A series of attacks against the Russian bases in Hmeymim and Tartus (Updated to January 10, 2018) – Published: 11/01/2018

Attack against the Russian bases in Hmeymim and Tartus – Recently, the Russian airbase in Hmeymim and the Russian naval base in Tartus have been a target for various types of attacks (by UAVs, rockets and mortar shells). Following are details of the attacks (according to the Russian media):

The Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement that between January 5 and 6, 2018, a combined “terrorist attack” against the Russian Air Force base in Hmeymim and the Russian Navy’s logistics center in Tartus was foiled. The attack was carried out by 13 UAVs equipped with self-manufactured IEDs. Ten UAVs attempted to attack the base in Hmeymim, and three others attempted to attack the (naval) base in Tartus. According to the Russians, none of the UAVs hit the target. Seven UAVs were shot down by the Russian air defense system and six were landed by the Russian army’s electronic warfare systems (three of them exploded upon landing).

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EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) –  Russia & Iran’s Temporary Marriage: Staying Together for Global Domination

12 Jan 2018 – CIPHER LETTER – Russia and Iran have forged a strategic symbiotic relationship anchored in economic, defense and energy cooperation. But as the Trump administration ramps up both rhetoric and sanctions on key figures and entities linked to the Iranian regime, and threatens to impose more – Washington could end up pushing Moscow and Tehran even closer together.

A common mission unites Moscow and Tehran: thwarting the expansion of western democratic systems, and raising their levels of influence at the regional and global levels at the expense of the United States.

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by Soner Cagaptay  – PolicyWatch 2916 –  January 11, 2018 – Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, and author of The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey.

The next domino in Erdogan’s consolidation of power may soon fall, and Washington should view any short-term spike in his nationalist rhetoric through this domestic political lens.

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MESOP NEWS DRAMATIC REPORT : What Will Happen To Minorities in Syria & Iraq After ISIS

Yousif Kalian – January 8th, 2018 – BY MUFTAH  Press  – Since the Syrian regime, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and U.S.-coalition airstrikes have driven ISIS out from its several strongholds, the heyday of the so-called caliphate is nearing its end. With Raqqa and Deir el-Zour in Syria and Mosul and Anbar province in Iraq liberated, the question that looms large is the fate of religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.

Even before ISIS, minorities in the two countries faced massive hurdles, ranging from institutionalized discrimination, de facto social and employment restrictions, and rising emigration rates. Since ISIS came onto the scene, these issues have been exacerbated. The ability of these vulnerable minority communities to rebuild, post-ISIS, will, as such, depend very much on the political situation in these countries.

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DEBATE: What Could the Iran Uprising Portend? – By relevant sources: Peter Rough, Fellow, Hudson Institute, Washington DC –  Benjamin Weinthal, Research Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies –  Professor Ze’ev Maghen, Professor of Arabic Literature and Islamic History and Senior Research Associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies –  Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Washington DC –  Anoush Ehteshami, Professor of International Relations in the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University –  Ali Ansari, Professor, School of History, St Andrews University

By Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos January 9, 2018 – BESA Center Online Debate No. 4, January 9, 2018

Q: Anti-government protests in Iran – occurring for the first time since 2009 – are attracting international attention. The scale and ferocity of the uprising have left many people dead, injured, or arrested. The reasons for this new internal instability, and the potential repercussions for the country and the regime, have generated a lively debate. BESA asks the experts: What could the uprising in Iran portend?

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MESOP NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT : Elections in Kurdish-held northern Syria postponed with no date set

Jan. 8, 2018 – Syria Direct – The third and final round of elections to choose political leaders in Syria’s majority-Kurdish north were slated for later this month. But now, one official says, the race is postponed for “administrative” reasons, with no new date scheduled.

The elections, which were to include three separate rounds over the course of five months, represent a move by Kurdish authorities to consolidate control over northern Syria after the dominant Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and allies voted to form a federal system in 2016.

Kurdish-controlled territories in Syria’s north, also known as Rojava, are divided into three cantons governed by de facto autonomous Self-Administration authorities. In a first round of elections held in September, voters across Rojava elected local neighborhood leaders.

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MESOP NEWS INTEL : Mossad chief – We have eyes, ears and more in Iran !

EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) – By Tamar Ben-Ozer  – January 9, 2018 13:02 – Jerusalem Post – Mossad Director Yossi Cohen warned against the Iranians “coasting into the Middle East undisturbed and with very large forces”

Mossad chief Yossi Cohen spoke out at a Ministry of Finance conference Tuesday morning regarding the recent protests in Iran, according to Kan Radio. He stated that “Israel has eyes and ears there, too,” and added that he would be “happy to see a social revolution in Iran.”

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MESOP NEWS – THE IRANIAN MASTERMIND OF MIDDLE EAST TERROR : Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, issued a video in which children from the Gaza Strip thank Iran for its support of the Gaza Strip, part of the Hamas-Iran rapprochement

Overview –The Iranian TV channel al-Ayam recently posted a video of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, to its Instagram account. Soleimani plays a key role in Iranian subversion in the Middle East and in Iranian support for the Palestinian terrorist organizations. The video was in Arabic with Persian subtitles. It showed Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip standing near the Israeli border waving Palestinian flags and pictures of Qassem Soleimani. The video was entitled, “Message from the children of Palestine to Hajj Qassem Soleimani.” The children emphasize that they are proud of Soleimani, love him and thank him and Iran for the support them give the Gaza Strip (al-Alam TV, Iran, December 27, 2017).
  • The video was issued by alAlam TV the day before the demonstrations broke out in Iran,[1] during which Soleimani was severely criticized by the demonstrators. They accused him of unnecessarily sending money to Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries. They protested the Iranian regime’s policy of preferring military intervention in Syria and Iraq and support for terrorist organizations, to finding solutions for the economic and social hardships of the citizens of Iran.

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Jan 4, 2018 | When the Protests Die Down, Iran’s Economic Problems Will Live On

  • Some of the grievances behind the recent wave of protests in Iran, such as disappointment with the nuclear deal and low oil prices, will remain beyond the government’s power to change.
  • Unstable food prices, decreasing purchasing power and high rates of unemployment and underemployment will continue to pose problems for everyday citizens across the country.
  • The sensitive reform measures necessary to overhaul subsidy systems, labor laws and business contracts, which are as much political as they are economic, will probably set off more unrest in the future. 

After a week of public protests, the dust is starting to settle in Iran. Without clear leadership or a specific political movement for protesters to gather around, the intensity of the demonstrations that popped up around the country has begun to dissipate. But that doesn’t mean the government in Tehran can breathe easy. The economic grievances that sparked the initial unrest are still alive and well among the Iranian public, and many of them are beyond the power of the current administration to fix. Furthermore, the work required to address the issues that are within the government’s control risks upsetting the delicate balance of Iranian politics.

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7 January 2018: Workers in Iran Issue Joint Statement Demanding Release of Recently Detained Protesters

by missionfreeiran ⋅ January 7, 2018 ⋅  – Workers’ organizations in Iran have issued a new joint statement demanding the release of all political prisoners in Iran, and explicitly those protesters who have been recently detained. The full text in Farsi appears below; a summary of this statement is presented in English:

The crackdown on, and detention of, students and demonstrators will only reinforce the labor movement, and encourage the people to fight for freedom.

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