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#1261 amor de cosmos

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 09:33 AM

The meeting was held prior to the announcement of the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force of B-52H nuclear-capable bombers to the Middle East, where the US Central Command (CENTCOM) is operating, amid rising tensions between Iran and the US.

A meeting between US National Security Adviser John Bolton and a number of intelligence and military officials was reportedly held on 29 April at CIA headquarters. The meeting was described as "rare" and "unusual", as national security meetings are usually held in the White House Situation Room, and senior White House officials and Cabinet members don't typically attend meetings at the CIA, The Hill reports.

The initiator of the meeting was Bolton, who gathered top US officials, including CIA Director Gina Haspel, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, for a discussion on Iran, The Hill reports.

While the exact topic of the discussion was not specified, it was purportedly not devoted to information that led to the decision to deploy additional forces to the CENTCOM area of responsibility, namely the carrier strike group and the bomber task force.

This meeting was apparently not the first of its kind, according to an NBC News report, which cited former CIA operations officers and military officials: "such meetings have been held at CIA headquarters to brief top officials on highly sensitive covert actions, either the results of existing operations or options for new ones."

Elaborating on the issues, NBC News reported that the US has a very specific intelligence gathering capability on Iran that can only be reviewed at CIA headquarters.

There could be another reason for such a meeting — a disagreement about what intelligence shows about a particular subject — John McLaughlin, former acting CIA director, said, according to NBC.

https://sputniknews....eting-iran-cia/

sinopec & china national petroleum corporation, the two biggest refiners in china, have suspended purchases of iranian oil to avoid US sanctions

ذكرت 3 مصادر مطلعة أن شركة الصين للبتروكيميائيات (مجموعة سينوبك) ومؤسسة البترول الوطنية الصينية، أكبر شركتي تكرير مملوكتين للدولة، تخلتا عن شراء نفط إيراني للتحميل في مايو/ أيار بعد إنهاء واشنطن العمل بإعفاءات من العقوبات لزيادة الضغط على طهران.

ولم تجدد الولايات المتحدة أي استثناءات من العقوبات على إيران، لتتبنى موقفا أكثر تشددا عما كان متوقعا مع نهاية أجل الإعفاءات. وجرى منح الإعفاءات في نوفمبر/ تشرين الثاني الماضي لعدد من مشتري النفط الإيراني.

والصين أكبر عميل لنفط إيران مع استيرادها 475 ألف برميل يوميا في الربع الأول من العام الجاري، وفقا لبيانات الجمارك الصينية.

https://www.alaraby....لتلافي-العقوبات

#1262 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 06:19 PM

US-Iranian tensions this week were ramped up by intelligence of a plot for Iran’s Iraqi proxies to attack the American Al Tanf garrison in E. Syria, which commands the strategic Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border intersection. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources, reporting this exclusively, reveal that Tehran’s master-plotter is Qais al-Khazail, head of the Iraqi Kataib Hezballah militia, and he is collaborating with a fellow proxy, the Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq.

This intelligence, which reached the head of US CENTCOM, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, galvanized Washington into action. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hurried over to Baghdad on Tuesday, May 7 with a warning that US punishment would reach Iranian soil and its Revolutionary Guards bases, if US forces came to harm. On Thursday, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group sailed into the Red Sea and on Thursday, the Pentagon announced the redeployment of Patriot anti-missile batteries to the Middle East.

These ramped up US deployments followed a high-powered conference, which took place unusually at CIA headquarters in Langley on April 29 at 7 a.m. The top-secret meeting was attended by CIA Director Gina Haskel, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joe Dunford, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats.

https://www.debka.co...-tanf-garrison/

this blog entry has many more details
http://www.intelliti...יני-מאחרי-המזי/

US embassy in iraq warns americans to:
1. not travel to iraq
2. avoid places that americans are known to gather
3. to not reveal their identity
4. be cautious of their surroundings

أصدرت السفارة الأمريكية في بغداد تحذيرا للمواطنين الأمريكيين في العراق، مشيرة إلى "زيادة حدة التوتر في البلاد".

وقال بيان السفارة، على صفحتها الرسمية، على "تويتر"، الأحد 12 مايو / آيار: "نحذر المواطنين الأمريكيين المقيمين في العراق ونطالبهم باتخاذ إجراءات الحيطة والحذر".

