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Target Syria NWO's next acquisition The Middle East- WW III - Muslim Civil War

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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: Target Syria NWO's next acquisition The Middle East- WW III - Muslim Civil War  (Read 19128 times)
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« Reply #900 on: March 26, 2015, 05:48:09 am »

Another Middle East War Breaks Out: Saudis Begin Bombing Yemen, US Military Taking Action

pdate: *OBAMA AUTHORIZED LOGISTICAL AND INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO GULF, U.S. MILITARY TAKING MILITARY ACTION TO DEFEND SAUDI BORDER, TO DEFEND AGAINST HOUTHI VIOLENCE



John McCain & Lindsay Graham explain Obama's move...

    U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on Saudi Arabia leading an international coalition conducting air strikes against Iranian-backed separatists in Yemen:
   

    “Saudi Arabia and our Arab partners deserve our support as they seek to restore order in Yemen, which has collapsed into civil war.
     

    “We understand why our Saudi and other Arab partners felt compelled to take action. The prospect of radical groups like Al-Qaeda, as well as Iranian-backed militants, finding safe haven on the border of Saudi Arabia was more than our Arab partners could withstand. Their action also stems from their perception of America's disengagement from the region and absence of U.S. leadership.

   
    “A country that President Obama recently praised as a model for U.S. counterterrorism has now become a sectarian conflict and a regional proxy war that threatens to engulf the Middle East. What's worse, while our Arab partners conduct air strikes to halt the offensive of Iranian proxies in Yemen, the United States is conducting air strikes to support the offensive of Iranian proxies in Tikrit. This is as bizarre as it is misguided – another tragic case of leading from behind.”

*  *  *

Earlier today we reported that, on very short notice, Saudi Arabia had moved heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, "raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict." In other words, Saudi Arabia was preparing for war.

Shortly thereafter, but before Yemen's president bravely fled the country over fears of the Houthi rebel advance, Yemen's foreign minister called for Arab military intervention against advancing Shiite rebels.

As we explicitly warned, "the conflict risked spiraling into a proxy war with Shi'ite Iran backing the Houthis, whose leaders adhere Shi'ite Islam, and Saudi Arabia and the other regional Sunni Muslim monarchies backing Hadi."

Moments ago all these warnings were borne out when Al-Arabiya reported that the latest middle-east war is now official after Saudi Arabia and Arab Gulf States had launched a bombing campaign against Yemen.

rest: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-25/another-middle-east-war-breaks-out-saudi-arabia-begins-bombing-yemen
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« Reply #901 on: March 26, 2015, 05:49:11 am »

Saudi deploys 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers for anti-Houthi campaign

Saudi Arabia deployed 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units on Thursday, after it launched its operation against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The Saudi aerial deployment enabled the Royal Saudi Air Force to take control of Yemen’s airspace early Thursday.
Infographic: The 'Decisive Storm' coalition




Reports also emerged that top Houthi leadership Abdulkhaliq al-Houthi, Yousuf al-Madani, and Yousuf al-Fishi were killed, and head of the Revolutionary Committee for the Houthis, Mohammed Ali al-Hothi, was wounded.

Saudi allies including its Gulf counterparts - except Oman - also showcased their military power to curb the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from reaching Aden to dislodge Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who remained in the southern city.

The Gulf nations said they decided to “repel Houthi aggression” in neighboring Yemen, following a request from the country’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

In their joint statement Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait said they “decided to repel Houthi militias, al-Qaeda and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in the country.”

The Gulf states warned that the Houthi coup in Yemen represented a “major threat” to the region’s stability.

The UAE contributed 30 fighter jets, Bahrain 15, Kuwaiti 15, Qatar 10 and Jordan 6 in the operation.

On Thursday, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Sudan also expressed their readiness to participate on the ground in Yemen.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition opposition group said it backed the Saudi operation and voiced its support to Hadi as Yemen’s “legitimate” leader.

The campaign has also received the backing of the U.S..

The White House on Wednesday said Washington is coordinating closely with Saudi Arabia and regional allies in the campaign, providing intelligence and logistical support.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/26/Saudi-deploys-100-fighter-jets-150-000-soldiers-for-anti-Houthi-campaign.html
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« Reply #902 on: March 26, 2015, 05:50:03 am »

Iran Comes to the Israeli Border

As the Islamic Republic and Hezbollah try to drive back rebel fighters in southern Syria, they threaten to spur a larger conflict in one of the Middle East's most volatile regions.

AMMAN — In Jordan, Syria’s war is everywhere. Over 600,000 refugees have fled to the country: Cities like Irbid and Zarqa teem with new Syrian inhabitants, and Zaatari camp, which houses 85,000 exiled Syrian Sunnis, is home to at least four donkeys named Bashar. Above it all, coalition cargo planes and screaming F-16s slice through the spring sky toward northern Syria and Iraq, daily reminders of Jordan’s role in the coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State.

But the most potent force in the battle unfolding just across Jordan’s northern border is still invisible: Iranian power.

Over the past six weeks, soldiers belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah have played a major role in the Syrian regime’s long-awaited offensive on the southern province of Daraa.

The southern province is the moderate opposition’s last stronghold, and the site of steady rebel gains since early summer 2014. With no Islamic State presence to contend with, Free Syrian Army-affiliated groups and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front have found ways to work together, tightening their hold on the region. Their reach covers most of the Jordan-Syria border, providing them with valuable supply lines leading to Amman. On March 25, reportedly supported by an influx of arms from their international backers, a coalition of rebel groups were able to seize the Daraa town of Bosra al-Sham from the Syrian regime and its allies.

Yet while the opposition fighters vying for control in this part of the country are mostly locals, their adversaries are not. Sunni rebels, activists, and researchers say the well-trained Iranian-backed Shiite fighters on the ground are more numerous and more powerful than the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF), a government-funded paramilitary force they are fighting alongside.

If anything, the Iranian militias seem to be leading the fight, said Issam el-Rayyes, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s Southern Front.

“We are costing them a lot of losses, but they don’t stop. It’s clear this isn’t the [Syrian army],” he said. “They are fighting for beliefs.”

According to Rayyes, the U.S.-backed Southern Front has about 2,500 men in the battle, compared to the regime’s 5,000. He estimates that just one of every five of the men on the opposite side are Syrian — a number with which several independent experts agreed. The other 4,000 are Iranian-backed Shiite fighters from Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

Phillip Smyth, a researcher of Hezbollah and other Shiite militias, said that Iran and its allies have attracted foreign fighters by painting the fight as a battle to the death with Sunni extremists, in which Shiites are obliged to defend the Sayyida Zainab Mosque in Damascus, one of the holiest shrines for Shiites.

    “From the very beginning, they were selling it as a fight against Sunni extremists,” he said. “It’s an existential crisis: If you don’t defend the shrine, this is the end of Shiism.”

“From the very beginning, they were selling it as a fight against Sunni extremists,” he said. “It’s an existential crisis: If you don’t defend the shrine, this is the end of Shiism.”

From an Iranian perspective, the southern rebels’ links to the United States, Jordan, and Israel have only amplified the need to reverse their gains. The operation to push them back began on about Feb. 10 south of the Damascus countryside, at the intersection of the provinces of Damascus, Quneitra, and Daraa. It churned through the rebel-held towns of Deir al-Adas and Kafr Shams, which previously marked the front line between regime and opposition positions. From there, pro-regime forces pushed west toward Quneitra and are attempting to move down the western flank of Daraa province into the Golan Heights, where Israel Defense Forces and Sunni rebels have quietly co-existed for more than a year.

Rayyes said the front line is now around the town of Kafr Nasij, just 15 miles east of the Golan Heights. “They’re trying to push toward Mashara in Quneitra. Their target is [hilltop town] Tal al-Hara, then to take the Golan borders and eventually cut off supply lines from Jordan.”

A source close to senior Hezbollah figures confirmed that the offensive had reached roughly 10 miles south into the Golan Heights from the north, and was going strong. He said the aim was to sever the territorial link between the rebels and Israel, which he accused of providing the Sunni fighters with military advice and medical care.

“The orders are to take back the borders with the Golan Heights and remove the rebels,” he said. “The goal is to prevent the ‘buffer zone’ Israel is trying to establish along the border.”

He said that the southern offensive wasn’t supposed to happen as quickly as it did, but had been “sped up” when an Israeli attack killed an Iranian general and six Hezbollah fighters in January — a reminder that it’s Iran, and not Assad, calling the shots here.

Just as Iranian power is behind the recent gains of the pro-regime forces, the southern rebels answer to their own international backers. Several well-vetted Southern Front factions are armed, trained, and funded by the United States and a team of Western and Arab military advisors out of the shadowy Military Operations Command center in Amman.

    Iran’s support for the regime offensive threatens to spur an arms race in the area, as each regional power attempts to one-up its rivals in southern Syria.

Iran’s support for the regime offensive threatens to spur an arms race in the area, as each regional power attempts to one-up its rivals in southern Syria. Tehran has been building up a presence in southern Syria for some time: One of its biggest bases was in Bosra al-Sham, a prewar Shiite hub that residents say had since become a hot spot for internationals.

