Canada Knew About Plan to Assassinate Iranian Gen. Soleimani Before It Happened

Canada Knew About Plan to Assassinate Iranian Gen. Soleimani Before It Happened

By Staff, The Canada Files

Canada’s former top military commander says that the US gave Canada a heads-up on its plan to kill top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, according to his interview with the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail this past week.

General Jonathan Vance recently retired from his position as Canada’s Chief of Defense Staff, but left with some key information about Gen. Soleimani’s assassination.

In his interview, the Globe and Mail reports him saying that the Pentagon alerted Ottawa on its plans to kill Gen. Soleimani so that it could put in “force protection measures” in case of Iranian counterstrikes.

However, right after the assassination, Canada’s National Defense Minister, Harjit Sajjan, said that the US did not provide Canada with the details of its targeted US drone strike that killed Gen. Soleimani in Iraq.

In an interview with CTV’s Power Play host, Even Solomon, in January 2020, Sajjan said they “didn’t have the exact information for the event that took place” but just that the US indicated it would “take action.”

Yves Engler, a Montreal-based political activist who has authored books on Canadian foreign policy, says he thinks that what Canada had said initially was just a “propaganda line” because “they didn’t want to take any responsibility for complicity in what the US did.”

He says that Gen. Vance spoke about it now because he was stepping down and thus being a little bit more honest. Engler, however, isn’t surprised that Canada did in fact know about the assassination as he says that Canada’s military is “totally tied in with the US military presence there.”

“In Iraq, Iraqis view Canadian military and the US military as pretty interchangeable,” he said.

Canadian and American foreign policy have generally also been quite aligned.

According to a report by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Canada’s foreign policy “has been shaped by deep integration with, and dependence on, the United States.” The US department of State also states in a bilateral relations fact sheet that both countries are part of a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, NATO, WTO, G7, G20, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, among others.

In fact, the US and Canada coordinate through the High-Level Policy Review Group, which was launched in 2009 so that both countries could “coordinate actions in response to pressing global issues” and to support each other in “rallying international support for shared goals.”

Engler says he doesn’t think that Canada would want to be directly associated with Gen. Soleimani’s assassination, but believes that Canada has been quite openly aligned with the US government’s campaign to weaken Iran.

He also says that Canada should have done better since they had advanced knowledge of the assassination.

“If they cared about international law, they would have publicly released information and warned Iranians and said that we don’t want to participate in crazy games of assassinating top officials of other countries,” he said.

Instead, foreign affairs minister, Francois-Phillippe Champagne, released a statement emphasizing the safety of Canadian troops in the region, calling for de-escalation and stating that Canada had been concerned about Gen. Soleimani’s Quds Force, whose “aggressive actions have had a destabilizing effect in the region and beyond.”

In a 2018 Parliamentary meeting, Gen. Vance, however, admitted that the “the PMF [Popular Mobilization Forces] and Shia militia forces did help with the destruction of Daesh [Arabic Acronym for ‘ISIS’ / ‘ISIL’].”

Iran’s Parliament speaker, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, delivered a speech on May 31, 2020 saying that Gen. Soleimani’s assassination is what poses a major threat to international peace and security now.

“When Iran does something that is questionable there is usually a pretty aggressive denunciation from the Canadian government, but in this case [of the assassination], it was either total silence or close to silence,” said Engler, commenting about Canada’s “modest” statement post-assassination.

Gen. Soleimani was the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ [IRGC] Quds Force. He and his companions, including top Iraqi official Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were assassinated in a US drone strike, under the order of US President Donald Trump, when Gen. Soleimani was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

Iran shot a barrage of missiles on US military bases in Iraq on Jan. 8, 2020 as a form of revenge for assassinating their top Iranian general.

According to Airforce Technology, the Ain al-Asad air force base was the largest coalition base in western Iraq. The Pentagon announced that over 100 American soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the missile strike at the base.

Canada suspended its military mission in Iraq and moved its troops to Kuwait as a protection measure at the time. Canada’s NATO mission in Iraq provides training for Iraqi forces “to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defense and security institutions.”

But Engler believes otherwise.

“Since the US occupation, there have been huge amounts of resources put into trying to build up an Iraqi military force that will advance US interests in Iraq and in the region more generally.” he said. “That’s the objective of training militaries everywhere. Canada and the US don’t train other countries’ militaries just out of the goodness of their heart, [they do it] because it’s useful to have armed men…that are aligned with you in different ways.”

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder.

The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of war.

Not only the drone strike at Baghdad airport, directly ordered by President Trump, was unilateral, unprovoked and illegal: it was engineered as a stark provocation, to detonate an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by American “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. Call it a perverse form of double down, reversed false flag.

The imperial Mighty Wurlitzer spun it as a “targeted killing”, a pre-emptive op squashing Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.

False. No evidence whatsoever. And then, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of his Parliament, offered the ultimate context: Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission, on a regular flight between Damascus and Baghdad, involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as mediator, at the request of President Trump.

So the imperial machine – in complete mockery of international law – assassinated a de facto diplomatic envoy.

The three top factions who pushed for Soleimani’s assassination were US neo-cons – supremely ignorant of Southwest Asia’s history, culture and politics – and the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, who ardently believe their interests are advanced every time Iran is attacked. Trump could not possibly see The Big Picture and its dire ramifications: only what his major Israeli-firster donor Sheldon Adelson dictates, and what Jared of Arabia Kushner whispered in his ear, remote-controlled by his close pal Muhammad bin Salman (MbS).

The armor of American “prestige”

The measured Iranian response to Soleimani’s assassination was carefully calibrated to not detonate vengeful imperial “deterrence”:

precision missile strikes on the American-controlled Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq. The Pentagon received advance warning.

Predictably, the run-up towards the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination had to degenerate into intimations of US-Iran once again on the brink of war.

So it’s enlightening to examine what the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1399/10/13/2423366/ told Lebanon’s Al Manar network: “The US and the Zionist regime [Israel] have not brought security to any place and if something happens here (in the region) and a war breaks out, we will make no distinction between the US bases and the countries hosting them.”

Hajizadeh, expanding on the precision missile strikes a year ago, added, “We were prepared for the Americans’ response and all our missile power was fully on alert. If they had given a response, we would have hit all of their bases from Jordan to Iraq and the Persian Gulf and even their warships in the Indian Ocean.”

The precision missile strikes on Ain al-Assad, a year ago, represented a middle-rank power, enfeebled by sanctions, and facing a huge economic/financial crisis, responding to an attack by targeting imperial assets that are part of the Empire of Bases. That was a global first – unheard of since the end of WWII. It was clearly interpreted across vast swathes of the Global South as fatally piercing the decades-old hegemonic armor of American” prestige”.

So Tehran was not exactly impressed by two nuclear-capable B-52s recently flying over the Persian Gulf; or the US Navy announcing the arrival of the nuclear-powered, missile loaded USS Georgia in the Persian Gulf last week.

These deployments were spun as a response to an evidence-free claim that Tehran was behind a 21-rocket attack against the sprawling American embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

The (unexploded) 107mm caliber rockets – by the way marked in English, not Farsi – can be easily bought in some underground Baghdad souk by virtually anybody, as I have seen for myself in Iraq since the mid-2000s.

That certainly does not qualify as a casus belli – or “self-defense” merging with “deterrence”. The Centcom justification actually sounds like a Monty Python sketch: an attack “…almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia group.” Note that “almost certainly” is code for “we have no idea who did it”.

How to fight the – real – war on terror

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did take the trouble (see attached tweet) to warn Trump he was being set up for a fake casus belli – and blowback would be inevitable. That’s a case of Iranian diplomacy being perfectly aligned with the IRGC: after all, the whole post-Soleimani strategy comes straight from Ayatollah Khamenei.

And that leads to the IRGC’s Hajizadeh once again establishing the Iranian red line in terms of the Islamic Republic’s defense: “We will not negotiate about the missile power with anyone” – pre-empting any move to incorporate missile reduction into a possible Washington return to the JCPOA. Hajizadeh has also emphasized that Tehran has restricted the range of its missiles to 2,000 km.

My friend Elijah Magnier, arguably the top war correspondent across Southwest Asia in the past four decades, has neatly detailed the importance of Soleimani.

Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across vast swathes of the Global South is firmly aware of how Soleimani led the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he was instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.

Zeinab Soleimani, the impressive General’s daughter, has profiled the man, and the sentiments he inspired. And Hezbollah’s secretary-general Sayed Nasrallah, in an extraordinary interview, stressed Soleimani’s “great humility”, even “with the common people, the simple people.”

Nasrallah tells a story that is essential to place Soleimani’s modus operandi in the real – not fictional – war on terror, and deserves to be quoted in full:

“At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places [5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shi’ism have their mausoleums in Iraq], our Hawzas [Islamic seminars], and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders [to supervise the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, PMU].” This is why in my speech [about Soleimani’s assassination], I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport [to wait for Soleimani], and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in [immediately] from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed [battle-hardened] commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.”

Orientalism, all over again

A former commander under Soleimani that I met in Iran in 2018 had promised me and my colleague Sebastiano Caputo that he would try to arrange an interview with the Maj Gen – who never spoke to foreign media. We had no reason to doubt our interlocutor – so until the last Baghdad minute we were in this selective waiting list.

As for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed side by side with Soleimani in the Baghdad drone strike, I was part of a small group who spent an afternoon with him in a safe house inside – not outside – Baghdad’s Green Zone in November 2017. My full report is here.

Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran, reflecting on the assassination, told me, “the most important thing is that the Western view on the situation is very Orientalist. They assume that Iran has no real structures and that everything is dependent on individuals. In the West an assassination doesn’t destroy an administration, company, or organization. Ayatollah Khomeini passed away and they said the revolution was finished. But the constitutional process produced a new leader within hours. The rest is history.”

This may go a long way to explain Soleimani geopolitics. He may have been a revolutionary superstar – many across the Global South see him as the Che Guevara of Southwest Asia – but he was most of all a quite articulated cog of a very articulated machine.

The adjunct President of the Iranian Parliament, Hossein Amirabdollahian, told Iranian network Shabake Khabar that Soleimani, two years before the assassination, had already envisaged an inevitable “normalization” between Israel and Persian Gulf monarchies.

At the same time he was also very much aware of the Arab League 2002 position – shared, among others, by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: a “normalization” cannot even begin to be discussed without an independent – and viable – Palestinian state under 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital.

Now everyone knows this dream is dead, if not completely buried. What remains is the usual, dreary slog: the American assassination of Soleimani, the Israeli assassination of top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the relentless, relatively low-intensity Israeli warfare against Iran fully supported by the Beltway, Washington’s illegal occupation of parts of northeast Syria to grab some oil, the perpetual drive for regime change in Damascus, the non-stop demonization of Hezbollah.

Beyond the Hellfire

Tehran has made it very clear that a return to at least a measure of mutual respect between US-Iran involves Washington rejoining the JCPOA with no preconditions, and the end of illegal, unilateral Trump administration sanctions. These parameters are non-negotiable.

Nasrallah, for his part, in a speech in Beirut on Sunday, stressed,

“one of the main outcomes of the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis is the calls made for the expulsion of US forces from the region. Such calls had not been made prior to the assassination. The martyrdom of the resistance leaders set US troops on the track of leaving Iraq.”

This may be wishful thinking, because the military-industrial-security complex will never willingly abandon a key hub of the Empire of Bases.

More important is the fact that the post-Soleimani environment transcends Soleimani.

The Axis of Resistance – Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Hezbollah – instead of collapsing, will keep getting reinforced.

Internally, and still under “maximum pressure” sanctions, Iran and Russia will be cooperating to produce Covid-19 vaccines, and the Pasteur Institute of Iran will co-produce a vaccine with a Cuban company.

Iran is increasingly solidified as the key node of the New Silk Roads in Southwest Asia: the Iran-China strategic partnership is constantly revitalized by FMs Zarif and Wang Yi, and that includes Beijing turbo-charging its geoeconomic investment in South Pars – the largest gas field on the planet.

Iran, Russia and China will be involved in the reconstruction of Syria – which will also include, eventually, a New Silk Road branch: the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Eastern Mediterranean railway.

All that is an interlinked, ongoing process no Hellfires are able to burn.

The Empire Has Collapsed

October 28, 2020

The Empire Has Collapsed

by Paul Craig Roberts, cross-posted by permission

Paul Craig Roberts

The Saker has written another interesting article in which he gives us the date of the collapse of the AngloZionist or American Empire:  January 3, 2020, the day when Washington did not retaliate against Iran for Iran’s retaliation against Washington for murdering General Qasem Soleimani.

You can read The Saker’s case and make up your mind:  https://thesaker.is/when-exactly-did-the-anglozionist-empire-collapse/

An equally good case could be made that the American Empire collapsed on September 11, 2001.  This was the day that two symbols of American power—the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—were successfully attacked, according to the US government itself, by an old and dying Osama bin Laden and a handful of Saudi Arabians armed with box cutters.  This unlikely group was able, according to Washington, to overcome the entire intelligence networks of the United States, NATO, and Israel’s Mossad, and deliver the most humiliating blow ever suffered by a ruling Superpower.

It was the day when nothing in the National Security State worked.  US Airport Security failed four times on the same morning, allowing four US airliners to be hijacked. The US Air Force was unable to put fighters in the air to intercept the hijacked airliners, and two of them were flown into the World Trade Center towers and one into the Pentagon itself, while the Great Superpower was unable to defend itself from an old man in a cave in Afghanistan and a handful of young Saudis.

September 11, 2001, was the day that the world realized that the emperor had no clothes.  If Osama bin Laden and a handful of Saudis could defeat the United States, anyone could.

I think The Saker is wrong about Donald Trump. Trump wanted to save American influence by ceasing its fruitless attempts to impose hegemony on the world.  Trump wanted to bring the US soldiers home from the Middle East and to normalize relations with Russia.  This was a major threat to the power and budget of the military/security complex and to the zionist neoconservatives’ desire to use American military power to make the Middle East into Greater Israel.  If 9/11 did not end the American empire, the attack on President Trump from within the government did.  The internal demonization of the American president called to mind the internal conflicts that destroyed the Roman Empire.

I agree with The Saker that the Empire is finished.  Even if Trump wins and manages to be inaugurated, what can he do?  He faces the same powerful forces that stymied his first term. If the crook Biden and the anti-white racist Kamala win, The Camp of the Saints will continue to unfold in the US as the majority white population is demonized, its memorials and history erased, and its power exterminated.

No white American will fight for a government that has demonized him, torn down his statues,  and erased his people’s history.  An army of feminists, transgendered, Hispanic immigrants, disaffected blacks, and displaced Muslims will not fare well against Russian, Chinese, and Iranian forces.  Such a collection is not imbued with pride of country, a requirement for a fighting force.

More than the empire is dead. The country itself is dead.

Trump is trying to resurrect America, but are the people too far gone to respond?  We will soon know.

When exactly did the AngloZionist Empire collapse?

“”the exact moment when the Empire collapsed: 8 January 2020. What happened that day? Following the murder of Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone attack (on the 3 of January 2020) the Iranians retaliated by using missiles to attack several US bases in Iraq.” The Saker

ٍSource

When exactly did the AngloZionist Empire collapse?

[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]

I remember one evening in distant 1991, I was sitting with a few friends in the SAIS cafeteria discussing the future of the United States with a few very smart students, including a Pakistani Army Colonel, a US captain who served on aircraft carriers and a Spanish diplomat: we all agreed that “the system” was perfect, so to speak, and that the US would only collapse if a strong external shock would hit it hard. We all agreed that the combination of the best propaganda machine in history, the stupidification resulting from many daily hours of watching the Idiot Tube and, finally, a very effective repression apparatus made for a quasi perfect dictatorship: the one which only gives the illusion of democracy and people power.