وطالبت السفارة الأمريكية المواطنين الأمريكيين باتخاذ 4 تدابير للحفاظ على أمنهم، وهي:

1- عدم السفر إلى العراق.

2- تجنب الوجود في الأماكن، المعروفة بأنها أماكن تجمع أمريكيين.

3- عدم الكشف عن هويتهم.

4- اتخاذ الحيطة والحذر من المحيطين به.

https://www.alalamtv...ر-بيانًا-عاجلًا

iranian foreign minister says john bolton, saudi arabia & UAE schemed to pressure iran, including by withdrawing from the nuclear deal, before trump was even elected.... revolutionary guards commander maj gen hossein salami says the US has neither the ability nor the courage to attack iran and that aircraft carriers aren't immune

قال وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف إن مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي جون بولتون كان يخطط مع الإمارات والسعودية وإسرائيل للضغط على بلاده -فضلا عن انسحاب واشنطن من الاتفاق النووي- قبل وصول الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب للسلطة.

وأضاف ظريف -في تغريدة له عبر تويتر مخاطبا الرئيس الأميركي- أن خطة بولتون كانت تتضمن نشر معلومات استخباراتية مختلقة ضد طهران وادعاءات بشأن انتهاك إيران للاتفاق النووي وتهديدات بشن حرب عسكرية ضدها، حسب قوله.

وردا على تصريحات ترامب بشأن استعداد الإدارة الأميركية للتفاوض مع إيران، أكد ظريف أن تقديم مقترحات وهمية من قِبَل الولايات المتحدة للتفاوض مع إيران كان ضمن مخطط بولتون أيضا.

*snip*

وتصاعد التوتر في الأيام الأخيرة بين الولايات المتحدة وإيران على خلفية التحشيد الأميركي في المنطقة وتهديد إيران برد عنيف إن هي عرضت مصالح واشنطن في المنطقة للخطر.

ونقلت وسائل إعلام إيرانية عن قائد قوات الحرس الثوري الإيراني اللواء حسين سلامي، قوله إن الولايات المتحدة لا تملك القدرة أو الجرأة على شن حرب على إيران، وإن حاملات الطائرات الأميركية ليست محصنة.

https://www.aljazeer...لتصعيد-الأميركي

commander in iran's navy says US presence in the middle east has come to an end

أكد قائد القوة البحرية في الجيش الإيراني العمید حسین خازنداي أن حضور الأمريكيين في المنطقة وصل إلى نهايته وعليهم الرحيل.

طهران- سبوتنيك.ونقلت وكالة "إسنا" الإيرانية عن خازنداي قوله، اليوم الأحد "حضور الأمريكيين في المنطقة استعراضي، وهذا الحضور وصل إلى نهايته وعليهم تركها".

https://arabic.sputn...إيرانية-حضوركم/

rohani says the current situation in iran with the US sanctions is worse than during the 1980-88 war with iraq

قال الرئيس الإيراني حسن روحاني "إن بلاده تمر بظروف صعبة"، واصفا العقوبات الحالية بأنها "أصعب من تلك التي فرضت على طهران خلال فترة الحرب الإيرانية العراقية".

ونقلت وكالة الأنباء الإيرانية عن الرئيس الإيراني قوله "اليوم، لا يمكن قول ما إذا كانت الظروف أفضل أم أسوأ من فترة الحرب (1980-1988)، لكن خلال فترة الحرب لم تكن لدينا مشكلات مع بنوكنا، أو مبيعات النفط، أو الواردات والصادرات، وكانت هناك عقوبات فقط على مشتريات السلاح".

