Levant crisis - III

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habal
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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby habal » 30 May 2018 09:17

who thinks this was a 'mistake' by russia or it was an attempt by them to seek a compromise/deal with usa.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 30 May 2018 09:58

Russia cuts its coat according to size of cloth available, not flights of fancy

Pragmatic about swot

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby habal » 30 May 2018 10:37

Israel is/was the wild card here, with its support to isis/nusra and periodic baits to up the ante. It is not bound by anglo-russian compulsion of pragmatism. They are the ones most likely to spark a flare-up in the region and once thinga get out of hand then no party is going to settle for runner up position. And after every syrian victory it is israel hand in glove with rebels that fake a gas attack on civilians and use it as a pretext to lob a few missiles into syria or attempt to destroy the AD system so that their boys on ground can run around unchecked.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby habal » 30 May 2018 14:32

Nothing to hide ? Israel seeks to criminalize filming IDF soldiers on duty.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Philip » 30 May 2018 17:59

The Ottomans threaten the Yanquis! Something for us to learn from.

Xcpts:
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/2018 ... -f35-jets/

U. S. Air Force airmen walk toward fighter jets after Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey (File)Turkey Threatens to Deny US Access to Incirlik Base Amid F-35 Deal Tensions © AP Photo /
MIDDLE EAST
10:45 30.05.2018
ANKARA (Sputnik) - If the United States does not supply F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Turkish Air Force, Ankara will satisfy its need for such warplanes "somewhere else," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

Turkey may close Incirlik air base for the US, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

"As regards the F-35 jets, I have no concerns, this contract is legally binding, it cannot be easily terminated. But if these jets are not supplied to Turkey, we will satisfy our needs somewhere else," Cavusoglu said, as quoted by the NTV broadcaster.

"There are no reasons why the US will not supply F-35s to us. We do not want to spoil relations with our US ally. The F-35 aircraft should be delivered to Turkey as planned. But in case of problems, Turkey will not be left without an alternative. It may buy [aircraft] both from Russia and from a NATO country. There is an agreement on F-35s, and if one side withdraws from it, the necessary steps will be taken," the minister added.
Israel Wants US to Keep F-35 'Upgrade Capabilities' Secret From Turkey – Reports
Secretary of the US Air Force Heather Wilson has said earlier that Washington is hopeful it can resolve some operational problems over Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system before sending F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Turkish Air Force.
On Sunday, the Yeni Safak media outlet reported Turkey could purchase Russian fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets if the United States blocks deliveries of F-35 planes because of Ankara's decision to buy Russian S-400 air defense systems.

Earlier in April, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell said Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia could negatively affect the delivery of the F-35 jets to Ankara. In addition, a group of senators comprising both Republicans and Democrats wants to block the supply of F-35s to Ankara due to the arrest of US Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being tried on charges of aiding terrorist groups.

READ MORE: Turkey Cannot Confirm Plans to Purchase Su-57 Jets Instead of F-35 — Source

In December 2017, Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement to supply S-400 air defense systems to Ankara. According to a statement by the Turkish defense industry secretariat, two S-400 batteries will be operated and serviced by the Turkish military.


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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby uddu » 30 May 2018 19:38

Turkey cannot be compared to India
It take the Kurds to proclaim independence and half of Turkey is gone. The U.S can make it happen.
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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 30 May 2018 20:23

Within Syria
@WithinSyriaBlog
23h23 hours ago
More
Syrian Arab Army begin deploying large units in al-Qunitira, which also confirm that a Russian-Israel agreement was reached, Iran to withdraw from southern Syria
Within Syria

Al-Mayadeen quoted "Israeli media" as saying that Lieberman will soon visit Russia to finalize the agreement, under which Iran and Hezbollah will withdraw from southern Syria.
Within Syria

If these reports are correct, than we will soon witness a large attack of the SAA against all the positions of the FSA in southern Syria, no expectations. FSA will be shipped to Idlib as usual

Many reports suggested that Iran, Hezbollah and Iranian backed forces will withdraw 60km away from Israel's border and 25km away from Jordan border. Russia arranged the deal and will monitor it.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 30 May 2018 20:23

the israels border here is the golan heights occupied area mostly.

so russia has cleverly inserted itself into the israel-iran fight like a clever monkey who offers to umpire :D

from the lebanon-golan border to the euphrates they have emerged as the ultimate guarantor of territorial integrity of the Assad-syria

daraa region and Idlib are the two green sores left to drain out....they are working with turks in astana on how to split Idlib between the govt and turkish front areas .... I am not sure how viable the green idlib will be - perhaps it will be a defacto protectorate of turkey and home to displaced militants and terrorists of all stripes except isis. NATO has setup a similar "reservation" along the iraqi border for the 1000s of isis who were allowed to depart raqqa with families and weapons.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby UlanBatori » 31 May 2018 20:09

habal wrote:“Iran & Israel In Unprecedented Indirect Talks Over Syria – closest longtime ME enemies have come to diplomatic dealings over crisis in Syria. Iran reportedly pledged stay out of fighting in SW Syria between Syrian forces & rebel groups – Israel said will not intervene in battles near Israeli-occupied Golan Heights or Israel-Jordan border as Hezbollah & Iranian-backed militias are not involved.”
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05- ... ria-report
https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conf ... ing-558519


UBCN feels it is highly immature to say V TOLD U SO but it is also highly enjoyable. :mrgreen:
Came much sooner than we projected. DT-Putin magic at work.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 31 May 2018 22:33

Ducks are being lined up to thrash the daraa mitants, grown fat on loot and bus them out

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Y. Kanan » 01 Jun 2018 07:06

UlanBatori wrote:
habal wrote:UBCN feels it is highly immature to say V TOLD U SO but it is also highly enjoyable. :mrgreen:
Came much sooner than we projected. DT-Putin magic at work.


