Report: israel (apartheid state) Tried to Trick Syria Into Shooting Down Civilian Airliners In Christmas Day Attack

Report: Israel Tried to Trick Syria Into Shooting Down Civilian Airliners In Christmas Day Attack
Chris Menahan
Information Liberation

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Israel may have tried to trick Syria into shooting down two civilian airplanes with their latest airstrike carried out on Christmas Day, according to report released Wednesday.

From South Front:

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out its recent airstrikes in Syria when two civilians planes were landing in Beirut and Damascus, putting passengers at risk, Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of Russia told reporters on December 26.

“Provocative acts by the Israeli Air Force endangered two passenger jets when six of their F-16s carried out airstrikes on Syria from Lebanese airspace,” RT quoted the spokesman as saying.

According to Konashenkov, the Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF) delayed the deployment of surface-to-air missiles and electronic jamming “to prevent a tragedy.” Meanwhile, the Damascus air traffic control diverted one of the passenger jets to a reserve airport in Khmeimim in southern Lattakia.

Konashenkov said that 6 Israeli F-16 warplanes used 16 US-made GPS-guided GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs) in the attack, which occurred at the late hours of December 25. Only 2 SDBs managed to hit their targets, while the rest were intercepted by the SyAADF.

Israeli media claimed that Israeli warplanes struck a shipment of Iranian-made Fajir-5 rockets, which was on its way to Hezbollah. However, the Ministry of Defense of Syria said that the “aggression” targeted an ammo depot of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) injuring three service members.

Last September, a Russian Il-20 plane was downed by Syrian air defense firewhen Israeli warplanes used it as a cover to strike targets on the Syrian coast. The recent airstrikes show that Israel is now using the same tactic with civilian planes, which endangers the flights not only over Syria, but also over Lebanon and Jordan.

If Syria had shot down two civilian planes on Christmas Day right after Trump announced he was pulling out of the country, the pressure to reverse his decision would have been tremendous.

Happy New Year and Long Live Palestine from River to See

 

 

إسرائيل تكشف سرّ الصاروخ الذي أربكها… والصفعة التي تلقتها

ديسمبر 29, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– خلال أربع وعشرين ساعة أعقبت العدوان الإسرائيلي الأخير على سورية ولبنان، بدأت التقارير الاستخبارية تنتشر على المواقع الإسرائيلية المتخصّصة بالشؤون الأمنية، وبات واضحاً أن الهدف من هذه التقارير هو العجز عن إدارة الظهر لحقيقة ما جرى داخل كيان الاحتلال في ليلة العدوان، الذي برّرته القيادة العسكرية والأمنية بمعلومات وصلتها عن هدف أمني ثمين يستحق استهدافه المخاطرة بالتصادم مع منظومة الدفاع الجوي السورية بما فيها صواريخ الـ أس 300، وكذلك المخاطرة بالاشتباك مع قرار سوري بالردّ قد يجلب الردّ الصاروخي الأرضي على المواقع الإسرائيلية، فبعد الترويج لاستهداف الجنرال قاسم سليماني أصرّت قيادة الاحتلال على وجود قيادات هامة من حزب الله كانت موضوع الاستهداف، واشارت إلى إصابة بعضها، قبل أن تعلن أن المستهدفين سواء كانوا الجنرال سليماني أو قيادات من حزب الله قد غادروا قبل العدوان بدقائق عبر طائرة إيرانية أقلعت من مطار دمشق.

– لم يكن ممكناً التعامل مع الأمور بهذه الطريقة والوقوف عند هذه النقطة في ضوء ثبوت فشل الاستهداف بغض النظر عن الأسباب ودرجة صحة التقارير عن وجود الجنرال سليماني أو قادة من حزب الله، لأن الذي جرى في عمق الكيان وخصوصاً في منطقة حيفا لم يعد قابلاً للإخفاء والتكتم، حيث بات موضع إجماع وسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية أن صاروخاً سورياً قد سقط في محيط تتجمّع فيه عشرات البلدات أهمها الخضيرة وقيصرية وزخرون يعقوب وأور عقيفا وبنيامينا، وحيث يسكن قرابة ربع مليون من المستوطنين، شعروا جميعاً بهزة أرضية مع انفجار الصاروخ واندلاع الحرائق في منطقة سقوطه، ما اضطر القيادة العسكرية الإسرائيلية للاعتراف علناً بإرباك سببه لغز هذا الصاروخ وما إذا كان من صواريخ الدفاع الجوي التي لاحقت الطائرات أم هو صاروخ أرض أرض يحمل رسالة عسكرية شديدة اللهجة لـ»إسرائيل».

