West Asia News and Discussions

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dinesh_kimar
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby dinesh_kimar » 14 Oct 2019 19:49

AdityaM wrote:One has to give it to the leadership of Turkey, Iran & Saud that they have the balls to pick fights and act as bullies.
Where do these countries get so much over confidence from!


Erdogan is attacking Syria, a raped and discarded nation. Maybe nothing much to it.

He didn't attack Iran. He won't attack Israel. Russia took a hit from the Turks (plane shot) but choose not to retaliate.

Real guts is calmly attacking a nuclear rabid dog, like Modi did in Balakote. He apparently sent in a nuke sub as a decoy !

Its like intruding into territory covered by PLA, and not budging, like in Doklam.

We don't know the exact sequence of events in both these cases, just like we don't know what happened in Nathu La in 1967 completely. Why did China withdraw after 300 casualties , a nuclear power against non nuclear India ?

Even Sumdrung Chu (Operation Falcon) is not open source yet. I have read of Indian battle casualties in Sumdrung Chu, and large no. Of gallantry awards given between 1986-89.

Erdogan is small fry compared to Modi.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 14 Oct 2019 20:02

dinesh_kimar wrote:
AdityaM wrote:One has to give it to the leadership of Turkey, Iran & Saud that they have the balls to pick fights and act as bullies.
Where do these countries get so much over confidence from!


Erdogan is attacking Syria, a raped and discarded nation. Maybe nothing much to it.


Latakia which was the seat of Syrian government and home base of the alawis was neither raped nor discarded. Russia intervened in time to prevent turkish plans for Latakia. The Kurdish controlled North East of hasakah & qamishli also got away easy and are only now facing some heat from Turkey.

Idlib, homs, hama, aleppo, east damascus, deir-ez-zor were the really battle hit provinces.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 14 Oct 2019 22:51

habal is back!!! We need updates, habalji.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 15 Oct 2019 00:47

‘We See India As Strong Government With Strong Voice’: Syrian Ambassador Hails India For Support Against Turkey
https://swarajyamag.com/insta/we-see-in ... nst-turkey

Syria on Monday (14 October) slammed Turkey over its attack on northeast Syria, which it said had the secret backing of America, and appreciated India for its support to Damascus over the present situation and ever since the Syrian crisis began in 2011.

Syrian Ambassador to India Riad Abbas, addressing a press conference over the current crisis in his war-battered country that has added a question mark on when it will end, said that Turkey's motive in launching the attack was aimed at "protecting" the Islamic State militants.

The Syrian envoy said his country is grateful to India for its support.

"India's support has always been there for Syria... India has helped us with medicine, defence scholarships. We see India as a strong government, which has a strong voice in the international fora," Abbas said.

India has voiced deep concern over Turkey's "unilateral military offensive in northeast Syria" and said it can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism.

On Pakistan's backing of Turkey's attack, the envoy said, "Turkey supports terrorism, and terrorist groups in Syria, and all who support Turkey thus end up supporting terrorism."

The envoy said Syria calls on all foreign troops, including the US, to leave the country.

"US troops are still illegally inside Syria, and now are re deployed to some other part of Syria," he said.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Y. Kanan » 15 Oct 2019 00:48

Very gratifying to see the Syrians and Kurds now standing side by side to repel the Turkish hordes. A year ago, when DJT first tried to pull out of Syria and was overruled by the deep state, I predicted this would be the perfect solution: get the Kurds to rejoin Damascus to face the Turkish threat together. At the time I said they do this and effectively end the war in days. Sadly, they didn't: the Kurds had their chance to make the switch and squandered it. This cost them Afrin region and a lot of KIA. It took a much larger Turkish invasion to finally scare the dimwitted Kurd leadership out of the US\Isreali embrace and back into the arms of Assad. Now the war can finally end.

This is a defeat for the shadow govt running the US, the globalists, the conniving Jews, Saudi and Turkey. It's looking like a decisive win for the Russians and the "Shia Crescent".

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ldev » 15 Oct 2019 01:08

Trump followed his gut on Syria: Calamity came fast

And over the weekend, State and Energy Department officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons that the United States had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, about 250 miles from the Syrian border, according to two American officials.

Those weapons, one senior official said, were now essentially Erdogan’s hostages. To fly them out of Incirlik would be to mark the de facto end of the Turkish-American alliance. To keep them there, though, is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerability that should have been eliminated years ago.

“I think this is a first — a country with U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in it literally firing artillery at US forces,” Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies wrote last week.

For his part, Mr. Erdogan claims nuclear ambitions of his own: Only a month ago, speaking to supporters, he said, he said he “cannot accept” rules that keep Turkey from possessing nuclear weapons of its own. My comments:Erdogan's desire for nuclear weapons devetails nicely with his alliance with Pakistan

“There is no developed nation in the world that doesn’t have them,” he said. (In fact, most do not.)

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ArjunPandit » 15 Oct 2019 01:55

dinesh_kimar wrote:
AdityaM wrote:One has to give it to the leadership of Turkey, Iran & Saud that they have the balls to pick fights and act as bullies.
Where do these countries get so much over confidence from!


