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The Missiles Of April

I’ve been writing about Iran for more than two decades. In 2005, I made a trip to Iran to ascertain the “ground truth” about that nation, a truth which I then incorporated into a book, Target Iran, laying out the U.S.-Israeli collaboration to craft a justification for a military attack on Iran designed to bring down its theocratic government. I followed this book up with another, Dealbreaker, in 2018, which brought this U.S.-Israeli effort up to date. Back in November 2006, in an address to Columbia University’s School of International Relations, I underscored that the United States would never abandon my “good friend” Israel until, of course, we did.

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 191: Iran Launches Retaliatory Strikes

On Saturday night, Iran launched its retaliatory strike on Israel for Israel’s bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1, which killed two senior Iranian generals and ten others. Tensions had been rising in the week preceding Iran’s eventual attack, as both Israel and Iran exchanged threats and conducted maneuvers in preparation for the escalation. However, Reuters had reported on Thursday that Iran’s foreign minister, Hussein Amir Abdellahian, informed Washington during a visit to Oman that Iran would conduct its response in a way that “avoids escalation,” and that another U.S. intelligence source said “Iran was very clear” that its retaliatory strike would be “under control.”

Iran Had Legal Right To Counter-Attack Israel In Self-Defense

Iran launched a historic attack on April 13, hitting Israel with hundreds of drones and missiles. Tehran invoked article 51 of the charter of the United Nations, which allowed it to act in self-defense in response to Israel’s bombing of Iran’s embassy in Syria on April 1. The US, Canada, and European governments loudly condemned Iran’s April 13 attack, portraying Tehran as the aggressor. However, Western officials failed to mention that Iran was acting in self-defense. Before the Iranian counter-attack, the leading British think tank Chatham House published an article admitting that the “Israeli attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus on 1 April marks an unprecedented escalation by Israel against Iran in Syria”.

Netanyahu Killed A Top Iranian General To Provoke Regional Conflict

Benjamin Netanyahu continues to raise the risk of a Mideast regional war which could draw in the U.S. — and the mainstream media is hiding the danger from its audience. Israel’s provocative aerial assassination of a senior Iranian military leader in Damascus on April 1 is only Netanyahu’s latest effort to expand the fighting across the region, partly to put off his own painful day of reckoning. He knows that America has troops stationed all over the Mideast, and he hopes that Iran will retaliate against them, escalating conflict.

US And Allies Refuse To Condemn Israeli Attacks On Iranian Consulate

During an UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, April 2, the US and its European allies, the UK and France, failed to condemn the Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consular mission in  Damascus a day earlier in which 13 people were killed. In the Security Council meeting which was called by Russia following Iran’s request, representatives of France and the UK refused to acknowledge the Israeli role in the attacks and rather blamed Iran for provoking regional escalation. The US representative Robert Wood also refused to condemn Israel and instead warned Iran against any further escalation.

Israel Airstrike ‘Flattens’ Iranian Consulate In Damascus

Israeli airstrikes destroyed the Iranian consulate in Damascus on 1 April, killing and injuring several Iranian diplomats in what is viewed as a significant escalation of the regional war between Israel and the Axis of Resistance. "Around 17:00 this afternoon, the 'Israeli' enemy launched an aerial aggression from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting the Iranian consulate building in Damascus. Our air defenses confronted the enemy's missiles, downing some of them," the Syrian Ministry of Defense announced Monday.

Report: OPCW Watchdog Attributes 2015 Syria Chemical Attack To ISIS

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) stated on 22 February that there are "reasonable grounds" to believe that ISIS perpetrated chemical weapons attacks on the town of Marea, close to Aleppo, in 2015. The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) of the watchdog determined that ISIS militants utilized sulphur mustard in attacks across various parts of the town on 1 September 2015. According to a OPCW report, ISIS units deployed sulphur mustard gas via their artillery munitions on the town of Marea between 9:00 and 12:00 pm.

Deconstructing H.R. 3202: Israel’s Persistent Role In Sanctioning Syria

On February 13, the U.S. House of Representatives deliberated on Resolution 3202, the “Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023.” The following day, the House passed the bill with a 389 to 32 bipartisan majority. Now, the bill moves on to the Senate, where it will most likely pass with similar bipartisan support and a ringing endorsement from President Biden once it reaches his desk. The bill was pushed with a veneer of Syrian support represented by the advocacy of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) and the Syrian American Council (SAC) – Syrian opposition groups in the U.S. While its aims seem, at face value, to focus on humanitarian issues and a quest for accountability, the reality is much more complicated.