I gotta give it to the Russians... they are very clever at diplomacy. They have used a combination of shrewd diplomacy & limited military force to punch WAY above their weight in the ME. How a country with very little real military power and an economy smaller than Italy has managed to insert itself as a key player in a Middle East utterly dominated by the US... and in just a few years. Really just an amazing study in strategy, bluffing and psychology.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 01 Jun 2018 18:47

al masdar news

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:45 A.M.) – For the third time in two weeks, the Iraqi Armed Forces have struck the Islamic State’s (ISIS) positions inside of Syria.

According to the official media wing of the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd Al-Sha’abi), their forces scored direct hits on an Islamic State gathering inside the Syrian town of Al-Dashayshah, which borders Iraq’s Al-Anbar Governorate.

The PMU statement added that the terrorists were attempting to take advantage of the poor weather to cross over into Iraqi territor

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 01 Jun 2018 18:47

talks between russia, usa and jordan over the fate of daraa will be held in amman next week

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby UlanBatori » 03 Jun 2018 08:19

Would have been interesting 2 b fly-on-wall, anticipating all the Pu being shed by the Jordanians listening to Gen. Vodkov. Surely Jordan is looking forward to receiving those green buses full of ISIS into Amman.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 03 Jun 2018 12:54

persian militias are already moving east to deir azzor to fight the remnants of isis in the desert and secure the land supply route.

southfront.org

Iranian forces and Lebanese Hezbollah are preparing to withdraw from the southern Syrian governorates of al-Quneitra and Daraa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on May 30.

The SOHR added that Russia, Jordan and the US are now negotiating a deal that could prevent a military confrontation in southern Syria. The deal will force the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and radical groups to hand over their medium and heavy weapons to the SAA and to withdraw from the Syrian-Jordanian border and the contact line with Israel.

Earlier today, Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in Moscow to discuss Iranian military presence in Syria. Israeli media suggested that the two sides discussed an agreement, under which Iranian forces and Hezbollah will be forced to withdraw more than 60km away from the Golan Heights.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on May 30 that all non-Syrian forces must withdraw from the de-escalation zone in southern Syria, Which confirms that such a deal is in the making.

Officials from Jordan, Russia and the US are expected to hold a meeting in Amman soon to discuss the future of southern Syria. Local observers believe that this meeting may also push the political process in the war torn country.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Austin » 03 Jun 2018 14:12

Syria Has Given the Russian Army a Rare Chance to Hone and Modernize Its Weapons


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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Philip » 05 Jun 2018 08:08

Amnesty Intl: Raqqa. The US, UK and coalition bombing and arty. strikes the worst ever destruction of any city since the Vietnam War.It is almost completely destroyed and the death toll of civilians is in the tens of thousands, numbers still unknown because the bodies are buried in the rubble.The few survivors who bore witness to the hellish and indiscriminate destruction of Raqqa say that, " those who stayed died, those who tried to flee died ."

AI disputes US statements that they targeted only ISIS fighters after their investigations.This was the worst war crime of the 21st century to date.The white racist scumbags responsible for the apocalyptic carnage meanwhile sit in their luxurious surroundings and pontificate to te rest of the world of the virtues of their actions while condemning those against their madness.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2018 12:01

and at the end of it all, 1000s of ISIS fighters with weapons were allowed to vacate the city and head south in complete safety.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt ... rty_secret

the US has built a dozen bases in eastern syria to "fight isis" :lol:

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Austin » 05 Jun 2018 17:58

Russia in RSA

‏Verified account @EmbassyofRussia
3h3 hours ago

#BRICS Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their commitment for a political resolution of the conflict in #Syria, through an inclusive "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" political process which safeguards the state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria

Image

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2018 22:14

unable to militarily browbeat iraq, the sultan has now closed a massive "illisu dam" and the tigris water levels are at record low.

he has also periodically dammed the euphrates headwaters to pressure the syrians.

as the upper state to both rivers, he is sitting pretty with hand on the tap.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Shanmukh » 06 Jun 2018 00:20

Singha wrote:unable to militarily browbeat iraq, the sultan has now closed a massive "illisu dam" and the tigris water levels are at record low.

he has also periodically dammed the euphrates headwaters to pressure the syrians.

as the upper state to both rivers, he is sitting pretty with hand on the tap.


Is there no water sharing treaty between Turkey & the lower riparian states? What are the chances of a bunch of Kurdish rebels `opening the dam', at least semi-permanently?

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 09 Jun 2018 09:19

joshua landis on twitter
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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 09 Jun 2018 20:00

al masdar news ... taking advantage that SAA thinned its ranks to support wiping out the desert pocket of ISIS.

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is in full control of Albukamal after the Islamic State (ISIS) managed to break into the border-city on Friday.

According to a military source, the Islamic State crossed the Euphrates River on Friday in order to launch a new attack on the Syrian Arab Army’s positions.

