News and Reports - The Middle East

Israel fears US arms in Ukraine will end up in Iranian hands

Jerusalem is concerned Tehran will reverse-engineer the weapons and supply them to Hamas and Hezbollah.

Israel is worried that weapons from the United States and other Western countries sent to Ukraine will find their way to Iran and its proxies.

Israel has two main concerns regarding such weapons. One is that Tehran will reverse-engineer them. Another is that Iran will supply those arms to Hamas and Hezbollah, a high-ranking officer in the Israel Defense Forces told Newsweek, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The IDF officer mentioned the transfer of one weapons system specifically, the American Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missile system.

Both Russian and Ukrainian forces could transfer U.S. weapons, he said. Russian elements are motivated by the defense alliance between Moscow and Tehran. Pro-Ukraine forces are motivated by financial gain.

The main smuggling route is through the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, he said, noting the situation was “very dangerous.”

“It’s really challenging to build the picture, but we see the signs,” the Israeli commander said. “We see the signs, and this is very, very troubling.”

Another source, working in intelligence for a foreign country, told Newsweek that on Aug. 20, a Russian Il-76 transport aircraft dropped off cargo in Tehran worth an estimated $100 million.

Reportedly in that cargo were U.S.-made Javelins and U.K.-made Next-Generation Light Anti-armor Weapons (NLAWs).

Iran has a long history of reverse-engineering Western weapons. In 2018, an Iranian drone that entered Israeli airspace and was shot down by the Israel Air Force was determined to have been based on the American RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone.

Iran captured a Sentinel drone in 2011 while it patrolled the border between Iran and Afghanistan.




Israeli police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators blocking a road during a protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government to overhaul the judicial system, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, July 11, 2023. Protesters in Israel are blocking highways to major cities on a day of countrywide demonstrations against the government's divisive plan to overhaul the judiciary. The demonstrations on Tuesday came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's parliamentary coalition gave the initial approval to a bill to limit the Supreme Court's oversight powers.

Russia 'Ready' For Clash With US Over Syrian Skies, Putin Says

WSJ on the US occupation of Syria:

US claims to be "combating the remnants" of ISIS. Yet US troops "are operating in the east, far from the northwest enclave where suspected ISIS and al Qaeda leaders have been operating."

So what's in the east? Syria's oil and wheat.


Night training is held by Russian Aerospace Forces and special forces of the Syrian Arab Army for the first time.



Rick Sterling discusses how tensions between the US and Russia over the conflict in Ukraine may be spilling over to Syria, how Russian and American involvement in Syria differ and why the US is still involved in the country despite being asked to leave, and how the connections between the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria demonstrate the dangers of these tensions between the US and Russia.
ISIS (also known as Daesh/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia and many other states.

Saudi Arabia asks its citizens to quickly leave Lebanon amid escalating tension

Amid more and more armed clashes in the area, Saudi Arabia called on its citizens to quickly move out from Lebanese territory and to avoid approaching tense regions, the Saudi embassy in Lebanon said in a statement posted late on Friday on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The West Asian kingdom did not specify which areas in Lebanon that it was advising its citizens to avoid.

“The importance of adhering to the Saudi travel ban to Lebanon,” is something that the embassy stressed on in its statement.

Neighbouring Kuwait also issued an advisory early on Saturday calling on Kuwaitis in Lebanon to stay vigilant and avoid “areas of security disturbances” but stopped short of asking them to leave the country, according to a statement by the Kuwaiti Foreign ministry posted on X.

On 1 August, the United Kingdom also updated its travel advice for Lebanon, advising against “all but essential travel” to parts of Lebanon’s south near the Palestinian camp of Ain el-Hilweh.

At least 13 people, most of them militants, were killed in fighting that broke out in the camp on 29 July between mainstream faction Fatah and hardline Islamists, security sources in the camp said.

Ain el-Hilweh is the largest of 12 Palestinian camps in Lebanon, hosting around 80,000 of up to 250,000 Palestinian refugees countrywide, according to the United Nations’ agency for refugees from Palestine.

Thousands of US Sailors, Marines Reach Red Sea After Iran Tensions

The US sailors and Marines entered the Red Sea on Sunday after transiting through the Suez Canal in a pre-announced deployment, the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a statement.

They arrived on board the USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall warships, providing “greater flexibility and maritime capability” to the Fifth Fleet, the statement added.


A grain silos blast in Turkey’s Derince Port holds up to 8 million tons of wheat, barley, legumes, chickpeas and lentils and has been highly stocked to lessen the impact of war. According to initial evaluations, the blast occurred due to wheat dust compression.

Explosions occur at the US military base in Syria 08/10/2023, 23:42

Explosions occurred at a base under the control of US military personnel in the Shaddadi region in the south of Syria’s Hasakah province. It has been reported Syria Radio and Television General Directorate.

Details of the incident have not been disclosed to date.

Agency DEA News, citing eyewitnesses, reported that the explosion occurred in houses on the territory of the Al-Jabsa oil field, equipped as a military base. Eyewitnesses reported that flames rose from the base.

