The demise of the Roman Empire resulted from a combination of strategic overreach and excessive delegation of security responsibilities to newcomers. Without making undue comparisons, the question for the United States today is whether it can remain the world’s leading power while delegating to others or to technological tools the task of protecting its global influence. Drones and allies – non-human weapons and non-American soldiers – have become central to America’s military doctrine.
According to The Sunday Times, Syria has deployed advanced missiles carrying 500-kilogram (1100-pound) warheads with attack coordinates set for Tel Aviv. The report further suggests that spy satellites have been monitoring Syrian army movements and preparations to deploy the domestically produced Tishreen missiles. The missiles are reportedly being aimed at Tel Aviv and there are standing orders to fire them if Israel strikes Syria. Foreign media outlets claimed that Israel carried out two airstrikes in Syria earlier in the month, reportedly targeting advanced weapon shipments bound for Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
Israel’s activity and presence in Azerbaijan on the northern border of Iran is aimed at exerting pressure on Iran and conducting security and intelligence activity against it and at getting prepared for the delusion of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities….Because of its strategic location, Azerbaijan offers Israel a springboard for espionage, military activity, and assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists. The paper also refers to the military contracts signed between the two states, amounting to “$1.6 billion in defensive missiles and UAVs.”
President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in Syria are gaining ground. British Middle East reporter Robert Fisk met some of them when he visited the front lines earlier this month, and told DW about he saw. What role is Iran playing in this conflict? The war is not about Syria, it’s about Iran. And the intention of the West is to effectively destroy Iran’s only Arab ally. And for the Iranians it’s about keeping their only Arab ally. We know that the Iranian government has given advice, but these are very, very small token forces, compared to the propaganda.
The recent discovery of oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean off the Israeli, Cypriot and Lebanese coasts is a great boost to the independence and self-sufficiency of these countries.
But the discoveries also add to existing tensions between Israel and Lebanon as both are claiming the oil and gas reserves as their own. In April, natural gas from the Israeli Tamar reserve began to flow from an offshore rig in the Mediterranean Sea into Israel, giving the country the chance to hone its energy security and freedom.
The Syrian government has warned Israel that it would enter the occupied Golan Heights “whenever it wants because it’s a Syrian land,” a warning that came a week after the latest Israeli airstrike against military positions in the capital Damascus.
Israeli officials have confirmed May 4, 2013, that the country’s air force carried out a strike against Syria and say it targeted a shipment of advanced missiles. The comments were made by Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi on Sunday, May 12, 2013, during which he said that the recent Israeli airstrike against Syria had violated the pertaining international accords.
Israel’s rapprochement with onetime strategic ally Turkey is a vital element in Ankara’s drive to become the intercontinental east-west energy hub in the Mediterranean and many expect it to produce an energy alliance that will transform the region.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan has transformed his country’s economic prospects through a wide-ranging diplomatic drive aimed at restoring Turkish leadership in the region. He has long sought to transform Turkey, which has no energy resources of its own, into the unassailable central hub for transporting oil and gas from the eastern Mediterranean, the new hot zone, to Europe and maybe to Asia as well.
The Cyprus issue, energy security and the exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone were examined during a meeting in Athens between the Defence Ministers of Cyprus and Greece, Fotis Fotiou and Panos Panagiotopoulos, respectively.
Fotiou also discussed with Panagiotopoulos the situation in the wider south-eastern Mediterranean region and Turkish threats against Cyprus with regard to oil exploration.
The United States, which is trying to bring Syrian rebels and the Syrian government to the negotiating table, is now increasingly worried that Russia plans to sell a sophisticated air defense system to Syria, American officials said Wednesday.
Russia has a long history of selling arms to the Syrians and has a naval base in the country. But the delivery of the Russian S-300 missile batteries would represent a major qualitative advancement in Syria’s air defenses. The system is regarded as highly effective and would limit the ability of the United States and other nations to operate over Syrian airspace or impose a no-fly zone.
In spite of all obstacles, a major breakthrough is required to end the current nuclear deadlock in the region, where Israel is the only atomic power, though the Iranian nuclear programme continues to draw attention – and sanctions – in Western countries. Should such a breakthrough not happen, Egypt and Arab countries may withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which they were pushed to join in 1995 in exchange of U.S. promises to free the Middle East from atomic warheads, Israeli nuclear arsenal included.
In 2011, Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times, offered a mea culpa for his support of the war in Iraq. “When the troops went in, they went with my blessing,” confessed Keller. “I could not foresee that we would mishandle the war so badly, but I could see that there was no clear plan for — and at the highest levels, a shameful smugness about — what came after the invasion.” He called his realization “the costly wisdom of Iraq,” which, according to his op-ed in the Times on Monday, doesn’t seem to apply to Syria.
The “Jewish Department” of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, is known to recruit members of communities where covert illegal activity is suspected, to spy against their friends and neighbors. On Monday, an expose aired by the television show Uvda showed what the Shin Bet does when it cannot find people willing to cooperate with it.
Syria has deployed missile defence batteries towards Israel in response to an alleged Israeli attack that targeted a Syrian army facility in the capital Damascus. The pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV cited security sources as saying that Syria will also provide the Lebanese Hezbollah with “new qualitative weaponry”.
A statement issued after an emergency cabinet meeting Sunday said that Israel’s attack “opens the door widely before all eventualities”, Xinhua reported. “Syria will not accept its sovereignty to be infringed upon either at home or abroad,” the statement said.