Erdogan is attacking Syria, a raped and discarded nation. Maybe nothing much to it.

He didn't attack Iran. He won't attack Israel. Russia took a hit from the Turks (plane shot) but choose not to retaliate.

Real guts is calmly attacking a nuclear rabid dog, like Modi did in Balakote. He apparently sent in a nuke sub as a decoy !

Its like intruding into territory covered by PLA, and not budging, like in Doklam.

We don't know the exact sequence of events in both these cases, just like we don't know what happened in Nathu La in 1967 completely. Why did China withdraw after 300 casualties , a nuclear power against non nuclear India ?

Even Sumdrung Chu (Operation Falcon) is not open source yet. I have read of Indian battle casualties in Sumdrung Chu, and large no. Of gallantry awards given between 1986-89.

Erdogan is small fry compared to Modi.

slightly OT but the dominance of gandhian thought process never lead us to bare our teeth and project ourselves as a strong military state (read punch below our weight) and the civilization wounds of abrahmic occupation led us to believe it is true.. it was only in early 2000s commoners could believe that Indians are equal in every aspect to gora sahib...

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby IndraD » 15 Oct 2019 02:35

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
....and Assad to protect the land of our enemy? Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 65088?s=20

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby IndraD » 15 Oct 2019 02:46

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 69120?s=20
Trump to pass executive order to enforce sanctions on Turkey

Trump to sign sanction orders on Turkey

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politi ... d_nn_tw_ma

looks like Trump's order result of criticism over Kurds slaughter

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby IndraD » 15 Oct 2019 03:04

U.S. Forces Try to Stop Syrian Regime Forces From Helping Kurds Fight Turkey
On a confused battlefield, the U.S. intervened to stop some Syrian and Russian forces advancing into the region to support the Kurds sparking fears of dangerous flash points
https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-forces ... itter_page

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Y. Kanan » 15 Oct 2019 03:56

IndraD wrote:U.S. Forces Try to Stop Syrian Regime Forces From Helping Kurds Fight Turkey
On a confused battlefield, the U.S. intervened to stop some Syrian and Russian forces advancing into the region to support the Kurds sparking fears of dangerous flash points
https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-forces ... itter_page


More proof the US president doesn't even control his own military. The US is more like Pakistan than we want to believe.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 15 Oct 2019 08:30

RT.com rips into ABC: Fake news from Kentucky gun range passed off as "Turkish attack on Kurds"

In a scarcely believable display of extreme incompetence or bald-faced lying, ABC News has broadcast footage from a Kentucky gun show, claiming it shows a Turkish assault on Kurdish civilians in northern Syria.

The news organization made the humiliating fumble on its World News Tonight show on Sunday and then again on Good Morning America on Monday. It featured in a package that was heavily critical of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria.

“Slaughter in Syria,” the on-screen graphic screamed as anchor Tom Llamas introduced the footage. “This video, right here, appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town,” Llamas said as the tape rolled.

There’s just one problem, the video wasn’t from northern Syria, it was filmed about 6,200 miles (10,000km) away during a gun show at the Knob Creek Gun Range near West Point, Kentucky.

fter broadcasting the fake footage into homes across the US, ABC also uploaded it to YouTube. The video was subsequently deleted when the massive error came to light.

World News Tonight issued a correction on Monday, saying that ABC News “regrets the error.” “We’ve taken down video that aired on ‘World News Tonight’ Sunday and ‘Good Morning America’ this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy,” it tweeted.

ABC’s mistake is made even more glaring by the fact that footage from the Kentucky gun show previously went viral in another fake news fail when it was claimed that it showed Kurdish forces destroying Turkish tanks in January 2018. Too bad ABC don’t employ any good fact checkers.


The open air gun range holds the dramatic shows twice a year and they have been immortalized in numerous YouTube videos. ABC played a video from 2017 in its Sunday snafu.

Viewing the clips clearly shows that it’s the same scene but the video has been edited to crop out the audience watching in the foreground.[/quote]

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Y. Kanan » 15 Oct 2019 11:46

Did the Levant thread get merged into this one? Or did it just fall out of view because we forgot about it, because this forum has a dedicated thread for every sub set of every sub topic? What I'm trying to say is there are so many threads on this forum, and many of them are neglected.

Why don't we just have a big "Middle East" thread that actually stays active, instead of a bunch of obscure subtopic threads that fade away due to inactivity?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 15 Oct 2019 13:24

is trump really as callous as we all thought or is he simply clever like a fox



Bryan Dean Wright Verified account @BryanDeanWright 9h9 hours ago

Bottom line: Trump and his team have a credible foreign policy supporting this withdrawal.

We can still kill ISIS.

We can bog down the Russians, Iranians, Turks, & Syrians.

Yes, we lose a Kurdish ally made up of both honorable & terroristic fighters.

But there is a strategy.



and here it is

https://twitter.com/BryanDeanWright/status/1183875115529846785

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 15 Oct 2019 13:35

Bryan Dean Wright Verified account @BryanDeanWright

There is a national security strategy behind Trump’s withdrawal from Syria.

You may not like it (neocons). You may doubt it will work (Beltway “experts”). Or you may just hate Trump (Dems).