Using a plethora of suicide bombers, the Islamic State was able to fracture the Syrian Army’s defenses and briefly occupy a part of this strategic border-city near Iraq’s Al-Anbar Governorate.

Once the Islamic State’s attack was forestalled, the Syrian Army began a cleansing operation around Albukamal in a bid to drive out the Islamic State.

The Syrian Army drove out the Islamic State quickly, but it took them some time to secure the area around the Euphrates River.

Friday’s attack by the Islamic State marked the second time this week that the terrorist group has made an attempt to enter Albukamal

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 09 Jun 2018 20:02


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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 09 Jun 2018 20:04

its the grey pocket - that region and upper half of jordan adjacent to it is arid wasteland a kind of steppe the syrians called "badia" - maybe marginally livable for herding but very thin on population.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 10 Jun 2018 13:09

it seems the ISIS pocket is the small grey overlaid on red in SW corner of the map, overlapping the dotted line....it is Sweida province not the main isis dens in east

https://syria.liveuamap.com/en/2018/9-j ... vs-isis-in

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 10 Jun 2018 13:11

SAA and allies lost atleast 26 people in beating back this weeks SBVIED led attacks on Al bukamal town

https://syria.liveuamap.com/en/2018/9-j ... yesterdays

desert ISIS are pressing on Al mayadin to cut the road to DEZ from Al bukamal.

sooner or later that large grey pocket has to be cleaned up and policed....serprents always creep back into a vacuum.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Austin » 11 Jun 2018 20:43

US Special Forces helping FSA plot chemical attack to trigger strikes on Syria forces – Russian MoD

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it has credible intelligence that US Special Forces are helping Syrian rebels orchestrate a “chemical attack provocation” using chlorine to provoke Western airstrikes on Syrian's government forces.

“Our intelligence confirmed by three independent Syrian sources says that commanders of the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’, backed by the American Special Forces operators, are preparing a serious provocation involving chemical warfare agents in Deir ez-Zor province,” reads a statement released by Russian Defense Ministry.

The military alleged the FSA militants are likely to employ chlorine to orchestrate the chemical incident. “To imitate yet another ‘chemical attack by the regime against peaceful civilians’, the rebels brought canisters filled with chlorine,” it said.

The set-up could then be distributed in Western media and serve as a pretext for renewed coalition airstrikes against Syrian government’s targets. The planned “provocation,” the Russian military said, is also to justify an FSA offensive against Syrian troops on eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby A_Gupta » 12 Jun 2018 03:12

The new contours of the Middle East:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018 ... orld-order

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Austin » 12 Jun 2018 11:18

All remaining ISIS resistance zones in Syria are in US-controlled areas – Russian MoD
“All the remaining pockets of resistance of ISIS terrorists in Syria are only in areas controlled by the United States,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a defense ministry spokesman, said on Saturday.

Earlier, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a bold statement that pulling out of the Arab Republic “must avoid leaving a vacuum in Syria that can be exploited by the Assad regime or its supporters,” in apparent reference to Iran and Russia.

Russia has been fighting terrorists in the country on the invitation of the Syrian government, while the US presence there has been deemed aggressive by Damascus.

Konashenkov pulled no punches on the US military official, reminding him that the Washington-led invasion in Iraq under a false pretext in fact led to the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and eventually its expansion into war-ravaged Syria.

“Further expansion of ISIS in Syria became possible due to criminal inaction of the US and the so-called ‘international coalition,’ which resulted in quickly gaining control by ISIS militants over the main oil-bearing areas of Eastern Syria and constant flow of funds from the illegal sale of oil products,” Konashenkov said.

Washington supplied arms worth hundreds of millions to the “fictitious” Syrian opposition, while the vast majority of it ended up in hands of Al-Qaeda offshoot Al-Nusra Front, and Islamic State, he claimed. That, in Konashenkov’s view, shows that the terrorists groups’ goals in Syria coincide with Washington’s policies.

Meanwhile, not a cent from the US budget has come to facilitate the recovery of the former conflict zones now controlled by the Syrian government.

“In the Syrian provinces controlled by the legitimate authorities of the [Syrian Arab] Republic, peaceful life is now actively restored, settlements are being demined; enterprises, markets, schools and kindergartens are working. Humanitarian aid and food is arriving there, from which there is not even a piece of packaging, paid from the budget of the United States.”

Earlier, mass loss of civilian life in Islamic State-held Raqqa, inflicted by the US-led coalition, was slammed by Amnesty International. Its damning report, published earlier this week, said that residents were trapped as fighting raged in the streets between Islamic State militants and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who were supported by coalition airstrikes.


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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Austin » 16 Jun 2018 19:32

US Preparing Chemical False Flag Attack at al-Tanf – Damascus Source

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/2018 ... p-reports/
Syrian Human Rights Network head Ahmad Kazem has told Sputnik that US intelligence was preparing a provocation involving chemical weapons near al-Tanf, Syria, and that its purpose will be to drive a wedge between Damascus and Syria's Kurds.

"Right now [at At Tanf] preparations are being made by US special services in coordination with Daesh (ISIS)* in the region to stage a provocation identical to the kind that took place in Douma," Kazem said. "Kurds, including women and children, are being prepared for the false flag operation," he added.


Kazem thinks there is an 'extremely strong' probability for the provocation to be carried out. "It is being prepared with the goal of causing a collision between the Kurds and the Syrian army," he said.

