Ursus Minor

Jedi Council Member
Israeli operatives fill the ranks of Hamas and Hezbollah, ISIS and al Qaeda. In some cases dozens have been executed but, as had come to the surface in 2014, one stood out above the rest, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi or as he had been exposed, Shimon Elliot. .... writes Gordon Duff: The Strange Case of Baghdadi

Veterans Today broke the story on August 4, 2014, based on French reports and an alleged confirmation by Edward Snowden that Baghdadi was the British born son of Jewish parents, trained from early life in a well known Mossad program to place sleeper agents within key Arab nations.

In this case, Shimon Elliott became “al Baghdadi” in Iraq under a fake identity and was laundered through an American prison to be the actor commanding the long proven fake “Islamic State” that appeared from nowhere fighting the battles of Israel and America’s neocon right.

During the years since, reports, some reliable, some not, have had Bagdadi, or Mr. Shimon, which we believe more likely, move in and out of Israel and, according to reports in the Arab media, die in an Israeli hospital in 2017.

Is there more than one al Baghdadi? Possibly.

A photograph taken in Syria in 2013 purportedly captured Senator John McCain posing with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In May 2013, Senator John McCain of Arizona undertook a trip to northern Syria, where he met and posed for photographs with members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), an opposition group founded in 2011 during the Syrian Civil War with the intent of bringing down the government of Syrian president Bashar Hafez al-Assad. The month before Senator McCain’s trip, the Obama administration had promised to provide military assistance to opposition fighters in Syria.

With reports from Russia, now read and re-reported around the world that the Baghdadi killing of October 27, 2019 was faked, no American planes or helicopters were in the region, the story below becomes more credible.

We must remember that Russia moved an S400 system into Syria after Turkey shot down a Russian plane and Turkish operatives executed the pilot. This was only miles away from the alleged American either “re-killing of the dead” or fake killing of a Mossad leader of a US backed organization to destroy Syria and Iraq, we are speaking of course of ISIS. From the Russian media taken from VT reports removed by Israeli intelligence.

The alternative story is that the US recruited Baghdadi from an Iraqi prison.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Seven countries issue Iran-related sanctions on 25 targets
FILE PHOTO: Iran's national flags are seen on a square in Tehran February 10, 2012, a day before the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/File Photo
WASHINGTON October 30, 2019 - The United States and six Gulf countries agreed to jointly impose sanctions on 25 corporations, banks and individuals linked to Iran’s support for militant networks including Hezbollah, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

The blacklisted targets were announced by the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) nations - which also include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin traveled in the Middle East to finalize details of an economic development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon.

All 25 targets were previously under sanctions by the United States.

“The TFTC’s action coincides with my trip to the Middle East, where I am meeting with my counterparts across the region to bolster the fight against terrorist financing,” Mnuchin said in a Treasury statement.

In Jerusalem on Monday, Mnuchin said 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.

Twenty-one of the targets announced on Wednesday comprised a vast network of businesses providing financial support to the Basij Resistance Force, a paramilitary group that the U.S. Treasury says works for Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The Treasury said shell companies and other measures were used to mask Basij ownership and control over multibillion-dollar business interests in Iran’s automotive, mining, metals, and banking industries, many of which operate across the Middle East and Europe.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday welcomed the move by Paris-based FATF, saying in a statement that the IRGC “continues to engage in large-scale, illicit, financing schemes to fund its malign activities.”

A note on Lebanon - From past media reports, Israel has set it's sight on Lebanon as a way of getting closer (geopolitically) to Iran. Just in the last 2-3 weeks, protesters have started demanding a change in Government heads. Basically, Israel's work in action, along with its lapdogs Mnuchin and Pompeo, to get Prime Minister Hariri, who answers to Saudi Arabia - to step down. That action came down less then 24 hours ago. Hariri is now willing to come back as PM but with conditions.

Lebanon's protesters turn on their leaders, breaking taboos

PM Hariri resigns as Lebanon crisis turns violent

Hariri ready to be Lebanese prime minister again but with conditions: source

FILE PHOTO: Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri gestures as he leaves after delivering his address in Beirut, Lebanon October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
Saad al-Hariri is ready to return as prime minister of a new Lebanese government, a senior official familiar with his thinking said, on condition it includes technocrats and can quickly implement reforms to stave off economic collapse.

