Saturday, 25 July 2020

First Response Ambush Ambiguity: Marking of Time’s Deadly Agony Update الانتظار القاتل أول الردّ: غموض التربُّص



First Response Ambush Ambiguity: Marking of Time’s Deadly Agony
اول الرد الإنتظار القاتل – نقاط على الحروف – صوت آية حسن


يعرف الأميركيّون و”الإسرائيليون” أن جوهر ما تدور حوله الضغوط على المقاومة يتصل بضمانات تريدها واشنطن لتل أبيب قبل الانسحاب من المنطقة، والضمانات تتصل بمستقبل وجود المقاومة في سورية ومستقبل الحدود البرية والبحرية للبنان مع فلسطين المحتلة قانونياً كإطار لفتح الباب للبحث بمستقبلها الأمني، ويعرفون أن ميدان المواجهة العسكرية هو ميدان تفوق للمقاومة بمثل ما هو الميدان المالي ساحة تفوق أميركيّة، ولذلك فإن الغارة التي شنها جيش الاحتلال قرب مطار دمشق وارتقى بنتيجتها شهيد للمقاومة، بما تمنحه للمقاومة من حق الردّ وفقاً لمعادلة أرساها الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله قبل سنة، ولا زالت سارية حتى تاريخ الغارة الأخيرة واستشهاد المقاوم علي محسن، تفتح ميدان التفوق الذي تنتظره المقاومة في هذا السجال المتعدّد الوجوه والأدوات، والممتد لشهور قليلة مقبلة حتى الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية، فلماذا يتوقعون من المقاومة سرعة توظيف الرصيد المتاح لها عبر رد محسوم، بينما بيدها مراكمة فوائد هذا الرصيد قبل صرفه؟
حال الذعر في كيان الاحتلال، واهتراء الجملة العصبية للكيان كتجمع استيطانيّ، بالتحفز لتلقي صفعة لا يعرف مكانها ولا زمانها ولا نوعها ولا حجمها، هو جزء من الفوائد لرأسمال قابل للصرف بتوقيت المقاومة، والارتباك في صفوف جيش الاحتلال الذي بدأت علائمه بحادث الأمس الذي أودى بحياة جندي سيتفاقم كلما طال الانتظار وتكثر تداعياته، والمساءلة السياسية للحكومة ورئيسها على التوريط الذي تسبّبوا به للكيان بالوقوع تحت ضغط رعب الشمال ستشهد المزيد مع الانتظار الصعب والقاتل، وسيرافق كل ذلك ركود في الأسواق يزيد على ركود كورونا كما هي حال كل توتر مصيري تمرّ به الأسواق الاقتصادية، فلمَ يتوقع بعض المتحمّسين أن تسارع المقاومة للردّ؟
في شهور السجال المالي والسياسي والميداني القليلة المقبلة، صارت المبادرة بإدارة الشق الميدانيّ منها بيد المقاومة، حتى تقرّر صرف رصيدها، وشكل الصرف ونوعه وحجمه، وطالما لم تقم المقاومة بصرف رصيدها فلن يجرؤ جيش الاحتلال على ارتكاب حماقة جديدة، وسيحرص الأميركي على التمهل في خطوات مالية وسياسية، وسيكون بيد المقاومة تقدير حجم الحاجة السياسية والميدانية للجرعة العسكرية التي يجب أن يحملها الردّ، والتوقيت الذي يلبي تكتيكاتها في قلب رؤيتها للتوازنات الاستراتيجية، ودرجة الاهتراء في جسد الكيان الذي سيزداد توترا وتظهر عليه علائم الوهن وتزيد. وربما يكون ملف الترسيم الذي يريد له الأميركيون و”الإسرائيليون” أن يفتح ويختم سريعاً بعدما تيقنوا من رفض عروضهم السابقة، ومثله العروض البديلة لمقايضة الانسحاب الأميركيّ من سورية بانسحاب قوى المقاومة وإيران منها، بعدما تيقنوا من سقوط هذه العروض، الساحة التي يتعلمون تقديم التنازلات فيها، وهم يتحفزون لتلقي الصفعة المرتقبة، فلمَ يعتقد البعض أن السرعة هي علامة القوة؟
الأكيد والثابت أن الدقائق التي فصلت بذكاء بين إعلان ارتقاء الشهيد أثناء أداء واجبه الجهادي، وبين إعلان ارتقائه بنتيجة الغارة قرب مطار دمشق، ستمرّ طويلة في ترجمتها الميدانية، بالقدر الذي تراه قيادة المقاومة، التي وضعت معادلة الرد ومثلها معادلة الجهوزية، وقالت إن الأمر أنجز وانتهى، ولا تعديل ولا تبديل في كليهما، فما أجمل الانتظار الذي يشبه بمفاعيله مفاجآت حرب تموز في مثل هذه الأيام، ومعادلة أنظروا إليها إنها في البحر تحترق، ومعادلة حيفا وما بعد حيفا وما بعد ما بعد حيفا!
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Chinese Air Force to US military aircraft: ‘Change your course immediately’

