IOF’s Eisenkot: Lebanon Protest “Opportunity to Save Lebanon from Hezbollah”

Former Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot

December 10, 2019

Former Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot described the protests in Lebanon as an “opportunity to set the country free from Hezbollah.”

At a conference at the National Security Studies Institute on Monday, the former IOF Chief said that people in Lebanon “took to streets and clashed with Hezbollah members.”

“This is an opportunity for Western countries to return Lebanon to Lebanon and to save it from (IRGC’s) Al-Quds Forces and Hezbollah. ”

“I have no doubt that the IDF’s ability has improved dramatically over the years and great efforts must still be made to deter war and to dismantle Hezbollah,” he said, as reported by Maariv, referring to IOF.

Meanwhile, Eizenkotvoiced concern over Iran’s capabilities concerning the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), noting that “what happened in the Saudi oil fields should plague us and our neighboring countries,” referring to drone attack by Yemeni forces on Saudi oil fields last Sepember, which the Zionist entity accuses Iran of being behind it.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and Israeli media

Related News

Western media excited about ‘new Iran revolution’, but polls tell a different story about protests

Sharmine Narwani

Sharmine Narwani is a commentator and analyst of Middle East geopolitics. She is a former senior associate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and has a master’s degree in International Relations from Columbia University. Sharmine has written commentary for a wide array of publications, including Al Akhbar English, the New York Times, the Guardian, Asia Times Online, Salon.com, USA Today, the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera English, BRICS Post and others. You can follow her on Twitter at @snarwani

Western media excited about ‘new Iran revolution’, but polls tell a different story about protests

Reuters/WANA/Nazanin Tabatabaee

Data from two foreign polls tell a very different story about protests in Iran. The economy is tough, but a majority of Iranians back their government’s security initiatives and reject domestic upheaval.

On November 15, angry Iranians began pouring onto the streets to protest sudden news of a 50% fuel price hike. A day later, peaceful demonstrations had largely dissipatd, replaced instead by much smaller crowds of rioters who burned banks, gas stations, buses and other public and private property. Within no time, security forces hit the streets to snuff out the violence and arrest rioters, during which an unconfirmed number of people on both sides died.

Western commentators tried in vain to squeeze some juice out of the short-lived protests. “Iranian protesters strike at the heart of the regime’s legitimacy,” declared Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution. France 24 asked the question, is this “a new Iranian revolution?” And the LA Times slammed Iran’s “brutal crackdown” against its people.

They grasped for a geopolitical angle too: protests in neighboring Lebanon and Iraq that were based almost entirely on popular domestic discontent against corrupt and negligent governments, began to be cast as a regional insurrection against Iranian influence.

ALSO ON RT.COMIran has quashed ‘extensive & very dangerous conspiracy’ perpetrated by foreign enemies, Khamenei saysAnd despite the fact that the internet in Iran was disabled for nearly a week, unverified videos and reports curiously made their way outside to Twitter accounts of Iran critics, alleging that protestors were calling for the death of the Supreme Leader, railing against Iran’s interventions in the region and calling for a fall of the “regime.

Clearly, the initial protests were genuine – a fact that even the Iranian government admitted immediately. Reducing petrol subsidies on the cheapest fuel in the region has been an issue on Iran’s political agenda for years, one that became more urgent after the US exited the Iran nuclear deal last year and began to tighten the sanctions screws on Iran again.

To try and understand Iranian reactions in the past twelve days, let’s look at two opinion polls conducted jointly by the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and Toronto-based IranPolls in the immediate aftermath of the 2017/2018 protests/riots – and in May, August and October 2019, when the US “maximum pressure” campaign was in full gear.

What leaps out immediately from the earlier 2018 poll is that Iranians were frustrated with a stagnant economy – and 86% of them specifically opposed a hike in the price of gasoline, the main impetus for protests this November.

Ironically, this month’s gasoline price hike was meant to generate upward of $2.25 billion earmarked for distribution to Iran’s 18 million most hard-hit families. In effect, the government was softening the fuel subsidy reduction with payouts to the country’s neediest citizens.

The 2018 poll also lists respondents’ single biggest woes, ranging from unemployment (40%), inflation and high cost of living (13%), low incomes (7%),financial corruption and embezzlement (6%), injustice (1.4%), lack of civil liberties (0.3%), among others.

These numbers suggest the 2018 protests were overwhelmingly in response to domestic economic conditions– and not over Iran’s foreign policy initiatives or “widespread repression” that was heavily promoted by western media and politicians at the time.

The same Suzanne Maloney quoted above on this month’s protests, insisted in a 2018 Washington Post article:“The people aren’t just demonstrating for better working conditions or pay, but insisting on wholesale rejection of the system itself.”

In fact, in the 2018 poll, only 16% of Iranians agreed with the statement “Iran’s political system needs to undergo fundamental change,” with a whopping 77% disagreeing.

ALSO ON RT.COMIranian protesters should be angry at the regime in Washington, not Tehran

 

Like protests this month in Iran, the 2017-18 demonstrations also morphed into small but violent riots, and Iranian security forces hit the streets to stop the chaos. But in the aftermath of those events – and despite endless foreign headlines about the “brutality” of the security reaction – Iranians overwhelmingly sided with their government’s treatment of rioters.

Sixty-three percent of those polled in 2018 said the police used an appropriate amount of force, and another 11% said they used “too little force.” Overall, 85% of Iranians agreed that “the government should be more forceful to stop rioters who use violence or damage property.”

This Iranian reaction must be understood in context of Iran’s very insecure neighborhood, region-wide terrorism often backed by hostile states and a relentless escalation against Iranian interests after Donald Trump became US president. His “maximum pressure” campaign has only worsened matters, and Iranians consider themselves in a state of war with the United States – on constant guard against subversion, sabotage, espionage, eavesdropping, propaganda, border infiltration, etc.

Earlier this decade, the US military declared the internet an “operational domain”of war, and cyber warfare has already been widely acknowledged as the future battle frontier in conflicts. Iran was one of the early victims of this new warfare, when the suspected US/Israeli Stuxnet virus disrupted its nuclear program.

The US military has set up war rooms of servicemen dedicated to manipulating social media and advancing US propaganda interests. The British army has launched a “social media warfare” division, its initial focus, the Middle East. Israel has been at the online propaganda game forever, and the Saudis have recently invested heavily in influencing discourse on social media.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the Iranian government shut down the internet during this crisis. Expect this to become the new normal in US adversary states when chaos looms and foreign information operations are suspected.

The western media themes of corruption, violent repression, popular rejection of the Islamic Republic and its regional alliances have been consistent since the 2009 protests that followed contentious elections in Iran. They flared up briefly in early 2011, when western states were eager for an “Iranian Spring” to join the Arab Spring, and became popular narratives during 2017-18 protests when social media platforms adopted them widely.

