Showing posts with label Invasion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Invasion. Show all posts

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog: Gaza Aftershocks: Hamas fires 460 rockets. Netanyahu chooses cease-fire rather than invasion. Israeli Defense Minister resigns. Now, early elections look imminent.

Gaza-rockets3

New post on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Gaza Aftershocks: Hamas fires 460 rockets. Netanyahu chooses cease-fire rather than invasion. Israeli Defense Minister resigns. Now, early elections look imminent. Here’s the latest.

by joelcrosenberg
(Jerusalem, Israel) -- It's been a dramatic week here in the Holy Land. But buckle up. Far more drama lies ahead. Here are the highlights, followed by some analysis.
MONDAY:
TUESDAY
  • The terrorist group, the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, fires 460 rocketsat Jewish civilians in southern Israel in less than 24 hours.
  • Never have so many rockets been fired at Israel in a single day -- at times, they are being fired one per minute.
  • Thankfully, the Iron Dome system shoots down many of the incoming rockets. Others fall harmlessly in empty fields, but some do real damage.
  • By God's grace, no Israelis are killed.
  • However, 108 Israelis are hospitalized due to injuries, anxiety and shock.
  • The IDF retaliates with air strikes, hitting 160 Hamas targets.
  • Then, to everyone's surprise, both sides accept a cease-fire that was negotiated behind the scenes by the Egyptians and the United Nations.
  • The rockets stop falling. The IDF stops retaliating.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Israeli parents, children and elderly re-emerge from bomb shelters, and "normal" life slowly begins again.
WEDNESDAY
  • Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman resigns from the government to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to accept the cease-fire.
  • “What happened yesterday, the ceasefire, together with the deal with Hamas, is a capitulation to terror. There is no other way of explaining it,” Liberman says. “What we are doing right now is buying quiet for a heavy price with no long-term plan to reduce violence toward us....Our response was drastically lacking to the 500 rockets fired at us."
  • Netanyahu in not apologetic for accepting the cease-fire, saying Hamas "begged for a cease-fire, and they know very well why." 
  • "Leadership is not doing the easy thing," Netanyahu says. "Leadership is doing the right thing, even if it's difficult."
  • Right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett demands to be named Defense Minister, saying if he does not receive this position he and his political party will also resign the government.
  • At present, elections aren't scheduled until November 2019. But speculation is now rampant throughout the Israeli media that early elections are all but inevitable.
  • With the departure of Liberman and his party, Netanyahu has a coalition of only 61 of the 120 seats in the Knesset (parliament). If Bennett leaves, and Netanyahu cannot find a party in the opposition to join his coalition, the government will fall and snap elections will be triggered. 
ANALYSIS
  • Many Israelis -- especially those who live in the south near the Gaza border -- are angry at Netanyahu and the government for agreeing to a cease-fire too quickly. They want the IDF to bombard Hamas far more heavily. Some are calling for the IDF to invade the Gaza Strip and crush Hamas once and for all.
  • My heart goes out to all those in the south who are exhausted by the Hamas attacks and want this conflict to be over and done with. I'm praying that a true and lasting calm and stability can be established for them, as well as for the Palestinians in Gaza who are suffering terribly under the wicked tyranny of Hamas.
  • That said, let's keep a few things in mind:
  • First: Despite 460 rockets, not a single Israeli died in the attacks. (Sadly -- and ironically -- a Palestinian from the West Bank who was working in Ashkelon was killed by one of the rockets.)
  • Second: Hamas knows they cannot defeat the IDF via conventional warfare. Instead, they are trying to use rocket fire to lure the IDF into a bloody ground war in the Gaza Strip. During such a war, many Palestinians would die. This would make headlines around the world. Israel would be roundly condemned and Hamas hopes to win the war for public opinion.
  • Third: An invasion of Gaza would lead to the death of many Israeli soldiers. To what end? Having evacuated from Gaza in 2005, Israel does not want to re-occupy the Strip. Should Israel lose Jewish lives, and suffer international condemnation, in order to help the Palestinian Authority re-take control of the Strip? Is that in Israel's interest? 
  • Fourth: True, there are no easy, simple answers here. But getting lured into a ground war in Gaza under the current circumstances is unwise. Could circumstances change, necessitating a ground war? Yes. But we're not there now. Yes, Hamas is a problem. But they are not an existential threat. Iran, however, does pose such a threat. Israel would be wise to keep our eye on the Iran threat and build a regional security alliance with our Arab neighbors capable of protecting us and them. This -- not another Gaza war -- could bring real peace and security.
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joelcrosenberg | November 15, 2018 at 10:57 am | Categories: Epicenter | URL: https://wp.me/piWZ7-8Ju

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Winds Of War: Is Russia Conducting A Massive Mobilization Of Troops For An Invasion Of Ukraine? - Michael Snyder THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BLOG


Posted: 30 Aug 2016  Michael Snyder  THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BLOG

The drumbeats of war are growing louder.  Fighting in eastern Ukraine between separatists and pro-government forces has risen to an intensity not seen in well over a year, and the Russians claim that they recently foiled a “Ukrainian plot” to conduct terror attacks in Crimea.  