But there is a plan.

Here it is...

3:39 PM - 14 Oct 2019


Here it is...

https://twitter.com/BryanDeanWright/status/1183875052443525123

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 15 Oct 2019 13:41

Image

twitter

That’s it! Assad has won! The US now recognises the Kurd-Syrian deal and presumably Russia will extend its no fly zone to all of Syria. Erdogan just walked into a trap carefully choreographed by Trump-Putin-Assad & he’s going to be cursing Putin



twitter

The way US pulled off and Turkey desperately launched military operation and then Russia enters and changed all the geo-political equations which Erdogan had in his mind, probably indeed it was something choreographed.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby habal » 15 Oct 2019 21:52

entire region pulling back from the brink helped by statesman Trump.

UAE security advisor reported visiting Iran

The British website Middle East Eye revealed that Tahnoun bin Zayed , National Security Advisor of the United Arab Emirates was in Tehran a few days ago.

The website claimed that bin Zayed was in Iran on a secret mission aimed at defusing the Gulf crisis.

Tahnoun bin Zayed’s secret mission is the highest meeting between the the Emirates and Iran since the crisis broke out.

The secret mission comes amid reports of attempts to hold talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran from several parties that do not wish to see further escalation and risk a full-scale war.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 15 Oct 2019 23:48

"But anyone with Google and the slightest bit of skepticism can verify for themselves that Trump simply isn’t ending U.S. interventionism in the Middle East."

-----
from elsewhere
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-1 ... 473866.htm

"TEHRAN, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday denied that the national security adviser of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently visited Tehran, Tasnim news agency reported.

Zarif's remark came in response to a report by the London-based online news outlet Middle East Eye (MEE) on Sunday that Tahnoun bin Zayed, the UAE national security adviser and the crown prince's younger brother, visited Tehran on Oct. 11 on a secret mission seeking to defuse the Gulf conflicts.

"Such a report is not true," Zarif was quoted as saying. "

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 16 Oct 2019 00:25

Y. Kanan wrote:Did the Levant thread get merged into this one? Or did it just fall out of view because we forgot about it, because this forum has a dedicated thread for every sub set of every sub topic? What I'm trying to say is there are so many threads on this forum, and many of them are neglected.

Why don't we just have a big "Middle East" thread that actually stays active, instead of a bunch of obscure subtopic threads that fade away due to inactivity?


There are too many players to have just one thread. I think ppl started threads thinking it could be THE thread to discuss a given geographical location where there was excitement. Or one for each nation involved in starting new excitements, or getting attacked.
But this is like discussing a bar-room brawl. All combos possible in conflict, and there are several conflicts raging. Let's try listing by conflict:
1. Yemen-KSA
2. KSA-GelfUAE over Yemen
3. Iran-KSA over Yemen.

4. Libya: I have just not tracked who is involved, except I know US is.

5. Iraq: ISIS, Iran, US, NATO, KSA, Iraq all involved.

6. Syria: Israel, Turkey, ISIS, US, France, UK, Germany, Russia, Iran, Iraq, KSA, UAE. Maybe China too.

U c the problem: Plus, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Mali. Fighting already underway/ several rounds over.

You want to discuss ALL of these in ONE thread? Just the Levant III thread is nearing 300 pages!

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 16 Oct 2019 22:24

Levant thread was created to follow the Syrian crisis.
This thread is for general West Asia includes everything except the Syrian crisis.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 16 Oct 2019 22:25

I hope some enterprising scholar will use the massive Levant thread and publish a book!!!

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Y. Kanan » 17 Oct 2019 02:59

UlanBatori wrote:There are too many players to have just one thread. I think ppl started threads thinking it could be THE thread to discuss a given geographical location where there was excitement. Or one for each nation involved in starting new excitements, or getting attacked.


If that were true, we wouldn't have threads like Levant falling completely off to the wayside. This forum is a mess, and most of our Middle East related threads (Iran, Saudi, Turkey, Levant, etc) are overlapping with a lot of the same content.

But maybe you're right. Maybe we just can't handle one contained thread. We Indians do love to talk...

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 17 Oct 2019 04:25

There are regional threads to get the big picture and then there are individual country threads to get the India focus.

I don't understand what you are complaining about.
many folks told me they visit and get the proper perspective in BRF.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 17 Oct 2019 07:09

ramana wrote:I hope some enterprising scholar will use the massive Levant thread and publish a book!!!


We used to have ppl at BRF who used to at least write papers using these. Just takes a bit of patience to generate 100s of references, very solid facts and clear perspective. Writing those also takes a different perspective on one's own role: many insist on giving opinions. Some (sadly few these days) take the role of scribe, in all humility, trying to capture the essence of the facts and opinions presented. Hard to imagine in the day of 20-character Trumpian Essays.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Y. Kanan » 18 Oct 2019 01:56

ramana wrote:There are regional threads to get the big picture and then there are individual country threads to get the India focus.

I don't understand what you are complaining about.
many folks told me they visit and get the proper perspective in BRF.


