Posts Tagged ‘missiles’

UN urged to act against Iran over Houthi missiles

December 24, 2017

ARAB NEWS | 

.

Image may contain: sky, fire and outdoor

Photo: Iran built ballistic missile is lanched by Houthis in Yemen. Still image from a video released by the Houthi

.

JEDDAH/NEW YORK: The UN was urged on Saturday to take action against Iran for breaking an arms embargo by illegally supplying missiles to Houthi militias in Yemen.

.
The calls followed a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution late on Friday that condemned “in the strongest possible terms” last week’s Houthi ballistic missile attack targeting Al-Yamamah Royal Palace in Riyadh.

.
All 15 council members “expressed alarm at the stated intention of the Houthis to continue these attacks against Saudi Arabia, as well as to launch additional attacks against other states in the region.”

.
The council urged all UN member states to fully implement the arms embargo against Houthi militias as required by the relevant Security Council resolutions, and expressed its grave concern about continuing violations of the embargo.

.
It called again for all parties to engage constructively in the peace efforts of Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy for Yemen.

.
The condemnation was fully merited but the Security Council should have gone farther, analysts and experts told Arab News.

.
“In addition to expressing grave concern, the UN should take action against Iran, the country that has provided the Houthis with the missiles that targeted Riyadh. Iran is the only country that continues to violate the arms embargo imposed by the UNSC Resolution 2216, which was issued under Chapter VII of the UN Charter,” said Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg, the assistant secretary-general for political and negotiation affairs at the Gulf Cooperation Council.

.
“Instead of merely expressing generic concern at the continued non‑implementation of previous Security Council resolutions, it should have named the party that has refused so far to come back to the negotiating table. That party is the Iranian-allied Houthi militias.

.
“The government of Yemen has ‘engaged constructively’ with the UN special envoy, but the Houthis have failed to return to negotiations toward reaching a final and comprehensive agreement to end the conflict.”

.
The council’s statement “reaffirms the international community’s commitment to finding a political solution to the conflict in Yemen,” Fahad Nazer, a fellow at the National Council on US-Arab Relations, told Arab News.

.
“It also makes clear that the Houthis have not only alienated their fellow Yemeni citizens by trying to impose their will on the rest of Yemeni society but they have also been widely condemned by the international community.

.
“Their callous disregard for the safety and security of the people of Yemen and their continuing violations of international resolutions and laws by targeting civilians and infrastructure in Saudi Arabia has made them international pariahs.”

Houthi desperation

.
“As the Houthis lose territory and the scant support they have left in Yemen, they have attempted to broaden and further complicate the conflict by increasing their attacks against Saudi Arabia and by threatening to attack the UAE. These tactics are indicative of their desperation, as they find themselves isolated at home and abroad.”

.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and international relations scholar in Riyadh, called for serious measures to prevent the Iran-backed militias from threatening regional peace. The Security Council should take action to halt Iranian aggression, which posed a threat to many Arab countries such as Lebanon and Iraq, he said.

.
The international community should focus on ways of stopping Iran from supporting terrorism, Al-Shehri said. “If they don’t want to punish Iran now, at least stop these militias.”

.
Experts also urged the UN to ensure that Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah, which is occupied by the Houthis, was not used as a supply route for Iranian missiles and other arms.

.
The Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen closed the port last month after a Houthi ballistic missile attack on Riyadh on Nov. 4. It later reopened to receive shipments of humanitarian aid and relief supplies, and remains operational despite last Tuesday’s further missile attack on the Saudi capital, and evidence that both missiles were supplied by Iran.

.
“While the UN Security Council is no doubt very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Yemen, it should take action by deploying UN staff to supervise the port of Hodeidah to make sure that it is used solely for civilian purposes and not as a conduit for Iranian weapons,” Aluwaisheg told Arab News.

.

Medical and food aid

.
Aid delivered through the ports of Hodeidah and Salif is also being misappropriated by the Houthi militias, the Coalition said on Saturday. Its spokesman, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, accused the Houthis of hampering the distribution of vaccines and stealing medical and food aid.

.
The theft of vaccines is particularly serious, after the International Committee of the Red Cross said there were now one million cases of cholera in Yemen and they expect another serious outbreak next March and April.

.
The King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid has established more than 250 projects in Yemen at a cost of $895 million, its general supervisor, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, said on Saturday.

.
The projects are operated with local partners and specialized UN agencies, and cover health, sanitation and programs for women and children.