August 6 newspaper “Izvestia” WroteHe said the US-led coalition is preparing to regroup troops in its zone of influence in Syria to attempt to occupy the city of Al-Bukamal and, as a result, cut off the road connecting Damascus and Baghdad.

5 August, Head of the Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties and Control of Refugee Movements in the Syrian Arab Republic, Vadim Kulit reportedThat the Russian Air Force and the Syrian Air Force jointly hit the headquarters of Nusra Front militants (the organization is banned in Russia) in the Idlib region.

Formerly in the Taliban (organization banned in Russia) commented Statements of US involvement in IS activities (the organization is banned in Russia)*.

Source: Gazeta

Israel Launches Airstrikes Against Targets in Damascus, Syrian State TV Reports

Two people were killed in Israeli airstrikes on the outskirts of Damascus, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.

Israel late on Monday launched missiles targeting the vicinity of Syria's Damascus that left one Syrian soldier injured and "caused some material damage," the Syrian state news agency SANA reported, citing a military source.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been monitoring violence in Syria since 2011, said those killed were soldiers but that it was not yet known whether they Syrians.

It added that the overnight strikes targeted military sites south-west and south-east of the capital, Damascus.


Journalist Vanessa Beeley joins Redacted to expose how a new regime change campaign in Syria is unfolding designed by western intelligence services. The U.S. is actively recruiting terrorist fighters to carry out attacks on civilians in an effort to destabilize the Assad government. Meanwhile Russia is carrying out airstrikes against the very same ISIS fighters the U.S. has employed.

Saudi Arabia And US Finalize Deal To Recognize Israel. You Won't Believe What...

US Attacks Syrian Arab Army Checkpoint

The armed forces of the United States have directly attacked a Checkpoint of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), near the Iraq border.

The Americans claim they were going after "terrorists" but hit the regular Syria Army in error. Few believe this explanation; least of whom is Russia.

The Russian army has told the American army "Do not make an error like this again because if you do, we will not make any "error" when we defend Syria from such attacks."

The American strike took place at a checkpoint near Abu Kamal, by the Syria border with Iraq as shown on the map below:

There has been greatly stepped-up military activity in this area of Syria recently.

For years, both the US and Turkey have asked that Dier Ezor and Idlib be spared from Russian attacks, because American and Turkish "assets" are basically trapped in that area, since Russia smashed ISIS several years ago. Russia honored the American and Turkish requests . . . until last week.

Suddenly, both Russia and Syria began pounding Dier Exor and the Idlib area in particular. Very many foreign "fighters" have been killed by the Russian strikes, to the chagrin of the US and Turkey.

It is clear that Russia did these strikes because it is in (and from) this region that ongoing troubles for the legitimate Syrian government, are being fomented, planned, and carried out. Syria is tired of it and so are the Russians, who came to Syria's rescue several years ago.

The Ukraine situation is also related to the latest strikes by Russia inside Syria.

The US and its NATO vassals have been making life miserable for Russia inside Ukraine; now Russia is making US/NATO life miserable inside Syria.


Friday-night into Saturday, the Hal Turner Radio Show came into possession of information about a very sudden, and significant deployment of US military aircraft mechanics to Iraq. THe first batch of Helicopter mechanics will deploy within the next two weeks, and a VERY large number of additional aircraft mechanics will follow later in September.

Clearly the US is upping its presence in Iraq, near Syria, and many observers are wondering if the US and Russia will face-off inside Syria soon?

Syria has repeatedly told the US to remove its forces, and the US refuses. The US does not have permission from the Syrian government to be in the country, nor does the US have any mandate from the United Nations.

One allegation against the US that keeps coming up is the ongoing THEFT of Syrian Oil under the watchful eye and protection of US troops in Syria. Syrian oil fields are under American control and at least $30 million a month in Syrian oil is being stolen, smuggled on tanker trucks into Iraq, shipped to Turkey for slight refining and repackaging, then sold on the open market. No one knows where all the money is going but it is suggested by some that high ranking US and Turkish officials-including military bosses - are stealing that money.

At least twice, Russia has intentionally bombed the oil storage depots where the Americans are grabbing the oil, but they rebuild those depots and resume the theft.

It seems that with Russia now pounding Dier Ezor and Idlib, things in Syria may be coming to a head. If the Syrians and Russians want US forces out, there will be no better time to do that than in the next couple weeks. Perhaps that is why the US is now deploying more forces and resources into Iraq?

Next battlefield: Syria?

Israeli delegation makes first open visit to Saudi Arabia

An Israeli delegation attended a UNESCO meeting in Riyadh on Monday, marking the country’s first publicly announced visit to Saudi Arabia as speculation grows about a potential normalisation of ties.

The five-member delegation arrived on Sunday, an Israeli official told AFP, for the meeting to update UNESCO’s world heritage list of cultural and historic sites.

“We are happy to be here — it’s a good first step,” said the official, who did not want to be named given the sensitivities of the visit, during the meeting.

“We thank UNESCO and the Saudi authorities.”

The team travelled through Dubai, the official said, as there are no direct flights between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and arrived on Sunday.

They received their visas via UNESCO, the United Nations’ educational, scientific and cultural organisation.