– بعد مرور الساعات الأربع والعشرين خرجت التقارير الإسرائيلية تتحدّث عن رسالة روسية وصلت للقيادة الإسرائيلية مفادها أن صاروخ أس أي 5 من فئة صواريخ أس 200 قد حمل قواعد اشتباك جديدة تريدها سورية أن تُقرأ جيداً، وأن كل محاولة إغارة مقبلة سيرافقها استعمال هذا النوع من الصواريخ، ليس لاستهداف الطائرات المغيرة بل لبلوغ العمق الإسرائيلي، وهي صواريخ تصلح لتكون صواريخ أرض أرض من الطراز البالستي ويمتاز الصاورخ الذي يبلغ مداه 300 كلم بقدرة تدميرية عالية، ويمكن اعتبار بلوغه العمق الإسرائيلي مضموناً بقدرته على اختراق الدفاعات الجوية الإسرائيلية وبلوغه أهدافه، دون القول بأن إطلاقه كان نحو الداخل بل بصفته صاروخ دفاع جوي استهدف طائرة مغيرة ولم ينل منها، فأكمل طريقه. وقالت التقارير إن الرسالة الروسية لم تجب عن سؤال إسرائيلي ما إذا كانت قواعد الاشتباك الجدية تشمل التحليق الإسرائيلي في الأجواء اللبنانية.

– اعترف الاسرائيليون بأن ما ظنّوه فرصة تحوّل تحدياً، وأن ما أرادوه تحدياً لمنظومة المواجهة السورية تحوّل فرصة، وأقروا بأنهم وقعوا ولا يزالون في الارتباك في كيفية التعامل مع هذا الوضع الجديد، وأنهم تلقوا صفعة استخبارية بالمعلومات المضللة التي أخذتهم لوهم اصطياد هدف بحجم الجنرال سليماني أو قادة كبار في حزب الله، ليجدوا أنفسهم في قلب المصيدة.

– يحدث هذا فيما الجيش السوري ذاته غير منشغل برصد ردود الأفعال الإسرائيلية، فالرسالة وصلت والجهوزية قائمة. وللجيش مهام لن يتوقف عن أدائها وها هو يدخل منبج التي أمضى الرئيسان الأميركي والتركي شهوراً يخططان لكيفية ترتيب أمنها، وزار رئيس أركان الجيوش الأميركية أنقرة مرتين لرسم خرائط الانتشار فيها.

– إسرائيل خسرت عامل المفاجأة الذي خبأته للـ «إف 35» ولصواريخ جي بي 39 الذكية وسورية لما تخسر عنصر المفاجأة في صواريخ الـ أس 300 بعد، والمبادرة الاستراتيجية صارت سورية، وسورية تنتقل من السعي للتوازن الاستراتيجي إلى التفوق الاستراتيجي.

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Palestine urges international probe into Jerusalem excavations

Palestine urges international probe into Jerusalem excavations

Israeli workers conduct an excavation work at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, on 28 February 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

MEMO | December 30, 2018

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called for forming an international commission to investigate Israeli excavations in the occupied city of East Jerusalem and beneath the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In a statement on Saturday, the ministry warned that the Israeli diggings pose a major threat to Palestinian houses in the occupied city.

“These excavations aim to cause cracks in Palestinian houses, with Israeli authorities ordering residents to leave these houses on the ground that they are not fit for living,” the ministry said.

The ministry went on to describe the Israeli eviction of Palestinians from their homes as a “large-scale, systematic ethnic cleansing”.