Local activist Abu Khaleed said a team of eight Hezbollah trainers had come to Bosra al-Sham to train local Twelver Shiite fighters, and that they had recently been joined by Iranian and other foreign volunteers. The operation — which includes Druze, Syrian army soldiers, and NDF fighters — is run out of the local Hezbollah office, he said. Weapons are plentiful and relief troops rotate in frequently.

For Smyth, all of this adds up to an Iranian-backed Shiite project with military, geopolitical and as yet fully unrevealed ideological elements.

“Hezbollah has a huge footprint in Syria, and they are building mini-Hezbollahs,” he said. “The national army is having trouble pulling its own weight and its work has been taken over by militias answering to a supranational ideology.”

Iran, so far, has proved reticent to reveal the extent of its leadership in Syria. In the early days of the offensive, photographs emerged on social media of a front-line visit by Qassem Suleimani, the silver-haired Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps general who heads the elite Quds Force. An activist who follows Shiite militias said Suleimani was on a morale-boosting trip, and the soldiers with whom he was photographed are Hezbollah fighters from Qalamoun, a Syrian region bordering Lebanon. But the visit was not meant to be leaked to the public, and the activist noted that the social media account where the images first appeared was no longer operational by the next morning.

“Iran has a vested interest in its ally being seen as a cogent force, even if everybody can see through it,” said Smyth.

The moderate, non-Islamist Sunni rebels trying to hold off this offensive say they are inflicting greater casualties these days, as they settle into a defensive posture rather than an offensive one. But this is an ideological battle, and Rayyes admitted that the framing of the war as a Sunni-Shiite battle was damaging the Southern Front.

“For us it’s about foreign fighters, not Sunni-Shiite,” he said. “They may have all the Shiite support, but we don’t have all the Sunni support.”

For now at least, there is still a moderate Sunni presence in Syria’s south. But the prominent role played by Shiite militias in the ongoing offensive leaves Smyth pessimistic about the country’s future.

“Hezbollah is in Syria to stay,” he said. “[T]he Hezbollah-ization of the Syrian security apparatus has begun, and you can’t really turn that off.”

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/03/25/iran-comes-to-the-israeli-border-shiite-hezbollah-syria/
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« Reply #903 on: March 28, 2015, 05:21:00 am »

Warships move in key strait as airstrikes widen in Yemen

 As airstrikes in Yemen intensified on their second day Friday, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were considering an intervention on the ground, aimed at giving the president a secure foothold to return to the country, while backing Sunni tribesmen to fight against Shiite rebels and their allies, military officials said.
Related Stories

    Turmoil in Yemen escalates as Saudi Arabia bombs rebels Associated Press
    [$$] U.S. Boosts Aid in Saudi-Led Fight To Defeat Rebel Force in Yemen The Wall Street Journal
    President of Yemen flees by sea; Saudis begin airstrikes Associated Press
    Pakistan mulling Saudi request to send ground troops to Yemen Christian Science Monitor
    Yemeni leader Hadi leaves country as Saudi Arabia keeps up air strikes Reuters

A likely entry point for troops from the Saudi-led Arab coalition was the southern port of Aden, the Yemeni and Egyptian military officials told The Associated Press. But that could be a tough prospect: The city is already a battleground, and on Friday forces loyal to the rebels' top ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, were advancing toward it.

The officials' comments to the AP draw broad outlines for the likely strategy for the ambitious campaign launched Thursday, led by Saudi Arabia with a major role by its ally Egypt. The aim, they said, was to carve out enough room for President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was forced to flee the country from Aden, to return. Longer-term, the campaign aims to wear down the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and Saleh's forces, enough to reach a power-sharing accord. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the plans.

"The credibility and legitimacy of President Hadi erode with every day he spends outside the country," said one Yemeni military official. Hadi fled by boat from Aden on Wednesday, making his way to Saudi Arabia, and on Friday arrived in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for an Arab summit due to start the following day.

The forces of Saleh appear to be a key concern. Saleh ruled Yemen with an autocratic hand for nearly 40 years until he was forced out and replaced by Hadi in 2012 following an Arab Spring uprising. But he remained in Yemen and kept the loyalty of many military commanders. One Yemeni official Friday estimated that 70 percent of the army is loyal to Saleh, including many of the best armed and trained units based around the country.

Those pro-Saleh troops have been fighting alongside the Iranian-allied Houthis, enabling them to take over the capital Sanaa and much of the country over the past months — at least 10 of Yemen's 21 provinces.
Raw: Thousands in Yemen Rally Against Airstrikes Play video
Raw: Thousands in Yemen Rally Against Airstrikes

Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni-led allies in the Gulf and the Middle East view the Houthi takeover as an attempt by Iran to establish a proxy on the kingdom's southern border. Iran and the Houthis deny that Tehran arms the rebel movement, though it says it provides diplomatic and humanitarian support. Washington says the U.S. is providing refueling tankers and surveillance flights for the Saudi operations, and there are several U.S. troops working in the operations center, but the U.S is not taking direct military action.

A second day of intense airstrikes by Saudi Arabia and its allies hammered Sanaa and five other provinces, hitting bases of units loyal to Saleh. They struck in Saleh's stronghold of Samhan, outside Sanaa, where Saleh is believed to have fled, and the Houthis' main stronghold, the mountainous northern region of Saada, where the group's leader Abdul-Malik Houthi is located.

At least 24 civilians were killed in Friday's strikes, bringing the toll from two days to 45 civilians, the Houthi-run Interior Ministry said. The Houthis' TV station showed footage from a market in Saada it said was struck by missiles, with images of charred bodies and wrecked vehicles.

Yemeni security officials said around 80 fighters from Houthi or Saleh forces have been killed in the strikes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press. By Friday afternoon, more than 40 percent of Yemen's air defenses were destroyed, according to Yemeni Brig. Gen. Saleh al-Subaihi, a pro-Hadi officer.

The figures of civilian and combatant casualties could not be independently confirmed.
View gallery
Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, hold up their weapons …
Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, hold up their weapons to protest against Saudi-led airstrikes, as t …

Also Friday, Saudi and Egyptian warships deployed to Bab al-Mandab, the strategic strait off Yemen at the entrance of the Red Sea, Egyptian military officials said. The strait gives the only access to Egypt's Suez Canal from the Arabian Sea and is a vital passage for shipping between Europe and Asia.

On his party website, Saleh proposed a cease-fire by the coalition, Hadi's forces and the Houthis — without mentioning his own — and a return to U.N.-sponsored negotiations.

But all sides appeared to be moving to confrontation in the south. "We are used to long wars," Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam said. "The situation in the south is much better than before ... There is full readiness."

Militias and military units loyal to Hadi hold much of Aden, but pro-Saleh units control the airport and parts of the city. The two sides clashed in northern neighborhoods on Friday, with snipers firing from rooftops. In a further complication, al-Qaida militants — who have been battling the Houthis — control another northern district on Aden's outskirts.

On Friday, a pro-Saleh force of dozens of troop carriers from the southern town of Lawdar was heading to Aden, reaching some 80 kilometers (50 miles) outside it. A pro-Saleh military official told AP that Saleh had ordered the force to join loyalists in Aden and secure it before the end of the Arab Summit this weekend. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk the press.
View gallery
A Yemeni man carries a box of ammunition he took from …
A Yemeni man carries a box of ammunition he took from a military depot in Aden, Yemen, Friday, March …

Ahmed Asiri, the Saudi spokesman of the coalition campaign, known as Decisive Storm, told reporters that "the main objective is to protect the government in Aden," referring to Hadi's supporters. When asked about the possibility of a coalition ground deployment, he said, "We are supporting the Yemeni army and we will do what it takes to protect the legitimacy of Yemeni government."

Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassin said there was an "arrangement" for ground troops of the Saudi-led coalition to deploy in Yemen. "It's a comprehensive military operation," he told the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel.

The Yemeni and Egyptian military officials said a ground deployment by troops from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other allies would come after airstrikes have weakened Houthi-Saleh forces sufficiently. As an alternative to Aden, the forces could deploy further east in Hadramout province, another pro-Hadi stronghold.

At the same time, the coalition is looking to further arm and bankroll Sunni tribes in the north and the south to fight the Houthis, they said. Many of these tribes are already receive considerable Saudi largesse to secure their loyalty.

If Arab troops can secure Aden, they would have to widen the pocket of control further in southern Yemen. Houthis and Saleh's forces hold several provinces in the area, but they face resistance. In Dhamar and Taiz — two areas overrun by the rebels — thousands of demonstrators staged protests Friday in support of the Saudi airstrikes.

In the southern city of al-Dhale, pro-Hadi militias were fighting Saleh's forces.