If you look at the Turkey, Levant, W. Asia, Iran threads there's a lot of duplication there, as news that affects these areas often overlaps. You have the same people (including you and me) talking about the same events in both threads. It's confusing, especially for the casual lurker. Like you I consider BRF a great news aggregator and a place for unique insights that are unavailable or suppressed elsewhere. I just want to make it more accessible.

I'm saying if you consolidate the unneeded sub-threads under just a few highly active main threads, you get more eyes on news stories that would otherwise go unnoticed.

I propose a "Middle East"thread (or just keep the "West Asia" thread). Merge the dedicated threads for Iran, Turkey and Levant into this one. All news and discussion for the Persian Gulf region, the Levant region, and Isreal can go here. Keep your dedicated "Indo-Israel" thread (which has been pretty much dead for 7 months) if you must.

If you want a space just to talk about Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, etc - then make a "N. Africa" thread, though I doubt there would be enough activity to justify it. Personally I recommend just putting all N. Africa discussion under the Middle East, because it's all interrelated anyway.

The question is, do we want lots of overlapping threads and lots of inactive threads, or just a few highly active threads with the potential of being perhaps a little too active? I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't mind a bit of scrolling.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Y. Kanan » 19 Oct 2019 23:51

There - you see? This thread has been dead for 2 days even though there's been plenty of ME news in that time. It's because nobody knows where to post things. Something's happening in Saudi - do we post to W. Asia thread? Iran thread? Something's happening in Syria but involving Turkey and the US ... post to Turkey thread? One of the many USA threads? Levant thread?

This is why I suggested consolidating all ME items in one thread. Or better yet lock all the sub threads (Turkey, Iran, Levant, W. Asia) and just create a "Middle East" thread for all future content.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby mmasand » 24 Oct 2019 02:32

Benny Gantz tasked with forming Israeli government

Israel’s president has tasked the former military chief Benny Gantz with forming a government after Benjamin Netanyahu failed to do so following an inconclusive election last month. An end to the Netanyahu era would be an extraordinary moment in Israeli politics, as he has led the country for a record-breaking total of more than 13 years. The move does not necessarily conclude his political career or his chances of leading the country’s next administration.

However, the stalemate has wounded the prime minister, especially as he has become more deeply embroiled in three potential corruption cases. Israel’s attorney general is expected to announce in the coming weeks if he plans to indict.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby tandav » 27 Oct 2019 11:50

Breaking! Al Bagdadi ISIS leader self detonated a suicide vest and has been killed in a US raid in northwest Syria: DNA analysis to confirm

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/26/poli ... index.html

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 28 Oct 2019 02:14

Looks like he outlived his usefulness to NATO. If he had been caught the Russians would have had him sing.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 28 Oct 2019 02:15

Meanwhile, Russians deny

So it was all so that he could disappear? Interesting that no one has commented on Trump's blatant assertion that US/EU are in Syria to get their oil. Moscow pointed out that it recorded no US coalition airstrikes in the Idlib area in northwest Syria on Saturday when the raid was held.
It also rejected Trump’s claims that Russian forces opened up the airspace under its control in Syria to American planes to facilitate the operation against the IS leader.
The ministry questioned the very possibility of al-Baghdadi’s presence in Idlib as the area is held by Al-Qaeda offshoot, Jabhat al-Nusra, who have always been mortal enemies of Islamic State. Moscow noted that Islamic State was crushed in Syria in early 2018 in a joint effort by the government in Damascus and the Russian forces, meaning that yet another report of al-Baghdadi’s demise “bears no effect on the operational situation in Syria or on the actions of the remaining terrorists in Idlib.” French Defense Minister Florence Parly also questioned the significance of the claimed US achievement, pointing out that the raid only marked “an early retirement for a terrorist [al-Baghdadi], but not for his organization.”

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 01 Nov 2019 04:59

New Saudi Textbooks Put Nation First

Saudi Arabia recently introduced changes to the kingdom's school curriculum, affecting students at almost all levels. The new textbooks emphasize abiding by the leadership through expressing pride in the nation and following regulations and laws. Saudi Arabia's history is presented as extending to pre-Islamic Arabia, contrary to the religious stance that often sheds negative light on pre-Islamic civilizations. The new textbooks are meant to put an end to pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism, which had been a constant worry to the leadership. Emphasizing national identity and loyalty to the state while depicting Saudi Arabia as the birthplace of the caliphates is a way to redirect loyalty toward the state. The two textbooks most affected by the recent changes were "History" and "Social Studies and Citizenship" as they contain some of the emerging themes that the new Saudi leadership is emphasizing.

As one central theme, the new curriculum highlights the characteristics of a good Saudi citizen and his or her responsibility toward the state. In the "Social Studies and Citizenship" textbook, citizenship is described as "belonging to a state and upholding its values and principles, enjoying rights and responsibilities and being loyal to the leadership and nation to promote security and prosperity." The responsibilities of a good citizen are introduced as early as the fourth grade, requiring students to differentiate between primary and secondary sources to prevent the circulation of fake or inaccurate news. In doing so, students subscribe to amanah (trust/honesty), which is described as the opposite of khiyanah (treason). A good citizen is "a person of good behavior who follows moderate Islamic teachings, has a strong sense of belonging, works hard, and plays an active role in promoting the country's objectives and prosperity."