وأضاف روحاني "ضغوط الأعداء حرب غير مسبوقة، لكني لا أيأس، ولدي أمل كبير في المستقبل، وأعتقد أننا يمكن أن نتجاوز تلك الظروف الصعبة شريطة أن نتحد".

https://www.independ...الحرب-مع-العراق

UAE state media report that four commerical UAE ships in the fujairah emirate, about 115km across the strait of hormuz from iran, were subjected to unspecified sabotage operations & iran denies any involvement

أعلنت الإمارات العربية المتحدة اليوم الأحد أنّ أربع سفن شحن تجارية تعرّضت لـ"عمليات تخريبية" في مياهها قبالة إيران، من دون أن تحدّد طبيعة هذه الأعمال أو الجهة التي تقف خلفها، في واقعة نادرة في الدولة الخليجية التي تتمتّع باستقرار أمني كبير، بينما اعتبر رئيس لجنة الأمن القومي الإيراني حشمت الله فلاحت بيشه تعليقاً على الحدث أن "تفجيرات الفجيرة في الإمارات تثبت هشاشة الأمن في جنوب المياه الخليجية".

وذكرت وزارة الخارجية الإماراتية في بيان نشرته وكالة الأنباء الرسمية أن "أربع سفن شحن تجارية مدنية من عدة جنسيات تعرضت صباح اليوم لعمليات تخريبية (...) في المياه الاقتصادية لدولة الإمارات“، قرب إمارة الفجيرة على بعد حوالى 115 كلم من إيران.

https://www.independ...مياه-الإماراتية

leader of iraq's people's assembly faleh al-fayyad says pompeo told him that the US doesn't intend to take military action against iran

ذكر مستشار الأمن الوطني العراقي فالح الفياض، أن الإدارة الأمريكية أكدت لحكومة بغداد عدم نيتها اتخاذ أي خطوات عسكرية ضد إيران.

وقال الفياض، وهو أيضا رئيس هيئة "الحشد الشعبي" العراقي، اليوم الأحد في حديث لوكالة "إرنا" الإيرانية، إن الولايات المتحدة قلقت من ردود أفعال إيرانية محتملة، مشيرا إلى أن هدف الزيارة الأخيرة لوزير الخارجية الأمريكي مايك بومبيو إلى بغداد يعود إلى "تقديم علامات الاطمئنان لعدم نيتهم القيام بعمل عسكري".

https://arabic.rt.co...ة-إيران-عسكريا/

#1263 amor de cosmos

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:14 PM

Two of the four cargo ships sabotaged on Sunday, May 12, off Fujairah were oil tankers, said Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih on Monday., calling the attack “a threat to the security of global oil supplies.” One was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude from the port of Ras Tanura for delivery to Saudi Aramco’s customers in the United States, he said in a statement, adding there were no casualties or an oil spill, only substantial damage to the ships’ structure. Falih did not mention the vessels’ ownership.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Monday postponed his trip to Russia without explanation and headed straight for Brussels for talks with US NATO allies on the crisis with Iran.

On Sunday night, the UAE Foreign Ministry in Abu Dhabi reported that four cargo ships were hit by “sabotage operations” earlier that day near UAE waters off the Fujairah emirate. The UAE Foreign Ministry in Abu Dhabi reported that no injuries or spillage of harmful chemicals or fuel had occurred, indicating that the ships were fuel tankers. Work continued as usual at Fujairah port, the statement said. Neither the Saudi nor the UAE statements cited the perpetrator of the “sabotage attack” or its nature.

https://www.debka.co...-fujairah-port/

Bernard Lewis, a British-American historian of the Middle East, has been formidably influential in America – his policy ideas have towered over Presidents, policy-makers and think-tanks, and they still do. Though he died last year, his baleful views still shape America’s thinking about Iran. Mike Pompeo, for example, has written: “I met him only once, but read much of what he wrote. I owe a great deal of my understanding of the Middle East to his work … He was also a man who believed, as I do, that Americans must be more confident in the greatness of our country, not less.”

The “Bernard Lewis plan”, as it came to be known, was a design to fracture all the countries in the region – from the Middle East to India – along ethnic, sectarian and linguistic lines. A radical Balkanisation of the region. A retired US Army officer, Ralph Peters, followed up by producing the map of how a ‘Balkanised’ Middle East would look. Ben Gurion too had a similar strategic ambition for Israeli interests.

Lewis’s influence, however, went right to the top: President Bush was seen carrying articles by Lewis to a meeting in the Oval Office soon after September 11, and only eight days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Lewis was briefing Richard Perle’s Defence Policy Board, sitting next to his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress. At that key meeting of a board highly influential with the Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the two called for an invasion of Iraq.

