Iranian Drone Entered Israeli Airspace

As the war in Syria winds down, Iran is shifting  its emphasis toward Israel.  Iran, through its proxy Hezbollah, can now use resources (Iran deal billions) and forces that were being used in Syria against Israel.

The peaceful and quiet skies that so often accompany Shabbat in the Holy Land were shattered by the infiltration of enemy aircraft into Israeli territory.

The aircraft, an Iranian drone that was launched from a Syrian base located near the ancient city of Palmyra in the Homs desert,  approached Israel in the wee hours of the morning. It successfully entered Israeli airspace and flew for over a minute before it was intercepted near the Sea of Galilee by the Israeli Air Force (IAF).  BreakingIsraelNews

After the Iranian drone was shot down near the Sea of Galilee.  This triggered an immediate Israeli military response. Israeli planes were sent to destroy the command center piloting the drone.  An  Israeli fighter was jet shot down with Syrian missile (crashed after its two-member crew ejected – one taken to the hospital).  Israel launched a devastating aerial assault in Syria.

The Israel Air Force hadn’t lost a fighter jet to enemy fire in 34 years, until Saturday, when Iranian and Syrian forces downed an Israeli F-16 over the Galilee.

The plane in question was part of a strike force on a retaliatory mission into Syria after an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace during the early morning hours.

The drone was promptly shot down, and then a squadron of Israeli fighters entered Syria to destroy the command center from which the infiltrator had been remotely piloted.

The Israeli planes faced overwhelming anti-aircraft fire. The downed F-16 was hit either directly by an Iranian-supplied Syrian missile, or by shrapnel resulting from an explosive anti-aircraft shell.

Either way, the injured pilots managed to return to Israeli airspace before crashing near a kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley.

That sparked a full day of devastating Israeli aerial assaults on Iranian and Syrian military installations.

According to IDF officials, four Iranian and eight Syrian bases were hit, including Syria’s main command and control bunker.  Many of those installations were covert in nature. IsraelToday

Saturday’s violence was the worst military confrontation on Israel’s northern border since the 2006 Lebanon war, and risked putting the Jewish state and Iran on a collision course, former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said on a conference call Saturday night. The Israeli military said it struck 12 targets in Syria, including four belonging to Iran, in a “large-scale attack.”

“As long as Iran continues building its military presence in Syria, they’re definitely bringing the region closer to an escalation,” Conricus said. “We don’t think a war is in our interest, not the IDF’s and not the State of Israel’s interest, and that’s why we’re not looking to escalate the situation.” StarsAndStrips

PM Netanyahu:

“Yesterday we dealt a serious blow to the armies of Iran and Syria,” Netanyahu told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules of engagement have not changed in any way.”

“We will continue to strike back at any attempt to harm us,” Netanyahu said,  according to a statement. “This has been our policy and will remain our policy.” Times OfIsrael

Video: The Brewing Conflict along the Red Sea

Video: The Brewing Conflict along the Red Sea

While international observers are rightfully looking at serious questions in the Middle East like the future of Syria and Iran’s interests in taking over that country, there is a crisis brewing to Israel’s south that has not gotten sufficient attention. I’m speaking about the Red Sea where at least a half a dozen countries are scrambling for influence, seeking bases throughout the area, and positioning themselves for perhaps even a future conflict.

Sometimes we forget if we look back 50 years that the spark which really ignited the Six-Day War came also from Israel’s south, when Egypt imposed a naval blockade at the Straits of Tiran, closing off Israeli shipping through the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. The Red Sea still has the potential of generating conflict in the future. It requires that we be very aware of what is going on there.

The first development that is causing a vast increase in tensions throughout this area is the struggle over the sources of the Nile River. For most of recent history, Egypt was the dominant actor over the Nile and, through various treaties negotiated by the British, the Egyptians also dominated the tributaries of the Nile. But now several things have happened. First, the countries along the White Nile, which goes deep into Africa up to Lake Victoria, in the past were underdeveloped and their water needs were very limited. Now they are insisting on a greater share of water, which will affect the ultimate flow of water to the Nile River and to Egypt.