U.S.'s Pompeo calls for new, efficient government in Lebanon
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pictured at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2019.   Francisco Seco//Pool via REUTERS
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday urged Lebanon's political leaders to help form a new government responsive to the needs of its people after Saad al-Hariri resigned as prime minister after huge protests against the ruling elite.
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The Living Force
FOTCM Member
WASHINGTON October 30, 2019 - The United States and six Gulf countries agreed to jointly impose sanctions on 25 corporations, banks and individuals linked to Iran’s support for militant networks including Hezbollah, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

The blacklisted targets were announced by the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) nations - which also include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin traveled in the Middle East to finalize details of an economic development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon.

All 25 targets were previously under sanctions by the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday urged Lebanon's political leaders to help form a new government responsive to the needs of its people after Saad al-Hariri resigned as prime minister after huge protests against the ruling elite.
It's long overdue for the U.S. to mind it's own business...:evil:


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
It's long overdue for the U.S. to mind it's own business...:evil:
That should be mounted on clear plexglass, in big flashing RED letters and a framed copy placed in the U.S. Senate and one in Congress!

Wonder what Netanyahu is planning - this time?

Israel's Netanyahu plans to move funds from civilian to military spending
FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media after reviewing an exhibition by the Israeli Air Force at the Palmachim Air Force Base near the city of Rishon LeZion in central Israel October 27, 2019. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to shift funds designated for civilian purposes to military spending to meet any threats from Iran, a government official said on Tuesday.

U.S. sanctions on Iran threaten access to certain medicines: report
U.S. sanctions on Iran threaten access by some Iranians to medicines that treat diseases such as cancer and epilepsy,
despite exemptions in the measures for imports of humanitarian goods, a report said on Tuesday.

Iran urges unity among Lebanon's political groups
Iran on Tuesday called for unity among Lebanon's political groups after Saad al-Hariri resigned as Lebanon's prime minister amid protests.


FOTCM Member
The earthquake in Albania according to this article hit an area of Albania which housed the Western supported Iranian resistance movement, which had previously until 2016 been housed in a camp in Iraq. It hasn't been in other media that I have seen and thus can be considered as unverified, but it sounds interesting. They blame Iran for the earthquake, but also reveal how much they were involved in protests in Iran and their Western backers. The earthquake destroyed a lot of their new operation center and caused deaths and injuries. According to wikipedia, the MEK did relocate 4000 members to Albania in this area, close to the epicenter of the earthquake.

Devastating Earthquake Destroys The PMOI/NCR Base In Albania, Possibly Dozens Dead, Survivors Blame Iran
By John Claimor
By Guest Author Last updated Nov 30, 2019
0 2,657

TIRANA – On 26 November, early Wednesday morning at 3:54 local time, northwestern Albania was struck by a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter northwest of the capital Tirana. The maximum perceived intensity was VIII (severe) on the Modified Mercalli intensity scale. The tremor was felt in all parts of the country, and in places as far away as the Italian city Taranto and the Serbian capital Belgrade, some 370 kilometers northeast of the epicenter. It was the strongest earthquake to hit Albania in forty years. There have been hundreds of aftershocks, of which four have been greater than 5-magnitude.

Following the deadly earthquake, the Albanian government declared Wednesday a day of national mourning and a state of emergency in the Durres and Tirana regions. The earthquake razed several buildings to the ground in the port city of Durres and the surrounding villages, trapping dozens of people. Material damage and casualties have been reported in Tirana also. Neighboring and European Union countries have reacted to the earthquake with sending civil emergency rescue teams and financial aid.

For more than 36 hours, civil emergency crews, police, the army and specialized rescue teams from other countries have been digging in the ruins of collapsed buildings seeking survivors. The authorities say they have so far rescued 45 people. According to the latest official data, at least 48 people were killed in the earthquake, with 790 injured and more than 20 missing. These numbers are far from complete, especially considering the official hiding of foreign victims.

Unreported foreign casualties
RevContent InArticle SOLO

While Albanian citizens living in Tirana and Durres, 30 km and 15 km from the epicenter respectively, had some luck to avoid disaster, the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) aka National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCR) had none. Stationed only 5 km from the epicenter of the main earthquake, as well as less than a kilometer away from the epicenter of powerful 5.3-magnitude aftershock, the residents of poorly built barracks of the Ashraf-3 base have experienced true horror.
The Ashraf-3 base within the main destructive zone (map:
The Ashraf-3 base and earthquake aftershocks (map:

And everything almost went unreported. Standing with a colleague at the entrance of Tirana’s hospital in search of new information and tragic personal experiences, we were surprised to see a column of emergency vehicles led by a police car, trumpeting and shouting “Clear the way!” Wondering who is so important that ordinary civilians have to get out of the way, including wounded women and crying children, we followed the column until it stopped and politely asked the police officer about the VIP patients. “No camera, get back,” he ignored our questions and tried to drive us away.

