Middle East updates

Israel

Netanyahu vowed that no matter how dark the present situation, the terrorists “will never, ever beat us. This is the strength of an ancient people that has always prevailed and thank God, look around you, here in the mountains of Jerusalem, today we have a state of our own, flourishing and advanced, a state that is a moral beacon to the world.”

Israeli Leaders Defiant as Paris Victims Buried in Jerusalem

Almost half of British Jewish people fear they have no long-term future in Britain or Europe, while nearly one in two British people hold anti-Semitic views, a pair of surveys published on Wednesday showed.

Polls show British Jews fear for future in rising anti-Semitic climate

Iron Beam will constitute the fifth element of Israel’s integrated air defense system:

Israel Iron Beam will become the world’s first active duty combat laser in 2015

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President Francois Hollande visited the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in Toulon Wednesday ahead of its departure for the Gulf and Indian Ocean. There was no word on its mission in those waters, but the presidential visit on the carrier’s deck, a week after deadly Islamist terror attacks shocked France, suggested operations were afoot against Al Qaeda in Arabia (AQAP), its Yemen headquarters and/or Islamic State targets in Iraq. DEBKAfile: If the Charles de Gaulle does carry out such operations, it will be the first time that a Western nuclear warship has ever gone into action against Al Qaeda targets.

Iran

In the eyes of most Iraqis, their country’s best ally in the war against the Islamic State group is not the United States and the coalition air campaign against the militants. It’s Iran, which is credited with stopping the extremists’ march on Baghdad.

Iran eclipses US as Iraq’s ally in fight against militants

The commander of Iran’s notorious Basij forces declared Monday that the Islamic Republic’s ultimate goal is the destruction of America and Israel.

Iran General: Our Ultimate Goal Is the Destruction of America And Israel

A decline in oil exports, largely because of Western economic sanctions, has cost the Iranian economy more than $100 billion, a senior official said.

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2015/01/12/Iran-out-billions-of-dollars-in-oil-revenue/8591421061748/

Syria and the Bomb?

Underground facility under construction near Lebanese border reportedly being protected by Nasrallah’s fighters

Assad said seeking nuclear weapons with Hezbollah aid

For years, it was thought that Israel had destroyed Syria’s nuclear weapons capability with its 2007 raid on the Kibar complex. Not so. New intelligence suggests that Bashar al-Assad is still trying to built the bomb. And he may be getting help from North Korea and Iran.

Assad’s Secret: Evidence Points to Syrian Push for Nuclear Weapons

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Senior Free Syrian Army official says suspicious Syrian, Iranian movement noted in Qusayr, where plant is said to be, enhanced by ‘unprecedented’ Hezbollah security.

Syrian rebels: Iranian officers spotted near site of reported nuclear facility

Russia

Moscow State University declares ambitious project to collect DNA samples of all of Earth’s living and extinct creatures

In Russia, a ‘Noah’s Ark’ of genetic proportions

The gigantic ‘ark’, set to be completed by 2018, will be 430 sq km in size, built at one of the university’s central campuses.

Chief of the General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov stated that the strengthening of Russia’s nuclear triad will be the top priority for the Russian Armed Forces next year.

Setting the stage for World War 3, Russian leader Vladimir Putin is threatening to expand Russia’s nuclear weapon defense systems near Europe in response to efforts by NATO and the United States to extend air and anti-missile defense coverage over Europe.
Vladimir Putin Sets Stage For World War 3, Expands Russia’s Nuclear Weapons Defenses Near Europe

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ISIS

The arrival of the Dhar family in Syria last month represents a key strategic goal of the Islamic State: to build not just an army but a society. The group has vowed to create a nation ruled by Islamic sharia law, and its leaders and online recruiters have encouraged doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers and accountants to join them in building the institutions of a new holy land.

Entire families — fathers, mothers and children — have answered that call in numbers that have surprised and alarmed analysts who study the extremist group.

Hoping to create a new society, the Islamic State recruits entire families

 

High Taliban officers in Pakistan and Afghanistan made a vow of allegiance Sunday, Jan. 12 to the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi – initiating concord among key groups of the Islamist terror movement in defiance of the values that brought millions out in a mammoth rally of Western unity against terror that day.
The Islamic State’s elite unit wiped out the forward command group of the a commando force belonging to Iran’s Al Qods Brigades early Monday, Jan. 12, killing its commander, Gen. Mehdi Norouzi,
Al-Qaeda in Yemen is becoming more powerful because it provides the troops for a Sunni community that feels under increasing threat from a Shia insurgency that has seized much of the country.
A top leader of Yemen’s al-Qaeda branch claimed Wednesday responsibility for last week’s attack on a Paris newspaper when two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including much of the weekly’s editorial staff and two police officers. Al-Qaeda in Yemen claims attack on Charlie Hebdo

Egypt

Egyptian experts tell the Guardian the ruler’s anti-democratic decrees are unmatched in rate and scope

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.

Egypt’s Sisi: Islamic “Thinking” Is “Antagonizing the Entire World”

 

The successful roll-out so far of a new “smart card” system to distribute subsidized bread has been a major achievement for Egypt’s government, saving money while earning praise from families who no longer have to wake early to fight for loaves.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appears to be succeeding where predecessors Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Mursi both failed in the delicate task of reforming a system that has drained the state’s finances while angering the population.

Egypt’s Sisi scores early success with smart cards for bread subsidies

 

Archeologists discover Mythical Tomb of Osiris, God of the Dead, in Egypt

Tomb-of-Osiris-luxor-egypt

 

 

 

 

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