This November, those narratives sprung to the surface again. So let’s examine what Iranians thought about these claims in October when CISSM/IranPolls published their latest, extremely timely survey.

Iran’s regional military activities

Sixty-one percent of Iranians support retaining military personnel in Syria to contain extremist militants that could threaten Iran’s security and interests. Polls taken since March 2016 confirm the consistency of this view inside Iran, with a steady two-thirds (66%) of respondents supporting an increase in Iran’s regional role.

Asked what would happen if Iran conceded to US demands and ended the US-sanctioned Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) activities in Syria and Iraq, 60% of Iranians thought it would make Washington demand more concessions – only 11% thought it would make the US more accommodating.

Moreover, the October 2019 report says negative attitudes toward the United States have never been higher in CISSM/IranPoll’s 13 years of conducting these surveys in Iran. A hefty 86% of Iranians do not favor the US, and those who say their view of the US is very unfavorable has skyrocketed from 52% in 2015 to 73% today.

They could care less that Washington has sanctioned the IRGC and its elite Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who is the most popular national figure of those polled, with eight in ten Iranians viewing him favorably. If anything, a hefty 81% of Iranians said the IRGC’s Mideast activities has made Iran “more secure.

As for the IRGC’s role in Iran’s domestic economy – a favorite subject of western foes who cast the military group as a malign and corrupt instrument of the state – today 63% of Iranians believe the IRGC should be involved “in construction projects and other economic matters,” as well as continuing their security role. In times of crisis, they’re viewed as a vital institution: the IRGC and Iranian military scored top points with the public (89% and 90% respectively) for assisting the population during crippling floods last Spring, which displaced half a million Iranians.

Economy and corruption

Seventy percent of Iranians view their economy as “bad” today, a figure that has stayed surprisingly consistent over the past 18 months, despite the imposition of US sanctions last year. The majority blame domestic mismanagement and corruption for their economic woes, but a rising number also blame US sanctions, which is possibly why 70% of Iranians prefer aiming for national self-sufficiency over increasing foreign trade.

Asked about the “impact (of sanctions) on the lives of ordinary people,” 83% of Iranians agreed there was a negative impact on their lives. Oddly, since the US exited the JCPOA, economic pessimism has dropped from 64% in 2018 to 54% last month-mainly, the poll argues, because Iranians feel the US can’t realistically pressure Iran much further with sanctions. Accordingly, 55% of Iranians blame domestic economic mismanagement and corruption for Iran’s poor economy versus 38% who blame foreign sanctions and pressure.

The blame for much of this mismanagement and corruption is pinned on the administration of President Hassan Rouhani, whose favorability numbers dropped under 50% for the first time, to reach 42% this August. Fifty-four percent of Iranians think his government isn’t trying much to fight corruption.

In contrast, 73% believe the Iranian judiciary is much more engaged in fighting economic corruption, up 12% since May.

On the economic front, it appears that Iranians have largely been disappointed by the promises and vision of this administration, which could benefit its Principlist opponents in upcoming parliamentary elections. The fuel tax hike two weeks ago was a necessary evil and a brave move by Rouhani, despite the mismanagement of its public rollout. Unfortunately, Iranians, who have railed against subsidy removals for years, are unlikely to be forgiving anytime soon.

On the political front, Iranians appear to be largely in lockstep with their government’s foreign policy and military initiatives, viewing the IRGC’s activities – domestic and regional – very favorably, and supporting Iran’s involvement in neighboring Iraq and Syria, both for security reasons against terrorism and because they believe in an active regional role for Iran. In terms of support for their leaders, a majority of Iranians view favorably the IRGC’s Soleimani (82%), followed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (67%) and Judiciary Head Ebrahim Raisi (64%), which covers an unexpectedly broad spectrum of political viewpoints in the country.

In light of these numbers, it is fair to say that there is no “second revolution” on Iran’s horizon, nor any kind of significant rupture between government and populace on a whole host of key political, economic and security issues. Foreign commentators can spin events in Iran all they want, but so far Iranians have chosen security and stability over upheaval every time.

*Poll numbers in this article have been rounded up or down to the nearest unit.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

What Really Happened in Iran? Wave of Protests in 100 Cities

A fuel tax hike set the country ablaze and triggered a social backlash

Global Research, December 09, 2019

On November 15, a wave of protests engulfed over 100 Iranian cities as the government resorted to an extremely unpopular measure: a fuel tax hike of as much as 300%, without a semblance of a PR campaign to explain the reasons.

Iranians, after all, have reflexively condemned subsidy removals for years now – especially related to cheap gasoline. If you are unemployed or underemployed in Iran, especially in big cities and towns, Plan A is always to pursue a second career as a taxi driver.

Protests started as overwhelmingly peaceful. But in some cases, especially in Tehran, Shiraz, Sirjan and Shahriar, a suburb of Tehran, they quickly degenerated into weaponized riots – complete with vandalizing public property, attacks on the police and torching of at least 700 bank outlets. Much like the confrontations in Hong Kong since June.

President Rouhani, aware of the social backlash, tactfully insisted that unarmed and innocent civilians arrested during the protests should be released. There are no conclusive figures, but Iranian diplomats admit, off the record, that as many as 7,000 people may have been arrested. Tehran’s judiciary system denies it.

According to Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, as many as 200,000 people took part in the protests nationwide. According to the Intelligence Ministry, 79 people were arrested in connection with the riots only in Khuzestan province – including three teams, supported by “a Persian Gulf state,” which supposedly coordinated attacks on government centers and security/police forces.

The Intelligence Ministry said it had arrested eight “CIA operatives,” accused of being instrumental in inciting the riots.

Now compare it with the official position by the IRGC. The chief commander of the IRGC, Major General Hossein Salami, stressed riots were conducted by “thugs” linked to the US-supported Mujahedin-e Khalq (MKO), which has less than zero support inside Iran, and with added interference by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Salami also framed the riots as directly linked to “psychological pressure” from the Trump administration’s relentless “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. He directly connected the protests degenerating into riots in Iran with foreign interference in protests in Lebanon and Iraq.

Elijah Magnier has shown how Moqtada al-Sadr denied responsibility for the burning down of the Iranian consulate in Najaf – which was set on fire three times in November during protests in southern Iraq.

Tehran, via government spokesman Ali Rabiei, is adamant:

“According to our information, the attack on the consulate was not perpetrated by the Iraqi people, it was an organized attack.”

Predictably, the American narrative framed Lebanon and Iraq – where protests were overwhelmingly against local government corruption and incompetence, high unemployment, and abysmal living standards – as a region-wide insurgency against Iranian power.

Soleimani for President?

Analyst Sharmine Narwani, based on the latest serious polls in Iran, completely debunked the American narrative.

It’s a complex picture. Fifty-five percent of Iranians do blame government corruption and mismanagement for the dire state of the economy, while 38% blame the illegal US sanctions. At the same time, 70% of Iranians favor national self-sufficiency – which is what Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has been emphasizing – instead of more foreign trade.