On Monday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the ministry has received information from numerous sources that Free Syrian Army militants and US special operations forces were preparing a false flag attack involving the use of poisonous substances in the eastern Syrian region of Deir ez-Zor.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Austin » 16 Jun 2018 19:56

Read the interview in full , throw up a lot on the thought process by Syria

President Assad: Damascus to Agree with Iranian Military Bases in Syria If Asked by Tehran


http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970324000456

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad underlined that his country would agree with setting up Iranian military bases in Syria if Tehran ever extends such a demand.

"There’s nothing to prevent establishment of such bases as long as Iran is an ally as is Russia," President Assad said in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Alam news channel on Wednesday.

Asked if he would agree to the establishment of such bases, he said even his country might raise such a demand from Tehran. "We could ask for the existence of such forces to support us. Iran has never asked and does not have an interest except in fighting terrorism. But the evolution of the war made it necessary to develop the nature of this presence."

"This happened as far as the Russians are concerned. In the beginning, Russian support, like Iranian support, was different from what it is today. The support for terrorism has developed internationally and globally when the Syrian Army confronted those terrorists, and with that Russian and Iranian military presence developed. At a certain stage, we found – with the Russians of course – that the existence of air bases was necessary to provide air support to the Syrian Army. And now, if we find, in cooperation, coordination, or dialogue with the Iranians, that there is a need for Iranian military bases, we will not hesitate. But now, Iranian support in its present form is good and effective," he added.

Asked by al-Alam about the recent events in Southern Syria, President Assad said, "To put it simply, after the liberation of al-Ghouta, it was suggested that we should move south. We were faced with two options, as is the case in all other areas in Syria: reconciliation or liberation by force. At this point, the Russians suggested the possibility of giving reconciliation an opportunity, similar to what happened in other areas, in order to restore the situation that prevailed before 2011. In other words, for the Syrian Army to be deployed in that area, which is an area of confrontation with the Zionist enemy. And of course the terrorists should leave the area. This proposition suits us. Up till now, there are no concrete results for a simple reason which is Israeli and American interference; for they put pressure on the terrorists in that area in order to prevent reaching any compromise or peaceful resolution. That is how the situation stands now."

Asked if the Syrian government has decided to move towards a military operation or towards reconciliation in Southern Syria, he said, "No, contacts are still ongoing between the Russians, the Americans, and the Israelis, while nobody is communicating with the terrorists, because they are mere tools, and they implement what their masters decide ultimately. This is what happened, i.e. there was an opportunity to reach reconciliation, but the American and Israeli interference prevented that possibility."

"For the Americans, there is a general principle they follow in dealing with any problem in the world. The only price they ask for is absolute hegemony, regardless of the issue and the place. Of course, we shall never provide that price; otherwise we wouldn’t have fought this war for years. We have been fighting for the independence of Syrian decision-making, for the Syrian homeland, and for the unity of Syrian territory. As for Iran in particular, let me be very clear: the Syrian-Iranian relationship is a strategic one not subject to a deal in the south or in the north. This relationship, in terms of its implications and results on the ground, is linked to the present and future of the region. Consequently, it is not subject to the price tags of the international bazaar. Neither Syria nor Iran has floated this relationship on the international political bazaar for it to be subject to haggling. The proposition was made by the Israelis with the objective of provoking and embarrassing Iran. At the same time, this comes in line with the international propaganda campaign launched against Iran regarding the nuclear file. It is not a separate issue; for everything happening now is linked to Iran in order to create an international position against it. As for us in Syria, the decision concerning our land is an exclusively Syrian decision. We are fighting the same battle, and when we have a decision concerning Iran, we will talk about it with the Iranians and not with any other party," Assad said.

In response to the question that "there is the Military Operations Command (MOC) which hasn’t stopped its operations since the beginning of the war on Syria about eight years ago. It is working and is still active, and is directly linked to the Israelis. But we have noticed recently that it has been reactivated, and there are more communications. Mr. President, does this mean that the Syrian state is practically moving towards a military decisive action in the south regardless of the consequences, whether things reach a stalemate or not? Is a decisive action in the cards for the Syrian leadership,", he said, "No, MOC has nothing to do with this decision. MOC has been linked to the presence and the role of the terrorists since the beginning of the war on Syria. That’s why it existed: in order to lead them militarily. Consequently, the continued existence of this operations room means the continuation of the role given to these terrorists, i.e. they are equipped and prepared to carry out more terrorist acts. MOC is linked to the terrorists and not to the role of the Syrian state. Our role has nothing to do with it. Our decision has been clear from the beginning: we will liberate all Syrian lands. As to when to move south, north, east, or west, this is a purely military issue. But regardless of MOC, we have moved towards the south and we are giving the political process a chance. If that doesn’t succeed, we have no other option but to liberate it by force."

Asked how Syria wants to deal with the confrontation in the south as there are the Americans, the Russians, the Iranians, the Israelis, and Hezbollah, Assad said, "You are talking about two axes: one supporting terrorism, and represented by the US, Israel, and some flunkies in the region including some Arab and non-Arab states, and an anti-terrorist axis. The first axis supports terrorism and seeks hegemony, while the second axis seeks independence. So, there can be only one result for this confrontation, i.e. the victory of one of these axes. At least, as far as the anti-terrorist axis is concerned, it will not give up the process of cleaning Syria and the region of terrorism and will not give up on the unity of Syrian territory."

