Iran

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
"A tanker belonging to Iran’s government-owned oil corporation has been hit by two missiles and caught fire in the Red Sea, 60 miles from Saudi shores. The incident is being treated as a terrorist attack, local media says.
The tanker Sinopa, operated by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), was sailing through the Red Sea when the explosion occurred. The blast was powerful enough to damage two of its reservoirs, leading to an oil spill in the area.
Local media cited unnamed Iranian “technical experts” who believe that the incident could have been caused by a“terrorist attack,” but didn’t provide any evidence to back the claim.
The tanker’s crew wasn’t hurt in the incident, which took place near Jeddah, the largest port in the Red Sea and maritime gateway to Saudi Arabia."
If it is a sabotage event, who would be the more likely suspect and what reasons might they have?
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

If it is a sabotage event, who would be the more likely suspect and what reasons might they have?
'Who knows?'

October, 11, 2019

By Stephanie Kelly - OCTOBER 11, 2019

11.10.2019

By Philip Weiss on October 11, 2019
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Iranian oil tanker's crew are safe, situation stable on vessel: report
All crew members of an Iranian oil vessel that was on fire in the Red Sea after an explosion are safe and the situation of the tanker is stable, Iran's Nour news agency reported.

Iran says two missiles struck oil tanker, causing explosion: state TV
Two missiles struck the Iran-owned Sinopa oil tanker setting it ablaze off the Saudi port of Jeddah, Iranian state TV reported.

U.S. Navy says aware of Iran tanker reports, no further info: spokesman
The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is aware of media reports about an Iranian tanker blast but has no further information so far, a spokesman said on Friday.

Oil leak from Iran's Sabiti tanker under control: IRNA
An oil leak from the Iranian tanker Tehran said was targeted by two missiles in the Red Sea on Friday is under control, Iranian state news agency IRNA said.

Russia: too early to assign blame for explosion on Iranian tanker: RIA
Russia's foreign ministry on Friday said it was too early to assign blame for an explosion on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia, the RIA news agency reported.

Iranian oil tanker hit off Saudi coast, may have been missiles: Iranian media reports
An undated picture shows the Iranian-owned Sabiti oil tanker sailing in Red Sea. National Iranian Oil Tanker Company via WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY
An Iranian-owned oil tanker was struck, probably by missiles, in the Red Sea off Saudi Arabia's coast on Friday, Iranian media said, an incident that if confirmed will stoke tension in a region rattled by attacks on tankers and oil sites since May.

U.S. says deploying more forces to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran threat
FILE PHOTO: Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
The United States announced the deployment of additional American military forces to Saudi Arabia on Friday to bolster the kingdom's defenses after the Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran.

Iranian government spokesman decries 'cowardly attack' on oil tanker
An Iranian government spokesman on Saturday called the apparent targeting of an Iranian oil tanker by missiles a "cowardly attack" and said Iran would respond after the facts had been studied.

Saudi Arabia says it received distress message from damaged Iranian tanker: SPA
Saudi Arabia said it received a distress message on Friday from a damaged Iranian tanker in the Red Sea but the vessel kept moving and switched off its transponder before it could provide assistance, state news agency SPA reported on Saturday.

Iran says ready for talks with Saudi, with or without mediation
Iran is prepared to hold talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia with or without the help of a mediator, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, ahead of a visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Putin says Russia can play key role in Middle East, has good Iran ties: Arabiya
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan October 11, 2019.  Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia can play a key role in the Middle East as it has good relations with Iran and the Arab world, he told Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

Russia's Putin says Iran's missile program should be treated separately to nuclear program: Arabiya
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Iran's missile program should be dealt with as a separate matter to its nuclear program.

Saudi Arabia says it is not behind Iranian tanker struck in Red Sea
FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attends the Arab Foreign Ministers extraordinary meeting to discuss the Syrian crisis in Cairo, Egypt October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
A Saudi minister said on Sunday that Riyadh was not behind a suspected strike against an Iranian-owned oil tanker in the Red Sea, which Iranian state-run television said was hit on Friday by missiles but denied reports they came from Saudi Arabia.