Following Islamic teachings is not only considered part of being a good Saudi citizen but is also used to emphasize Saudi Arabia’s importance in the region and the wider Muslim world. This perhaps explains why religious textbooks were not affected by the changes introduced to the school curriculum. The religious identity remains intact, and so does the image of Saudi Arabia as "the birthplace of Islam" and the "center of the world," which is noted in the first few pages of the new textbooks. Religion is not only part of the Saudi identity but is used to conjure up comparisons with lessons from the past. For example, a chapter on khawarij (a group that revolted against the Caliph Ali) compares the movement to what it describes as "modern-day khawarij" who are also promoting unrest and chaos by not adhering to the ruler.

The history of Saudi Arabia and the royal family is intertwined to present to students a complex yet compelling idea of their country. The new textbooks emphasize a continuity with the past by glorifying Islamic as well as pre-Islamic civilizations that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula, contrary to previous textbooks that did not cast a positive light on the pre-Islamic era. For example, the pre-Islamic Nabataean civilization in northwestern Saudi Arabia is linked to al-Ula, one of the most important tourist attractions in Saudi Arabia and an essential part of the country's Vision 2030 plan. The celebration of these sites in school textbooks is unprecedented and demonstrates the state's interest in incorporating pre-Islamic history into the Saudi national narrative. Moreover, to underline this continuity, the history of Saudi Arabia and the role of the royal family are portrayed as going back 200 years before the birth of Islam. This is further demonstrated in an illustration in the "Social Studies and Citizenship" textbook suggesting that the Umayyad and the Abbasid dynasties originated in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the three Saudi states are extensively explained, especially regarding battles and confrontations with the Ottomans, who are explicitly criticized.

The "History" textbook describes the legacy of previous kings and King Salman bin Abdulaziz is depicted as the one who allowed women to gain more rights and access to full citizenship. The new depiction of Saudi Arabia's history is an important way to recalibrate Saudi identity. A photo of King Salman dancing the traditional Ardah is meant to emphasize the centrality of Najdi identity. What is more, the phrase "Nakhwat al-Uja" (a Najdi expression that celebrates Ad Diriya, the ancestral home of the Al Saud family) is described as a nationalist slogan, which redefines Saudi identity around Najdi customs and traditions. This not surprising, given the increasing emphasis on Najdi identity in the country’s emerging national narrative over the past few years.

The high school curriculum also explains in detail the fight against terrorism and the country's regional responsibilities. This is apparent in the extensive analysis of the kingdom's efforts in establishing the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition and the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal). The textbooks stress Saudi Arabia's stance on the Palestinian issue, depicting King Abdulaziz and his sons as strong supporters of the Palestinian cause. King Salman's efforts are mentioned in relation to the Arab League's "Jerusalem Summit" in Dhahran in 2018, which emphasized the "centrality of the Palestinian cause to the Arab world." The textbooks also emphasize Saudi Arabia's generous financial aid to organizations such as the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees. The curriculum argues that efforts by Saudi Arabia have always been targeted by "Arab and Zionist enemies" and that the kingdom has always stood by the Palestinian people.

The changes to the school curriculum are timely, given that the education system has been under increasing scrutiny inside and outside the country. Domestically, criticism of textbooks usually points at the outdated religious content that contradicts the new Saudi lifestyle and the country's transformation project, Vision 2030. Moreover, the government's growing concern over Muslim Brotherhood influence in the education system gave the state more incentive to introduce amendments and update textbooks according to its new vision of the country. As a result, the new textbooks highlight Saudi Arabia's current political stance by emphasizing its hegemonic role and explicitly criticizing its foes, which serve as the state's attempt to counter transnational movements — political and religious. However, not including religious textbooks in the recent changes means that current social reforms will continue to generate inconsistencies for a young population caught between outdated religious teachings and a more relaxed social atmosphere.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 01 Nov 2019 08:14

Assad on Bagdaddy Disappearance:

Take any words from US politicians with a grain of salt, Syria’s Bashar Assad has urged, as he cast doubt on the story of the Islamic State leader being killed in US a raid, and compared it to the shady killing of Osama Bin Laden.

The widely publicized US special forces raid that allegedly killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group, left more questions than answers and it should not be taken at the face value, the Syrian President cautioned, during a lengthy interview with state media on Thursday.

READ MORE: ‘He died like a dog, like a coward!’ Trump describes GRAPHIC death of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi

Damascus did not participate in the raid by any means, Assad stated, adding that he'd learned about the claim only through media reports. Adding imaginary participants into the operation is likely supposed to give it credibility, he added, while countries on such a list would likely be flattered to be a “part of a ‘great’ operation.”

We do not need such credit. We are the ones fighting terrorism. We have no relations and have had no contact with any American institutions.

Read more
Russian MoD doubts Trump’s announcement of killing ISIS chief al-Baghdadi, rejects claims it assisted US forces in op Russian MoD doubts Trump’s announcement of killing ISIS chief al-Baghdadi, rejects claims it assisted US forces in op

Washington’s loud praise of its own actions, a picture of the ‘hero dog’ that took part in the raid and footage purportedly of the aerial strikes have not convinced Assad if it “actually took place or not.” Moreover, he thought the whole affair suspiciously resembled the 2011 killing of another notorious terrorist – Al Qaeda’s head Osama Bin Laden.