Years later, in 2017, I read by J.M. Greer’s brilliant book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” which I later reviewed here. I would say that this book is one of the best one written on the topic of a future US collapse, even though this is a (very well written) fiction book because it brilliantly illustrates the kind of mindset which can get a supposed superpower in a very bad situation.

To me, this all made perfect sense, but only because I, and my SAIS friends, never even considered the possibility that the US Nomenklatura would commit national suicide and, in the process, bring down the AngloZionist Empire.

Yet this is exactly what happened.

So when did all this begin?

There are many possible answers to this question. Some say with the murder of Kennedy. Others point to Clinton, whose Presidency inaugurated a policy of armed imperialism all over the planet; this administration was also the first one to witness a major “coming out” of the Neocons (many of which had already infiltrated the GOP during Reagan). Then there is 9/11 with the subsequent GWOT. As I said, these are all valid candidates, and there are many more.

My personal view is that the main initiation of collapse was under Barack Obama, a truly exceptionally weak President who would have made an absolutely terrific used cars salesman, but who as a President lost control of his own country and even his own administration. It was under Obama that we saw the vacuum at the top resulting in various agencies (DoS, DoD, CIA, Pentagon, etc.) all developing their own “foreign policies” which resulted in total chaos on the foreign policy front. Needless to say, having harpies such as Hillary Clinton or Susan Rice or Samantha Power involved did not help!

What is it with western women which makes them become even more bellicose than men when they reach a position of power?! Looking at women like Thatcher or Hillary, I wonder if these women are not carefully selected precisely for their nasty character and need to prove themselves as “equal” to men by being even more nasty and murderous than male politicians…

Since his election, it has become very popular to blame Donald Trump for everything which went wrong under his Presidency and, indeed, there is much which ought to be blamed on him. But what so many people overlook is that almost everything which went wrong under Trump began with Obama! When Trumps says that he inherited an awful mess, he is absolutely correct. Not that this absolves him from his own contribution to chaos and collapse!

And, in truth, the biggest difference between Obama and Trump, is that Trump did not start any real wars. Yes, he did threaten a lot of countries with military attacks (itself a crime under international law), but he never actually gave the go ahead to meaningfully attack (he only tried some highly symbolic and totally ineffective strikes in Syria). I repeat – the man was one of the very few US Presidents who did not commit the crime of aggression, the highest possible crime under international law, above crimes against humanity or even genocide, because the crime of aggression “contains within itself the accumulated evil”, to use the words words of the chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Robert H. Jackson. I submit that just for this reason alone any decent person should choose him over Biden (who himself is just a front for “President” Harris and a puppet of the Clinton gang). Either that, or don’t vote at all if your conscience does not allow you to vote for Trump. But voting Biden is unthinkable for any honest person, at least in my humble opinion.

In the Trump years something absolutely amazing happened: while Trump and his administration were busy destroying the Empire externally, the Dems put all the energy and resources into destroying Trump. However, to paraphrase a quote by the Russian author Zinoviev, “they targeted at Trump but they hit the United States” (Zinoviev’s quote was about the putative anti-Soviets: “Метили в коммунизм, а попали в Россию” which can be translated as “they were aiming at Communism, but they hit Russia”).

What took place next was precisely what my SAIS friends and I could never have imagined: the US ruling elites committed collective suicide.

Suicide is typically executed in three phases: decision to commit suicide, the act of suicide itself, and then death. If we accept that the decision to engage in behavior which can only be described as suicidal was taken sometime during the Obama years, then this begs the question of where we are now. In other words, has the Empire already died or is it still only in agony?

I was asking myself that question the other day when I suddenly realized that I might have determined the exact moment when the Empire collapsed: 8 January 2020.

What happened that day?

Following the murder of Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone attack (on the 3 of January 2020) the Iranians retaliated by using missiles to attack several US bases in Iraq. According to the US side, there were only minor injuries, which is very likely since the Iranians warned the US by several backdoor channels what they were planning on doing. This argument was used by Trump and his supporters to say that the Iranian reaction was lame, ineffective and could be completely ignored.

In my opinion, the moment when the Trump Administration made this statement is when the death certificate of the Empire was signed. Why?

First, the low number of US casualties (probably higher than the official one, US troops were evacuated and treated in several countries) is due to only to the fact that Iranians are superb strategists: they realized that killing a lot of US soldiers would force Trump to strongly retaliate, so they chose not to kill them. Instead, they put a gun to their collective heads. How?

Think about it: the Iranian counter-strike showed the entire world something which most people did not realize: Iranian missiles (ballistic and cruise) were much more accurate than previously thought. In fact, they clearly have some form of terminal guidance. Simply put, the Iranians have proven that they can very precisely, deliver a warhead of several hundred pounds of high explosives pretty much anywhere in the Middle East. To give you a visual idea of their current coverage check out this page.

This bears repeating: the Iranians have now proven that they can place several hundred pounds of high explosives anywhere in the Middle-East with a CEP of about 3-5 meters!

Remember the Khobar Towers bombing? Yes, this was a truck bomb with much more explosives than a missile can carry (by at least an order of magnitude), but that truck was also parked far away from the towers! Yet just under 500 people died that day.

There are plenty of similar US military installations in the Middle-East, many buildings housing hundreds of US servicemen. Just imagine what would have happened if the Iranians had decided to take out as many lives as possible and placed a couple of their missiles right on top of, say, 10 such facilities – just imagine the cost in lives!

But the Iranians are smart, and they chose a much wiser course of action: they used their missiles essentially to kick Uncle Shmuel where it hurts, but they mainly demonstrated their ability to create thousands of US casualties in just a few minutes.

Obviously, another, now undeniable, Iranian capability is the ability to instantly destroy any gas/oil facility in the region: wells, processing facilities, terminals – you name it: if it is important and expensive, the Iranians can destroy it.

The Iranians also have the ability to close down the Strait of Hormuz and even to attack USN ships, possibly including carriers.

Last, but certainly not least, this now proven Iranian capability puts every government building in danger, along with any crucial facility (Dimona anybody?).

At this point of the conversation all the well-propagandized flag-waving morons will immediately stand up and declare something along these lines:

“So what?! If these sand-niggers cross the line they know that we can massively bomb them! Heck, we can even nuke them and send them back to the stone age! Let them try and they will see what the wrath of the most powerful nation on earth, with the most formidable military in history, can do to a bunch of semi-literate peasants, LOL! Let see if their “Allah” will save them!”

Apart from all the ignorant cliches typically spewed by this crowd, there is a major analytical error underlying this “logic” (I use the term generously): the Iranians have lived with this threat since 1979 and they are used to it. Not only that, but they know for a fact that these are empty threats. Oh sure, the US can do to Iran what “Israel” did to Lebanon in the course of the “Divine Victory” war of 2006, or what NATO has done to Serbia during the Kosovo war (1998-1999): kill civilians and destroy the country’s infrastructure to punish these civilians for supporting the “wrong” (i.e. not US approved) government. But if Uncle Shmuel does to Iran what Israel did to Lebanon, the result will be the same: the Iranians will rebuild (they are very good at that) and they will bounce back twice as strong. As for their martyrs, the more there will be, the stronger the Iranian people’s resistance (check this article written by an Iranian scholar in excellent English explaining the roots of the unique ethos of Shia Islam).

Last, but also not least, the US Presidents and their aides are quite aware of the current state of the US military: it is a military which simply cannot win even simple conflicts, a military hopelessly gutted by insane liberal ideologies, a military whose entire surface fleet has been made obsolete by hypersonic missiles (which the Iranians also seem to be working on!) and a military whose Air Force spent absolutely obscene amounts of money to create a supposedly “5th generation” fighter which in many ways is inferior to US 4th generation aircraft!

This begs the question of what still works in the US military. In my opinion, the US submarine fleet is still very powerful, and the US nuclear deterrence posture is still solid. Other than that? Meh…

Bottom line: the arguments that the US did not retaliate because it did not care, or that it does not care because “we can nuke them” are typically civilian nonsense which have no connection whatsoever to the real world (just imagine the political consequences for the already highly unpopular US following a nuclear strike, especially on a non-nuclear country!)

Okay, but then why did the US not retaliate?

Simply put, because Uncle Shmuel does not have what it takes to take on Iran. Heck, Uncle Shmuel can’t even take on Venezuela (!), which is an extremely weakened country right on the US’s door step. Frankly, if this or the next President decides that the US needs to “pick up a crappy little country and throw it against a wall just to prove we are serious” then I recommend Grenada. I know, Grenada was basically undefended in 1983 (mainly by a few lightly armed Cuban engineers) and it took the 82nd airborne to rescue the totally defeated and clueless US special forces stuck under fire, but I think that since 1983 the Pentagon had the time to make a some “lessons learned” exercises and that by now the US probably could re-invade this tiny island without repeating one of the worst disasters in military history.

Conclusion

The Empire died on the day the Iranians hit these US facilities and the US did absolutely nothing. In fact, since that date, what have we seen:

  • The Iraqis are slowly but surely kicking the US forces out of Iraq
  • The number of attacks against US forces in Iraq has sharply increased, including against the massive US bunker complex known as “the Green Zone” which now is not “green” at all.
  • The Iranians are merrily continuing to make fun of Uncle Shmuel.
  • The US failed at renewing the anti-Iran sanctions at the UN Security Council and Russia has already declared that she is willing to sell S-400s to Iran. You can also count China in this great weapons market.
  • The US is also in retreat in Syria where anti-US attacks are becoming more dangerous (and regular clashes with ground forces of the Russian task force in Syria are also becoming a potentially very dangerous phenomenon).
  • In Yemen, the Iranian backed Houthis have basically won the war and defeated both the KSA and the US.
  • In Afghanistan, the US and its “coalition of the losers” has stayed even longer than the Soviets and has achieved exactly nothing except a total and most humiliating defeat. The contrast between the performance of the Soviet 40th Army (poorly equipped and averagely commanded) force of conscripts and what the lavishly equipped (but also poorly commanded) US professional force achieved is absolutely amazing on all levels, but the most telling is how much the Soviets actually built in Afghanistan (even facilities that the US still uses every day!). Uncle Shmuel only destroyed everything except the opium trade…

In other words, everything is going exactly according to the announced Iranian game plan to completely kick the US out of the Middle-East. I know, this seems unthinkable right now, but please make the list of all the putatively “unthinkable” things which have since happened and you will see how dangerous it is to assume that something will never happen.

When Georgia attacked the Russian peacekeepers in Tskhinval there were also limited casualties, but Russia immediately counter-attacked defeated in Georgian military in 3 days, and that in spite of being numerically smaller (at least in the initial phases of the counter-attack) and too slow to react (a typical Russian weakness). And the message to “to whom it may concern” sent by the Russian counter-attack was simple: attack a Russian base, or kill Russian soldiers and you will be killed: every time a Russian serviceman has been killed in Syria the Russians retaliate with strong missiles and air strikes. In other instances Russian Spetsnaz units killed selective Takfiri commanders. And everybody “got it”, even the Turks who have not been able to force the Russian to stop shrinking their areas of control in Syria to a small fraction of what it used to be.

Mind you – Russia has no desire to become an Empire or even some kind of superpower (Russians realize how evil any empire is for the country which is supposed to host it: they suffered for over 300 years in this toxic status of “empire” and they had enough! Only dumb Hillary and even dumber Brzezinski still thought that Russia wanted to “rebuild the USSR” when, in fact, Putin’s policies were designed to disengage and separate from the former Russian periphery which only drained immense Russian ressources and never gave Russia anything useful (and nevermind the Warsaw Treaty Organization which was just as ressources-consuming and useless as the periphery). All they want is being taken seriously and treated with respect, not as a superpower, but simply as a major, but truly sovereign, power.

Compare that with the unique blend of stratospheric megalomania, narcissistic self-worship and crass ignorance of the leaders of the US and you immediately see that the Empire is not dying anymore, it is already dead and has been dead for many months now.

What comes next?

Well, the election of course. I submit that under no scenario will the next administration be able to reverse that course and somehow miraculously resurrect the Empire. Empires don’t resurrect. It has been tried in the past (even by Napoleon), it never works. Once empires lose momentum and, especially, their ideological credibility, they are over. Oh sure, a dead body still can emit some heat for a while, some organs, or even cells, can work for a while longer, but dead is dead. Mostly dead bodies bloat and stink, which also applies to dead empires.

This is not to say that the outcome will not matter, it will – but only for the future of the United States themselves. Simply put, the upcoming vote is either a vote for upholding law and order in the US, or for total nihilism. On a deeper level, it is a vote for the US or against it: the Dems all hate this country and its “deplorables”; they also hate almost every aspect of US history (overturned statues are but symbols of this hatred) and they hate what they call “a racist system” in spite of the fact that the real causes of racial tensions in the US have very little to do with the “system” and everything to do with the unique problems of blacks in a culture with mainly European roots.

The Empire is dead. And I hope and believe that its death will mark the rebirth of the United States as a “normal” country (which is what happened to all the other former empires).

Until that happens, we can now at least rest assured that this amazingly evil Empire has finally died, even if very few noticed this.

P.S. While writing this column my thoughts turned to Major General Qasem Soleimani, who was cowardly murdered (he was on a diplomatic mission) by Trump. I imagined what he would have said if somebody had offered him the following deal: Haj Qasem – would you agree to be murdered by the modern Crusaders if your martyrdom would turn out to be the “straw” which will break the Empire’s “camel” back? I think that he would reply with tears of joy in his eyes “Glory be to God for allowing me this immense honor and joy and for allowing me to become a shadid (God’s witness)!” Soleimani was a soldier, the real thing, not a disguised businessman or politician, and he knew that he could die literally every moment of his life. He died as a general in charge of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and of its elite Quds Force. It sure looks to me that Trump in his ignorant arrogance gave Soleimani the best death he could have wished for. May this great man rest in peace!

IRGC commander threatens to target everyone responsible for Qassem Soleimani’s assassination

By News Desk -2020-09-19

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard said in a statement this week, “the U.S. president believed we will assassinate his ambassador in South Africa in exchange for assassinating Qassem Soleimani, but we tell him that we will target everyone who had a role in the assassination.”

Major General Hossein Salami, Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, pointed out that his country “monitors the interests of enemies everywhere and they will be a target of our strength if necessary.”

He continued, “I tell Trump that our revenge on Qassem Soleimani is inevitable and realistic. We will avenge Qassem Soleimani with manhood, honor and justice, and this is a serious message.”

The commander of the Revolutionary Guard indicated that his forces pursued the enemy to the Mediterranean and will continue to pursue it everywhere, pointing out that Trump is threatening Iran with an attack a thousand times more powerful, while he was unable to respond to the bombing of the Ain al-Assad base (with Iranian missiles) in Iraq.

He said, “We have equipped hundreds of missiles to destroy everything America possesses in the region if it responded to the bombing of Ain al-Assad, but it did not respond.”

Salami added that the United States is living in political isolation and has failed to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

Related News

Iran’s top security official: Harsher revenge awaits perpetrators of Gen. Soleimani’s assassination

Source

Wednesday, 22 July 2020 4:29 PM 

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Members of the Iraqi honor guard walk past a huge portrait of Iran’s late top general Qassem Soleimani (L) and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport last month, during a memorial service held in Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone on February 11, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Iran’s top security official says harsher revenge awaits the perpetrators of the attack that killed senior Iranian anti-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his companions.

In a post on his Twitter page on Wednesday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said that US President Donald Trump had admitted that the American, upon his direct order, committed the crime of assassinating General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), andAbu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) counter-terrorism force, who were two prominent figures of the anti-terrorism campaign.  

“The two Iranian and Iraqi nations are avengers of blood of these martyrsand will not rest until they punish the perpetrators,” read part of the tweet.

“Harsher revenge is one the way,” it concluded.