On sanctions, no less than 83% agree they exerted a serious impact on their lives. Mostly because of sanctions, according to World Bank figures, Iranian GDP per capita has shrunk to roughly $6,000.

The bad news for the Rouhani administration is that 58% of Iranians blame his team for corruption and mismanagement – and they are essentially correct. Team Rouhani’s promises of a better life after the JCPOA obviously did not materialize. In the short term, the political winners are bound to be the principlists – which insist there’s no possible entente cordiale with Washington at any level.

The polls also reveal, significantly, massive popular support for Tehran’s foreign and military policy – especially on Syria and Iraq. The most popular leaders in Iran are legendary Quds Force commander Gen. Soleimani (a whopping 82%), followed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (67%) and the head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi (64%).

The key takeaway is that at least half and on some issues two-thirds of Iran’s popular opinion essentially support the government in Tehran – not as much economically but certainly in political terms. As Narwani summarizes it, “so far Iranians have chosen security and stability over upheaval every time.”

‘Counter-pressure’

What’s certain is that Tehran won’t deviate from a strategy that may be defined as  “maximum counter-pressure” – on multiple fronts. Iranian banks have been cut off from SWIFT by the US since 2018. So efforts are intensifying to link Iran’s SEPAM system with the Russian SPFS and the Chinese CIPS – alternative interbank paying systems.

Tehran continues to sell oil – as Persian Gulf traders have repeatedly confirmed to me since last summer. Digital tracking agency Tankertrackers.com concurs. The top two destinations are China and Syria. Volumes hover around 700,000 barrels a day. Beijing has solemnly ignored every sanction threat from Washington regarding oil trading with Iran.

Khamenei, earlier this month, was adamant:

“The US policy of maximum pressure has failed. The Americans presumed that they can force Iran to make concessions and bring it to its knees by focusing on maximum pressure, especially in the area of economy, but they have troubled themselves.”

In fact “maximum counter-pressure” is reaching a whole new level.

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi confirmed that Iran will hold joint naval drills with Russia and China in the Indian Ocean in late December.

That came out of quite a significant meeting in Tehran, between Khanzadi and the deputy chief of the Chinese Joint Staff Department, Major General Shao Yuanming.

So welcome to Maritime Security Belt. In effect from December 27th. Smack on the Indian Ocean – the alleged privileged territory of Washington’s Indo-Pacific policy. And uniting the three key nodes of Eurasia integration: Russia, China and Iran.

Khanzadi said that, “strategic goals have been defined at the level administrations, and at the level of armed forces, issues have been defined in the form of joint efforts.” General Yuanming praised Iran’s Navy as “an international and strategic force.”

But geopolitically, this packs a way more significant game-changing punch. Russia may have conducted naval joint drills with Iran on the Caspian Sea. But a complex drill, including China, in the Indian Ocean, is a whole new ball game.

Yuanming put it in a way that every student of Mahan, Spykman and Brzezinski easily understands: “Seas, which are used as a platform for conducting global commerce, cannot be exclusively beneficial to certain powers.”  So start paying attention to Russia, China and Iran being quite active not only across the Heartland but also across the Rimland.

*

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This article was originally published on Asia Times.

Pepe Escobar is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from OneWorld

Hassan Al-Laqqis: The Man Who Flew Over Palestine

Hassan Al-Laqqis: The Man Who Flew Over Palestine

By Khadija Shokor

It has been five years since the martyrdom of Hajj Hassan al-Laqqis. One of the advantages of having him as a leader was that he was a dreamer, but he also sought “with all his heart” to make his dream come true. He did it. He is a happy martyr, in the immediate sense, having achieved his dream, himself. Along with a group of dreamers, they had to fly away.

The following text will shed light on some of this man’s accomplishments. He, like all the martyrs of the resistance, had (some) of his achievements revealed after his departure. It was his departure that revealed his identity. One of his close friends retells memories of his life. We, the living who have been blessed with the pride the resistance created, owe it to him to honor his memory.

12 men from the “Israeli” Mossad made up the group assigned to a mission in the southern suburbs of Beirut on December 4, 2013. The objective was the assassination of Hezbollah leader Hassan al-Laqqis, who had become an extraordinary threat to the enemy.

Two members of the group were tasked with the actual killing, while the remaining 10 were assigned the roles of implementation, transport and surveillance. The degree of danger that the man’s work posed to the enemy was illustrated by the great deal of risk it undertook by sending this type of group.

“I arrived home and they told me that Hajj Hassan had called me minutes earlier. When I was about to get back to him, his personal bodyguard called me to tell me that Hajj’s concierge informed him that someone had shot Hajj Hassan,” a friend of the martyr recalled with anguish.

Five years have passed but the scenes from that night are still enshrined in this friend’s mind.

“I arrived to find him leaning on the door of the car, smiling as blood flowed from his head. I approached and found the pistol in his other hand,” he said.

The 50-year-old man gets on memory lane and goes back to the beginning of his relationship with Hajj Hassan.

“He returned from Africa in 1978, and since then we have been friends,” he recalls.

This friend insists that excellence was Hajj Hassan’s quality from a young age.

“He was exceptional on all levels. He excelled in his studies. He was refined in his manners. He was constantly ambitious. I remember when we finished high school, Hassan learned that there was an institute offering computer courses in Gefinor.  He was quick to register although this field was not known at the time. Ever since he was little, he liked to know everything new in technology and development. So much so that he preferred to buy new technological magazines and equipment rather than the basics,” the friend explains.

Anyone you ask about Hajj Hassan’s qualities would tell you, and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed as much in his speech that he was “a hard and diligent worker, well mannered, loving and creative. He was one of the brilliant and distinctive minds of this resistance.”

Sayyed Nasrallah knew Hajj Hassan very well, describing him as “a beloved brother, companion and a close friend since we were young men in the city of Baalbek.”

Baalbek was the city where Sayyed settled after returning from Iraq in late 1979 to complete his studies at a seminary founded by Sayyed Abbas al-Musawi. At the time, the relationship between the two young men was centered around the mosque. Later, when Sayyed became the cultural leader of the Amal movement in Baalbek, Hajj Hassan joined him. That was in 1980. He stayed close to him during that period. When Sayyed’s life was threatened because of his positions and speeches he delivered on the platforms in Baalbek, Hajj Hassan insisted on accompanying him to those events. He also insisted on staying with him during that time in case of any security risks that Sayyed faced. Since then, their friendship grew, developed and never ceased.

One of Hajj Hassan’s friends recalls how they and a group of young men accompanied Sayyed on the day of the “Israeli” invasion, trying to mobilize people against the enemy. They passed through the city of Baalbek and chanted: Death to America ??and Death to “Israel”.