Battles were also going on in the southern city of al-Houta, just north of Aden. There, part of the city is controlled by pro-Hadi militias, another part is controlled by al-Qaida militants, and both were separately fighting Houthi and pro-Saleh forces, Yemeni security officials said.

http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-airstrikes-yemen-target-rebel-stronghold-north-084657937.html
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« Reply #904 on: March 28, 2015, 06:06:33 am »

In Yemen, It’s The Bad Guys Vs. The Bad Guys

Saudi Arabia and Egypt stand poised to conduct a massive ground invasion of Yemen, and the western media will be full of tales about how “Operation Decisive Storm” is liberating that country from the evil Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.  And without a doubt, the Houthis are bad guys and so are their Iranian benefactors.  But don’t be fooled into thinking that the war in Yemen is a battle of good vs. evil.  The truth is that the conflict in Yemen is actually a proxy war between two sets of bad guys that both ultimately plan for Islam to take over the entire planet.  On one side, the Iranians are very honest about the fact that they view us as an enemy, and they plan to impose their version of radical Shia Islam worldwide as soon as they can.  On the other side, the Saudis pretend to be our friends, but they don’t hide the fact that they believe that their version of Sunni Islam will eventually rule the world.  And their version of Sunni Islam includes constant beheadings, the destruction of all churches and the death penalty for anyone caught smuggling a Bible into Saudi territory.  At the end of the day, there is very little difference between the Saudis and ISIS.  In fact, ISIS gets a lot of funding from Saudi sources, and there is more support for ISIS on Twitter from Saudi Arabia than from anywhere else.  Saudi Arabia is a horribly repressive regime where women are treated like dirt, where the secret police conduct a never ending reign of terror and where even a minor deviation from sharia law can mean the loss of a limb.  But because our politicians and the mainstream media constantly tell us that they are “our friends”, we cheer them on.

It is being reported that the Saudis have mobilized 150,000 troops for a ground invasion of Yemen, and Egypt says that it is ready to contribute a very large force as well.  The Saudis simply were not going to just sit back and watch as pro-Iranian forces took total control of their neighbor.  The following is how the Telegraph recently described what the Iranians have been up to in Yemen for the past several years…

    For the past four years the Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been smuggling weapons to the Houthis, as well as providing expert military training, with the result that the Shia Houthi militia finally succeeded in seizing control of the capital Sana’a last year, forcing the Western-backed president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to seek refuge in Aden.

    Last week it was claimed that Tehran was increasing its support for the Houthis with the delivery of a 185 ton shipment of weapons and other military equipment.

This is how Iran likes to fight wars.  They like to fund and arm proxy organizations that will do their fighting for them.  That way they don’t have to get their hands messy or risk direct retaliation.  Hezbollah is a prime example of this.

And the Iranians were winning in Yemen.  In fact, they were on the verge of complete and total victory.

So the Saudis felt forced to step in.  The Saudis don’t like to fight their own wars either, but in this instance they felt there was no other choice.

But let there be no misunderstanding.  This is not a conflict between Saudi Arabia and some rebel group in Yemen.  This is part of an ongoing war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and at this point relations between the two nations are at an all-time low…

    “The Saudis were caught off guard by how quick and aggressive the Houthi offensive was and felt they needed a sharp and immediate response,” geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia group, told Business Insider over email. “They didn’t want Iran to think they needed Egypt or anyone else to come rescue the Kingdom. This is the worst tension we’ve seen between Iran and Saudi Arabia, period.”

And of course Yemen is far from the only front in this war.

For instance, Saudi-backed fighters “are poised for a massive battle” with Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters on the Syria-Lebanon border…

    Islamist forces armed and aided by Saudi Arabia are poised for a massive battle in the coming days targeting the Syrian regime and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization, according to Egyptian security officials speaking to WND.

    The officials said the Saudis have directed the Islamist forces, including the Al Nusra Front, to lead an imminent counterinsurgency focusing on the Syria-Lebanon border, with particular emphasis on the Qalamoun region.

    Qalamoun is a strategic site that serves as a supply line to Damascus from Lebanon. Control of the area would give the rebels a base of operations to target Damascus.

In the western media, this ongoing conflict is being characterized as a conflict between “good” Saudi Arabia and “evil” Iran.

But should we really be cheering on Saudi Arabia?

As I mentioned above, more funding for ISIS comes out of Saudi Arabia than anywhere else.

And ISIS also gets more support on social networks such as Twitter from Saudi Arabia than anywhere else…

    Part of ISIS’s success is its adoption of social media as a way to spread the group’s messages and find new members. A study by The Independent analyzed the origin of posts supporting ISIS on Twitter, and found that Saudi Arabia provides by far the most.

If you believe that ISIS is wrong for beheading people, you should keep in mind that there is a beheading in Saudi Arabia every four days.

The truth is that ISIS is simply just copying what the Saudis have been doing for centuries.

And for writing what I just did, I could be sentenced to 1,000 lashes if I was living in Saudi Arabia.  In fact, that is exactly what happened to one Saudi blogger.  Another Saudi man was recently sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.

The Saudis don’t believe that it will happen tomorrow, but they are fully convinced that their version of Islam will eventually dominate every inch of our planet.

Are you ready to live like the Saudis do?  In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive, religious police can drag you away at any time for any reason, and the penalty for smuggling a Bible is death.

If you are tempted to think that the Saudis do not plan to impose their rules on the rest of the world, you should consider what the top religious leader in the entire country recently had to say.  Earlier this month, he declared that every single church on the entire Arabian Peninsula (not just Saudi Arabia) must be destroyed…

    Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim cleric called on Tuesday for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula after legislators in the Gulf state of Kuwait moved to pass laws banning the construction of religious sites associated with Christianity.

    Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who serves as the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said the destruction of churches was absolutely necessary and is required by Islamic law, Arabic media reported.

These are the “good guys”?

The truth is that the Saudis are not our friends.  They like our money and they like our military might, and we make a convenient ally for them right now.

But what the Saudis stand for is the antithesis of everything that the United States is supposed to stand for.  It is a brutally oppressive regime that is promoting tyranny all over the planet.  Barack Obama may be comfortable with such “friends”, but the American people should not be.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/in-yemen-its-the-bad-guys-vs-the-bad-guys
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« Reply #905 on: March 28, 2015, 09:06:57 am »

Egypt's president backs joint Arab military force

A joint military force should be created to defend Arab nations, Egypt's president said Saturday.

Than they will attack Israel

President Abdel Fattah Sisi made his comments at a summit of Arab leaders in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the escalating conflict in Yemen was top of the agenda.

He said the Arab world was at a critical crossroads and facing unprecedented challenges.

"The challenges are grave," he told the Arab leaders. "It is a huge responsibility, heavy and burdensome."

His comments came as Saudi-led airstrikes were launched against Shiite rebels in Yemen, known as Houthis.

The coalition supporting the strikes says the takeover of Yemen is supported by Iran, which wants to exert its influence in the region.

Sisi said military action in Yemen was "inevitable."

"We reject any intervention in our own affairs," he said, but did not directly mention Iran.

The summit also heard from Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Yemen President Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled his nation.

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-egypt-president-backs-joint-arab-military-force-20150328-story.html
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« Reply #906 on: April 04, 2015, 02:24:39 pm »

A new chapter in the Sunni-Shi’ite war

With the announcement of the Saudi-led alliance for Yemen, the magnitude of the Middle East conflict has become plainly visible.

The Saudi-organized coalition for Yemen and the announcement of a regional Arab force show that the Sunni states have finally picked up the gauntlet thrown down by the Iranians.

The assembling of a Sunni alliance to challenge the advancement of an Iranian proxy in Yemen, and the subsequent announcement in Sharm e-Sheikh of the formation of a 40,000 strong Arab rapid reaction force, are the latest moves in a war that has already been under way in the Middle East for some time.

This is a war between Sunni and Shi’ite forces over the ruins of the regional order. It is a war that is unlikely to end in the wholesale victory of one side. Rather, it will end when the two forces exhaust themselves. What the region will look like when this storm passes is anyone’s guess.

The two sides in this war differ in significant ways.

The Saudi and Arab League announcements constitute the Sunnis’ attempt to narrow the gaps in unity and effectiveness between themselves and their Shi’ite opponents.

The Shi’ite side is a united bloc, centered around the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranians are an overtly anti-Western and anti-status quo force, seeking a new Middle East order with themselves at the head. In their propaganda, they characterize themselves as an alliance of authentic Muslim forces, organized against the West and its hirelings.

In reality, they are a gathering of almost exclusively Shi’ite groupings, but a cohesive and united one.

It is possible that the traditions of clandestinity and cross-border communication of a long subaltern regional minority gives the Shi’ites an advantage in this regard.

In the Revolutionary Guards Corps and its Quds Force, the Iranians possess an instrument perfectly designed for the current moment in the region. An army of professional revolutionaries whose specific trade is the mobilizing and direction of proxy political- military organizations.

The context of the current war is one in which states have collapsed and separated into sectarian components. In Yemen, Iraq, Syria and in a less kinetic way Lebanon, would-be “successors” to the state organized on a sectarian or ethnic basis are fighting one another.

In such a context, the existence of a state agency whose specific field of expertise is the creation and maintenance of sectarian political-military organizations is an enormous advantage. The Sunnis have no equivalent of the IRGC.