The two commanders and a number of their companions were assassinated in a US airstrike near Baghdad airport on January 3, as General Soleimani was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

Both commanders were extremely popular because of the key role they played in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.UN experts calls US drone attack on Gen. Soleimani ‘unlawful’ killingA senior UN human rights investigator says the United States’ assassination of top Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad was an “unlawful” killing in violation of the international law.

In retaliation for the attack, the IRGC fired volleys of ballistic missiles a US base in Iraq on January 8. According to the US Defense Department, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans, who perished during the retaliation.

Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday Iran will never forget Washington’s assassination of General Soleimani and will definitely deliver a “counterblow” to the United States.Leader: Iran to deal US ‘counterblow’ for Gen. Soleimani’s assassinationLeader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget this issue and will definitely deal the counterblow to the Americans,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran.

“They killed your guest at your own home and unequivocally admitted the atrocity. This is no small matter,” Ayatollah Khamenei told the Iraqi premier.

A UN special rapporteur sayshas condemned the US assassination and said Washington has put the world at unprecedented peril with its murder of Iran’s top anti-terror commander.UN expert raps US for arbitrary drone attack that killed Gen. SoleimaniA UN special rapporteur slams the US for refusing to take responsibility for the assassination of General Soleimani in violation of international law.

Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, has also warned that it is high time the international community broke its silence on Washington’s drone-powered unlawful killings.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Washington feared an Iranian attack in the US after Soleimani’s assassination: magazine

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-10

In its report, the publication noted that Iranian-backed forces have not killed anyone on American soil since 1980, to the point that U.S. officials have come to believe that the Iranian leadership will not give orders to attack any American territory, unless it faces an existential threat.

The leaked report on the Joint Intelligence Center in California revealed that “many of the security and intelligence officials in Washington considered Soleimani’s assassination on January 2 to cross the red lines of Iran and a kind of existential threat to its influence in the Middle East and the world in general.

The report stated: “Historically, Tehran and its allies have carried out their reprisals against American interests mostly located outside American territory, but the specific operation that targeted the assassination of Soleimani and the position of the target person in the pyramid of power in Iran, prompted these American officials to warn that Tehran might resort to this.”

“We do not know of any specific and credible threat to the homeland by Hezbollah or parties linked to Iran, but Hezbollah or Iran could conduct operations in the United States against targets similar to those attacked in other places in the west. ”

The Ministry of Homeland Security issued another leaflet warning of Iranian-backed terrorism in response to the assassination of Soleimani, but this bulletin ended in March and was not updated.

Iran’s first response to the Soleimani assassination was carried out against the U.S. forces in Iraq on the evening of January 8th by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Though Iran has warned that their retaliation for the assassination of Soleimani has not ended, it appears, as of now, that they are concentrated on expelling the U.S. forces from Iraq and Syria.

“Mission Accomplished”… How Did Hezbollah Build Its New Equation?

By Charles Abi Nader

“Mission Accomplished”...   How Did Hezbollah Build Its New Equation?
The mission is accomplished (CLICK FOR VIDEO)

It is true that the media of the ‘Israeli’ Enemy and their analysts have expressed astonishment on the film that the Hezbollah media have published recently. The film featured specific goals inside the ‘Israeli’ entity along with a voice commentary belonging to the Hezbollah’s secretary general.  The commentary carried clear messages to the enemy which said that “the mission is accomplished” and that Hezbollah now holds precise missiles that are capable of accurately targeting most of the enemy’s strategic, dangerous and sensitive locations. However, practically, the enemy wasn’t surprised by the message as it was in fact waiting and expecting it. Also, it has put the manner of dealing with Hezbollah as its first priority and within the goals of facing it.

Of course, the enemy’s leadership knew very well that all that Hezbollah has reached concerning its qualified missile capabilities was due to its hard work. Hezbollah has been working and planning hardly and effectively. ‘Israel’ has tried hard to prevent it whether be it in politics, sanctions, diplomacy, and air and missile strikes. However, it seems to have failed in all that. Saying that, how then did Hezbollah build its new equation and what is it based on?

What is the equation based upon?

In practice, Hezbollah’s new equation which goes under the title “mission accomplished” is based upon the possession of specific missiles that are capable of aiming at any target that Hezbollah chooses and at any time it wants. In other words, all of this is present despite the ‘Israeli’ defensive measures. It has become an inevitable destiny.

The enemy has expressed the sensitive and dangerous aspects of the topic from the technical and military points of view through a study conducted by the strategic Begin-Sadat Center. Many foreign and regional media outlets have pointed at this study which was done by “Uzi Rubin” who previously headed the HITZ anti-missile defense project in the Ministry of ‘Security’. Rubin pointed out that “Israel” has put remarkable efforts to thwart the precision project Hezbollah is working on. If it masters it, Hezbollah will then own its special air force, along with an aerial offensive superiority excluding aircraft. This means that the precise missiles will be able to fully and successfully operate and target any location just like any developed bomber.

The credibility of the study that the aforementioned center has published is based on its comparison between Iran’s targeting of Ain al-Assad base in response to the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and the dysfunctioning of American capabilities [both missile defense and electronic defense] against the missiles precision and the inevitability of reaching their targets.

The aforementioned center goes on to declare that in practice, the equation of the precise missiles will achieve its purpose in the future. This will be demonstrated in any future war when Hezbollah tries to carry out its own “Operation Focus”. This will be applied using precise missile salvos that will paralyze ‘Israeli’ air bases as soon as the battle begins.  It warned also that the active “Israeli” ‘defense’ comprising the “Iron Dome”, “David’s Sling”, or a very powerful Laser in the future does not guarantee an airtight aerial dam.

And according to the center, “Operation Focus” means  the pre-emptive air strike that ‘Israel’ used to start “the six day war” (1967) on the airports and the Arab air forces. The result was an outstanding air success launching absolute aerial superiority for the ‘Israeli’ air forces and a free support force for the ground forces during the war.

How did Hezbollah build this equation?

Hezbollah built the precise missile equation through a long path of training, planning, learning, and work that is secretive, dangerous and sensitive. This path has resulted in many martyrs and losses in equipment, vehicles and other logistic means and capabilities.  This construction process can be divided into two main phases which are: 

The first phase includes receiving or [manufacturing], transferring and hiding the missiles. This phase was among the most dangerous. It used to take place during the Syrian war which came in parallel with the defensive and offensive military operations that support and back the Arab Syrian army. The sensitive part of this stage was Hezbollah’s commitment not to respond to “Israel” that was trying to target the missiles transfer or the stored ones pending their transfer. This has always been the case as it was in constant search for a reaction to those targetings. Its manner wasn’t to find a pretext for starting a war because in fact it didn’t want one and kept far away from it. On the contrary, it sought and planned to use Hezbollah’s response as an excuse which it would take to the international forums. It also sought to rely on this response to extract decisions from the Security Council which permits the international community to carry out military action under chapter VII of disarming Hezbollah.

So, during the stage of possessing the missiles, Hezbollah was able to maintain its stubborn strategy in patience. Only by confronting this was it able to prove and impose a rule of engagement related to balanced and local responses to any targeting, martyrdom or injury of any of its members in Syria or Lebanon. Outside these areas, Hezbollah abided by the rule of not responding.

The last stage included the appliance of a program that concerns the arrival of a certain amount (its percentage is not clear) of missiles that it possessed to make it precise. This process relied on two directions. The first one has to do with confidentiality at work, in planning and during study and practice. The second one is more practical and is based on acquiring technical and scientific capabilities (acquired after an extended period of time) which it acquired through training, learning, or a number of engineers and technicians. Moreover, the rule of (making the missiles precise) is based on developing and modernizing the dual guidance system. The first one which is organically found on the missile and has to respond and deal with the second. This second one which is the external orientation system is found in the hands of the team which determines the targets and the orientation of the missiles and fixes it on the right path. It also bypasses the enemy’s defense means from counter missiles or from jamming and wasting devices.

After proving that Hezbollah has precise missiles and referring to the credibility of the words of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah “mission accomplished” what will “Israel’s” next strategy for confrontation be in the days to come?

Maybe the coming days will give us the sensitive answer we are pondering upon.

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Did Trump just cancel a potential double-war?

Source

Did Trump just cancel a potential double-war?
Just as Hezbollah destroyed the myth of Israeli impunity, Iran destroyed the myth of US impunity.

At this time of writing, it is too early to declare the danger over, but at least three out of five Iranian tankers have made it safely to Venezuela (confirmation from TeleSur and PressTV). Furthermore, while we should never say “never”, it appears exceedingly unlikely that the US would let three tankers pass only to then try to impede the arrival of the other two. So it ain’t over until its over, but as of right now things look way better than last week.

Besides, this is mostly a symbolic issue. While these 5 tankers will make a difference, it won’t be a huge one, especially considering the devastating consequences which the US sanctions, sabotage and subversion have inflicted on Venezuela.

Still, symbols are important, if only because they create a precedent. In fact, I would argue that the latest climbdown by Trump is no different than all his other climbdowns: Trump has had a very consistent record of threatening fire and brimstone before quietly deflating walking away. And since he did that many times now, we have to wonder whether this strategy is effective or not?

One could argue that this strategy could be described by saying that you put the maximum pressure on the other side in the hope that the bluff will entice the adversary to fold. This could be a semi-credible argument where it not for a very simple but crucial problem: so far the other guys have never folded. In other words, Trump’s bluff has been called over and over again, and each time Trump had to quietly deflate.

Some will say that this only proves that Trump is truly a peace-loving President who, unlike his predecessors, does not want to go to war. But then, what about the cruise missile strikes on Syria? What about the murder of Soleimani?

Truth be told, the kindest thing we can say about this strategy (assuming that it is a strategy to begin with, not the evidence of a total lack of one) is that it is tantamount to yelling “fire!” in a crowded movie theater: the fact that Trump did not set any movie theater ablaze hardly justifies his yelling “fire” in such a dangerous environment. The perfect example of this kind of irresponsible behavior is the murder of General Soleimani which truly brought the US and Iran a millimeter away from a real, full-scale war.

Furthermore, while I salute Trump’s climbing down following the Iranian strikes, I also believe that in doing so he hurt the international image of the US. Why? Think about this: this is the first time ever (if I am not mistaken) that the US was the object of a major military strike coming from another state-actor and did not retaliate. In the past and until this Spring, the US always held the view that if anybody dares to mess with it this would result in very serious consequences. Thus the US upheld a world order in which some where a lot more equal than others. Specifically, “others” had to meekly accept US strikes and shut up whereas Uncle Shmuel could strike left and right and expect no retaliation.

By “accepting” the Iranian counter-strike, Trump did essentially place an “equal” sign between Iran and the US. He probably never understood that, but in the region this was understood by all.

Just as Hezbollah destroyed the myth of Israeli impunity, Iran destroyed the myth of US impunity.

Still, I will always prefer the politician who does not start a war (for whatever reason) to one who would. I also have no doubt whatsoever that Hillary would have started one, or even several, wars. But the fact that Hillary would have been even worse than Trump is hardly a reason to start fawning about Trump’s brilliant “5D chess” genius or peace-loving policies…

Trump reminds of a guy pointing a gun a people in the street only to later say “but it was a toy gun, I never meant to really shoot anybody”. This is definitely better than shooting people with a real gun, but this is hardly a sign of maturity or intelligence.

The other problem with this “strategy” (let’s assume for argument’s sake that this is a strategy of some kind): each time the “indispensable nation” and “sole hyperpower” has to climb down, it increasingly looks like a paper tiger. Not looking like such a paper tiger is probably the mean reason behind Michael Ledeen’s famous wordsEvery ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business“. In a strictly evil and imperialistic sense, Ledeen’s strategy makes a lot more sense than what Trump has been doing.

As Marx famously said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce“. The outcome of what some now call the “Battle of Macuto Bay” is a perfect example of this: if the Bay of Pigs was the “root case” then the disaster in Grenada was the tragedy and the Battle of Macuto Bay the real farce.

Humor can be a devastating weapon and anybody who has studied the late Soviet Union (in the late Brezhnev years and after) knows how the Russian people ridiculed the Soviet leaders with literally thousands of jokes.

A real imperialist would much rather be hated than ridiculed, and while Trump himself probably does not realize that he is the laughingstock of the planet, his aides and deep state bosses most definitely do and that is very, very dangerous.

Why?

Because the pressure to, once again, “ pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall” increases with each climbdown (see my article “Each “Click” Brings Us One Step Closer to the “Bang!” for a fuller discussion of this).

Besides, finding an even smaller and weaker country than Venezuela will be hard (maybe the Island of Saba? or Grenada again? who knows?). And potentially very dangerous.

The other problem is predictability. Any international system requires that its most powerful actors be predictable. In contrast, when a major international actors acts in what appears to be unpredictable, irrational or irresponsible manner, this puts the entire stability of the system at risk.

This, by the way, is also why it is so disastrous that the US has withdrawn from so many international organizations or treaties: the participation in international organizations and treaties indicate that the US is willing to play by the same rules as everybody else. The fact that the US is ditching so many of its former international obligations only shows that the US has gone rogue and is from now on totally unpredictable.

Finally, there are also lessons for Moscow here, the main one being that when confronted with a determined adversary, the Empire tries to bluff, but eventually folds. True, Moscow has to be much more careful than Tehran simply because the consequences of a US-Russian war would be dramatically worse than even a major conflict in the Middle-East. Yet it is also true that over the past years the Russian armed forces did have the time to prepare for such a conflict and that now Russia is ready for pretty much anything the US could try to throw at her, at least in purely military terms.

In contrast to the military posture of Russia, the political environment in Russia has changed for the worse: there is now a potentially very dangerous “hardline” opposition to Putin which I have christened the “6th column”, as opposed to the liberal and pro-western 5th column. What these two “columns” have in common is that they both will categorically oppose pretty much anything and everything Putin does. The 6th column, in particular, has a seething hatred for Putin which is even more rabid than what the liberal 5th column usually express. Check out this excellent video by Ruslan Ostashko, who prefers the term “emo-Marxists” and who very accurately describes these folks. Whether we think of them as 6th-columnists or emo-Marxists does not matter, what matters is that these folks are eager to act like a soundboard for any and all anti-Putin rumors and fakes. While Putin certainly has his flaws, and while the economic policies of the Medvedev, and now Mishustin, government are a far cry from what most Russians would want, it is also true that these two “columns” are objectively doing the bidding of the Empire, which could present a real problem if the current pandemic-induced economic crisis in Russia is not tackled more effectively by the government.

I have always said that Iran, while being much weaker than Russia, has consistently shown much more courage in its dealings with the Empire than Russia. Furthermore, Iran’s policies are primarily dictated by moral and spiritual considerations (like in the case of Iran’s principled stance on occupied Palestine) while Russian policies are much more “pragmatic” (which is really a euphemism for self-serving). But then, Iran is an Islamic Republic whereas Russia still has to develop some kind of unifying and original worldview.

Conclusion:

For all his innumerable negative character traits and other flaws, it remains true that Trump has not launched a major war (so far). Yes, he has brought the world to the brink several times, but so far he has not plunged the world into a major conflict. How much of the credit for this truly should go personally to him is very debatable (maybe cooler heads in the military prevailed, I think of folks like General Mattis who, reportedly, was the one who stopped the US from seriously attacking Syria and settled for a symbolic strike). Some Russian analysts (Andrei Sidorov) even believe that the US is in no condition to fight any war, no matter how small. Furthermore, most (all?) Russian analysts also believe that the US is fully committed to a full-spectrum information and economic war to try to economically strangle both Russia and China. I think that it would be fair to say that nobody in Russia believes that the relationship with Trump’s US can, or will, improve. The tone in China is also changing, especially since the US has now launched a major anti-China strategic PSYOP. In other words, the US is merrily continuing down its current road which leads it to a simultaneous confrontation with not one, or even two, countries, but with a list of countries which seems to grow every day. So while it is true that in this case Trump appears to have canceled two wars, we should not assume that he won’t soon start one, if only to deflect the blame for his total mismanagement of the COVID19 crisis. Should that happen, we can only hope that all the “resistance countries” and movement will provide as much support as possible to whomever the Empire attacks next.