Not only were they friends, they were also partners when the resistance movement was born. Even when Sayyed moved to Beirut, the two kept in touch both professionally and socially.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard came to Lebanon. It organized military training courses for young people to resist the occupation. Hajj Hassan rushed to join the first of these courses. Later, he worked at the Revolutionary Guards’ Staff Office. He was in direct contact with most Iranian officials as a result of his work. And because he had a quick-wit by nature, he quickly became fluent in Farsi. He saw most of Sayyed’s meetings with the leaders of the Revolutionary Guard. This gave him extensive experience and broader relationships.

With the “Israeli” occupation being limited to the South and western Bekaa and the jihadist operations concentrated there, Hajj Hassan made several field visits in those areas. He participated in qualitative operations, most notably the storming of “Israeli” positions, such as the one against the “Tomat Niha” site in 1988.

His fight against the enemy allowed him to notice some of the obstacles and problems the Mujahideen faced on the battlefield. He sought solutions to overcome these issues. He began working on the Signal Weapon, exerting a lot of effort to develop it through the introduction of modifications. The effects of these modifications emerged in the communication system – both wireless and wired.  He also paid attention to the latest technological developments in security and military spheres.

He did not spare any opportunity to take advantage of everything new that can benefit the resistance. For this purpose he always sought to bring as much of the advanced technology as possible and make use of it for the resistance. He became the primary reference for technology to the entire resistance leadership. He was a diligent and hard worker. He participated in choosing the resistance’s missile arsenal and developed it. He expanded his research in this field until he became the first advisor to the military leadership every time it was presented with new weapons.

Later, the challenges grew, especially after the resistance grew stronger and the enemy’s precautionary methods intensified. He continued to propose ideas and solutions to face the challenges on land and the difficulties of land barriers, until he began to think about how to use the sky to face the difficulties on land.

“I used to make fun of him,” says Hajj Hassan’s friend. “Every time I entered, I would find him trying to assemble wooden pieces and install them on a small motor. I would ask him: Do you expect these pieces to take off? He would answer me with confidence:

it will not only take off, I will make it capture images. You don’t know. I might make it carry a weapon in the future.”

That idea was born in 1988. That was when the ambitious young man, who did not believe in the existence of “impossible”, decided to breach the sky.

He first started from his small room. He bought a lathe, collected simple motors, pasted them together with wooden pieces, and then tried to make them fly.

One, two, dozens of failed attempts. But finally he succeeded in making one of those designs fly. With his humble but persuasive manner, he managed to turn this idea into a conviction among the leaders and officials. This would later be known as the Air Force Unit of the Islamic Resistance.

It was not an easy journey. Every achievement cost Hajj Hassan and his team a lot of studying, planning, programming and working day and night. They were keen on readiness and development because they believed that the technological battle with the enemy would not end. This task cost a lot of time, effort and even souls. The names of the pioneers of that stage were not revealed except for those who were martyred, including Hajj Hassan, Hussein Ayoub and Jamil Skaf. The latter two excelled in this field, and both were martyred while they were taking part in developing it.

Sacrifice, for them, was not a hindrance. It was an incentive to continue. Therefore, Hajj Hassan continued to work on the development of drones. For this purpose he visited the aircraft factories in Iran. He attended many of the workshops there and met with many specialists in this field to benefit from their experience in developing domestic Iranian aircraft.

He never stopped looking for new developments worldwide in a bid to take advantage of any advances in his field.

Among the “Israelis” his work earned Hajj Hassan al-Laqqis the label of an officer in the existing war of minds against the resistance. This drove the “Israelis” to attempt to assassinate him in the early 1990s. A bomb was planted near his home in Baalbek, according to the martyr’s friend.

“He was returning to his house, and could not overtake a bulldozer driving in front of him. And then he turned right to overtake it. At that moment, a large explosion was heard on the other side,” the friend said.

The enemy was wrong to think that the assassination attempts would weaken al-Laqqis’ determination. After that incident, he returned to work in both the missile and aerial fields with greater focus, expanding the realm even further.

After the “Israeli” defeat in Lebanon in 2000, his work broadened. The drones or what was known as the air force unit had several factories. He managed them with a team he chose and trained carefully. Sayyed Nasrallah visited those factories periodically, being updated on their developments. The leaders of operations soon demanded the participation of these aircraft in their military operations due to their contribution in guaranteeing success.

Over the past years, the aircraft became the resistance’s powerful eye in the sky, both before and during the military operations. This was only some of what Hajj Hassan planned. The effects of this activity emerged clearly during the July 2006 war. At that time, the enemy returned to stalk this commander, who had worried them for many years. The “Israelis” took advantage of the outbreak of the war to try to assassinate him again. The “Israelis” confirmed this themselves.

“I was busy with my work,” said his close friend. “Hajj Imad Mughniyeh called me and told me that he had just seen Hajj Hassan on television during a live broadcast after a building had been destroyed in Shiyah. He asked me to go to him and tell him to leave the area.”

The friend continues, “when I arrived, I learned that he was trying to search the rubble for his 18-year-old son Ali, who was in the building. The martyr later told me that he went to the building to deliver a bag to his son. But shortly after he left, the “Israeli” aircraft struck the building and destroyed it.” His son was martyred.

“He was dauntless despite the loss,” his friend said. “He left the place and continued working hard and firm. We even noticed this firmness when we accompanied him to see his martyred son in the hospital three days after the aggression. He quickly bid him farewell and went back to his work with determination until the end of the war.”

The war ended, and al-Laqqis’ ghost kept haunting the “Israelis” who could not weaken his determination, not even by killing his son or destroying his home. He immediately returned, even before rebuilding his home, to pursue his work in airspace.

After the July 2006 war, work on drones was accelerated in light of the outcome of the war. Hajj took advantage of the scientific developments and the resistance’s existing capabilities to find new models and meet the emerging needs after the war.

The drones did not only operate within the resistance in Lebanon. In Syria, for example, they were credited with assisting most of the confrontations that took place. The al-Qusayr battle is one of the most prominent pieces of evidence.

The martyr’s friend tells us that the latter showed him a video how these drones were operating during the battle. They took pictures, which were directly transmitted to the command room. The command room in return contacted the field group and informed it about the details of the place and the positions of the militants. The drones reduced the loss of lives and helped in the success of the operation as a result of the accumulation of knowledge.

The martyr’s friend added,

“after the battle of al-Qusayr, the martyr informed me of a new plan, which aimed at arming the aircraft, enabling us to use it in filming and bombing. He reminded me of how he told me about this goal since the beginning.”

“Indeed, after a short period of time, he returned and played a video showing the success of a maneuver in which this plan was carried out,” the friend added.

Hajj Hassan was martyred, but his thoughts, approach and the fruits of his labor live on, with the same strength and determination. His team continued to make advances in his work and achievements. The effects of this work spread beyond Syria. Until today, Hajj Hassan has not really been known. Not by friend or foe. But some of his achievements will be revealed in the coming war, through the air force and the Islamic Resistance’s drones when the headlines read: “the resistance’s drones attack “Israel”.”