Iran is ready to help “train” the Syrian army if Damascus seeks such assistance, the commander of the Islamic republic’s army ground forces, General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, was quoted as saying on Sunday.
“As a Muslim nation, we back Syria, and if there is need for training we will provide them with the training, but won’t have any active involvement in the operations,” he said in remarks reported by the official IRNA news agency.
A bid by Qatar to relocate the United Nations’ civil aviation agency from Montreal to the tiny emirate has angered Canada, where politicians from all sides vowed Friday to band together to fight the proposed move.
The International Civil Aviation Organization, which sets international civil aviation standards, has been in Montreal since its founding in 1946. Qatar presented ICAO with an unsolicited offer last month to serve as the new permanent seat of the organization beginning in 2016.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) may soon be planning to launch retaliatory attacks on “elite Hezbollah forces” reportedly fighting in Syria, retired Jordanian major-general Fayez al-Doueiri told Al Arabiya on Monday night. Doueiri, who is now a military analyst, said the reported continuing battles between the FSA and Hezbollah fighters could be a “positive development for the FSA as it is managing to inhibit Hezbollah’s elite forces.” This may mean the “FSA is preparing to launch reverse operations to gain back what it lost in the past few weeks,” he added.
A rebel victory in Syria’s civil war would be the most positive outcome for Israel despite fears of instability and a stronger jihadist presence on the Golan should the regime collapse, analysts say. The Syrian conflict has increasingly affected Israel, as alarm mounts over the deployment of President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal and the potential for it to fall into the hands of non-state militant groups. But experts believe a rebel victory would have the best geostrategic implications for Israel.
Analyzing Beijing’s foreign policy is a relatively simple exercise. That’s because, unlike the United States and other Western nations, China doesn’t even pretend to operate on any other principle except naked self-interest. On one hand, China has courted Israel as a partner in developing Mediterranean gas fields — but it also has been happy to do business with Israel’s arch-enemy, Iran, and has sold weapons that ended up in Hezbollah’s arsenal. In South Asia, meanwhile, China has cynically helped Pakistan check India’s regional role, even as China’s state-controlled press has warned Pakistan that Beijing may “intervene militarily” in South Asia if Pakistani-origin jihadis continue to infiltrate Muslim areas of Western China.
This may be a template for a possible plot for “The Expendables 3” but it is a truly bad real-world military operation. Creating limited protection zones for what are now millions of potential refugees would commit the United States to unstable half-measures – and the open-ended use of force to defend them – with the risks of either a continuing civil war or an unplanned process of escalation without allied commitments or support and the reality that the people in such zones would need massive amounts of emergency relief. As Libya showed, “no fly” zones are not enough to end a civil war or halt ground movements and escalation in the use of artillery, missiles, and carefully managed atrocities by competing ground forces.
The chief of staff of the Israel Defence Forces, Benny Gantz, recently pushed back against the idea that it was too late for Israel to act alone against Iran’s He felt comfortable making it because he knew that in a few days he would be welcoming a friend bearing gifts. And the gifts? Well, they are gifts the Iranian regime would prefer Israel didn’t possess: advanced radar packages that extend Israel’s ability to see east (and west, north and south, but east is what matters most at the moment), KC-135 refuelling tankers and V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft. The tankers will extend the range of Israel’s bombers, and the Ospreys are particularly useful for inserting commandos into enemy territory.
Jordan has opened two corridors of its airspace to Israeli Air Force drones seeking to monitor the ongoing conflict in Syria, French daily Le Figaro reported on Sunday, citing a Western military source in the Middle East.
According to the report, Jordanian King Abdullah made the decision in March during US President Barack Obama’s visit to Jordan, which came immediately after his first trip as president to Israel. Le Figaro quoted the military source as saying that the Israeli drones fly at night to avoid detection. The source added that “the Syrians have Russian air defense assets, but Israeli aircraft are difficult to detect and therefore virtually immune to anti-aircraft measures.”
When National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror arrives in Turkey on Sunday to discuss compensation for flotilla victims, he will also be seeking to lay the groundwork for the stationing of Israeli fighter jets in an airbase near Ankara, ahead of a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Sunday Times reported.
“Until the recent crisis, Turkey was our biggest aircraft carrier,” an Israeli military source told the London-based publication. “Using the Turkish airbases could make the difference between success and failure once a showdown with Iran gets underway.”
An unnamed Jordan source said the U.S. military agreed on Friday to the country’s request to put Patriot missile batteries along the border with Syria.
A London newspaper quoting the Jordan source said the United States was sending two Patriot missile batteries to the area, The Times ofIsrael reported. The source also said the Patriot missile batteries would be transferred from sites in Qatar and Kuwait, and placed in strategic border spots that could best serve – and protect – the kingdom.
A company staffed with former operatives of Israel’s top intelligence agencies and founded with the help of the former head of the Mossad is being used by hedge funds looking for an edge in the financial markets. Kela Israeli Intelligence has increasingly become a popular service on Wall Street. The firm employs about 40 former intelligence operatives and analysts, most of them ex-members of the Israeli army’s secretive 8200 unit, which is often described as Israel’s equivalent to the National Security Agency and believed to be behind the Stuxnet computer worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Tension is rising on the Israel-Syria cease-fire line on the Golan Heights and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says he’s ready to launch military operation to prevent the weakening Damascus regime’s chemical and other advanced weapons falling into Islamist hands. “We see a deterioration of the general chain of command” in the Syrian-held sector of the Golan, said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman. But the Israelis see the main threat to them as the jihadists acquiring the regime’s well-stocked arsenals of chemical weapons and advanced systems such as Russian-made Scud-B ballistic missiles, which can carry chemical warheads, and surface-to-air missiles that would challenge Israel’s long-held air supremacy in the region.
