News Blog: October 2016

31 Oct:  After a two day pause Iraqi forces are attacking Mosul moving against the east bank of the Tigress River.

Knesset begins winter session in state of crisis.   Netanyahu delays Amona issue in cabinet for one week as he requests supreme court to delay Amona demolition.  

If the court rejects any further delay Bibi will be caught between intense settler pressure to avoid the demolition and intense international pressure to carry out the demolition by the ordered date of Dec 25.  

He will have to carry out the demolition to avoid Obama backing a UN resolution, and doing so will collapse his governing coalition.  If he accepts the court order to demolish the illegal Amona outpost, he will not be able to pass the budget in the Knesset bringing the Israeli government down.

Shia militia leader says that after freeing Tel Afar from the IS, the Iran backed militia will continue on to Syria to attack Raqqa on behalf of Assad before the Turks and Kurds can get there.  Thousands of Shia are joining the Shia march to liberate Tel Afar.  

 

30 Oct:  There are reports that Anthony Wiener handed his computer voluntarily to the FBI, without waiting for a warrant to be produced.  Investigators believe it’s likely the new batch will include emails that were deleted from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s server before the previous FBI investigation.  The Justice Department and the FBI are in discussions with lawyers for Huma Abedin to conduct a full search of her Hillary emails.  Besides illegal release of secret information, allegations of a plan to pay women to accuse Trump of inappropriate behavior may be exposed.

Iraqi forces confirm Islamic State breaking down and begin two day pause to regroup before entering the city.

While searching Anthony Wiener’s computer for evidence of sexual misconduct, FBI agents found emails from Hillary Clinton to her chief adviser – Anthony’s wife – discussing secret information on an unsecured devise with her campaign adviser, who had no business receiving that information.  Of course Anthony also had access and was using this device.

It is reported that the FBI Director received hundreds of letters from Bureau members demanding the resumption of the investigation – which had been previously halted under political pressure – threatening to resign; forcing the FBI to reopen its investigation of Clinton just days before the election.  Clinton is doing her best to obfuscate and conceal what is really going on.  How this will affect the Nov 8 polls and the real election on Jan 6 at the electoral college remains to be seen.  

If Hillary wins, much will depend on whether there will be enough Republicans in the Senate to impeach her, making Tim Kane president. 

After most of the Islamic State leaders and fighters had escaped from Mosul to Syria, Shia militias received the go ahead to liberate the Shia city of Tel Afar and cut off the IS escape route into Raqqa Syria.  The coalition allowed the bulk of IS to escape to Syria in order to minimize fighting, damage and civilian casualties in Mosul.  It is Turkey and the Kurds who will be saddled with the heavy fighting at Raqqa in the coming months.

 

28 Oct:  Biden to get substantial reward for Clinton support.

After Russia suspended attacks in Aleppo for over a week to allow evacuations out and compassionate aid into the city, the Al Qaeda has regrouped and launched a major attack in Aleppo this morning.  

In Mosul Iraqi and Kurdish forces are preparing to pass the city limits and enter the city

 

27 Oct:   Israeli government crisis as Jewish Home leader Bennett to present private bill to legalize Amona outpost in Knesset Sunday.

Western Mosul Islamic State Headquarters falls to Iraqi’s. US reports 900 Islamic State fighters killed in Mosul and the Mishraq chemical plant blown up, covering northern Iraq with a huge chemical cloud as many IS fighters break and flee towards Syria.  

Trump makes fool of himself, claiming Mosul offensive a failure.

Raqqa offensive begins as Turkish backed Syrian rebels – backed  by the regular Turkish army and US Coalition air power – are now advancing on the important city of Al Bab to clear Islamic State group elements. After retaking the city, they will target Manbij, and “then we will go towards Raqqa announced president Erdogan.  The Turks intend to liberate Raqqa while the Kurds are tied up in the Mosul fight.  

Russia to deploy more warships to the Baltic region after NATO announces deployment of four more NATO battalions from Albania, Slovenia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, Norway and the US. to increase forces in the Baltic to 40,000.  Russia announces new super nuclear weapon.  