There was no comment from Israeli authorities on the ministry’s statement.

Israel refuses to allow access to UNESCO to examine the holy sites in East Jerusalem.

In July 2017, the UNESCO executive board adopted a resolution that slammed “the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law”.

The resolution further stated that “legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered – or purport to alter – the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem… are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith”.

In 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution describing Jerusalem as an “occupied” city and Israel as an “occupying power”, which, under international law, has no sovereignty over the historic city.

The same resolution stated that Jerusalem’s Old City was “entirely Palestinian”, going on to emphasise its historical “Muslim and Christian” identity and heritage.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In a move never recognised by the international community, it unilaterally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital.

Read also:

Israel to spend $16.6 million on excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque

Trump Ran Scared to Iraq, to Avert Coup Against Him

Trump Ran Scared to Iraq, to Avert Coup Against Him

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 30.12.2018 |

Trump Ran Scared to Iraq, to Avert Coup Against Him

Donald Trump’s visit this week to US forces in Iraq has to be seen as a highly peculiar move. Following his announcement to pull troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, which caused a split with senior Pentagon figures, it seems that Trump was making a desperate bid to reassure the military establishment. Perhaps even to forestall a feared coup against his presidency.

For nearly two years since his election, President Trump had not visited US troops in any active combat zone, unlike all his predecessors in the White House. His apparent indifference to overseas forces had engendered much consternation from political opponents and the media. In a recent editorial, the New York Times admonished: “Put Down the Golf Clubs, Visit the Troops”.

Recall, too, the US media scorn heaped on Trump when, during his trip to France in November to mark the centennial end of World War One, he declined to pay his respects at an American war cemetery “because it was raining”.

Trump is therefore not the sort of person to put himself in discomfort for others. That’s why it seems all the stranger that on Christmas Night, December 25, the president and his wife Melania left the comfort of the White House, and boarded Air Force One for a 6,000-kilometer overnight flight to Iraq.

The journey to Iraq was variously described in US media as a surprise and “shrouded in secrecy”. So secret indeed that the Iraqi government was not even informed in advance of Trump’s arrival. A hastily proposed meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi did not take place because the Iraqis were only given a couple hours notice when the US president landed.

In total, Trump and his delegation spent only three hours in Iraq and a reported 15 minutes talking to troops at Al-Asad Air Base, near the capital Baghdad. The president then flew back to Washington, making a brief refueling stop in Germany. Talk about a whirlwind spin halfway around the globe – and for what?

What this all suggests is that Trump’s visit was a hasty, ad hoc event that appears to have been done on the spur of the moment, in reaction to the news cycle over the past week.

As the New York Times put it: “The trip, shrouded in secrecy, came… less than a week after Mr Trump disrupted the military status quo and infuriated even some of his political allies by announcing plans to withdraw all troops from Syria and about half from Afghanistan. The president’s decision on Syria led to the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.”

Mattis’ resignation, followed by that of another senior Pentagon official, Brett McGurk, showed that there was serious pushback from the military establishment to Trump’s pullout order from Syria and Afghanistan.

Not only that but Trump’s political opponents within his own Republican party and the Democrats were given extensive media coverage for their protests against his order.

As CNN reported: “James Mattis’ resignation triggered an outpouring of anxiety and anger”.

Senators were lining up to condemn Trump for losing “the adult in the room” and a “voice of stability”. Mattis was hailed as “a national treasure” and praised for his “moral compass”. The eulogizing hardly squares with Mattis’ record of war crimes committed while serving as a Marines Corp general during the siege of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004, nor his psychopathic humor extolling the “fun of shooting people”.

Not for the first time, Trump was being denounced as a “traitor” by political enemies in Washington and the media. It was reminiscent of the way he was vilified after holding a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki earlier this year. Trump was again accused of “giving a gift to Putin” with his plan to withdraw US troops from Syria.

This time around, however, the political atmosphere was even more seditious.