“Why were the remains of Baghdadi not shown? This is the same scenario that was followed with Bin Laden. If they are going to use different pretexts in order not to show the remains, let us recall how [former Iraqi] President Saddam Hussein was captured and how the whole operation was shown from A to Z; they showed pictures and video clips after they captured him.”

The killing of Saddam’s sons was also well-documented and widely publicized, Assad went on to add, suggesting that the Americans “hide everything” about both the killing of bin Laden and that of al-Baghdadi for a reason.

This is part of the tricks played by the Americans. That is why we should not believe everything they say unless they come up with evidence. American politicians are actually guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around.

All in all, it’s unlikely that death of the IS leader – if he really was killed – and even the ultimate destruction of the terrorist group would change anything, Assad said. The root of the problem – the Wahhabi ideology that is “more than two centuries old” would not disappear at once. The radical Islamist thought and al-Baghdadi were merely US tools all along, Assad claimed, adding that those tools could easily be re-purposed elsewhere.

“I believe the whole thing regarding this operation is a trick. Baghdadi will be recreated under a different name, a different individual, or ISIS in its entirety might be reproduced as needed under a different name but with the same thought and the same purpose. The director of the whole scenario is the same, the Americans.”

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 01 Nov 2019 08:18

Russian reaction is very interesting. First the MOD declared that there had been no such mission and they had certainly not been asked nor given permission nor seen anything. Then they said, oh! We saw some drone flying around. If they actually killed Bag Daddy well and good. Now they have Assad declaring that THEY did not give any overflight permission etc. And RT keeps the original MOD headlines and quotes. Message is that they know there was no mission, but they are playing along to make Trump look good.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 03 Nov 2019 07:31

https://www.rt.com/usa/472353-us-weapons-sale-pitch/
People in Yemen stand by part of a downed Saudi fighter jet. ©REUTERS / Khaled Abdullah

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Rudradev » 05 Nov 2019 02:51

Former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, writing in The Atlantic:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ar/601285/

The Coming Middle East Conflagration

Israel is bracing itself for war with Iranian proxies, as Tehran escalates its provocations. But what will the United States do if conflict comes?



The senior ministers of the Israeli government met twice last week to discuss the possibility of open war with Iran. They were mindful of the Iranian plan for a drone attack from Syria in August, aborted at the last minute by an Israeli air strike, as well as Iran’s need to deflect attention from the mass protests against Hezbollah’s rule in Lebanon. The ministers also reviewed the recent attack by Iranian drones and cruise missiles on two Saudi oil installations, concluding that a similar assault could be mounted against Israel from Iraq.

The Israel Defense Forces, meanwhile, announced the adoption of an emergency plan, code-named Momentum, to significantly expand Israel’s missile capacity, its ability to gather intelligence on embedded enemy targets, and its soldiers’ preparation for urban warfare. Israeli troops, especially in the north, have been placed on war footing. Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time.

And it’s not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark. Israeli fighter jets have already conducted hundreds of bombing raids against Iranian targets in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Preferring to deter rather than embarrass Tehran, Israel never comments on such actions. But perhaps Israel miscalculates, hitting a particularly sensitive target; or perhaps politicians cannot resist taking credit. The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin.

Rockets of varying calibers and payloads would rain on Israel; drones armed with payloads would crash into crucial facilities, military and civilian. During the Second Lebanon War, in 2006, the rate of such fire reached between 200 and 300 projectiles a day. Today, it might reach as high as 4,000. The majority of the weapons in Hezbollah’s arsenal are standoff missiles with fixed trajectories that can be tracked and intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system. But Iron Dome is 90 percent effective on average, meaning that for every 100 rockets, 10 get through, and the seven operational batteries are incapable of covering the entire country. All of Israel, from Metulla in the north to the southern city of Eilat, would be in range of rockets launched from Lebanon.

But precision-guided missiles, several dozen of which are in Iranian arsenals, pose a far deadlier threat. Directed by joysticks, they can speed toward their targets or change destinations mid-flight. The David’s Sling system, developed in conjunction with the United States, can stop them—in theory, because it has never been tested in combat. And each of its interceptors costs $1 million. Even if it is not physically razed, Israel can be bled economically.

First, though, it would be paralyzed. If rockets fall near Ben-Gurion Airport, as during Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza, it will close to international traffic. Israel’s ports, through which a major portion of its food and essential supplies are imported, may also shut down, and its electrical grids could be severed. Iran has honed its hacking tools in recent years and Israel, though a world leader in cyberdefense, cannot entirely protect its vital utilities. Millions of Israelis would huddle in bomb shelters. Hundreds of thousands would be evacuated from border areas that terrorists are trying to infiltrate. The restaurants and hotels would empty, along with the offices of the high-tech companies of the start-up nation. The hospitals, many of them resorting to underground facilities, would quickly be overwhelmed, even before the skies darken with the toxic fumes of blazing chemical factories and oil refineries.