Anticipating Clinton’s election and her desire to seek confrontation with Russia in Syria and a Russian pushback in Ukraine, Representatives of the US and Britain attending a meeting of defense ministers from NATO member states in Brussels on Thursday announced that their countries will deploy war planes, infantry, tanks and artillery to Romania and Poland as well. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said that Britain will send 800 combat soldiers to Estonia and a squadron of Typhoon fighters will be sent to Romania near the Black Sea.

Canada and Germany announced their support for building the largest Western military force in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the placement of forces in Eastern Europe is a “measured response” to the 300,000 Russian soldiers stationed in western Russia. He added that this month Russia deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles, which can hit the Baltic States and Poland, to Kaliningrad.

In addition two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles sailed through the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark on their way to the Middle East where they will join the Russian naval force of 10 warships including the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier off Syria.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will travel to Moscow on Friday for three-way talks with his Syrian and Russian counterparts on the situation in Syria.  Zarif will also hold a one-to-one meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.  Included in the talks will be an American led assault on Raqqa promised to begin within weeks.  

In early US voting so far: Trump looks strong in Ohio, Iowa and Georgia with Clinton leading everywhere else.  Voters overwhelming said that they did not approve of Clinton but thought worse of Trump.

 

26 Oct:  Hillary Clinton suggests she will declare a no fly zone over Syria and bomb the Syrian military when she becomes president.  Of course this would bring the US into direct confrontation with Russia.  

Iraqi’s making advances in Mosul as US prepares for Raqqa Syria operation to be launched in the coming weeks.  

Fire from Lebanon wounds Israeli soldier in hand.

 

25 Oct:  Islamic State attacks Rutba on the Iraqi Jordanian highway near the Syrian border in another desperate counter attack as Iraqi forces make more advances in Mosul.  

With Islamic State reeling, Coalition prepares to press its advantage with attack on Raqqa Syria.

 

23 Oct:  If the Islamic State can open a second front so can we.  US Def Sec calls for the immediate opening of an offensive in Raqqa Syria.  Carter has been in Iraqi Kurdistan arranging the details between the Kurds and Turks for a fight inside Syria against the Islamic State center at Raqqa, to be carried out simultaneously with the Mosul battle.  Allied coalition to meet Tuesday to approve the move.

The Western retaining wall of the temple is being flooded by worshipers – in pictures – on Hoshana Rabbah The Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles; the day before The Feast of The Eighth Day.

The US-led coalition bombed mourners in the Iraqi city of Daquq, 30 km south of Kirkuk on Friday, killing dozens of civilians, including women and children.  The coalition jets apparently mistakenly identified the mourning procession as Islamic State terrorists.

Israeli Securities Authority chairman Hauser seeks authority from government to ‘eradicate’ fraudulent Israel-based industry fleecing vast sums from victims worldwide.  

US Def Sec in Iraq to broker deal with Turkey which will see Turkish air force help in Mosul, and resolve issues with Kurds for coming Raqqa Syria fight.

The Islamic State sets fire to Mosul area sulfur plant forcing Iraqi military back. The burning sulfur produces sulfur dioxide gas which when breathed mixes with moisture in the lungs producing sulfuric acid. 

 

21 Oct:  A DDOS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) cyber attack Friday hit the Dyn Company, one of the largest regional server services in the region. The sites that crashed included Twitter, Spotify, Reddit and The New York Times. The first attack ended after an hour-and-a-half. Two hours later, a second cyber attack struck many Internet sites on the West Coast.  Millions of internet-connected devices like smart home gadgets, including cameras, baby monitors, remote garage openers, smart refrigerators, DVDs are infected with poor security software that allowed them to be used by hackers to swamp the vDyn internet provider with overwhelming traffic.

Hillary Clinton was given the exact questions to a previous debate with Trump  word for word by Donna Brazile, a CNN commentator.  Denials made.

All About the Clinton Foundation which took huge donations to gain Sec of State Clinton’s approval of their projects; including the sale of much of the US uranium industry to Putin’s Russia. 

Juppe leads in run up to April 2017 French elections. 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared Thursday that he is breaking with the United States and aligning with China.  He is expected to make overtures to Russia as well.   The move appears to be a reaction to American drug operations.  See “The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia” for and exposure of, the CIA drug running operations in that region. You might also investigate  CIA drug smuggling in Panama and Afghanistan and elsewhere.  