"As to the other axis, will it change as a result of the reality on the ground? Let’s wait and see. But in terms of substance and convictions, it will not change, while in terms of the political practices dictated by reality and the facts on the ground, it might," he added.

Asked if the Americans will leave al-Tanf, Assad said, "The Americans say they are ready, but everyone knows that the Americans are historically professional liars in politics. So why should we believe them? Also, we have to wait and see."

Asked about the events in Jordan, he said, "In fact, the only information we have is what we hear in the media. In any case, we wish Jordan stability, not chaos, because the latter will have a negative impact on us."

Asked why Israel would agree now to the return of the Syrian Army to the borders and to the occupied Golan, Assad said, "Certainly, neither conviction, morality, nor international law means anything to the Israelis. Since the beginning of the war, particularly when it started to have a clear military nature on the southern front in particular, the Israelis used to shell Syrian forces continuously, and consequently provide direct support to the terrorists. Israeli artillery and aircraft are the terrorists’ artillery and aircraft. That applies to Jabhat al-Nusra of course. Nothing is going to change this Israeli approach. As far as we are concerned, Israel’s approval had no role at all. Despite Israeli support to the terrorists, we have been doing our job, and the Syrian Army is fighting its way towards the southern front, and has liberated a number of areas within the limits of its capabilities. So, with or without its approval, the decision is a Syrian one, and this is a national duty we shall carry out."

Asked if a return of the Syrian Army is better than having resistance in the Golan, for instance, he said, "I think the two options are bad for the Israelis. Both of them are bad. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has repeatedly talked about Syria’s relationship with the resistance and a Syrian role in the resistance. So, how would the Israelis choose between two bad things for them?"

Asked by al-Alam that how the Syrian government would deal with the terrorists coaxed by Israel in the future, Assad said, "This is true; we cannot put everyone in the same basket. There are different reasons for moving in this wrong direction; and these people have wronged the homeland and every Syrian citizen. Ultimately, they are the children of this homeland, and we all bear responsibility for this problem, not only those who have done wrong. When crime, for instance, becomes widespread in a certain country, the whole society bears responsibility for this crime, not only the security agencies or the criminals themselves. The first thing that should be done is to accommodate these people. Second, we need to address the root causes which led to this case of weak patriotism. The causes here are many and complicated, and the scope of this interview doesn’t allow for all of them to be mentioned."

Asked about Israel's threats of more attacks against Syria, he said, "Basically, we haven’t stopped responding. First of all, we haven’t stopped fighting terrorists, and at the same time we haven’t stopped responding to Israeli aggression within the capabilities available to us, militarily and technically. Moreover, the more these capabilities improve; the response will be better and higher. But in fact the strongest response to Israel now is to strike the Israeli army existing in Syria which consists practically of the terrorists."

"What is the link between air defense systems and the terrorists acting as infantry on the ground? This was an Israeli order. It was an Israeli-American order because it is the same thing. So, they are Israel’s army inside Syria; and the first strike against Israel, politically, militarily, and in every other area, is to strike Israel’s terrorists inside Syria, whether they belong to ISIS, al-Nusra, or the other groups linked to the Israeli plan and strategy," he added.

Asjed if Israel escalates, are you prepared to respond more forcefully, Assad said, "This is what’s happening. It is escalating, and we are responding. Ultimately, we are fighting the war within the capabilities available to us, and we are doing our best within these capabilities. A response does not need a political decision. I stress that responding or not responding is not a political decision. It is a national decision, and it was taken from day one. But implementing this decision depends on what we can do militarily and not politically."

Asked about the Russian hesitation to supply Syria with S-300 missile defense system, he said, "You know that military action and military considerations are part of political considerations. Consequently, a statement, even if it is of a military nature, carries at the same time political messages. So, why did the Russians say that they want to send or not send? This is a statement that the Russians should be asked about because it might be part of their political tactics. As to the military aspect of the statement, which concerns Syria, it’s not our custom to talk about the weapon which will be delivered or not delivered. The evidence was that the weapons used in response to the last two aggressions, the tripartite aggression and after that the Israeli aggression, were not announced by Syria. We traditionally do not announce cases of a technical military nature."

"Even if the S300 missiles will be provided or not provided, we will not say that they were delivered to Syria. A weapon is used when it must be used."

Asked if there is a possibility that Syria has developed certain weapons, Assad said, "This remains a possibility. In any case, the result is the same: weapons shouldn’t be talked about until they are used. Weapons announce themselves only when they are used."

Asked about the nature of Iran, Russia and Syria alliance, he siad, "If we talk first about the Syrian-Iranian part, for 40 years, and in the different conditions that the Middle East region has gone through, this alliance remained solid. So, there is no reason to say that it is temporary or otherwise. The new element in the war on Syria is the Russian element, and that’s why this tripartite alliance came into existence. Our relationship with Russia is now about seven decades old. Despite the fluctuations and the fall of the Soviet Union, the rule of President Yeltsin, and the deterioration of these relations to a large degree for us, it has never reached the stage of reversing this relationship with Syria. Russia continued to deal with Syria as a friendly state, and we have imported everything from Russia, including weapons, during the different stages of the sanctions imposed on Syria. It is not in the nature of the Russians to build temporary or self-serving alliances or to sell out on relations in order to get deals done. The relationship is definitely a strategic one, but the political statements allowed for these speculations."