Khamenei tells Iran's Guards to develop advanced, modern weapons
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives a speech to a group of scholars and seminary students of religious sciences in Tehran, Iran September 17, 2019. Official Khamenei website/Handout via REUTERS
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards on Sunday to develop more advanced and modern weapons, amid increasingly tense disputes with the United States and Gulf Arab states.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
IRGC Arrests Head of Anti-Iran Media Outlet ‘Supported by French Intel’
IRGC Arrests Head of Anti-Iran Media Outlet ‘Supported by French Intel’ - Politics news - Tasnim News Agency
IRGC Arrests Head of Anti-Iran Media Outlet ‘Supported by French Intel’

October, 14, 2019 - TEHRAN - The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Monday that in a “complicated” operation, it has managed to arrest the head of an anti-Iranian media outlet “directed and supported by France’s intelligence service”.

In a statement on Monday, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced that Ruhollah Zam, who ran the “counter-revolutionary” website “www.amadnews.org” and Telegram channel “Amadnews”, has been arrested and is in custody.


The IRGC emphasized that Zam had been running extensive psychological warfare in recent years with direct logistical support of foreign intelligence services and counter-revolutionary agents outside the country in order to sow discord inside Iran, stoke Iranophobia, disseminate lies, foment doubt among the young generation about religious beliefs, prepare the ground for acts of violence and terror and create chaos and unrest inside the country.

“This evil mercenary element” was busted during a “sophisticated” intelligence operation, according to the statement.

“Despite being under the guidance of the French intelligence service and the support of the US and Zionist intelligence services…, and being guarded round the clock by various means and covers, he fell into a trap laid by… the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization,”

Amadnews was suspended by the messaging app Telegram last year after Iran accused it of carrying calls for violence during protests that started in late 2017 and continued across the country. But the channel soon reappeared under a new name.

Note - For Members who visit the Eurasia Future website ( Layout - THIS WEBSITE IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED) - it's permanently closed? No prior notice was given.

Iran says it captures exiled journalist who supported 2018 unrest
Agents of Iran's Revolutionary Guards have captured and returned to Iran an exiled journalist who allegedly fueled anti-government street unrest across the country early last year using social media, Iranian state television reported on Monday.

Iran to Launch 3 Satellites in Coming Months, Official Says
Iran to Launch 3 Satellites in Coming Months, Official Says - Science news - Tasnim News Agency
Iran to Launch 3 Satellites in Coming Months, Official Says

October, 13, 2019 - TEHRAN – Head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Morteza Barari, in a meeting with several parliamentarians, announced that the country would launch three domestically-made satellites into orbit by the end of the current Persian calendar year (March 2020).

Speaking to Tasnim, MP Mehrdad Baouj Lahouti pointed to the Sunday meeting between Barari and a number of lawmakers and said he presented a report on the performance and future plans of the ISA.

He added that at the beginning of the meeting, Barari announced the three new satellites would be launched by the end of the current Iranian year.

The satellites and their launchers have been designed and manufactured by domestic experts, the lawmaker quoted the official as saying.

Iran has in recent years made great headways in the space technology thanks to the efforts made by its local scientists. The country successfully launched its first indigenous data-processing satellite, Omid (Hope), into orbit in February 2009.

In February 2017, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani unveiled 3 new achievements in the space industry, including Payam, which has been made in Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology with the mission to take surveying images at resolutions below 40 meters. Equipped with a range of homegrown technologies, the satellite will go into orbit with a local carrier.

In July 2017, Iran inaugurated the Imam Khomeini National Space Center with the successful test-launch of a homegrown satellite carrier dubbed Simorgh. The center, home to Iran’s first fixed launch platform, administrates the development, launch, and navigation of Iranian satellite carriers.

Designed and built in compliance with international standards, the Imam Khomeini National Space Center is going to handle all space projects in the low‑Earth orbit (LEO).

Ayatollah Khamenei: Nukes Absolutely Forbidden in Islam
Ayatollah Khamenei: Nukes Absolutely Forbidden in Islam - Politics news - Tasnim News Agency
Ayatollah Khamenei: Nukes Absolutely Forbidden in Islam

October, 09, 2019 - Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underscored that producing and stockpiling nuclear weapons is absolutely forbidden in Iran according to the rules of Islam.

In an address to a group of Iranian academic elites and top scientific talents in Tehran on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that scientific progress must be accompanied with humanitarian values and the correct culture of humanitarianism.

“The very important and very beneficial nuclear science led to the production of nuclear bomb and turned into a big threat to the world and humanity when it was coupled with the wrong culture of power seeking,” the Leader deplored.

