By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – 19 Febr 2018 – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has put pressure on Syria’s leading Kurdish groups as they face a Turkish-rebel offensive and isolation within the country’s 83-month conflict.As he arrived in Moscow for talks with Russian officials and a conference at the Valdai Institute, Zarif avoided any direct reference to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD) and its YPG militia. But he aimed at them through the US, which has provided essential political and military support for Kurdish gains in northern Syria, particularly through the defeat of the Islamic State, since 2015.
EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) – Major Challenges Faced by Iran in the Regional Arena in 2018
Published: 18/02/2018 – Main Argument – Regional Challenges Facing Iran
The far-reaching political transformations that have occurred in recent years in the Arab world created new opportunities for Iran to increase its regional clout. Iran exploited the weakness of the Sunni Arab states as well as the regional turmoil and instability to promote its over-arching strategy that strives for regional hegemony. Additional factors contributed to the expansion of Iran’s sphere of influence: Washington’s policy, which eschewed active involvement in the region; Saudi-Arabia’s forcible policies, which often played into Iran’s hands; and the nuclear agreement, which provided Iran with a greater degree of freedom of action from the Western powers led by the United States.
Heshmat Alavi @HeshmatAlavi 3h3 hours ago – 17 Febr 2018 – #BREAKING General McMaster in Munich: #Iran is establishing a network of proxies in states such as #Syria, #Yemen & #Iraq. What is especially concerning is that Iran’s proxies are engaging in destructive acts & Iran sends them weapons. The time has come take action against Iran.
MESOP NEWS TODAYS RELEVANT COMMENTARY BY (FORMER) AMBASSADOR DENNIS ROSS (USA) – The Qassem Soleimani factor
AFTER THE WEEKEND’S IRAN-ISRAEL ATTACKS, A BURDEN ON TRUMP TO CONFRONT RUSSIA AND ENGAGE EUROPE
by Dennis Ross – New York Daily News – February 12, 2018
Before the next shoe drops in Syria, the administration needs to get blunt with Putin and ask EU officials to warn Tehran about renewed sanctions.
Early Saturday morning, Iran crossed a threshold in trying to carry out a direct attack against Israel from Syria. Using its T-4 airbase in Homs province—a base used by the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its head Qassem Soleimani—the Iranians launched a stealth, armed drone into Israel.
ISRAEL SIGNALING A HEAVY PRICE FOR IRANIAN ‘ENTRENCHMENT’ IN SYRIA
by David Makovsky – PolicyWatch 2928 – February 12, 2018 – If Tehran keeps trying to increase its military foothold in Syria, Israel may ramp up its strikes, so Washington should consider a more active posture that reduces the risks of escalation.
By striking Syrian antiaircraft forces and installations where Iranian personnel are located this weekend, Israel seems intent on forcing key players to recognize its deep interest in limiting Tehran’s military presence in Syria. If Iranian leaders ignore this interest, they risk triggering a rapid military escalation.
MESOP NEWS TODAYS IRAN vs: ISRAEL ANALYSIS Shifts In Iran’s Strategy Against Israel – From Using Proxies To Direct Action: Iran-Operated Iranian Drone Enters Israeli Airspace
EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) – By: A. Savyon and U. Kafash* (MEMRI) 13 Febr 2018 – Introduction
On February 10, 2018, Iranian forces in Syria sent an Iranian attack drone across the border into Israeli airspace; the drone was downed by an Israeli army helicopter. Israel then bombed the base and the command and control vehicle that had launched the drone, and an Israeli F-16 jet was shot down by antiaircraft fire by Syrian forces and crashed in northern Israel. In response, Israel then bombed 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, in an operation that the Israeli Air Force second-in-command called “the biggest and most significant attack the Air Force has conducted against Syrian air defenses” since the 1982 Lebanon War.
Iran Changes Its Strategy Vis-à-vis Israel – And Then Immediately Changes It Back
MESOP NEWS RELEVANT COMMENTARY BY SETH FRANTZMAN – JERUSALEM POST / WE ARE ALREADY IN A WAR WITH IRAN
By Seth J. Frantzman – February 12, 2018 02:02 – The question that leaves is: to what degree is the Syrian regime happy with Iran’s actions that cost it soldiers and pose a risk?
Tehran has threatened the US in Syria, and its drone raid is a sign to Damascus and Russia that Iran is increasingly running Syrian policy.
By Yaakov Katz – February 11, 2018 00:05 – THE JERUSALEM POST
The “Shadow War” between Israel and Iran has been going on for years, bringing us closer and closer to today’s events and what is to come.
On Monday, Hezbollah will mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Imad Mughniyeh, its legendary and ruthless military commander, whose absence, according to Israeli intelligence, is felt still today.
MESOP NEWS KONFRONTATION: EIN NEUER UNAUSWEICHLICHER KRIEG -„Ich habe Putin klargemacht, dass wir das stoppen werden, wenn es nicht von selbst aufhört“, sagte Netanjahu Ende Januar bei einem seiner vielen Besuche in Moskau. Putin erwiderte nichts.
Israel, Libanon und Syrien : Auf Konfrontationskurs
Von Jochen Stahnke , FAZ – Tel Aviv – Aktualisiert am 10.02.2018-13:38 – Im Norden Israels, an der Grenze zum Libanon und zu Syrien, wächst die Kriegsgefahr. Auch wenn das eigentlich niemand will.
Der Luftschlag in jener Januarnacht vor drei Jahren war ein gewagter Schritt. Er galt einer Gruppe aus Hizbullah-Kommandeuren und einem iranischen General, die sich auf der syrischen Seite der Golanhöhen eingefunden hatte. Der israelische Hubschrauberangriff war erfolgreich, sie wurden getötet. Israel hatte aus damaliger Sicht eine schiitische Kommandogruppe vernichtet und verhindert, dass diese ihre Operationen in Syrien auf das unmittelbare Grenzgebiet zu Israel ausweitet. Aus heutiger Sicht war Israel einem direkten Krieg gegen die Hizbullah und ihre Schutzmacht Iran nie so nahe wie damals.