REUTERS – November 21, 2017
BEIRUT – Lebanon’s army chief urged “full readiness” at the southern border to face the “threats of the Israeli enemy and its violations,” the army said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Army Commander General Joseph Aoun called on soldiers to be ever vigilant for the “good implementation” of the UN resolution 1701 to “preserve stability” at the border with Israel.
The Lebanese army is responsible for security on its side of the border under the resolution that ended the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
His remarks came a day after Lebanese president Michel Aoun appeared to defend Hezbollah as necessary to resist Israel, after an Arab League statement accused the group of terrorism and noted it is part of Lebanon’s coalition government.
RT – November 20, 2017
Beijing dispatched intelligence-gathering aircraft as well as bombers through international airspace in the East China Sea. The move prompted Japan to scramble fighter jets in response, despite China calling the flyover a “regular” exercise.
The incident occurred on Sunday, when China flew four Chinese H-6 bombers and two intelligence-gathering aircraft through the Miyako Strait between the islands of Okinawa and Miyako and back, the Japan Times reported. Japan scrambled its jets in response, although no violation of Japanese airspace was detected.
The move prompted Japan to ensure it would keep a close watch on the “expanding and increasing” actions of the Chinese military in the area. Beijing, meanwhile, accused Tokyo of blowing the incident out of proportion, stressing that it was part of “regular” drills.
Ren Guoqiant, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, reiterated that the drills were legitimate. He said his country’s military will continue to organize similar exercises in the future, according to Chinese news outlet Sina.
Barbara Opall-Rome – September 10, 2017
TEL AVIV, Israel — U.S. and Israeli officers broke ground in Israel on Monday for a permanent U.S. Army base that will house dozens of U.S. soldiers, operating under the American flag, and charged with the mission of defending against rocket and missile attack.
The American base, officers in Israel say, will be an independent facility co-located at the Israel Defense Forces Air Defense School in southern Israel, near the desert capital of Beersheba. Once completed, the base will house U.S. operational systems to identify and intercept a spectrum of aerial threats, along with barracks, recreational and other facilities required to support several dozen American air defenders.
“A few dozens of soldiers of our American allies will be stationed here permanently. They are part of an American task force that will be stationed here,” said Israeli Air Force Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, the IDF‘s air defense commander.
James Wilkinson – November 15, 2017
The US has sent an aircraft carrier, destroyers and other ships carrying 14,000 servicemen to waters near Japan for a war drill that has set North Korea‘s teeth on edge.
The 10-day exercise – which will see US and Japanese troops performing war games in the waters off Okinawa – comes as the Kim regime continues to pursue its nuclear missile development program.
It comes just days after North Korean Ambassador Ja Song Nam slammed US drills in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, saying that the current situation around the Korean peninsula was ‘the worst ever’.
The drills began on Thursday and include aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan, and the guided-missile destroyers USS Stethem, USS Chafee and USS Mustin, among others.
Debkafiles – November 15, 2017
The next Saudi King Crown Prince Muhammad and Israel agree that Iran is the biggest threat to the region, but Israel’s top soldier rules out initiating an attack on Hizballah.
Two London publications on the same day, Thursday, Nov. 17, shed unusual light on the next chapter in Saudi royal history, as well as on the hitherto semi-clandestine ties between Riyadh and Jerusalem.
The London Daily Mail, quoting “a source close to the Saudi royal family” reported that King Salman, 91, intends to give up the throne next week and name his son, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, 32 as his successor. The king will reportedly confine himself to ceremonial duties like “the queen of England,” retaining only the title of “Custodian of the Holy Shrines.”
Near two weeks ago, Prince Muhammad ordered 500 notables, including princes, former ministers and business leaders detained on charges of corruption. The British newspaper carried the first photos of the distinguished detainees sleeping on mattresses on the floor of the five-star Carlton Ritz Riyadh.
After he is crowned king, the prince will focus on Iran, according the Daily Mail. His plan is “to start the fire in Lebanon, in the hope of Israeli military backing.”
Mac Slavo – November 16th, 2017
The state of Alaska is preparing for a potential war with North Korea. The Alaskans are being urged not to evacuate, though should Kim Jong-Un launch a missile toward Alaska, it would only take 20 minutes to get there.