American general says Raqqa operation could begin in tandem with Mosul operation.  One American killed in Mosul fighting so far as advances continue with Apache gunship support

Islamic State fighters have counter attacked, hitting four police stations in the oil city of Kirkuk,175 km away, the Dubiz power plant was also attacked.

 

20 Oct:  Turkey Warns World War III May Erupt as a Result of Russia-U.S. Tensions Over Syria – Pointing at surging tensions between Washington and Moscow, Ankara’s Deputy prime minister says world is ‘on the brink of a large regional or global war.’ (Haaretz

The liberation of Mosul is already at least a week ahead of schedule:  After three days of heavy pinpoint aerial bombardment of Islamic State positions spotted and mapped over the preceding months, the battle for Mosul is advancing much faster than expected.  Many IS fighters are already fleeing towards Syria.  A coalition meeting is now scheduled for the coming Tuesday to assess the situation.  

After a brief pause to let civilians leave – which many IS fighters took advantage of to flee –  the Kurds are launching a major offensive on Mosul today.  Meanwhile Iraqi  Maj Gen Maan al-Saadi said Iraqi Special Forces had advanced on the town of Bartella – on the outskirts of Mosul – with the aid of US-led coalition airstrikes and heavy artillery on the fourth day.  The Iraqi Golden Division is now beginning a “huge push” into Mosul.  

 

19 Oct:  Oct 14 Arturo Sosa, SJ, Elected 31st Jesuit Superior General.  

After heavy pressure from the Clinton campaign – from John Kerry himself – Ecuador cut off Wikileaks internet access last Saturday, just before a trove of information was about to be released that would have been extremely damaging to Hillary.  The excuse used was that the leaks were interfering in the election, of course preventing the free flow of accurate information is a far greater interference in the election.

Kurdish Brig. Gen. Sirwan Barzani revealed that the next two weeks are planned to be used to secure the parameters of Mosul city before entering the city proper. Reports to this point have about 20 villages in the area captured, many by the Peshmerga. Fighting on the outskirts of Mosul is mostly uneventful, because the ISIS forces have largely abandoned those areas to shore up the defenses of the city of Mosul itself. 

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday that safe exit routes have been secured out of Mosul for civilians who want to leave. Plans now call for a pause in the advance to allow civilians to exit the city.  900 “civilians” have fled Mosul for  Syria.  Hundreds of fighters from the Islamic State organization have been spotted using this exodus as cover to retreat to Raqqa Syria. 

US and Turkish warplanes have attacked multiple ISIS targets around northern Syria, aiming to soften up Islamic State for a coming invasion of their last bastion in Raqqa Syria

 

18 Oct:   Turkey trying to establish itself as protector of Kurdish areas.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced today that Russian and Syrian air forces had stopped air strikes on Aleppo from 1000 local time (0700 GMT), extending the eight-hour pause – to allow fighters to leave to the Turkish border – scheduled for Thursday, to three days.

Monday Russia announced an eight-hour ceasefire in Aleppo for Thursday. We have taken a decision to introduce ‘humanitarian pauses’, mainly for the free passage of civilians, evacuation of the sick and wounded and withdrawal of fighters,” senior Russian military officer Sergei Rudskoi told a press briefing in Moscow. The ceasefire would run from 0800 to 1600 local time (0500 GMT to 1300 GMT) “in the area of Aleppo” to allow fighters to evacuate to the Turkish safe have haven as secretly agreed on Saturday’s meeting with Kerry. .

The anti-ISIS coalition greatly outnumbers its opponents in  Mosul, and has the advantage of air support from the roughly 90 coalition and Iraqi planes – and dozens of Apache gunships – involved in the operation whenever they met resistance.

Peshmerga forces in Khazir cleared nine villages outside Mosul  taking approximately 200 square kilometers yesterday. The villages include Baskhira, Tarjala, Kharbat Sultan, Karbirli, Bazgirtan, Shaquli, Badana Bchuk, Badana Gawre, Shekh Amir and a tile factory West of Hasan Shami. They also secured an additional significant stretch of the Erbil-Mosul highway.

Iraq’s military also says that it inflicted “heavy losses of life and equipment” on ISIS southeast of Mosul.  

 

16 Oct:  BREAKING 19:15 EDT:   Minutes ago Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of operations to liberate the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants on Iraqi state television.