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper, Translated by website team

حسّان اللقيس: الرجل الذي حلّق… فوق فلسطين

خديجة شكر

السبت 8 كانون الأول 2018

خمس سنوات على استشهاد الحاج حسّان اللقيس. ميزة هذا القائد أنّه كان حالماً، لكن أيضاً، مع ميزة إضافيّة، أنّه كان يسعى «بكلّ روحه» لأن يُصبح حلمه حقيقة. لقد فعلها. هو شهيد سعيد، بالمعنى المباشر هنا، إذ حقّق حلمه، بنفسه، ومعه ثلّة مِن الحالمين أيضاً، فكان لهم أن يُحلّقوا… بعيداً. في النص الآتي بعض مِن آثار هذا الرجل، الذي، كسائر شهداء المقاومة، لم تُكشف (بعض) آثاره إلا بعد رحيله، بل لم يُعرَف إلا برحيله.

هنا بعض من ذكريات صديق مقرّب له، تحكي بعض سيرته، وذلك كبعض مِن حقّه علينا، نحن الأحياء، الذي نعمنا وننعم بعزّة صنعتها لنا تلك المقاومة.

12 رجلاً من «الموساد» الإسرائيلي، هم طاقم المجموعة التي أوكلت إليها المهمة، ليل 3 – 4 كانون الأول 2013، في الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت. الهدف: اغتيال القيادي في حزب الله حسان اللقيس، الذي بات خطراً، فوق العادة، على العدو.

تولى اثنان من أفراد المجموعة مهمة القتل المباشر، بينما توزعت أدوار التنفيذ والنقل والمراقبة على العشرة الباقين. مستوى الخطر الذي بات يحيط بالعدو جراء عمل الرجل ودوره، يوضحه مستوى المجازفة التي أقدم عليها بإرساله لهذا النوع من المجموعات. يتذكر صديق للشهيد، بشيء من اللوعة: «وصلتُ إلى المنزل، فأخبروني أنّ الحاج حسان اتصل بي منذ دقائق. وحين كنت أهمّ بمعاودة الاتصال به، هاتفني مرافقه الشخصي ليخبرني أنّ ناطور البناية التي يسكنها الحاج اتصل به ليعلمه أنّ أحداً ما قد أطلق النار على الحاج حسان». خمس سنوات مرت، ولا يغيب عن خاطر هذا الصديق ذلك المشهد: «وصلت لأجده مستنداً إلى باب السيارة، مبتسماً وخيوط الدم تسيل من رأسه… اقتربت فوجدت المسدس في يده الأخرى».

هو صاحب فكرة الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد التي أسست لوحدة القوة الجويّة في حزب الله

تعود الذاكرة بالرجل الخمسيني إلى بداية علاقته بالحاج حسان: «عاد من أفريقيا، في العام 1978، ومنذ ذلك الوقت ونحن أصدقاء». يجزم هذا الصديق أن التميّز كان عنوان الحاج حسان منذ الصغر: «كان متميزاً على جميع الأصعدة، إنْ كان بتفوقه العلميّ، أو بدماثة أخلاقه، أو بطموحه الدائم التجدد. أذكر، حين أنهينا دراستنا الثانوية، يوم علم حسان بوجود معهد في الجيفينور لدراسة الكومبيوتر. سارع إلى التسجيل، مع أن هذا المجال لم يكن معروفاً حينها، إلا أنه كان يحب الاطلاع على كل ما هو جديد ضمن اختصاصات التكنولوجيا والتطور منذ صغره. لدرجة أنه كان يفضل شراء المجلات التكنولوجية والمعدات الجديدة، على حساب حاجاته الخاصة».

يُخبرك كل من تسأله عن صفات الحاج حسان تلك، ويؤكد هذا الكلام السيد حسن نصرالله حين وصفه في خطابه: «هو العامل المُجد والدؤوب… والمؤدّب الخلوق والمحب، وأيضاً المبدع، أحد العقول المميّزة واللامعة في هذه المقاومة».

السيد نصرالله الذي عرف الحاج حسان بحق، فقال عنه: «كان أخاً وحبيباً وأنيساً وقريباً وصديقاً منذ أن كنا شباباً صغاراً في مدينة بعلبك». بعلبك، تلك المدينة التي كانت مستقر السيد حين عاد من العراق، في أواخر العام 1979، ليكمل الدراسة في الحوزة التي أسسها السيد عباس الموسوي هناك. يومها كانت العلاقة بين الشابين «علاقة مسجد». لاحقاً، وحين أصبح السيد هو المسؤول الثقافي لحركة أمل في بعلبك، انضم إليه الحاج حسان. كان ذلك في العام 1980. بقي قريباً منه في تلك الفترة. يوم وصل تهديد للسيد بالقتل، جراء مواقفه وكلامه على منابر بعلبك، أصر الحاج حسان على مرافقته إلى المناسبات التي بقي يلقي فيها السيد تلك الكلمات. كما أصر على النوم عنده في تلك الفترة، تحسباً لأي عمل أمني كان يمكن أن يتعرّض له السيد. ومذاك توطدت أواصر هذه الصداقة التي استمرت وتطورت ولم تنقطع بعدها. يذكر أحد أصدقاء الحاج حسان كيف رافقا السيد مع مجموعة أخرى من الشباب يوم بدء الاجتياح الإسرائيلي، محاولين تعبئة الناس وتحريضهم ضد العدو، وذلك بالقيام بجولات في أنحاء مدينة بعلبك. كانوا يُردّدون: «الموت لأمريكا» و«الموت لإسرائيل». لم يكونا صديقين فحسب، بل كانا شريكين في الانطلاقات الأولى لحركة المقاومة، وحتى حين انتقل السيد إلى مدينة بيروت بقي الشابان على تواصلهما الودي والعملي.

استشهد ابن اللقيس عام 2006 في المبنى الذي قصفته الطائرات الإسرائيلية في الشيّاح

مع وصول الحرس الثوري الإيراني إلى لبنان، وتنظيمه دورات عسكرية للشباب بهدف مقاومة الاحتلال، سارع الحاج حسّان للانضمام إلى أولى تلك الدورات. لاحقاً، انتقل للعمل في مكتب قيادة الأركان التابع للحرس الثوري. كان على تماس مباشر مع معظم المسؤولين الإيرانيين نتيجة عمله، ولأنه بطبعه كان سريع البداهة، اكتسب اللغة الفارسية بطلاقة وبسرعة. كان يشهد، بحكم موقعه العملي، معظم لقاءات السيد مع قيادات الحرس، وذلك ما أكسبه خبرة واسعة وعلاقات أوسع.