Lewis seeded too the broader idea of a backward-looking Muslim world, seething with hatred against a modernizing and virtuous West. It was him, and not Samuel Huntington, who coined the phrase ‘clash of civilizations’ – implying further, that Islam and the West are embroiled in an existential battle for survival.

Through the Evangelical prism of today’s policy-makers, such as Pompeo and Mike Pence, this dark prognostication has metamorphosed from a civilizational ‘clash’ into the cosmic battle of good and evil (with Iran particularly pinpointed as the source of cosmic evil in today’s world).

*snip*

The point is that under the JCPOA, Iran is not permitted to accumulate either substance beyond 300 Kilos and 300 litres, respectively. So Iran is compelled by the Accord to export any potential surplus which might breach these limits. The former goes to Russia (in return for raw yellow-cake), and the latter is stored in Oman.

Let us be very clear: There is absolutely no nuclear benefit to Iran from these exports. They serve only the interests of those who are signatories to the JCPOA. They are JCPOA ‘housekeeping’ items – i.e. they serve only those who advocate non-proliferation of nuclear-related materials. The export is envisaged by the Accord, and is demanded of Iran.

If these exports represent precisely the working of the nuclear agreement, why then would Pompeo refuse to renew the waivers to such a structural component to non-proliferation? They are of no economic significance per se.

The only answer must be that Pompeo and Bolton are trying to corner Iran into a breach of the JCPOA: They are deliberately trying to provoke non-compliance by Iran, and are effectively forcing Iran to proliferate. For, if these substances cannot be exported, Iran will be obliged to accumulate them, in breach of the JCPOA (unless the UNSC dispute procedure embedded in the JCPOA, rules otherwise).

But pushing Iran into a formal breach opens many possibilities for Bolton to provoke Iran further, and perhaps even to taunt it into providing the US with its casas belli for flattening Iran’s enrichment facilities. Who knows?


11-0.png

https://www.mintpres...on-iran/258421/

#1264 amor de cosmos

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:08 AM

Iran’s most prominent military leader has recently met Iraqi militias in Baghdad and told them to “prepare for proxy war”, the Guardian has learned.

Two senior intelligence sources said that Qassem Suleimani, leader of Iran’s powerful Quds force, summoned the militias under Tehran’s influence three weeks ago, amid a heightened state of tension in the region. The move to mobilise Iran’s regional allies is understood to have triggered fears in the US that Washington’s interests in the Middle East are facing a pressing threat. The UK raised its threat levels for British troops in Iraq on Thursday.

While Suleimani has met regularly with leaders of Iraq’s myriad Shia groups over the past five years, the nature and tone of this gathering was different. “It wasn’t quite a call to arms, but it wasn’t far off,” one source said.

The meeting has led to a frenzy of diplomatic activity between US, British and Iraqi officials who are trying to banish the spectre of clashes between Tehran and Washington and who now fear that Iraq could become an arena for conflict.

https://www.theguard...e-for-proxy-war

#1265 amor de cosmos

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 08:01 AM

Iraqi police forces arrested a Daesh commander in the northern city of Mosul, according to the Defense Ministry on Sunday.

In a statement, the ministry said Jihad al-Ansari was captured in a security raid in eastern Mosul upon an intelligence tip-off.

The ministry said al-Ansari was serving as a commander of Daesh militants in the northern Nineveh province.

https://www.aa.com.t...-mosul-/1482002

iraqi army destroys large ISIL training camp in southwest of ain al-assad in anbar province & seized some weapons & ammunition

به گزارش خبرگزاری اهل بیت(ع) ـ ابنا ـ ارتش عراق از انهدام یک پایگاه نظامی بزرگ داعش در جنوب غرب پایگاه عین الاسد در استان الانبار خبر داد.

«محمد عسکری» یکی از مسئولان نظامی ارتش عراق گفت: فرماندهی عملیات الانبار با همکاری نیروهای هوایی در یک عملیات ویژه با هدف انهدام هسته های مخفی داعش و با کسب اطلاعاتی از وجود یک پایگاه نظامی بزرگ آموزشی داعش در 130 کیلومتری جنوب غربی پایگاه عین الاسد، آن را منهدم کردیم و بر مقادیری از اسلحه و مهمات دست یافتیم.

