MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : SENSATIONAL ! –  Drone wars over Yemen and Gulf of Oman revealed

Fox News and CNN revealed that a US drone was targeted by an Iranian missile during the June 13 tanker incident and that a drone was downed over Yemen by Iranian-backed Houthis.

By Seth J. Frantzman – June 16, 2019 01:03 – JERUSALEM POST

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DIE HAUPVERWALTUNG MILITANTEN IRRSINNIGEN JAKOBINERTUMS

 

Zentrum für Politische Schönheit‏Verified account @politicalbeauty     15 Juni 2019

Es sei kurz verraten, was wir tun müssten, um Plus 1,5 Grad zu halten: alle dreißig Jahre eine Fläche Kontinentaleuropas mit Wald bepflanzen und 25 Atomkraftwerke bauen. Um CO2 neutral zu werden, müssten wir zweimal das Matterhorn zermalmen und offen auslegen (Stein verwittert).

Meaning : it’s all over now !

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : IDIOCY / SYRIA – WASHINGTON

 

 

So let me get this straight – the White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) helped with de-mining efforts after #Turkey‘s invasion of #Afrin… so now some otherwise intelligent people in #WashingtonDC use that as evidence that they “assisted” in #Turkey‘s “combat operations.” Seriously?

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : Iran’s secrets for pulling off sneak attacks: Surprise, precise weapons, a new cruise missile

Four secret assets account for Iran’s success in pulling off half a dozen attacks on US allies in the past month, peaking in the sabotage of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, June 13. Those assets are listed by DEBKAfile’s military sources

The element of surprise: Before the four tankers were sabotaged on May 12 and 14 outside the UAE port of Fujairah, no intelligence agency, whether American, Gulf Arab or Israeli, suspected this attack was coming. Intelligence data spoke of Iran activating Shiite militias to attack US military bases near the Syrian-Iraqi border, whereas four of the six hits until now targeted Gulf oil facilities and none aimed at US military targets.

Tehran managed to keep its plans hidden from the eyes of hostile spy agencies and catch them all by surprise.

High professional standards of operation:  Iranian marine and special forces units assigned to these attacks were highly proficient. Attaching limpet mines to the hulls of four tankers (in May) and detonating them in precise order, undetected by US or other forces present in the region, called for top military skills. The same applied to the rockets, which were precisely guided to explode at a point close to the US embassy in Baghdad without damaging the building. It achieved its exact purpose, which was to avoid causing harm while warning the Americans that trouble was ahead. The rockets aimed at Israeli military positions on the Hermon were likewise programed to be harmless.

The escalating stages: The initial attacks caused no casualties and no irreversible damage to the four tankers opposite Fujairah port. The next strikes against Saudi oil pipeline pumping stations delayed the flow through the east-west pipeline but the damage was quickly repaired. However, the June 13 attack on the two supertankers which caught fire in the Gulf of Oman was a dangerous escalation. Whereas Iranian soldiers were caught on video removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese Kokuka Courageous to remove the evidence, witnesses aboard the tanker denied that the explosion was caused by mines and claimed it was caused by “flying objects.”

This incident is under investigation. Military experts maintain that whether it was caused by magnetic mines or a torpedo, the explosive must have been planted by saboteurs on fast boats or mini submarines, which crept up to the tankers undetected by the US, British or French warships patrolling this key international oil route. –

Precise weaponry: All the weapons the Iranians have used hitherto have operated faultlessly, none missing their mark. DEBKA Weekly’s military sources note that until now, no one had appreciated that Iran was in possession of a weapon systems capable of hitting a target with only a 1.5-meter margin of error. It was first discovered on Wednesday, June 12, when Yemeni Houthi rebels fired Iran’s new Soumar cruise missile at the southwestern Saudi airport of Abha, directly hitting and destroying the control tower. This incident revealed that Iran had delivered this cruise missile to the Yemen rebels, or components for assembling it, so crossing another red line. The worry in the US and Israel now is that Tehran may now decide to arm its Lebanese proxy, Hizballah with the precise Soumar cruise missile, which carries half a ton of explosives and has a range of up to 2,500 kilometers.

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IRAN – QATAR & TURKEY PLUS PUTIN !

15 June 2019

TO understand Washington’s challenges in any issue relating to Iran, even after the Gulf of Oman tanker attack, today Iran’s President met two regional leaders, Qatar and Turkey, both of which are growing closer to Iran (and to Russia); no one wants new conflict also

MESOPOTAMIA NES : Q & A !

 

 

Apropos Rücktritt wegen eines als politisch kritisierten Tweets: Ist das hier vom Jüdischen Museum Frankfurt nicht auch politisch? Zumal sich auf der verlinkten Seite Kommentar zu findet: “Das Letzte: Erbärmliche Hetze aus ‘Palästina’”

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : POMPEOS RESULTATE –

FAZ – 15 Juni 2019 – Von Christoph Ehrhardt, Beirut und Majid Sattar, Washington

Ein weiteres Mal überziehen Washington und Teheran einander mit Vorwürfen. Aber einen Krieg strebt Trump nach dem jüngsten Vorfall im Golf offenbar nicht an. Derweil heißt es, dass Iran angeblich das Abschleppen der Tanker verhindert.