The only democracy Egypt has known in 5,000 years of recorded history lasted six years — from 1946, when the World War II British protectorate came to an end, until 1952 when Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser and his Free Officers movement dethroned and exiled King Farouk. Nasser’s coup was inspired by Egypt’s defeat in the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948. No more than 100 colonels, majors and captains were involved, including Anwar Sadat, who succeeded Nasser upon his death in 1970. Officially, Nasser and his Free Officers said they had taken over to wipe out corruption among their generals who, they charged, had led Egypt to its first defeat by Israel in 1948.
The Turkish energy minister, Taner Yildiz, says his country would be open to the construction of a pipeline to distribute Israel’s newly discovered gas.
“The issue may become an important topic that the two can cooperate on,” said Ozel. “The Israelis have already made a suggestion to send some of their gas by pipelines to Turkey. And this fits well with Turkey’s grand desire to be the grill full of pipelines from north to south, from east to west, and therefore become on energy matters, if not a hub, certainly an indispensable transition place.”
A union of this nature, reminiscent of the so-called “phantom” and comparatively short-lived Periphery Doctrine adopted by prime minister David Ben-Gurion in 1958 but collectively revived, strengthened, and upgraded in the present context, would pool the military resources of these countries under a joint leadership to be agreed upon, and would have the potential of impeding the Turkish hegemon from acting belligerently in the region. (One can see how this rejuvenated policy would work by studying Israel’s covert military agreement with a resurgent Ethiopia and in its leveraging of its knowledge-based industries with many other countries, such as Brazil, Nigeria, China, and India.)
Several new developments in Syria have deepened the conviction that Washington and its Western allies have prepared scenarios to justify their positions if they decide to intervene in Syria, even though official rhetoric refers otherwise.
Since last year, the Untied States and several European countries have floated fears of Syria’s chemical weapons “falling into the wrong hands” if the Syrian administration falls. Israel also said it had plans to intervene to secure those arsenals in case of a “regime collapse.”
‘Castle of the Lake’ intelligence command and control system being developed to deliver military decision-makers information from every possible source.In a hypothetical yet plausible situation, a very senior IDF commander is sitting at home, when he is alerted of a developing threat over the border.
As he makes his way to IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv to meet with army brass, the commander pulls out a handheld military communications device, which sends and receives highly encrypted broadcasts.
A group of Iranian lawmakers has begun drafting a bill on reattaching Azerbaijan to Iran by updating the terms and conditions of a 19th century treaty that ceded part of modern-day Azerbaijan and most of Armenia to Russian control.
The 1828 Turkmenchay Treaty ended the last war between Russia and Persia and paved the way for St. Petersburg to establish suzerainty over the South Caucasus. (Tehran already had given up its claims on Georgia in the 1813 Treaty of Gulistan.) But the Iranians now argue that there was a critical detail in the fine print.
Israel is set to send warships to the eastern Mediterranean for a joint military exercise with Cyprus, according to a report which appeared in the Cypriot Fileleftheros daily on Tuesday and which was cited by the Turkish Today’s Zaman. Cypriot Defense Minister Fotis Fotiou confirmed that the joint exercise, which will include the participation of four or five Israeli warships, is due to start on April 25, the report said. Fotiou also noted that the exercise will focus on the security of the eastern Mediterranean region and that of gas companies.
“Saudi Arabia is supporting groups here that are not religious extremists. Americans are supervising the flow of arms and the Saudis pay for them,” said a rebel who called himself Ahmed Masri speaking to the Daily Telegraph from the southern city of Deraa. Saudi Arabia is also said to be supporting a US-led programme to train Syrian rebel fighters in Jordan. A well-placed opposition lobbyist based in Jordan told the Daily Telegraph that “the Americans are doing the training, but Saudi is paying the money for it”. Those receiving training are mainly moderate Sunni Muslim tribesmen from central and southern Syria, many of whom have served in the Syrian army.
An Israeli tank fired into Syrian territory on Tuesday night after Syrian mortar and small-arms fire hit the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan heights the military said. An Israeli army statement said troops “returned precise fire at the source and reported a direct hit.” In response to a query from AFP a spokeswoman said it was an Israeli tank that returned fire. She did not give further details. There were no Israeli casualties from the Syrian fire, the army said.
Israel’s huge new offshore gas resource offers its enemies an obvious target and gives its navy, long overshadowed by other branches of the Israeli armed forces, a big job that will require extra spending.On patrol boat 836, circling two gas platforms in choppy Mediterranean waters, Captain Ilan Lavi flipped through pictures of the possible threats: boat bombs, drones, submarine vessels, rockets and missiles. “We have to build an entire new defensive envelope,” said Lavi, head of the navy’s planning department who talks as knowledgeably about the financial aspects of the gas industry as he does about security.
Israeli spying equipment has been found hidden in artificial rocks on an uninhabited island opposite the Syrian port of Tartus, where it was being used to monitor Russian naval movements. Three large espionage devices were discovered by fishermen on the tiny Ant Island near a naval base regarded by Moscow as an important strategic asset in the Mediterranean. According to Al-Manar, a pro-Syrian television station in neighbouring Lebanon, the “rocks” could track and film Russian warship movements and instantly transmit pictures back to Israel by satellite.