وی افزود: در این پایگاه آموزشی داعش، تروریست ها به عناصر خود شیوه های حمله انتحاری به نظامیان و غیرنظامیان را آموزش می دادند.

http://fa.abna24.com...بار_751960.html
 

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump may not need Congress to go to war with Iran.

That's the case his lieutenants have been quietly building as tensions between the two nations have escalated.

The key elements involve drawing links between al Qaeda and Iran and casting Iran as a terrorist threat to the U.S. — which is exactly what administration officials have been doing in recent weeks.

That could give Trump the justification he needs to fight Iran under the still-in-effect 2001 use-of-force resolution without congressional approval.

That prospect is unsettling to most Democrats, and even some Republicans, in part because Iran didn't attack the U.S. on 9/11, in part because there is a reluctance to engage U.S. forces in another theater of war, and in part because many lawmakers believe Congress has given too much of its war-making authority to the president over the years.

With Congress unlikely to grant him new authority to strike Iran under the current circumstances, and amid a campaign of "maximum pressure" against the regime in Tehran that has escalated tension between the two countries, Trump administration officials have sent strong signals that they will be ready to make an end run around lawmakers, using the 2001 authorization for the use of military force — or "AUMF" in Washington-speak — if necessary.

That law gave the president the power to use force against "nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

*snip*

And in recent weeks, the Trump administration has accused Iran of assisting al Qaeda, designated an arm of the Iranian military as a foreign terrorist organization and accused Iran of being linked to a terrorist threat against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

National Security Council officials declined to speak on the record with NBC about whether such incidents would satisfy the legal threshold necessary for the president to determine he had the authority to use force against Iran.

But former government lawyers familiar with the 2001 law and its applications say it's obvious from those moves what the Trump administration is trying to do.

"The whole thing is building up to the notion that they don't have to go to Congress for approval," Yale University law professor Harold Koh, who served as the State Department's top lawyer under Secretary Hillary Clinton, said in a telephone interview with NBC News.

Yet Koh said an attempt to shoehorn Iran into the 2001 AUMF is absurd and shouldn't pass legal muster.

"The theory of war powers has to be that Congress doesn't just sign off once," he said. "The suggestion now that Iran attacked us on 9/11 is ridiculous."

*snip*

Under questioning from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a critic of the executive branch's expansive view of its war powers under both Presidents Barack Obama and Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that he would "leave it to the lawyers" to sort out whether Trump had the authority to go to war with Iran absent a new authorization from Congress.

But he also forwarded an argument that he has been making since the early days of the administration that is tantamount to a case that the first part of the test has been met.

"The factual question with respect to Iran's connections to Al-Qaeda is very real. They have hosted al Qaeda, they have permitted al Qaeda to transit their country,” he said at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing. “There is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and al Qaeda. Period, full stop.”

https://www.nbcnews....an-war-n1007281
 

Two Atlanta defense attorneys say they’re puzzled by the federal government’s decision to prosecute an Iranian professor renowned for stem cell research and two of his former students for alleged trade sanction violations over eight vials of human growth hormone.

They are equally troubled by the circumstances that prompted federal authorities to secretly indict Dr. Masoud Soleimani last year, and a decision to cancel his research visa while he was already en route from Iran to Minnesota to work at the Mayo Clinic. Federal authorities took him into custody when he landed in the U.S. in October.

Since then, Soleimani—a professor and biomedical researcher at the University of Tehran— has been held in Atlanta without bond, said his Atlanta attorney, Leonard Franco.

The hormone—a form of synthetic protein—was seized from one of Soleimani’s former students in 2016 by customs authorities in Atlanta. The seizure took place at a time when the U.S. was still a party to the international nuclear accords with Iran and sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation had been eased.

“I truly don’t understand it,” Franco said of the government’s decision to prosecute. Looking at the case in a light most favorable to the government, Franco said it appears to be “some type of policy argument.”

The growth hormone is not banned in the U.S. or Iran and was being used exclusively for medical research, which is still considered largely exempt from sanctions, Franco said.