What does the Empire’s agony mean for the “Jewish state of Israel”?

Source

THE SAKER • MAY 13, 2020 • 2,100 WORDS

Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the F-35I

First, let’s begin with a few (apparently unrelated) recent news items:

These apparently unrelated news items all have one thing in common: the illustrate how weak and ineffective the US armed forces have become over the past couple of decades. And while, for the sake of brevity, I chose just three examples, the truth is that there are hundreds of similar stories all over the Internet, all pointing to the same reality: most of the US military is in a terminal state of disrepair.

Let’s look at the various services one by one:

  • The USN‘s entire surface fleet is now compromised due to its carrier-centric structure. The USN also lacks modern cruise missiles. Entire classes of surface ships are now either outdated (frigates) or have major design failures (LCS).
  • The USAF flies mostly Cold War jets, often modernized, but all in all, it is an outdated fleet, especially when compared to Russian or Chinese 4th++ and 5th generation aircraft. In fact, the absolute disaster of the F-35 program means that for the first time in its history the US aircraft will be qualitatively outgunned by its likely adversaries. Even US AWACS and other reconnaissance aircraft are now threatened by Russian and Chinese very long range anti-air missiles (both ground and air launched).
  • As for the US Army and Marine Corps, the embarrassing disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere prove that the US ground forces are basically only able to protect themselves, and even that not very well.
  • Then there are the recently created Space Forces which exist only on paper and the US Coast Guard which is basically irrelevant in a major war.

Finally, there is the US Special Operations Command, which is not one of the service branches but only a “functional” and “unified combatant” command, but which is often thought of as a separate branch of the armed forces. These forces always look great on propaganda rolls, but the truth is that these putatively “best in the word” (what else?!) forces have yet to achieve even their first real, meaningful, operational success anywhere (at least to balance out their long history of abject failures, from Desert One, to Grenada, to Afghanistan, to Libya, etc.). And minor firefights against a much inferior adversary do not qualify.

Now let me ask the crucial question: what does that mean for Israel?

Well, first, it means that the “poor” Israelis now have to fly with the F-35 as their flagship fighter. In most cases, I would trust the Israelis to modify/upgrade their F-35’s to get rid of at least the worst “features”, but in the case of the F-35 this is not even theoretically possible due to profound design flaws (for those in need of an “official” refresher on the catastrophic reality of the F-35 program, please read this official US government report which includes 276 “critical” deficiencies). Sooner rather than later, the Israeli F-35s will meet the export version of the Su-35, the much cheaper but high-performing Mig-29M/MiG-35 or even a Russian Su-57 and then they will be hopelessly outgunned (even if the outcome of any air-to-air combat cannot be reduced to comparing aircraft, you need a full and much more complex picture to model possible outcomes). Currently, the Su-35 has only been exported to China, but future potential operators could include Egypt, Algeria and Turkey. As for the MiG-29M/MiG-35, countries such as Egypt and Syria have expressed interest.

Speaking of Syria, so far we have seen several cases of Israeli aircraft intercepted and forced to withdraw by Russian Su-35Ss, and not a single case of the opposite. There appears to be at least one case, though not confirmed officially (yet?) of a Russian Su-35S chasing away an USAF F-22 (once the Su-35 and the F-22 are in close enough proximity, the latter has very few hopes of survival).

Can you guess what else the Israelis are going to eventually meet in the skies over the Middle-East? Possibly an export variant of the MiG-31 or even Russian MiG-31BMs (with their 400km R-37 air-to-air missiles). In fact, the range, speed, radar and weapons of this aircraft would make it possible for Russia to maintain combat air patrols over, say, Syria while operating from southern Russia.

I dwell on these aircraft because in the past, and just like the US, the Israelis have always relied on the following combination of factors to prevail:

  • A surprise attack (more or less justified by a false flag or by preemption)
  • The destruction of enemy aircraft when they are still on the ground
  • Air superiority to protect their rotary-wing aircraft and advancing armor

True, the Israelis still have a large force of modified F-16/15/18 (14 squadrons, over 300 aircraft), but just like their US counterparts, they are rapidly becoming dated. In sharp contrast to the dated Israeli Air Force, Israeli neighbors are all acquiring more and more advanced air defense systems along with EW and battle management systems. In other words, this is a very bad time for Israel to rely on F-35s for the foreseeable future.

Right now, the Israelis are regularly bombing Syria, but with very little result other than the mantric, and no doubt therapeutic, proclamations of Jewish superiority over the Arabs. And, predictably, the Ziomedia watching folks in Israel and the West are very impressed. The Syrians, the Iranians and Hezbollah, not so much…

Just like the US MIC put all its eggs into the F-35 basket, so did the Israelis put all their national security eggs into the eternal willingness and capability of Uncle Shmuel to come and rescue them with money, weapons or even soldiers.

The willingness is still here. But the capability is quickly disappearing!

Furthermore, there are two more countries which are entering a period of severe instability which will also affect the security of Israel: Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

In the case of Turkey, the relationship between the US and Turkey is about as low as it ever has been, and there is a very real possibility that, with US sanctions and threats, the Turks might decide to give up on the F-35 and turn to a Russian aircraft, most likely an export version of the Su-35. While that would be (politically) bad news for the US MIC, it would be absolutely terrible news for the Israelis whose relationship with Turkey is generally rather bad. So far, Turkey is still an obedient member of NATO, with all that entails, but the weaker the AngloZionist Empire becomes, the bigger the chances of some kind of political clash between the US and NATO on one hand, and Turkey on the other.

As for the Saudis, they have already been actively courting Moscow because they have realized that Russia has basically replaced the US as the number one regional power. The total failure of the US to provide meaningful assistance to the Saudis in Yemen and the inability of the US air defenses to protect the Saudi oilfield from Houthi missile strikes has convinced the Saudis that from now on, they need to talk to the Russians directly and often.

source: IISS Military Balance 2020

source: IISS Military Balance 2020

True, the US still does have the appearance of real power in the Middle East. Just take a look at this page from the latest IISS Military Balance. There are still a lot of CENTCOM equipment and personnel in the region. But try to look beyond these fancy graphics and ask yourself: what are these forces doing? what are they actually achieving?

I would submit that most of what they do is to try to impress the locals, make money (by all sorts of military contracts) and, last but not least, they try to protect themselves. And yes, the US’s “footprint” in the Middle-East is still big, but that is also what makes US forces so vulnerable to attacks. The Iranians, for example, have made it clear that they see all these facilities and forces as “targets” which, following the high-precision Iranian missile attacks following the murder of General Suleimani, means that Iran now has the means to inflict major damage on any regional force crazy enough to mess with Iran.

Of course, every time somebody writes that the US or Israel are not invincible, there is always at least one person saying something like “yeah, maybe, but they got nukes and they will use them if they are threatened”. To this my reply is different for the case of US and for the case of Israel.

In the case of the USA, while any first use of nukes will result in a political suicide for the Empire, no US adversary in the Middle-East has the capability to retaliate in kind against the USA.

In the case of Israel, however, things are even much more serious.

First, we need to remember that for obvious geographical reasons, the Israelis cannot use nukes on attacking forces, at least not forces anywhere near the Israeli border. Still, if seriously threatened, the Israelis could claim that another “Holocaust” is about to happen and that the “defense of Jewish blood” leaves them no option but to use nukes on, say, Iranian or Syrian targets. I submit that the worse the damage inflicted by any such Israeli nuclear strikes, the stronger the resolve of the Arabs and/or Iranians will be. That is the problem with deterrence: once it has failed, it has totally failed and there is usually no “plan B”.

Does that mean that a major attack on Israel is inevitable?

No, not at all. For one thing, both the US and Israel can still inflict immense damage against any country, or coalition of countries, which would threaten them (and they don’t need to resort to nukes to achieve this). The fact that neither the US nor Israel can achieve anything resembling a “victory” in no way implies that attacking the US or Israel is easy or safe. Both countries have plenty of conventional military power left to extract a huge price from any attacker.

Secondly, it is precisely because the US and Israel have a lot of military power left that their adversaries will favor a gradual and slow weakening of the AngloZionists over an open confrontation. For example, while it is true that the US did not have the stomach to attack Iran following the Iranian retaliatory missile strike, it is also true that the Iranians carefully “tuned” their response so as not to force the US to strike back. The truth is that right now neither country wants an open war.

The same can be said of Syria and Hezbollah who have been very careful not to do anything which would force the Israelis (or the US) to escalate from the current symbolic/pin-prick attacks to real, meaningful, air and missile strikes.

Right now the US can still print enough dollars to maintain Israel afloat, but we already know that while throwing cheap money at a problem is often very tempting, this does not constitute a sustainable strategy, especially when the actual military capabilities of both the US and Israelis are rapidly degrading. Right now, nobody knows how much longer the last openly racist regime on the planet will last, but it is exceedingly unlikely that the Zionist entity will be able to survive without the Empire to prop it up. In other words, sooner rather than later, the “Jewish state of Israel” will have no better chances of survival than, say, the “Independent State of Kosovo” or, for that matter, the “Independent Ukraine”: they are all the ugly metastases of the Empire which by themselves are simply not viable.

إيران بلغت مستوى جديداً من القوة.. والحرس الثوريّ يكشف عن مخطط أميركيّ لقصف منزل خامنئيّ

المصدر

قال قائد القوة الجو فضائية في حرس الثورة الإيراني، العميد أمير علي حاجي زادة، إن «الغربيين، ولا سيما الأميركيين منهم، غاضبون من نجاح عملية إطلاق قمر نور إلى الفضاء».

وأضاف حاجي زاده أن الغرب أدرك أن «إيران بلغت مستوى جديداً من القوة. ومن الطبيعي أن يتسبب ذلك في إزعاجهم، ولا سيما أن أجهزتهم الاستخبارية لم تكن على علم بالأمر، كما أنه جاء في ظل انشغالهم بأزمة كورونا».

وأكد زادة أن «جميع مراحل صناعة القمر وإطلاقه تمت من دون علم أجهزة المخابرات الغربية. ولهذا فوجئت».

وأضاف خلال لقاء تلفزيوني: «لا يمكن للولايات المتحدة الأميركية ارتكاب أي حماقة ضد إيران… ما يصرّح به المسؤولون فيها للاستهلاك الداخلي لا أكثر».

وأكد أن بلاده «ستعزز قدراتها الدفاعية والعسكرية والفضائية لضمان أمن إيران القومي».

من جهته، أكد المتحدث باسم مجلس صيانة الدستور في إيران، عباس علي كدخدائي، أن «قرار 2231 لمجلس الأمن الدولي لا يمنع إطلاق الصواريخ من جانب إيران بالمطلق»، معتبراً أن «المنع يشمل الصواريخ المصممة لحمل رؤوس نووية».

وكان أمين المجلس الأعلى للأمن القومي الإيراني علي شمخاني قال: «لا يمكن للعقوبات أو التهديدات أو الإغراءات السياسية أن تبطئ حركة إيران نحو تحقيق مصالحها الوطنية ونيل حقوقها الشرعية».

وأعلنت وكالة «إيسنا» الإيرانية في 22 نيسان الحالي عن إطلاق قوات حرس الثورة الإيرانية قمر «نور – 1» الاصطناعي للأغراض العسكرية.

الوكالة أكّدت نجاح حرس الثورة في وضع القمر الاصطناعي في مدار الأرض على بعد 425 كيلومتراً، لافتةً إلى أن ذلك يُعدّ إنجازاً كبيراً وتحولاً جديداً في المجال الفضائيّ لإيران.

من جهة أخرى، قال قائد القوة الجوية للحرس الثوري الإيراني، أمس، إن «الولايات المتحدة كانت تريد استهداف وقصف مقر المرشد الأعلى للبلاد علي خامنئي، عقب اغتيال الجنرال قاسم سليماني».

وقال القائد بالحرس الثوري، إن «أحد تلك المواقع الثقافية والمهمة، هي أنهم أرادوا قصف المقر الرسمي والمكتب ومكان العمل الرئيسي للمرشد الأعلى للثورة الإيرانية بالعاصمة طهران، لكنهم رأوا أن قاعدة عين الأسد أصيبت بصواريخ، وصباح اليوم نفسه تمّ بث برنامج لقاء خامنئي من مكتبه مع حشد من الإيرانيين».

وأضاف زاده أن «أميركا أرادت إيصال رسالة باغتيال سليماني، وهي أننا ضربنا رمز المقاومة، حتى نجعل الخوف والرعب في قلوب قادة المقاومة».

وتابع: «كان لديهم (الأميركان) تأكيد خاطئ بأن إيران لن ترد على اغتيال قاسم سليماني، عندما رأوا أن الناس كانوا يرددون شعار الانتقام، قالوا إن إيران إذا اتخذت إجراء، فسوف نقصف 52 موقعاً ونقطة في إيران».

واشار العميد حاجي زادة إلى انه حينما استهدفنا قاعدة عين الأسد تصوّرنا بانهم سيردون ولهذا الغرض فقد خططنا لاستهداف 400 نقطة تابعة للأميركيين في حال حصول ذلك.

IRGC Was Ready To Hit 400 Targets If US Responded Airstrike on Ain Al-Assad – Aerospace Commader

IRGC Was Ready To Hit 400 Targets If US Responded Airstrike on Ain Al-Assad – Aerospace Commader

By Staff, Agencies

Referring to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC’s] airstrikes on the US occupation airbase of Ain al-Assad in western Iraq, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said, “If the US responded to our attack on Ain al-Assad, we would be ready to attack 400 American targets.”

Referring to the reactions of US officials to the launch of Iran’s first military satellite into space, Hajizadeh said, “By assassinating Lt. Gen. Soleimani, they wanted to show that they killed a symbol of Resistance, and they were sure that Iran would not respond to their attack.”

“But then they felt somewhat threatened, so they announced that Washington would target 52 cites, including cultural ones, in case Iran targeted US forces,” he added, saying, “But we responded to them by an attack on Ain al-Assad base in Iraq.”

“The day we attacked on Ain al-Assad, we thought the US forces would respond after 20 minutes, so we were ready to attack 400 American targets,” Hajizadeh noted.

“Our plan was to attack 400 US targets if they responded,” he added.

Referring to the successful launch of the first military satellite by IRGC, Hajizadeh also said, “Developed countries have suffered many defeats along the way, but we succeeded in the first step.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has developed these capabilities in recent years and with the help of Almighty God we will take the next steps quickly,” he said emphasizing solid-fuel launchers are equipped with the latest technology in the world.

“Today, gaining access to space and using it is not a choice. It is an inevitable necessity and we must find our place in space,” he added.

“We have great achievements in the field of missiles and defense in the world, and today we have successfully entered the space arena. I have to say that the obstacles have been removed from our path and from now on we will move faster,” the IRGC commander underscored.

He also noted that such successes are reminiscent of relentless efforts and brilliant achievements have taken by martyrs such as Hassan Tehran Moghadam and other martyrs.

The IRGC elite force has successfully launched the Noor-1 Satellite by the domestically-built launcher Qassed [messenger] on Wednesday morning and placed it into the orbit at an altitude of 425km. The launch of Noor-1 which is the Islamic Republic’s first military satellite was carried out on the 41st anniversary of the foundation of the IRGC.