In order to further strengthen the defence of Gwadar Port and to enhance the security of vital PN assets and installations along the western coasts, Pakistan Navy has achieved a significant milestone by commissioning the 3rd Pak Marines Battalion. The commissioning ceremony was held today at Gwadar. Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafiq was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the ceremony, the chief guest said that at present the country is faced with internal and external threats, which makes security today’s main concern.
Israel is getting increasingly jumpy as Syrian rebels, particularly the increasingly effective Islamists, steadily throttle the beleaguered Damascus regime. Unusually heavy air force activity over Lebanon in recent days is raising suspicions Israel’s preparing for airstrikes to ensure the Jewish state’s security as Islamists advance into southern Syria close to the occupied zone in the Golan Heights.The marked increase in the number of aircraft involved, including unmanned spy drones, and their flight patterns over Hezbollah strongholds and suspected missile sites in recent days suggest Israel may be preparing for sizable offensive air operations against Hezbollah or Syria, or both.
Shama Ha-Cohen reveals in his Knesset website what he worked in Aman, the IDF military intelligence department. He served there in a group that was called the “special unit for counter-espionage and special investigations” (היחידה המיוחדת לסיכול ריגול וחקירות מיוחדות). As is usual for Israeli spookery, this is spy lingo that euphemizes the real nature of what the group did. “Special investigations” means it engaged in, among other things, foreign assassinations.
Only too aware of the threat of east Mediterranean supply if Europe is able to diversify away from Russian gas dependency, Moscow has been steadily feting Israel to buy into a piece of the action.Moscow has already advanced a $3.5 billion loan and attempted to gain more leverage over Cyprus’ economic and energy assets during the recent bitter negotiations in the banking crisis.
The Kremlin is playing a much bigger game. Gazprom is already eyeing a role in the development of Israel’s gigantic Leviathan gas field. With its estimated 25 tcf of gas Leviathan is due to come on-stream by 2016. And the eastern Mediterranean bonanza is potentially huge. The US Geological Survey estimates the eastern Mediterranean Levant Basin contains around 123 tcf of gas and 1.7 billion barrels of oil.
Israel Today newspaper has prepared a special report on the Arab armies in the Middle East; its title is telling; “Long Arm in the Region” is a reference to the Israel Defence Forces. It is claimed that the IDF is planning for a confrontation with Egypt. There is a new unit within the IDF which studies the armies of the Arab states through Israel’s military intelligence agency, Aman.
This agency supplies information on the power centres in the region’s armies and their plans, as well as how to exhaust their capabilities even before a direct confrontation. In the event of war with any Arab state, the new unit is ready to present a detailed plan of attack, cutting off enemy supply routes and rendering it unable to retaliate against Israeli attacks.
An Israeli general has raised the possibility of creating a buffer zone in Syria, in cooperation with local forces wary of jihadist fighters, should President Bashar al-Assad be toppled.
Major-General Yair Golan said “many hundreds” of radical Islamists were fighting in Syria’s two-year-old civil war and could “take root” in Israel’s northern neighbour should Assad fall. He said the Israeli military was working on the assumption that these fighters would ultimately launch attacks against Israel, which captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.
Israel said it fired into Syria Sunday and destroyed a machine-gun position in the Golan Heights from where shots had been fired at Israeli soldiers in a further spillover of the Syrian civil war along a tense front.
It was not immediately clear whether Israel held Syrian troops or rebels responsible for what a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had been a deliberate attack on Israeli patrols in the occupied territory. Israeli forces “destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest that fired twice in the last 24 hours on Israeli patrols operating to safeguard the border
The events of the Arab Spring and the variables that have happened in Iraq after invading it in 2003, which led to the fall of the dictatorial rulers, caused authoritarian and political vacuum, over which the States whose governments still hold the reins of power in it have competed and thus have turned into powerful States. Qatar is one of these States that is small but yet have great ambitions and is supported and backed by the United States and Israel. It is clear that Qatar’s policy aims at strengthening its authority and role in the region at the expense of the Saudi role.
President Shimon Peres met on Thursday with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The two discussed the importance of strengthening the strategic cooperation between Israel and NATO in the security and technology fields. According to a statement from Peres’s office, the President briefed the NATO Secretary General on the strategic threats is facing in the Middle East with a focus on the threat of a nuclear Iran and Hizbullah.
Inside Iraq, the forces of Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict had been unleashed by the U.S. invasion. That, in turn, was creating the conditions for a proxy war between the U.S. and Iran, similar to the growing proxy war between Israel and Iran inside Lebanon (where another destabilizing event, the U.S.-sanctioned Israeli invasion of 2006, followed in hand). None of this has ever ended. Today, in fact, that proxy war has simply found a fresh host, Syria, with multiple powers using “humanitarian aid” to push and shove their Sunni and Shia avatars around.
Chinese and Indian consumers are living well and eating well. And that could spark a global crisis. The consumer boom in China and India will touch off global inflation and could lead to food and water riots if investment, policy, and technology don’t keep pace.