But far more serious is what’s going on with the other tributary of the Nile known as the Blue Nile. It flows through Ethiopia. There, Ethiopia is planning what is called the “Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam, and by damming the Blue Nile, despite all the guarantees that Ethiopia can offer, Egypt is very concerned that its principal source of water for the Nile River may be denied.

While the struggle over the sources of the Nile is transpiring, Iran is seeking positions of strength along the entire Red Sea, from the Suez Canal in the north down to Bab-el-Mandeb, the outlet of the Red Sea into the Indian Ocean. Back in the 1990s, the Iranians, in fact, deployed their Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Port Sudan, the most important of the Sudanese ports in the Red Sea. Sudan became a conduit for moving Iranian weapons up into Egypt, to the Sinai Peninsula, and ultimately to the Gaza Strip, where they were used by Hamas and other pro-Iranian organizations.

As a result of the Yemen war, which placed Iran and its proxies in conflict with Saudi Arabia and the forces that it supported, Sudan was given a choice – to stay with Iran and continue the supply of weapons to Hamas, or to enter the pro-Saudi camp in the Yemen conflict. Sudan chose Saudi Arabia. It cut diplomatic relations with Iran and kicked the Iranians out of Port Sudan. An unintended side effect of this shift in Sudanese policy was that Israel benefited since the supply line of Hamas from the south was clearly cut.

Since that time, Iran has been seeking alternatives to its Sudanese supply line, and one of the countries the Iranians have been active in is Eritrea. But in Eritrea as well, the Saudis have been active, seeking to limit the Iranian presence.

In the critical Bab-el-Mandeb straights, the naval choke point at the bottom of the Red Sea, Iran has been using the Houthi militias, which are its proxies in the Yemen war. And it may get to a point where the Iranians will seek to block the flow of naval traffic through this sensitive point.

While all this has been going on, Turkey has imposed itself as a new factor in the Red Sea and in the Horn of Africa. The Turks have been active in Somalia, where they’ve built a north-south highway and a major military base. More recently, the Turks have leased Suakin Island from Sudan and they intend to build a naval base right in the Red Sea. This was, of course, once an Ottoman fort which allowed Ottoman navies to dominate the Red Sea a long time ago. But, nonetheless, perhaps Turkey is seeking to recover its glories from its Ottoman past.

Of all the nations that are positioning themselves in the Horn of Africa, like Iran, the U.S., Turkey, France, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia, careful attention should be given to the presence of China in Djibouti where China has constructed one of its first naval bases at the gateway to the Middle East. Given the interests of all the actors appearing now in the Red Sea, the whole region has become far more combustible than it was in the past. With all the focus on Syria and Iraq in recent years, it may be necessary to give greater attention to the theater of the Red Sea which in the next decade could become a serious source of international conflict.

* * *
Ambassador Dore Gold has served as President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs since 2000. From June 2015 until October 2016 he served as Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Previously he served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN (1997-1999), and as an advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

* * *
“Diplomatic Dispatch” is a new series of video briefings on strategic issues that Israel faces today by Jerusalem Center President Dore Gold, produced by the Center’s Institute for Contemporary Affairs, founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation.

Iran Arrests 29 Women For Appearing In Public Without Hijab

Courageous women in the Islamic Republic of Iran as a sign of resistance to the oppressive regime are taking off their hijabs.

In Iran, where dozens of citizens have protested mandatory headscarves for women by hanging scarves on the ends of sticks and waving them up on busy streets in an unprecedented act of defiance. A woman named Vida Movahedi was the first to protest in this way on December 27, in Tehran. She was promptly arrested. More than a month later, a second woman, Narges Hosseini, did the same thing, in the same spot, on January 29. She, too, was arrested.

But in the following days, dozens of women (and some men, too) have copied them across the country. Their photos and videos have been widely shared on social media. They are being called the “Revolution girls”, because the two first women protested on Revolution Street in Tehran.