Two of Soleimani’s former students—Mahboobe Ghaedi and Maryam Jazayeri—face similar federal charges for attempting to supply Soleimani with the growth hormone.

Ghaedi is a permanent U.S. resident and an assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine, whose lung regeneration research has resulted in a functioning transplantable lung, according to court records. She is free on a $250,000 bond.

Jazayeri is a naturalized U.S. citizen and Kentucky resident who has conducted medical research at the University of Louisville, court records say. She is currently free on a $200,000 bond.

Motions to dismiss the charges are pending in federal court in Atlanta in front of U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross. Federal prosecutors in Atlanta have not yet responded to the motions. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak declined to comment.

https://www.law.com/...iran-sanctions/

#1266 amor de cosmos

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 08:23 AM

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — At least 32 people were killed in a prison riot in Tajikistan, including 24 members of the Islamic State jihadist group and three guards, authorities said Monday.

Five inmates and the three guards were initially killed by prisoners in the riot that erupted on Sunday evening, and the others died in clashes with security forces trying to restore order, the justice ministry said in a statement.

The prison in Vakhdat, 17 kilometres (11 miles) east of the capital Dushanbe, holds 1,500 inmates.

The ministry said the rioters first stabbed to death three guards, and then five other inmates "in order to intimidate" the others.

They then took other prisoners hostage before opening fire in the jail's medical facilities.

"Following a reprisal operation, 24 members of this group were killed and 35 others arrested. The hostages were freed" and calm restored, the statement said.

Two of the prisoners murdered by the rioters were well-known activists of the banned opposition group Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, the local prison service said.

http://www.rudaw.net.../world/20052019

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia) tried to attack Russia’s Hmeymim Airbase in Syria with a multiple launch rocket system. The air defense alert force repelled the attack and destroyed the target, the Russian Defense Ministry told journalists on Monday.

"On the evening of May 19 terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra tried to attack the Russian airbase Hmeymim with a multiple launch rocket system. At about 20:00 on Sunday the terrorists launched six projectiles from the Idlib de-escalation zone on the Russian airbase. The air defense alert force destroyed all the projectiles," the Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said that no destruction or victims were reported at the Hmeymim Airbase and that it continues to operate in a regular mode.

"The Russian reconnaissance force urgently detected the specified terrorists’ multiple launch rocket system on the western outskirts of the community of Kafr Nabl in the Idlib Governorate. The Russian Aerospace Force destroyed the specified terrorist target in a pinpoint attack," the Defense Ministry reported.

The Russian air defense systems also detected two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) approaching Hmeymim from the north and northeast. "The air defense alert force of the Russian airbase destroyed all UAVs at a considerable distance from the airbase," the ministry said.

http://tass.com/defense/1059061

The Syrian government forces, backed by Russia, have unilaterally ceased firing in the northwestern Idlib province, the last major rebel-held territory, Moscow's defence ministry said.

However, opposition activists said shelling and air attacks continued on Sunday despite the announcement.

Fighting erupted in northwestern Syria last month and shattered a truce negotiated by Russia and Turkey late last year.

Syrian government forces intensified their attacks on Idlib, which is home to three million people, late in April, as the United Nations and rights groups warned of an humanitarian catastrophe.

The offensive by the Syrian army and its allies uprooted more than 150,000 people, the UN said.

https://www.aljazeer...9182039997.html

#1267 amor de cosmos

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:32 AM

Head of Raqqa's Rescue Team Yasser al-Khamis announced on Tuesday that 670 corpses have been discovered from the first row of al-Fakhikheh mass-grave in Southern Raqqa that contains several more rows each containing an unknown number of dead bodies.

He added that the mass-grave included bodies of ISIL militants and a large number of civilians executed by the terrorists, noting that according to their intel, several corpses also belong to the foreign media workers who had been executed by the terrorists in Raqqa.

http://en.farsnews.c...=13980231000899

us assistant treasury secretary marshall billingslea met with iraqi finance minister. billingslea gave the iraqis a list of iranian companies doing business in iraq and said there was a possibility that iraq would face sanctions if they continued to provide safe haven for iranian banking activities & to overlook the iranian banks with iraqi fronts.