Without smart, quick action by the private sector and government alike, surging Chinese and Indian demand for premium foods will lead to commodity volatility, runaway food prices, and worldwide water shortages as the “boomerang effect” brings the unexpected impact of Asian growth to U.S. shores. That’s the conclusion of research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The main findings are presented in “The Boomerang Effect,” a Perspective that is being released today
Israel has long been keen to establish a foothold in parts of Africa, for strategic as well as economic reasons. The vast continent offers relatively accessible (and increasingly fought-over) sources of energy and water, as well as emerging markets. While Israel has been able to establish diplomatic relationships with most non-Muslim African countries, nations such as Mali and Niger have so far refused to formally recognise it. Clearly, Israel would like to convert these nations of the Sahel into friends and a potential rear guard against hostile Arab nations in the north.
Lebanon seems to be moving closer to becoming a major new front in Syria’s 2-year-old civil war after a series of deadly clashes in Syrian between rebel forces and Hezbollah, which backs the embattled Damascus regime.
The Free Syrian Army, one of the leading groups within the overwhelmingly Sunni Muslimopposition, threatened Tuesday to strike at the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon after the Iranian-backed movement sought to extend its control of Syrian territory along the border. The Hezbollah offensive, which began last week, appears intended to protect vital supply routes to Syrian forces loyal to the regime from Hezbollah’s heartland in the Bekaa Valley in northeastern Lebanon.
Will armies battle each other, as the cry for “blue gold” gets furious? Will “water wars” be as prevalent as conflict for the “black gold” of oil? Two documentary films have wetted public interest – Blue Gold: World Water Wars, and Last Call at the Oasis, and a dystopia novel – The Water Wars – warns of its imminence.
In actuality, history’s pages are already splashed with dozens of conflicts. In 2,450 B.C. the Sumerian cities of Lagash and Umma warred over Tigris-Euphrates water. More recently, Senegal and Mauritaniabattled in 1989 over grazing rights in the Senegal River Valley – hundreds were killed, 250,000 fled their homes. The Pacific Institute provides an excellent map and timeline of 225 water skirmishes.
One of the most complex situations in the Middle East right now is the ongoing conflict in Syria between the government and opposition forces, in which at least an estimated 70,000 people have been killed.
Brahimi calls it a “quasi-Cold War” situation, with the United States supporting the opposition and Russia supporting the regime. Complicating the issue is the influence of regional powers such as Iran, Turkey, the Gulf States and the Arab League, as well as Israel’s military power in Israel.
Calling the continuing crisis an “absolute tragedy,” Brahimi holds many parties responsible for using tools of absolute war in order to gain power.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the first visit to Cairo by an Iranian leader in more than three decades, called for a strategic alliance with Egypt and said he had offered the cash-strapped Arab state a loan.
In a step by Iran to advance ties that were broken in 1979, the Iranian foreign minister said Egyptian tourists and merchants would no longer require visas to visit, Egypt’s state news agency reported. The effort drew a cool response, however. Shi’ite Islamist Iran is still looked on with suspicion by many in Egypt, a predominantly Sunni Muslim nation.
Israel’s first large gas field, Tamar, is due to begin producing natural gas next April. It is an economic bonanza for the state, and a security nightmare for the navy, tasked with protecting the huge area, much of which is outside Israel’s territorial waters.
“These fields have strategic significance and could be easily a target for our neighbors,” a senior naval official in charge of planning, told The Media Line in an exclusive briefing in his office in Tel Aviv. “Usually to protect an area, we just make a sterile zone around it. But we can’t do that in international territory.”
The EU and a large Israeli military contractor are co-funding research to build drones that can stop moving boats and cars.
Launched in January, the three-year-long Aeroceptor project, according to its own literature, aims to help law enforcement authorities to stop “non-cooperative vehicles in both land and sea scenarios by means of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.”
Israel’s ministry of public security, global weapons manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries and Israeli-based Rotem Technological Solutions are among the list of 12 participants, most of which are based in the EU.
The Syrians also said that one of their “research facilities” was bombed and that two were killed. I haven’t been able to confirm the accuracy of this claim.
Israel appears to have taken advantage of the breakdown in civil and military control of Syria to violate that country’s sovereignty with a major attack. It isn’t the first such assault. In 2007, Ehud Olmert’s government destroyed a reputed Syrian nuclear reactor. But this incident is far different because in the middle of the conflagration that is the Syrian civil war any intervention by anyone could create a fatal fracture and precipitate even more bloodshed.
The Israeli army is systematically using crowd control weapons and live ammunition unlawfully against Palestinians in the West Bank, signaling a widespread breach of military regulations and an alarming culture of impunity, a leading Israeli human rights group has warned.
At least ten Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army’s use of crowd control weapons in so-called “disturbance of the peace” situations in the West Bank since 2005, Israeli group Btselem stated in a new report, titled ‘Israel’s Use of Crowd Control Weapons in the West Bank’. Additionally, Israeli soldiers killed 46 Palestinians with live ammunition in the same time period.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel must prepare for the threat of a chemical attack from Syria as the army deployed its new Iron Dome anti- missile system near the border with its northern neighbor.
Netanyahu told members of the Cabinet during the weekly meeting in Jerusalem today that Israel faces dangers from throughout the Middle East. Top security officials held a special meeting last week to discuss what may happen to Syrian stocks of chemical weapons amid the civil unrest there, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told Army Radio.
Expanding its nuclear arsenal at a rapid pace, Pakistan is now aiming to develop smaller and lighter atomic warheads more suitable for use on missiles, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist has said. Pakistan is expected to surpass Britain’s nuclear stockpiles in a decade, the journal said, referring to the rapid development of nuclear warheads by Islamabad.