Highlighting the Islamic Republic’s “firm and courageous” stance against nuclear bombs, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Despite having been able to take steps in this path (nuclear weapon production), we declared utilization of this weapon absolutely haram (forbidden) in religion according to dear Islam’s orders.”

“So there is no reason for us to spend on the production and stockpiling of a weapon which is absolutely haram,” the Leader underscored.

Iranian Scientist Imprisoned Illegally in US for One Year
Iranian Scientist Imprisoned Illegally in US for One Year - Society/Culture news - Tasnim News Agency
Iranian Scientist Imprisoned Illegally in US for One Year

October, 13, 2019 - On October 25, 2018, an airplane carrying Iranian professor Masoud Soleimani heading to the United States on a research mission touched down at a Chicago airport. One year on, the stem cell scientist remains incarcerated without a fair trial.

The 49-year-old Iranian professor and biomedical researcher at Tehran's Tarbiat Modares University, who was traveling to the US with a visa issued upon an invitation by a US research center, was detained by the FBI upon arrival, according to Press TV.

The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota had invited Soeimani to lead a research program on the treatment of stroke patients.

Prosecutors in Atlanta have accused Soleimani, who works in stem cell research, hematology and regenerative medicine, and two of his former students of conspiring and attempting to export biological materials from the US to Iran without authorization, in violation of American sanctions.

The two students were charged in a court and released after posting bail because they held US citizenship.

Federal prosecutors claim the attempted transport was illegal and secretly obtained an indictment against Soleimani in June 2018.

During his sole court appearance on May 14, 2019, Soleimani was charged with trying to transfer to Iran via his students a few vials of growth hormone -- a substance readily available on the market and not subject to sanctions.

Soleimani is reportedly suffering from several health problems which have been aggravated during his incarceration. Moreover, he has lost his mother during his time in jail, of which he remains uninformed.

Social media activists have launched a campaign with the hashtag #Free_Masoud_Soleimani to draw global attention to the case of the imprisoned Iranian scientist, one year on.

Iran president says there is video footage of attack on Iranian tanker
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during press conference in Tehran, Iran, October 14, 2019. Official Presidential website/Handout via REUTERS
October 14, 2019 - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said an Iranian tanker damaged in the Red Sea on Friday had been hit by at least two rockets, and there is video footage of the incident.

Iranian authorities reported that the Iranian-owned oil tanker, the Sabiti, was struck off Saudi Arabia’s coast. There has been no independent report on the cause of the damage.

Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia has said it was not behind any attack on the tanker. Saudi authorities said they received a distress message from the vessel, but they added that it had switched off its transponder before they could assist.

Rouhani, speaking live on state television on Monday, said the attack was undoubtedly carried out by a government and that there would be consequences. (Israel ?)

Iran urges diplomacy to lower tensions, but decries tanker incident
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid/File Photo
Iran on Monday urged regional powers to use diplomacy to reduce tensions including Yemen's war, but cautioned that an Iranian tanker damaged in the Red Sea last week had been hit by rockets and there would have to be consequences.

Iran to continue scaling back commitments to nuclear deal: Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during press conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Tehran, Iran, October 13, 2019. Official Presidential website/Handout via REUTERS
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday Tehran would continue to scale back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear agreement until the European Union fulfils promises it made under the deal.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
If it is a sabotage event, who would be the more likely suspect and what reasons might they have?
Israeli Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu

‘Israel’ Afraid of Trump Negotiating Secretly New Nuclear Deal with Iran: Zionist Media
‘Israel’ Afraid of Trump Negotiating Secretly New Nuclear Deal with Iran: Zionist Media
October 17, 2019 - The Zionist media reflected the enemy’s augmenting fear of the ongoing changes in the Middle East in favor of Iran and its allies, considering that Tehran has become daring in dealing any blow to Tel Aviv.

The Israeli analysts considered that the US reluctance allowed Iran to strike Saudi oil facilities, blaming Trump for the strategy of withdrawal from the region.

In this regard, the Zionist analysts feared a secret negotiations between Washington and Tehran which may concluded a new nuclear deal at the expense of the Israeli analysts.


Iran accuses US, Israel, Saudi Arabia of targeting its oil tanker in Red Sea

Iran accuses US, Israel, Saudi Arabia of targeting its oil tanker in Red Sea
Oil tanker [Jon Olav Eikenes/Flickr]

Oil tanker [Jon Olav Eikenes/Flickr]

October 17, 2019 - Member of Iranian Parliament’s National Security Commission Abolfazl Hassan Beigi accused the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia of targeting his country’s oil tanker in the Red Sea, local news agencies reported.