.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1213746/middle-east

Related:

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley briefs the media in front of remains of Iranian “Qiam” ballistic missile provided by Pentagon at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington. (Reuters)
Advertisements

Israel Strikes “Scientific Military Facility” of Assad Regime in Syria, Foreign Media Reports

December 5, 2017

Syrian forces fire anti-aircraft missiles toward Israeli jets, according to pro-Assad media reports

By Jack Khoury
Haaretz
December 5, 2017

Image result for Jamraya Research and Information Center, photos

Israeli forces reportedly struck an Assad regime military target near Damascus, foreign media reported. Syrian forces allegedly fired anti-aircraft missiles toward Israeli jets, pro-Assad media reported. This is the second reported Israeli strike in Syria in the past week.

Image result for Jamraya Research and Information Center, photos

FILE photo

According to the pro-Assad Al-Mayadeen website, the Israeli strikes targeted the Jamraya Research and Information Center, a security facility in a Damascus suburb. Local residents reported hearing loud blasts. The Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar reported that Syrian forces intercepted three of the six missiles fired by Israel.

Image result for Jamraya Research and Information Center, photos

The “scientific military facility” in Jamarya, a suburb northwest of Damascus, is known to Western intelligence agencies as a Syrian military complex where the Assad regime has developed missiles, rockets and apparently also non-conventional weapons.

 

Satellite images depicting the damage wreaked on the bombed Iranian military base in Syria surfaced on Monday, two days following the attack, which foreign media attributed to Israel.

.
Media outlets affiliated with the Syrian regime said Israel Air Force jets fired missiles at the base overnight Friday, which was under construction and situated near Damascus, in the city of Al-Kiswa.
Details to follow

Jack Khoury
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.826824

UAE denies Houthi allegations of firing missile against its nuclear plant

December 3, 2017

Baraka Nuclear Energy project. (Photo courtesy: ENEC)

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates on Sunday denied a report that Yemen’s Houthi group had fired a missile toward a nuclear plant in the UAE, state news agency WAM reported.

.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, NCEMA, has denied claims made by Houthi militias in Yemen of a missile launch toward the UAE’s airspace.
.
In a statement, NCEMA emphasised that the UAE’s air defense system is capable of dealing with any threats.
.
The authority noted that the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant has all necessary safety and security measures in place to avert crises.
.

UAE has denied claims made by Houthi militias in Yemen of a missile launch towards the UAE’s airspace. (Photo courtesy: social media)

NCEMA emphasised that the ‘s air defence system is capable of dealing with any threats.

The authority noted that the  Nuclear Power Plant has all necessary safety and security measures in place to avert crises.

NCEMA reassured the UAE’s citizens and residents that the nation is safe and stressed that the country will always maintain its safety and security, continuing in its beliefs of peace and justice.

.
The authority went on to advise the general public not to pay attention to such rumors disseminated by media agencies issuing false news that question the UAE’s capabilities, strength and security.
.
.
*************************************
.
The Associated Press
.

Yemen’s Houthi Rebel Group Claims It Fired Missile at UAE ‘Nuclear Reactor’
United Arab Emirates’ state news agency denies report

The Associated Press, Reuters and Haaretz Dec 03, 2017 1:31 PM

.
Houthi fighters stand guard in Sanaa, Yemen November 30, 2017.

Houthi fighters stand guard in Sanaa, Yemen November 30, 2017. Mohamed Al-Sayighi / Reuters

The United Arab Emirates on Sunday denied a claim by Yemen’s Shiite rebels that a rebel missile had been fired toward the country’s under-construction nuclear plant.

.
The rebels, known as Houthis, earlier in the day claimed they had launched a missile toward the plant in Abu Dhabi in the first such strike toward the country.

.
“The National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority denies the claim that the Houthis fired a missile toward the country,” the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency said. “The UAE possesses an air defense system capable of dealing with any threat of any type or kind.”

The statement added that the nuclear power plant was well-protected.

.
The National, a state-aligned newspaper in Abu Dhabi, also reported that Barakah’s operations were “unaffected on Sunday, while sources on the ground confirmed there were no signs of an attack to the structure.”

.

The newspaper did not elaborate.
.

The $20 billion Barakah nuclear power plant is in Abu Dhabi’s far western desert. The first of its four reactors, being built in the UAE near its border with Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to come online in 2018.