بحث وفد أميركي رفيع في العاصمة العراقية بغداد تطورات الأوضاع السياسية في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، وتداعيات التوترات الأخيرة عليها وإجراءات تطبيق العقوبات على إيرانوقدّم بيلينغسلي للمسؤولين العراقيين "قائمة بأسماء شركات ومصارف إيرانية قال إنها تحتال على العقوبات الأميركية عبر العراق".

وكرر خلال حديثه "التلويح بإمكانية شمول العراق بعقوبات قاسية، إذا ما استمر بتوفير ملاذات آمنة للنشاطات المصرفية الإيرانية، وغض النظر عن مصارف وشركات تجارية إيرانية بواجهات عراقية" بحسب ما أوردته مواقع عراقية.

من جانبه، أكد الوزير حسين أن الوضع في المنطقة معقد وحساس في آن واحد وأعرب عن أمله بأن تحل المشاكل العالقة بالطرق السلمية والدبلوماسية والحوار والمفاوضات، معتبرا أن أي توتر أو صراع سيؤثر بشكل سلبي على جميع دول المنطقة، وبالأخص العراق، وسينعكس ذلك سلبا على الاقتصاد والسوق العراقية.

https://www.aljazeer...قوبات-على-إيران
 

KIRKUK – Suspected remnants of the Islamic State group (ISIS) are moving freely in the disputed province of Kirkuk, exploiting security gaps between Iraqi and Peshmerga lines, villagers warn.

One resident of Amsha, a village near the province’s Domalan mountain range, told Rudaw villagers have reported the ISIS presence to Iraqi security forces, but nothing has been done to counter the threat.

“In the Kani Domalan Heights there is a void where the Iraqi Army is not present,” said Sirwan Mohammed, a local of Amsha.

“Daesh [fighters] are frequently spotted by people and we have reported it to the security forces but they check it without doing anything on the grounds that they do not have any order to act,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Locals have reported suspected ISIS activity near Dubiz, Pirde, and Shwan.

http://www.rudaw.net...t/iraq/21052019
 

PARIS (Reuters) - European powers are facing huge pressure from the United States to drop its proposed trade channel with Iran and it will also not succumb to ultimatums from Tehran, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.

Britain, France and Germany, which signed a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran along with the United States, China and Russia, are determined to show they can compensate for last year’s U.S. withdrawal from the accord, protect trade and still prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

As part of those efforts, it is trying to set up a special trade channel known as INSTEX, that will deal essentially with food and medical trade, but it is struggling to become operational.

“Yes, there is American pressure. It’s strong, very strong and very direct on this subject,” Le Maire told reporters in Paris. “There is pressure on political officials, the administration and all those who are implicated on this subject.”

https://uk.reuters.c...r-idUKKCN1SR15P

russia says there are 5000 ISIL fighters in northern afghanistan

‌ به گزارش خبرگزاری اهل‌بیت(ع) ـ ابنا ـ مقامات اطلاعاتی روسیه می‌گویند یک زیرشاخه داعش توانسته حدود ۵۰۰۰ شبه‌نظامی را در مرزهای شمالی افغانستان با جمهوری‌های شوروی سابق گردهم آورد.

«الکساندر بورتینکوف» رئیس سازمان اطلاعات روسیه، در نشستی با سران سازمان‌های اطلاعاتی این کشورها در شهر دوشنبه گفت‌: به‌ویژه، استقرار دوباره این گروه‌های تروریستی در ولایت‌های شمالی افغانستان نگران کننده است.

رئیس سازمان اطلاعات روسیه همچنین اعلام کرد گروه موسوم به ولایت خراسان که یکی از شاخه‌های محلی داعش به شمار می‌رفت موفق شده ۵۰۰۰ جنگجو را در این مناطق گردهم آورد.

http://fa.abna24.com...ابق_752068.html

#1268 amor de cosmos

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 07:19 PM

Iraqi and Syrian sources report that the United States on Tuesday transferred Marine units from Jordan to further further bolster its two big Iraqi air bases at Ayn al-Asad in the western Iraqi province of Anbar and Al-Habaniyeh near Baghdad. Those sources estimate that 10,000 US troops are now deployed at the two bases.

https://www.debka.co...es-from-jordan/

 



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