Hassan Beigi was quoted by the Iranian news agency Mehr saying that the footage from the cameras placed in the tanker prove that the attack was carried out by the three countries.

He said that evidence “will be taken to the UN and the Security Council so that those countries behind this terrorist attack would pay for their action.”

“Saudi Arabia and the US are trying to put the blame on Daesh or Taliban for the attack, but the documents dismiss such a notion as these terrorists are present in the Red Sea.”

He said that Daesh was created and sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

On Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said “the attack on Iran was a sophisticated, state-sponsored action.”
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Israel not happy.

6-7 minute Read:
Israel is readying for a direct cruise missile or drone strike by Tehran in response to recent attacks on Iranian regional proxies which have been attributed to the Jewish state, Army Radio reported Tuesday evening.

Unlike ballistic missiles, which usually fly through a high arc on the way to the target, cruise missiles and drones fly at low altitude, making them harder to detect.

The report cited anonymous “Israeli sources,” who said the IDF was already on high alert for the possibility and that the security cabinet will convene for an “unplanned” meeting next Tuesday against a backdrop of tensions with the Islamic Republic.

This would be the second time this month that the high-level security cabinet has convened. On October 6, its members gathered amid cryptic warnings by Israeli leaders of a growing security threat from Iran. That meeting lasted for nearly six hours.

During the meeting, ministers discussed a proposal, being pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for a NIS 1 billion ($290 million) project to boost Israel’s air defenses that would place particular focus on defending the country against cruise missile attacks.

Channel 12 at the time cited anonymous officials who believed Tehran may have publicized information about an allegedly foiled “Israel-Arab” plot to assassinate General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a pretense to attack Israel.

Both Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin have mentioned crucial security needs in recent days as they called for the formation of a broad unity government after the September 17 elections.

Iran appears to have been building up its drone activities and attacks in recent months — in August, Israeli fighter jets carried out airstrikes in Syria to thwart a planned attack on Israel by Iran-backed fighters using armed drones, the Israel Defense Forces said. The Israeli military said its strike targeted operatives from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force as well as Shiite militias who had been planning on sending “kamikaze” attack drones into Israel armed with explosives.

In September, a cruise missile and drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities knocked out half the kingdom’s oil production. Although Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran of being behind the attack.

Channel 12 news reported that defense officials who have studied the weapons used in the attack on the Saudi facilities concluded that a similar assault by Iran on Israel, if it came, would likely be launched from western Iraq, where there is a strong presence of Iran-backed militias.

Iran regularly threatens Israel, viewing the country as a powerful enemy allied with the United States and Sunni countries in the region against Tehran and its nuclear ambitions.

Israel has also thwarted Iranian operations in neighboring Syria where its fighters and those of Iranian proxy Hezbollah have been fighting alongside forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad since 2011.

Israel has vowed to prevent Iran’s regional proxy militias from obtaining advanced weapons to use against the Jewish state and has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria that it says were to prevent deliver of weapons and to stop Iranian military entrenchment in that country.

Late last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced that investigations have determined the recent spate of airstrikes targeting powerful Iranian-backed militias in Iraq were carried out by Israel.

The Qatari-funded TV network also quoted him as saying that “many indicators show that no one wants war in the region except for Israel,” according to a translation by the Reuters news agency.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the statements from the Iraqi premier, saying “these are reports from foreign media and we do not comment on them.”

Since July, there have been at least nine strikes both inside Iraq and across the border in Syria, targeting the Iran-backed militias, known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF.

Leaders of the powerful Shiite paramilitary group have repeatedly blamed Israel and by extension its US ally, which maintains more than 5,000 troops in Iraq.

Israel has not confirmed its involvement in the attacks, though Netanyahu has hinted at the possibility that it has struck in Iraq.

Earlier this month, a senior Iranian lawmaker blamed Israel, the United States and Saudi Arabia for an alleged attack on an oil tanker off the Saudi coast and said he would take the complaint to the UN.

Tehran says the Iranian-flagged Sabiti tanker was hit by two separate explosions off the Red Sea port of Jeddah.

Hassan Beigi, a member of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, claimed without evidence that the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia were alleging the Islamic State jihadist group or Afghanistan’s Taliban for an alleged attack on an oil tanker last week off the Saudi coast and said he would take the complaint to the UN.