Its existence and its skills are behind Hezbollah’s domination of Lebanon, the Assad regime’s survival in Syria, the current Shi’ite militia mobilization against Islamic State in Iraq and the Houthi offensive in Yemen. The Sunni side in this war has been, since its inception, a far more disparate, confused and cumbersome affair.

There are a number of reasons for this. There is no Sunni equivalent of Iran, no single powerful state that can gather and direct all forces under its wing.

For the last 40 years, the most powerful Sunni Arab states formed the key components of the regional alliance headed by the US. If Iran was the “guiding” hand behind the Shi’ite challenge to the regional status quo, then the organizing force behind the pro-status quo Sunni states was the US.

But in the last half decade of emergent sectarian war in the region, the United States has been absent, entirely unaware of the dynamic of events. So the Sunnis have been adrift.

The US has sought to appease both the Iranians and the radical, anti-Western element among the Sunnis – the Muslim Brotherhood. All this apparently as part of an effort to withdraw from the region and leave the keys with whoever seems most inclined to grab them.

What the events of the last week confirm, however, is that the “status quo” Sunni powers, the once-allies of the US, are now determined to organize themselves independently given the absence of an American guiding hand.

The commitment of nine Sunni-majority countries to the Saudi-organized alliance is the fruit of an ambitious attempt by Riyadh to create a new, regionally led counter-bloc to the Iranians.

Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are on board. The drive to halt the advance of the Iran-supported Houthis is the first test of this new and unfamiliar coalition.

Success remains uncertain. Egyptian ships have been dispatched to the area. Air strikes have begun.

But the wars of the Middle East today are not high-technology affairs. Air power certainly plays an important role, but in the end, these are grinding contests, fought out on the ground.

In such a war, the Shi’ite Islamist and tribal guerrillas of the Houthis and their IRGC guides are likely to enjoy a certain advantage.

The difficult terrain of Yemen is likely to exacerbate this. This raises a further difficulty for the Sunnis.

So far, the experience of Iraq and Syria indicates that the only Sunni forces that have gone toe-to-toe with the Iran-backed element and held their ground are Islamists.

Note the recent conquest by a force led by the al-Qaida affiliate (and Qatar client) al-Nusra Front of Idlib in northwestern Syria.

Idlib is the second provincial capital to fall to the anti-Assad forces in four years of civil war. The first was Raqqa, further east. It’s now controlled by Islamic State.

What this means is that the pushback against the Iranians, as led by the Sunni Arabs, is likely to involve Sunni jihadis and the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas last week also declared its support for the Saudi initiative).

But the Saudi initiative hasn’t ended divisions among the Sunnis. The split between pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood forces has been only papered over. Last month, Qatar and Turkey, the main Brotherhood-supporting Sunni states, signed a separate military accord.

This mobilization contains nothing in it of regional reform. It is a sectarian alliance par excellence.

But for all the warnings and caveats, the emergence of the Saudi-organized coalition for Yemen and the announcement of the new Arab force to deploy in the region are developments of great, perhaps historical significance.

They represent the Sunnis picking up the gauntlet thrown down a while back by the Iranians. This war was a long time coming.

It emerged in stages. It has been here for a while. This week, with the announcement of the Saudi-led alliance, its magnitude has become plainly visible. A new chapter is beginning in the region..

http://www.jpost.com/International/A-new-chapter-in-the-Sunni-Shiite-war-396047
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« Reply #907 on: April 05, 2015, 07:41:06 am »

Rise Of The Islamic Beast? 10 Sunni Nations United

Saudi Arabia has jumped into the abyss.

Its air attacks on Yemen are a historic and potentially fatal blow to the Kingdom and to the Middle East.

Who decided that this extraordinary battle should take shape in the poorest of Arab nations? The Saudis, whose King is widely rumoured in the Arab world to be incapable of taking decisions of state? Or the princes within the Saudi army who fear that their own security forces may not be loyal to the monarchy?

The “story” of Yemen appears simple. Houthi rebels, who are Shia Muslims, have captured the capital of Sanaa with the help – so say the Saudis – of the Iranians. The legitimate President – Abed Rabou Mansour Hadi – has fled to the Saudi capital of Riyadh from his bolthole in the old southern Yemeni capital of Aden. The Saudis will not permit an Iranian proxy state to be set up on their border – always forgetting that they already have an Iranian-proxy state called Iraq on their northern border, courtesy of the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. The real “story” is more important. Perhaps half of the Saudi army is of Yemeni tribal origin. Saudi soldiers are intimately – through their own families – involved in Yemen, and the Yemen revolution is a stab in the guts of the Saudi royal family. No wonder King Salman of Saudi Arabia – if he indeed rules his nation – wishes to bring this crisis to an end. But are his bombing raids on Sanaa going to crush a Shia Muslim rebellion?

You can understand what it looks like from Riyadh. To the north, the Shia Muslim Iranian Revolutionary Guards are assisting the Shia-dominated Iraqi government in their battle against Sunni Muslim Isis. To the north-west, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are assisting the government of Alawite (for which read, Shia) president Bashar al-Assad against Isis and al-Nusrah and whatever is left of the so-called “Free Syrian Army”. The Shia Hezbollah from Lebanon are fighting alongside Assad’s army. So are Shia Muslims from Afghanistan, wearing Syrian uniforms. Saudi Arabia claims the Iranians are in Yemen with the Houthis. Unlikely. But be sure their weapons are in Yemen.

Unprecedented in modern Arab history, a Sunni Muslim coalition of 10 nations – including non-Arab Pakistan – has attacked another Arab nation. The Sunnis and the Shia of the Middle East are now at war with each other in Iraq, in Syria and Yemen. Pakistan is a nuclear power. The armies of Bahrain and the Gulf states include Pakistani soldiers. Pakistanis were among the dead in the first great battle against Iraqi troops in the 1991 Gulf War.

But already, the battle for Yemen is dividing other Arab countries. In Lebanon, the former Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Saad Hariri has praised the “brave and wise” decision of King Salman to attack. Mr Hariri is not only a Sunni – he is also a Saudi citizen. But the Shia Hezbollah, who oppose Saudi intervention, called the Saudi assault an “uncalculated adventure”. These words were chosen with care. They are exactly the words the Saudis used against Hezbollah after it captured three Israeli soldiers in 2006, a stupid political act which started the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon that year.

The Americans do not know what to do. They cannot give the Saudis direct military assistance – their nuclear talks with Iran are more important – and so their soft verbal support for King Salman is supposed to mollify their Sunni allies and avoid antagonising the Iranians. But the closer a nuclear deal comes between the US and Iran, the more forcefully their partners in the Arab world will push their cards. What provoked the Saudis into their extraordinary adventure in Yemen was not the approach of Houthis towards Aden but the approach of US-Iranian agreement at Lausanne.

Hezbollah may call the Saudi attacks a “Saudi-American conspiracy” – an overused phrase which contains some truth – but the reality, evident to every Arab, is that the Saudis, armed (or over-armed, as many might say) by the US, are clearly prepared to use their firepower against another Arab nation rather than the traditional enemy further north. Listening to the rhetoric of the Saudis, you might think that they were bombing Israel.

History may say that the attacks on Yemen are the start of a great civil war between Sunnis and Shia in the Middle East. This would satisfy the West – and Israel – in a belief that the Arabs are at war with themselves. But it may also be true that this is the last attempt by the Saudis to prove that they are a major military power. In 1990, faced with the arrival of Saddam’s legions in Kuwait, they asked infidel America to protect them (to the fury of Osama bin Laden). They are a Wahabi nation, loyal – officially, at least – to the same theology as the Taliban and Isis. Saudi provided 15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11. They gave us Bin Laden, who – let us not forget – was also of Yemeni tribal origin. After Yemen supported Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, the Saudis threw tens of thousands of Yemenis out of the Kingdom. In revenge for their disloyalty. Do they expect Yemenis now to rally to their support?

The last time the Saudis involved themselves in Yemen, they fought Nasser’s Egyptian army. It was a disaster. Now they have the Egyptians on their side. Indeed, they even suggest the Egyptians may stage a landing in Yemen. But to do what? To ensure that Yemen remains a faithful Sunni nation? Will this assuage the Sunni militias battering the Egyptian army in Sinai?

More seriously, will it resolve the coming struggle within the royal family, whose princes do not all believe Yemen must be the cornerstone of Saudi power – nor that Wahabism must be the permanent sectional belief. And who gains from the new Yemen crisis? The oil producers, of course. And that means Saudi Arabia – and Iran.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2015/March30/301a.html#3Hp1cvw6MMyhbIfu.99
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« Reply #908 on: April 09, 2015, 07:16:06 am »

Iran's Rouhani: Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen a 'mistake'

 Iran's president on Thursday warned Saudi Arabia and its allies that their airstrikes' campaign in Yemen is a "mistake" and called for a halt to the strikes targeting the Iran-backed Shiite rebels who have seized much of the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

For two weeks now, the Saudi-led coalition has failed to stop the power grab by the Houthi rebels, whose advance has forced President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the country. Both Tehran and the rebels deny that Iran is arming them.