By ignoring national security advisors and “the generals” over his Syria and Afghanistan announcements, Trump had crossed swords with the military-intelligence establishment. There was also a strong sense that the usual anti-Trump media were seizing on the opportunity to whip up Pentagon dissent against the president by lionizing Mattis as a “great leader” and whose absence would sap morale in the ranks.

The brooding political and military climate in Washington over Trump’s singlehanded decision-making may be the explanation for why the notorious couch-potato president felt compelled to get off his backside and head to Iraq in the middle of the night – on Christmas Night too.

Donning a bomber jacket and sounding jingoistic, Trump seemed to be grandstanding for militarism while in Iraq. “We like winning against terrorists, right,” he crowed to the troops. “We’re no longer the suckers of the world.”

Significantly, Trump added a new dimension to his pullout plan for Syria and Afghanistan. He pledged that US troops were not leaving Iraq – despite nearly 16 years being there after GW Bush first invaded the country in 2003. He also said that American forces would launch strikes into Syria from Iraq in the future, if and when needed. Presumably, this rapid-reaction force applies to all other Middle Eastern countries.

In other words, Trump is not signaling a peaceful scaling back of US militarism in the region, as some of his critics and supporters have perceived. Trump is simply rationalizing American imperialist power, making it leaner and meaner, to be operated out of stronghold bases like Iraq. Notice how the Iraqi government was not consulted on this Neo-colonial plan, which speaks of Washington’s arrogant hegemony, regardless of who resides in the White House.

Trump’s rushed visit to Iraq seems to have been made in an urgent attempt to let the Pentagon and the military-intelligence establishment know that he is not “going soft” on pursuing America’s self-ordained right to wage wars anywhere it wants for the cause of US capitalism.

In the immediate confusion over Trump’s announcement on December 19 of a troop drawdown in Syria and Afghanistan – and the media deification of “Mad Dog” Mattis – a dangerous period fleetingly opened up for his presidency.

Running scared, Trump dashed to Iraq to let the generals know that this president is still a reliable tool for American imperialism.

Photo: Flickr

Occupied Palestine in 2018: Record Deaths and Injuries, Food Insecurity, Demolitions, Record Low Humanitarian Funding

Global Research, December 30, 2018
ReliefWeb 27 December 2018

Trends affecting humanitarian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory

Today, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) released a summary of data collected during 2018. Further breakdowns and statistics from previous years are available through the links below.

Record numbers of Palestinian deaths and injuries

A total of 295 Palestinians were killed and over 29,000 were injured in 2018 by Israeli forces. This is the highest death toll in a single year since the Gaza conflict of 2014 and the highest number of injuries recorded since OCHA began documenting casualties in the oPt in 2005.

About 61 per cent of the fatalities (180 people) and 79 per cent of the injuries (over 23,000) were in the context of Gaza’s ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations by the fence. Across the oPt, 57 of the Palestinian fatalities and about 7,000 of the injuries were under 18 years of age. At least 28 of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2018 were members of armed groups in Gaza and another 15 were perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis in the West Bank.

A total of 14 Israelis were killed during the year by Palestinians and at least 137 others were injured. While the number of fatalities is nearly the same as in 2017 (15 people), the proportion of civilians among these fatalities (50 per cent) increased compared to the previous year (27 per cent).

Uptrend in attacks by settlers

In 2018, OCHA recorded 265 incidents where Israeli settlers killed or injured Palestinians or damaged Palestinian property, marking a 69 per cent increase compared with 2017; as a result, one Palestinian woman was killed, and another 115 Palestinians were injured (another two Palestinian suspected perpetrators of attacks were killed by Israeli settlers). Palestinian property vandalized by settlers includes some 7,900 trees and about 540 vehicles.

There were at least 181 incidents where Palestinians killed or injured settlers and other Israeli civilians in the West Bank or damaged Israeli property, a 28 per cent decline compared with the previous year. However, the number of Israelis killed in these incidents in 2018 (seven), increased compared to 2017 (four).

