Israel and Palestinian militants exchange rocket fire

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Israel and Palestinian militants exchange fire as graphic video of Israeli bulldozer carrying a body goes viral

Israel said it launched a series of strikes on Islamic Jihad targets, and Palestinian militants fired more than 20 rockets at Israel by early Sunday evening, according to the Israeli army.

(CNN)The Israeli military and Palestinian militants in Gaza exchanged fire on Sunday, hours after a graphic video showing an Israeli army bulldozer scraping the body of a dead man off the ground went viral.

Militants fired more than 20 rockets at Israel by early Sunday evening, according to the Israeli army, making it the largest single assault by militants on Israel in several months.
The army said its Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted more than half of the launches, with many others landing in open areas. There are no reports of any Israeli injuries from the rockets.
Israel said it launched a series of strikes on targets belonging to Islamic Jihad, the smaller of the two main militant groups in Gaza. Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN it was the army’s assessment that Islamic Jihad was responsible for the rocket fire.
Islamic Jihad took responsibility in a statement on its official website, saying its military wing, Saraya al-Quds, is responsible for the shelling. It promised to retaliate against any future “aggression.”
Among the strikes, Israel says it succeeded in hitting a group of Islamic Jihad operatives preparing to launch a fresh barrage of rockets.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said four people were being treated in Gaza’s Shifa hospital for injuries, though it was not clear whether they were involved in the rocket attacks.

Graphic viral video

The escalation began Sunday morning when the Israeli army says it spotted two men trying to lay an explosive device close to the fence that separates Gaza from Israel. The army — which released a video it said showed the two men carrying out their operation — opened fire, killing one of them.
The dead man was identified as 27-year-old Mohammed Al-Naim. The Quds Brigade, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, said he was one of their fighters.
Gaza sources tell CNN the other man is being treated in a Gaza hospital for severe wounds.
It was the second time in several days that members of Islamic Jihad tried to place an explosive device close to the fence, according to the Israeli army.
As the dead man lay on the ground, a local journalist captured the scene on video, which was subsequently shared widely on social media.
In the video, a group of four men is seen moving toward the body in an apparent attempt to retrieve it. A bulldozer from the Israeli army approached from the opposite direction.
Gunshots could be heard as the bulldozer moved up to the group, which was forced to abandon its effort to carry the body away. Other men nearby could be seen throwing rocks at the vehicle.
The bulldozer’s front scoop then appears to come down on top of the dead body as the driver makes several unsuccessful attempts to pick it up.
Eventually the body is seen hanging from the scoop before the bulldozer drives back to the Israeli side of the fence, protected by a tank.

Defense minister: ‘That’s how we must act’

Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett defended the army’s actions in robust terms.
“I’m tired of the tainted left-wing criticism against the ‘inhumanity’ of using a bulldozer to bring to us the body of a terrorist who tried to murder Israelis. Hamas is holding the bodies of Hadar and Goldin,” he said in a statement, referring to the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed during the Gaza war of 2014.
The statement went on, “I stand behind the IDF that killed the terrorists and collected the body. That’s how we must act and that’s how we will act. In the face of terrorists, we will act with strength.”
An Israeli military official told CNN that using bulldozers to clear the area after a militant attack was standard practice and said they had been used previously to remove bodies, though he admitted it was not the preferred way to do it.
Sunday’s escalation came on the final day of the latest visit to Gaza by Qatar’s ambassador to the territory, Mohammed Al-Emadi, who discussed a further tranche of Qatari financial assistance for Gazans worth millions.
Aid from Qatar is a key part of multilateral efforts, which also include Egypt and the United Nations, to broker a long-term ceasefire agreement between Israel and Gaza militants, which would see Israel loosen its restrictions on Gaza in exchange for a cessation of violence.
Islamic Jihad is widely seen as opposed to those negotiations, putting it at odds with Hamas, which controls Gaza.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Sharp rise in brain injuries from Iran raid on US base

(TRUMP DENIED ANY INJURIES TO US TROOPS, THEN ADMITTED THAT 17 HAD MINOR HEADACHES. NOW THE NEWEST INFORMATION WE ARE BEING GIVEN IS 109 U.S TROOPS WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES. THIS HABITUAL LYING COWARD OF A PRESIDENT CARES NOTHING ABOUT ANYONE ON EARTH BUT HIMSELF AND THAT DOES INCLUDE OUR TROOPS.)
Iran attacked a US base in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Iran General Qasem SuleimaniImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption Iran attacked a US base in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Iran General Qasem Suleimani

The number of US troops suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) after an Iranian attack on a US base in Iraq in January has risen to 109, according to US officials.