Most seem to have done this quickly enough to get away with it, but on February 1, Tehran police announced the arrests of 29 people involved in these actions in the capital – without giving any indication as to whether they were arrested on the spot or later.  France24

A protester in Isfahan on January 29.

Narsin Sotoudeh is the lawyer for the “first follower”, Narges Hosseini. She told FRANCE 24 that her client is currently incarcerated in Gharchak prison, and that her bail was set at 500 million Tomas (about €90,000), which her family cannot pay. According to Soutoudeh, Hosseini is a 25-year-old student who hails from a modest family in the centre of Iran.

Sotoudeh says:

Every day, when Iranian women wake up and decide to leave their house, they have to reckon with the fear that they could be arrested over what they decide to wear. They risk being arrested in illegal and humiliating ways, with insults and, in many cases, violence. All of this because they wore a short or tight manto [a long tunic], short or tight trousers, or failed to wear a headscarf.

What the morality police are doing here is a not only a human rights violation, it’s also illegal according to Iran’s laws, because the women generally aren’t given lawyers, nor do they see a judge – cases of incarceration are rare; most women are given fines. [Editor’s Note: When women are fined, a friend or relative must bring them “appropriate” clothing so that they may leave the police station]. According to the law, these women can be fined between 5,000 and 50,000 Tomans [between €1 and €10] or given up to two months of prison.

Iranian women aren’t allowed to make their own choices about their bodies and the way they dress. They are fed up with this everyday humiliation.  France24

Western Feminist World Hijab Day

Muslim women all over the world and the women in Iran, are subjected to violence and arrest for what they wear and for not wearing a hijab;  these are the women with whom Western feminists should be standing in solidarity with. But they are not.

Instead virtual-signaling feminists in the West have a “World Hijab Day” that stems from the false narrative that women wearing a hijab in the West are harassed and persecuted.   Non-Muslim women were encouraged to wear a garment of oppression and subjugation.

“fight discrimination against Muslim women through awareness and education. It is a day on which women of diverse backgrounds and persuasions are encouraged to wear the Islamic head veil in solidarity with Muslim women.” World Hijab organizers

What about the women in the West forced to wear a hijab –  Aqsa ParvezJessica MokdadNoor Almaleki,  Sarah and Amina Said and many more who were honor killed for not wearing a hijab. Who is speaking for them?

Invite means Demand

Refusing to wear a hijab and showing disinterest is not ignorance, bigotry, or discrimination.

A Muslim student tried to get another student expelled Thursday, which was World Hijab Day, after the second student refused to wear a hijab.

A Muslim student at the University of Central Florida said that she invited fellow student Kathy Zhu to try on a hijab, reported Twitchy. After Zhu declined her offer, the Muslim student, identified by Zhu to The Daily Caller News Foundation as UCF health sciences student Rayyan Sukkarieh, took to Twitter, posting “let’s get this girl expelled.” BPR 

 

“I’m in the back of the first pic,” said Sukkarieh on Twitter, noting she invited Zhu to try on a hijab. “You didn’t take the time to even ask questions or try to understand what Hijab is. That’s ignorant of you. You literally sprinted after taking the photos. Pathetic.”

“TWITTER DO YOUR THING,” continued the Muslim student. “Let’s get this girl expelled….Ignorance will not be tolerated at my campus.”   BPR 

Don’t Ignore Jarad Kushner’s Quiet Mideast Gains

A unique historic opportunity?

    • In recent years, the scope of common interests between Israel and the Sunni Arab world has widened. Given the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), chaos stemming from stateless Libya, and civil wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, the Arab states – which are a pragmatic lot – can no longer claim that the Palestinian issue is the region’s top priority…
    • Current geopolitical conditions have created a critical mass of new and overlapping interests between Israel and the Arab countries, and there is now a historic opportunity to promote a process of normalization. ForeignAffairs

Jarad Kushner recognizes that Iran now matters more to the Arabs than Palestine.