“Pakistan has shown clear signs of its intention to grow its nuclear arsenal. Most recently, the country has begun to increase its plutonium production capabilities, with two new plutonium production reactors under construction, as well as a new chemical reprocessing facility,” the journal said.
Turkey is in a rush to grow its energy sector. And recent news that the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as Taqa, will invest heavily in Turkish coal-fired power plants shows how serious Ankara is taking this commitment.
The deal, announced at the start of the year, will see Taqa build and operate a power generation base totalling 7,000 megawatts, or about 10 per cent of Turkey’s electricity needs by the time the plants are completed.
President Assad’s remarks came after he attended several meetings with his senior commanders, and discussed the country’s security situation with them, the Algerian Al-Shorouq Oline newspaper quoted informed sources close to the Syrian government as saying on Monday.
In the meetings presided by President Assad, Syria’s top army commanders told him that “the foreign hostile states will strive to assassinate him instead of launching a military attack on Syria”.
In November 2007, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas jointly addressed the Turkish parliament, an event that buttressed Turkey’s role in the region as an honest broker for peace. The Peres address was the first ever by an Israeli president before a Muslim parliament.
Turkey and Israel at that time were weighing the construction of an “infrastructure corridor” between the port cities of Ceyhan and Haifa, which would have included five separate underwater pipelines for oil, natural gas, electricity, water and communications. There was also speculation that these pipelines could go through Northern Cyprus.
The worst-case scenario is a world war between the West — NATO, U.S., EU with Japan-Taiwan-South Korea — and the East—the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with Russia, China, Central Asia as members and India, Pakistan, Iran as observers. With four nuclear powers on each side, and West versus Islam as a major issue. In the centre is the explosive mix of a divided territory (Israel-Palestine) and Jerusalem, a capital divided by a wall.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II have held secret talks in Amman to discuss Syria’s potential use of chemical weapons, Al Quds Al-Arabi reported on Wednesday.
In recent weeks, fears have grown over the potential use of Syria’s chemical weapons. Russia, one of the few remaining allies of the Assad regime, said on December 22 that Syria was consolidating its chemical weapons stores in “one or two” places.
Social media users who use tweets and online posts to comment on a military operation could be regarded as legitimate military targets.
Australian army Land Warfare Studies Centre analyst Chloe Diggins on Thursday said a recent social media war between Israel and Hamas raised complex ethical questions about who was a combatant and therefore a legitimate military target. A key question was whether such comments constituted an act of war.
Israel has set up military bases in Eritrea to monitor Iran and other hostile activities in the Red Sea, Stratfor Global Intelligence reported Wednesday.
The U.S.-based strategy consultancy firm quoted “diplomatic sources” as saying that the Israeli military presence is comprised of docks and small naval units in the Dahlak Archipelago and Massawa, and a listening post on Mt. Amba Sawara.
“Israel’s presence in Eritrea is very focused and precise, involving intelligence gathering in the Red Sea and monitoring Iran’s activities,” Stratfor said.
India wants the Iron Dome defense system. Defense News reports that India and Israel are cooperating on the development of weapons systems and that India’s main wish is to acquire the Iron Dome on a “buy and build” basis. This means India wants to acquire it and obtain a license from Israel for its manufacture.
An Indian source told Defense News that Israel had agreed to sell the system to India, but was hesitant about selling the technology needed to manufacture it. The U.S., which helped fund the Iron Dome’s development, has not said publicly whether it backs the deal.
A military coalition led by the US, ready to intervene in case the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons against rebel forces, could include Israel, Maariv has reported.
“It won’t require major movement to make action happen. The muscle is already there to be flexed,” a US official told The Times. “It’s premature to say what could happen if a decision is made to intervene. That hasn’t taken shape, we’ve not reached that kind of decision. There are a lot of options, but it [military action] could be launched rapidly, within days.”
Lockheed’s ADAM, short for Area Defense Anti-Munitions, is portable and also designed to defend against attacks from rockets and drones, using lasers, not missiles, for protection.
“We combined our proven laser beam control architecture with commercial hardware to create a capable, integrated laser weapon system,” said Paul Shattuck, Lockheed Martin’s director of directed energy systems for Strategic and Missile Defense Systems. Lasers don’t run out of ammunition and provided they’ve got power they can keep on defending.
The Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus had long been looking for appropriate international conditions to begin prospecting for petrol and natural gas and speeded these operations up after becoming a member of the EU in 2004. It prepared the way legally by signing exclusive economic zone agreements with Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel and then waited for a propitious set of circumstances to begin drilling. Just around this time in 2010, Israel announced that it had discovered about 685 billion m3 of natural gas in its Tamar and Leviathan fields.
Israel plans to use unmanned drones it deployed in Azerbaijan to preemptively strike Iranian missile sites in the event of a war, the London-based Sunday Times reported.
The report comes amid mounting speculations that Israel may launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities next year, in which case the latter would retaliate by firing Shahab-3 and other long-range missiles at the Jewish state, while Lebanese militia Hezbollah and Gaza militants would follow suit. Ahead of a possible strike, Heron drones armed with Hellfire missiles would take out the missiles before they leave the ground, the paper said.
Everybody knew that Israel’s move to build new settlements in the previously off-limits area outside Jerusalem known as E1. But few probably guessed that it would send European ambassadors fleeing the country. According to a new report from Haaretz, that’s exactly what the diplomats from France and Britain are thinking.
France and Britain are obviously incensed by Israel’s behavior, which is inevitably read as vengeful of Palestine’s recent victory in the United Nations. It’s not just the settlement decision but also how it came about.