Standing aside, but at a decent distance, we saw paramedics fastly carrying wounded on stretchers inside, at least two dozen of them. Some were covered with sheets full of blood, probably half dead, while others were howling in some incomprehensible language. Foreigners, therefore special treatment, I think to myself. But who? Too many for some embassy staff, too much well-treated for tourists, I wondered.

Given the obvious secrecy and strict police measures, we decided to change our approach. Instead of asking sensitive details with the press cards, we dodged the cops and approached one young paramedic: “They sent us here, we are translators, where should we go?” I asked him with self-confidence. “So you speak Iranian,” he responded. “Of course I speak Persian, or Iranian, as you inaccurately say,” I taught him differences and repeated the question about direction. “Second floor,” he explained, showing us where to go, and left quickly.
For me, things immediately started to make sense. Few in Albania do not know that there is a base near Tirana with 4,000 members of the controversial Iranian opposition group, displaced in 2016 from Iraq at the request of the US government. We journalists know a little more. Their compound is highly guarded and residents are strictly controlled, with no contact with the outside world. Several fugitives from the base gave shocking stories, and Albanian journalists who reported about their cases were facing tremendous pressures and harassment. Thus, this disastrous situation turned out to be a gold mine, a unique opportunity to find out what happened there. And what was happening earlier.

Repeating the same approach, I introduced myself as a translator and entered the hospital building. Fortunately, being busy in all that mess, none of the hospital staff asked additional questions or demanded documents, nor know Persian. Neither do I. Therefore, I hoped to find a sufficiently lively and friendly English speaker among the casualties, and I did. Teymur, a skinny mustachioed man in his late 50s, spoke English badly and slowly, but honestly.

“Not fair, we’re razed, but Tehran is not”
“It started shaking while I was sleeping in our dormitory with many others,” Teymur begins his experience. “At first the bed started to shake and I saw many waking up, then the windows and ceiling bursting down. Comrades in our and adjacent dormitories started screaming, some shouting that we were under attack. Finally, the structure began to collapse and the beam fell on my legs. I can’t feel my legs. In the half-dark I saw large chunks falling down, some were crushed, instantly dead. All this happened in less than a minute. Soon there was a lot of dust and I couldn’t see anymore, I just yelled for help. It felt like Mersad.”

Later, on the Internet I found out that Mersad was the name of the 1988 military operation in which Iranian army destroyed their troops in a canyon. Asked to evaluate the number of dead and the damage in their base, Teymur says:

“At dawn I was pulled out of the rubble. They lined us up the road and we waited for emergency vehicles. I heard that some were taken to Durres, others to Tirana. I saw seriously wounded and dead, perhaps dozens. I don’t know exactly. Earlier in the ruins I was calling out the names and out of twenty comrades in dormitory, only three answered me. But I know very well that the dormitory barracks have been destroyed, some razed to the ground, some badly damaged. Most of the base staff were sleeping, the rest were at computers in a hall, working an eight-hour night shift online. There are casualties there too, the ceiling has fallen and ruined our hard work. Simply not fair!”

It was astonishing that Teymur spoke calmly about the dead and wounded, but started to blubber like a baby about the computer hall. He seemed to be more upset by infrastructure losses than by human casualties. I asked him why the computer hall is so important to him.
“We arrived in Albania three years ago and since then we have been preparing for a new life. We have been told that our dear Saudi and Israeli allies have invested a lot of money in our base and infrastructure, that we are safe here. We have been told that we have full support of the US government and all their allies, mister Bolton even promised us to celebrate together in Tehran soon. A year ago, we got new computer equipment and for months we worked hard, promoting human rights and democracy. Just ten days ago, we saw Iranian people on the streets and Tehran buildings ablaze, we thought our dreams had come true. But today, no revolution, no halls, no computers. Everything was lost!”