The airstrikes against the Houthis and their allies, including loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, have also failed to stop the rebels' advance on Aden, Yemen's second-largest city, which was declared a provisional capital by Hadi before he fled to Saudi Arabia.

In his speech in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged for a ceasefire in Yemen to allow for broad-based talks on resolving the crisis.

"To the countries in the region, I say, let's adopt the spirit of brotherhood, let's respect each other and other nations. A nation does not give in through bombing," said Rouhani. "Do not kill innocent children. Let's think about an end to the war, about ceasefire and humanitarian assistance to the suffering people of Yemen."

He said a campaign of airstrikes and bombardment is "wrong," citing examples of Syria and Iraq, where a U.S.-led coalition is targeting Islamic State militants.

"You will learn, not later but soon, that you are making a mistake in Yemen, too," Rouhani said, without naming any particular country.

Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks Thursday in Islamabad with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in an effort to push for Yemen peace talks.

Zarif, who arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday, has said that Iran is ready to facilitate peace talks that would lead to a broad-based government in Yemen.

"We need to work together in order to put an end to the crisis in Yemen," Zarif said. "We need to find a political solution in Yemen, a comprehensive political solution leading an inclusive government through Yemeni dialogue."

Zarif's visit comes as Pakistan's parliament is debating whether to contribute forces to the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen.

Meanwhile, humanitarian groups say they are running out of supplies and have called for a temporary halt to the fighting to allow aid into Yemen. The World Health Organization said Wednesday that at least 643 civilians and combatants have been killed in the fighting since March 19. At least 2,226 have been wounded, many of them civilians, and another 100,000 have fled their homes.

Iran dispatched a naval destroyer and another logistic vessel on Wednesday to waters near Yemen as the United States quickened weapons supply to the Saudi-led coalition striking rebels there, underlining how foreign powers are deepening their involvement in the conflict.

Iran's English-language state broadcaster Press TV quoted Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari as saying the ships would be part of an anti-piracy campaign "safeguarding naval routes for vessels in the region."

In Pakistan, foreign ministry's spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said Thursday that Islamabad condemns the Yemeni rebels "who have overthrown a legitimate government ... recognized not just by Pakistan but by the international community and the United Nations."

For his part, Zarif also called for a ceasefire to allow aid and humanitarian assistance to reach embattled Yemen but stressed that the political solution is "up to the Yemenis."

"We can only facilitate as neighbors, as countries in the region, as countries with some influence one way or another," Zarif said.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_YEMEN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-04-08-08-22-46
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« Reply #909 on: April 18, 2015, 05:54:22 am »

Iranian ship convoy moves toward Yemen, alarming US officials

U.S. military officials are concerned that Iran's support for Houthi rebels in Yemen could spark a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and plunge the region into sectarian war. Iran is sending an armada of seven to nine ships — some with weapons — toward Yemen in a potential attempt to resupply the Shia Houthi rebels, according to two U.S. defense officials.   


http://thehill.com/policy/defense/239295-us-officials-concerned-about-iranian-convoy-headed-towards-yemen
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« Reply #910 on: April 22, 2015, 06:39:57 am »

Saudis end air campaign in Yemen, seek political solution

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday it was ending a month-long campaign of air strikes against the Houthi rebels who seized large areas of Yemen and said it would back a political solution to bring peace to its war-ravaged neighbor.
http://news.yahoo.com/saudis-end-air-campaign-yemen-seek-political-solution-003913310.html


Yemen conflict: Saudi-led coalition resumes air strikes

Saudi-led coalition jets have bombed Houthi rebels in Yemen's third city of Taiz, hours after announcing the end of a military campaign against them. The strikes followed the fall of the base outside Taiz of an army unit loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Fighting was also reported in the second city of Aden, Lahj's provincial capital Huta, and the town of Daleh.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32411311

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« Reply #911 on: April 26, 2015, 06:34:55 am »

Syrian Town Jisr Al-Shughour Seized By Rebels In Major Blow To Assad

Hard-line Syrian rebel groups seized a strategic town Saturday in northwestern Syria, sending government troops fleeing after intense clashes that have seen the opposition take nearly all of a crucial province.

The takeover prompted retaliatory government air raids in the town center — as many as 30 airstrikes according to one activist group — that left an unknown number of people killed and wounded. Among those wounded was a TV reporter for an opposition station who entered the town with the rebels.

If they can hold the town of Jisr al-Shughour in Idlib province, rebel fighters from Islamic factions — including the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front — will have gained in only a few days a gateway to the Mediterranean coast, a refuge of embattled President Bashar Assad, and cut government supply lines from the coast to northern and central Syria. The town is one of the last bastions of Assad's government in the area and fighting around it continued Saturday.

The offensive, which rebels have called the "Battle of Victory," comes less than a month after the provincial capital, also called Idlib, fell to the opposition.

Opposition television station Orient News aired images inside the town showing rebel fighters milling in the town's central square, raising their black flag. Meanwhile, fighting continued Saturday in a sprawling agricultural plain south of the town, and activists said rebel fighters were gaining new ground.

A Twitter account affiliated with the Nusra Front posted pictures apparently from inside Jisr al-Shoughour Saturday, calling it "liberated." Other pictures posted on social media showed bodies of government troops piled in the street as rebels sat atop tanks in the town's center.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said the rebels completely controlled Jisr al-Shughour after government troops and allied forces fled south. The group said there were clashes on the outskirts of the town. A video the group posted showed civilians leaving the town accompanied by a number of government troops.

The government conceded its forces had left the town. A military official, quoted by Syrian state media, said government forces redeployed to surrounding villages to avoid civilian casualties after fierce battles with "armed terrorist groups" in Jisr al-Shughour.

Later, state TV said government aircraft targeted a convoy of fighters east of the town.

But the Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees, another activist group that tracks the conflict, said the air raids were in the town center. The Observatory counted at least 30 raids in the town and its environs. The LCC said at least six raids were in a square in the town's center. There were no immediate casualty figures.

The Orient News television network, which was airing live coverage of the rebels' takeover, said one of its reporters was injured and its broadcast vehicle destroyed in one of the raids. The reporter, Ammar Dandash, emotionally told the broadcaster that he was returning to Jisr al-Shughour, his hometown, for the first time in years with the rebels. "Today I return to my home after four years of being deprived of it," he said, before he was injured.

Asaad Kanjo, an activist in touch with residents of the town, said most civilians had stayed indoors, fearing government retaliation.

The Observatory said members of a government security agency also killed 23 detainees before they withdrew. Pictures shared on social media by the Nusra Front showed bodies of civilians piled in what they said was a local prison, near a hospital where fighters had earlier said government troops were taking cover.

Government fighters had reportedly also carried out a similar mass killing before withdrawing from Idlib city last month.

The fight for Jisr al-Shughour began Wednesday and activists have said thousands of fighters took part in the offensive, which first targeted military facilities and checkpoints outside of town.

The town of Jisr al-Shughour was one of the first towns to rise against Assad's regime, but has largely remained under government control despite briefly falling to the rebels in early 2011. The government accused the rebels there of killing over 100 soldiers, a charge they denied.

Activists say the fall of the town is of also of symbolic significance because a military camp on the town's outskirts had been used to target much of Idlib's countryside, leading to many casualties.

The Nusra Front and Syrian rebels have controlled the countryside and towns across Idlib province since 2012. After the fall of Idlib, the government moved its offices and staff to Jisr al-Shughour.

Assad has blamed Turkey for the fall of Idlib to Islamic fighters, saying Ankara provided "huge support" — logistical and military — that played the key role in the defeat of his forces.

Syria's civil war, now in its fifth year, has killed some 220,000 people, and wounded at least 1 million. At least 4 million Syrians have become refugees in neighboring countries. Nearly double that figure are displaced inside Syria because of the conflict.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/25/rebels-seize-northwest-sy_n_7141720.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
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« Reply #912 on: April 26, 2015, 07:13:58 am »

Saudi-led air strikes hit Yemeni capital, ships shell Aden - residents

At least five air strikes hit military sites and an area near the presidential palace compound in the Yemeni capital Sanaa at dawn on Sunday while warships pounded an area near the port of the southern city of Aden, residents said.

The bombings were the first raids on Sanaa since a Saudi-led alliance said last week it was scaling back a campaign against Iranian-allied Houthi militias, which control Sanaa and have powerful allies in Yemen's factionalised armed forces.

"The explosions were so big they shook the house, waking us and our kids up. Life has really become unbearable in this city," a Sanaa resident who gave his name as Jamal told Reuters.

Eyewitnesses in Aden said foreign warships pounded Houthi armed positions around the city's main commercial port and dockyard, the first time the port area has been shelled, residents said.

Aden residents reported heavy clashes between local armed militia and Houthi fighters backed up by army units, and sources in the militia said they were retaliating for the first time with tank and Katyusha rocket fire against the Houthi advance.