The delegation, including a security official, joined the UNESCO meeting on Monday, sitting behind a sign that said “Israel” on the front of their desk.

The visit has been “very good — they treat us very well”, the official said.

The “Israel” sign drew stares from Saudis working at the meeting, where more than 50 sites are contenders to join the coveted world heritage list.

“That is God’s command. The issue is bigger than us and we can’t object to it,” said a young Saudi man working among the support services, when asked about the Israeli delegation.

‘Obstacles’ remain

A UNESCO diplomat said the agency’s director-general Audrey Azoulay had been instrumental in securing Israel’s participation in Riyadh.

“It’s the result of several years of work by Audrey Azoulay to create, in the heart of UNESCO, the conditions for a dialogue between all the states of the region,” said the diplomat, who did not want to be named.

While the visit does not have any overt political significance, it comes at a time of growing rumours of moves to bring the two countries closer.

According to reports, a Palestinian delegation visited Riyadh last week to discuss the way forward if Saudi Arabia and Israel were to formalise relations.

Saudi Arabia, which contains two of Islam’s holiest sites, does not recognise Israel and did not join the 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords where Israel established ties with Gulf countries the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia, which is trying to reshape and revitalise its oil-reliant economy, has made a number of landmark diplomatic moves in recent months including a surprise rapprochement with Iran, years after the two heavyweights severed ties.

The fact that the visit was coordinated by UNESCO suggests “obstacles” remain to Saudi-Israeli normalisation, said Aziz Alghashian, a Saudi analyst and expert on the bilateral relationship.

“This is most likely a result of Saudi Arabia being more open to the world, which will include Israelis, not a result of bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel,” Alghashian said.

Saudi officials have realised they cannot ban anyone if they want to transform the kingdom into a global business and tourism hub under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform agenda, Alghashian said.

“The Israelis will definitely milk this as the first step, when actually it was facilitated by UNESCO. It’s not really because of their diplomatic skill or diplomatic victories.”

He compared the Israeli delegation’s visit to a visit this summer by Israeli eSports players for the Gamers8 festival, which also required “third-party coordination” by global tournament organisers.

Libya floods wipe out quarter of city, 10,000 feared missing

At least 10,000 people were feared missing in Libya on Tuesday in floods caused by a huge storm, which burst dams, swept away buildings and wiped out as much as a quarter of the eastern city of Derna. More than 1,000 bodies had already been recovered in Derna alone, and officials expected the death toll would be much higher

Death toll from Libyan floods tops 11K, threat of waterborne illnesses looms

More than 11,000 people have been killed by devastating floods in Libya, with more than 10,000 still missing and survivors now facing the threat of waterborne diseases

1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. King of kings' Bible - 1 Thessalonians

Saudi Arabia, amid Israel talks, sends envoy to West Bank

Saudi Arabia, which has engaged in US-brokered talks with Israel to potentially normalise relations, Tuesday sent a delegation to the occupied West Bank for the first time in three decades.

It was led by the Saudi non-resident ambassador to the Palestinian territories, Nayef al-Sudairi, who was to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and top Palestinian diplomat Riyad al-Maliki.

Sudairi, the oil-rich kingdom’s envoy to Jordan, was last month also named for the Palestinian territories post and appointed consul general for Jerusalem.

The delegation, which crossed overland from Jordan, was the first from Saudi Arabia to visit the West Bank since the 1993 Oslo Accords, which had aimed to pave the way for an end to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The Saudi visit comes as Washington has been leading talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia — guardian of Islam’s two holiest sites — on a normalisation that would mark a game changer for the Middle East.

The talks include security guarantees for Saudi Arabia and assistance with a civilian nuclear programme, according to officials familiar with the negotiations who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

Israel in 2020 established ties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, but Saudi Arabia has so far refrained from following suit until Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians is resolved.

However, the Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, last week said the two sides were “getting closer”.

In recent months Israel has sent delegations to Saudi Arabia to participate in sports and other events including a UNESCO meeting.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations on Friday that he believes “we are at the cusp” of “a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia”.

Abbas, 87, had earlier voiced the Palestinians’ strong reservations.

“Those who think that peace can prevail in the Middle East without the Palestinian people enjoying their full, legitimate national rights would be mistaken,” he told the UN General Assembly.

The 1993 Oslo Accords were meant to lead to an independent Palestinian state, but years of stalled negotiations and deadly violence have left any peaceful resolution of the conflict a distant dream.

A recent escalation in violence has seen at least 242 Palestinians and 32 Israelis killed in the conflict so far this year, according to official sources on both sides.

The United States, which has brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinians in the past, has made no major push toward a two-state solution since a failed effort nearly a decade ago.

Netanyahu’s hard-right government has meanwhile been expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank which are deemed illegal under international law.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognised internationally.

The military also maintains a blockade on the Palestinian coastal territory of Gaza, which is ruled by militant group Hamas.

Prince Mohammed, speaking with US network Fox last week, said that the kingdom was getting “closer” to a deal with Israel but insisted that the Palestinian issue remains “very important” for Riyadh.