Mike Pompeo verzichtete auf jedwede Vorrede, als er den Briefing-Raum des State Department betrat. Es sei die Einschätzung der amerikanischen Regierung, dass Iran für die Angriffe auf die Tankschiffe im Golf von Oman verantwortlich sei. Diese Einschätzung, sagte der Außenminister weiter, basiere auf „nachrichtendienstlichen Erkenntnissen, den eingesetzten Kampfmitteln, der Fachkenntnis, die für einen solchen Einsatz nötig ist, ähnlichen Angriffen auf Seefrachter durch Iran in jüngster Zeit und der Tatsache, dass keine mit Iran verbündete Miliz oder Terrorgruppe in der Region die Mittel und Fähigkeit hat, mit einem so hohen Maß an Raffinesse in Aktion zu treten“. Diese Angriffe, die ohne jede Provokation erfolgt seien, stellten eine eindeutige Bedrohung für den internationalen Frieden und die Sicherheit dar.

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IRAN SEEMS PREPARED FOR MAJOR—BUT MEASURED—ESCALATION IN THE GULF

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS COMMENTARY

by Farzin Nadimi – PolicyWatch 3138 – June 14, 2019 – The latest round of shipping attacks could be another notch in Tehran’s controlled military response to U.S. pressure, and bolder escalatory actions should be expected given the bleak outlook for negotiations.

On June 13, two tankers originating from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were hit by sabotage attacks, just one month after four tankers anchored off the UAE coast were targeted by what international investigators say was almost certainly a state actor. This time, the attacks were carried out in broad daylight and while the vessels were exiting the Strait of Hormuz at full speed. If the already copious evidence of Iranian involvement proves true, what does the incident say about Tehran’s near-term intentions in the area?

THE EVIDENCE SO FAR

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Gastkommentar – Die Kluft zwischen urbanen Eliten und Abgehängten wird zur Gefahr für die Demokratie

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : DIE KLASSENSELEKTION IN ANTIRASSISTISCHEN LBGTQ-ZEITEN

Das Fundament unserer Gesellschaften ist brüchig geworden. Die wachsende Kluft zwischen Gebildeten und Abgehängten, urbanen Eliten und dem Rest der Bevölkerung wird zur Gefahr für die Demokratie. Thomas A. Becker –  14.6.2019, NZZ

In weiten Teilen Europas und darüber hinaus stehen die Zeichen auf Polarisierung, Unruhe und Konflikt. Es liege ein Wandel in der Luft, auf den niemand vorbereitet sei, meint «Bloomberg Businessweek». Der Kapitalismus sei zu weit gegangen, er funktioniere nur noch für wenige, klagt Larry Fink, CEO des weltgrössten Vermögensverwalters Blackrock. Der Siemens-Chef Joe Kaeser warnt vor einer Spaltung der Gesellschaft. Die Milliardäre Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan Chase), Howard Marks (Oaktree) und Ray Dalio (Bridgewater) malen eine Revolution an die Wand und fordern eine Reform des Kapitalismus.

Laut OECD reichen mittlere Qualifikationen nicht mehr aus, um mittlere Einkommen zu erzielen. In Deutschland treiben wachsende Lohnungleichheit, Überforderung am Arbeitsplatz und der Mangel an bezahlbarem Wohnraum immer mehr Menschen um, während Vorschläge zur Kollektivierung von Konzernen und zur Enteignung grosser Immobilienfirmen auf unerwartetes Verständnis treffen.

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How did Iran plan tanker attack? Links and sources show Iranian media may have given us hints

Iranian media falsely reported that the country rescued all the crew of the tankers, that one sank and even showed fake video. Why?

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN – TERRA INCOGNITA & JERUSALEM POST 15 June 2019

Just after six in the morning on Thursday, June 13 the Kokuka Courageous oil tanker off the coast of Iran travelling in a major shipping lane experienced what crew described as an attack. The vessel called for help. It was 10 nautical miles from another ship, the Front Altair, where an explosion occurred. The second vessel also made a distress call. The US has accused Iran of attacking the ships and provided video evidence of Iran’s alleged involvement.

The timeline of events, constructed from open source information such as satellite data, vessel tracking websites, photos of Iranian boats and photos from the US Navy, as well as a timeline compiled by the US Navy and Iranian Farsi broadcasts, helps explain how Iran might have planned the attack on June 13. It also shows how Iran reacted and what it might have thought would happen after explosions damaged two tankers.

Somewhere in Iran the men who allegedly planned the operation that damaged the two ships monitored the incident unfold. It was dawn. The time zone in Iran is half an hour later than the time zone in Oman across the Gulf of Oman. Sunrise would have been at 5:50am local Iranian time in the naval base of Jask. An Iranian search and rescue vessel, the Naji 10, was at port. By the time the ships had experienced attacks the sun was up. Iranian IRGC members would have finished their morning prayers.