In the southern province of Dalea, the militiamen said they had fought for hours to retake several rural districts with the help of Saudi-led air strikes, in fighting which left around 25 of the Houthi forces and six of their own men dead.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter and arch regional adversary of Iran, is concerned about possible security threats posed by the Houthis' advance across Yemen since last September.

It launched a month-long campaign of air raids against the group that has halted its battlefield progress but has yet to reverse their dominant position in the country or force them to return to peace talks.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/04/26/yemen-security-strikes-idINKBN0NH07J20150426
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« Reply #913 on: April 26, 2015, 07:34:54 am »

‘We’ve arrived’: ISIS wing in Yemen releases first video, threatens Houthis

The Islamic State has declared its official presence in war-torn Yemen as the jihadists posted a video online, threating to “cut the throats” of Shiite Houthi rebels.

Like most Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) videos, the 9-minute-long clip was professionally shot and edited - with CGs and catchy background music.

It showed around two dozen IS fighters in full military gear training in the desert area, which is claimed to be located near the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

The jihadist carried AK-47s, heavy machine guns and RPGs and then fired from some of their weapons.

After that, the apparent commander of the group stuck the black IS flag into the sand and pronounced that the “soldiers of the Caliphate" have arrived in Yemen to “cut the throats” of the Houthis.

"We have come to Yemen, with men hungry for your blood to avenge the Sunnis and take back the land they have occupied," the IS commander said in a video, the International Business Times reported.

He then addressed all able-bodied Sunni men in Yemen to join him the battle against the Houthis.

 The video was posted online on Friday, a day after a newly-announced division of the IS, the Green Brigade, claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on the Shiite rebels.

On Wednesday, five Houthi militia members were killed in the car bombing in Ibb province in central Yemen.

It became the second attack claimed by the IS in the country after 142 people were killed and another 350 injured in a series of suicide bombings at Shia mosques in Sanaa on March 20.

The Sunni IS and Al-Qaeda, which has traditionally been the dominant jihadist group in Yemen, view the Shiite Houthis as heretics.

READ MORE: Al-Qaeda seizes key military camp in Yemen, snatches tanks and artillery

The Houthi rebels took control of Sanaa in September 2014, forcing Sunni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia and are now fighting for the strategic port city of Aden.

Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies have been bombing the Shiite rebels since March 25, with over 550 civilians having been killed since the start of the airstrikes, according to UN estimations.

http://rt.com/news/253029-isis-yemen-houthi-sanaa/
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« Reply #914 on: April 28, 2015, 11:14:50 am »

US military 'monitoring' Iran ship seizure

Pentagon officials say the US is monitoring the seizure by Iran of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship.

The MV Maersk Tigris was moving through Iranian waters in the Straits of Hormuz, according to the Pentagon.

Iranian patrol vessels fired warning shots across the bow of the boat before it was ordered deeper into Iranian waters, the Pentagon said.

A US naval destroyer has been ordered to the region to "monitor" the situation.

US aircraft were also ordered to the area to "observe the interaction" between the Maersk vessel and Iranian forces.

There are no reports of any injuries from the incident.

Initial media reports suggested the vessel was a US cargo ship but US officials denied this and said no Americans were on board.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32503660
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« Reply #915 on: April 28, 2015, 11:15:29 am »

Maersk Tigris ship manager declines comment, Pentagon says Iran boards vessel

The ship manager for the container vessel boarded by Iranian forces declined to comment on the status of the vessel on Tuesday.

The Pentagon said earlier that the Marshall Islands-flagged Maersk Tigris was boarded by Iranian forces in the Gulf.

The Maersk Tigris is managed by Singapore-based Rickmers Ship Management, which is part of Hamburg-based Rickmers Group. A Rickmers Group spokeswoman declined to comment when contacted by Reuters about the vessel.

A spokesman for the world's biggest container group Maersk Line said the vessel was on timecharter to Maersk Line, declining further comment.

Ship tracking data on Reuters showed the vessel was bound for Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, although it was still close to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas at 1530 GMT (1130 ET) on Tuesday. Its previous port was listed as Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/maersk-tigris-ship-manager-declines-pentagon-says-iran-153907921.html
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« Reply #916 on: April 28, 2015, 12:03:58 pm »

No longer war rumors...

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« Reply #917 on: April 28, 2015, 01:18:44 pm »

No longer war rumors...



No its not, Matthew 24 is happening RIGHT NOW !!! All praise to the Lord Jesus!!! 
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« Reply #918 on: April 29, 2015, 05:10:09 am »

No its not, Matthew 24 is happening RIGHT NOW !!! All praise to the Lord Jesus!!! 
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« Reply #919 on: May 06, 2015, 02:09:20 pm »


Report: Iranian Navy Chases After U.S. Warships
Iran pursues U.S. in Gulf of Aden, Iranian media claims


An Iranian naval fleet chased a U.S. warship and military planes through the waters off the southern coast of Yemen late Monday in yet another provocative encounter between the two nations, according to Iranian state media reports.

A U.S. warship and several planes reportedly “changed their direction” on Monday after encountering an Iranian naval fleet during a patrol in the Gulf of Aden near Yemen, Iranian state media revealed.

The U.S. military assets fled “after they came close to an Iranian naval fleet and were warned to move away,” Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency reported. Iran also released video of the incident.

The run-in between the United States and Iranian militaries is just the latest in several tense confrontations between the countries near Yemen, where Iran is believed to be smuggling weapons to opposition forces.

The United States moved military assets in the region in a bid to stop Iran from moving weapons into Yemen. Iranian war fleets have been patrolling international waters around Yemen in recent weeks.

Iranian media now claims that the Islamic Republic’s naval fleets chased after two U.S. reconnaissance planes and a Navy destroyer.

Two “U.S. reconnaissance planes named P3C [Papa 3 Charlie] and U.S. Navy destroyer, DDG81, approached several Iranian warships in a provocative move, ignoring the internationally set five-mile standard distance from Iran’s 34th fleet of warships deployed in the Gulf of Aden,” Fars reported on Tuesday.

“The U.S. Navy vessel and planes then received a warning from Iranian Destroyer ‘Alborz,’ and rapidly changed direction,” the report claimed.

Iranian military officials on Tuesday said Iran is prepared to defend itself in the region.

“Checking foreign warships in the international waters and surveilling potential threats to Iran’s national interests is our essential responsibility,” Commodore Mostafa Tajeddini, the commander of Iran’s 34th flotilla of warships, was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Iran’s 34th fleet will reportedly stay in the Gulf of Aden for three months to conduct “anti-piracy patrols.” The fleet is comprised of an Iranian destroyer and helicopter-carrying warship, according to Fars.

Iranian military leaders have claimed in recent days that reports of its retreat from the region are inaccurate.

Tajeddini said that Iran has not heeded any warnings from the U.S. about its actions in the region.

“The news report by the foreign media that we have changed our route after the US fleet’s arrival is only a media ballyhoo,” he was quoted as saying last week. “We have had communications with many naval units since we entered the Gulf of Aden, but no country has ever dared to warn the Iranian Navy.”

The Iranian fleet arrived in the region in late April.

The warships will reportedly “protect [Iran’s] cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates,” Fars reported at the time.

“This presence [of Iranian warships] continues in the free waters, including the Gulf of Aden, to fight against piracy according to the plan which was drawn at the request of the International Maritime Organization and no one can warn the Iranian warships (to move away) and this has not happened yet,” Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was quoted as saying to the Iranian press at the time.

Tensions between the United States and Iran also spiked after the Islamic Republic seized a Marshall Island-flagged merchant ship in the Strait of Hormuz. A U.S. navy destroyer was sent to the area following the incident.

A State Department official did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Monday’s reported encounter.

Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said Iran has only been emboldened by ongoing nuclear negotiations with the United States.

“Iran’s armed forces, especially the IRGC, have been the main beneficiary of the temporary nuclear agreement,” he said. “The Obama administration has given them billions of dollar and a green light to dominate the region. Iran is using the money it receives to expand its missile program, to build new nuclear infrastructures, and to fund the Quds Force’s operations.”

“The truth is that in order to convince Iran to sign the nuclear agreement United States is literally bribing and strengthening the most radical and dangerous faction in Iran,” he said.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/report-iranian-navy-chases-after-u-s-warships/
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« Reply #920 on: May 15, 2015, 02:26:04 pm »

Iran navy fires shots at tanker as tensions rise in Gulf

Iranian naval vessels fired shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker in the Gulf on Thursday, in what appeared to be Iran's latest attempt to settle a legal dispute by force with passing commercial vessels, U.S. officials said.

The incident unnerved the shipping industry just as President Barack Obama met with Gulf allies to try to allay their concerns that Iran would be empowered by a deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the West lifting sanctions.

U.S. officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said five Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy ships approached the Alpine Eternity oil products tanker at about noon (0800 GMT), prompting the ship to flee to safety in United Arab Emirates' waters.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Iran had attempted to intercept the vessel in international waters because Tehran says the tanker is liable for damage to an Iranian-owned oil platform it hit on March 22.

