- Most of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria have long served as large weapons warehouses controlled by various militias belonging to different groups. This has been happening while the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is formally in charge of the refugee camps, continues to look the other way.
- The 120,000 Palestinians living in Ain al-Hilweh are “unfortunate” because they are not being targeted by Israel. Otherwise, there would have been an international outcry and the UN Security Council would have held an emergency session to condemn Israel and call for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Instead, Ain al-Hilweh may soon fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists.
- The Syrian Army has also been dropping barrel bombs on the camp almost on a weekly basis. But because Israel cannot be blamed, Palestinians killing Palestinians is not something that the international media and community are interested in.
- Instead of admitting their responsibility for turning the camps into military bases, Palestinian leaders often prefer to blame others, preferably Israel, for the plight of their people….
- Syria’s fragmentation into separate, battling enclaves is intensifying. The two main enclaves are “central Syria,” controlled by the Assad regime, and the Islamic State.
- The Assad regime and Hizbullah, like the opposition, have been taking heavy casualties. In an unusual speech on July 26, 2015, President Bashar Assad explained that in light of a manpower shortage, the regime’s army is unable to reconquer all the territories that the opposition has seized.
- The nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers has boosted Iran’s capacity to support the Assad regime. The anticipated lifting of the sanctions on Iran is set to enable it to funnel additional resources to this purpose, to which Iran assigns very high priority.
- Iran and Hizbullah’s attempts to create a base for terror activity against Israel from the northern Golan Heights apparently continue, relying on released terrorist Samir Kuntar and Druze elements.
- Against the backdrop of the nuclear deal, there are increasing chances of cooperation between the United States, Iran, and Assad, and possibly also Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in the campaign against the Islamic State….
The numbers are small, but Moscow may be looking at its own version of mission creep in the treacherous Middle East.
The end of summer. It means back-to-school shopping, tearfully ended beach-borne romances, Labor Day barbecues—and, it would seem, the increased likelihood of new Russian adventurism. As if Moscow weren’t satisfied with the game in Ukraine, the last month has seen a flurry of reports about its ever-expanding military involvement in Syria.
One report has even alleged that Russian pilots are gearing up to fly missions alongside the Syrian air force, dropping bombs not just on ISIS but on anti-Assad rebels who may or may not be aligned with the United States or its regional allies.
Several sources consulted for this story said the Pentagon is being unusually cagey about Russia’s reinvigorated role in Syria. A former U.S. military officer told The Daily Beast, “I’m being told things like, ‘We really can’t talk about this.’ That indicates to me that there’s some truth to these allegations.”…Read more
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced that some updates have been carried out on home-made drones to increase their capability for loading more weapons.
“We have done a special task on the drones which has improved the precision striking, range and flight duration of the Ground Force's drones; therefore, our drones can now conduct the needed missions according to the Ground Force's daily needs,” Pourdastan said on Monday.
“With the help of the Ground Force's experts, the necessary ground has been prepared in the drone systems to enable them to carry heavier loads of weapons and we aim to use these drones in rapid reaction drills to be staged in the current year,” he added….Read more
Sen. Barbara Mikulski
Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced Wednesday afternoon she will support the nuclear deal with Iran, giving President Barack Obama enough support to stop Congress from overriding a presidential veto of a Congressional rejection of the agreement.
The Maryland Democrat caved in even though she is retiring at the end of her current term.
No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime. I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb.”
Sen. Mikulski is retiring at the end of her current term and therefore would not pay a heavy political price if she had joined the majority on Congress who oppose the agreement.
She is the 34th Democrat to side with President Obama, who still faces the embarrassment of having to veto a Congressional rejection of the nuclear deal….Read more
…With Republicans virtually united in opposition, Democrats have spent the summer rallying support for an agreement seen as a potential legacy foreign policy achievement for the president.
Republicans hold majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate, and are likely to pass a Republican-sponsored disapproval resolution. However, Obama promised to veto any such measure, and opponents would have needed two-thirds majorities in both chambers to override the veto.
Support by 34 senators means a veto would be sustained.
A resolution would also fail if deal supporters can muster 41 votes in the Senate to block it using a procedural motion. Senate leadership aides on both sides of the issue said it was still too early to say whether that would happen.