مع انحسار الاحتلال الإسرائيلي في الجنوب والبقاع الغربي، وتركز العمليات الجهادية هناك، كان للحاج حسان عدة مشاركات ميدانية في تلك المناطق. شارك في عمليات نوعية، أبرزها اقتحام مواقع إسرائيلية، كاقتحام موقع «تومات نيحا» (عام 1988).

قتاله للعدوّ في ساحات الجهاد جعله يلحظ بعض العقبات والمشاكل، التي كانت تواجه المجاهدين في الميدان، فما كان منه إلا أن سعى لاجتراح الحلول لتخطيها. بدأ من سلاح الإشارة، الذي عمل جاهداً لتطويره من خلال استحداث تعديلات برزت آثارها في المنظومتين السلكية واللاسلكية (الاتصالات)، مروراً باهتمامه بكل ما استجد في عالم التكنولوجيا الأمنية منها والعسكرية، وذلك مِن خلال اطلاعه الدائم على التطور المتسارع حول العالم. لم يكن يوفر أي فرصة لاستغلال كل جديد يمكنه أن يفيد المقاومة. لهذا الهدف سعى دوماً لاستقدام ما أمكنه مِن التكنولوجيا المتطورة، ووضعها بتصرف الجسم المقاوم، حتى بات لاحقاً هو «المرجع التكنولوجي» الأول لدى جميع قيادات المقاومة. هو صاحب العمل الدؤوب، كمشارك، في انتخاب الترسانة الصاروخية وتطويرها لدى المقاومة. توسع في بحوثه على هذا الصعيد، حتى بات المستشار الأول لدى القيادة العسكرية في كل مرة يعرض عليها أسلحة جديدة.
لاحقاً، كبرت التحديات، خصوصاً بعد أن استعرت المقاومة واشتدت أساليب العدوّ الاحترازية. دأب على اقتراح الأفكار وإيجاد الحلول لمواجهة تحديات البرّ وصعوبات الموانع الأرضيّة، إلى أن بدأ بالتفكر في كيفية الاستفادة من السماء لمواجهة صعوبات الأرض. «كنت أسخر منه»، يقول صديق الحاج حسان، قبل أن يُتابع: «في كل مرة أدخل عليه وأجده يحاول تركيب القطع الخشبية وتثبيتها بموتور صغير، كنت أسأله: هل تتوقع أن هذه القطع ستستطيع الإقلاع؟ كان يجيبني ضاحكاً، إنما بكل ثقة: لن تقلع فقط، سوف أجعلها تُصوّر، وما يدريك قد أجعلها تحمل سلاحاً في ما بعد».

إذاً، تلك الفكرة انطلقت بالأساس في عام 1988. كان ذلك حينما قرر الشاب الطموح، الذي لم يكن يؤمن بوجود «المستحيل» أو «غير الممكن»… أن يقتحم السماء.
بدأ أولاً من غرفته الصغيرة، اشترى مخرطة، وكان يجمع «موتورات» بسيطة، يلصق بها قطعاً خشبية، ثم يُحاول أن يجعلها تطير.

محاولة، محاولتان، عشرات المحاولات الفاشلة، وينجح أخيراً في جعل إحدى تلك التصاميم تُحلّق. هنا، وبأسلوبه المتواضع المقنع المتين، استطاع أن يحوّل هذه الفكرة إلى قناعة عند القيادات والمسؤولين، قبل أن يُترجم ذلك إلى ما سيُعرف لاحقاً بـ«وحدة القوة الجويّة للمقاومة الإسلاميّة».

هذا المسار لم يكن سهلاً، فكل إنجاز فيه كان يكلّف الحاج حسان، ومعه فريق العمل الذي شكّله لاحقاً، الكثير من الدراسة والتخطيط والبرمجة والعمل في الليل والنهار. كانوا يحرصون على الجاهزية والاستعداد والتطوير، ذلك لأنهم آمنوا بأن المعركة التكنولوجية مع العدو لن تنتهي. كلّف هذا العمل الكثير من التضحية بالوقت والجهد، وصولاً إلى الأنفس. لم تُكشَف أسماء رواد تلك المرحلة، باستثناء الذين استشهدوا منهم، وهم، إلى جانب الحاج حسان، حسين أيوب وجميل سكاف. هذان كانا من الذين برعوا في ذاك المجال، وكانت شهادتهما وهما يشاركان في تطويره.

التضحية، عند هؤلاء، لم تكن عائقاً. كانت حافزاً للاستمرار، ولذا، تابع الحاج حسان العمل على تطوير الطائرات المُسيّرة عن بُعد. لهذا الهدف زار معامل الطائرات في إيران. حضر العديد من المناورات هناك، والتقى الكثير من الإيرانيين المختصين في هذا الشأن، كي يستفيد من خبراتهم لتطوير النُسخ التي كان توصل إليها. لم يتوقف يوماً عن البحث عن كل جديد، على المستوى العالمي، للاستفادة من أي تطور تكنولوجي يخصّ عمله.

هذا العمل دفع بالإسرائيليين إلى أن يعدّوا الحاج حسان اللقيس أحد ضباط حرب الأدمغة، القائمة، على أكثر من صعيد، بينهم وبين المقاومة. هذا ما جعل الإسرائيلي يحاول اغتياله في مطلع التسعينات. يومها، جرى زرع عبوة قرب منزله في بعلبك، بحسب صديق الشهيد، حيث «كان عائداً إلى منزله، واعترضت طريقه جرافة، فأراد تجاوزها، لكنه لم يستطع. ثم اتجه يميناً، بهدف تخطيها، وفي تلك اللحظة دوّى انفجار كبير عند الناحية الأخرى». أخطأ العدو حين اعتقد أن محاولات اغتيال اللقيس ستضعف عزيمته، إذ عاد بعد تلك الحادثة لمتابعة عمله على الصعيدين، الصاروخي والجوي، بقوة أكثر، مع توسعة الأطر أكثر.

بعد الاندحار الإسرائيلي عن لبنان، عام 2000، أصبح عمله أوسع وصار للطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد، أو ما يعرف بوحدة القوة الجوية، عدة معامل يديرها مع الفريق الذي اختاره ودرّبه بعناية. كان السيد نصرالله يزور تلك المعامل في شكل دوري، فيطلع على تطوراتها، كما إن قادة العمليات باتوا يطالبون بإشراك تلك الطائرات في عملياتهم العسكرية، وذلك لما كانت تعود به من فائدة على مستوى نجاح العمليات.

