The Middle East

Clashes between protesters and police continued throughout the night in Turkey – but limited mainly to Ankara and Istanbul.

U.S. publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret

U.S. publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret

(Photo: Wikipedia) TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s military fumed Monday over the discovery that the U.S. government had revealed details of a top-secret Israeli military installation in published bid requests. The Obama administration had promised to build Israel a state-of-the-art facility to house a new ballistic-missile defense system, the Arrow 3. As with all Defense Department projects, detailed specifications were made… Read more →

AnaIysis: Israel could swoop on S-300 missiles in Syria, but with risks

AnaIysis: Israel could swoop on S-300 missiles in Syria, but with risks

(Photo: Wikipedia) (Reuters) - Israel could overcome advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles if they were deployed in Syriabut any strikes on the system would be difficult and risk alienating its supplier, Russia. Israel has pledged to take preventive action, seeing a future Syrian S-300 as a “game-changing” threat to its own air space as well as to the relative free rein with which it now overflies… Read more →

Russia disclosed that it will provide Syria with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles

Fears are growing of a foreign-fed arms race in Syria as the European Union, driven by Britain and France, decided to allow weapons to be sold to the rebels, and Russia disclosed that it will provide Syria with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles. Either development would significantly raise the firepower in the two-year civil war has already killed more than 70,000 people… Read more → Authorities in southern Turkey say they have detained four more suspects in connection with twin car bomb attacks last weekend. It means the total number of arrests after the bombs has risen to 17. Turkish media also say a car has been found which it is suspected was due to be used for a third attack.

Islamist preacher Omar Bakri attends an interview with Reuters at his home in Tripoli, northern Lebanon May 24, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Photo and Article: Reuters) - A Syrian-born Islamist cleric who taught one of the attackers accused of hacking to death an off-duty British soldier on a London street praised the attack for its “courage” and said Muslims would see it as a strike on a military target.

In an interview in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, where he has lived since being banished from Britain in 2005, Omar Bakri, founder of banned British Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, told Reuters he knew suspect Michael Abebolajo from a decade ago.

“When I saw the footage I recognized the face immediately,” Bakri told Reuters. “I used to know him. A quiet man, very shy, asking lots of questions about Islam.”

“What surprised me (is) the quiet man, the man who is very shy, decided to carry out an attack against a British soldier in the middle of the day in the middle of a street in the UK. In east London. It’s incredible.

“When I saw that, honestly I was very surprised – standing firm, courageous, brave. Not running away. Rather, he said why he carried (it out) and he wanted the whole world to hear it.”

The attack has been vociferously condemned by Muslim organizations across Britain.

Adebolajo, 28, a British-born convert from a Christian Nigerian immigrant family, went by the nickname Mujahid – warrior – after taking up Islam as a teenager in a suburb on the northeast outskirts of London.

He was filmed with his hands still covered with the blood of Afghan war veteran Lee Rigby, 25, after the attack. Clutching a butcher’s knife and meat cleaver, he said the killing was revenge for British participation in wars in foreign countries.


Yahoo News has the full article

Israel gearing up for ‘surprise war’ with Syria if Assad falls – general

Israel gearing up for ‘surprise war’ with Syria if Assad falls – general

(Photo: Wikipedia) The unrest engulfing the Middle East could result in Israel becoming involved in a “surprise war” with Syria, according to the head of the Israeli air force. “When you look [around] today I think that a surprise war can be born in very many configurations,” Major General Amir Eshel said at a conference near Tel Aviv. In particular, the… Read more →

(Photo: AFP)

AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff

A US Senate committee had passed a bill that would allow, if signed for the Obama administration to supply arms to Syrian opposition — a move that could threaten the entire region if these weapons end up in terrorist cells operating on the ground.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 15-3 vote showed bipartisan support among US politicians for arming the rebels.

It remains uncertain if the full Senate will vote on the legislation that calls to “provide defense articles, defense services, and military training” directly to the opposition on the ground Syria who “have been properly and fully vetted and share common values and interests with the United States.”

“I don’t think that this resolution, this bill will gain traction in the House of Representatives, and if it does we will have to wait and see if Mr. Obama signs this bill,” historian Gerald Horne told RT.

Horne believes that the Israeli lobby in Washington might sway US politicians including President Obama.

“The Israeli lobby in particular has been quite energetic and quite active in regard of lobbying for aid to the rebels, which is quite curious since if these rebels come to power, I dare say that Israel will have many sleepless nights,” Horne says.

The language of the proposed legislature is vague but it suggests the sale of small arms but specifies that “no anti-aircraft defensive systems” would be provided.

Despite fear that sending arms to the rebels might backfire if al-Qaeda linked cells get a hold of them, US lawmakers are adamant that weapons will be supplied to those groups “committed to rejecting terrorism and extremist ideologies.”

Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky has voted against the bill, warning “You will be funding today the allies of al Qaeda,” Paul said adding “It is an irony you cannot overcome,” quotes the Washington Times.

New Jersey democrat and co-author of the bill, Senator Robert Menenedez addressed such concerns and stressed that the proposed bill has in place a “tough vetting mechanism” to prevent terrorist from obtaining US arms. “Vital national interests are at stake and we cannot watch from the sidelines,”Menenedez concluded.

In the meantime, US Secretary of State John Kerry is on a mission to Jordan to meet with representatives from 11 nations, as part of a US-Russian roadmap to end Syria’s violence.

If the bill is to be adopted it Russia in the past has argued that arming the rebels would contradict international law.


RT has the full article

Overnight, shots were fired from Syria at an IDF patrol. IDF forces returned fire, reporting a direct hit on source of the attack. The IDF will continue to operate day and night in order to keep Israel’s citizens safe.