by Michael Eisenstadt and Michael Knights – PolicyWatch 2929 – February 13, 2018 – Michael Eisenstadt is the Kahn Fellow and director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute, and author of its recent report “Regional Pushback, Nuclear Rollback: A Comprehensive Strategy for an Iran in Turmoil.” Michael Knights is a Lafer Fellow with the Institute.
Tehran and its allies will test U.S. and Israeli limits again, requiring deterrent responses that are tough, consistent, and paired with political reassurances to allies.The past week has witnessed two significant incidents involving lethal U.S. and Israeli airpower inside Syria. Each came in response to apparent tests by Syrian, Iranian, and Russian forces, and more such tests are probably in the offing.
MESOP NEWS BRUSSELS / ISRAEL’S BEST BUSINESS – Israel & the EU: Economic Growth Despite Political Tensions
Ilyssa Tuttelman – Ilyssa Tuttelman is a M.A. Candidate in International Affairs focusing on the U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She is a research intern at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Also available in العربية February 09, 2018ackground: The EU-Israel Association Agreement
The intent of the 2010 EU-Israel Association Agreement was to strengthen economic cooperation between both parties – and it worked. The President of the European Commission, Jose Barroso, praised the idea in June 2014, saying that: “Israel is a strong player in research and innovation and for this reason an important partner for the EU to address societal challenges of common concern, such as ageing, food safety, environment protection or cleaner energy, and to strengthen the competitiveness of our industries.”
Michael D. Weiss: “In a few hours, Israel destroyed half of Assad’s air defense systems. If the total operation had lasted the length of, say, Godfather Parts I and II, Assad’s regime would now be completely exposed and vulnerable to aerial assault, and totally reliant on Russian air power to protect it.
What does this tell us?
Chiefly, that what we have heard over the last seven years about the difficulties of creating no-fly zones in Syria was bollocks: even a country whose air defenses were estimated to be orders of magnitude higher than those of Gaddafi in Libya could, on its best day, down a single F-16 that was piloted badly before losing 50% of its deterrent capability.
Secondly (and this one’s a real corker) that Russia is only willing to go so far to protect its chinless and feckless client in Damascus. What was Putin’s response to the IAF raid? An Obama-like call for “de-escalation.” And no doubt the Israelis notified the Russians through their own “de-confliction line” what was about to happen and Moscow simply shrugged.
It has been exceedingly frustrating arguing about Syria for so long, not because there have been principled and passionate people on the other side of the debate who make excellent points that make you question your own appraisal, but because there has been so much bad faith on the other side, from those who have tendentiously maintained that the US had no “good options” from day one because a) they were ideologically opposed to even minimal intervention, b) they were too wedded to reconciliation with Iran and they lied about America’s prospects in service of that objective.
A regional ally that has no real imperative to intervene in the Syria mess save to protect its own national and security interests just made a joke of the best and the brightest minds in Washington. This should not go unnoticed.”
13 Febr 2018 – Over the weekend, there were a number of ‘firsts’ in the the Syrian conflict. Namely, Israeli jets fired on Iranian forces inside Syria, which were flying an Iranian drone over Israel.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, former chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, explains what happened—and what conclusions both sides should draw: • “First, the Iranian UAV penetrated Israeli airspace and then it was detected and destroyed by Israel forces. Second, Israel attacked the caravan from which the UAV was piloted at the T-4 airbase deep in Syrian territory. Third, the Israeli F-16 was downed over Israeli territory by an outdated Syrian SA-5 missile. And finally, Israel launched an extensive strike that focused on Syrian air defenses and Iranian forces in Syria.”
MESOP NEWS NEU : JUPITER MACRON (“DER ROTHSCHILD MANN”) MAG KEINE MIGRANTEN ! – Kurdische + Afghanische Banden –
13 Febr 2018 – Der französische Innenminister Gérard Collomb beschrieb das in Calais erreichte Maß an Gewalt als “beispiellos”. Er führte die Auseinandersetzungen auf einen eskalierenden Bandenkrieg zwischen afghanischen und kurdischen Banden zurück, die beide die Kontrolle über das Schleppergeschäft von Calais nach Großbritannien erlangen wollen. Großbritannien wird wegen seiner großen Schattenwirtschaft von vielen Migranten als “El Dorado” angesehen.
- Während seines Besuches in Calais skizzierte Macron die neue Einwanderungspolitik seiner Regierung: Lebensmittel und Unterkunft für diejenigen, die das Recht haben, in Frankreich zu bleiben, Abschiebung derer, die sich illegal im Land aufhalten.
- “Emmanuel Macron hat’s geschafft. Nie zuvor ist ein Präsident der Republik so schnell unpopulär geworden und danach so schnell wieder populär.” — Paris Match. 13 Febr 2018 www.mesop.de
MESOP NEWS SYRIA : PUTIN & THE “WAGNER GROUP” – Russian Troops Among Pro-Assad Forces Killed by US Airstrikes
By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – February 13, 2018 – Alexey Ladygin, a fighter with the Russian private military company Wagner Group, killed by US airstrikes in eastern Syria on February 8, 2018 – Russian troops were among pro-Assad forces killed by US airstrikes last Thursday, after the Americans intervened to check an attack on the US-supported, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria. The US military said the strikes slew more than 100 troops, part of a 500-strong force that tried to seize a gas plant from the SDF in Deir ez-Zor Province, east of the Euphrates River. Soon after the assault, photos and messages on social media claimed Russian casualties. An analyst specializing in coverage of Russian “private military companies”, Roman Saponkov, estimated that 20 to 25 of their fighters were killed.
MESOP NEWS DETAILED REPORT : Jerusalem Post Arab-Israeli Conflict / THE OPEN WAR WITH IRAN HAS BEGUN
Initial probe: Altitude may have made downed jet vulnerable to Syrian fire – The open war with Iran has begun
By Anna Ahronheim – February 12, 2018 15:14 – JERUSALEM POST – According to a senior IAF officer, Israel has carried out thousands of missions over Syria in past year.An initial probe into the downing of an Israeli F-16i jet on Saturday found that the altitude at which the plane was flying made it more vulnerable than the other eight planes flying in the formation.
– A special report on the significant challenges Iran faces in the Middle East will soon be published by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
Iranian Responses to Growing Tensions with Israel and an Initial Assessment of Their Implications from an Iranian Standpoint
12 Febr 2018 Our correspondent visited Kobani, a city in northern Syria, where the local Kurdish government plans to preserve downtown ruins as a monument of the battle against the Islamic State