The figure is a significant increase from the 64 injured service members previously reported by the Pentagon.

President Donald Trump initially said no Americans were injured in the raid.

The attack on 8 January came amid tensions over the US killing of an Iranian general.

Nearly 70% of the injured service members have returned to their duties, the Pentagon added in its statement.

The rising number of reported cases results from the mild form of injury which means symptoms take time to manifest, the Pentagon said in a press conference in January.

US Republican lawmaker Joni Ernst called for more answers on Monday.

Media caption Inside the US base attacked by Iranian missiles

“It’s vital we have a plan to treat these injured service members.

“I’ve called on the Pentagon to ensure the safety and care of our deployed forces who may be exposed to blast injuries in Iraq,” he tweeted.

Last month President Trump downplayed the significance of traumatic brain injuries when asked about the impact of the attack.

“I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report, it’s not very serious,” he said.

When asked about possible TBIs he said: “I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries I have seen.”

Satellite images showing damage and destroyed structures at Al Asad base, Iraq
Presentational white space

What are traumatic brain injuries?

TBIs are common in warzones, according to the US military.

The most common cause of a TBI for deployed soldiers is an explosive blast, writes the US Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.

They are classified as mild, moderate, severe or penetrating. A mild TBI is also known as a concussion, and can be caused by a blast’s “atmospheric over-pressure followed by under-pressure or vacuum”.

The air vacuum is capable of penetrating solid objects, making it possible for soldiers to avoid blunt force trauma but still receive an invisible brain injury.

More than 400,000 troops have been diagnosed with TBI’s since 2000, according to the US government.

Did God Shoot Down The Ukrainian Passenger Jet In Iraq?

Did God Shoot Down The Ukrainian Passenger Jet In Iraq?

 

Do you think that God ‘directed’ an Iranian missile into the Ukrainian passenger jet at the Baghdad Iraqi airport a couple of days ago? Even though I was hoping that the missiles the Iranian leadership had fired at military bases in Iraq would be the end of the tit for tat with the U.S. (President Trump) over his killing of their mass murdering General it appears that this was only wishful thinking. I read in this mornings news feeds that Iran fired 8 more missiles at another Iraqi Air Base where some American soldiers are based at. This attack was said to have been telegraphed to the Americans and they were able to get all of their soldiers underground before the missiles struck. It has been written that 4 Iraqi soldiers were injured though, how badly was not part of the news information though.

 

I had been hoping that with the Iranian government’s announcement that they were at fault for blowing that Boeing Jet out of the sky that just maybe that would be enough damage (176 dead) that Iran and Mr. Trump would grow up and decide to act like adults, but it appears that this was asking for to much of both. I have seen one live feed of the jet being shot down and it appears to me that Iran fired a bunch of missiles at 3 different Iraqi military fields and about 50 miles short of their target one of the missiles struck the jet very shortly after it took off from the Baghdad Airport. That was poor execution by Iran’s Military, not realizing that for their missiles to reach their target that the missiles would be whizzing right by a major airport, or they simply didn’t give a damn if a jet liner of two or three got hit in the process. Personally via their governments past actions I would go with option number two of those two lines of thought. I was honestly thinking that the unintentional death of 176 civilians just might be enough of an event that both sides would decide to become ‘gun shy’ and maybe the loss of their lives would stop a hot war between Iran and the U.S. from happening. It appears that this was just a flaw of decency hoping for there to be no war.

Did God Cause That Jet To Crash?

 

Personally to this question I say, no. There is Biblical precedent where God has taken (killed) a person or persons because He knew that they were young and innocent now but that as time passed He also knew that they would become lost so He took them before age corrupted their Soul getting them condemned later on in their life. But, God has only done this when talking about ‘A’ person, not a whole group of people. One of the reasons that we humans do not have any God given right to kill another person is because if we do kill we are in essence condemning others to Hell by not giving them their full time here on this rock and if they were not in a “saved’ condition and we killed them, we condemned them and our own selves. Even if there were a person or two or even a hundred on that plane that God had decided to ‘bring home’ early He would not have done so at the expense of 176 lives. No, evil, ignorance and ego killed those 176 people, God didn’t do this.