Still, his frequent visits and stray public remarks reveal a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of the region. Behind the scenes, he is making surprising progress…

Second, Kushner realizes that younger Arab generation has a fundamentally different perspective from that of its elders. More than 60 percent of Arabs are too young to remember the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel, and many more regard them as ancient history. Consider an American equivalent; how many millennials are outraged at the fate of South Vietnam? As a result, younger Arabs largely accept Israel’s existence as a settled fact, and generally see trading with its prosperous economy as essential to their own economic growth. I know. I have heard them tell me these things in the privacy of their living rooms. Their septuagenarian leaders do not share their views, and punish younger leaders who try to independently engage with Israelis—which only deepens the divide.

The generation gap is based on practical economic concerns. Young Arabs want well-paying jobs that allow them to marry and start families. They want good schools for the children. Many see no issue with taking an ambulance across the border to an Israeli hospital, unlike their retirement-age relatives who say that they would rather die…

Key relationships

Second, he is liked and trusted by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its influential ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. Obama administration officials often publicly faulted Israel’s elected leaders, and the relationship was, at best, lukewarm.

Third, Kushner has befriended Saudi Arabia’s thirty-one-year-old deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Both are seen as tech-savvy, young disrupters of the status quo, and both favor practical solutions over symbolic displays. Saudi pressure on Qatar to end its funding of Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, would not have happened with earlier generations of Saudi leadership.

Other Gulf Arab leaders that I have met with tell me that they have heard positive things about Kushner, and are eager to work with him….

In short, Kushner’s correct reading of this unique moment in Arab politics as well as the strong relationships with key players that he has fostered position him, and the United States, to make historic progress in the Middle East.  NationalInterest

Iranian Woman Who Bravely Stood On A Box In Tehran Waving Her Hijab Is ‘Missing’ And Feared Arrested

Brave woman.

The Iranian woman who protested the country’s ‘modesty’ dress code by standing on a pillar box in Tehran and waving a hijab, is missing and feared to have been arrested.

She had taken off her white headscarf and tied it to a stick in an apparent reference to the ‘White Wednesday’ protests against clothing restrictions on women in Iran.

Not covering your hair in public is a punishable offense for Iranian women, and the unnamed protester, a 31-year-old mother-of-one, is believed to have been arrested by police.

The woman has not been seen since the video of her standing on the pillar box on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, without a headscarf or long coat as required under Islamic law, went viral.

The video, widely shared on social media, showed her waving a white scarf in a solemn and brave protest.

The video and images of the woman are thought to have been taken on December 27, a day before economic protests broke out across the country, which helped the images go viral even though they were apparently unconnected.

Thousands of social media users have shared messages, dubbing her the ‘Girl of Enghelab Street’ after the area in central Tehran where she staged the protest.  Using the hashtag ‘#Where_is_she?’, supporters have been sharing the video and images of the woman, demanding that authorities reveal her whereabouts.

Lawyer

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a renowned human rights lawyer, has taken it upon herself to investigate the disappearance, and said she is certain the woman is in custory.

Ms Sotoudeh said she could not find out the woman’s name, but had been told she was 31 years of age, and had a 19-month-old baby.

‘What I am certain about is that this lady has been arrested,’ she told AFP.

‘The witnesses on the scene who saw her being taken away and even accompanied her to the police station gave me this information. I have no contact with her family.

Iran Protests: 3 Deaths In Custody Spark Human Rights Concerns

The protests in Iran are still ongoing.

At least three demonstrators believed to have been killed in custody amid violent crackdown on anti-government protests

Human rights activists in Iran have raised concerns about mass arrests during the country’s largest protests in nearly a decade after at least three demonstrators died in a notorious Tehran jail.

Two members of the Iranian parliament close to the reformist camp confirmed on Monday that one detainee, Sina Ghanbari, had died in Evin prison.

Separately, Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer, told the Guardian on the phone from Tehran that at least two other protesters had died in the jail. They have not yet been identified.

At least 21 people died after violent clashes between protesters and security guards during more than a week of demonstrations. Most of those killed were protesters and some were security guards, according to officials. More than 1,000 people, including at least 90 students, were arrested.