"These statements also aim at sending messages in different directions. Maybe, sometimes the language or the choice of particular terminology might not be helpful and might take the statement in a different direction at odds with the content of the statement. This happens from time to time. However, these statements shouldn’t be taken out of context: the Russian view of the relationship with Iran is a strategic one. As for Syria, the Russians do not interfere in Syrian affairs. If they have a certain opinion, they raise it with us and say that in the end, the decision is that of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian people. This is a constant principle for Russia. Therefore, the alliance is a strategic one, and if there are differences, such differences happen within the Syrian state, and you see differences within the Iranian state and within the Russian state. It is natural for us to differ on daily tactical details, for why conduct a dialogue if we agree on everything? We meet extensively in order to reach agreement."

Asked if this tripartite alliance is being consolidated, he said, "Of course. This is dictated by reality, interest, and international changes that make it necessary for this alliance to be consolidated. As long as the other axis supports terrorism, and as long as we, together with Iran and Russia, feel the danger of terrorism, not only in Syria, but also on all these countries and on the whole world, and as long as Syria, Iran, and Russia realize the importance of abiding by international law, these facts make the existence of this alliance necessary."

Asked about remarks that Syria will get a price if the Iranians leave Syrian territories, Assad siad, "As I said in the beginning, as long as this relationship is not floated in the bazaar, they cannot offer a price, and the answer will be clear. That’s why they don’t dare suggest this price. This issue was raised by different countries, including Saudi Arabia for instance, at the beginning of the war, and not only at the beginning, but at different stages. The proposition was that if Syria cut its relationship with Iran, the situation in Syria will be normal. This principle is basically rejected by us."

"The relationship with Iran was the basis for every proposition; and Saudi Arabia’s position on this subject is public. I’m not revealing a secret."

Asked about the nature of Iranian presence in Syria, he said, "The term adviser is sometimes used in a broad manner, i.e. these advisers have been with us, through the longstanding relationship with Iran, even before the war, because the military relationship is close. When a military formation moves to a fighting position, the adviser becomes a fighter. So, the word can be used in different senses. There are certainly Iranian advisers in Syria, and there are groups of Iranian volunteers who came to Syria, and they are led by Iranian officers. Iran has fought with and defended the Syrian people. It offered blood. That’s why when we say “advisers” this is a generic term, but this doesn’t mean that we are ashamed of any Iranian presence, even if it is official. But we use the word “advisers” because there are no regular Iranian fighting units in Syria."

"Exactly. There are no battalions, or brigades, or divisions. First, we can’t hide them, and then why should we be ashamed of that? When we invited the Russians legally to come to Syria, we were not ashamed of that. And if there were an Iranian formation, we would announce it, because such relations need agreements between the two states endorsed by parliaments. Such relations cannot be concealed."

Aked if Syria invited Iranian advisers to come, he said, "Of course, from the beginning we invited the Iranians, and then we invited the Russians. We needed the support of these countries, and they answered the call."

Asked if there are no Iranian bases in Syria, Assad said, "That’s correct."

Asked about the reason for lack of Iranian bases, he said, "There’s nothing that prevents the existence of such bases as long as Iran is an ally as is Russia."

Asked if Iran requested the existence of such bases, Syria would agree, he said, "If we ask. We will ask them to agree. I mean that we could ask for the existence of such forces to support us. Iran has never asked and does not have an interest except in fighting terrorism. But the evolution of the war made it necessary to develop the nature of this presence."

"This happened as far as the Russians are concerned. In the beginning, Russian support, like Iranian support, was different from what it is today. The support for terrorism has developed internationally and globally when the Syrian Army confronted those terrorists, and with that Russian and Iranian military presence developed. At a certain stage, we found – with the Russians of course – that the existence of air bases was necessary to provide air support to the Syrian Army. And now, if we find, in cooperation, coordination, or dialogue with the Iranians, that there is a need for Iranian military bases, we will not hesitate. But now, Iranian support in its present form is good and effective."

Asked why he has not visited Iran so far, although he visited Russia more than once, Assad said, "That’s correct. In fact, there was a scheduled visit to Iran a few months ago, and it was postponed and not cancelled. It was postponed because of an emergency in Syria related to the development of battles. There is certainly no reason which prevents such a visit, and I’ll visit Iran hopefully soon on the earliest opportunity. This is natural, but the issue is logistic, no more, no less."

Asked about the US move to relocate embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he said, "The Palestine context, since 1948 up till now, has been a complicated one, because the regional context is complicated. Of course, it is complicated because the colonial West, which is particularly supportive of Israel, has always created elements which aim at one single thing. First, to drive to desperation the Arab citizen who is historically attached to the cause of Palestine and who has always considered it a pan-Arab cause that touched him even on the national level."

"The other objective has been to distract the Arab peoples together with states or societies in general to marginal causes so that they do not have time to think about Israel. And they have succeeded to a great extent, most recently through the so-called Arab spring which has aimed at destroying the political, military, and psychological infrastructure of Arab societies."