(Short Commentary) The ‘SUNNI’ States Of America?

The ‘SUNNI’ States Of America!

 

When I see that title my first thoughts were ‘I sure as Hell hope not’, but are we? Why would I have written such a thing? If you noticed there is no question mark after the statement. What I am saying here is that we as people of this country have via our Nations foriegn policies become aligned with the Saudi’s and their Sunni faith side of Islam over the Shiite side (Iran). Russia at this same time has been shoring up ties with Iran and the Shiite side. You know, Islam has been at Civil War with itself almost ever since it began 1,400 years ago. The Sunni’s seems to be about 80% and the Shiite’s about 20%. If the U.S. ends up in a hot war with Iran life as we all have know it will be over. Sooner not later this region is going to pop and when the smoke has cleared there will only be one dominate Islam. If this latest drone attack that killed a top end General is found out just to be another political stunt to draw attention away from the impeachment plus the reality is these are dangerous games being played, then we as a people need to take Mr. Trump and his yes men in the Senate and ‘lock them all up.’ This is a game where lives get lost and real blood flows. We all need to be sure of what we are fighting for.

Good riddance to Qassim Soleimani, Iran’s terrorist in chief

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER) 

 

Good riddance to Qassim Soleimani, Iran’s terrorist in chief

Qassim Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s terrorist Quds force, has been killed in an airstrike in Baghdad, a monumental event and great news for the United States and the countless victims of his strategy that has unleashed death and chaos throughout the Middle East.

Soleimani has been described as the architect of Iran’s malignant strategy to exert its influence from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea, bolstering enemies of the U.S. and its allies. Under his leadership, in Iraq, the Iranian regime supplied roadside bombs to Sunni terrorists and used Shiite militias to carry out attacks on U.S. troops and, most recently, against the U.S. Embassy; in Syria, it has provided support for the brutal regime of Bashar Assad; in Lebanon, it has supported and advised the terrorist group Hezbollah; in Yemen, it has stirred civil war by supporting the radical Houthi movement.

In 2008, Soleimani wrote in a letter to David Petraeus, “Dear General Petraeus: You should be aware that I, Qassem Soleimani, control Iran’s policy for Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan.”

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, writing for Foreign Policy, recently explained:

“Suleimani has grown from a military commander into a ghostly puppet master, relying on quiet cleverness and grit to bolster Iran’s international influence. Suleimani has grown from a military commander into a ghostly puppet master.His brilliance, effectiveness, and commitment to his country have been revered by his allies and denounced by his critics in equal measure. What all seem to agree on, however, is that the humble leader’s steady hand has helped guide Iranian foreign policy for decades—and there is no denying his successes on the battlefield. Suleimani is arguably the most powerful and unconstrained actor in the Middle East today. U.S. defense officials have reported that Suleimani is running the Syrian civil war (via Iran’s local proxies) all on his own.”

The loss of Soleimani is a devastating blow to the Iranian regime, which is already suffering from President Trump’s ratcheting up of sanctions. And it’s great news for the U.S.

America just took out the world’s no. 1 bad guy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY ON CNBC NEWS)

 

America just took out the world’s no. 1 bad guy

KEY POINTS
  • The killing of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani doesn’t have the emotional power of the take down of Osama bin Laden, but taking him out means much more in terms of saving current lives, writes Jake Novak.
GP: Qassem Suleimani Soleimani Iran Quds Force IRGC 180517
Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani (C) attends Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s (not seen) meeting with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran on September 18, 2016.
Pool | Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

So, just who is this top Iranian general the U.S. just eliminated?

For many of us who watch and analyze news out of the Middle East daily, he was the world’s number one bad guy.

Qassim Soleimani has been in control of Iran’s Quds Force for more than 20 years. His current greatest hits include helping Bashar al Assad slaughter hundreds of thousands of his own people in the Syrian civil war, stoking the Houthis in Yemen’s civil war, and overseeing the killing of hundreds of Iraqi protesters recently demonstrating against Iranian influence in their country.

But most importantly for Americans, Soleimani was behind the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the Iraq War. Last year, the U.S. State Department put the number of Americans killed by Iranian proxies in Iraq at 608 since 2003.