“It has something to do with Iran”

Teymur’s raised voice elicited the reaction of his colleague in the next bed, chanting something like “mark bar this, mark bar that.” Asked to translate from Persian, Teymur explained that his comrade was cursing Iran and its government. “Why,” I asked.
“It has something to do with Iran, no doubt, we all know that,” Teymur claimed. I was pretty dazzled and asked him if he wants to say that Iran caused the earthquake.

“Yes, yes! How is it possible that an earthquake hits us directly? We were told that the earthquake epicenter was very, very close to our base, that there had been no such strong earthquake for decades! Is it a coincidence that it strikes precisely in the early morning hours when all comrades are at the base, inside the barracks? Someone obviously planned to cause as many casualties as possible! How is it possible that an earthquake strikes us just five days after the suppression of our revolution inside Iran? This is pure revenge! I’m sure that Iranian fingerprints exist. In fact, the Albanian police already announced that they had uncovered Iranian agents who were planning attacks against us, just a month ago. Maybe their agents buried and activated powerful bombs, maybe they use high frequencies via satellites to provoke earthquakes, I read that it’s possible. Iran should not posses such advanced technology, I hope our brother Trump will increase sanctions against their research networks, or respond by force,” Teymur said.

Just when his story was becoming more and more interesting, our conversation was interrupted by a security guard who banged on the door. “Who gave you permission to interview the casualties? If you don’t have an interview permit, get out”, security guard yelled, threatening to take our equipment. “If you publish anything in the media without permission, we will sue you and you will regret it,” a corpulent patron of alleged democracy fighters threatened us at the end.


FOTCM Member
I looked on Google Earth and zoomed in to get a better view of this base financed by the US taxpayers to the tune of $20+ millions. It is indeed very close to the epicenter and there have been aftershocks there today aswell pretty much spot on where the base is, so perhaps karma is playing a hand in this. I am more inclined to that idea than to the idea that Iran is possessing earthquake inducing weapons. Wikipedia writes about the base:
In May 2018, MSNBC aired never-before-seen footage of the MEK's secret base in Albania, described as a "massive military-style complex"
Here is the image:


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
'Christmas is coming and it could be 'rainy.'


Iran the Common Enemy in Middle East Protests: Pompeo
ERBIL — The clerical regime of Iran is the enemy that united protesters across some countries in the Middle East, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The following article is not fresh, and was expressed when it was politically fitting, but it also explains the reason why there could be some Iranians both inside Iran and outside who are very much opposed to the current style of governing Iran.

DEATH FROM THE DARK AGES Hanged from cranes, thrown off cliffs and stoned to death… Iran’s brutal history of barbaric executions revealed after ‘CIA spies’ sentenced to death
  • Patrick Knox
  • 24 Jul 2019, 11:00
  • Updated: 24 Jul 2019, 17:23
Last year 273 people were executed for a range of crimes in a manner that would not look out of place in Isis' Caliphate.

But the actual numbers are likely to be much higher as most executions are carried out secretly.

Some have committed serious crimes such as rape and murder.

Over the years others have been killed for being gay, committing adultery, sex outside marriage and drinking alcohol.

In fact “Revolutionary Courts” have the power to execute anyone for anything they deem to be “corruption on earth”.

Children as young as 12 are sentenced to death which international law forbids.

In 2018 six kids were executed, including two child brides who killed their abusive adult husbands.

What are Revolutionary Courts?
They are a special system of courts in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Trials, which last a few minutes, are blatantly unfair.
They are not held in public, there is no jury and sometimes defence lawyers are banned.
Human rights group say the evidence used for conviction is often extracted by torture.
A single judge decides the fate and punishment which is often death. Appeals are not an option.
The courts were founded in 1979 when the Islamic regime came to power.
Opposition was rooted out and convicted. Today they are still used as a tool of repression.

One thing not explained is why Iran has these legal provisions, what they are based on.
The way executions are carried out by the US, the UK is different and often includes also some of the bystanders and the suffering probably is on par with the cruel ways ascribed to Iran. Here is an article posted on SOTT that lays out the legal justification for these acts and gives one example:
How Lies And The Bethlehem Doctrine Brought About The Illegal Murder of Soleimani
And for a general discussion of this murder Trump orders assassination of top Iranian General. There will be a response and its consequences.
See also Extrajudicial killing - Wikipedia


Jedi Master
Солдаты НАТО плакали! — стали известны «жуткие» детали удара Ирана по базе США (ВИДЕО)
13.01.2020 - 16:21


NATO soldiers were crying! — became known "terrible" details of Iran's strike on the US base (VIDEO)

13.01.2020 - 16: 21
The Danish Sergeant spoke in an interview with local media about how much fear he and his fellow soldiers suffered when Iran bombed the American base of ain al-Assad.