The incident was reported as Japanese PM Shinzo Abe met Ayatollah Khamenei

In Tehran the Iranian Foreign Minister was awake as well, waiting for the Prime Minister of Iran to visit the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. It was an important day. Iran’s leader had already met with Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani on June 12. One of the tankers coming under attack that morning, as Abe prepared to meet the Iranian leader, was the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.

The Kokuka Courageous was ahead of the Front Altair in the sealane, with both heading east. Its crew would later say they had been seen flying objects before the attack. As the stricken Altair began to sail in circles, the Kokuka drifted.  A tug boat called the Coastal Ace was close to the Kokuka and went to assist her crew who had decided to abandon their ship. At around the same time the Hyundai Dubai, a cargo ship, helped evacuate the crew of the Front Altair.

The USS Bainbridge was moving to assist the Kokuka and a US aircraft, probably a P-8 flown from the Gulf, observed an IRGC Hendijan class patrol boat and “multiple IRGC fast attack craft” near the Altair. CENTCOM reported the following: At 9:12 an Iranian boat pulled a raft from the Altair from the water and then approached the Hyundai Dubai and demanded the sailors be turned over to Iran. By 11am the USS Bainbridge had met up with the Coastal Ace and rescued the crew of the Kokuka.

The Iranians were closely monitoring the two ships that were attacked. Not only did Iranian boats seek to forcibly rescue the crew of the Altair; one larger Iranian vessel, probably the search and rescue ship Naji 10, was steaming away from the Altair at 11am, according to a satellite photo. The Naji 10 made several trips out to both ships, even though the crew of both had already been rescued.

Iran’s Press TV reports all crew rescued, in fact Iran only requested that crew who were already rescued be transferred to their control.

While these rescues were going on it became clear that Iran had already planned to rescue the 44 crew members. Press TV, relying on an IRIB report in Farsi, reported at 11:28 am that Iran had rescued all the crew of both ships. Iran’s media also said the ships had caught fire at 8:50am, long after the original distress calls. In addition at around noon Iran’s media, including IRNA, reported that the Altair had sunk. The term “completely sunk” was repeated by Al-Mayadeen and other media. Other media in Europe also reported the sinking. IRIB news, which is linked closely to the regime, pushed the “completely sunk” story initially.

 

IRIB’s role in reporting the events is interesting because it is close to the government. It began its reports at8:30am. By 9:47 it already said one tanker was sinking. At 11:25 it reported all 44 sailors rescued. In fact only 23 had been rescued forcibly from the Hyundai boat. At 1:33pm it claimed to show “first images” of the explosions on the tankers, using aa 2017 video of a Houthi attack on a Saudi warship. Why did IRIB continually report false information about the rescue, the sinking and the video? It did it in Farsi for a local audience.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 1.37.12 AM

Why did IRIB post a 2017 video as if it was the June 13, 2019 incident?

Meanwhile, as IRIB was reporting false details, around 3pm in the afternoon an IRGC unit put to sea with one oftheir fast attack boats. The crew of the Kokuka had reported that an unexploded limpet mine was attached to the ship. The Bainbridge even photographed the mine. The Bainbridge monitored an IRGC Gashti Class boat move up to the Kokuka and remove the unexploded mine at 4:10pm. The US took video of the removal (see link). That video is the clearest piece of evidence that Iran sent back its navy to collect a mine (although, like every aspect of this incident, this has been challenged). The vessels in the video can be matched to known Iranian naval boats.

A key piece of evidence for what Iran may have thought would happen when this attack was planned come from the fake video of the attack, and the claims of sinking and rescue. Iran’s Al-Alam TV first reported the incident. From the beginning Iran’s media played a key role in telling what was happening. Why would IRIB show a video of the attack that was clearly false? Why report that 44 people were rescued if they weren’t? Why did Iran’s boats interdict the Hyundai and forcibly rescue the sailors from the Altair in international waters? What was the point? And why remove a mine if Iran didn’t put it there in the first place?

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 5.50.57 PM

The mines before they were removed

It seems that those who planned the attack believed that at least one ship would sink and that they could valiantly rescue the sailors. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said after the incident that “we are responsible for ensuring the security of the Strait of Hormuz, and we have rescued the crew of those attacked tankers in the shortest possible time.” Did Iran already have a prepared statement claiming to have rescued all the crew, resulting in this false information?

In addition they likely hoped the ship would sink with the evidence aboard, including the unexploded mine. The planners may have been involved in the May 12 incident when four boats were sabotaged off the coast of the UAE. In each incident the planner was careful to avoid casualties. For instance aboard the Altair, which was badly damaged and set afire, it appears the crew was not injured. On the Kokuka, which was barely damaged, drones may have been used to harass the ship first. Was the Kokuka, a Japanese-owned ship, attacked on purpose because of Abe’s visit, or by mistake?

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 12.04.45 AM

Continued Iranian involvement on June 14

The Iranians didn’t stop trying to get hold of both ships until June 14. An Iranian tugboat reportedly approached the Kokuka and even wanted to push it back towards Iranian waters before the Bainbridge interceded. The behavior of Iran from start to finish appears suspicious, not working with the various navies and boats involved, but trying to steer the incident into its own control.

*The report above was published at The Jerusalem Post but without the hyperlinks and sources here.

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