By News Desk -2020-07-24


BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 A.M.) – A US aircraft flew too close to the Chinese coast on Thursday and was warned off by Chinese forces – something the US and its allies never hesitate to characterize as aggressive behavior when the aircraft are Chinese.
It’s a change of cast from the typical news: a US aircraft strayed too close to Chinese airspace on Thursday and got a stern warning from Chinese forces to turn away.
“This is China Naval Air Force on guard, you are approaching Chinese air domain,” the US plane was warned. “Change your course immediately or you will be intercepted.”
Audio here
​The encounter was captured by an amateur radio operator, who recorded the exchange, according to the South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a think tank associated with Peking University. SCSPI noted the exchange took place north of the Taiwan Strait, in the East China Sea.
It’s not clear what type of aircraft was warned off, and SCSPI had not returned a request for clarification by Sputnik by the time this story went to publication. However, the US military has been flying spy planes and their refueling aircraft along China’s eastern and southern coasts almost daily for months now. SCSPI, which typically reports on these flights, noted no US aircraft over the East China Sea on Thursday.
However, the think tank noted a “hectic night” in the South China Sea, with two KC-135s over the South China Sea supporting a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and two more in the Philippine Sea supporting B-1B Lancer exercises. SCSPI also noted a P-3C Orion submarine hunter in the South China Sea near Taiwan.
​The day prior, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu noted Chinese aircraft flying near Taiwanese airspace is “virtually a daily occurrence.” Taiwanese aircraft typically intercept their Chinese counterparts and warn them off, much as in the Chinese-US exchange on Thursday. However, China’s actions are always characterized as aggressive.
Late last month, the hawkish Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) fumed over such incidents near Taiwan as well as Japan, saying Chinese aircraft had “repeatedly invaded the airspace” of Taiwan and “taken aggressive action against Japan, the East China Sea.” The US has postured similarly with regards to Russian aircraft, even while, like near China, US aircraft are often intercepted and warned away as they approach too close to Russian airspace.
Never mind that such flight warnings take place as detected aircraft approach the country’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which extends well off the coast, and were thus perfectly legal, but it stands to reason that if these Chinese actions are aggressive, then so are the American ones.
Source: Sputnik
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Hajj Qassem Soleimani Repeatedly Risked His Life to Protect Sayyed Nasrallah; Precision Missiles Some of His Touches



Hajj Qassem Soleimani Repeatedly Risked His Life to Protect Sayyed Nasrallah; Precision Missiles Some of His Touches