The value of Iran’s farming exports exceeded $2 billion in the first five months of the Iranian calendar year which started in late March.

Iran’s ministry of agriculture said on Tuesday that dairy products accounted for the largest portion of agri-food exports between late March and early September, when the country exported around $250 million worth of such products.

An official from the ministry said vegetables shipments topped the list of exports in terms of volume with nearly 734,000 tons (nearly 810,000 American tons) sold over the five-month period and mostly to the neighboring countries.

Abdolmehdi Bakhshandeh said exports of various vegetables generated more than $232 million while tomato, whose exports were categorized in a different section, created more than $190 million in export revenues.

Pistachio, a main Iranian export item, came third in the list in terms of volume of shipments, as more than 21,000 tons of the nut were exported between March and September, generating over nearly $178 million in revenues.


The list of 12 most popular Iranian farming products exported to other countries and released by the ministry of agriculture included saffron, onion, garlic, date, grapes, potato, apple, egg, chicken and tea.

Bakhshandeh said agri-food exports were on rise despite sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran which seek to undermine the country’s economy.

He said farming exports accounted for 10.97 percent of Iran’s non-oil exports, which mostly covers petrochemicals and products derived from oil, over the past months.

The data comes as Iran reported record highs in agri-food exports in the last calendar year ending in March 2019.

Bakhshandeh said that nearly seven million tons of farming products were exported to other countries last year, generating nearly $6.4 billion in revenues.




Trita Parsi on Twitter

 

Laurs

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
In this recent article Iran, Israel and Destiny , Gilad Atzmon concludes:

'As things stand, Israel used the billions of dollars it squeezed from American taxpayers to build an obsolete anti missile system that at best, might be effective against 1940 era German V2 missiles. Once again Israel prepared for the wrong war. Israel is totally unprepared for the havoc it has brought on itself. A rational mind would expect Israel to rethink its tactics and seek peace with its neighbours and with Iran. But, it seems, Netanyahu intends to follow the same belligerent hawkish path that has made Jewish history into a tragic continuum.

If Zionism was a promise to introduce a new paradigm and emancipate Jews from their fate, the Jewish State is there to ensure that the Jewish destiny remains intact.'
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
The White House announced that the President will make a "major statement" Sunday at 9:00 a.m.


Iran was informed of IS leader Baghdadi's death - Iranian officials tell Reuters
FILE PHOTO: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video.  Social Media Website via Reuters TV/File Photo
Iran was informed by sources in Syria that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed, two Iranian officials told Reuters on Sunday.

“Iran was informed about Baghdadi’s death by Syrian officials who got it from the field,” one of the officials said. The second Iranian official confirmed it.

U.S. targeted Islamic State's al-Baghdadi: official
FILE PHOTO: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video.  Social Media Website via Reuters TV/File Photo
The United States has carried out an operation targeting Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official did not disclose details of the operation and did not say whether it was successful.

Newsweek, citing a U.S. Army official briefed on the result of the operation, said al-Baghdadi was killed in the raid.

Trump Approves Special Ops Raid Targeting ISIS Leader Baghdadi, Military Says He's Dead

Trump approves Special Ops raid targeting ISIS leader Baghdadi and military says he's dead

10/26/19 - The United States military has conducted a special operations raid targeting one of its most high-value targets, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), Newsweek has learned. President Donald Trump approved the mission nearly a week before it took place.

Amid reports Saturday of U.S. military helicopters over the Syria's northwestern Idlib province, a senior Pentagon official familiar with the operation and Army official briefed on the matter told Newsweek that Baghdadi was the target of the top-secret operation in the last bastion of the country's Islamist-dominated opposition, a faction that has clashed with ISIS in recent years.

A U.S. Army official briefed on the results of the operation told Newsweek that Baghdadi was killed in the raid, and the Defense Department told the White House they have "high confidence" that the high-value target killed was Baghdadi, but further verification is pending DNA and biometric testing. The senior Pentagon official said there was a brief firefight when U.S. forces entered the compound in Idlib's Barisha village and that Baghdadi then killed himself by detonating a suicide vest. Family members were present. According to Pentagon sources, no children were harmed in the raid but two Baghdadi wives were killed after detonating their own explosive vests.

Members of the Joint Special Operations Command's Delta Team carried out Saturday's high-level operation after receiving actionable intelligence, according to sources familiar with the operation. The location raided by special operations troops had been under surveillance for some time.