Israel would, of course, respond. Its planes and artillery would return fire, and the IDF would mobilize. More than twice the size of the French and British armies combined—at least on paper—the IDF can call up, equip, and deploy tens of thousands of seasoned reservists in less than 24 hours. But where would it send them? Most of the rockets would be launched from southern Lebanon, where the launchers are embedded in some 200 villages. Others would be fired from Gaza, where Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both backed by Iran, have at least 10,000 rockets. But longer-range missiles, including the deadly Shahab-3, would reach Israel from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran itself. This presents a daunting challenge to the Israeli Air Force, which does not possess strategic bombers capable of reaching Iran and must grapple with the advanced Russian anti-aircraft weapons situated in Syria. Israeli ground troops would be forced to move into Lebanon and Gaza, house-to-house, while special forces would be dispatched deep within Syria and Iraq. Israel’s own Jericho missiles, some sea-launched, could devastate Iranian targets.

But even if these countermeasures could succeed in curtailing much of the missile fire, they would also inflict many thousands of civilian casualties. This is precisely what Iran wants, its proxies preventing the flight of residents from combat areas in order to accuse Israel of committing war crimes. West Bank and Gaza Palestinians, meanwhile, would likely stage violent protests that Israel would put down harshly, setting the stage for the Security Council to condemn Israel for employing indiscriminate and disproportional force and for the United Nations Human Rights Council to gather evidence for the International Criminal Court. What Iran and its allies cannot accomplish on the battlefield, they can achieve through boycotts, isolating and strangling Israel.

Does all this seem a little far-fetched? Not to the senior Israeli government ministers who have been contemplating precisely these sorts of scenarios. And over all of them looms a pressing question: How will the United States respond?

The question is paramount for multiple reasons, beginning with America’s role in precipitating the potential for conflict. Whether inadvertently, by diminishing its principal enemies—Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the Taliban, and the Islamic State—or purposefully, by signing the nuclear deal, the United States has empowered Iran. While quick to oust Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Qaddafi, President Barack Obama refused to intercede against Iran’s Syrian ally, Bashar al-Assad. President Donald Trump failed to retaliate for the Iranian attacks on Saudi Arabia and on international shipping in the Gulf, or even for the downing of a U.S. Navy drone last June. Rather than a departure from long-standing policy, the hasty withdrawal of American troops from Syria appears to many in the Middle East as yet another American move that will strengthen Tehran. Few in the region will be surprised if the American president eases sanctions and negotiates with his Iranian counterpart.

But along with turning a blind eye to Iranian aggression, the United States has also provoked it. Iran has exploited the profits and legitimacy of the nuclear deal to dominate great swaths of the Middle East and surround Israel with missiles. With the expiration of the treaty’s sunset clauses, Iran could then break out, making hundreds of nuclear weapons while deterring Israeli preemption.

But if that was the Iranian hope, its aspirations were destroyed overnight by President Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal and reimpose sanctions. Faced with a collapsing economy, the regime had two painful options: Either enter into talks with Trump under conditions the Iranians find humiliating, or else initiate hostilities—first in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, and if that fails, against Israel. Turning to action, the regime must hope, will prove to the United States that without sanctions relief and a renewed nuclear treaty, Iran can plunge the entire region into chaos.

Aware of these dangers, Israeli leaders nevertheless supported the undoing of a deal that they believed paved Iran’s path to hegemony and nuclear power. They fully supported the sanctions, even though they risk triggering a war. Better for it to break out now, they reasoned, than in five years, after Iran has completed its Middle East conquests, encircled Israel, and acquired nuclear bombs. Better for it to occur during the current administration, which can be counted on to provide Israel with the three sources of American assistance it traditionally receives in wartime.

The first is ammunition. Beginning with the 1973 Yom Kippur War and continuing through two Lebanon wars and three major clashes with Gaza, Israel has run low on crucial munitions. In each case, the United States agreed to resupply the IDF either by airlift or from its pre-positioned stores inside Israel. Only once, during the 2014 Protective Edge operation, did the Obama administration delay shipments of arms—in that case, Hellfire rockets—to express its displeasure over rising Palestinian casualties.

The second kind of backing is legal. Because the UN reliably votes to condemn Israel, the United States has rallied likeminded states to oppose or at least soften one-sided resolutions and, in the Security Council, cast its veto. The United States has also acted to shield Israel from UN “fact-finding” missions that invariably denounce it, and from sanctions imposed by international courts. When the Goldstone Report, filed after the 2009 Cast Lead operation in Gaza, accused Israel of crimes against humanity, both the Obama White House and the Democratic majority in Congress came to Israel’s defense.

Finally, the United States has supported Israel on the day after the fighting, in negotiating cease-fires, troop withdrawals, and prisoner exchanges, and establishing frameworks for peace. The tradition began after the 1967 Six-Day War, with the U.S.-brokered Security Council Resolution 242, and continued through the shuttle diplomacy of Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger in 1973–74 and Condoleezza Rice in 2006. Only after the 2014 fighting did Israel reject America’s offer of mediation, due to its government’s lack of faith in Secretary John Kerry.