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المقاومة بين رسائل الخارج وهجوم الداخل

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

رغم ما أحدثه كورونا من انشغال عالمي، وما فرضه من حجر على أكثر من 4 مليارات نسمة، ورغم افتضاح عجز أميركا و»إسرائيل» عن التصدّي لهذا الوباء الذي كشف حالة الوهن في بنيتهما الصحية وأظهر المخاطر التي تحيق باقتصادهما، رغم كلّ ذلك وجد الأميركي والإسرائيلي الوقت للتهديد او العدوان على محور المقاومة متوخياً تحقيق أهداف ظنّ أنه قادر على الوصول اليها أو فرضها او مفترضاً أنّ العدو أو الخصم سيخضع له ويدعه يحققها. فما هي تلك الأهداف وكيف كان ردّ محور المقاومة وما النتائج والمرتقب بعدها؟

نبدأ بالموضوع الأول الذي تمثل بالتحرّش الأميركي بالبحرية الإيرانية في الخليج، وهو تحرّش ظنّ الأميركي انّ بإمكانه عبره ان يعطل مفاعيل القصف الإيراني لقاعدة «عين الأسد» الأميركية في العراق، وأن يستغلّ انشغال إيران بمواجهة كورونا، ويظهرها عاجزة عن الردّ، وأخيراً أن يصنع عبر التحرّش والمواجهة خبراً يتداوله الإعلام في ترتيب أوّل ما يحجب إخفاقه الداخلي في مواجهة كورونا، كما يضخم الأخطار الخارجية على الأمن القومي الأميركي، ما يُسكت المناكفات والصراعات الداخلية بين ترامب وحكام الولايات، تلك الصراعات التي فضحت كورونا وجودها وفتحت المجال لتصوّر وقوع الأسوأ على صعيدها..

لكن إيران لم تسكت على التحرّش وتصرّفت بحزم وعلى وجهين، الأول عملاني في الميدان حيث وجّهت زوارقها للتحرّك في محيط قطع الأسطول الأميركي الخامس واقتربت إلى الحدّ الحرج عسكرياً من القطعة البحرية الأميركية، اقتراب له من الدلالات ما يفهمه العسكريون وهي ليست في صالح الهيبة الأميركية. أما الوجه الثاني للردّ الإيراني فقد كان في البيان التحذيري الناري الشديد اللهجة الذي وجّهه الحرس الثوري الإيراني إلى أميركا محذراً قيادتها من «الحسابات الخاطئة». وفي الوجهين دلالة واضحة انّ إيران على جهوزية عسكرية تامة للردّ على أيّ استفزاز او عدوان وأن ليس من شأن كورونا أن يؤثر على هذه الجهوزية اذا اضطرت إيران للجوء اليها ولن تكون عملية قصف «عين الأسد» إلا نموذجاً مصغراً للردّ الإيراني المقبل الذي سيأخذ بعين الاختبار متغيّرات الواقع العسكري الأميركي خلال الشهرين الأخيرين، بما في ذلك نشر الباتريوت في العراق. وبالتالي يعتبر جسّ النبض الأميركي لإيران قد فشل في تحقيق أهدافه وعزّزت إيران معادلة الردع بوجه أميركا مخدومة بقواعد اشتباك أصبحت أميركا تعرف كيف أنّ عليها احترامها.

أما الموضوع الثاني فقد تمثل بالعدوان الإسرائيلي على سورية حيث استهدف سيارة جيب للمقاومة كان على متنها مقاومون عائدون من سورية إلى لبنان، وتمّ العدوان في شكل يثير سؤال مهمّ: هل الإسرائيلي قصد النتيجة بالشكل الذي انتهى إليه الأمر أيّ عدم المسّ بالمقاومين مع تدمير السيارة أو انّ خللاً ما ضيّع على «إسرائيل» فرصة إصابة المقاومين داخل السيارة ما مكّنهم من تركها قبل أن يطلق الصاروخ الثاني؟ فإذا كان الفرض الأول هو الصحيح فانّ ذلك يعني انّ «إسرائيل» تصرّفت مع قيد رادع وخشيت من ردّ المقاومة التي أنذر قائدها «إسرائيل» بأنّ أيّ مسّ بمقاوم سيلقى الردّ المناسب من لبنان أو من سورية داخل أو خارج مزارع شبعا. أما إذا كان الفرض الثاني هو الصحيح فإنه يعني أنّ المقاومين عرفوا كيف ينتقلون وكيف يضيّعون على العدو فرصة النيل منهم.

ولكن ومهما كان من أمر قصد العدو الإسرائيلي، فإنه يستفاد من مجريات الميدان أنّ العدوان جاء ليوجه رسالة إلى المقاومة بأنّ الظروف الصحية الإسرائيلية بسبب كورونا لم تشغل «إسرائيل» عن ملاحقة المقاومة وتتبّع خطواتها في لبنان وسورية وهي رسالة يحتاجها نتنياهو اليوم من أجل القفز فوق المأزق السياسي الشخصي والحكومي الداخلي المتمثل بالعجز عن تشكيل حكومة منذ أكثر من سنة وبعد أكثر من دورة انتخابات نيابية.

بيد أنّ المقاومة لم تدع لنتنياهو فرصة تحقيق أهدافه من العدوان حيث وجّهت له صفعة سريعة أنست الجميع ما حملته المسيرة الصهيونيّة من رسائل وأنتجت إرباكاً في «إسرائيل» فاق كل ما هو متوقع. حيث إنه وفي أقلّ من 48 ساعة من اقتراف «إسرائيل» جريمتها فتحت 3 ثغرات في السياج الإسرائيلي الحدودي وتركت فيها من الآثار ما أفهم «إسرائيل» بأنّ تدمير الأنفاق التي فاخرت بالنجاح في إنجازه، لم يغيّر شيئاً في أهمية وجدية تهديد السيد حسن نصرالله من احتمال توجيه الأمر للمقاومين للعمل القتالي الهجوميّ في الجليل، وهو أمر يرعب الصهاينة على كلّ مستوياتهم.

How Did The Enemy Interpret The Lebanese-Palestinian Border Fence Incident?

كما انّ الرسالة تؤكد بأنّ المقاومة التي نجحت نجاحاً باهراً في عرضها للجيش الصحي في الداخل اللبناني والتي تنخرط بكلّ جدية وفعالية في مواجهة كورونا، انّ هذه المقاومة على جهوزية تامة للعمل العسكري المناسب في مواجهة أيّ عدوان او تهديد او خطر إسرائيلي.

وعليه نرى أنّ الرسائل العسكرية الأميركية والإسرائيلية إلى محور المقاومة استدعت من الردود ما عطل مفاعليها وما أجهض أهداف العدو الذي أرسلها، وبذلك يكون محور المقاومة أكد على ما كان صاغه من معادلات الردع وقواعد الاشتباك التي لا تمكّن الطرف الآخر من ممارسة سياسة اليد العليا ما يعني انّ المقاومة ومحورها أفشلا الاستفزاز وردّا على الرسائل بما يؤلم الطرف الآخر.

بيد أنه إلى هذا النجاح يبدو في الأفق أمر مقلق في لبنان يتمثل بما يبدو أنه يحضّر على الصعيد الداخلي فيه، اذ يبدو انّ أميركا تخطط لشيء خطر تضع هي خطوطه وتقود تنفيذه الذي يوكل إلى أطراف محليّين اشتهروا بحقدهم وبعدائهم للمقاومة وانصياعهم لقرارات أجنبية تمسّ بأمنها وأمن لبنان واستقراره وتعرّض مصالحه للخطر. وهنا نتوقف عند ما تقوم به السفيرة الأميركية في بيروت من تحشيد لهذه القوى ما يعيد إلى الأذهان الانقلاب الذي نفّذته تلك القوى في العام 2005.

وللتذكير بالدور الأميركي في لبنان في تلك الفترة نستعيد ما حصل بعد احتلال العراق ورفض سورية الانصياع للمطالب الأميركية حيث كان القرار 1559 «الناظم للشأن اللبناني أميركياً» والذي أعقبه قتل رفيق الحريري وتشكيل جماعة 14 آذار المسيّرة أميركياً والمعادية لسورية وللمقاومة. وهي الجماعات التي نفذت بتوجيه أميركي انقلاباً سياسياً على مرحلتين الأولى تمثلت بإسقاط حكومة عمر كرامي التي يملك قرارها حلفاء سورية والثاني الحصول على أغلبية نيابية وتشكيل حكومة تعادي سورية، حكومة أرست قواعد تعامل عدائية مع سورية لا زالت نافذة حتى اليوم رغم كلّ التبدّلات.

نذكّر بهذا الماضي حتى نسقطه على الحاضر، حيث إنّ وزير خارجية أميركا جورج بومبيو أطلق في آذار 2019 خطة تغيير الحكومة لإخراج المقاومة منها والتنكّر للأغلبية النيابية واستعادة قرار لبنان كلياً إلى اليد الأميركية بعيداً عن أيّ أثر لمحور المقاومة فيه، وقد حققت خطة بومبيو بعض أهدافها وفشلت في تحقيق الجزء الأهمّ منها وهو عزل المقاومة ومحاصرتها بما يعطل فعاليتها، لذلك جاءت السفيرة الأميركية شيا اليوم في خطة استلحاق لتحقيق ما فاتهم تحقيقه، من أجل ذلك تسعى شيا إلى تشكيل حلف معارض، هدفه إسقاط حكومة دياب التي يصفونها بأنها حكومة اللون الواحد المسيطر عليها من حزب الله. وهي الحكومة التي نجحت بشكل واضح حتى الآن في مقاربتها لأخطر الملفات (الدَّيْن – كورونا – المغتربين).

تقوم أميركا بـ «هجومها» من دون أن يعنيها ما سيتسبّب به إسقاط الحكومة من فراغ سياسي او إشاعة اضطراب مالي واجتماعي وحتى أمني، فالمهمّ لديها كيف تسقط حزب الله حتى ولو سقط لبنان معه. وهنا التحدي الذي يواجه الآن المقاومة وحلفاءها، الذين ينبغي ان يعلموا انّ الوقت الآن ليس للغنج والدلال او تحصيل المكاسب الشخصية، فأميركا تلعب الآن لعبتها الأخيرة التي ليس لديها الوقت الطويل لتنفيذها فهي مهلة لا تتعدّى الأشهر الستة، فإما أن تنجح ويغرق لبنان، او تفشل وينجو لبنان وهي جادّة في خطتها خاصة بعد سلسلة الإخفاقات التي حصدها ترامب في أكثر من اتجاه، وهو يؤمن انّ في نجاحه في لبنان مصلحة له ولـ «إسرائيل» على حدّ سواء. وهنا أهمية المواجهة من قبل المقاومة وحلفائها حتى لا تتكرّر استقالة عمر كرامي عام 2005، ولا محاصرة العماد لحود بعدها ولا الانقلاب السياسي مجدّداً، ولا الفتن وعمليات القتل الممنهج…

*أستاذ جامعي وخبير استراتيجي.

THE RESISTANCE STRIKES THE US WHICH SEEKS A TRUCE IN IRAQ

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier:

New anonymous organisations in Iraq have threatened to strike US forces if they refuse to withdraw from Iraq. One of these newly emerged organisations released its first video of an attack against a US military convoy transporting vehicles on the road between the Kurdish province of Erbil and the northern Salahuddin province, where the US maintains large military bases.

US Ambassador Matthew Tueller has met with caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, expressing the will of his country to begin strategic talks with Baghdad. The US did not disclose that the US diplomat informed Mr Abdul-Mahdi about the US intention to pull out forces from Iraq and his request not to be attacked during the withdrawal of troops. Indeed, the US has already evacuated forces from 6 bases and centres of control in different places in Iraq. This is what prompted the Iraqi Kataeb Hezbollah (Brigades) to ​​announce particularly that the organisation does not intend to strike US forces as long as they completely withdraw from the country. 

However, the Iraqi resistance does not trust the US promises as forwarded to the Iraqi premier. It considers the US is manoeuvring to redeploy forces from the more vulnerable bases to more protected bases. This scepticism has caused new Iraqi resistance to surface, and provoked attacks against US forces in a manner reminiscent of the 1980s “Islamic Jihad” organisation in Lebanon, which was responsible for the kidnapping and killing of US officers and citizens.

The first newly emerged organisation identified itself as “The Revolutionary League” (Usbat al-Thaereen). In its first communiqué, it has shown drone images with excellent resolution of the US embassy in Baghdad in all its details, building, helicopters, movement of personnel and military forces inside.  What is striking is not only the fine details and high-quality of the drone footage but how a drone managed to fly for extended minutes over the most guarded buildings inside the Iraqi capital. Three brigades of the Iraqi army (6, 11 and 17) are deployed in the capital Baghdad along with the anti-terrorist force, the federal police HQ, the Ministry of the Interior and the local police. Most of these are based in the “Green Zone” where the US embassy is. US forces are also deployed at Baghdad airport (not far away) and inside the Embassy.

Not only that, but a second video was also distributed to the press a few days later with drone footage of the most extensive US military base in Iraq, at Ein al-Assad base in the Anbar desert. The video showed weapons stores, forces, buildings, command and control tower and base, hangars, landing and take-off runways and many more details of the entire map of the base. At Ayn al-Assad, the US deploys of the most sophisticated radars, Patriot missiles and other defence systems that are supposed to secure the base.

Moreover, the video had also been shot from outside the base, showing the driving of a car along the walls of the American base in Ain al-Assad, which indicates the ease of movement of the group without regard for the security measures deployed along the road.

The organisation broadcast an enthusiastic song stating its goal of avenging the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. The singer’s dialect indicates that he is not Iraqi, though clearly, the singer is a native Arab speaker.

Another new organisation called “The Islamic Resistance in Iraq – People of the Cave” (referring to Surat al-Kahf in the Quran) issued a video in which it showed an IED exploding in convoy carrying military vehicles and, one minute later, a second powerful IED explosion when the convoy personnel gathered to assess the damage. The convoy is said to be travelling from Kurdistan – Erbil to Salah al-Din Governorate, the Uwaynat region. This attack is a message for the US forces: they will not be able to roam as they wish in Iraq because for them the country is now insecure, as are their military bases.

A statement issued by a third new Iraqi organisation called “Islamic Resistance Factions – Iraq – the fist of guidance” accuses America of preparing to launch an attack against the Iraqi factions, and gives the American and British ambassadors 48 hours to leave, or they will be killed. It was not possible to confirm the authenticity of this  statement. 

It is to be expected that more organisations will emerge in Iraq, enjoying military, media and organisational skills and capabilities. These undoubtfully benefited from the long years of war in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel, in Syria against al-Qaeda and ISIS (The Islamic State), and in Iraq against the US during the 2003-2011 invasion and against ISIS following the occupation of a third of Iraq in 2014.

These organisations seek retribution against the US, which assassinated the leader of the “Axis of Resistance” Major General Qassim Soleimani, the field commander in the “Popular Mobilisation Forces” (PMF) Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, and which bombed several bases of the Iraqi army, its federal police and the PMF at the Syrian-Iraqi borders, al-Qaem, and destroyed Karbala Civil Airport. The US breach of the memorandum of agreement signed in 2014 exasperated Iraqi political, military officials and many other resistance groups.

The US Ambassador visited the caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to inform him about its decision to leave Iraq and proposes a large meeting next June to agree on the mechanism of withdrawal from Iraq. The ambassador asked Mr Abdul Mahdi to intervene to stop all attacks against American forces while withdrawing and to mediate with Iran to achieve this, because “America is serious about proceeding with the exit from Iraq.”

The Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, the League of the Righteous (Asaeb Ahl al-Haq), Al-Nujabaa Movement and the Imam Ali Brigades responded to the Iranian request to refrain from opposing al-Kazemi, despite their lack of trust in him and in the US intention to withdraw. These factions promised not to attack the US forces as long as the US shows they are withdrawing their forces from the country. Thus, the emergence of new organisations aims to offer an excuse for these groups, that they are not apparently involved in any attack and that they are “encouraging” the US to leave. These groups are unknown and new on the Iraqi scene. Therefore, it is easy for them to avoid pressure from the officials in Baghdad.