The killing of Soleimani doesn’t have the emotional power of the takedown of Osama bin Laden, and he wasn’t even as well-known to Americans as ISIS founder Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. But in many ways, taking him out means much more in terms of saving current lives. Remember that bin Laden and al Baghdadi were mostly out of business and in hiding at the time of their deaths. Solemani was busier than ever, directing mayhem all over the Middle East and beyond.

For example, these last few days have made it clear to the whole world just how much Iran controlled just about all of Iraq and Iraq’s Shia population. It appears Solemeini not only felt justified in being the likely mastermind behind Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, he also was comfortable enough to travel to Iraq personally to oversee it. But this time, he got too comfortable.

We’re already hearing from a number of critics that this move will likely backfire against the U.S. and will provoke Iran to retaliate even more forcibly against American and its allies. To those people making those warnings, there’s really only one thing to say: “Welcome to the party, pal!”

That’s because Iran has really been at war with the U.S. since 1979. The killing of hundreds of our troops in Iraq, the constant terrorism it sponsors and supplies against Israel, and even the recent provocations against oil traffic in the Persian Gulf are all acts of war from which there really is no retreat without severe consequences. For the Trump administration, it would appear the embassy attack was the last straw. It was also one that provided the ultimate opportunity to eliminate Soleimani as he foolishly left his home country and made himself more physically and legally vulnerable.

Another thing to remember is that Soleimani and his foreign escapades may have been the delight of the ruling mullahs in Tehran. But the people in the streets abandoned him long ago, if they ever really supported him in the first place.

Soleimani clearly came to personify the increasingly unpopular spending on proxy wars and terrorism. With Iran’s economy faltering, the chanting in the streets during that nation’s recent protests included: “no money, no gas, screw Palestine.” That was probably the best proof that the Iranian people are keenly aware of the resources being sent abroad that could be used to improve the domestic economy and not pay for rockets in Gaza or wars in Syria and Yemen.

In fact, Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad tweeted almost immediately after Soleimani’s death was reported that the Quds commander was also hated by ordinary Iranians for his long history of brutality against his own people. That includes a bloody crackdown on university students in Iran in the 1990s:

Masih Alinejad 🏳️

@AlinejadMasih

IMPORTANT: For many Iranians Qassem Soleimani was a warmonger who caused massive casualties in Syria. He was no hero to average Iranians who chanted against the country’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas 1/

2,637 people are talking about this

In the coming hours and days the debate over the decision to kill Soleimani will unfortunately be dominated by partisan politicians looking to score points for or against President Trump. Perhaps Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut has taken the top partisanship buffoonery prize already by scolding President Trump for the action just two days after publicly decrying America’s lack of action against the Baghdad embassy attack:

Chris Murphy

@ChrisMurphyCT

The attack on our embassy in Baghdad is horrifying but predictable.

Trump has rendered America impotent in the Middle East. No one fears us, no one listens to us.

America has been reduced to huddling in safe rooms, hoping the bad guys will go away.

What a disgrace.

17.2K people are talking about this

Chris Murphy

@ChrisMurphyCT

Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question.

The question is this – as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?

36.7K people are talking about this

But that’s just politics. It will also just be politics when President Trump takes a victory lap on Twitter or at a future rally over this killing.

What isn’t just politics is the fact that Soleimani was a very effective and deadly leader of the world’s most active and pervasive terrorist army. The knee-jerk assumptions we will hear from those who say that someone else will simply take his place and be just as effective and deadly probably come from people who truly don’t know how powerful and effective Soleimani was. He’s going to be a very hard act to follow.

For now, Soleimani’s death is justice for the thousands of deaths he caused all over the world and to his own people. It may have seemed like swift justice Friday morning, but it was actually a long time coming.

Jake Novak is a political and economic analyst at Jake Novak News and former CNBC TV producer. You can follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.

Somalia suicide car bomb attack rocks capital, killing at Least 79

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(The lack of a moral/religion ‘code’, such a spiritual sickness) (oldpoet56)

 

Somalia suicide car bomb attack rocks capital, killing at Least 79

A soldier is seen next to the wreckage of car that was damaged during the suicide attack in Mogadishu on Saturday.

