In is first speech since Wednesday’s cross-border clash with Israel, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah Friday, Jan. 30 tried dictating terms for peace. The war would go on, he said, unless Israel relinquishes its resolve to eliminate his organization’s and an Iranian presence on Syrian soil in Quneitra. “The resistance no longer cares about rules of engagement,” he said, after conferring with Al Qods Brigades chief, Gen. Qassem Soleimani on a visit to Beirut. Earlier Friday, PM Binyamin Netanyahu accused Iran of backing a continuous offensive to uproot Israel. It won’t succeed, he said.More>
Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, used five anti-tank rockets and roadside bombs for an ambush which killed at least two IDF servicemen, an officer and a soldier, traveling in unarmored vehicles opposite Kfar Ghajar Wednesday, Jan. 28, DEBKAfile reports. They succeeded due to careless IDF security.More>
Two Israeli soldiers killed, 7 injured in Iran-backed Hizballah attack on an Israeli command vehicle from Mt. Dov Wednesday, Jan. 28. A major military clash ensued when Israel hit back.More>
The crash of a drone in the White House grounds Sunday night, Jan. 25, showed that someone in the US secret service and intelligence community had fallen down on the task of guarding America’s highest national symbols. What should have been installed by 2015 – and was not – is an electromagnetic perimeter fence.More>
Heightened military movements in the last 24 hours focus on the 900-meters tall Ramim Ridge. Sunday night, as a large explosion was heard in Lebanon, huge IDF trucks transported concrete ramparts to the Upper Galilee, as Israel and Lebanon tested each other's intentions.More>
President Barack Obama will arrive in Riyadh Tuesday, Jan. 27 with the First Lady, to offer US condolences on the death of King Abdullah and hold his first formal conference with Salman Bin Abdulaziz as King of Saudi Arabia. He must clear the air most urgently on Riyadh’s flat opposition to the multilateral nuclear deal taking shape with Iran; persuade Salman to slow oil production so as to curb plunging oil prices; and decide together how to handle Yemen’s fall into the hands of Shiite Houthi rebels backed by Iran.
The new Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz pledged continuity for the kingdom’s oil and other policies in his first speech Friday, Jan. 23, following the death of his half-brother King Abdullah. The late king, a strong, shrewd and measured ruler, navigated the kingdom on a steady course in a turbulent neighborhood. He also made sure the succession would be smooth, swift and safe for the long term. Abdullah was also largely responsible for plunging oil prices by refusing to cut production. King Salman will have to stand up to heavy arm-twisting bythe US, Iran and Russia for ending this policy.
President Barack Obama offered two options for resolving the Iranian nuclear impasse: His administration’s diplomatic engagement, or a new Mid East war. Neither the US Congress nor Israel accepts the Obama formula. Israel decided to strike an Iranian-Hizballah military convoy on Golan, causing the death of an Iranian general. This provided Senate sanctions initiatives with military muscle. House Speaker John Boehner responded by inviting Binyamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Feb. 11 on Iranian nuclear and radical Islamic threats. Between now and then, none of the parties may stand idle.
Moscow is to sell Iran its most advanced S-400 as well as the disputed S-300 defensive systems under the military cooperation pact signed in Tehran Tuesday, Jan. 20, by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Brig. Gen. Hossein, his Iranian counterpart. Egypt, Syria and the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah will also receive Russian S-300 missiles. debkafile: Moscow began sending S-300 components to Iran and Syria two years ago, in advance of the full systems which were also promised to Hizballah. So Israel faces partial encirclement by the most advanced Russian defensive missiles from the north, south and east.