.
The UAE, like other U.S. Gulf allies in the region, has the Patriot Missile defense system capable of shooting down ballistic missiles and is the only international client to have on delivery the U.S.-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.

The Houthis last month had targeted the Saudi capital, Riyadh, with a ballistic missile that was intercepted by Saudi air defenses. It was the deepest strike inside the kingdom since the war between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis and their allies began in March 2015.

.
But for the Houthis to launch a missile from Yemen at the UAE, it would likely have to fly over Saudi Arabia’s vast southeastern desert in order to reach Abu Dhabi.

.
Sunday’s claim came amid heavy fighting in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, where the Houthis are facing off with fighters loyal to the country’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in the fifth straight day of street fighting as the alliance between the two unravels.

.
The Houthis have accused Saleh of striking deals with the Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging an air campaign against the Houthi-Saleh alliance for nearly three years.

.
Since the recent clashes erupted, the Saudi coalition has been targeting the Houthis and backing Saleh’s camp to control Sanaa. The UAE is an active member of the coalition and its forces have mostly focused on securing the southern region of Yemen.

.
Senior Houthi official Deif-Allah al-Shami told The Associated Press that the missile fired toward Abu Dhabi was a “message to the United Arab Emiratis for its political and financial support to Saleh.”

.
He said that the UAE has hosted members of Saleh’s family, including his son who was an ambassador to the UAE and believed to be residing here during the conflict. Al-Shami also said the rocket attack was a message that “we will continue to target every nation that participated in the aggression against Yemen.”

.
At least 100 Emirati soldiers have been killed in the war, which was launched to dislodge the Houthis from Sanaa after they overran the capital and kicked out the internationally-backed Yemeni government from power. The conflict has killed more than 10,000 Yemeni civilians and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

.
Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of supplying Houthis with missiles, including the one used to target Riyadh on Nov. 4. Both the Houthis and Iran deny the claim.

.
Iran, meanwhile, has close trade ties with the UAE. In November, Iranian authorities ordered a two-day ban on a hard-line Iranian newspaper after it ran a headline saying the UAE’s tourism hub of Dubai was the “next target” for Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

.
The UAE on Sunday was celebrating its 46th National Day with a four-day-long public sector holiday. On Thursday, the country also marked Martyr’s Day to commemorate the country’s fallen soldiers.

.
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.826429

Israel’s Airstrike on Iranian Base in Syria Raises Questions — Why Not Conducted Sooner?

December 2, 2017

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
The Jerusalem Post

–Israel’s Red Lines on Iran’s Foothold in Syria

Reports: Israeli aircraft struck an Iranian base outside Damascus

Why did it take so long to target the facility and in whose interest was it to reveal the facility to the public?

However, unlike previous airstrikes on Syria, some of which Israel has taken credit for, this one was conducted against a site that was well known. It raises questions as to the timing of the attack and what it was meant to achieve. Why did it take so long to target the facility and in whose interest was it to reveal the facility to the public? First, let’s look at the timeline of events in November that led to the attack.

For more than a year there have been warnings that Iran was intent on constructing permanent bases in Syria, laying the groundwork for the era after ISIS was defeated. On November 10 the BBC released a report that Iran was “building permanent military base in Syria.” The report had three satellite images with it, from January, May and October, showing a site near El-Kiswah south of Damascus. It was about 50km from Israeli forces on the Golan. The changes at the site showed new buildings and the BBC ascribed the information to a “western intelligence source.”

.

The site of a reported Iranian military compound in Al-Kiswa, Syria, January, 2017.

The site of a reported Iranian military compound in Al-Kiswa, Syria, January, 2017. Airbus, McKenzie Intelligence Services via BBC

The report came out the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin met US President Donald Trump in Danang, Vietnam. It also came out two days after a Memorandum of Principles had been concluded in Amman between the US, Russia and Jordan regarding a ceasefire in southern Syria. This ceasefire had originally been inked in July, despite Israeli objections to the presence of Iranian-backed forces in southern Syria. Fred Hof, a former State Department special advisor for transition in Syria, told Foreign Policy that the agreement was supposed to remove foreign fighters from the area. “This could be designed mainly to reassure the Israelis that these elements would not be operating in proximity to the Golan Heights.”

.
Image result for Israeli fighter jets, photos

According to reports Israel wanted assurances that Iranian forces would be kept 60km from the Golan. Two days after the revelations of the Iranian base at El-Kiswah, a US State Department official indicated to Israeli media that the ceasefire memorandum would include the removal of Iranian forces from areas near the Golan. Three days later, on November 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the agreement did not promise to withdraw Iranian-backed forces.