The White House, Pentagon and State Department declined to confirm emerging details about the episode but acknowledged concern about Iran's conduct."This is exactly the type of challenge that many of the (Gulf) partners are focused on," said White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

Two weeks ago, Iranian patrol ships diverted a Marshall Islands-flagged container vessel from the Strait of Hormuz to settle a years-old debt case.

Shipping industry officials said they were bracing for the likelihood of even more tensions at sea, which could lead to a spike in shipping costs.

"The pattern looks like the Revolutionary Guards are using a commercial pretext to intervene in the incidents to date," said one shipping underwriter. "This could start to impact upon (insurance) rates."

The Pentagon did not rule out again ordering U.S. warships to accompany commercial vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz, as it did after the last incident.

The tanker's owner, South Maritime Pte Ltd, said in a statement that the ships, which it believed to be Iranian, first fired warning shots but then directly fired on the vessel after it ignored an order to stop.

"No serious damage was sustained by the vessel and none of the 23 crew members were injured," the statement said. The owner said the vessel safely reached the port of Jebel Ali.

Millions of barrels of oil are transported daily through the Bab el-Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz to Europe, the United States and Asia, waterways which pass along the coasts of Yemen and Iran respectively.

The episode in the Gulf coincided with mounting concern over an Iranian cargo ship headed to Yemen. A Saudi Arabia-led coalition has imposed an air and maritime blockade to stop weapons supplies reaching the Iran-allied Houthi rebels.

Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, Deputy Chief of Iran's Armed Forces, warned of war if the ship, which Tehran says is carrying humanitarian supplies, was attacked.

Still, the Pentagon on Thursday said Iran had so far at least refrained from dispatching warships to accompany the cargo vessel, despite announcing plans to do so.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/iran-navy-fires-shots-tanker-tensions-rise-gulf-005734337.html
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« Reply #921 on: May 22, 2015, 06:24:41 am »

Islamic State seizes more than half of Syria

The Islamic State has seized more than half of Syria after taking full control of the town of Palmyra and its ancient ruins, activists said Thursday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the extremists had seized more than 36,000 square miles of the country and had also taken control of "the vast majority" of its gas and oil fields. USA TODAY could not independently confirm the information.

The human rights group's Rami Abdurrahman said the extremists took control of the archaeological site to the southwest of Palmyra early Thursday, the Associated Press reported. The United Nations describes the site as "one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world."

he Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, captured the town Wednesday, after seizing the Iraqi city of Ramadi over the weekend.

A video posted online purported to show militants setting a giant poster of Syrian President Bashar Assad alight inside the prison in Palmyra and cheering. The video could not be independently verified.

Bebars al-Talawy, an activist in the central province of Homs, told the AP the militants now control the ruins at Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site famous for its 2,000-year-old Roman-era colonnades and priceless artifacts. Both activists said Thursday that the Islamic State has not damaged the ruins so far.

Al-Talawy said the government had recently transferred thousands of inmates from the town's prison to a jail near the capital of Damascus, but added the extremists had freed some of the prisoners who remained inside.

Syrian state television said late Wednesday that pro-government forces had withdrawn from Palmyra after evacuating most civilians there, Reuters reported.

Homs governor Talal Barazi said many of Palmyra's residents were fleeing toward the city of Homs and Damascus, and that the Syrian army was targeting Islamic State reinforcements from outside the town, according to the AP.

"We have not received any news about (the archaeological site's) destruction," he said. "We hope that there will be no massacres in the city or damage to the ruins."

The fall of the town — which is said to have a population of around 65,000 — after a week of fighting was an enormous loss to the government. Besides its historic significance, the site opens the way for the Islamic State to advance to key government-held areas, including Damascus and the Syrian coast to the south and southwest, and the contested eastern city of Deir el-Zour.

On Thursday, Syria's director of museums and antiquities, Maamoun Abdul-Kareem, told the state news agency SANA that the militants "terrorist attack" on Palmyra was to take "revenge on the Syrian society and civilization."

rest: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/05/21/isil-ancient-palmyra-ruins/27700713/
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« Reply #922 on: May 25, 2015, 10:46:45 am »

Saudi Arabia Places Army on High Alert Near Yemen Border

Saudi Arabia's army formations at the border with Yemen have been placed on high alert, according to television channel Sky News Arabia. Artillery duels intensified at the Saudi-Yemeni border in recent days. Overnight, the Haradh border crossing between was destroyed by artillery fire.   

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20150524/1022510915.html
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« Reply #923 on: June 03, 2015, 10:58:54 am »

Assad Collapse Deemed Near as Rebels, ISIS Advance
Expert Ehud Yaari says despite Iran's assistance, Assad is quickly running out of troops and time. IDF: 'Syrian army has ceased to exist.'


Channel 2 television's veteran Arab affairs expert, Ehud Yaari, probably the most respected Middle East expert in the Middle East, is predicting that the end of the Assad regime in Syria is near.

The Syria rebels and the ISIS forces have had a series of accomplishments lately, writes Yaari, and Assad has not been in worse shape since the cruel civil war began four years ago. The forces opposing him have made advances in the north, south and east, his military force is dwindling and his ability to deal with the challenges facing him is “very limited.”

Assad has lost the ability to move his forces from one theater of fighting to another, and has sustained heavy losses, according to the expert. Iran sent Shi'ite militias from Iraq and Afghanistan to assist the Syria army, but these have not shown a meaningful fighting ability. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has not been able to make meaningful advances at the Kalamoun Mountain area, despite heavy fighting.

The Syrian army is fighting on five fronts, according to Yaari:

    Haska: ISIS is attacking the northeastern provincial city and is only 5 kilometers away from it.
    Aleppo: the largest Syrian city is under attack by both ISIS and the rebels. ISIS has taken control of the supply route that leads to Turkey, in the northwestern part of Syria.
    Homs: rebels are attacking the city that has been dubbed 'the Capital of the Revolution'
    Druze Mountain: ISIS are at the outskirts of the plateau next to the border with Jordan.
    Daraa: the 'capital of the south,' next to the Jordanian border, is coming under heavy rebel attack.

“De facto, the Syrian army has ceased to exist,” Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, the Israel Defense Forces’ deputy chief of staff, said on Monday.

Assad will soon have to make “a difficult decision that will determine how the rest of the fighting will proceed,” estimated Yaari. According to some reports, the Syrian top command is preparing a plan for holing itself in at several holdouts in the west of the country.

Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, declared Wednesday that his country “will stand by the nation and government in Syria until the end of the road.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196234#.VW8kEEZrWk4
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« Reply #924 on: July 02, 2015, 08:48:22 am »

Turkey 'planning to invade Syria'
Turkey has sent shock waves through the Middle East by preparing plans to send troops into Syria for the first time, turning the civil war into an international conflict on Europe’s borders.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/11706383/Turkey-planning-to-invade-Syria.html


All-Out War South of Israeli-Sinai Border
The northern Sinai Peninsula south of the border with Israel is engulfed in an all-out war. Egyptian F-16 warplanes attacked Islamic State (ISIS) and other jihadists’ positions for several hours Wednesday afternoon and killed more than 90 jihadists following massive ISIS attacks. Most of the 70 Egyptian casualties were soldiers and policemen, and the death toll is not final.
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/all-out-war-south-of-israeli-sinai-border/2015/07/01/


Analysis: Egypt is losing its war against ISIS in Sinai
Wednesday's terror attack was the largest ever carried out by the Sinai Province, Islamic State's Egyptian affiliate, since it began its fight against the government in Cairo some four years ago.       
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Analysis-Egypt-is-losing-its-war-against-ISIS-in-Sinai-407822


Egypt: Sinai operations will last 'until IS removed'
Egypt has vowed to rid its Sinai Peninsula of militants after major clashes with Islamic State fighters there killed more than 100 people. Operations will not stop until the area is cleared of all "terrorist concentrations", the army said. Air strikes continued into the early hours of Thursday.   
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33357890


The Latest: Muslim Brotherhood calls for Egypt 'rebellion'
The Muslim Brotherhood says its leaders killed in a Cairo apartment were murdered in "in cold blood," calling for a rebellion against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who it calls a "butcher." 
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150701/ml--egypt-the_latest-61d9e32d91.html


ISIS Vows to Conquer Gaza, Israel & Palestinian Authority
ISIS not satisfied with the way Hamas terrorists have governed the Gaza region – has decided to seize control of the enclave itself. And the terrorist organization says it does not plan to stop there, either — the group apparently issued a video statement Tuesday warning of its intent to conquer the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority as well, according to the Reuters news agency.   
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/isis-vows-to-conquer-gaza-israel-palestinian-authority/2015/07/01/


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« Reply #925 on: July 07, 2015, 05:52:58 am »

ISIS: Destroying Egypt’s Sphinx, Pyramids Is ‘Religious Duty’

ISIS “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi told followers of his terror group that destroying Egypt’s national monuments, such as the pyramids and the sphinx, is a “religious duty” that must be carried out by those who worship Islam, as idolatry is strictly banned in the religion, according to reports.