However, the style of these organisations reminds us of the “Islamic Jihad” organisation in Lebanon that emerged in the 1980s, was responsible for the kidnapping of hostages in Lebanon and worked directly under the command of Iran. It was not connected to Lebanese “Hezbollah” at the time.

It seems that the US has not read carefully enough the Iranian messages following the assassination of the Axis of the Resistance leader. When Sayyed Ali Khamenei said: “The price of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis is the US departure from West Asia” this meant that the decision had been taken to force the US out whatever the cost.

Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon and of the “Axis of Resistance” in Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, said “every American soldier is a legitimate target”. He wondered, when directing his question to the US following the assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis: “what have you done? Are you aware whose blood you spilt?” His message was clear: “Hezbollah will not stand idle and will target every US soldier.” Sayyed Nasrallah said explicitly: “Iraq is the battlefield”.

Driving the US out of West Asia is the goal. The methods used by the Iraqi resistance will not be different from methods used against Israel in Lebanon, in Syria and Iraq during the past decade. They will be employed until the very last US soldier leaves Iraq.

Proofread by: Maurice Brasher and C.G.B

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HOW PRECISE IRANIAN MISSILES? ANALYSIS OF MISSILE STRIKES ON U.S. MILITARY BASE IN IRAQ

South Front

This video is based on the analysis of Haider Geoanalyst originally appeared on TheSaker.is

Several sources in the past weeks have analyzed the Iranian missile strikes on US forces at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase which took place more than two weeks ago on the 8th of January 2020 as a retaliation for the US assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Sulaimani.

In this analysis, the post-strike satellite imagery is assessed to give us some insights on what happened at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase and to estimate the accuracy of the Iranian missiles.

It is clear, even prior to conducting any analysis, that the Iranian missiles targeted individual structures with a high rate of accuracy. This analysis attempts to estimate the accuracy in terms of how far the missiles landed from their targets. Since the Iranians did not make public the targets they wanted to hit or destroy, it is assumed that the individual missiles were targeting the actual structures they destroyed or the nearest structures to their impact locations.

A term often used in precision guided munitions (artillery shells, smart-bombs, missiles, etc.) is the circular error probability (CEP). This value is not derived from actual warfare statistics but from weapons testing or claims from the weapons manufacturer. Instead of using the CEP, we will attempt to derive our own statistics from the small sample size of missile strikes.

Introduction to Ayn Al Asad Airbase

The US occupation forces between 2003 and 2005 changed the name of the airbase from its original 1980s name of Qadisiyah Airbase to the name of Ayn Al Asad, which in Arabic literally either means “Eye of the Lion” or in this case “Lion spring” due to the hydrological spring which is now located within the perimeter of the airbase. This spring feeds the Wadi al Asadi stream valley located in the northern part of the air base and flows eastwards into the Euphrates River as one of its tributaries. The main part of the base originally had a perimeter length of 21 km, not including other secondary or auxiliary bases located in the surrounding areas. The perimeter was expanded by the Americans to 34 km (Figure 1), giving the base a total area size of approximately 63 km2 and making it the largest military base in Iraq by area size. For comparison, this is almost twice the size of the New York City metropolitan area.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

The base consists of two major runways (a third runway is unpaved), several taxiways, a variety of different facilities and buildings for personnel, equipment, communications, including sports and leisure centers with theaters and swimming pools. The base further has soft and hardened aircraft shelters (hangars). The trapezoidal shaped hardened aircraft hangers were built by Yugoslavian companies across many bases in Iraq in the 80s and are nicknamed “Yugos” by the Iraqis. The two hardened runways have a length of approximately 3,990 m. This is almost 1 km shorter than Iraq’s longest aircraft runway of 4,800 m located at Erbil airport, which is also one of the longest in the world. For further historical and general information on the Ayn Al Asad Airbase, see the following websites here ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Asad_Airbase ), here ( https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/al-asad.htm ) and here ( https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/al-asad-airbase-iraq/ ).

Reports indicate that around 15 to 16 missiles were fired from multiple locations inside Iran, with at least 10 missiles fired from bases in the Kermanshah area. If this is indeed the case and assuming a straight line flight path, the missiles could have traveled a distance of approximately 425 km from Kermanshah until reaching the Ayn Al Asad Airbase (Figure 2).

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Airbase missile strike overview

In recent days, analysts have identified a total of nine separate missile impact strikes within the Ayn Al Assad Airbase perimeter. This does not exclude the possibility of other missile impact sites within the base’s perimeter which have not been identified or published online. Seven strikes (number 1 to 7) are found at the facilities located just above the northern taxiway and runway, which according to the imagery, houses a variety of drones and aircraft, including V-22 Ospreys, MQ-1 Predator drones, UH-60 Black Hawks and even (K)C-130 Hercules aircraft for transport and refueling. Another missile impact (number 8) is located on the taxiway between the two paved runways and impact number 9 is found on a taxiway in the southeastern complex of hardened aircraft hangars.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 1 and 2

Strikes number 1 and 2 are approximately 110 m apart. Crater impact nr. 1 is 28 m away from the destroyed soft non reinforced target (possibly a tent structure). Nr. 1 has a small circular blast followed by a secondary semi-circle pattern. The secondary pattern towards the west also gives away the eastern incoming missile direction. Impact nr. 1 is peculiar since it is not a direct hit, but landed 28 m next to the nearest structure. The question is if the Iranians intentionally targeted this point or is it an accuracy issue (off by 28 m) ?

Strike nr. 2 has a similar sized crater and blast pattern as nr. 1 (approx. 27 to 28 m). So it is highly possible that both strikes were conducted using the same missile, with strike nr. 2 having a more obvious blast circle due to it landing exactly in the middle of a series of built soft structures (possible tents). From the measurements we can conclude that strike nr. 2 is more or less dead center on the 5 soft like tent structures and there is no substantial accuracy error.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 3

Site nr. 3 contains two soft structures (possible tents). The missile’s crater and circular blast pattern is located almost in the center of the left building. If this building was deliberately targeted, the error is no more than 3 m. For comparison, this is the average accuracy of a handheld GNSS (GPS) device or a current smartphone, which is very impressive for a warhead landing at more than 2000 km/h (terminal velocity).

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 4 and 5

Sites 4 and 5 are two building (soft structures) next to one-another each hit with what seems to be similar type of missiles with primary blast radius of 8 to 9 m and secondary circles of around 20 to 22 m. If the center of the buildings were targeted, accuracy errors are 6 and 14 m for site 4 and 5, respectively. Again, we do not know if the Iranians deliberately targeted a certain part of the structures.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 6

Strike 6 is located on the left side of a long metal roof soft structure, similar to a steel open warehouse. The left half of the building shows a primary blast circle of approximately 17 m in radius, with an overall damage radius of approximately 25 m. If we assume that the center of the building was the actual target, then we find an error of 51 m. Again, the question is whether the left side of this building was deliberately struck instead of the central part. It’s possible to assume that the Iranians intentionally targeted the western side of the building, having prior knowledge the blast radius of their missiles and the importance of the western side of the building.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 7

Strike number 7 is the most easterly impact site and is found near the end of the northern runway. The impact is located almost exactly in the middle of four soft aircraft shelters. The post-strike image (taken a few hours after the event) shows V-22 Ospreys and MQ-1 predator drones parked just south of the shelters. The first circular blast pattern has a 15 m radius. The incoming direction of the missile caused the complete destruction of the adjacent shelter just left of the impact point, while the shelter to the right was lightly damaged. If we assume the Iranians were targeting the middle point of the second shelter (taken from left to right) than the accuracy error would be about 18 m. However, it is highly likely that the four soft shelters were targeted as a single unit. If that is the case, then the missile was only 7 m off (accuracy error) from the middle point.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 8

If we assume that the Iranians are not randomly lobbing missiles inside the airbase with CEP errors of 100 to 500 m as some of the so called “think tank” experts presume (or have previously presumed in recent years), then we can assume that site nr. 8 was targeting the taxiway located between the two paved runways as previously shown in Figure 3. In the images below we can see an impact crater hitting the side of the taxiway. The impact is 23 m from the center of the taxiway pavement and we use this distance as a measure of accuracy. A clear circular blast pattern is visible and a directional blast cone indicates the incoming missile direction.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Site number 9

Strike nr. 9 is the second strike on a taxiway and is the most southern impact site situated in a hardened hangar complex. The impact crater is located almost exactly on one of the corner points of a paved T-junction. If the Iranians purposely targeted this exact point, then the accuracy error could possibly be no more than 2 meters. However, if the target was the actual center of the T-junction, then the error is approximately 11 m. Like in site nr. 8, we see a circular blast with a cone like fan shaped pattern giving the incoming missile direction.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Assessment and conclusions

There are different ways to assess the accuracy of these strikes based on the fact that we do not have the exact coordinates the Iranians wanted  to target. It is not very realistic to assume that the Iranians were perfectly able to target the exact coordinates they intended to hit with perfect accuracy. There is however uncertainty in whether the Iranians intentionally missed some of their targets. The abovementioned observations clearly show a pattern of very accurate strikes on individually targeted buildings/structures. There are two most likely scenarios:

  1. The Iranians intentionally targeted and destroyed some targets. Accuracy errors occurred causing some missiles to miss the exact center point of their targets, with other targets being completely missed.
  2. The Iranians intentionally destroyed some targets and intentionally missed some others.

The table shows the estimated range in accuracy for each of the 9 strike locations based on our observations and interpretation. The green numbers are the most likely errors in meters, while red numbers indicating the less likely errors based on our assumptions of what the Iranians intended to target. An average missile target accuracy of 11 m is based on what are the most likely intended targets (or in other words the most likely scenario). The statistical spread of this small sample size (of only 9 strikes) is 8.5 m. So the lower and upper limits of the accuracy, based on the standard deviation, is estimated to range between 2.5 and 19.5 m. The median value, which is somewhat comparable to the CEP, is 7 m. This means that half of the strikes landed within 7 m. Finally, the average blast (damage) circle is estimated at 21 m.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Let’s visualize these numbers and assume that these numbers can be used in circles. The figure shows a MQ-1 predator drone theoretically being targeted. The yellow line indicates the 11 m mean accuracy value. This is where missiles will land on average. The red line gives the 7 m median value where 50 % of the strikes are found inside this circle. The subsequent figure also includes examples of blast circle (average radius of 21 m) locations in respect to the target.

How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq
How Precise Iranian Missiles? Analysis Of Missile Strikes On U.S. Military Base In Iraq

Assuming the estimation of the intended targets and measurements are realistic, an Iranian missile accuracy ranging on average between 2.5 and 19.5 m is very impressive to say the least and indicates the use of advanced terminal guidance technology (guiding a missile in its terminal phase). Reports have suggested that the Fateh-313 tactical short range ballistic missile (SRBM) was used in the Ayn Al Asad Airbase attack, with other reports suggesting that the Qiam 1 was also used in the attack, including on Erbil Airport. The Fateh-313 is an upgraded Fateh-110, with an increased missile range up to 500 km. Terminal guidance technologies are most likely to be combined, including inertial guidance systems (INS), GNSS systems and possibly electro-optical guidance.

هل تستغلّ كورونا لشنّ عدوان على محور المقاومة؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

تتزايد موجات التهويل بشنّ حرب على مكوّنات محور المقاومة بشكل متوازٍ مع انشغال العالم بالمواجهة القاسية مع الوباء الذي يجتاحه ويصيب مئات الآلاف ويقتل عشرات الآلاف من البشر في معظم أنحاء المعمورة عامة، وفي العالم المصنّف بأنه العالم الأوّل من حيث التقدّم والحضارة خاصة أميركا وأوروبا الغربية.

فمن مسرّب لقول بأنّ أميركا تتحضّر لشنّ حرب صاعقة مدمّرة في العراق تحقق لها العودة لاحتلاله بصيغة مطوّرة تختلف عن صيغة الاحتلال الأولى، إلى قول بأنّ الحرب الفعلية ستكون أميركية «إسرائيلية» ضدّ إيران المنشغلة بمواجهة الحرب على كورونا في ظلّ تشديد التدابير الوحشية التي تتخذها أميركا ضدّها تحت مسمّى العقوبات، إلى رأي يروّج لفرضية أقدام «إسرائيل» على استغلال فرصة انشغال حزب الله ولبنان بمواجهة كورونا وللقيام بحرب خاطفة ضدّه تحقق لها ما فشلت في تحقيقه من أهداف منذ 20 عاماً، إلى رأي أخير يتضمّن القول إنّ «إسرائيل» ستجد في غزة الحلقة الضعيفة التي تغريها بالعدوان عليها وتسجيل نقاط قوّة وردع تحتاج اليها في ظلّ أزمتها الداخلية. فهل هذه الفرضيات قابلة للتنفيذ؟ وهل الحرب بذاتها فرضية محتملة في ظلّ هذه الظروف؟

قبل مناقشة تلك الفرضيات لا بدّ من التذكير بشروط يفترض تحققها للقيام بأيّ هجوم من طرف ضدّ آخر وفي طليعة هذه الشروط وجوب امتلاك المهاجم القدرة على تحقيق الإنجاز العسكري المحدّد هدفاً لهجومه (نقول القدرة وليس القوّة، لأن المعوّل عليه هنا هو القدرة أيّ تناسب القوة المتوفرة مع الهدف المحدّد ما يعني أخذ قوة العدو الدفاعية بعين الاعتبار عندما نقيّم القدرة)؛ أما الشرط الثاني فيتمثل بقدرة المهاجم على حسم الحرب ووقفها في التوقيت الذي يريد، ما يعني وجوب امتلاكه القدرة على اقتياد الخصم إلى الانهيار الإدراكي او الميداني الذي يجبره على أن يتوقف عن القتال بمجرد ان يعلن المهاجم انتهاء عملياته العسكرية، أما الثالث فهو امتلاك المهاجم المناعة الدفاعية الكافية التي يحتاجها لاحتواء ردة فعل العدو ومنع الأخير من إنزال أضرار به لا يقوى على تحمّلها، أما الأخير فيتصل بالبيئة الدولية الإقليمية والعامة التي تتيح للمهاجم أن يستثمر نتائج انتصاره وان يصرف إنجازه الميداني (إذا تحقق) في السياسة. فهل هذه الشروط متحققة في الواقع القائم؟

بداية لا ننكر أبداً بأنّ الجهات الأربع (إيران العراق لبنان غزة) المحتمل استهدافها بعدوان تقوم به أميركا و»إسرائيل» مجتمعتين او منفردتين، أنّ هذه الجهات مشغولة وبمستويات متفاوتة بمواجهة جائحة كورونا، ولكن يجب ان نذكّر أيضاً بأنّ أميركا و»إسرائيل» تترنحان تحت ضربات هذا الفيروس، وبالتالي انّ القول بالانشغال يشمل الجميع فعلياً، وتتقدّم أميركا و»إسرائيل» الجمع المحتمل استهدافه بدرجة الانشغال، حيث انّ في أميركا وحدها ربع الإصابات التي حلّت بكلّ العالم (330 ألف من أصل مليون و300 ألف في العالم). وانّ كورونا اقتحم جيوش أميركا و»إسرائيل» وأثر في الجهوزية القتالية والمستوى المعنوي فيهما بشكل بالغ السلبيّة.