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN)At least 79 people are dead and 149 more injured after a massive car bomb exploded at a busy intersection on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday, according to a government official.

Government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar also earlier told CNN that the attacker drove his vehicle into the “Ex-control Afgoye” checkpoint, a well-known junction that links the south of Somalia to the capital.
Mukhtar added that university students were among the dead.
The attack happened during rush hour in the Somali capital at about 8 a.m. local time, and civilians and soldiers are among the dead, police said.
Police conduct security searches at the checkpoint, but there is also a taxation office located nearby and the area is heavily populated with civilians and security forces.

Nurses from Mogadishu's Madina Hospital push a wounded person on a stretcher.

Police have warned that the death toll could rise as many of the wounded have been rushed to hospitals.
Images from the scene showed multiple wrecked vehicles with shards of twisted metal nearby as well as a minibus marked with blood.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu confirmed two Turkish citizens had died in the attack.
“May Allah’s mercy be upon our 2 citizens and innocent Somali brothers&sisters who lost their lives in the heinous terrorist attack,” Çavuşoğlu wrote on his Twitter account. He added Turkey would continue to stand with Somalia in the fight against terror.
Saturday’s attack came two weeks after at least five people were killed in a seven-hour battle at a hotel popular with lawmakers and security officials in the Somali capital.
In February, the group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a car bombing at a crowded shopping mall that left at least 10 dead. It was also behind three car bombings last November that killed at least 52 people with about 100 more injured.

Houthi Projectiles Land on Hospital in Jazan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Houthi Projectiles Land on Hospital in Jazan

Wednesday, 11 December, 2019 – 12:45
Al-Harath General Hospital. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi civil defense teams received on Tuesday several complaints that projectiles, fired by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen, had landed on a hospital in Jazan.

General Directorate of Civil Defense spokesman in Jazan, Yehya al-Qahtani, said the projectiles hit the al-Harath General Hospital and civilian infrastructure near the facility.

No one was injured.

The outer fence surrounding the hospital was damaged in the incident, Qahtani added.

2 Turkish Soldiers Killed while Defusing Bomb

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

2 Turkish Soldiers Killed while Defusing Bomb

Monday, 9 December, 2019 – 12:15
A Turkish soldier walks next to a Turkish military vehicle during a joint US-Turkey patrol, near Tel Abyad, Syria September 8, 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said
Asharq Al-Awsat
At least two Turkish soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded on Monday while attempting to defuse an improvised explosive device, officials said.

The device exploded in a village near the town of Idil, in the mainly-Kurdish populated Sirnak province, according to a statement from the regional governor’s office.

The explosive device was planted by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, The Associated Press quoted the governor’s office as saying.

The statement didn’t provide further details but said Turkey’s operations to combat the PKK were continuing with “determination.”

There was no word on the wounded soldiers’ conditions.

The PKK, which is considered a terror organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has been waging an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since then.

In October, Turkey invaded areas of northeast Syria in a bid to drive Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border. Turkey says the Syrian Kurdish fighters are linked to the PKK and has been infuriated by Western nations’ support to the group.

Saudi: Israel Strikes Hamas in Gaza after Rocket Fire

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Israel Strikes Hamas in Gaza after Rocket Fire

Sunday, 8 December, 2019 – 12:15
Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, November 13, 2019. (AP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Israeli jets bombed several Hamas positions in Gaza early Sunday, hours after three rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave toward southern Israel.

The military said in a statement the airstrikes targeted military camps and a naval base for Hamas.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, reported The Associated Press.

On Saturday evening, Israel announced that its air defenses, known as “Iron Dome,” intercepted two of three missiles coming from Gaza. Later, it said all three rockets had been shot down.

No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. The Israeli army said Hamas was responsible for any attack transpiring in Gaza.

Cross-border violence between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza has ebbed and flowed in recent years. Last month, the two sides fought their worst round of violence in months.

Leaders from Hamas and the smaller but more radical Islamic Jihad are in Cairo, talking with Egyptian officials about cementing a ceasefire that would see some economic incentives and easing of restrictions on Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday that no steps would be made toward any form of ceasefire as long as rocket fire continued.

He said last month’s onslaught, in which 34 Palestinians were killed, including a top militant commander, would be just a “promo” to what came next if aggression from Gaza continued.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since seizing Gaza in 2007 and dozens of shorter skirmishes.