West Bank demolitions continue, but fewer Palestinians are displaced

In 2018, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 459 Palestinian structures across the West Bank, mostly in Area C and East Jerusalem, overwhelmingly on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain, slightly more than in 2017. Such incidents displaced 472 Palestinians, including 216 children and 127 women, the lowest such figure since OCHA began systematically recording demolitions in 2009. In Area C alone, there are over 13,000 pending demolition orders, including 40 issued against schools.

The blockade on Gaza still extremely restrictive

The land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip, imposed by Israel citing security concerns, continued, with people being able to exit on an exceptional basis only. On a monthly average, in 2018 (Jan-Nov) there were some 9,200 exits from Gaza by permit holders through the Israeli-controlled Erezcrossing, a 33 per cent increase compared to 2017, but 35 per cent less than the 2015-2016 average. The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing has opened on a regular basis since May, recording about 56,800 exits in all of 2018, up from a yearly average of less than 19,000 in 2015-2017.

The rate of approval of permit applications for UN national staff to leave Gaza stood at 59 per cent during 2018, up from 47 per cent in 2017. However, the total number of applications submitted in 2018 dropped by 24 per cent, primarily due to the larger number of staff that were denied for security reasons and banned for reapplying for 12 months, currently 131 compared to 41 staff by the end of 2017.

Kerem Shalom, controlled by Israel, remained the almost exclusive crossing for the movement of commodities to and from Gaza, with limited imports also allowed via the Salah Ad Din Gate on the border with Egypt. On a monthly average, about 8,300 truckloads of goods entered Gaza via both crossings in 2018, 17 per cent below the equivalent average in the previous two years, while 209 trucks exited Gaza on average, mostly to West Bank markets, nearly the same as in 2016-2017. Access to fishing areas and to farming lands near the fence inside Gaza remained restricted.

More people in Gaza food insecure

About 1.3 million people in Gaza, or 68 per cent of the population, were identified as food insecure in 2018, primarily due to poverty, up from 59 per cent in 2014, when a similar survey was conducted. The unemployment rate in Gaza reached an average of almost 53 per cent in the first three quarters of 2018, an all-time record, with youth unemployment at 69 per cent. By contrast, in the West Bank, 12 per cent of the Palestinians are food insecure, down from 15 per cent in 2014, while unemployment stood at an average of 18 per cent.

Record-low in humanitarian funding

While humanitarian needs across the oPt rose during 2018, funding levels for humanitarian interventions declined significantly: only US$221 million had been received, against the $540 million requested in the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan

Note: Data on casualties and demolitions is as of 26 December 2018 and is subject to caveats and definitions available in these links. Israeli fatalities exclude a baby delivered prematurely after the injury of his mother. Data on exits via Erez crossing is up to 30 November 2018, and data on imports and exports, as well as on the Rafah crossing are as of 15 December 2018.

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Outlook of 2019: International Political Order Without Iran Is Just Impossible

 

Nour Rida

A heated debate has been going on about the outlook of Iran in the coming months. Foreign policy, the economy, and the domestic social and political state are the areas that can shape Iranian society and future. Looking at the political and geopolitical status of the world today, it is impossible to see the world order without Iran among the major players. Iran has been able to maintain stability in the region in face of terrorist groups (supported by the US, Saudi Arabia and their allies), as well as improve relations with allies, neighbors and EU countries in particular. Iran has been able to preserve its internal security despite the many attempts to cause unrest through foreign-backed terrorist attacks or planned violence.

Protests that did not last

With the beginning of 2018, Iran witnessed economic hardships that led to protests here and there across the country. The protests basically started only a few days before the beginning of 2018. However these soon turned into violent protests, which prompted the public to back down. People wanted economic reforms; let us be frank who does not want reforms on this planet? It is not unusual for people to protest in Iran or sound their opinion as long as no violence or breach of law is carried out. The Iranians did not want to start an Iranian spring or carry out a coup d’état. But when protests were infiltrated by hooligans who took to the streets and destroyed public property and harmed citizens, Iranians took a step backward and decided to unite and protect their home country. If you live among Iranians for a while, you will understand that it is not easy to cause division among them; their national identity and long history glues them together tightly whenever there is the slightest attempt to cause unrest in the country.