ومن جهة أخرى، فإنّ هذه الجائحة فضحت أميركا وأظهرت هشاشة الوضع الداخلي فيها وهشاشة التماسك الوطني بين ولاياتها وهشاشة الروابط التحالفية خاصة مع أوروبا فضلاً عن كشفها المستوى اللاأخلاقي في التعامل مع الإنسان عامة ومع حلفائها خاصة، حيث إنّ كورونا أظهر انّ هذه التي تسمّى الولايات المتحدة الأميركية او التي تريد أن تحكم العالم وتسيطر على مقدّراته هي كيان واهن في الوضع الداخلي وعلى المستوى التحالفي والوطني والصحي والأخلاقي وانّ الهيبة التي أرادت أميركا ان تحكم العالم بها هي هيبة مصطنعة كاذبة وقد سقطت فعلياً، ولم يكن سقوطها في قاعدة عين الأسد في العراق إلا البداية التي جاءت كورونا لتعززها. وبالتالي نقول إنّ كياناً واهناً أمام وباء نجح الآخرون في مواجهته حيث عجزت أميركا وتسرّب إلى جيشها وأنهك شعبها، انّ كياناً هذه حاله ليس هو الكيان الممتلك قدرة الذهاب إلى حرب. وما نقوله عن أميركا ينسحب على «إسرائيل» وإنْ كان من أبواب أخرى ومستويات مختلفة.

وعلى جبهة الأطراف المستهدفين بالعدوان المبحوث فيه، نجد انّ كورونا لم تشغلهم إلى حدّ يصرفهم عن إدارة حرب دفاعية ناجحة خاصة انّ القوى المخصّصة لمواجهة العدوان ليست هي نفسها المنوط بها الاتقاء من الفيروس، وان كانت القيادة قد تخصّص جزءاً من وقتها لهذه المهمة الطارئة، لكن ذلك لا يعيق عملها الرئيسي في المهمة الدفاعية، ما يعني انّ المراهنة على الانشغال بمواجهة كورونا وعلى أهميته هو رهان في غير محله.

ونعود إلى الشروط المتقدّم ذكرها ولنتوقف فيها خاصة عند أمرين الأول ردة فعل المعتدى عليه، والثاني قدراته على الاستمرار في الميدان. وهنا لن نصرف كثير وقت في النقاش حول الموضوع بعد أن بات من المسلم به انّ «إسرائيل» عجزت عن تأمين الدفاع المتين على الجبهة الداخلية وفشلت في الوصول إلى حالة «شعب يعمل تحت النار»، ما يعني انّ الحرب إذا وقعت فستضعها بين حصارين حصار نار المقاومة التي ستطال كلّ هدف في فلسطين المحتلة صغيراً كان أم كبيراً، وحصار فيروس كورونا الذي اقتحم أيضاً الجيش الإسرائيلي ويبدو أنه طال القيادة في المستويين العسكري والسياسي.

أما أميركا التي لها في منطقة الشرق الأوسط ما يناهز السبعين ألف عسكري منتشرين في 54 قاعدة عسكرية برية أساسية (يُضاف اليها القواعد الظرفية الصغيرة وهي كثيرة وعددها متحرّك) وأكثر من 60 قطعة بحرية موزعة على 3 أساطيل، فإنها باتت تعلم بعد صفعة عين الأسد أنها لا تستطيع أن تطمئن إلى الدفاع عن وجودها هذا بشكل محكم وآمن يحقق الطمأنينة، وأنّ 4 منصات باتريوت نشرت حديثاً في العراق لن تقدّم ولن تؤخّر. ويبقى ان نشير إلى الأمر الثاني لنؤكد قطعاً بانّ أيّاً من أميركا و»إسرائيل» لن تستطيعا حسم الحرب ووقفها في التوقيت الملائم لهما، وهنا تكون الكارثة التي يكفي فيها أن ينظر إلى حالة أفغانستان او اليمن ليُعرَف نموذج مصغر لها.

يقودنا هذا إلى القول إلى أنّ التهويل بالحرب من قبل أميركا و»إسرائيل» هو عمل إعلامي نفسي يدخل في إطار الحرب النفسية غير القابلة للتحوّل إلى حرب في الميدان العسكري، وانّ كلاً من «إسرائيل» وأميركا بحاجة لهذا التهويل بالحرب للضغط في السياسة او لحجب عيوب الأشغال عن أزمات وإخفاقات او لتغطية انسحاب وانزياح او لصيانة قدرات ردعية تآكلت او استعادة لهيبة تهشمت في الآونة الأخيرة، ثم جاء فيروس كورونا ليكشف مقدار الوهن لدى أميركا التي انقلب رئيسها إلى ممثل يثير السخرية في معرض إدارته للحرب على هذا الوباء.

وعليه نقول في زمن سقطت فيه الأقنعة وكشفت فيه الحقائق وتآكلت فيه الهيبة التي تبيّن أنها ليست واقعية، في زمن يستعدّ فيه العالم للدخول في نظام ما بعد كورونا، زمن تعاد فيه صياغة التحالفات ورسم الخرائط الاستراتيجية الجديدة تسقط فيه أحلاف وتقوم أخرى، يكون انتحارياً من يقدم على حرب لا يضمن حسمها لصالحه وفوزه فيها بدون أيّ شك، وانّ أيّاً من أميركا او «إسرائيل» ليستا في هذا الوضع وليستا على هذه القدرة، ما يجعلنا نستبعد بشكل شبه قاطع الحرب التي تهوّل بها أميركا و»إسرائيل» لإنزال ضربة قاصمة بمحور المقاومة، أما إنْ حصلت المجازفة وارتكب الخطأ الاستراتيجي وكانت الحماقة هي المسيّرة لذوي الشأن واتخذ القرار الانتحاري فإنها ستكون حرب تحرير «الشرق الأوسط» من الوجود الأجنبي الاستعماري، وهذا ما يجب أن لا يثنسى من مواقف قادة المقاومة ومحورها تلك المواقف التي أطلقت على ألسنة أولئك القادة من إيران الى العراق ولبنان وغزة واليمن…

*أستاذ جامعي وخبير استراتيجي.

The War Scenario Between Israel and Hezbollah

Elijah J. Magnier
Notwithstanding the increase in power of the “Axis of the Resistance”, with its precision missiles and unrivalled accumulated warfare experience, the possibility of war is still on the table. The “Axis of the Resistance” is increasing its readiness based on the possibility that Israel may not tolerate the presence of such a serious threat on its northern borders and therefore act to remove it. However, in any future war, the “Axis of the Resistance” considers the consequences would be overwhelmingly devastating for both sides and on all levels if the rules of engagement are not respected. Notwithstanding Israel’s superior air firepower, its enemy Hezbollah has established its own tremendous firepower, and its experience in recent wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen is an important asset.

Sources within the “Axis of the Resistance” believe the next battle between Hezbollah and Israel, if ever it takes place, would be “controlled and not sporadic, with a focus on specific military objectives without damaging the infrastructure, on both sides”.

The sources consider Gaza as a precedent. In Gaza Palestinians and Israelis have fought many recent battles that lasted only a few days in which the objectives bombed were purely military. This is a new rule of engagement (ROE) regulating conflict between the belligerents. When Israel hits a non-military target, the Palestinian resistance responds by hitting a similar non-military target in Israel. The lesson extracted from the new ROE between Israel and the Palestinians is that every time exchanges of bombing go out of control, both sides understand they have to bring it back to an acceptable and equitable level, to limit damage and keep such mutual attacks from targeting civilians.

The “Axis of the Resistance” therefore considers that the probability is high that the next battle would be limited to military objectives and kept under control. If one side increases the bombing, the other will follow. Otherwise, both sides have the capability to cause total destruction and go on to uncontrolled bombing. In the case of an out-of-control war, allies on both sides would become involved, which renders this scenario less likely.

Hezbollah in Lebanon is said to have over 150,000 missiles and rockets. Israel might suppose that a limited attack could destroy tens of thousands of Hezbollah’s missiles. Is it worth it? “From Israel’s view, Israel may think it is worth triggering a battle and destroying thousands of missiles, thinking that Israel has the possibility to prevent Hezbollah from re-arming itself. But even in this case, Israel doesn’t need to destroy villages or cities or the Lebanese infrastructure, instead, it will limit itself to selective targets within its bank of objectives. However, we strongly doubt Israel could succeed in limiting Hezbollah’s supply of missiles and advanced weapons. Many of these missiles no longer need to be close to the borders with Israel, but can be deployed on the Lebanese-Syrian borders in safe silos”, said the sources.

However, Israel should also expect, according to the same sources, that Hezbollah will respond by bombing significant Israeli military targets within its bank of objectives. “There is no need to bomb airports, power stations, chemical industries, harbours or any highly significant target if Israel doesn’t bomb any of these in Lebanon. But if necessary Hezbollah is prepared to imitate Israel by hitting back without hesitation indiscriminately and against high-value targets, at the cost of raising the level of confrontation to its maximum level. Hezbollah and Israel have a common language in warfare. If the bombing is limited, no side interprets the others’ actions as a sign of weakness”, said the sources.

“Hezbollah doesn’t want war and is doing everything to avoid it. This is why it responded in Moawad, in the suburb of Beirut, when Israeli armed drones failed to reach their objectives. By responding, Hezbollah actually prevented a war on a large scale because it is not possible to allow Israel to get away with any act of war in Lebanon, violating the ROE” said the sources.

Last September, Hezbollah targeted an Israeli vehicle in Avivim with a laser-guided missile in daylight after forcing the Israeli Army to hide for a week and retreat all forces behind civilians lines, imposing a new ROE. The Israeli army cleared the 120 km borders with Lebanon (5 km deep) to avoid Hezbollah’s revenge retaliation for violating the 2006 cessation of hostility’s agreement. Israel refrained from responding and swallowed the humiliation due to its awareness of Hezbollah’s readiness to start a devastating war if necessary.

Israeli officials used to threaten Hezbollah and Lebanon to take the country “back to the stone age”. This is indeed within the reach of Israel’s military capability. However, it is also within Hezbollah’s reach to bring Israel back to the stone age, if required. Hezbollah’s precision missiles can hit any bridge, airport, gasoline deposit containers, power stations, Haifa harbour, oil and gas rig platforms, any infrastructure and military and non-military objectives if Israel attempts to target similar objectives in Lebanon first. Hezbollah’s new missile capability is not new to Israel, who is observing the latest technology Iran’s allies are enjoying and “testing,” mainly in Yemen. The recent bombing of Saudi Arabia oil facilities and the downing of a Saudi Tornado in Yemen revealed that Iran’s HOT missiles are capable of downing jets at medium height and any helicopter violating Lebanese airspace.

Hezbollah’s latest version of the Fateh precision missile, the supersonic anti-ship missiles and the anti-air missiles can prevent Israel from using its navy, stopping any civilian ship from docking in Haifa, thwarting the use of Israeli Helicopters and precision bombing attacks- as in Iran’s latest confrontation with the US at Ayn al-Assad base in Iraq.

Hezbollah’s missiles are unlikely to cause simple traumatic brain injuries – as per the Iranian missile at Ayn al Assad – when hitting targets in Israel in case of war. They can avoid missile interception systems. This increase of capability is a game-changer, and Hezbollah believes it is already decreasing the chances of war. Arming itself with precision missiles and armed drones and showing these capabilities to Israel is Hezbollah’s way to avert a war and protect the equation of deterrence.

In its 2020 security assessment, the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman) unwisely evaluated the assassination of the Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani as a “restraining factor”. Aman’s report, showing astonishing ignorance, stated that Soleimani was responsible for Hezbollah’s missile projects. This lack of understanding of the Hezbollah-Iran relationship and dynamic is quite surprising. Sayyed Ali Khamenei told Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah decades ago that he knows what he needs and what to do and doesn’t need to fall back on Iran. The IRGC and Hezbollah have set up a collaboration engine that won’t stop even if half of the IRGC leadership is killed. The possession of the feared Iranian precision missiles is no longer a secret: all Iran’s allies have these deployed, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Yesterday is unlike today: the power of destruction now belongs to all parties, no longer to Israel alone. War is no longer an option. US/Israeli aggression will be limited to an economic war, so long as the “Axis of the Resistance” continues updating its warfare capability to maintain deterrence parity.

Proofread by: Maurice Brasher and C.G.B.

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Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com  2020

US Designates Leader of Kataib Hezbollah Militia as Global Terrorist

Washington is intensifying pressure on the group, which, according to the US State Department, is linked to the killing of an American military contractor in Iraq in December.

The United States has designated the leader of Kataib Hezbollah, Secretary-General Ahmad Al-Hamidawias, as a “specially designated global terrorist or SDGT” and is targeting him in a new action, the US State of Department said on Wednesday.

“The Kataib Hezbollah group continues to present a threat to US forces in Iraq”, US Counterterrorism Coordinator Ambassador Nathan Sales said.

A 27 December 2019 rocket attack on the K-1 airbase in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, killed a US civilian military contractor and injured four US soldiers and two Iraqi security officers, leading to an escalation of the already high tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Following the December 2019 attack, the US conducted a targeted airstrike near Baghdad International Airport on 3 January, killing Iran’s top military commander Qasem Soleimani, as well as several other high-ranking military officers. The US justified his killing claiming that Soleimani was responsible for plotting the attacks against US citizens and US interests in Iraq.

However, Iraq’s military and intelligence community believe Daesh*, and not Iran-affiliated Khaitab Hezbollah, was responsible for the 27 December attack. “All indications are that it was Daesh”, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Adnan, chief of intelligence for Iraqi Federal police at the K-1 base, told the New York Times newspaper.

Soleimani was a highly respected figure in Iran, praised for combatting militant and terrorist groups in the region, including Daesh, and considered an architect of the whole Iran’s security infrastructure. In retaliation, Tehran conducted missile strikes against two facilities in Iraq housing US military personnel. 64 US servicemembers were diagnosed with concussions and traumatic brain injuries as a result of those strikes.

*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia and many other states

IS IRAN ILL-ADVISED TO FINANCE ITS REGIONAL ALLIES WHILE UNDER SANCTIONS?

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier:@ejmalrai

Many Iranians question the benefits of arming and financing Iran’s many allies in the Middle East while Iran is suffering the harshest ever US “maximum pressure”. Iran’s allies are spread over Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Is Iranian support for these allies the main cause of the US’s aggressive attitude towards the Iranian people and their state, or there are other factors? What makes Iran finance these allies and strengthen them with the most advanced warfare equipment, and be ready to fight and die on their territory?

Since Iran’s “Islamic Revolution” prevailed in 1979 under the leadership of Imam Khomeini, the country has been heavily sanctioned, sanctions increasing with the advent of almost every new US President. In 1979, Iran had no allies but was surrounded by enemies.  Its regional neighbours joined western countries in supporting Saddam Hussein’s war (1980-1988) on the “Islamic Republic”. The US war on Iran has its origin in the fall of its proxy the Pahlavi Shah. It was disclosed how the CIA brought Pahlavi to power in an organised Coup d’état against the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohamad Musaddeq in 1953 in order to keep Iranian oil under US-UK control. Democracy has never been the real issue: western-provoked wars can be understood as motivated by self-interest and the quest for dominance. But attempts to overthrow regimes are always publicly justified by the West in the name of freedom and democracy.

In 1979, the US set a trap to drag the Soviets into invading Afghanistan by supporting the mujahedeen from whom al-Qaeda was born. This catastrophic result and similar destructive phenomena are habitually described as “unintended consequences” in order to rationalise the devastating costs of these savage interventions into other people’s lives and in world affairs. However, in 2001 the US fell back into exactly the same type of quagmire and invaded Afghanistan with tens of thousands of US troops. The US plan was to block the path of a possible return by Russia to Eurasia; to weaken the Russians and to encircle Iran with a chain of hostile elements; to bully all countries concerned into submission, particularly the oil-rich states, thus preventing any possible alliance with Russia and China. This is still the US objective in the Middle East. History has never been a good guide to powerful leaders and their administrations because they apparently consider themselves not subject to its lessons.