This is the first time that the July 2006 war is being commemorated in the absence of the martyred commander who knew its every detail and lived through its perils. He was there alongside Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed as well as the leaders overseeing the course of the war. But today, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, is strongly present in spirit.
Member of Hezbollah Central Council His Eminence Sheikh Nabil Qaouk recalls the role Hajj Qassem played during the war. In an exclusive with Al-Ahed News, he makes some interesting revelations.
“The precision missiles that established new equations in the conflict with the enemy, exposed the entity’s depth for the first time since 1948, and encircled this usurper entity is a strategic achievement recorded by Hajj Qassem Soleimani,” he said.
According to Sheikh Qaouk, “Hajj Qassem Soleimani insisted on staying in the heart of the battle, along with Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed, and the rest of the brothers. He was one of the leaders on the battlefield. Hajj Qassem Soleimani put his life on the line. He was ready to be martyred at any moment. He employed the entirety of his jihadist experience in the service of the resistance, and he harnessed all his capabilities to defend Lebanon and defeat the enemy.”
Sheikh Qaouk also touched upon the spiritual relationship between the Secretary General of Hezbollah and the commander of the Quds Force.
“Hajj Qassem Soleimani was concerned with preserving the safety of the Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and for that he faced death several times.”
While talking about Commander Soleimani and the Divine Victory in July 2006, the capabilities of the resistance automatically come to mind.
“Today [the resistance is] at the peak of its strength, ability, and readiness, and the enemy can never underestimate or ignore the resistance’s strength, and its surprises,” Sheikh Qaouk warned.
He promises that “there are surprises that will take place on the battlefield that are not included in the enemy’s calculations, and, God willing, the greatest victory will be ours.”
“The period after 2006 is not the same as the period before it.” This is according to the resistance, and the most important lessons revolved around the realization that “[we needed] to be strong in a world ravaged by wolves and ruled by monsters.”
“We realized that we should not abandon our weapons and surrendering them is a betrayal of the homeland and the nation, and that we must protect these weapons with our bare hands. We realized that permanent readiness to confront the enemy must be achieved.”
On the anniversary of the 2006 war, Sheikh Qaouk congratulated the wounded, whose scars bear witness to their heroism and the barbarism of the enemy. He congratulated the resistance fighters, who are the Men of God who continue to protect this nation – away from the limelight – and pose as the homeland’s dignity and pride. He also commended our loyal and faithful people – the most honorable and purest people on their steadfastness and their glorious victory. Moreover, he asked God to have mercy on the souls of the martyrs, who achieved this great victory.
Below is the full text of the interview:
* For the first time, you mark the anniversary of the July 2006 aggression in the absence of Hajj Qassem Soleimani. What do you remember about his role alongside Hajj Imad Mughniyeh in that war? Did you meet him during the 33 days of war?
The name of Hajj Qassem is resounding. It exudes dignity and pride. The name has an impact on friend and foe. To the enemy, his name is frightening – a nightmare for which every account is calculated. To the friend, it is a symbol of confrontation, will, challenge, and resistance.
When Hajj Qassem is mentioned, victories throughout the region and the world are remembered. I recall beautiful memories, most of which were on the battlefields, in confrontations, and on the front lines.
In fact, Hajj Qassem’s personality is ever-present in us because it is a unique model that possessed all the characteristics of a distinguished Islamic leader.
Hajj Qassem is party to all major accomplishments. He strengthened and developed the capabilities of the resistance. He led it to victories that changed the face of the region.
The precision missiles that established new equations in the conflict with the enemy, exposed the entity’s depth for the first time since 1948, and encircled this usurper entity is a strategic achievement recorded by Hajj Qassem Soleimani.
* When martyr Soleimani’s name is mentioned, what is the first thing that you remember?
As a reminder, Hajj Qassem refused to leave Lebanon during the July 2006 aggression, despite the brothers’ insistence that he leave for his own safety.
Hajj Qassem Soleimani insisted on staying in the heart of the battle, along with Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed, and the rest of the brothers. He was one of the leaders on the battlefield. Hajj Qassem Soleimani put his life on the line. He was ready to be martyred at any moment. He employed the entirety of his jihadist experience in the service of the resistance, and he harnessed all his capabilities to defend Lebanon and defeat the enemy.
He was a partner in the 2006 victory, just as he was a partner in the 2000 victory. One of his main concerns during the aggression was preserving the safety of the Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and for that he faced death several times.