As tensions in the region have increased, the Russians have used the cover of “military drills” to move massive amounts of troops and military equipment up to the border with Ukraine.  This is something that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, but things have intensified since then, and a huge military exercise is planned for September.  Needless to say, the Ukrainians are quite alarmed by this, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is warning that a full scale mobilization of the Ukrainian military may be needed.  

If something is going to happen, it is likely to happen soon.  As you will see below, once we get into October it will become much less likely that we would see a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

We aren’t hearing much about this conflict in the U.S. media, but over in Europe this is a very big deal.  Just consider the following excerpt from an article in the Independent entitled “Russia is teetering on the brink of ‘all out war’ with Ukraine“…
Ukraine is holding a major military parade in Kiev today to mark its 25th anniversary as an independent state. But, at a time that should otherwise be a moment of national celebration, a serious crisis with Moscow is flaring up. So serious, in fact, that on Tuesday the Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were forced to hold a three-way phone call to try to de-escalate the situation.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has even warned that there is growing risk of a “full scale Russian invasion along all fronts,” ratcheting up what is already the bloodiest European conflict since the wars over the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
And the truth is that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has some very good reasons to be concerned.  As the Washington Post has pointed out, the Russians have used military exercises as an excuse to stage forces for military action in the past…
As violence in the east heats up, Ukrainian officials have suggested that Russia may use the upcoming military drills, called Kavkaz (Caucasus) 2016, as cover for military action against Ukraine. The drills are the first to integrate the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, into the country’s military planning, and thousands of Russian troops will be brought in for air, land and sea exercises.
Ukrainian government analysts have recalled that exercises served as staging grounds for troop incursions in 2014, as did Russian military exercises held shortly before the Georgian war of 2008. Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations suggested that Russia may have “bad intentions,” while the West has also said it would like observers to be present.
If there is going to be a Russian invasion of Ukraine in September, Kavkaz 2016 will likely be used as cover for invasion preparations.  It is a yearly exercise, but in 2016 it looks like it will be much bigger than ever before, and some analysts have pointed out that the Russians have not conducted a mobilization on this scale since the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.  Here is more on Kavkaz 2016 from the Daily Signal
In September, Russia has plans for a large-scale strategic military exercise called Kavkaz-2016. The exercise, which is an annual event, will include units deployed near the borders of Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan—including two Russian military districts in the Southern and Northern Caucasus, the Russian Black Sea Fleet (headquartered in occupied Crimea), and the Caspian Flotilla.
It is not immediately clear the exact size of this year’s exercise, but last year it comprised 95,000 troops, 7,000 vehicles, and 150 aircraft, according to a report by IHS Markit, a U.K.-based intelligence and analysis firm.
If the Russians are going to do something, they need to do it soon, because the weather turns very bad during the month of October.  Here is one how one analyst assessed the situation
“But will there be a war – we’ll see, no much time for guessing left… In this situation, the main thing for Russia is to achieve strategic and tactical surprise. And if she does not start now – then it will be too late. One would need to turn off full-scale operations in October because of the rains and the next draft to Russian army (it would mean the demobilization of current wave of conscripts and training the new ones – UT).”
A Russian invasion of Ukraine would mean that Russian relations with the U.S. and with Europe would immediately plunge to Cold War levels.  Of course some would argue that we are already there.  In any event, a Russian invasion would force the U.S. and NATO to make some very uncomfortable decisions.

Would the U.S. and NATO just stand by and do nothing while Ukraine is overrun by the Russians?

Maybe.

But if the U.S. and NATO responded with military force, that would risk a full scale nuclear confrontation with Russia.

Right now, a war with Russia is about the last thing that most Americans are thinking about, but the truth is that we are not that far away from such a scenario.