Iran found itself deprived of allies. With the consent of the Gulf states, notably Saudi Arabia, Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to remove and subdue the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) led by Yasser Arafat, who had rejected King Fahd’s peace initiative. However, the “unintended consequences” of the invasion and the occupation of the first Arab capital by Israel (Beirut) offered Iran an excellent opportunity to respond to the demands of a group of Lebanese asking for help to stand against the Israeli aggressor. Imam Khomeini replied to his Lebanese visitors (who described the horror and the killing committed by the Israeli war machine): “al-kheir fima waqaa”, meaning “What has happened is a blessing”. His visitors did not understand the meaning of Khomeini’s words until many years later. 

Iran found in the Lebanese Shia fertile ground to plant seeds for its ideology. The ground was already prepared in 1978. Lebanese Islamist followers of Sayyed Mohamad Baqer al-Sadr were already receiving training in various Palestinian camps, including the Zabadani training boot camp (Syria), and had embraced the Palestinian cause. When Imam Khomeini took power in Iran, Sayyed Mohammad Baqer al-Sadr asked his followers in Iraq and Lebanon to declare loyalty to Imam Khomeini and “melt into him as he has melted into Islam” (which means “adopt Imam Khomeini as your Imam and Marja’ al-Taqleed”). Iran established great ideological compatibility with the Lebanese Shia, who had historically been considered second-class citizens in Lebanon. Their territories in the south of Lebanon were considered disposable and were put on offer to Israel by Lebanese leaders (Maronite President Emile Eddé suggested to detach South of Lebanon and offer it to Israel to reduce the number of Muslim Shia) , elites and governments.

The Iranian constitution (articles 2 and 3) stipulates that the Iranian government will support any group or country suffering from an oppressor. Its outlook fit perfectly with the oppressed Lebanese Shia. 

The Iranian IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) travelled to Lebanon and shipped their weapons via Syria to strengthen the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, known later as Hezbollah, and defend their country from the occupier. It was, therefore, necessary to establish a strategic relationship with the Syrian President because most shipments arrived via Syria. 

The Iranian-Syrian relationship went through various ups and downs. It had reached its high point in the last years of President Hafez al-Assad’s rule when his son Bashar was responsible for the relationship with Lebanon and Hezbollah in particular. 

The destinies of Lebanon, Syria and Iran became linked. President Bashar al-Assad was struggling to keep his country out of the conflict when the US-occupied Iraq in 2003. The circle around Iran became tighter, and US forces occupied neighbouring Iraq. Even though getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a blessing for the Iranian regime, Saddam was so weak that he did not represent any real danger to Iran. The US embargo had weakened him, and he had no friends in the Gulf countries after his invasion of Kuwait and his bombing of Saudi Arabia.

The US prevented Iran from moving forward to support the Iraqi resistance to overthrow Saddam Hussein, instead of establishing its own control over Baghdad. The next US objective was Syria and Lebanon. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned President Assad that he was next on the list of presidents to be taken down if he continued offering support to Hamas and Hezbollah. The US declared itself an occupying power, and the Iraqi right to defend their country was acknowledged by the United Nations resolutions. Assad, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, supported the insurgency against the US occupation forces in Iraq. The Saudis rejected Shia-dominated governance over Iraq. The Iranians were next on the US list. So, Iran chose to fight the US on Iraqi ground, which was much less costly than fighting on Iranian ground. Strengthening Iraqi allies was, therefore, an essential component of Iranian national security and an important line of defence. 

In 2006, the Bush administration pushed an unprepared Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to agree to destroy Hezbollah and was expecting the war to be expanded to Syria. This was an opportunity to conquer Syria and cut the supply of Iranian arms. The US and its allies were aiming to close the circle around Iran by eliminating its strong ally in Lebanon. Hezbollah was an impediment to the US-Israeli project of bringing all the Arabs to the negotiating table, eliminating the Palestinian cause and its defenders, and weakening Iran as a prelude to overthrowing its government.

When Israel bombed and invaded Lebanon in 2006 with the goal of defeating Hezbollah, President Assad opened his warehouses and offered dozens of game-changing anti-tank missiles and anything Hezbollah needed to fight back, regardless of Israeli air force superiority. Assad became an essential partner in the successful defeat of Israel in Lebanon. The fall of Hezbollah would have had devastating consequences for Syria and Iran. Joining the destinies and alliances of the Lebanese-Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian front was necessary for the survival of each.

In 2011, the world declared war on Syria. It took President Assad two years before he realised the plot was both regional and international, aiming to create chaos in the Levant and to produce a failed state dominated by jihadists. The same ideological jihadists first planted in Afghanistan were expanding and offered a perfect tool for the US to destroy Iran and its allies. The regional and world intelligence services infiltrated the jihadists, and well understood their strengths and weaknesses. They were well suited to fighting the Iranian ideology and Iran’s ally. Wahhabi jihadism was perfect cancer to destroy Iran on many fronts.

Jihadists were growing in Iraq and expanding in Syria under the eyes of the US, as US intelligence sources themselves revealed. The Levant was the perfect and most desirable ancient place for jihadists to mushroom and expand. This was when President Assad asked his allies for support. Iran’s IRGC forces came to Damascus and the journey to liberate Syria started. Syria, like Iraq, offered a vital defence line to Iran. It was another platform to fight – on non-Iranian soil – an enemy that was about to migrate to Iran (had Syrian been defeated). An opportunity that Iran could not miss because of Syria’s strategic importance.

It took Russia until September 2015 to wake up and intervene in the Middle Eastern arena, in Syria in particular. All these years, the US was planning to leave no place for Russia to create alliances, preparing to vanquish Iran and its allies, the “Axis of the Resistance” standing against US hegemony in the Middle East. All Gulf countries succumbed to US power, and today they are hosting the largest US military bases in the region. The US had deployed tens of thousands of troops to these bases and through them enjoyed superior firepower to any country in the world. Still, Iran and the Levant (Syria and Lebanon) remained impervious to the US attempt at complete dominance.

Without Iran’s allies, all US military efforts would have been concentrated on Iran alone. The US would have moved from sanctions to military attack with little fear of the dire consequences. Today, the US needs to consider the now unquestioned fact that if Iran is attacked, its allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq will open hell for the US and its allies in the Middle East. Forty years of Iranian support for its allies have created a wall of protection around it and a bond whereby the allies join their fate to that of Iran. There are no allies in the world any country could count on to sacrifice their men more readily and stand for a common ideological motivation and shared objectives.  Iran is not only investing in its partners, but it is also investing in its own security and well-being. Iran is prepared to offer the same sacrifices provided by its allies to support them when needed. 

Many Lebanese and Iraqis fought in the Iraq-Iran war. Thousands of Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese Hezbollah (and other allies) lost their lives in Syria protecting the well-being of the Syrian ally and preventing the country from falling into the jihadists’ hands.

Many Iranians and Lebanese were killed in Iraq to support the Iraqis against the terror of ISIS. Iranians and Lebanese Hezbollah are today in Yemen, supporting it against the Saudi-led genocidal massacres. Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah took the risk of supporting the Palestinians and their cause to free their land, to have their own state and the right to return home. No US allies anywhere in the world are ready to offer comparable solidarity to the US. Iran has created deep alliances whereas the US has failed to do so.

Iran openly attacked the US Ayn al-Assad military base following the unlawful assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani. No other country in the world has dared to attack the US face-to-face and inflict over a hundred casualties on US service members while continuing to challenge US hegemony. There was no need for Iran to ask its allies to act on its behalf. Iran and its partners on the battlefield are united against their enemies. The US wants Iran without missiles, without armed drones, and without access to intelligence warfare. These vital programs have proved crucial to protecting the country and preventing it from becoming vulnerable. If Iran did not have the allies it has today and the missiles it has manufactured, the US would already have retaliated without hesitation.

The war is far from over. Iran and its allies are still in the heart of the struggle, and the US and Israel are not sitting idly by. Solidarity between Iran and its allies is needed more than ever. The question of how much of its annual budget Iran is spending on its partners is less than relevant, though ordinary Iranians may complain and even challenge its benefits. The spirit of sacrifice that unites allies in mutual protection cannot be limited to monetary considerations. It is priceless.

Proofread by: Maurice Brasher and C.G.B

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Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com  2020

IRGC Aerospace Forces Commander’s debriefing about Iran’s strike against Al-Assad US Airbase

Date: 13 February 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSrTi0YY6XY

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:
The assassination of the martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani was one of the greatest strategic mistakes in the history of the United States. These strikes were only the beginning of considerable transformations and developments in the region and around the world.
The vengeance of the blood of the martyr Soleimani and our other dear martyrs lies in the triggering of a phase which had to be implemented (sooner or later). As the Supreme Leader Sayed Khamenei said, May God preserve him, ‘The revenge for the blood of the martyrs will drive the US forces out of the region.’ Our missile strikes against one of the most important American bases in the framework of our ‘Operation Martyr Soleimani’ were the start of a major operation that will continue throughout the whole region.
This operation was somewhat different from our previous operations targeting ISIS, which were unilateral operations in which we targeted the various terrorist groups without facing any response from the enemy. But in this strike against the United States, our perspective was different, and we were almost certain to be attacked. This is why all of our units were on high alert, ready to face the enemy, and at least ready for a limited war; and we had also prepared for a large-scale war. So all our units in the various divisions were ready to move on to the next operations in the event of an American response, namely to bomb all the American bases in Iraq and in the countries of the region.
For this operation against the al-Assad base, the choice of the target was very important for us, and in the early morning (following the day of the martyrdom), we were able to identify the bases which were involved in the terrorist operation which caused the martyrdom of the Commander of the al -Quds Forces of the IRGC.
These were the bases of al-Taji (located near Baghdad), Ayn Al-Assad (180 km from Baghdad), the martyr Mowaffaq base in Jordan, and the Ali Al-Salem base in Kuwait. All these bases participated in this joint terrorist operation which was carried out with the help of units located there.
The first option for us in this revenge was the al-Taji base, but a few hours before the operation, we changed the target and chose Ayn al-Assad.
The reason is that the Taji base was close to Baghdad and the Kadhimiya mausoleum, and that it is a common base for both Iraqi and American forces. In addition, we feared that missile attacks and explosions would disturb civilians. So we chose Ayn al-Assad, the largest American military base in Iraq and even in the entire region.
The targets we chose were aimed at hitting the American war machine, the American Command Control Center, American planes, American helicopters and a group of facilities that they used as ammunition depots or for support and maintenance, which was considered the first strike of the operation.
But we were ready to continue the operation, depending on the reaction of the enemy. Without reaction from the US, our attack would have been limited to Iraq and the targeted US bases in Iraq. But in the event of an American response, these operations would have been extended to include American bases in other countries in the region.
The al-Assad base, which has been targeted by Revolutionary Guard missiles, is the largest US base in Iraq, and the most distant from Iran.
We used missiles with a range of 500 km for Operation Martyr Soleimani; during the attack, we used Fateh-313 missiles and long-range missiles such as the Intifada missile with a range of 700 km.
The affected facilities and equipment, such as helicopters and the helicopter maintenance unit, were completely destroyed. The operation was not intended to kill soldiers, and that is why we did not target the barracks and did not seek to deliver a fatal blow. We targeted American military vehicles and destroyed the Command Control Center, its assets and key facilities.
Their Command Center has been destroyed and there are certainly many casualties.
Our main objective was to instill insecurity and terror in their hearts, but if they persist (to occupy our region), other places will be targeted.
It was one of the most strategic American bases in Iraq, six kilometers wide by eight kilometers in length, and the current President visited it recently because it was well-equipped and safe.
Despite their so-called missile shield systems, all of our missiles were fired (and hit their target), and no antimissile missiles were fired at our missiles.
Yes, it is interesting to note that the Americans did not fire a single shot on our missiles which hit all of their targets with precision.
Although they had a large number of planes and defensive equipment around the base of Ain al-Assad, they could not confront us.
The President said that everything is fine and that there are no losses, while the United States did not allow journalists to film the base and assess the damage. The Pentagon said it was assessing the losses.

All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.

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It was a slap from Iran in the face of the United States, in a preliminary response to their crime. Resistance movements in the region must take additional punitive measures.
The balance of losses is unknown. We are very pessimistic towards the enemy, and if they make the slightest mistake, our response will certainly not be as modest as this strike; on the contrary, our response will certainly be decisive.
It was a major operation, disarming one of its largest military bases, and there obviously were some fatalities. The operation is modest compared to the (value of the) blood of the martyr Soleimani and the other martyrs, and the price of this martyrdom will be the expulsion of the United States from the region. But militarily, it was a very large and very complex operation.
The Americans were not ready to respond to the attack, as their statements reveal. They strove to overcome this crisis without losing face. Beforehand, they had threatened us and said they would destroy 52 major Iranian targets in the event of an Iranian retaliatory strike to the killing of martyr Soleimani, but they dared not do anything.


….hundreds of Iranian protesters. He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have…..
….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!

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Since the Second World War, there has been no open attack by a State against the Americans or their interests. No formal military action has been taken against the United States since the Second World War. We have clearly demonstrated that those days are over, and that the decision to strike directly at the United States had been taken unanimously within the country and forces of the Resistance Axis. Thank God the operation was carried out with great care and success. Supreme Revolution Leader Sayed Khamenei also said that if they bombed any target, we would hit ten targets in retaliation. And this round ended like this (because the United States chickened out).
The Islamic Republic of Iran, the United States and the region are entering a new phase. We must be convinced that the future will see major upheavals that no one can ignore. In my opinion, the very will to carry out this operation was more important than the operation itself.
Five minutes after the operation, we launched a major electronic war, hacking American drones flying over the area. We chased them and cut the video and communications links, and it was a big blow for them because they were a great many.
We fired four missiles at other American bases in Iraq, but we were ready to launch several hundred missiles within an hour or two. We thought this conflict could last two to three days to a week (if it did not spread to an all-out war) if the two sides exercised restraint, and that is why we also prepared our special missiles.
We did not seek to kill anyone in the operation, but dozens were killed and others were injured, some of whom were evacuated from Iraq by planes. If we had wanted to kill American soldiers, we would have designed the operation differently. We could have killed at least 500 soldiers in the first salvo, and if they had fired back, we would have changed our strategy and no longer felt any obligation to spare the lives of American forces, and in the second and third salvo, more than 5,000 people would have been killed in two hours.
When asked why the Americans did not launch a war against Iran, the Commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Forces replied:
They conduct their politics through propaganda, intimidation and media operations. They will definitely win against disarming countries, but they cannot win against a country like Iran. Because the Islamic Republic of Iran is a big & strong country.
If the Americans are to achieve any goals of theirs in Iran, given Iran’s vast territory, they will need to strike thousands of points, including military bases, and oil and economic facilities. Iran for its part has only to focus on specific areas to target, namely a handful of American bases that can be likened to prisons in the sense that the American forces are gathered there (and cannot flee anywhere). The largest of them was Ayn al-Assad, with an area of ​​50 square kilometers, so their military and human positions (in our sights) are very clear, and we can destroy them with a limited number of missiles and offensive capabilities.
The Americans had created security for themselves by intimidating others, but that security has disappeared. Today, the security and the spirit (of impunity and conquest) of the US army have disappeared.
The American people waste their lives and spend all their money so that American officials devote part of it to electoral campaigns and another to support the Zionist entity, which means that the Zionists live from the pockets of the American people. But they should know that these expenses have so far been unprofitable. It is in their interest to leave the region at the lowest possible cost. They must leave voluntarily from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arab countries. What I know about the Resistance and the forces that are forming and regrouping in the region is that if the Americans don’t leave the region by themselves, they will suffer major losses (that will force them out).
The United States has defined the Arab Gulf States as vital points for them. I invite the countries of the region to follow the example of the decision of the Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi people to order the United States to withdraw from their country. Similarly, the Kuwaitis, the Qataris, Oman, the Afghans and the United Arab Emirates must decide to expel the United States; because if they don’t, the Resistance movements will take the decision and the Americans will have to leave the region (by force).
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