• 2021-02-26

    The administration’s early recourse to armed force may have surprised Tehran, but the proxy tests will continue, suggesting the need for sustained U.S. intelligence support and multilateral engagement with partners. In the early hours of February 26, U.S. aircraft bombed an east Syrian base used by Iran-backed Iraqi militias. The strike was a response to the February 15 rocket attack on Erbil International Airport, where the U.S.-led coalition has a major base. Underlining the U.S. determination that Iran’s militia proxies undertook the Erbil attack, the Syria strike followed a U.S. complaint and warning sent to the Iranian government via backchannels. Although exact damage assessment is yet to be revealed, this first use of force by President Biden shows that the United States will use the military instrument to restore deterrence (however temporarily) even as it prepares for nuclear talks with Tehran. 

  • 2021-02-26

    The F-15 airstrike, reported to have killed 17 people, drew an initial muted response from Iranian officials. However, a ship owned by an Israeli company was damaged later in the day while sailing in the Gulf of Oman.

  • 2021-02-26

    Maritime intelligence firm says blast likely stemmed from ‘asymmetric activity by Iranian military’; ship identified as MV Helios Ray owned by Israeli shipping magnate Rami Ungar

  • 2021-02-26

    Last night the U.S. escalated the situation in Iraq by bombing Iraqi government security forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border station near Abu-Kamal/Al-Qaim. One Iraqi soldier, a Sunni, was killed. Other sources claim that as many as 22 were killed.

  • 2021-02-26

    The United States on Thursday carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria against buildings belonging to what the Pentagon said were Iran-backed militias responsible for recent attacks against American and allied personnel in Iraq. President Biden authorized the strikes in response to the rocketing in Iraq and to continuing threats to American and coalition personnel there, said John F. Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, who spoke with reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III in California. A rocket attack on Feb. 15 on the airport in Erbil, in northern Iraq, killed a Filipino contractor with the American-led military coalition and wounded six others, including a Louisiana National Guard soldier and four American contractors.

  • 2021-02-22

    The Pentagon’s decision last month to relocate Israel to the U.S. military’s Central Command area of responsibility is a milestone development that could boost deterrence of Iran. [...] Though the move will take some time to go into effect, the Pentagon’s recent decision to relocate Israel to the area of responsibility (AOR) of the U.S. military’s Central Command (CENTCOM, which operates in the Middle East) is a direct operational reflection of the Abraham Accords, in which Israel normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with Saudi support.

  • 2021-02-13

    Western intelligence services and the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have agreed to launch terrorist attacks in war-ravaged Syria following a series of meetings, according to an informed media source. The meetings, which have been held since the beginning of the year, were attended by field leaders of Daesh and other terrorist groups as well as representatives from the security agencies of the US, France, Britain and a number of regional countries in Syria's southern al-Tanf region, Russia's Sputnik news agency, citing the source, said in a report on Friday. In their meetings, they discussed “intensifying attacks on Syrian government forces and Russian military bases in Syria” and what they claimed to be armed groups loyal to Iran, the source said. "Christian churches, mosques and places of worship for different sects have been included in the list of targets," Sputnik news agency quoted the media source as saying. "Within the framework of the agreements reached on coordinating actions, terrorist groups should be provided with funding, technologies, ammunition and modern weapons systems." The source said Daesh terrorists, who are being transferred from Iraq and released from prisons and temporary detention camps in the Kurdish-controlled areas in the west of the Euphrates River, are “undergoing special training under the supervision of American forces and will be used to launch raids” against the specified targets. 

  • 2021-02-11

    This monograph is a special collection of articles by experts from Europe, the United States and Israel, who have been cooperating in an inter-think tank working group under the auspices of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Israel. All articles have a focus on the Iranian issue from different perspectives. The introductory article is written by myself as one of the main conveners of the international working group, and the monograph editor.

  • 2021-02-04

    A special envoy of Iran reaffirmed Tehran’s support for ceasefire in Afghanistan and the neighboring country’s republican system of government. In a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the Iranian foreign minister's special envoy for Afghanistan said Iran supports ceasefire in the neighboring country and maintenance of its republic system. […] In a meeting with a political delegation of the Taliban in Tehran on January 31, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran would support an inclusive and Islamic government in Afghanistan involving all ethnic groups. The top Iranian diplomat also emphasized that people of Afghanistan, who are the Taliban’s fellow countrymen, should not be targeted in operations.

  • 2021-02-04

    Iran’s defense minister has warned against attempts by outsiders to provoke an arms race in the Indian Ocean and turn it into a weapons stockpile, saying colonial powers are militarizing the strategic region to sell more arms and advance their own economic interests. 

     

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