Iranian warships will return to Sudan on Friday, the armed forces said, one month after a similar port call followed Khartoum’s accusation that Israel bombed a military factory.
Sudan’s links to Iran have come under scrutiny after Khartoum accused Israel of the October 23 strike against the Yarmouk compound, which led to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured at the factory in Khartoum.
The courtship of Hamas between rivals Iran and Qatar has been one of the Middle East’s intriguing subplots of the Arab Spring. The bloodshed in Gaza has now sharpened their competition for influence with the Palestinian militant group and the direction it takes in the future.
Qatar has sought to use its vast wealth to win over Hamas with investments and humanitarian aid and encouraging Arab partners to do the same — part of the hyper-rich U.S. allied nation’s broader campaign to bring under its wing Islamist movements that have risen to power
Last week dramatically worsened the confrontation between Israel and Palestine. 14 November this year, Israel launched a massive air strike operation against the Palestinian HAMAS movement, which is the main force in the Gaza Strip.
The official stated purpose of the operation, which was called “pillar of Cloud,” is to stop the shelling of Israeli territory by Palestinian rockets unmanaged missiles. The main purpose of the operation was the destruction of important objects of military infrastructure of Hamas and its political, military and religious leaders.
THOUSANDS of Israeli troops have made preparations to move into Gaza after Palestinian rockets reached Jerusalem and the shores of Tel Aviv.
Senior members of the military have told The Times that they expect to invade this weekend. One officer confirmed that troops had been ordered to prepare “to the highest state of readiness”. As the latest crisis escalated in the Middle East, Palestinian militants deployed longer range missiles for the first time. In Gaza City, families sheltered in cellars as Israeli air strikes rocked buildings and war planes created incursion corridors for troops.
The Pentagon has told the Obama administration that any military effort to seize Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons would require upward of 75,000 troops, amid increasing concern that the militant group Hezbollah has set up small training camps close to some of the chemical weapons depots, according to senior American officials.
Israeli tanks and troops moved toward the Gaza Strip on Thursday night in apparent preparation for a possible invasion after a day of violence that included a fatal rocket strike in the southern Israeli city of Kiriyat Malachi, raising the likelihood that the region was on the brink of all-out war.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak summoned more than 30,000 reservists to military duty. Barak said the order was intended to make Israel “ready for any development.”
Syrian rebels have seized control over two towns in the buffer zone with Israel, The Daily Telegraph reported late on Tuesday. According to the report, which cites an Israeli military intelligence source from the Northern Command, 200 or more rebels took control of Be’er Ajam and Bariqa.
Earlier in the month, the Syrian military caused a stir when three of its tanks entered Be’er Ajam, prompting Israel to raise its alert levels and complain to the United Nations.
The Israeli army command has not ruled out that in order to destroy the missile arsenals of the Palestinian movement Hamas they might need not only the Air Force, but possibly to launch a ground operation into Gaza, therefore they have authorized the Army to call up reservists.
The Israeli Air Force struck dozens of targets on the Gaza Strip as part of a large-scale operation codenamed “Protective Pillar”, which resulted in 12 Palestinians being killed, including the leader of the military wing of Hamas, Ahmed al-Jabari.
Israel tops the list of the world’s most militarised nations, according to the latest Global Militarisation Index released Tuesday by the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC).
At number 34, Israel’s main regional rival, Iran, is far behind. Indeed, every other Near Eastern country, with the exceptions of Yemen (37) and Qatar (43), is more heavily militarised than the Islamic Republic, according to the Index, whose research is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Read this carefully. It is a shocking and factual description of the situation at present, but it is also the prophecy of the future for Europe – or should we already call it Eurabia.
A hateful wind emanating from the small Islamic emirate is now blowing toward Europe, a wind accompanied by an ocean of poisonous, oily, bloody money – all coming from the peninsula in the Persian Gulf which today is the world’s richest country. Slowly, Qatar is buying Europe’s assets.
General Sir David Richards said plans were being drawn up in case winter made conditions on the ground worse. Any intervention would be ‘limited’ and needed the support of people inside Syria, he said. But it would be seen as a potential step towards a full-scale military intervention bringing British forces directly into conflict with the regime of president Bashar al-Assad.
Israel may launch ground invasion into the Gaza Strip if Palestinians keep on firing rockets and mortars against the Jewish state, a British newspaper reported Sunday.
One unnamed senior Israeli government official told The Telegraph that “a ground incursion is certainly not out of the question although we hope it won’t come to that.”
sraeli troops fired warning shots into Syria on Sunday in response to mortar fire, the army said, in the first Israeli fire directed at the Syrian military in the Golan Heights area since the 1973 war.
“A short while ago, a mortar shell hit an IDF post in the Golan Heights adjacent to the Israel-Syria border, as part of the internal conflict inside Syria. In response, IDF soldiers fired warning shots towards Syrian areas,” the army said in a statement.
Israel, Greece and Cyprus are to set up working groups to examine the possibility of a power cable and an energy corridor connecting the countries. This was agreed at a meeting held today in Cyprus between Minister of Energy and Water Resources Uzi Landau, the Cypriot minister of industry and commerce and the Greek deputy energy minister.
The energy corridor is intended to enable future exports of gas from Israeli and Cypriot reserves to Greece via a pipeline, liquefaction installation, or other technology.