Mikulski's support leaves 10 undecided Senate Democrats.
Two top Democratic senators — Chuck Schumer and Robert Menendez — are also opposed, as are a handful of Democrats in the House, including Steve Israel, the chamber's highest-ranking Jewish member.Read more
Christians left homeless due to devastating flooding in Pakistan have been offered an unacceptable choice by Muslim charities providing for victims: convert to Islam or become bonded servants, essentially a form of modern-day slavery.
The choice come with the Pakistani government’s alleged decision to ignore the suffering of the country’s Christian communities.
“When it comes to responding to the flooding of Christian communities, the government seems to back off. Whereas with Muslim communities they respond immediately as do the Muslim charities,” said Wilson Chowdhry, the president of the British Pakistani Christian Association speaking to The Christian Post. Chowdhry added that “is not unusual for the government to overlook helping the Christian communities.” In addition, the government has not built the proper infrastructure to prevent this type of damage, even though the region is known for severe flooding, he said.
Floods that hit the Kasur region in Pakistan this summer washed away thousands of homes, including those of more than 60 Christian families. While the Muslims left homeless were provided with temporary shelter, clean water and food by the government and Muslim charities, the Christians were not.
Chowdhry said the Christians were told to renounce their religion and convert to Islam if they wanted to receive aid, a choice they rejected. They were offered the option of receiving aid if they became bonded servants to the Muslims. “We arrived very late. We first went to Layyah and Gilgit where flooding was most severe, but if we had arrived in Kasur seven days earlier, there could have been more lives that we potentially could have saved from this modern-day slavery,” Chowdhry said. “Several families have already now signed contracts, which have now made them slaves for their Muslim landlords.”
Although Chowdhry’s organization is stepping in to help the families, the organization has limited resources as do the churches in Pakistan.Read more
Frank Gaffney: Welcome back, we’re talking with a man who has been at the forefront of the fight for freedom against specifically, the global jihad movement, back before most of us even knew there was such as thing. He is Steve Emerson, the Executive Director of an absolutely indispensable organization, The Investigative Project on Terrorism.
He has authored six books, count them six books, on various aspects of the terrorist threat including, “Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S.”. Steve welcome back it is great to have you with us as always, and thank you for the terrific work you’ve done over so many years on this issue and many many others.
Steve Emerson: Good to be with you Frank.
FG: I thought we’d maybe start not with jihad in America just yet, but jihad in Europe, and the fact the French seem to be having a very difficult time acknowledging that they very narrowly averted massacre on one of their high speed trains on Friday, was in fact an act of individual jihad. What do you make of that?
SE: Well it follows some of their statements in the last two years after similar attacks in Marseille and even the in the attack in Charlie Hebdo, when the French Foreign Minister said, “this had nothing to do with Islam, this is just murderous cult”. So I think this is emblematic Frank, of a much larger sickness among Western leaders. Going from the President of the United States, who is probably president of this society, that refuses to recognize the direct connection between Islam and radical Islam, and the fact that ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, and all the iterations of these movements, from Hamas, to Islamic Jihad, to Hezbollah. All of them have a line running through them, and that line is called jihad, radical Islam, it’s united by Sharia, and the fact that they don’t want to recognize it, only guarantees Frank, that these attacks will continue to attack with regularity, and with increased lethality.
FG: I am afraid you are right. Steve, … Click Here for Audio VersionRead more
“A coup inside the Muslim Brotherhood” screamed the headline of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood-sympathetic Masr Al Arabia website on May 28, 2015.1 In a few minutes the Brotherhood’s world was turned upside down as members and supporters struggled to cope with the news.
With no leadership to comfort the anguished, members turned to social media to search for news and guidance. Denial was the true believers’ first reaction, but soon their worst fears were born out by Mahmoud Hussein, the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood, who took to his Facebook page to confirm that Mahmoud Ezzat had taken over the group.2
The fact that the powerful secretary general of the Brotherhood could not post his statement on any of the Brotherhood’s media outlets clearly indicated that something was amiss. With the struggle now in the open, it was only hours before the other side responded. …Read more