“I spoke to a prisoner in Evin prison and I was told that three detainees had lost their lives,” Sotoudeh said. “When authorities resort to mass arrests, they cannot claim to protect their rights. It is not possible in such a situation for the judicial process to take its due course.” TheGuardian

Former Muslim Urges Prayer For Iranian People

“For the past 10 years, Iran has experienced a tremendous move of God as we witnessed tens of thousands of Muslims convert to faith in Christ. The Islamic Regime has tried tirelessly to put a stop to this great move of God. They have shut down churches, arrested thousands of believers, imprisoned many of them, and some have even been executed.”   Pastor Reza Safa – Turmoil In Iran

Iranian-American Pastor Reza Safa, a former radical Muslim and founder of the Farsi-language Christian network TBN Nejat Television, has issued an urgent request for Christians around the world to pray for Iran and its people as political unrest rages in the Muslim controlled nation. Since December 28th tens of thousands of Iranian citizens have taken to the streets of the northern city of Mashhad and elsewhere to protest political oppression, with at least 20 individuals killed in violence.

Safa, whose TBN affiliate network reaches deep into Iran with the gospel message, noted that the protests mark the second time in less than ten years the people of Iran have risen up against the nation’s oppressive Islamic government, which first gained control with the overthrow of Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979. “For the past 39 years the Islamic regime has done nothing but oppress the people of Iran,” said Safa. “The Iranian people are fed up with the government’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad.”

Iran’s economy is in shambles, with an unemployment rate that Iran’s Interior Ministry estimates may be as high as 60 percent in some areas of the country. Safa said that young people under 30, a demographic that constitutes more than half of Iran’s population, are particularly affected, which has helped to fuel the anger against the government.

“In Iran today the people have virtually no freedom,” said Safa. “Even the way they dress publicly is controlled by the government. So now, for the second time since 2009, the people have taken to the streets in cities across Iran to protest against economic hardship and political repression.”

However, he added, there is a major difference this time around. “Today in Iran the gospel is going forward as never before,” said Safa. “Through outlets like TBN Nejat Television, the message of salvation through Jesus is impacting literally every major population center across the nation — despite aggressive efforts by Iran’s government to stop it. Over the past several years countless thousands of Iranians have come to faith in Christ, so that today the nation of Iran is poised for positive change.”

Safa emphasized the importance of Christians around the world joining together in spirit to pray for the people of Iran at this crucial time. “It is important to think in terms of the Church and salvation of souls when we read historical events and political changes,” he said. “I believe that God is preparing an army of ex-Muslims to evangelize the Islamic world in the days ahead. If this is the time for a political change in Iran, our prayers today need to be that a proper and right government is established in this nation and people loved by God. Will you join me in interceding on behalf of Iran and its people?”  ChristianNewsWire

Online:   Pastor Reza Safa – Turmoil In Iran

Former Israeli Ambassador To The U.S. Michael Oren: Obama Rejected Iran Green Revolution For Nuclear Deal

Crackdown:  A semi-official news agency in Iran is reporting that 450 people have been arrested over three days in Tehran. APNews

With limited information coming out of Iran it is difficult to know what is happening and what will happen next.  Iranian state TV reported that 10 people were killed amid nationwide protests.

U.S. State Departement:

“We are following reports of multiple peaceful protests by Iranian citizens in cities across the country. Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people.

The United States strongly condemns the arrest of peaceful protesters. We urge all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.”

Oren listed a number of Iranian provocations ignored by the Obama administration.

US President Barack Obama chose not to support the 2009 Iranian Green Protest Movement, because he hoped to reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear weapons that he signed six years later, then-ambassador to the US and current Deputy Minister Michael Oren (Kulanu) said Monday.

Obama’s failure to help Iranian protesters has been criticized since then by Israeli officials, led by Jewish Agency chairman and former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, who has called it the biggest failure to help human rights in modern history.

Oren said Obama initially claimed he would not support the protesters because the CIA helped overthrow nationalist Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, and that he wanted to show the Iranian people that he respected their sovereignty.