Now back to the protests that did not last long. American President Donald Trump along with US hardline officials blatantly expressed their support to the violent protests that were orchestrated by anti-Iranian groups abroad and inside Iran.  Persian-speaking mainstream media outlets such as VOA, BBC Farsi were putting fuel on the fire. Foreign attempts to meddle in Iran’s internal affairs is not surprising; Iran has long been subject to foreign interference, from the American- and British-led coup in the 1950s to more recent efforts by the United States and the “Israel” apartheid regime to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program.

In January 2018, US State Department officials said in a statement that the United States was communicating with anti-government protesters through its Facebook and Twitter pages in Farsi, and was encouraging them to demonstrate. Social media pages, particularly Telegram which is widely used in Iran, were instigating people to attack certain places, burn centers, damage public property, and were teaching people how to make home-made Molotovs. The most notorious of these social media outlets was Sedaye Mardom (Farsi for the voice of the people), which is well-known to being orchestrated from outside Iran. The short-term chaos came to an end; people were tired of the economic situation that is caused mainly by US harsh sanctions in addition to incorrect economic policies to which Iranian President Hassan Rouhani admitted. The US sanctions prevent patients suffering from cancer, diabetes and other diseases from receiving treatment. The US administration, US officials, “Israeli” regime officials and Saudi Arabia from the Arab Peninsula kept their anti-Iranian campaigns ongoing. Other attempts to cause unrest or breach Iran’s security were carried out, such as the Ahvaz attacks South of Iran. The attacks came after the US-backed campaign to stir up unrest in Iranian cities fell flat.

 Sanctions not as effective as Trump said

On May 9, Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and promised he would crush Iran’s economy. The European Union, for the first time, explicitly expressed its uneasiness towards the US administration’s decisions and attitude towards Iran. In August 2018, the EU vowed to thwart Trump’s sanctions on Iran. On August 4, Senior European officials castigated US President Trump’s renewed sanctions on Tehran as “illegal” and in violation of a UN Security Council resolution and they vowed to intensify efforts to thwart the US measures and preserve the Iran nuclear accord. The US administration, with its multiple and successive attempts was trying to keep Iran outside the world order but all its attempts are to no avail. Days before US sanctions took effect on Iran’s oil sector on November 5, India decided it will continue Iranian oil imports post the US sanctions and said it may revert to paying Iran in rupees for the oil it buys. Also, China reported it was set to keep buying oil from the Islamic Republic. According to reports, Iran’s GDP growth in 2017/18 dropped to 3.8 percent as the effect of a large surge in oil revenues in the previous year dissipated. However, an overwhelming majority of growth came from the non-oil sectors out of which more than half can be attributed to services growing by 4.4 percent. Eventually, Iran’s economy is not doing great but there has been no crushing to the economy as Trump claimed.

Now as for Iran, despite all foreign attempts to meddle in its internal affairs and darken its domestic image, reports have said that Iran remains to be among the safest destinies for tourism across the world. Iran generally has a positive track record on internal security. Though Tehran’s very active role in defeating the so-called Islamic State (IS) has made the country a target for extremist attacks.

Iran: a major world player

Now aside from the protests and sanctions, we turn to the regional and international roles Iran has been playing. Since the JCPOA, Iran and EU relations have been moving towards better normalization. That has made three players unhappy; the United States, the “Israeli” apartheid regime, and Saudi Arabia. Even after Trump decided to rip up the deal, the three players seem worried about the gradual empowerment of Tehran and continue to use all instruments at their disposal to antagonize Iran.