The next day Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman responded that “with regards to Iran, we will simply not allow for Shi’ite consolidation and Iranian entrenchment in Syria, nor will we allow Syria to become a forward operating base against the State of Israel.” On the weekend of November 20th the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Antalya in the lead up to a major summit in Sochi on November 22 hosted by Putin which included Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

.
 Image result for erdogan, putin, rouhani, photos

On November 26th the Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Israel had demanded Iranian facilities be kept 40 km away from the Golan. It also claimed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sent a warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad. In an interview with Ynet Liberman sought to downplay the Iranian presence in Syria, saying Iran was not on Israel’s border.

This was followed by the airstrike on December 2. According to al-Masdar News, which is generally seen as pro-Syrian regime “Israel fired several missiles into western Syria tonight, targeting several sites near the Iranian base in the El-Kiswah area.” Russia Today also reported the airstrike and quotes Syrian media as saying they struck “military positions.” According to Press TV, which represents the Iranian government view, a source said that “an Israeli fighter jet was flying at a low altitude over Lebanon’s Baalbek region near Syria’s border when Syrian missiles were launched.” The report went on, claiming that “Israeli missiles were fired toward the 1st Division ammo depot in the western countryside of Damascus.”

The attack raises several questions. Why wait so long to strike the Iranian base? What did “western intelligence sources” hope to accomplish by publishing information on the Iranian base? Why were the Iranians at the site given time to leave by their base becoming so public? The month’s activity appear to be part of a complex game being waged by Iran to entrench itself in Syria and Israel’s attempts to warn the Iranians off. Whatever was taking place at El-Kiswah had plenty of time to be wrapped up and moved if the Iranians were concerned about it being struck. If the reports about Israel’s threats to target sites between 40-60km from the Golan are accurate then it would indicate that the warnings have been manifested.

.
.
Related:
.
.

(Hard to tell facts from propaganda)

.
.
.

Image result for Kiswah, syria, map

Missile attack on Riyadh ‘an act of war’ by Iran — “This can turn the regional conflict into a conflagration.”

November 7, 2017

JEDDAH: A Houthi missile fired at Riyadh may be considered an act of war by Iran, and Saudi Arabia will not tolerate any infringement of its national security, senior Saudi officials said on Monday.

.
“The Kingdom reserves the right to respond in a timely manner to the hostile actions of the Iranian regime,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said.
.
“Iranian interventions in the region are detrimental to the security of neighboring countries and affect international peace and security. We will not allow any infringement of our national security.”
.
Iran supplied the ballistic missile fired into Saudi Arabia on Saturday night by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Saudi defense forces intercepted the missile and shot it down over King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, and there were no casualties.
.
No automatic alt text available.
.
“Iran’s role and its direct command of its Houthi proxy in this matter constitute a clear act of aggression that targets neighboring countries, and threatens peace and security in the region and globally,” the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said on Monday.
.
“Therefore, the coalition’s command considers this a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime, and could rise to be considered as an act of war against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
.
“The coalition command also affirms that the Kingdom reserves its right to respond to Iran at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.”
.
The Coalition Forces Command ordered the temporary closure on Monday of all air, sea and land ports in Yemen, except for aid workers and humanitarian supplies.
.
Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the coalition, produced evidence on Sunday that Iran supplied weapons and technology to the Houthis, including ballistic missiles, launchers, aerial drones, land and naval mines and improvised explosive devices.
.
Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said Iran was a danger to the region, and the Harvard scholar and Iranian affairs expert Majid Rafizadeh said the international community should hold Tehran accountable.
.
“Compromises, concessions and diplomatic maneuvering don’t work with the Iranian regime,” he told Arab News. “Iranian leaders view concessions as weakness.”
.
He called for a combination of economic sanctions, political pressure and enhanced monitoring of Iran’s illegal activities. “Tehran’s exports and imports should be closely examined and restricted. The US, EU and Arab powers should form a military front, like NATO, as a bulwark against the Iran regime.”.
.
Rafizadeh said Iran was the leading state sponsor of terrorism. “The UN should invoke UN Resolution 2231 and immediately punish Tehran for violating it. Otherwise, Tehran’s belligerent behavior will continue to grow. This can turn the regional conflict into a conflagration.”
.
UN Security Council Resolution 2231 adopted the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, but also imposed restrictions on Iran’s use of some ballistic missiles.
.
Thomas Mattair, executive director of the Middle East Policy Council in Washington, told Arab News: “Iran should not expect to be able to facilitate attacks on Saudi Arabia without paying some consequences.”
.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar in Riyadh, said the international community should have prevented Iran from creating havoc in the region.
.
“Things would not have reached this pass if the world community had taken measures against Iran and its arming of militias such Hezbollah and the Houthis,” he told Arab News. “The world’s inaction led Iran to believe that it can basically get away with murder.”
.
He condemned Iran for first attacking Makkah in July, and now Riyadh. “They want to kill innocent people and spread terror; this is their only business.”
.
The world community, and specifically the US and Russia, must pressurize Iran to give up its hostility to Arab countries, Al-Shehri said. “Now is the time to act.”
.
Al-Shehri said the missile attack on Riyadh was a “declaration of war” on Saudi Arabia.
.
“Saudi Arabia will not sit idle and will not wait for the international community to do nothing,” he said. “Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has made it clear that Saudi Arabia, in coordination with its Arab allies, reserves the right to defend its sovereignty and its people.”
.
Al-Shehri said all options were on the table and all measures were being explored. “The Saudi leadership will decide what option and measures to go for and when,” he said. “One thing is clear, this Iranian-Hezbollah-Houthi provocation and attack will not go unpunished.”
.
Among the options, he said, was directly confronting Iran. “A fitting Saudi response will come at a time and place of its choosing.”
.
David Pollack, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East policy, said Saudi Arabia “generally has a valid case. The Arab coalition and its international partners, including the US, should intensify maritime and land interdiction efforts, including via Oman.”
.
Aaron David Miller, vice president for new initiatives and Middle East program director at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, speculated that Saudi Arabia had reached a “firm understanding” with the US that should tensions with Iran escalate, “the US will be there to support” the Kingdom.
.
King Salman and President Donald Trump spoke by phone on Saturday and discussed the Houthi missile attack and Iran’s involvement in the region.
.
.
Related:
.