The Obama administration, Oren said, had told Israel behind the scenes that the protesters themselves did not want an American endorsement, because it could discredit them in the eyes of the Iranian people.

“In retrospect, those explanations are less credible,” Oren told The Jerusalem Post. “The Obama administration’s lack of support for the Green Revolution was part of a pattern in which it did not hold Iran accountable for any provocation. It would seem it was part of a general approach that began in Obama’s first week in office in 2009 of wanting to reach a deal with Iran at pretty much any cost.”

Among the Iranian provocations ignored by the Obama administration, Oren listed the crackdown on the protesters, the kidnapping of Americans, having their missile boats provocatively approach American destroyers, trying to assassinate him and his Saudi counterpart in downtown Washington, the failure to follow through on a red line Obama imposed on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons, and Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s smuggling massive amounts of cocaine into the US.

Oren contrasted Obama seeing Iran as the solution to problems in the Middle East with his successor, Donald Trump, whom Oren said sees Iran as the problem. Asked if Israel deserved credit for Trump’s view, Oren said that Israel did not need to push him, because he knew the Iran deal was bad.

“If the Iranian regime brutally cracks down on its own people peacefully demonstrating, imagine what that regime would do to nations it vows to obliterate,” Oren tweeted. “Under the nuclear deal, the regime could someday produce nuclear weapons. Nix or fix it now.”  JPost

Video:  Netanyahu wishes the  Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom

This week, tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets to register their anger, not at Donald Trump or the House of Saud, but at the mullahs and their security apparatus. It was economic grievances that initially ignited the protests in the northeastern city of Mashhad. But soon the uprising grew and spread to at least 18 cities nationwide. And the slogans shifted from joblessness and corruption to opposition to the Islamic Republic in toto. These included:

The outcome of the protests is hard to predict. So far, the movement is leaderless and appears to lack serious organization. The protesters face a regime that spends much of its energy and resources on ensuring its own survival and won’t hesitate to crack down viciously, as it did in 1999 and 2009. But whatever comes next, Iranians have already shattered one liberal myth: namely, that Donald Trump has revived the regime’s popularity at home.  CommentaryMag

 

Obama Administration Protecting Hezbollah To Preserve The Iran Nuclear Deal

Politico released an in-depth examination Monday detailing the Obama administration’s alleged attempts to curtail Project Cassandra, a DEA campaign to expose a money-laundering scheme in which “proceeds from Latin American drug-running were being funneled to Hezbollah.” Hezbollah is the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, which U.S. Department of State has declared a foreign terrorist organization since 1997, that has allied with, among others, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela and North Korea.

The Obama administration “tamped down” the investigations in order to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for the alleged suspension of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. TheBlaze

Politico:  The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.

PART I

A GLOBAL THREAT EMERGES

How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Read full in-depth stunning article at Politico:  The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

News Blackout

Politico broke a bombshell story on Monday, reporting that the Obama administration sabotaged its own DEA’s efforts to fight Hezbollah, a terrorist group supported by Iran, in order to sign his prized nuclear deal with Iran.

Despite the gravity of the story, not many Americans went to bed informed of the actions of the previous administration.

According to conservative media watchdog site, NewsBusters, the top three nightly news networks — NBC News, ABC News and CBS News — in addition to the two leading Spanish networks, Univision and Telemundo, refused to cover the story.

NewsBusters characterized the lack-of-coverage as a “blackout.” A search of the three English-speaking network’s websites also showed their news teams didn’t cover the story, either.  TheBlaze

Politico:  The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

Is Iran Trying to Bring About An Islamic End-of-Days in Syria?

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:1

Iran has 13 bases in Syria some manned by Hezbollah others by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces.  Some of the military installations are within 30 miles of the Golan Heights.

Iran’s motivation is a desire to fulfill Shia prophecy that will prompt the coming of the Mahdi.
Iran is establishing bases in Syria, but according to some sources, their preparations to engage Israel are motivated far more by Messianic aspirations than military or political ones.