According to a soldier named John, six hours before the attack, the Danish government and defense Forces knew about the impending missile strike. John and other soldiers were notified of the impending attack, they went down to the bunker in advance, where they waited out the attacks of the forces of the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps (IRGC).

"The first blow was a surprise. Hit 9 missiles with a capacity of a ton each. It was indescribable."

"I've never experienced anything like this, and I hope I never experience it again. It was a brutal attack.

The attack was so strong that the bunker was shaking, and a lot of dust got inside, "the Danish Sergeant shared the" horrors " of the experience.

We will emphasize once again: everyone knew about the attack, the military personnel were warned in advance. The command gave the order to all personnel to take shelter in the equipped bunker. At the same time, the Iranian missile strike still became a "terrifying experience"for the soldiers from Western countries.

"We had to sit with scarves on our faces to breathe. Worst of all was the ignorance and impotence of the Danish soldiers in the face of the expectation of new attacks. We didn't know where or when the next rocket would fall," John complained to reporters.

"We could just sit and wait. We couldn't do what we were prepared for. We could have just waited, " John lamented.

According to him, the Danish soldiers reacted differently. Someone tried to keep up their spirits, make jokes, and tell jokes to "protect" themselves.

"Some clung to each other, and some cried," admitted the Danish Sergeant.

After the Iranian attack on American bases, Sergeant John and 133 of his faint-hearted comrades-in-arms were sent from Iraq to Kuwait. Military psychologists were sent to them to help Danish soldiers recover from their experiences.

"We really need them. It was a situation for which we were not prepared, " John complained to reporters.

"It is a little alarming for the Danish army if a well-known blow, which they waited out in advance in a protected bunker, became a terrifying experience for them, after which they needed a psychologist.

It is terrible to imagine what would have happened to them if Iran had struck without warning, " Boris Rozhin, an expert at the center for military and political journalism, commented on the ridiculous situation in his telegram channel Solonelcassad.

In addition to the details of the missile attack on American bases in Iraq, the Danish Sergeant said that several helicopters were destroyed at the base, the loss of which the Pentagon did not say.

"I would say that the nearest missile fell 300 feet (91 meters) away from us, and when we passed (there) afterwards, there were helicopters torn in half, and the holes are so large that you could Park a van in them," said the Danish Sergeant.

Note that Denmark is not the only country that has decided to evacuate its contingent from Iraq. Earlier, Russian Spring reported that for security reasons, Germany decided to move some of its troops from Iraq to Jordan and Kuwait.

Slovakia can also recall its military to its homeland. Even earlier, the US began to withdraw its military contingent from Iraq.
Солдаты НАТО плакали! — стали известны «жуткие» детали удара Ирана по базе США (ВИДЕО)


The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Tension between US and Iran far from over, says former diplomat
January 12, 2020 Snip 9-11 minutes Oil & Gas 360

NEW DELHI : There may have have been a de-escalation in the confrontation between the US and Iran for the time being, but tensions will continue to simmer, thanks to maneuvering, and proxy or cyber attacks by US and Iran against each other, says Arun K Singh, former Indian ambassador to the US.

Singh, who was head of the Iran desk in the Indian foreign ministry as well as an ambassador to Israel, also said the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was as good as dead, with fresh talks required to resurrect it. Though India has been careful not to side with Iran or the US, its deep interlinkages with the US economy and financial systems compel India to circumscribe its ties with Iran.

Edited excerpts:
1) Is the present confrontation over, you think, or is there potential for a new flare up any time soon?

Both Iran and US have signaled that they want to walk back from the current escalatory phase. After the US drone strike that killed the Iranian evolutionary Guards’ Al- Quds force leader Qasem Suleimani, US President (Donald) Trump and Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo had spoken of de-escalation. Iranian leaders first spoke of a proportionate response, and then of de-escalation after their missile strikes. The Iranian response was carefully calibrated. It showed technological capability, precision, took place within Iraq where the US attack had been, and was directly attributable to Iran. US was able to claim that it suffered no casualties, and thus could avoid a response. Reports also suggest that the Iranians had informed Iraq’s Prime Minister in advance, signaling a sensitivity to Iraqi sovereignty, and differentiating itself from US which had not given Iraqis advance notice. There is some speculation that the Iraqis had forewarned the US of the impending attack, and that US intelligence had also picked up signs of preparation of such an attack. However, this does not mean that tension, maneuvering, and proxy or cyber attacks by US and Iran against each other’s interests have come to an end. US continues with its stringent economic sanctions depriving Iran of billions of dollars of oil and other revenue, designating as terrorists many of its leaders and government entities, and the two countries have adversarial interests in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Israel- Palestine.