The senior Pentagon official told Newsweek that the compound in which Baghdadi was located was then taken out with an airstrike in order to prevent the site from becoming a shrine to the leader. Turkey, a NATO ally backing local insurgents, was not notified prior to the operation, the official said.

On Saturday night, after the operation had concluded, President Trump tweeted: "Something very big has just happened!" The White House announced later that the president will make a "major statement" Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
10/26/19 - The United States military has conducted a special operations raid targeting one of its most high-value targets, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), Newsweek has learned. President Donald Trump approved the mission nearly a week before it took place.
Amazing how the U.S. "deep state" can be instrumental in creating ISIS and "heliborning" them to other staging areas one minute and then eliminating the top ISIS leaders (to prevent disclosure of U.S. involvement?) the next minute. It seems Trump is taking full advantage of Putin and Russia's victories over ISIS by claiming them as U.S. victories just to survive. Surely he knows what is going on in Syria is really a failure militarily. If not we have a long way to go before things get better I think.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Amazing how the U.S. "deep state" can be instrumental in creating ISIS and "heliborning" them to other staging areas one minute and then eliminating the top ISIS leaders (to prevent disclosure of U.S. involvement?) the next minute. It seems Trump is taking full advantage of Putin and Russia's victories over ISIS by claiming them as U.S. victories just to survive. Surely he knows what is going on in Syria is really a failure militarily. If not we have a long way to go before things get better I think.
Hi Goyacobol - not sure what to make of all this yet - still gathering reports? First thoughts were that it may be a hyped PR stint, due the "timing" of this event? We know Trump wants to get out of Syria, ordered Troops out and the Pentagon/NATO are inserting MORE Troops and armor tanks to guard the northeast oil wells in Syria. I sense, there was a rendezvous meeting in Afghanistan recently between Esper, VP Pence, Pompeo, Pelosi and Schiff and they are cooking up mischief? In the same token, it's being reported - Trump "failed" to contact Pelosi and Schiff and a few other's on this "situation room" Mission? So, something is "at work" behind the scenes - for Trump to make "a dramatic play" in Syria like this? There is many things in play here, including moves Erdogan is making and I'm really concerned what NATO might have up their sleeve and are waiting to pull-off? Trump may have put a wrench in their wheels, aborting NATO plans?

House Intelligence Chair Rep. Adam Schiff says he wasn't told about al-Baghdadi operation (Video)
House Intelligence Chair Rep. Adam Schiff says he wasn't informed before al-Baghdadi operation
originally appeared on
abcnews.go.com Oct. 27, 2019

PHOTO: Chairman of the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff (R), and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hold a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 15, 2019. (Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images)


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff were not informed in advance of the U.S. special operations forces raid in northwestern Syria in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died, Schiff said on ABC’s "This Week"

"My understanding [Pelosi] wasn’t [told].
But a couple of things, first of all, good riddance. [Al-Baghdadi] was a blood thirsty killer to the degree that he retained operational control of ISIS, Schiff said. "This is an operational success, this is a symbolic victory. He had the blood of thousands and thousands of people on his hands, including many Americans and American journalists. So, this a great day, a ruthless killer has been brought to Justice. "
Schiff appeared on "This Week" moments after President Donald Trump announced the raid in northwestern Syria on Saturday.

"Last night the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead," the President said in remarks Sunday morning.

Trump confirmed that al-Baghdadi died after igniting a suicide vest, killing him and three of his child. "He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest killing himself and three children. His body was mutilated from the blast, the tunnel had caved in on it in addition, but test results gave certain immediate and totally positive identification. It was him," the president said.

Schiff said the gang of 8, which includes congressional leaders of both parties, including himself, were not told about the operation before it was carried out. "In terms of notifying the Gang of 8, that wasn’t done," Schiff said.

The House Intelligence Committee chair appeared on "This Week" a day after Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of European and Eurasian affairs, testified before his committee on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

An official working on the impeachment investigation told ABC News that the State Department had tried to interfere in Reeker’s deposition.

"In light of an attempt by the State Department to direct Amb. Philip Reeker not to appear for his scheduled deposition, and efforts by the State Department to also limit any testimony that does occur, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to compel his testimony," the official told ABC News in a statement. "As is required of him, Ambassador Reeker is now complying with the subpoena and answering questions."

