battled the Islamic State group alongside U.S. forces — as terrorists, allied with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey.

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With Libyans now ‘fighting the wars of others’ inside their own country, UN envoy urges Security Council action to end violence

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 1, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

29 July 2019 – Fighting in Libya “shows no signs of abating”, the head of the United Nations Support Mission (UNSMIL), told the Security Council on Monday, painting a grim picture of worsening humanitarian conditions, and warning that the instability and influx of foreign weapons is fueling a proxy war in the north African country.

Briefing the Council via video teleconference from the Libyan capital, Ghassan Salamé, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative, said: “The war around Tripoli has already left nearly 1,100 dead, including 106 civilians.”

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