The Caspian Sea region is an often-overlooked one, compared to the Middle East, when assessing the antagonisms of world powers. However, this hinterland of Eurasia is of great importance for a whole range of issues.
The Caspian Sea dominates on a geo-economic level Central Asia, Caucasus, Southern Russia and the upper part of the Middle East. More than 10 billion tons of oil reserves are to be found there along with trillions of cubic meters of natural gas, most of them still unexplored or underdeveloped.
India’s oil-rich Western neighbourhood, extending from the Arabian Sea to the Bosphorus, is engulfed in conflict arising from sectarian and civilisational rivalries, aggravated by the meddling of external powers. With an arsenal of over 100 nuclear weapons, Pakistan is witnessing a period of internal strife, largely arising from the pernicious role of its military establishment and tensions across its disputed borders with Afghanistan. This conflict, involving radical groups such as the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, is engulfing Central Asia.
An Israeli think tank with close links to the government has simulated what would happen in the Mideast and internationally if Israel attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities — and concluded that reaction would be “in the direction of containment and restraint,” not the trigger for a larger war. The Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) says it held a “war game” several weeks ago — when “it appeared that the fall of 2012 would be a critical period”
One of the most curious of alliances in the Middle East have been the clandestine goings on between the Zionist State of Israel and the Saudi royal family, the guardians of Mecca, among the most conservative of Arab monarchs. As I wrote in a previous blog, that relationship is based on a venerable political tenet: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The common enemy, in this case, being Iran, radical Islam, and the political upheaval known as the Arab Spring.
Three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone in the Golan Heights on Saturday, Israel said, raising concerns violence from Syria’s civil war could heat up a long-quiet frontier that has not seen such an incursion in nearly 40 years.
Israel complained to UN peacekeepers present in the area, a relatively low-key response that suggested it did not see the Syrian armor as an immediate threat. But the entry marks the most serious spillover of Syria’s turmoil to date at the frontier, where stray ordnance has exploded on the Israeli side in the past.
Modernization of the Air Force Jordan will American company Lockheed Martin. U.S. Air Force leadership has already approved several bilateral contracts to improve communication infrastructure Jordanian Air Force for a total of 26 million dollars. Pentagon officials stress that Jordan is considered as a key U.S. ally in the Arab world. Advanced American technology will allow the country to defend its airspace and provide air sovereignty.
American military specialists, along with their British counterparts regularly assist Jordan in enhancing its military capabilities.
If Iran starts to build nuclear weapons Turkey would soon follow, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said during an interview with UK’s Telegraph. “Saudi Arabia will turn nuclear within weeks – according to them. Turkey will turn nuclear in several years,” Barak was quoted as saying. Egypt will follow as well, causing a “nightmare” as “nuclear material ends up in [the] hands of terrorist groups,” according to Barak.
Yet, the US Embassy in Beirut was directed to be cautious in announcing any position due to the critical nature of the situation in Lebanon at this stage and the fact that the region is still focused on the Syrian crisis. The US desire to carefully approach the issue of the government is the product of a realistic view, which sees that even if the government resigns it would have to act as caretaker until a new government is formed.
Two Iranian navy ships have docked at Sudan’s main port of the Red Sea, underlining Tehran’s military links to Sudan in the wake of last week’s airstrike, with Israel suspected to have carried out the attack, on an arms factory near Khartoum.
The two events illustrate how East Africa and the Red Sea that runs between two strategic waterways — the Suez Canal in the north and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait in the south — have become an occasional battleground for Israel and Iran.
“A Strange Alliance: Are the Saudis Bankrolling Israel’s Mossad?” appears on his blog. Lando’s source is named only as “a friend, with good sources in the Israeli government.” He wrote, “The head of Israel’s Mossad has made several trips to deal with his counterparts in Saudi Arabia-one of the results: an agreement that the Saudis would bankroll the series of assassinations of several of Iran’s top nuclear experts that have occurred over the past couple of years.
Two Iranian warships docked in Sudan on Monday, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported, less than a week after Khartoum accused Israel of attacking an arms factory in the Sudanese capital. Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said four military planes attacked the Yarmouk plant and Israel was behind it. Asked by Israel’s Channel Two News about Sudan’s accusations, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said: “There is nothing I can say about this subject.”
Today we are doing a program focusing on the “Austere Challenge 2012”. And the Israeli commentators are saying that this is a unique military exercise with the ultimate purpose of exercising in the antimissile defense. And the question is that though the Israeli systems are considered to be among the best in the world, they are not quite certain that they would be able to counter the new Iranian technologies. Could you expand a little bit on that?
Global Post has published an important overview of Israel’s role as major arms exporter fueling the Armenian-Azeri conflict. Recently Azerbaijan announced a $1.6-billion arms deal with Israel that would bring its drone fleet to 100 including Israel’s most advanced Heron model. Here’s an inventory of arms sales to one of the region’s wealthiest, most corrupt and autocratic leaders
The group’s possession of so sophisticated a craft (which was assembled from Iranian-made parts) is further evidence that Hezbollah is the most advanced and best-equipped militia of its kind the world has ever seen. Ever since it forced the Israelis’ panicky retreat from Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah has been building up an immense military force, with firepower that 90 percent of the world’s countries don’t possess
Sudan said on Wednesday that four planes had bombed a weapons factory in Khartoum the previous night, blaming Israeli for the surprise raids. The foreign ministry of Israel, which has long accused Khartoum of serving as a base for militants from the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, refused to comment. Evidence pointing to Israel was found among remnants of the explosives, he said.