Saudi Crown Prince says Iran supply of rockets is military aggression

November 7, 2017

Image may contain: 5 people, people sitting, beard and indoor

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday Iran supplying militias in Yemen with rockets is considered “direct military aggression”, the official state news agency SPA reported.

Iran’s supply of rockets to the Houthis could “constitute an act of war against the Kingdom,” SPA quoted the crown prince as saying in a telephone call with the British foreign minister.

Saudi air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired towards Riyadh by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia on Saturday.

Reporting by Sylvia Westall and Rania El Gamal; Writing By Maha El Dahan; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

Saudi Arabia says it intercepts missile close to capital

November 4, 2017

Reuters

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s air defense intercepted a missile, fired from Yemen, close to the capital Riyadh on Saturday, Al Arabiya TV reported.

State-owned Al Ekhbariya TV said it was brought down north of King Khaled Airport and there were no casualties reported.

Reporting by Reem Shamseddine

Syria, Lebanon will be ‘one front’ if war erupts against Israel: minister

October 10, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Israeli soldiers take part in a military exercise simulating conflict with Lebanese movement Hezbollah, in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights, near the Syrian border on September 5, 2017

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Lebanon and Syria would constitute “one front” against his country if a new war were to break out.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a devastating conflict in 2006, and the Lebanese Shiite group is currently backing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the Syrian civil war.

Both countries border Israel to its north.

 Image result for Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, photos

“In the next war in the north of the country, Lebanon will not be the only front,” Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman  said in a speech to soldiers.

“There is now only one front in the north composed of Lebanon, Syria, Hezbollah, the Bashar al-Assad regime and all those who help his regime.”

Lieberman added that the Lebanese army had lost “its independence by becoming an integral part of Hezbollah, which gives it its orders.”

Israeli leaders frequently warn Lebanon that the country’s army and civilian infrastructure would be overwhelmingly targeted if Hezbollah attacks from civilian areas.

Hezbollah is also supported by Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy which backs Assad in Syria as well.

Israel’s military believes Hezbollah has between 100,000 and 120,000 short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred long-range missiles, with the medium-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

Lieberman evoked the possibility of a simultaneous conflict in the north and in the south with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“The battle will take place on the northern and southern fronts,” he said.

“There is no longer war on one front. It’s our basic assumption and it is what our military is preparing for.”

Since 2008, Israel has fought three wars with Hamas, which also receives support from Iran.