Iran has proved its constructive role in preserving security in the region. It has been taking part in multiple talks with Russia, Turkey, and other players to help restore stability in Syria and bring the terrorist groups to an end. Iran has been in Syria on an advisory military capacity since the conflict erupted in the country in 2011. Russia joined the battle late in 2015. The two countries intervened in Syria at the official request of the Syrian government. In August 2018, Iran and Syria signed an agreement on defense and technical cooperation during a visit by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami who reiterated Tehran’s commitment to the Arab country’s security. Iran has been providing advisory on how to deal with the Western-backed terrorist groups in Syria. Of course, such strong presence makes the “Israeli” regime angry. Over the past few years, and during 2018 in particular, the “Israeli” regime has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces. Tel Aviv has also been providing weapons to anti-Syrian militants as well as medical treatment to the terrorist Wahhabi elements wounded in Syria. During the same period, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian parliament speaker’s special adviser on international affairs, said Tehran will keep up its “decisive support” for the resistance and will not give in to pressures as regards the Palestinian issue and “Israeli” regime’s threats against the security of the regional countries. December 2018 seems to witness the culmination of the US destructive war in Syria hopefully, as the US pulling out of Syria is actually big news.

Also, Tehran has been playing an important role in supporting the Yemeni people, while thousands in the gulf country including infants suffer severe famine due to Saudi siege and war imposed on the Yemenis. Iran has always welcomed intra-Yemeni negotiations for positive achievements toward peace, stability and security in this county. Iranian officials have also supported global awareness about the calamities of the Saudi-led war on Yemen, expressing hope that it would help end the war in the country. In addition, Iran has also improved its relations with its neighboring countries, has been managing to keep terrorists from infiltrating the country through Pakistani borders, ameliorated bilateral relations with many players across the globe and aimed at preserving stability in the region in face of ongoing “Israeli” threats to surrounding countries.

Trump and MBS; a slap in the face

Now with friends like Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), the US does not need enemies. MBS and the Saudi kingdom have succeeded in embarrassing and isolating the US on the international arena. Saudi Arabia is one of the United States’ most important allies in the Middle East. Of course, Trump’s support to MBS and his milking of the Saudis while neglecting every other aspect does not make things better for Trump. The duo makes things look and work out better for Iran.

This is how The National Interest has described MBS and his kingdom: “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ruled by an immature authoritarian known mostly for his myopia, ruthlessness, brutality, recklessness, ambition and arrogance. His misadventures are legendary: the murder and dismemberment of a self-exiled (Jamal Khashoggi) in a Saudi consulate; the brazen kidnapping of Lebanon’s prime minister; a busted campaign to isolate and invade Qatar; and a promised speedy invasion of Yemen that transformed into nearly four years of war—so far. Riyadh underwrote radical jihadists in Syria and Yemen, after spending decades promoting fundamentalist Wahhabism around the world. The royal regime also backs tyranny in Bahrain and Egypt with money and troops.”

It is difficult to have an impact on public opinion. With the tremendous amounts of money pumped into the media business, it becomes easy to fabricate facts and realities. However, Trump, along with his Saudi allies, has succeeded to push the public opinion farther. This comes especially as Trump did not respond with appropriate outrage and inflict effective retaliatory measures on Riyadh after the vicious killing of Khashoggi, but rather explicitly said that Saudis give the US a lot of business. This Trump-MBS misadventure has also emphasized who the real terrorists are.

Iran united

Now for Iran, it is important to know that the free will of the people is a major element that affects almost every aspect of the Iranian big picture. Also, if Iran ever decides to change its policies, it will have nothing to do with Trump or anyone in the White House or elsewhere.

To some extent, developments in regional and international relations during the past year have compelled all Iranian political sides to show unity and to cooperate on regional issues. Since the implementation of the nuclear accord, also known as the JCPOA, Iran has been normalizing relations with the rest of the world, especially the European Union. Trump’s ripping up of the deal seems to contribute in proximity between international players including Iran while alienating the US. Also, it is true that the oil and gas sector remains to be the backbone of the Iranian economy; however the question to how things can develop with the EU and other countries remains open. The Iranian economy might not be in a growth cycle, but the sanctions have pushed Iran to focus more on the non-oil sector, tourism, health tourism and IT start-ups which can become a game changer in Iran’s economy by increasing job opportunities and decreasing inflation. Bottom-line: Trump can try to harm Iran’s economy but cannot crush it. And NO, there will be no world order without Iran.

Source: Al-Ahed News – Iran

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