US Government Report Contradicts Claims Of ‘ISIS Threat’ In Iraq, Syria

A new report by the inspectors general of the US State Department, Defense Department, and USAID conducted between 1 October and 31 December 2023 has determined that ISIS poses a minimal threat in Iraq and Syria, raising questions about the Pentagon's insistence on keeping US troops in both nations.  “During the quarter, ISIS continued to operate in a survival posture in both Iraq and Syria. The group remained militarily defeated, incapable of mounting large, complex attacks domestically or externally, even as Coalition forces increased their focus on force protection due to attacks by Iran-aligned militia group,” the quarterly report on the so-called Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) determines, noting the group's ”capacity to conduct insurgent activities remained severely degraded."

Red Sea Tensions Increase

As Israel continues its massacres in Gaza, tensions are intensifying over the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the wider North African and Western Asian region. After three US soldiers were killed by a drone strike in Jordan, the US responded with strikes inside Iraq and Syria, killing 40. White House national security spokesman John Kirby then told Fox News that the strikes were "just the first round,” making it clear that hegemony is Washington’s only horizon. Meanwhile a related conflict is heating up on the southern side of the Gulf of Aden, triggered by a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland, the breakaway state that has been trying to secede from Somalia since 1991 but has not been recognized by any of the UN’s 193 member states or by the African Union.

Arab World Calls US Top Security Threat, No Peace With Israel

A new opinion poll conducted in 16 Arab countries shows that Washington's continued support for Israel's campaign of genocide in the Gaza Strip has dramatically hurt its image across West Asia and North Africa, as 94 percent of respondents describe the US position as "bad." At the same time, more than half say the US poses the biggest threat to regional security. Other western states fared almost as poorly, with more than three-quarters of those polled saying the position of the UK, France, and Germany in relation to Gaza is "bad” or “very bad.” In contrast, Iran received a surge in recognition, with 48 percent of respondents expressing a positive view of the Iranian position, while 37 percent held a negative view.

Lost And Fearful In The Middle East

Of all the amateurish moments to arise as the Biden regime conducts its foreign policy, the White House’s official statement as B1–B bombers let loose over Iraq and Syria last Friday may be the taker of the cake. As the ordnance fell on 85 targets in seven locations, many of them outposts of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, our addled president felt compelled to insist, “The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.” How many times have we heard this since these latest operations in Iraq, Syria and Yemen began? Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, has said the same thing in the same words. Lloyd Austin, the defense secretary, has, too.

Israel Launches Airstrikes Against Syria

Israel launched missile attacks on Homs and surrounding areas in Syria in the early morning of Wednesday, February 7 killing scores of civilians and destroying significant civilian infrastructure hours before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to the country. “At approximately 00:30 at dawn on Wednesday, the Israeli enemy launched an aerial attack with missiles from the direction of northern Tripoli” Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported. Citing unnamed sources, SANA also said that some of the Israeli missiles were intercepted by the Syrian air defense. According to Al-Mayadeen, at least four civilians were killed and seven others were wounded in the attacks.

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 120: Gaza’s Economy In Shambles

Top Hamas leaders are still debating a US-backed ceasefire proposal that would facilitate a six-week cessation of hostilities for the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of Israeli civilian hostages. While Qatar claims that Hamas has received the proposal “positively,” key Hamas officials are asking for more concessions, most importantly including a permanent ceasefire, before signing off on the proposal. Most people in Gaza do not have time to wait; the Israeli military prepares a military incursion into Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost district on the Egyptian border, where 1.9 million Gazans are currently sheltering.

Iraq Denies Washington Notified Government Prior To Deadly Attack

The US air force carried out strikes on 85 sites in the border regions connecting Iraq and Syria early on 3 February.  US Central Command stated its forces struck targets "belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its allies, in Iraq and Syria" using "long-range bombers launched from the United States." The statement added that US forces "used more than 125 precision-guided munitions in the air strikes. The facilities that were struck included command and control operations, intelligence centers, missiles and missiles, drone warehouses, logistical facilities, and the ammunition supply chain."
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