.
PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Oct. 27, 2019. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

(MORE: President Trump says ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is dead after US military raid in Syria)
Trump says ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is dead after US military raid in Syria

President Donald Trump announced the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

"A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been eliminated," Trump said in an address to the nation from the White House. "He will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child. He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place."

Trump said he was able to watch most of the operation in the situation room as it happened.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and government officials monitor developments as special operations forces close in on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadis compound in Syria in the situation room at the White House, Oct. 26, 2019.

Shealah Craighead/The White House via Getty Images
President Donald Trump and government officials monitor developments as special operations forces close in on ISIS leader Abu

"Al-Baghdadi was vicious and violent and he died in a vicious and violent way. As a coward running and crying," Trump said. "This raid was impeccable and could only have taken place with the acknowledgment and help of certain other nations and people. I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq and I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us."


Defense Secretary Mark Esper appeared on ABC's "This Week" following the president's remarks and described more details of the military operation, saying the starts started lining up a couple of weeks ago. He said troops rehearsed the mission and then on Thursday and Friday chose the option they would proceed with on Saturday.


Trump said he and his national security team gathered in the White House situation room shortly after 5 p.m. to watch the mission. A short time later, eight helicopters carrying the special operations team took off from an undisclosed location in a nearby country for a 1 hour, 10 minute flight to al-Baghdadi's compound. The president said that flight was a dangerous part of the mission given they would be flying over Russian- and extremist-held territory.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

Andrew Harnik/AP President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

Al-Baghdadi grabbed three of his children and ran into an escape tunnel, where he was eventually cornered by a U.S. military dog, Trump said. The president described al-Baghdadi as, "whimpering, crying and screaming the whole time."

There were no American troops wounded in the operation, but a military dog was hurt when al-Baghdadi's vest was detonated and the tunnel collapsed, Trump said.


The president said al-Baghdadi's body was significantly damaged by the blast, but there were enough remains to positively identify him through a visual identification and an on-site DNA test.

Rumors had swirled since at least 2014 that al-Baghdadi had been wounded, or possibly even killed, but he'd often quash those himself by releasing audio recordings.

U.S. special forces nearly killed him in August 2017, destroying a compound south of Ragga in which he was believed to have been during a massive bombardment. The following month, he released an audio recording to prove he'd survived.

The ISIS leader was last seen alive in a video in April. There had been a $25 million U.S. bounty on the head of al-Baghdadi, who, in his only previous video, recorded in a Mosul mosque in 2014, called himself "Caliph," or leader of all Muslims.

The president said American forces were in the compound for about two hours after the mission and collected sensitive information.

Esper added that, "we destroyed the target site to ensure it was physically destroyed."

After the troops were safely returned from the compound, the president tweeted, "Something very big has just happened!"

In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said al-Baghdadi met the fate he long deserved. "While there is still work left to do to ensure ISIS’s enduring defeat, Baghdadi’s death follows the path of scores of other ISIS leaders that have been removed from the battlefield and can no longer commit heinous atrocities or spread their vile ideology of hatred to poison and recruit vulnerable minds.

His evil acts of beheadings, enslavement of women, rape, torture, and pure brutality follows him to his grave," Pompeo said in the statement.

Following the president's remarks and press conference, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters that al-Baghdadi's death was a "game changer." "The best of America confronted the worst kind of mankind, and America won," he said. "This is where Trump's worst critics should say well-done," Graham added.

During his press conference, Trump said he did not inform Democratic leaders about the mission, but did tell a small group of Republican lawmakers.

ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran asked Graham if that was appropriate, but Graham said it was not his place to comment on that.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a House briefing on the raid, "which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance."

"Americans salute the heroism, dedication and skill of our military and our intelligence professionals and acknowledge the work of our partners in the region. We are relieved that no U.S. personnel died in this daring raid," she said in the statement. "The death of al-Baghdadi is significant, but the death of this ISIS leader does not mean the death of ISIS. Scores of ISIS fighters remain under uncertain conditions in Syrian prisons, and countless others in the region and around the world remain intent on spreading their influence and committing acts of terror."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell applauded the president's announcement in a statement.

"A victory like this is only possible because of the expertise, skill, and courage of those who work to keep the United States safe. I am grateful for the intelligence professionals who laid the groundwork for this raid, for the brave American servicemembers who risked everything to carry it out, and to President Trump and his team for their leadership," he said in the statement.
 