2) What do you see as the future for the West Asia region? Iran seems pretty clear that they want the US forces out of the region and the US seems keen on a withdrawal. President Trump mentioned an increased role for NATO there. How do you that playing out?

When US troops had initially moved into Afghanistan in 2001, after 9/11, Iran had seen some advantage to itself from the Taliban being driven out of power, and had not been hostile to the arrival of US forces. However, their attitude changed when US President George Bush, in his State of Union address in 2002, described Iran as one of the “Axis of Evil” along with Iraq and North Korea. Similarly, Iran gained from US displacing Saddam Hussain in Iraq in 2003 and paving the way for majority Shia dominance in that country. Both competed, in adversarial manner, for influence over the post Saddam political and security structures. They had convergence of interest in the fight against ISIS, but are arraigned on opposite sides in Syria. Given US economic and other pressure, Iran would clearly see a threat from a dominating US physical presence in its neighborhood. Trump had also waged his 2016 Presidential campaign on ending US involvement in “endless wars”, and would ideally like to showcase US draw down as the 2020 campaign picks up. But he cannot be seen to have retreated out of weakness. Drawdown in Afghanistan has stalled, as have negotiations with the Taliban. If NATO steps up involvement and number of troops in Iraq, it would provide Trump the fig leaf to reduce number of US troops. However, NATO was conceived largely for European operations, against the Soviet and later the Russian challenge. It did not perform well in its first “out of area operations”, in Afghanistan, and essentially remained dependent on US strategy, infrastructure and was confined to supporting roles such as in training and advising Afghan forces. Also, there is political opposition in the European NATO members to involvement outside Europe, although they may want to avoid giving Trump another reason for criticizing NATO as ineffective or wasteful, or NATO not doing enough and leaving the heavy lifting all to the US.
Why U.S.-Iran Feud Keeps Focus on Strait of Hormuz
January 10, 2020, 6:00 AM GMT+1 / 8-10 minutes Snip:
The Strait of Hormuz is once again a center of global tensions. The Middle East’s crude oil and natural gas flow through the narrow sea conduit to international markets, making it the world’s most critical transportation “chokepoint.” Incidents there — such as Iran’s seizure of a British tanker and attacks on ships in 2019 — can whipsaw energy prices and send shipping and insurance rates rocketing. Regional tensions flared again after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general in January 2020 and some shippers briefly avoided sending vessels through the strait. The Islamic Republic has periodically threatened to shut the vital waterway, prompting the U.S. and U.K. to step up their military presence amid calls to ensure it stays open.

1. Where is the Strait of Hormuz?
Shaped like an inverted V, the waterway connects the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean, with Iran to its north and the United Arab Emirates and Oman to the south. It’s about 96 miles (154 kilometers) long and 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, with the shipping lanes in each direction just two miles wide. Its shallow depth makes ships vulnerable to mines, and the proximity to land — Iran, in particular — leaves large tankers open to attack from shore-based missiles or interception by fast patrol boats and helicopters.

3. Why would Iran disrupt the strait?
4. Could Iran really close the waterway?

Strait of Hormuz - A Timeline of 2019 Events
5. Has the strait been closed to traffic before?
6. Can the strait be protected?
7. Who relies most on the strait?
The Reference Shelf
The Secretary of State for Europe and France, Jean-Yves Loudrian, hosted in Paris yesterday Mr Josep Borrell, Heiko Moss and Dominique Robb to discuss the situation in the Middle East. Collective support for the Brotherhood, for reducing tension and for regional stability



FOTCM Member
According to him, the Danish soldiers reacted differently. Someone tried to keep up their spirits, make jokes, and tell jokes to "protect" themselves.

"Some clung to each other, and some cried," admitted the Danish Sergeant.
If this is true and they're not using this for Public Relations purposes and sympathy, maybe they now can realize, with just a small taste, how those who are being bombed in other countries (Palestine, Syria, Yemen etc.) feel on a continual basis.
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