على مدى كل تلك السنين، كانت الطائرات المُسيّرة عن بُعد هي العين الجوية النافذة للمقاومة، قبيل أعمالها العسكرية وخلالها، ولم يكن هذا إلا بعض ما كان يُخطط له الحاج حسان. ظهرت آثار هذا النشاط بوضوح خلال حرب تموز 2006. آنذاك عاد العدو ليتربص بهذا القائد، الذي أقلقه لسنوات طوال، فاستغل اندلاع الحرب ليحاول اغتياله مجدداً. لقد ورد ذلك على لسان الإسرائيليين. يقول صديقه المقرّب: «كنت منهمكاً في عملي. هاتفني الحاج عماد مغنية ليخبرني أنه رأى للتو الحاج حسان على التلفاز، خلال النقل المباشر إثر تدمير مبنى في منطقة الشياح، وطلب مني الذهاب إليه وإخباره ضرورة ابتعاده عن المكان». ويتابع الصديق: «علمت حين وصلت أنه كان يحاول البحث بين الأنقاض عن ولده علي (18 سنة)، الذي كان موجوداً في المبنى. قال لي الشهيد لاحقاً إنه كان حضر إلى المبنى لإيصال حقيبة لولده، لكن وبعيد مغادرته المكان أغار الطيران الإسرائيلي على المبنى فدمره». استشهد ابنه. يذكر محدّثنا: «كان جسوراً على رغم الفقد، غادر المكان وعاد يتابع عمله المطلوب بصلابة وقوة. لاحظنا هذه الصلابة حتى حين رافقناه لرؤية ولده الشهيد في المستشفى، بعد ثلاثة أيام من العدوان، فودّعه سريعاً عائداً إلى عمله بعزم حتى نهاية الحرب».

حاول الإسرائيليون اغتياله بزرع عبوة في مطلع التسعينات وأخرى أثناء الحرب عام 2006

انتهت الحرب، وبقي شبح اللقيس يلاحق الإسرائيلي الذي لم يستطع لا بقتله لولده، ولا بتدميره لمنازله أن يثبط ولو جزءاً من عزيمة هذا الرجل. فقد عاد فوراً، وحتى قبل إعادة بناء منزله، لمتابعة عمله في المجال الجوي. بعد حرب تموز 2006، أخذ العمل في الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد منحىً تصاعدياً في ضوء نتائج الحرب. فعمل الحاج مستفيداً من التطورات العلمية والقدرات الموجودة بيد المقاومة ليخلص إلى نماذج جديدة تلبي الحاجات المستجدة بعد الحرب.

لم يقتصر عمل الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد على المقاومة في لبنان، ففي سوريا مثلاً، كان لها الفضل في معظم المواجهات التي حصلت. وتعدّ معركة القصير من أبرز الشواهد على ذلك.
يخبرنا صديق الشهيد أن الأخير عرض عليه بعد معركة القصير فيلماً يظهر كيف كانت تلك الطائرات تعمل في أثناء المعركة، حيث كانت تصور، فتنتقل الصورة مباشرة إلى غرفة القيادة، والتي كانت بدورها تتواصل مع المجموعة الميدانية، فتطلعهم على تفاصيل المكان وتكشف لهم أماكن تواجد المسلحين. كان ذلك يخفف من زهق الأرواح ويساعد على نجاح العملية نتيجة تراكم المعرفة. يضيف صديق الشهيد: «بعد معركة القصير، أطلعني الشهيد على مخطط جديد، يهدف إلى تسليح الطائرة مما يمكننا أن نستعملها في التصوير ثم القصف. وذكرني كيف أنه أخبرني بهذا الهدف في البدايات». يتابع صديق الشهيد: «وفعلاً، بعد مدة بسيطة، عاد فعرض لي فيديو يظهر نجاح المناورة التي نفذ فيها هذا المخطط».

استشهد الحاج حسان، لكن فكره ونهجه وثمار عمله استمر حتى يومنا هذا، بالقوة والعزيمة ذاتهما، وتابع الفريق تطوير أعماله وإنجازاته. وامتدت آثار هذا العمل بعد سوريا. وحتى الآن، لم يُعرف الحاج حسّان على حقيقته لا من قبل العدوّ ولا الصديق، لكن ستكشف بعض آثاره في الحرب المقبلة، من خلال القوة الجويّة والمسيّرات التابعة للمقاومة الإسلامية، حين تتصدر وسائل الإعلام مقولة «طيران المقاومة يغير على… إسرائيل».

Are We on the Path to War? – Middle East Heats Up While Viewers Watch the Impeachment

By Philip Giraldi

Source

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Americans and also much of the rest of the world have been watching or otherwise following the impeachment proceedings in Washington and not paying much attention to developments in the Middle East that could be setting the stage for a new war.

It should surprise no one to learn that Washington has no actual policy to finish what it is doing and get out so it is allowing itself to be led by its so-called allies in the region. There has been what amounts to a nearly complete reversal of the early October decision by President Donald Trump to deescalate in the region by pulling U.S. troops out of northern Syria. After occupying the Syrian oil fields in the immediate wake of that decision and declaring that American soldiers would shoot-to-kill Russian and Syrian soldiers who tried to retake that bit of sovereign Syrian territory, one now learns that U.S. troops are again operating hand-in-hand with Kurdish militias to attack what have been claimed to be ISIS remnants.

Defenders of Donald Trump continue to insist that he does not want a war and is serious about disengaging from “senseless” conflicts, but it would be hard to come to that judgement based on what the president and his staff of pathological miscreants actually do. In fact, one might reasonably argue that the administration is planning for war on multiple fronts.

Russia has long been a target of an ignorant Trump’s neoconnish foreign policy, to include the refusal to renew several admirable treaties that have limited the spread of certain types of weapons. Also, lethal military aid to gallant little Ukraine, much in the news of late, is actually a dangerous misstep on the part of Washington as Russia regards its border with that country as a vital interest while defending Kiev is in reality no national security interest for the United States at all.

And there is more in the pipeline. Discussions are underway with new NATO ally Bulgaria to create a Black Sea Coordination Center in Varna. The United States is considering a ten-year roadmap for defense cooperation with Bulgaria and is eager to provide Sofia broader access to its high-end military technologies. The advanced technologies would include surveillance capabilities specifically targeting Russia.

There is also a fundamental second level of stupidity in basing such an effort in Bulgaria as the Turks, also frequently at odds with Washington, control the door to the Black Sea through the Bosporus and Dardanelles. If relations really do go sour and if demands to kick Turkey out of NATO ever do bear fruit, Ankara can make it very difficult for NATO warships transiting into the Black Sea.

As ever, however, the most troubled and most interfered-in-by-Washington foreign region continues to be the Middle East and more specifically the Persian Gulf where there have been a number of relatively minor developments that, when assembled, comprise a serious threat that war could break out either deliberately or by accident.

The basic line-up for what is going on in the Persian Gulf region runs something like this: Israel, the Saudis and most of the Gulf States are keen on attacking Iran, which, on its side, has lined up as friends and allies Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Those seeking war with Iran, would like to see the United States do the heavy lifting as it alone can use its strategic bombers to take out military targets deep underground or otherwise heavily protected. The Trump administration has so far stopped short of war with the Iranians, though it has done everything it can otherwise to punish them, including the shortsighted withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which limited Tehran’s nuclear development program. The White House has also initiated a heavy dose of sanctions that are explicitly intended to cause suffering among the ordinary people and are clearly creating considerable disruption in the country. The U.S. intention is to starve the Iranian people into rebelling against their government, but the unrest is also reportedly being fueled by Saudi paid agents provocateurs as well as a flood of media and social network propaganda that is as well being supported and organized by Riyadh.