The Iraqi Air Force has dropped leaflets over Mosul on Saturday night to warn residents of a looming offensive.

A new Washington Post-ABC poll Saturday indicates Clinton’s lead over Trump has narrowed to 4 points, 47:43. Trump is demanding that both undergo drugs tests ahead of the third and final presidential debate between them next Wednesday, charging that due to her lack of stamina Clinton was “pumped up” in the second debate last week.

In a devastating new Clinton revelation FBI interview summaries and notes, provided on Friday to the House Government Oversight and Intelligence Committees, indicate that Senior Clinton aid Patrick Kennedy tried to make a deal with FBI agents to reclassify emails that were marked as “classified,” two congressional sources told Fox News.

Multiple Iranian supplied  missiles were fired at US warships off Yemen Saturday evening.

The Russian Navy has just moved the advanced spy ship Yantar to the Lebanese coast.  The Balzam-class vessel mounts Medium Frequency sonar and High Frequency dipping sonar with Electronic warfare gear including jammers, interception devices and code-breaking software. 

The Obama administration is threatening a cyber attack on Russia, US intelligence officials told NBC News. Insider sources say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging cyber operation designed to harass and “embarrass” the Kremlin leadership.

Egyptian air force pounded Islamic State bases in northern Sinai for three hours on Saturday in retaliation for a terrorist attack outside El Arish that left 12 Egyptian troops dead. Claiming the air strikes killed more than 100 jihadists and destroyed ammunition dumps and military trucks. The air strikes hit targets in Rafah, El Arish and Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai.

Islamic State fighters are evacuating their families and wounded from Mosul to Raqqa Syria and activating their defenses. They have already ignited trenches filed with crude oil to delay invaders and provide smoke screens for their own movements.  

All peparations are now complete for the liberation of Mosul and the US military has begun the pre invasion preliminary bombardment of IS positions inside Mosul

 

14 Oct:  Iraqi leaders call on Mosul residents to take shelter in their homes with the liberation operation now imminent.

The Islamic State has crushed a rebellion plot in Mosul, led by one of the group’s commanders who aimed to switch sides and help deliver the caliphate’s Iraqi capital to advancing government forces.  58 plotters have been caught and executed as Muhsin Abdul Kareem Oghlu, a well known IS die-hard, has reportedly been appointed to replace the executed commander.  

The Mosul offensive could begin as soon as this weekend as Iraqi forces moved into their final jumping off positions on Friday, joining Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers ahead of an expected advance from the south. Also on the ground are US, British and French special forces, which will play a prominent role in calling in airstrikes and leading the advancing Iraqi’s and Kurds.

After Thai king’s passing, Vietnam pledges neutrality.  Obama “pivot to Asia” in state of collapse.

Russia completes delivery of S-300 air defense system to Iran.  Russia to close deal to deliver the more advanced S-400 air defense system to India today.  

Far Right Israelis livid that UNESCO condemns Israeli actions at the holy sites naming them as Islamic holy sites, suspends relationship for now.

Iran has deployed their two best ships to the waters off Yemen, the aging warships are the  Bushehr logistical command helicopter carrier, the largest warship in its navy, and the Alboz guided missile destroyer.

US Russia talks on Syria scheduled for Saturday have as their agenda the arrangement of a rebel withdrawal from Aleppo to the safe haven carved out by Turkey on its border with Syria.  

Russia on Thursday announced it was ready to guarantee safe passage for rebels to quit eastern Aleppo with their weapons, amid fierce Western criticism of its bombing campaign. “We are ready to ensure the safe withdrawal of armed rebels, the unimpeded passage of civilians to and from eastern Aleppo, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid there,” Russian Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy said in a televised briefing. This means teh liberation of Aleppo from the US backed Al Qaeda forces fighting there and will give the US a “humanitarian” fig leaf to cover the deal.  The agreement is a precursor to the Iraqi US Mosul operation expected next week.

13 Oct:   The extremely popular king of Thailand has died.  The Thai king is also head of the Thai Buddhist religion.  

In a meeting today with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) are expected to insist that they will bring down the government if their demand for a postponement of the Spreme Court’s Dec 25 deadline to demolish the Amona outpost – built on private Palestinian land – is not met.  