Over in Russia, the mindset is totally different.  The following is from a Newsweek article entitled “In Europe and Russia, There’s Talk of War“…
Recently, I grabbed a taxi in Moscow. When the driver asked me where I was from, I told him the United States. “I went there once,” he said, “to Chicago. I really liked it.”
“But tell me something,” he added. “When are we going to war?”
The question, put so starkly, so honestly, shocked me. “Well, I hope never,” I replied. “No one wants war.”
At the office, I ask a Russian employee about the mood in his working class Moscow neighborhood. The old people are buying salt, matches andgretchka [buckwheat], he tells me—the time-worn refuge for Russians stocking up on essentials in case of war.
In the past two months, I’ve traveled to the Baltic region, to Georgia, and to Russia. Talk of war is everywhere.
Most Americans don’t realize that Russians already view the United States more 
negatively than they did even during the height of the Cold War.  On Russian television they openly talk about the inevitability of a war between the United States and Russia, and the Russian military has feverishly been preparing for such a future conflict.

If we can get to October, we can probably breathe a bit of a sigh of relief because the Russians are not likely to conduct an invasion once the weather turns bad.

But for now there are very good reasons to be concerned, and we shall see what happens over the coming weeks…

Monday, February 15, 2016

World War 3 Could Start This Month: 350,000 Soldiers In Saudi Arabia Stand Ready To Invade Syria - Michael Snyder THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

War Soldiers - Public Domain

Posted: 14 Feb 2016  Michael Snyder  THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE
350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are massing in northern Saudi Arabia for a military exercise that is being called “Northern Thunder”.  According to the official announcement, forces are being contributed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Sudan, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and several other nations.  
This exercise will reportedly last for 18 days, and during that time the airspace over northern Saudi Arabia will be closed to air traffic.  This will be the largest military exercise in the history of the region, and it comes amid rumors that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are preparing for a massive ground invasion of Syria.

If you were going to gather forces for an invasion, this is precisely how you would do it.  Governments never come out and publicly admit that forces are moving into position for an invasion ahead of time, so “military exercises” are a common excuse that gets used for this sort of thing.

If these exercises are actually being used as an excuse to mass forces near the northern Saudi border, then we should expect an invasion to begin within the next couple of weeks.  If it happens, we should expect to see the Saudi coalition storm through western Iraq and into Syria from the south, and it is likely that Turkey will come in from the north.

The goal would be to take out the Assad regime before Russia, Iran and Hezbollah could react.  For the past couple of years, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have been funding the Sunni insurgency in Syria, and they were counting on those insurgents to be able to take down the Assad regime by themselves.

You see, the truth is that ISIS was never supposed to lose in Syria.  Saudi Arabia and her allies have been funneling massive amounts of money to ISIS, and hundreds of millions of dollars of ISIS oil has been shipped into Turkey where it is sold to the rest of the world.

The major Sunni nations wanted ISIS and the other Sunni insurgent groups to take down Assad.  In the aftermath, Saudi Arabia and her allies intended to transform Syria into a full-blown Sunni nation.

But then Russia, Iran and Hezbollah stepped forward to assist the Assad regime.  Russian air support completely turned the tide of the war, and now the Sunni insurgents are on the brink of losing.

Aleppo was once the largest city in Syria, and Sunni insurgents have controlled it since 2012.  But now relentless Russian airstrikes have made it possible for Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to surround the city, and it is about to fall back into the hands of the Syrian government.

If this happens, the war will essentially be over.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have invested massive amounts of time, money and effort into overthrowing Assad, and they aren’t about to walk away now.

If the war was to end right at this moment, a weakened Assad regime would remain in power, and Iran and Hezbollah would be the dominant powers in the country for years to come.  And once Assad died, it would be inevitable that Iran and Hezbollah would attempt to transform Syria into a full-blown Shiite nation.  This is something that Saudi Arabia and Turkey want to avoid at all costs.

So they are actually considering what was once absolutely unthinkable – a massive ground invasion of Syria.