One recent incident that has attracted remarkably little media coverage is an Israeli attack on Syria that took place on November 19th. It reportedly destroyed two Iranian Revolutionary Guard headquarters, one of which was at Damascus International Airport, possibly killing twenty-three, sixteen of whom were likely Iranians. The attack was in response to an unsubstantiated Israeli claim that four rockets were fired its way from a site controlled by Iran inside Syria, though they were intercepted by Iron Dome and caused no damage. The overwhelming and disproportionate response by Israel suggests that Tel Aviv would like to have produced a commensurate response from the Iranians which could then escalate, but in this case, Tehran opted not to strike back, possibly because it understood that it was likely being set up.

There have also been a number of key meetings in the region that suggest that something big is coming. In an odd move, the U.S. and France have agreed to take steps to increase security in the Gulf region by enhancing defensive systems in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia. The move is ostensibly a response to the devastating drone attack on the Saudi oil refinery in September, which has been blamed on the Iranians, though without any evidence being provided. In the past, increasing security has often been a prelude to attacks by western powers in the Gulf region.

Other recent visitors have included CIA Director Gina Haspel meeting with the Saudi King Salman on November 7th to discuss “topics of interest,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visiting the United Arab Emirates to talk about Iran and other regional issues, and Vice President Mike Pence staging a surprise visit to the Kurds in Syria. Pence assured the Kurds that they were not forgotten and would be protected by the U.S.

General Kenneth A. McKenzie, who heads America’s Central Command, which has responsibility for the Middle East, also warned last week that even with the 14,000 additional military personnel that Trump sent to the region earlier this year, the forces available would not be enough to deter an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia or one of the Gulf States. McKenzie was speaking at a conference in Bahrain, home of the U.S. Fifth Fleet. Comic relief at the conference was provided by American under secretary of defense John C. Rood who said that “Iran has made clear its intent to pursue a pattern of aggressive behavior that is destabilizing,” conveniently forgetting that it is Washington that has completely destabilized the entire region since it invaded Iraq in 2003.

Iran for its part has been stung by the recent violent protests and has declared itself prepared to deal with both the Saudis and the presumed CIA and Israeli Mossad assets that have been stirring things up. The rioting has been serious with numerous deaths reported and Iran is fully capable of using its missile arsenal to hit targets both in Saudi Arabia and in Israel.

So, the conventional wisdom that a serious war is too dangerous to contemplate in the confined spaces of the Middle East might be naïve in the extreme as representatives of a number of nations consider just how to fight each other and how to win. One misstep, or even a false flag provocation, is all it would take to engulf the region in flames. It would be a conflict in which many would die and no one could really come out a winner, and the real tragedy is that it is avoidable as no one has a genuine vital interest at stake that could actually be resolved by war with its neighbors.

IRGC Chief Warns Iran’s Enemies: ‘Crossing Redlines Equals Your Destruction’

 

By Staff, Agencies

IRGC Chief Warns Iran’s Enemies: ‘Crossing Redlines Equals Your Destruction’

The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Major General Hossein Salami warned enemies of the Islamic Revolution that they will be destroyed if they cross the redlines that the Islamic establishment has set for defending its people.

Major General Salami’s remarks came as he addressed a massive rally in the capital, Tehran, on Monday, which was held to condemn acts of rioting and vandalism following the government’s decision to increase fuel prices.

The Iranian government raised gasoline prices on November 15 in order to moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per day, 40 million liters above the maximum daily domestic requirement.

The move prompted some peaceful protests, but riotous elements, taking advantage of the circumstances, quickly entered the scene, destroying public property, setting banks and gas stations ablaze among other facilities, and opening fire on people and security forces.

Salami further warned, “You have already tested us in the field [of battle] and have been slapped hard in the face without being able to answer. Some of those slaps have been seen by the world and some have not been seen… If you cross our redlines, we will destroy you.”

The IRGC top chief added that anyone who seeks to carry out an act of aggression against the property, lives and honor of the Iranian people will be punished severely in a way that will teach them a lesson.

He advised the enemies to respect the Iranian people and adopt a respectful approach in dealing with them, because “if this accumulated energy is released, no enemy will be safe and secure in any part of the world.”

“Today, the coup de grace was delivered to the enemy. The sedition, which occurred in the recent days, was the spin-off of all major fiascos that the Muslim Ummah and the Iranian nation have inflicted on the enemy in different fields over the last 40 years, particularly over the past eight months,” Salami added.

The IRGC commander also stressed that the enemies have been defeated and are not able to carry out any measure, saying: “We go after them anywhere and tell them that we will not leave any move unanswered and will get even.”

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Report Showing ‘Iranian Military’ Hit by the Israeli Air Raid Near Damascus!

 

Beit Saber Damascus western countryside - israeli missile strikes house killing civilians

Everything Israel bombs in Syria sells it to the fools who believe its propaganda as ‘Iranian military targets’, and especially ‘Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ facility, as if that is not a breach of international law by itself.

On the ground and in reality it’s totally the opposite. Everything you hear from Israeli sources reflects totally the opposite to cover their crimes.

The US Taxpayers should watch this following report to see how their money is used by Israel. They must be satisfied with the ‘achievements’ of their 51st unofficial state living completely on their account.

Mohammad al-Khodr from the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel paid a visit to the village of Beit Saber, an agricultural village about 50 kilometers from the Syrian capital Damascus which was struck by one of the Israeli missiles two days ago, and also visited Qudsayya, another suburb near Damascus which was hit by another Israeli missile and this is their findings:

 

The video is also available on BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/7chXUEzARh1E/beit saber damascus countryside israel missile strike house killing civilians

Israel was always present to lend a hand to terrorists fighting their unholy fake ‘jihad’ war against the Syrian state and the Syrian people under the US leadership. Whenever they need support help comes from their brethren in the IDF terrorist organization, and whenever the US wants to increase the pressure on Syria, the terrorist attacks would mount, foreign parties would increase their negative intervention, EU stooges will increase their sanctions against Syria, and Israel will be there for the dirty work.

From yesterday’s NATO terrorist attacks against Aleppo which never stopped throughout the Syrian crisis:

 

Note that Israel carries out its bombings against all targets after midnight, and from across borders, and in many cases hiding behind civilian airlines, showing the heinous nature of its war criminal leaders.

Those who believe Israeli media, similarly to who believed other Pentagon mainstream propagandists and fell for the Iraqi WMDs lie, then Libya lie, then countless other lies across the planet will continue to fall for the same lies by the same liars. There is a saying in America: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, so big shame on the US fools.

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