The government can not legally delay the demolition and president Obama is threatening to stop vetoing UN resolutions on Israel if they do not obey the Israeli High Court ruling made two years ago.

95,000 Iraqi forces and thousands of foreign special forces ready to liberate Mosul.

US strikes three missile radar sites in Yemen.  Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by US Navy destroyer USS Nitze early Thursday, Oct. 13, destroyed three Iranian-Yemeni coastal radar stations, after C-802 anti-ship missiles supplied by Iran to Yemeni Houthi rebels were fired at US naval vessels off the Yemeni coast. The stations were built and  operated  by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

Yesterday Wikileaks published about Clinton’s huge influence on the media while the NYT published a story about two women allegedly receiving unwelcome advances from Trump.  The WikiLeaks website on Wednesday released its latest trove of e-mails from the account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman. The 1,193 messges reportedly show close ties between the Clinton campaign and leading US media organizations that gave favorable coverage of Clinton and unfavorable coverage of Bernie Sanders, and now are highly biased against Trump.  The conduct of both candidates has reached a level which disgraces America in the eyes of the whole world.

All Russian citizens studying overseas have been ordered to immediately return to their homeland, Russian internet newspaper Znak reported on Tuesday. The report said the order was issued to all civil servants at all levels of the government.  

Russia and the US have agreed to resume talks on Syria this Saturday

Rioting broke out in the Ras al-Amud and Sheikh Jarrah areas of Jerusalem on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, in the village of Naalin south of Jerusalem, a number of Palestinians approached IDF troops and opened fire.

For the second time this week the USS Mason destroyer was targeted Wednesday night by at least one incoming missile, fired from a Houthi-controlled area south of the Yemeni port of Hudaydah.  The missile fire is being blamed on Iran.

 

11 Oct:  Sunday’s Jerusalem shooter Musabah Abu Sabit is being pointedly linked to Hamas military wing as Israel goes on high alert for follow up attacks on the Biblical  Fast of Atonement and the Feast of Ingathering.

Canadian Brig. Gen. Dave Anderson, who heads Iraqi force training for the US-led coalition in Baghdad, says victory in Mosul is “inevitable” and a turning point against IS

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is standing fully behind Donald Trump, chairman Reince Priebus said Monday.  Trump is now on the rise and seems likely to win the presidency.  Trump threatens to release information on Bill Clinton’s predatory pursuit of women and Hillary Clinton’s prolific extra marital bisexual activities if the Clinton campaign launches more attacks on his sexual comments from nine years ago.

Syrian rebels backed by Turkish military forces are converging on the Syrian town of Dabiq, just north of the battle-ravaged city of Aleppo.  Syrian government forces and ISIS fighters are also locked in battle over control of Deir El-Zour province, which is also the setting of some of the fiercest international coalition air raids against the terrorists.

The coming Mosul Iraq operation is expected to roll over into an operation against Raqqa in Syria and the U.S.-led coalition is targeting bridges up and down the Euphrates River, to seal off the area east of the Euphrates and separate it as a Kurdish independent area.

 

10 Oct:  After Trump’s strong showing in last night’s debate, VP candidate Pence and many  other offended republicans rush to forgive and embrace him.     Republican candidate Donald Trump’s running mate Mike Pence invoked “grace and forgiveness” following the disclosure of Trump’s vulgar tapes, in his first appearance since last night’s debate. He emphasized that the candidate “embodies the spirit of America,” showed in the debate “he is a big man” and is uniquely capable of promising America security. 

Carl Gershman, who has headed the National Endowment for Democracy since its founding in 1983 – the US government uses this NGO to funnel hundreds of millions of US government funding into overthrowing governments around the world, and is behind the Syrian conflict  – has called for the US to overthrow the government of Russia

Philippines shifts away from US towards China  Asian nations pivoting away from the West  and working together is part of the reason that in their third year the rising New Europe will attack Asia.

88 year old king Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has been placed on a ventilator and is dying after refusing any further medical intervention.

Trump makes comeback with strong performance in last night’s debate with Clinton.

Houthi rebels Saturday launched two missiles at the US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason patrolling Red Sea waters just north of the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait. “Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said. “There were no injuries to our sailors and no damage to the ship.” The Yemeni fighters have been armed with advanced Chinese-made C-802 (NATO-named CSS-N-8) anti-ship missiles upgraded by Iran.