Israel has sought to avoid becoming involved in the Syrian civil war, but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes there to stop what it says are advanced weapons deliveries to Hezbollah.

The Next Middle East War

September 8, 2017
Israel and Iran are heading for conflict over southern Syria.
.
Image may contain: 1 person, suit and closeup
Donald Trump during a news conference with the Emir of Kuwait at the White House, September 7, 2017.

By The Editorial Board
The wall Street Journal
Sept. 7, 2017 7:22 p.m. ET

Israel launched airstrikes on a military compound in Syria on Thursday, and the bombing should alert the Trump Administration as much as the Syrians. They carry a warning about the next war in the Middle East that could draw in the U.S.

Israel doesn’t confirm or deny its military strikes, but former officials said they were aimed at a base for training and a warehouse for short- and midrange missiles. The strikes also hit a facility that the U.S. cited this year for involvement in making chemical weapons.

The larger context is the confrontation that is building between Israel and Iran as the war against Islamic State moves to a conclusion in Syria and Iraq. Iran is using Syria’s civil war, and the battle against ISIS, as cause to gain a permanent military foothold in Syria that can threaten Israel either directly or via its proxies in Syria and Lebanon.

Tehran has helped Hezbollah stockpile tens of thousands of missiles that will be launched against Israel in the next inevitable conflict. If it can also dominate southern Syria, Iran can establish a second front on the border near the Golan Heights that would further stretch Israel’s ability to defend itself.

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd and outdoor

Israel may have to make more such strikes in Syria because Iran isn’t likely to give up on this strategic opening. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards know they have Russia’s backing in Syria, and the U.S. is signaling that it is loathe to do anything to change that once Islamic State is routed from Raqqa.

“As far as Syria is concerned, we have very little to do with Syria other than killing ISIS,” President Trump said Thursday at a White House press conference with the emir of Kuwait. “What we do is we kill ISIS. And we have succeeded in that respect. We have done better in eight months of my Presidency than the previous eight years against ISIS.”

Great, but the problem is that the end of ISIS won’t bring stability to Syria, and American interests in the Middle East don’t end with ISIS. The danger of a proxy war or even a direct war between Iran and Israel is growing, and it will increase as Iran’s presence builds in Syria. Mr. Trump may not like it, but he needs a strategy for post-ISIS Syria that contains Iran if he doesn’t want the U.S. to be pulled back into another Middle East war.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-next-middle-east-war-1504826567

Related:

.
.
.
.
.

Image may contain: 1 person
Fatemeh Bahrami | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
A Iranian woman walks past a wall painting in the shape of Iranian flag in Tehran, Iran on the first anniversary of nuclear deal between Iran and world powers on January 16, 2017.
.
.

Image result for Iran, missiles, underground, photos

Iran has boasted about its ballistic missiles, many of which are on mobile launchers

Image result for Iran, missiles, underground, photos

© Saudi Royal Palace/AFP/File / by Ali Choukeir | A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on July 30, 2017 shows Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) receiving prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Jeddah

No automatic alt text available.

A

Iran’s Parliament increases funding for missiles after U.S. sanctions — Lawmakers shouted: “Death to America.”

August 13, 2017

AFP

© Atta Kenare, AFP | Members of Iran’s Armed Forces attend President Hassan Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony in Tehran on August 5, 2017. Rouhani warned the US against tearing up the nuclear deal as he was inaugurated for a second term.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-08-13

Iran’s parliament voted Sunday to allocate $520 million to develop its missile programme to fight Washington’s “adventurism” and sanctions, and to boost the foreign operations of the country’s Revolutionary Guards.

“The Americans should know that this was our first action,” said speaker Ali Larijani, after announcing an overwhelming majority vote for a package “to confront terrorist and adventurist actions by the United States in the region”.

A total of 240 lawmakers voted for the bill, out of the 244 parliamentarians present.

The vote came after fresh US sanctions in July against Iran, targeting Tehran’s missile programme.

“The bill is backed by the foreign ministry and the government and is part of measures by the JCPOA supervision committee to confront the recent US Congress law,” deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi.

He was referring to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, known officially as the JCPOA, under which Iran agreed to strict limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

The bill mandates the government to allocate an additional $260 million for the “development of the missile programme” and the same amount to the Revolutionary Guards’s foreign operations wing, the Quds Force, state news agency IRNA said.

After Larijani announced the vote results, lawmakers shouted: “Death to America.”