Such distrust is absent from Israel’s relations with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and there is little doubt of this administration’s willingness to supply the three traditional types of assistance. But what if Israel needs more than that? What if the onslaught of rockets and drones and cross-border attacks becomes too much for the Jewish state and its very survival is threatened? Would the United States intervene?

The answer is yes—to a degree. Every two years, U.S. and Israeli forces hold joint exercises called Juniper Cobra to strengthen Israel’s air defenses. After participating as an IDF reservist in the first Juniper Cobra, in 1990, I worked with my American counterparts to deploy Patriot missile batteries in Israel during the Gulf War. Since then, the cooperation has significantly expanded, including the stationing of an American-manned X-band Radar system in Israel and the temporary deployment of the THAAD system, employing America’s most advanced antiballistic technology. Though the details remain top secret, the United States is clearly committed to helping protect Israel’s skies, but only passively. Whether American troops would go on the offensive on Israel’s behalf, striking Iranian bases, remains uncertain.

That ambiguity is only deepening in an election year in which the incumbent and his opponents are campaigning to end old Middle Eastern wars, not get bogged down in new ones. Polls taken after the president’s decision to withdraw from Syria showed a lack of bipartisan support for even a small-scale American military involvement in the region. Yet administration officials have repeatedly assured me that Israel is not Syria or Saudi Arabia, and that Israel can count on massive U.S. support if needed.

I continue to believe that is true. I recall President Obama’s comment to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office six years ago this week, on the last day of my service as Israeli ambassador. “The United States will always come to Israel’s aid in the event of a war,” he said, “because that is what the American people expect.” But I also remember that, back in 1973, Egypt and Syria saw a president preoccupied with an impeachment procedure, and concluded that Israel was vulnerable. In the subsequent war, Israel prevailed—but at an excruciating price. The next war could prove even costlier.



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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 05 Nov 2019 04:30

Chicken Little? Is there a genuine threat to Israel from Iran, who are trying to survive against Saudi/Wahabi genocide? Isn't it Israel that has occupied Syrian territory, and routinely kills Syrians ***INSIDE*** Syria, opens its hospitals to treat ISIS terrorists, shells Syrians trying to survive against the ISIS, and probably conveys arms, shelter and training to ISIS terrorists (e.g. in Aleppo)? Sad to see Israel go from genuine security needs to being the lead of the Deep State.

I really appreciate Israeli objectivity w.r.t. Kashmir, but they won't really help end Pakistan, will they? A long time back, an Israeli told me:
Look: Like Pakistan is to you, Saudi Arabia is to us: Enemy #1: no reconciliation ever possible.

But today MBS' terrorists in Syria and Iraq, and his cowardly legions in Yemen, are all supported by Israel. Likewise, when Erdogan came to power he seemed hardline anti-Israel but on fomenting ISIS, Israel is on Erdogan's side. Israel has its legs in too many canoes....

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Rudradev » 05 Nov 2019 11:07

I think the "Iran" angle is simply what Israel's ambassador to the US chooses to make the focus of this article, given that it's published in The Atlantic with a certain audience in mind. (Hint: Americans, raised with the popular image of Iran as Bogeyman for 2 generations by this point).

Iran may not even be their main concern, in reality.

But nonetheless, the Israelis really are worried about the traction that the whole Boycott-Divest-Sanction movement has been getting in DC circles (and in certain sections of the US public generally, especially the younger generation). Under the able stewardship of both Woke Islampasand Lefties and Conspiracy Theorizing Alt-Righters.

Looking at See Enn Enn today I saw a paid TV commercial advertising the importance of Israeli "expertise & entrepreneurship" to American (particularly tech) innovation.

If the Israelis are reaching out with direct appeals to the US magazine-reading & TV-watching public, they clearly fear that they have bigger problems than their usual lobbying channels in America (which were famously effective for 70 years) can handle.

I wonder what has changed.

P.S. Are they going to help "end Pakistan", really? No, only we can do that. Israel may help diplomatically etc. in the aftermath but the ending proper, we have to accomplish ourselves.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby kit » 05 Nov 2019 11:51

The problem comes when you look at a country and "expect" it to behave in a particular manner, let's say for example thinking Israel against Pakistan, it's not a given. It's the circumstances and objectives in a particular situation , all those treatises about winning a war without fighting , which ad nauseum is the best way is about this. Enough said. For india it is the job of the political bureaucratic and military to be in sync with the objectives. And that is the first step to winning the war , with pakistan and with China.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Parasu » 05 Nov 2019 15:04

Israel is absolutely spot on in anticipating trouble from Iran. The Mullahcracy in Iran regularly threatens Israel and is arming its proxies all around Israel to achieve this. Now Jihadi Erdogan has joined the list of threats that Israel faces. Even more importantly, the US and Russia have shown willingness to tolerate Jihad-supporting Erdogan as long as such short-sighted actions serve their geopolitical interests.
Israel should launch a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah terrorists and take over parts of Lebanon and Syria for forward defence of northern Israel. Israel's improving relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both of which are fed up of Jihad-supporting activities of Turkey and Iran, places it in the same situation as India. Hopefully, India will help Israel in defending itself, notwithstanding its own fifth-columnists in the country.



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