Syrian forces make big gains in Hama province

 

9 Oct:  BREAKING 04:30 EDT:   Palestinian gunman kills 2 wounds 6 people in shootings at three sites in northern Jerusalem. Two are in critical condition; the others were moderately hurt. The shooting began from a moving car at people waiting at the light rail station opposite French Hill and continued to Shimon Hatzadik for about a kilometer, shooting at cars driving on a main Jerusalem thoroughfare, and ended in a shootout at the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrach. He was then surrounded by police and killed in a firefight injuring one police officer and killing another. The gunman was a 39-year old resident of Silwan, a district opposite the Old City of Jerusalem.

 

7 Oct:  Last month Russian forces attacked and killed U.S. command center directing rebels in Aleppo killing 30 Israeli Foreign Officers along with British, American, Turkish, Saudi and Qutari officers. These attacks were in retaliation against the U.S./Australian air strike which killed 89 Syrian troops at Deir es Zor now admitted to be intentional.

Russia Caliber Missile Attack On 30 Israeli Intelligence Officers Killed in Aleppo, Syria

What are Turkish, Saudi, Qatari, British and U.S. officers doing in Allepo? A coalition of countries working together orchestrating the war against Syria.  The Syrian situation never was a rebellion, it was always a foreign sponsored attack on that nation.

 

US officials are threatening to attack Syrian forces in defense of Al Qaeda; Russia announces that they will shoot down any incoming strike.  Meanwhile Syria is continuing to advance against the foreign instigated and backed rebels. 

The financial, military, industrial mouthpiece – the NYT –  has come out supporting a UN Mideast peace plan resolution. In an article written by their “Editorial Board,” the NY Times writes that, “The best idea under discussion now would be to have the United Nations Security Council, in an official resolution, lay down guidelines for a peace agreement covering such issues as Israel’s security, the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and borders for both states.”

 

6 Oct:  Portugal’s former prime minister Antonio Guterres, has been approved by the Security Council as the next UN Secretary general.  The General Assembly must now take the final decision.

Unlike the past practice of bombing insignificant targets in Gaza, two dozen bombing runs targeted strategic Hamas positions seen as important to the group’s operations, yesterday.  

Israel shuts down three Islamic Movement organizations.

 

5 Oct:  A state of emergency has been declared in areas of Georgia, North and South Carolina and all of Florida ahead of Hurricane Matthew.  Mandatory evacuations are underway.

An Israeli pilot, Maj. Ohad Cohen Nov, 34, an IAF squadron commander, was killed Wednesday afternoon when his F-16 fighter plane caught fire and crashed at the Ramon Base in the Negev. The navigator who ejected landed safely. Air force commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel has ordered an investigation

The Russian war ships  Serpukhov and the Zelyony Dolequipped with Kalibr cruise missile batteries, will reach the Mediterranean on Wednesday afternoon headed for Tartus. Kalibr missiles travel at a speed of Mach 2.5 and have a range of 1,500 miles. 

Female Israeli Navy troops on Wednesday took control of the Zaytouna-Oliva, a Dutch-flagged ship that sailed from Barcelona to Gaza. Thirteen women including parliamentarians from New Zealand, Sweden and Algeria, a doctor from Malaysia and a former officer in the US military are aboard the vessel which is being taken to Ashdod.

BREAKING:  The Islamic State-affiliated Ahfad al-Sahaba-Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis took responsibility a rocket launch from Gaza today.   The rocket – on Israel Day – hit the town of Sderot doing damage to a few automobiles.  In statements released in both Arabic and Hebrew.“Oh you cowardly Jews: You don’t have safety in our land. [Former defense minister Moshe] Ya’alon, the failure at giving security. [Defense Minister Avigdor] Liberman to fail will be a certainty,” the salafist group said in its statement, in poorly translated Hebrew.

A short while ago the IDF began extensive bombing of multiple Hamas targets in districts across the entire Gaza Strip.

The USS Mason, the USS Nitze and the USS Ponce [floating base]  have arrived for a deployment to the Bab el-Mandab Strait off Yemen. 

 

4 Oct:  How the US arms terrorists in Syria.

The Palestinian government decided today to postpone local elections scheduled tor Oct. 8 for six months to April – May.