"Nevertheless, recent development have proven that the Arab people is still conscientiously attached to the cause of Palestine. As for Syria – since it has been part of these plots to undermine the Arab condition in general – first, for Syria to support the cause of Palestine, it should first of all destroy the Israeli army in Syria. Restoring stability in Syria, striking terrorism, and foiling the Israeli plot in Syria is certainly part of supporting the cause of Palestine. The support might be indirect with direct consequences, but these direct consequences are linked to the internal Palestinian condition. We shouldn’t forget that the Palestinians are divided between groups which resist Israel and are genuinely linked to the cause of Palestine, and other groups which are against the resistance and support surrenderist and defeatist peace, while there are other groups which use resistance as a title in order to achieve their political objectives under the slogan of religion. This is of course the Muslim Brotherhood’s approach."

Asked if he is prepared to offer whatever the resistance asks of him, whether in the form of political, military, or any other form of support, he said, "Politically, we haven’t changed. The Palestinian question for us is still as it was ten years ago and decades ago. It hasn’t changed. As to what we can offer, this has to do with two things: first, Syria’s current capabilities; and there’s no doubt that the priority is given now to cleaning Syria of terrorism. Second, it has to do with the Palestinian condition and the parties with which we can deal within the Palestinian arena."

Asked about his view about to resistance fighters in Lebanon and families of martyrs and the wounded, he said, "When all these groups of resistance get together to defend Syrian soil and Syrian citizens, including the Lebanese resistance and the brothers who came from Iraq some of whom reproached me for not mentioning them by name, I take this opportunity to stress that there are brothers from Iraq to whom we give the same weight of any resistance fighter who came from any other country."

"There are also the families of resistance fighters who came from Iran and sacrificed their blood in Syria. We should put all these in the same basket next to the Syrian martyrs, fighters, and their families. To those I say that all the letters, the words, the sentences, and the whole of literature are much less than a single drop of blood. Therefore, words are of a much lesser value than what they have offered. What’s more important is what history will write about them."

"In fact, when we talk about writing history, we need to highlight that history needs a strategy and needs tactics, but the fact remains that strategy without implementation on the ground has no value. It remains mere thought which we might include in books and essays. But the reality is that these individuals in these countries, this group of resistance fighters, not politics, write history. I would like to use the answer to this question to express to them all my love, respect, and appreciation, and my reverence to the fighters, the wounded, and martyrs, and to all their families who are courage incarnated and who sent these individuals to Syria to defend it and fight terrorism, so that these families become models of morality and principles for present and future generations."

Asked if Syria has called for Hezbollah's withdrawal, he said, "The battle is long and ongoing. When we talk about this tripartite alliance – and if we consider it a quadruple alliance when we add Hezbollah, we talk about the tripartite alliance in terms of the states included, but in the end Hezbollah is a basic element in this war – the battle is long, and the need for these military forces will continue for a long time. When there is a need, and when Hezbollah, Iran, or others believe that terrorism has been eliminated, they will tell us that they want to go home. As Seyed Hassan said, they have families and daily interests, which is normal, but it is still early to talk about this subject."

Al-Alam journalist's question that "there are still areas under the control of terrorism and areas under occupation. At the same time, regretfully, some Arab countries, and here I am talking particularly about Saudi Arabia, announced that it is ready to send forcers to Syria. On the other hand, a few days ago popular tribal units were formed to resist occupation. Are these really popular resistance units? Do they receive support from the Syrian government? Does this mean that the army cannot liberate those areas, and that’s why it is asking for the help of the tribes? What is the nature of this issue?", was answered by Assad that "there are different forms of this resistance which appeared a few years ago. In the beginning they were fighting ISIS before they started to fight the occupiers. They were against ISIS in the central and eastern regions, and there were cases where they appeared in other regions which were not given media coverage and about which we hear sometimes through information and indications".

"Now, this situation has started to expand. So, it’s not one single case. There are a number of cases which might be individual sometimes, or in the form of small groups not affiliated to an organization. In any case, our position as a state has been from the beginning to support any act of resistance, whether against terrorists or against occupying forces, regardless of their nationality, i.e. American, French, Turkish, or Israeli. We support these resistance forces based on our national role as a government."

Asked about Saudi Arabia and sending Saudi forces to Syria, he said, "First, when we talk about a state, we should assume that such a state can take decisions independently. That’s why we will not talk about the role of Saudi Arabia. You better ask me about the American decision on this issue."

Asked if Syria will cooperate with the countries which have collaborated in destruction of the country during the war, Assad said, "Reconstruction in Syria is not a cause for concern for us. It needs two factors: first, the human factor which is more important than the financial factor. When a country like Syria possesses the human factor, the financial cost will be less when it comes to reconstruction. This is self-evident, and we possess all these factors despite the fact that many competent and qualified Syrians have immigrated because of the war."

"But we still have the capability to start reconstruction. And the evidence is clear now, for the state is moving forward and reconstruction has begun. As to money, the Syrian people have financial capabilities, capital, most of which is not in Syria, but outside Syria. But there is capital waiting for reconstruction to begin, so it will begin investing. On the other hand, there are the friendly countries which have capabilities and have the desire; and we have the desire to have them participate in reconstruction, so that they benefit and we Syrians benefit from this process. In the end, we do not need those countries and we will never allow them to be part of reconstruction."

"Financial resources are not everything. As I said, this is available. There are different sources in the world and in Syria for capital."

Asked if he wanted to talk about two cases, the most difficult case or incident that he has encountered during these years, Assad said, "It is natural, at the heart of the military battle, for the best and worst cases to be linked to the development of the military battle. If I say that the worst cases were when terrorists used to control a certain area, this is self-evident, but it is related more to specific battles, particularly when the area is strategic or the city is big with a large population. Consequently, the impact will be much greater psychologically and in terms of morale."