SOTTREADER

Dagobah Resident
How it looks like to be on the ground in Iran - a travellers perspective


Main takeaways from the video

- American sanctions are being felt on the ground but people are adapting and finding ways to live their lives despite off.
- In general people seem normal, not barbarians, jihadis or any of that. Hammers home how in general, the animosity between countries are mostly being driven by politicians (the few) to their benefit against the many (populations of opposing countries)
- Hyperinflation seems to be a reality - linked to sanctions.
 

Ursus Minor

Dagobah Resident
Hi Goyacobol - not sure what to make of all this yet - still gathering reports? First thoughts were that it may be a hyped PR stint, due the "timing" of this event? We know Trump wants to get out of Syria, ordered Troops out and the Pentagon/NATO are inserting MORE Troops and armor tanks to guard the northeast oil wells in Syria. I sense, there was a rendezvous meeting in Afghanistan recently between Esper, VP Pence, Pompeo, Pelosi and Schiff and they are cooking up mischief? In the same token, it's being reported - Trump "failed" to contact Pelosi and Schiff and a few other's on this "situation room" Mission? So, something is "at work" behind the scenes - for Trump to make "a dramatic play" in Syria like this? There is many things in play here, including moves Erdogan is making and I'm really concerned what NATO might have up their sleeve and are waiting to pull-off? Trump may have put a wrench in their wheels, aborting NATO plans?
Did they really kill "al-Baghdadi"?

Trump confirmed that al-Baghdadi died after igniting a suicide vest, killing him and three of his children.
"He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest killing himself and three children. His body was mutilated from the blast, the tunnel had caved in on it in addition, but test results gave certain immediate and totally positive identification. It was him," the president said.
So he was mutilated and the tunnel caved in on him. How convenient.

Nobody will ever know whether it has really been al-Baghdadi or whether this character had been still alive anyway.
Will they drop him into the sea as they did with Osama-bin-Laden? :whistle:
 

Ursus Minor

Dagobah Resident
‘All we have are Trump’s words’: UN isn’t confirming elimination of IS chief al-Baghdadi

The UN Monitoring Team on terrorist groups is going to put questions to the US and other involved parties to clarify the fate of al-Baghdadi, Edmund Fitton-Brown, a British diplomat who coordinates the team, told RIA Novosti news agency.
“All we have so far is the public announcement from the Americans, but it does seem like a very confident announcement. They seem very sure of themselves. They claim that they have verified it…
So, I think that should be taken very seriously.”


Russia’s Defense Ministry doubted Trump’s words, saying that it didn’t record any US coalition airstrikes in the area when the raid was said to have been carried out.

Trump initially promised to release a video of the raid, but the Pentagon later said that it had disposed of al-Baghdadi’s remains at sea and have no plans to share any videos or photos. :rolleyes:

Source: RT.com
 
Will they drop him into the sea as they did with Osama-bin-Laden? :whistle:
Trump initially promised to release a video of the raid, but the Pentagon later said that it had disposed of al-Baghdadi’s remains at sea and have no plans to share any videos or photos. :rolleyes:

Source: RT.com
The script is so predictable, it's laughable isn't it? Don't know whether to cry or laugh.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Nobody will ever know whether it has really been al-Baghdadi or whether this character had been still alive anyway.
They got their bases covered on that one ... PROMISE not to giggle?

Syrian Democratic Forces say Baghdadi's underwear was DNA tested before raid
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's underpants were obtained by an undercover source and DNA tested to prove his identity before an operation by U.S. forces to kill him,
an advisor to the Syrian Democratic Forces said on Monday.

There may be more trouble ahead for Iran?

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's trip started here and ended in Israel, where he got his new marching orders. Mnuchin has no morals or ethics - his background is a mess.


U.S.' Mnuchin, Kushner to attend Saudi conference, visit Israel
FILE PHOTO: White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (C) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) wait in the Rose Garden prior to President Donald Trump's news conference on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will travel to Saudi Arabia, where they will participate in an investment conference and Israel, where they will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Treasury said on Friday.

U.S. Treasury's Mnuchin says U.S. will ramp up pressure on Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shake hands as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday the United States would increase economic pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, making the pledge during a Middle East trip that includes visits to U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Netanyahu says Iran seeking means to attack Israel from Yemen
FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while speaking during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem October 27, 2019. Gali Tibbon/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran on Monday of seeking the means to launch precision-guided missiles at Israel from Yemen, a signal that the war-torn Gulf Arab country could come under pre-emptive Israeli attack.
 
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