Have Putin and Netanyahu Struck a Grand Bargain?
- Israeli passivity at the Syrian advance southward might prove in hindsight to have been at best a missed opportunity and at worst a major strategic mistake.
By Prof. Hillel Frisch July 16, 2018 – BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 896, July 16, 2018 – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: On July 8, Israel allegedly conducted an airstrike in Syrian territory that struck once again at the T4 base near Homs. Interestingly, Israel did not conduct any airstrikes to stop the concurrent advance of Syrian and Hezbollah forces southward. This might suggest that a grand bargain has been offered by Russia to Israel –
16 July 2018 – The European Union asked, and the U.S. said no. The U.S. has officially rejected a plea from the EU to provide exemptions to some European companies who do business with Iran. Read all https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44842723?utm_source=Join+the+Community+Subscribers&utm_campaign=7a1f09c318-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_07_16_12_47&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_02cbee778d-7a1f09c318-122492169&mc_cid=7a1f09c318&mc_eid=7382055310
Documents obtained by the Israeli government through a covert operation indicate that the Iranian nuclear weapons program was larger and more sophisticated than once suspected. [The New York Times] 16 July 2018
Read all https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/15/us/politics/iran-israel-mossad-nuclear.html?action=click&emc=edit_mbe_20180716&module=Top+Stories&nl=morning-briefing-europe&nlid=73143833mc%3Dedit_mbe_20180716&pgtype=Homepage&te=1
Western diplomats are very aware that Syria and Russia will increasingly throw this narrative in their face. Will become extremely difficult if not impossible for the international donor community to stick to the “no development under Assad” policy.
From Russian Foreign Ministry briefing yesterday. As more of Syria returns to government control – and is thus administered and provided aid via Damascus – Russia works to make West choose between economic blockade of Syria and helping Syria’s civilians. http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/spokesman/briefings/-/asset_publisher/D2wHaWMCU6Od/content/id/3293994#sel=42:90:Wjw,42:121:j3x …
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS GENERAL COMMENTARY BY JOMANA QADDOUR – What Will Happen If the United States Leaves Syria? (AMERICAN INTEREST) 15 July 2018
Jomana Qaddour is a policy analyst and doctoral student at Georgetown Law, and founder of the humanitarian organization Syria Relief & Development. Ibrahim Al-Assil is a Syrian political analyst. He is a nonresident fellow at the Middle East Institute and Orient Research Center, and a Mason fellow at Harvard Kennedy School.
The stakes of Monday’s discussion in Helsinki are high—especially for U.S. policy in Syria.
On July 16, Presidents Trump and Putin will meet in Helsinki to discuss a variety of issues, the most critical of which perhaps will be the ongoing carnage in Syria. The background to this discussion foreordains limits on how it can proceed, for the indelible fact is that for consecutive administrations the U.S. government has essentially ceded Syria to Russia and its local ally, Iran. There are good arguments for such reticence, including those made by former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford.
Kurdish politician from German Left Party detained in Turkey – Kurdish politician Dilan Düzgün from Germany was arrested at Dalaman airport in Turkey.
15 Jul 2018, 11:30 – Dilan Düzgün, a politician of the German Left Party, DIE LINKE, was arrested at Dalaman airport on the basis of critical remarks against Erdoğan on social media. Düzgün is a city council member in the city of Alzey in Rheinland-Pfalz state.
A lawsuit was launched against Düzgün in 2017 for “insulting the President” and “activities for a terrorist organization” and a warrant for arrest was issued for her. Striking was the rapid reaction of the Federal Government in the case with which it obviously wanted to prevent a new hostage crisis. 26-year-old female politician was reportedly released Saturday evening as a result of efforts by the German state. Read more www.mesop.de
Part of Iraqi Forces in Kirkuk Deployed to Southern Iraq Amid Angry Protests
Baghdad – AFP – 15 July 2018 – The Iraqi Rapid Response Force, under the command of Hashd al Shaabi, and a big squad of the federal police were deployed on Sunday from Kirkuk province to other provinces in southern Iraq where protests against the lack of efficient public services have lately turned violent, said a Peshmerga commander.
Peshmerga commander, Kamal Karkuki, confirmed to BasNews that the Iraqi forces were sent to Baghdad, and local police have temporarily been stationed in their units. Protests, which first started in the oil-rich city of Basrah, were expanded to other provinces and turned violent. Demonstrators on Sunday burned the offices of some political parties in Muthanna province, while four civilians were killed and several were injured in Basra when clashed with the security forces. More via www.mesop.de
Basnews English – 15/07/2018 – 01:22 ERBIL — Large number of protesters on Saturday stormed the headquarter of Iraqi Hezbollah in Najaf, setting the office on fire, Arabiya Hadath website said. The attack came hours after angry protesters stormed the office of Najaf governor.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : Israel does not grant protection to a single refugee – directing them en route Mediterranean Sea
Syria rebels begin evacuating ‘cradle’ of uprising in Daraa
By AFP 40 minutes ago – By Mohamad Abazeed – 15 July 2018 – DARAA, Syria – Syrian rebels and their relatives began evacuating the southern city of Daraa on Sunday under a deal to bring the “cradle” of the country’s uprising back under government control.
The highly symbolic transfers came as Russian-backed government forces advanced in the neighbouring province of Quneitra, with air strikes pounding rebel positions perilously close to the Israeli-occupied Golan heights.After securing Damascus in May, President Bashar al-Assad turned his attention to rebels in the strategically vital south, where protests against his rule first erupted seven years ago. Nearly three weeks of bombardment saw beleaguered rebels agree with Russia earlier this month to hand over Daraa province, before reaching a similar deal for its capital this week.
Iraqi government suspended Social media services in Kurdistan
15 July 2018 – HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— An Iraqi government’s decision to shut down services of social media sites extended to the Kurdistan Region, Ministry of Transportation and Communications in the region said on Saturday.