Russia has deployed an advanced air defense system to Syria for the first time, according  US officials.  The new system could potentially counter any American cruise missile attack in Syria. The SA-23 Gladiator anti-missile and anti-aircraft system, which has a range of roughly 150 miles, arrived in Tartus over the weekend

Wikileaks Julian Assange promises to release new, earthshaking email revelations, which his helper Roger Stone hinted would “do for” Hillary Clinton in a drip by drip process over the remaining weeks of the election campaign.  Assange followers have hinted that the new cache of emails was leaked by the Democratic National Committee official Seth Rich, who was murdered earlier this year in mysterious circumstances.

The US announced Monday it is “suspending its participation in bilateral channels with Russia” that had come about as part of the short-lived cessation of hostilities in Syria

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Monday withdrawing Russia from the 2000 plutonium disposal treaty that was part of the nuclear disarmament deals that followed the ending of the Cold War. “Times have changed,” said Putin, citing “The radically changed environment and threat to strategic stability posed by hostile US actions against Russia.”  Putin offered an assurance, backed by no bilateral agreement, that the plutonium will not be used for military purposes. However, it is a signal that the nuclear agreements accompanying the Soviet Union’s breakup could be open to revision if relations deteriorate with the West.

An Islamic State commander, Abu Azem al-Muhajir, from Saudi Arabia, claimed Monday that at least 7,000 fighters stood ready to defend Mosul, the Islamic State capital in Iraq, against the forthcoming US-Iraqi offensive. He said that the town has more than half-a-million Sunni Muslim inhabitants, who will never accept its return to Shiite rule from Baghdad.

Tens of thousands of Iraqi troops backed by thousands of international Special Forces and heavy air power is arrayed against what US intelligence estimates are no more than 3,000 ISIS fighters in Mosul.  After taking Mosul these international Special Forces – backed by their air support – will redeploy to Syria for the Raqqa operation.

A massive assault to drive Islamic State (ISIS) militants out of Hawija in southern Kirkuk province as a final move before attacking Mosul itself is to begin at any time.  The eastern side of Shargat has already been besieged for nine days and the three towns of Riaz, Rashad, and Hawija, still held by the radical group, have been surrounded by Iraqi and Peshmerga forces for a month. Three divisions and 11 brigades of the Iraqi army have been given the green light to sweep into eastern Shargat, where Hawija is located. The operation will be conducted from three directions.

In Syria the government has offered the battered Al Nusrah Front fighters safe passage from Aleppo if they evacuate to the US Turkey created safe haven on the border with Turkey. “The army high command calls on all armed fighters in the eastern neighborhood of Aleppo to leave these neighborhoods and let civilian residents live their normal lives,” a statement carried by state news agency SANA and quoted by Reuters

 

2 Oct:  Netanyahu and Likud are plummeting in the polls.  The governing coalition predicted to last just one year by Israeli pundits, has already lasted longer than that: Now the budget must be passed by the end of the year and the Amona crisis is building towards the demolition date of Dec 25.

Syrian forces are advancing in liberating Aleppo from foreign backed terrorists, while Russia strongly warns the US not to get any further involved against the Syrian government.

A large Caribbean hurricane is headed north towards Cuba.  

People are lining up to sue Saudi Arabia as congress begins to regret overriding Obama veto. The override was a popular political gesture in an election year without much thought on the consequences.

Suspected Islamic State militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula ambushed a taxi in which off-duty policemen were traveling back to their units on Saturday, killing five of them before fleeing.

The media are making the most of a decision by Syria to bomb a hospital being used as a rebel headquarters

 

1 Oct:  As part of a new military buildup for the intensified anti-rebel offensive in Syria more Russian Su-24 and Su-34 bombers have just arrived in Syria.  In addition more Su-25 ground attack fighters are on standby in Russian bases ready to take off for Syria.  

The move comes in response to an American demand that Syria stop defending itself against the onslaught of American backed rebels in Syria. Tensions between Russia and the United States over Syria are rising exponentially mainly due to American efforts to change the Syrian regime.

Calling the attacks on rebels “barbarous”  Western propaganda is becoming so shrill and extreme that a open confrontation between Russia and the Western Coalition at some point is almost unavoidable.

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