"But there was an ongoing situation which we are still living and we must think about: when a martyr or a group of martyrs fall, and this is ongoing on a weekly basis for us, we must think that a family lost a dear one who cannot be compensated. He might be compensated by achieving victory at a certain stage, but on the family, psychological and human level, you cannot compensate a dear one lost to a certain family, or maybe a friend. This is a very painful situation which we have lived and continue to live. This will not stop until the war itself stops. But there were painful cases at the beginning of the war, when you see this huge lack of patriotism. They were perhaps a minority, but a large minority, of individuals who were prepared to sell the homeland and trade it together with their principles, if they had ones, in return for money or a certain interest, in addition to a certain percentage of extremism."

"On the other hand, there were victories, particularly when victories started in the city of al-Qsair in 2013, and culminated in the city of Aleppo in 2016, that was the beginning of the major victories. That was followed by Deir Ezzor, and today we are living the joy of liberating Damascus and its countryside. This is a situation we have all lived through, and you were with us, and I am sure you feel the same joy."

Asked if he has felt tired at a certain moment and during war, he said, "This question might be raised in a personal manner. When I am faced with a personal situation as an individual, I might feel despair after a few months. I might feel tired or bored or I might want to move to a different situation, or give up. That is possible."

"Of course, as an individual, but the case you are proposing is not personal, it is national. Imagine yourself in a different condition, perhaps building something on your own. You feel tired, but when you see a large number of people helping you build it and share the same determination, you forget the tiredness."

"Now we are in a national situation. We are talking about millions of Syrians. When you see a shell striking and victims falling anywhere in Syria, you feel frustrated. But when you see life being restored to the same area after one hour, your psychological condition changes. When you see that the electricity worker, the oil worker, the teacher, the employee, are moving side by side with fighters, moving without despair and without tiredness, how can you feel tired? This is a collective condition not related to me as a person. It has to do with our human condition when we are together as a society. How do we live? This defines whether you are tired or not. Would the Syrian society have arrived at this stage of despair and surrender, I would certainly have been with it. I would have surrendered because I do not have the necessary elements for steadfastness. This is self-evident."

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 18 Jun 2018 06:25

Peto Lucem Retweeted
Brasco_Aad
Brasco_Aad
@Brasco_Aad
·
Jun 16
FRENCH NEWSPAPER LE FIGARO: FRENCH SPECIAL OPERATIONS SOLDIERS ARE ON THE GROUND IN HUDAYDAH YEMEN ENGAGING HOUTHI/ANSAR ALLAH FORCES

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby chetak » 18 Jun 2018 09:27


Singha
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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 18 Jun 2018 12:11

SAA had been in process of thrashing ISIS near the T2 station and humaymah desert west of DEZ, so NATO airforces swung into action again

@Ibra_Joudeh
9h9 hours ago
More
the airstrikes hit SAA position in Harri town south-east of Bo Kamal city , more details to follow soon

More
#SyAAF destroyed daesh vehicles convoy near T2 station #Homs
Army also repelling terrorists attack on Humaymah and Waer Dam front.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 18 Jun 2018 12:14

battles rage in hudaidah yemen houthis + navy + part of the army vs UAE backed african mercs + western SF

http://www.english.iswnews.com/2238/lat ... on-fronts/

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 18 Jun 2018 22:27

CNN

Drug-smuggling ex-Israeli minister charged with spying for Iran
By Oren Liebermann and Michael Schwartz, CNN

Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT) June 18, 2018

Jerusalem (CNN)Former Israeli Minister of Energy Gonen Segev has been arrested and charged with spying for Iran, the Israel Security Agency (ISA) revealed on Monday.

Segev had been recruited in 2012 by Iran's embassy in Nigeria, the ISA said. The disgraced former doctor had moved to Nigeria after serving time in prison in Israel for a 2006 drug smuggling conviction. Segev had been sentenced for attempting to bring 25,000 Ecstasy pills into Israel from the Netherlands.
He was returned to Israel last month at the request of Israeli police and was detained for investigation.
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According to the ISA, Segev met twice with Iranian operatives, knowing they were from Iranian intelligence. The Agency said Segev was given a communications system to encrypt messages with his handlers.
The former Energy Minister allegedly revealed information connected to Israel's energy market and security sites, including intelligence on buildings, and officials in political and security organizations, the ISA said.
He was also in touch with Israeli citizens working in security and foreign relations, the ISA said, connecting them with Iranian intelligence officials posing as regular businessmen.
Segev was charged with spying for the enemy and a number of other offenses. Additional details of the investigation are under a gag order.
A lawyer for Segev, Moshe Mazor, told Israel's YNet news, "Recently, an indictment has been filed. Most of the details are confidential at the State's request. Even at this early stage, it is possible to say that the permitted publication looks extremely severe, even though in the indictment, whose full details remain confidential, an entirely different picture emerges."

Segev served in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, from 1992-1996 in the Tzomet and Yi-ud political parties. He served as Minister of Energy and Infrastructure under Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, from 1995-1996.

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby dinesha » 20 Jun 2018 17:10

How Trump and Three Other U.S. Presidents Protected Israel’s Worst-Kept Secret: Its Nuclear Arsenal
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-des ... ar-arsenal

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Re: Levant crisis - III

Postby Singha » 24 Jun 2018 08:43

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