Iran has frequently stated its desire to destroy Israel, claiming the Jewish state as the focus of its nuclear and long-range missile program. Iran has also funneled millions of dollars into proxy enemies of Israel, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to Debka, a Middle East military analysis site, Iran is now stepping up its pace, having established 13 military installations in Syria. Some experts see behind this a sinister desire for the end of the world – Islam style.

Indeed, the escalation of Iranian military efforts in Syria are religiously motivated, Ryan Mauro, a political analyst for the Clarion Project, explained in a recent interview.

“This isn’t normal competition between hostile powers, this isn’t even the normal Iranian sponsorship of terrorism or attempts to expand their military presence,” Mauro said. “To the Iranian regime this is the fulfillment of prophecy.”

Mauro pointed out that new Iranian troops are called Ansar al-Mahdi (“Supporters of the Messiah”). It has also created a 313th brigade, into which it is is recruiting young Syrian Shiites. According to tradition in Shiite Islam, 313 is the number of fighters that will arrive with the Mahdi, the Islamic Messiah.

Islam’s tradition holds that Mahdi is the redeemer of Islam. The arrival of Mahdi will coincide with the arrival of the Christian messiah, who will be the Mahdi’s assistant in fighting the Masih ad-Dajjal, the false messiah, or anti-Christ.  BreakingIsraelNews

Turkey Starts Building ‘Security Wall’ On Iran Border

Turkey has begun building a Turkey-Iran border wall similar to the one on the Turkey-Syria border.   Ankara said the step is necessary to increase security measures at the border.

Tehran welcomed the move. “We welcome all kinds of actions that will increase security and stability at the border. We are in favour of deeper bilateral dialogue to increase coordination in this regard. Border security is important for both Iran and Turkey and the necessary efforts should be made by both countries,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by a local daily shortly after Turkey’s announcement in May 2017. IBT

Iran Border

Turkey has begun building a “security wall” along part of its border with Iran, regional officials said Tuesday, in a move aimed at stopping Kurdish separatists.

Pictures showing huge concrete blocks being moved into place were published on the governor’s website for the eastern Agri province.

Turkish authorities announced construction of a 144-kilometer (80-mile) long barrier in May as a means of blocking cross-border movements by members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The entire Turkish-Iranian frontier is around 500 kilometers long.

Syrian Border

To beef up security on its Syrian border, Turkey began constructing a similar wall two years ago to prevent Islamic State group fighters moving easily between the two countries and to clamp down on illegal crossings.

In June, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said 690 kilometers out of a planned 828 kilometers of the wall had been completed along the frontier with Syria.

He added that further border security measures would be put in place once the construction had been completed. TimesOfIsrael

The New York Times Just Outed The CIA’s Top Spy Overseeing U.S. efforts In Iran

The New York Times thinks it is appropriate to out CIA personnel.

In an article published Friday, The New York Times outed the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) top spy overseeing the organization’s efforts in Iran. The paper justified its outing of the undercover CIA spy and his role within the agency by saying it was necessary since the agent is “leading an important new administration initiative against Iran.”

Yes. That really happened.

In an article entitled “C.I.A. Names New Iran Chief in a Sign of Trump’s Hard Line,” the newspaper of record revealed that Michael D’Andrea, who previously led the hunt for Osama bin Laden, will now be in charge of the agency’s operations in Iran.

As the Times explained in its report, Iran is “one of the hardest targets” for the CIA to keep tabs on.

“The agency has extremely limited access to the country — no American embassy is open to provide diplomatic cover — and Iran’s intelligence services have spent nearly four decades trying to counter American espionage and covert operations,” the article noted.

So the Times has apparently made it the newspaper’s mission to make the agency’s work much more difficult and far more dangerous by publicly identifying the man in charge of its covert operations in the Persian country. The paper’s rationale? The report’s authors claimed that because the newspaper already outed D’Andrea in 2015 as the official in charge of a CIA drone program, ignoring desperate pleas from the CIA at the time to keep his name secret in order to protect both the agent and overall national security, it was kosher to out him as the agency’s new Iran chief in 2017. TheFederalist