But if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies go in, they run the risk of a full-blown war with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.  Just consider some of the comments that we have seen in recent days
Reacting to a potential troop deployment, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Saturday, “Let no one think they can attack Syria or violate its sovereignty because I assure you any aggressor will return to their country in a wooden coffin.”
Pavel Krasheninnikov, a deputy of Russia’s State Duma, has warned Saudi Arabia that any military ground operation in Syria without Damascus’ consent would amount to a declaration of war, Press TV reported.
We could literally be looking at the spark that sets off World War 3.  I can’t believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are actually considering this. And if it does happen, you can rest assured that Barack Obama gave them the green light to go in.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the decision may have already been made.  Just consider what Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is saying
“If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added, fueling concerns that a foreign troop invasion may soon further complicate the already turbulent situation in the war-torn country.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops for a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. Damascus and its key regional ally, Iran, warned that such a foreign force would face strong resistance.
And in addition to all of the forces massing in northern Saudi Arabia, the London Independent is reporting that the Saudis have sent troops and aircraft to a military base in Turkey…
Saudi Arabia is sending troops and fighter jets to Turkey’s Incirlik military base ahead of a possible ground invasion of Syria.
The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, confirmed the deployment in a statement to the Yeni Şafaknewspaper on Saturday, days before a temporary ceasefire is due to come into force.
There are reports that Saudi officials are saying that the decision to send in ground troops is “irreversible”, and Reuters is reporting that the Syrian government claims that some Turkish troops have already entered the country…
The Syrian government says Turkish forces were believed to be among 100 gunmen it said entered Syria on Saturday accompanied by 12 pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, in an ongoing supply operation to insurgents fighting Damascus.
“The operation of supplying ammunition and weapons is continuing via the Bab al-Salama crossing to the Syrian area of Azaz,” the Syrian foreign ministry said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council published by state news agency SANA.
Of course the Turkish government is not going to confirm that report, but what we do know is that Turkey is shelling Kurdish forces on the Syrian side of the border.  The funny thing is that these Kurdish forces are actually being supported and supplied by the U.S. government.

So the Turks are not supposed to be doing this, but according to Reuters they have been doing it for two days in a row anyway…
The Turkish army shelled positions held by Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, killing two fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
Turkey on Saturday demanded the powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia withdraw from areas that it had captured in the northern Aleppo region in recent days from insurgents in Syria, including the Menagh air base. The shelling has targeted those areas.
The hostility between Turkey and the Kurds goes back a long, long way.  The Syrian Kurds are not threatening Turkey in any way right now, but Turkey is using the instability in the region as an excuse to lob artillery shells at a hated enemy.  It is an act of naked aggression that the Obama administration should be loudly denouncing.

In addition, it is being reported that Syrian government forces have also been getting shelled by the Turkish military
Anatolia news agency reported that the Turkish military hit Syrian government forces on Saturday, adding that the shelling had been in response to fire inflicted on a Turkish military guard post in Turkey’s southern Hatay region.
Turkish artillery targeted Syrian forces again late on Saturday, according to a military source quoted by RIA Novosti. The attack targeted the town of Deir Jamal in the Aleppo Governorate.
Needless to say, the Russians are quite alarmed by all of this.

In fact, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is warning about what could happen if things spiral out of control
In the wake of Saudi Arabia’s proposal to send in ground troops on Thursday, the Russian Prime Minister claimed the move could spark a new world war.
“A ground operation draws everyone taking part in it into a war,” he told the Handelsblatt newspaper.
“The Americans and our Arab partners must consider whether or not they want a permanent war.”
If Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies launch an invasion and make a mad dash to take out the Assad regime in Damascus, the Russians will inevitably respond.

And if tactical nuclear weapons are necessary to keep the invading forces out of Damascus, the Russians will not be shy about using them. I don’t know if I have ever seen a scenario which was more likely to initiate World War 3 than the one that we are watching unfold right now.

So what has the mainstream media been saying about all of this?

Incredibly, they have been almost entirely silent.  When he went looking for news about these events, James Bailey could find almost nothing on either Fox News or CNN…
I just visited the home page for Foxnews.com and found not one single mention of the insane events now unfolding in the Middle East. I could not believe it, so I used my Find tool to search for Syria and Saudi Arabia. Not one mention!
Of course that could change at any moment, but nothing there when I checked. Their stories were all about the meaningless Presidential election, which has already been decided regardless of what we think about it, and other stories about entertainment, sports, Congressional political theater, etc.
So I went to CNN and found just about the same thing with one news story about the Syrian cease fire, but when I read it there was no mention of any of the big events that have developed this week. This is truly an amazing media blackout!
But Fox News does have space to run headlines like these…

Spanish man skipped work for 6 years, still got paid
48 people rescued from stuck tram cars at New Hampshire ski resort
Lovelorn elephant takes out his rage on more than a dozen cars

And CNN apparently thinks that these news stories are more important than the potential beginning of World War 3…

Kanye West drops album, says he’s $53 million in debt
Dutch cops train eagles to hunt drones
Teen hands out 900 flowers to girls at school

If Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies are going to conduct an invasion of Syria, the most likely time for this to happen will be by the end of this month during these military exercises.

If we can get to March 1st and no invasion has happened yet, perhaps we can breathe a little sigh of relief. But if it does happen, and the Russians and the Iranians decide to shoot back, it really could be the start of World War 3.

If you have not been paying attention up until now, you need to start, because this could literally change everything.