Emergency planners in Alaska have warned it will not attempt evacuations if a warhead is fired because time would not be on their side. Jeremy Zidek, from the state’s disaster planning team, will urge locals to find shelter rather than risk being caught in the open. He also urged families to have an emergency stash of food and water, flashlights and radios, and medical supplies including the anti-radiation pill Prussian Blue – medication that lessens the radiological impacts on your body.
Tensions have escalated lately on the Korean peninsula after a series of missile tests in the hermit kingdom and propagandized media threats were made sentencing president Donald Trump to death. Tyrant Kim Jong-un has since threatened a “nuclear holocaust” and there are fears the regime will soon have a missile capable of reaching the US mainland.
Brandon Turbeville – November 16, 2017
After continually launching airstrikes inside Syrian territory against Hezbollah and the Syrian military in favor of Western-backed terrorists, Israel is threatening to “go it alone” in order to “contain” Iran. The Israeli Prime Minister claims that Iran’s presence in Syria is aimed at establishing a base next to Israel so that it can destroy Israel in the future. Netanyahu also crowed his tired warnings (absent the cartoonish bomb drawing) that Iran could have hundreds of nuclear weapons in ten years, presumably to launch against Israel and its “allies.”
As he addressed the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly via webcam, Netanyahu said, “Iran is scheming to entrench itself militarily in Syria.”
Netanyahu claimed that the Iran nuclear deal will allow Iran to “produce hundreds of nuclear weapons” in “about a decade.”
Netanyahu urged the “international community” to act to “contain” Iran but pointed out that Israel would not hesitate to act alone.
RT – November 15, 2017
An armed conflict between Riyadh and Tehran would have a major impact on oil markets and the global economy. RT asked experts what a war between the two Middle East superpowers would mean for crude prices.
If a conflict happens, oil prices could increase 500 percent.
“Energy prices will seriously depend on the severity of the conflict. Let’s remember the unrecognized Iraqi Kurdistan, which in a state of continuous war exported about 550,000 barrels per day through Turkey. In this connection, we can expect a panic rise in oil price to $150-$200 on the first day of the conflict… If Saudis and Iran attack each other’s oil facilities, crude prices can skyrocket to $300,” Mikhail Mashchenko, an analyst at the eToro social network for investors told RT.
Ivan Karyakin, an investment analyst at Global FX, points out that the area of possible conflict pumps a third of global oil. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar together produce about 28 million barrels per day, which is slightly less than 30 percent of global production; prices will go up immediately to $150-180 per barrel, he said.
DebkaFiles – November 14, 2017
Israel remained on high alert Tuesday, Nov. 14, after deploying Iron Dome batteries in the center of the country as well as the south, against threatened Jihad Islami and Hamas missile attacks on towns in southern and central Israel.
Jihad has vowed to avenge the destruction of the tunnel it excavated between Khan Younis and the Israeli village of Kissoufim, and the deaths of 12 of its operatives who were trapped inside. However, despite a stream of oral threats, it appears to have decided to hold its fire for now. According to DEBKAfile’s military sources, this could change depending on whether the IDF initiates further action. Then, both Jihad and Hamas would make good on their threats.
The US presidential envoy for the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt tweeted a warning Tuesday: Extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very dangerous. The PA must resume full responsibility in Gaza. US is working with the PA, Israel, Egypt & others to try to improve the situation. Gaza deserves better.
Tyler Durden – November 13, 2017
The Arab League is set to hold an emergency meeting on Iran at Saudi Arabia’s request, this according to Reuters and various regional sources, at a moment when Saudi fighter jets may be mobilizing for war in an attempted show of force. Egypt-based Ahram Online also reports further that the meeting will discuss “Iranian interference” in the region at League headquarters in Cairo, and other early unconfirmed reports indicate the meeting could come as early as next Sunday.
News of the Arab League extraordinary session comes as tensions are at breaking point as regional powers – especially Saudi Arabia and Israel – talk war against perceived Iranian expansion and domination in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, The Daily Star, citing the Baghdad Post, claims that Saudi Arabia has scrambled its air force for strikes in Lebanon: “Reports now state the Royal Saudi Air Force has placed its warplanes on alert to launch strikes as the region sits on a knife edge.” The report accompanies undated footage of Saudi F-15’s in aerial maneuvers over what is presumably a Saudi airfield.