UK radical Islamist Anjem Choudary echoed Baghdadi’s sentiments, telling The Telegraph: “When Egypt comes under the auspices of the Khalifa [Caliphate], there will be no more pyramids, no more Sphinx, no more idolatry,” saying that the ancient statues’s destruction “will be just.”

Another Islamist preacher, Ibrahim Al Kandari, agrees that the cultural monuments need to be destroyed to comply with the Shariah.

“The fact that early Muslims who were among prophet Mohammed’s followers did not destroy the pharaohs’ monuments upon entering Egypt does not mean that we shouldn’t do it now,” he told Al-Watan.

The jihadi terror threat to Egypt has steadily increased following the fall of its Muslim Brotherhood regime and the installation of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who has pledged to rid the country of its radical elements.

This week, Egyptian military personnel have faced an onslaught of terror attacks, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, where a terror group loyal to ISIS remains the dominant jihadi outfit.

On Wednesday, the ISIS-affiliated Sinai Province (formerly known as Ansar Bayt Al Maqdis) claimed responsibility for a series of simultaneously attacks against Egyptian military checkpoints, killing, by some estimates, as many as 70 Egyptian soldiers.

Egyptian special forces struck back with several airstrikes against terror positions, including a raid at a Cairo apartment stocked with Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Egyptian authorities claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood (and Palestinian terrorist group Hamas) helped to coordinate the Sinai attacks against military checkpoints.

The Brotherhood has responded by calling for an open “rebellion” against President el-Sisi and the Egyptian government.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/07/03/isis-destroying-egypts-sphinx-pyramids-is-religious-duty/
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« Reply #926 on: August 21, 2015, 05:18:45 pm »

http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/47340/idf-strikes-14-targets-in-syria-following-iranian-backed-rocket-attack/#JyWHSfYoDdl4cMb3.97
8/21/15
IDF Strikes 14 Targets in Syria following Iranian-Backed Rocket Attack

Four rockets shot into northern Israel Thursday afternoon are a small taste of impending Iranian terror on the Jewish state, the IDF said.

The rockets, which were shot from Syria into the northern Galilee and Golan Heights region, sparked fires but caused no injuries.

The army revealed that the Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad were responsible for the rocket fire, saying the attack was backed with “Iranian money and intention.”

“We consider Syria to be responsible for the fire and it will also suffer the results,” the IDF said in a statement, adding the attack “is a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the State of Israel.”


Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/47340/idf-strikes-14-targets-in-syria-following-iranian-backed-rocket-attack/#OoC3AmeEk4zOrFCy.99
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« Reply #927 on: September 06, 2015, 07:03:38 am »

US warns Russia against more aid to Assad amid new violence

 Cheesy

 Anti-government violence erupted Saturday in a southern Syrian province that had largely stayed on the sidelines of the country's civil war. Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggesting that Russia was planning to expand its military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad prompted a warning from the U.S. that such actions could lead to a confrontation with coalition forces.

The violence in Sweida province, a stronghold of the Druze minority sect, followed the killing of a prominent cleric in rare explosions Friday that claimed the lives of at least 25 others, activists and pro-government media said. Rioters holding the government responsible for the cleric's death destroyed the statue of late Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad and besieged security offices, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other activist groups said.

In Washington, the State Department issued a statement after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express concern over unconfirmed reports "suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military build-up" in Syria.

While not elaborating on or confirming the accuracy of those reports, the State Department said Kerry made clear to Lavrov that such actions "could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation" with the anti-Islamic State coalition operating led by the U.S. that is carrying out strikes in Syria.

Russia has been a stalwart ally of Assad throughout Syria's civil war and has provided diplomatic support and weaponry to help the Syrian leader maintain his grip on power. Moscow also maintains a small naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartous on the Mediterranean Sea.

The cleric killed Friday, Sheik Wahid Balous, was a prominent critic of Assad and had called on youth in Sweida province to refuse to serve in the military. He was also a critic of the Islamic State militants who have taken over a third of the country and are fueling the civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people and wounded more than 1 million.

Balous, who was a strong supporter of rebels trying to topple Assad, died in one of two consecutive car bomb explosions, including one near the National Hospital in Sweida.

The Observatory said the death toll rose Saturday to 37, including six security personnel killed in clashes with rioters. The city had witnessed large rallies in the days before the explosions against the failure of the government to provide basic services. Activists reported that there was no Internet service for the past few days.

Syria's official news agency and other activist groups put the death toll from the blasts at 26. There was no immediate claim of responsibly for the bombings.

The Syrian government called the blasts "cowardly terrorist acts." A police commander in the city, Mohammed Samra, said Sweida was "calm and stable" and denied any unrest, saying reports of anti-government violence were aimed at undermining security in the area.

Some of Balous' supporters said in a statement they will expel security forces from Sweida province, which until now has largely stayed out of the fighting in Syria's civil war.

City elders appealed for calm, warning against attempts to drag the province toward violence. Another statement from the city's Druze leaders urged supporters to be patient as the cleric's brother, who was seriously wounded in the attack, recovers.

A 10th century offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Druze made up about 5 percent of Syria's prewar population of 23 million people, and is split between supporters and opponents of Assad.

In neighboring Lebanon, which also has a sizeable Druze population, the sect's political leader Walid Jumblatt said Balous's death was a "painful strike" to the community.

"It is time for the honorable citizens (of Sweida) to rise up in the face of the Syrian regime that wants repression and to spread sedition," he told the anti-government Syrian Orient TV.

The National Syrian Coalition opposition group in exile also blamed the Syrian government for the killing of the cleric, known as "the Dignity Sheikh," saying it was part of an attempt to stop the anti-government protests in recent days. In a statement, coalition member Suheir Attasi said killing Balous only "increased the popular anger in the province."

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150905/ml--syria-7872368035.html
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« Reply #928 on: September 06, 2015, 07:08:51 am »

Russia 'is building military base in Syria'
American officials express concern about latest intelligence suggesting Moscow is preparing to send hundreds of personnel to prop up Assad regime


 Russia is building a military base in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s heartland, according to American intelligence officials, in the clearest indication yet of deepening Russian support for the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The anonymous officials say Russia has set up an air traffic control tower and transported prefabricated housing units for up to 1,000 personnel to an airfield serving the Syrian port city of Latakia.

Russia has also requested the rights to fly over neighbouring countries with military cargo aircraft during September, according to the reports.

The claims, which will raise fears that Russia is planning to expand its role in the country’s civil war, will ratchet up tensions between Moscow and Washington over the future of Syria and its brutal ruler.

Mr Obama on Friday met King Salman of Saudi Arabia to repeat their demand that any lasting settlement in Syria would require an end to the Assad regime.

It leaves the US and Russia implacably opposed in their visions for Syria.

John Kerry, Secretary of State, telephoned his Russian counterpart to express US concerns on Saturday.

"The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-Isil coalition operating in Syria," the department said.

The new US details came in the week that Vladimir Putin gave his strongest admission yet that Russia was already providing some military and logistical support to Syria.

“We are already giving Syria quite serious help with equipment and training soldiers, with our weapons,” he said during an economic forum in Vladivostok on Friday, according to the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency.

Until now, Russia's backing has included financial support, intelligence, advisers, weapons and spare parts. Mr Putin insisted it was "premature" to talk of a direct intervention.

However, images emerged last week that appeared to show a Russian fighter jet operating over Syrian soil and videos of combat troops speaking the Russian language.

 Syrian state television showed images of an advanced Russian-built armoured personnel carrier, the BTR-82a, in combat. Videos also began circulating in which troops shouted orders to one another in Russian.

Last week the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth cited Western diplomatic sources saying that Russia was on the verge of deploying “thousands” of troops to Syria to establish an airbase from which the Russian air force would fly combat sorties against Isil.

Those details appear to be backed by satellite images of a Russian base under construction near Latakia, according to anonymous intelligence officials quoted by several American newspapers.

"If they're moving people in to help the Syrian government fight their own fight, that's one thing,” one told the Los Angeles Times. “But if they're moving in ground forces and dropping bombs on populated areas, that's an entirely different matter."

Moscow increasingly justifies its support for the Assad regime by pointing to the rise of violent jihadists in Syria.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has captured a swath of territory since Arab Spring protests in 2011 provoked a heavy-handed regime crackdown.

The conflict is one of the key drivers for the wave of refugees arriving in Europe. It was from Kobane that Aylan Kurdi and his family set out for Europe. The discovery of three-year-old's body on a Turkish beach this week has provoked a change of attitudes towards migrants.

 This week, Isil stepped up its programme of cultural cleansing, blowing up temples in the historic city of Palmyra.

And fresh clashes along the border with Turkey claimed the lives of 47 fighters at the weekend, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria is already home to Russia’s only base outside the former Soviet Union – a naval station in Tartus.

The reported build-up of military activity, centred on Latakia and Idlib province, is in areas dominated by the Alawite sect, which counts President Assad among its number.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11846382/Russia-is-building-military-base-in-Syria.html
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« Reply #929 on: September 08, 2015, 01:33:14 am »

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