* 14 years after the July 2006 aggression, the resistance misses senior leaders such as Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, and Sayyed Zulfiqar. Did this loss cause a decline in the military capabilities that might be reflected in the readiness of the resistance in any future war?
The martyrdom of senior leaders along this jihadist path has always strengthened the resistance’s momentum, made it tougher, strengthened its resolve, and sharpened its will.
In the beginning, many leaders were martyred, including the sheikh of the martyrs, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, and the master of the martyrs of the resistance, Sayyed Abbas Al-Musawi and others. But the resistance march was not broken or weakened. It did not lose. Rather it grew and expanded. It deepened and became a choice and took root in the people’s consciousness, awareness, and conscience.
Today, years after the martyrdom of Hajj Radwan and Sayyed Zulfikar, we ask: Was the resistance in 2008 stronger, greater, and more capable or is it so today after their martyrdom? It is evident that today it is stronger, more powerful, and more capable!
What can we conclude from that? We conclude that the march, which is linked to God, is capable, with divine intervention, of overcoming all the difficulties and all its wounds. And with the martyrdom of its leaders, it does not retreat, but rather progresses and becomes more capable than before.
The same thing is true of the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem. We are not worried about the path of Hajj Qassem despite his absence because the source is present. The authentic Mohammedan Islam that made Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, Sayyed Zulfiqar, and their brothers is capable of making many Qassem Soleimanis, Imad Mughniyahs, and Mustafa Badreddines.
On this basis, the martyrdom of the leaders did not constitute any regression in terms of the capabilities, readiness, and spirit of the resistance. That spirit, which the enemy admitted that it had defeated in July, is still present and is today more driven.
The resistance today is at the peak of its strength, ability, and readiness, and the enemy can never underestimate or ignore the resistance’s strength, ability, and surprises.”
*During the aggression, you were in the south. What do you remember most about that war?
There is no doubt that wars burry themselves deep in the human conscience. There are two images that remain deep inside everyone who witnessed the war. The first is the image of blood spilled unjustly and the massacres. No one can forget the blood of his family and people. The image of the destruction the enemy caused is unforgettable, even if – thank God – our homes are better than they were.
The other is the image of the amazing resilience of our people. The victory trumpeted by dignity. It is the first victory of the nation in a direct confrontation with the enemy. The July victory officially documented to history and to the whole world that “Israel” was defeated, and that it was weaker than a spider’s web.
What does it mean when the resistance that has limited capabilities triumphs in the face of a global war waged by the fiercest usurping country in the region?
What does it mean when the enemy’s army that defeated the Arab armies within days was crushed near Aita al-Sha`b and Maroun al-Ras? What does it mean when it couldn’t reach Bint Jbeil, which is hundreds of meters away from its entity?
It is the historic divine victory that we should be proud of forever, and we thank God Almighty day and night for the great victory.
* After the July 2006 aggression, the Islamic resistance faced more than one internal and external challenge. It fought battles and lost martyrs on more than one front. How did the resistance benefit from these experiences to raise the level of its readiness? What do you promise the enemy in any future war?
Certainly, the experiences, capabilities, and techniques of the resistance after its defensive battles against the takfiri terrorists, whether in Lebanon or Syria, cannot be compared to what it had before these confrontations.
We must not forget that the capabilities and methods of the terrorists are a summary of the capabilities, ideas, and methods of major international intelligence services that were harnessed in these confrontations to support the terrorists.
In its battles, the resistance reaped the outcome of all these capabilities, methods, and experiences, and this in itself is a tremendous achievement. Therefore, we constantly hear and sense the “Israeli” concern about the tremendous quality and quantity of achievements gained by the resistance in those confrontations.
It is possible today to confirm with full confidence that all this is strongly present in the readiness of the resistance. The resistance employs all these experiences to amplify its high degree of readiness, which is the largest and only obstacle to the enemy and its ambitions. And because the enemies of Lebanon and the resistance cannot overcome the resistance and its equation, they have resorted today to other methods of confrontation. Hence, the economic aggression. As the truthful promise was achieved by the military resistance, the truthful promise will also be achieved by the economic resistance.
* How will the next war look like? Will it be between Lebanon and the Zionist entity, or do you see it as greater?
It is true that brutality and aggression are the enemy’s inherent features since its inception, but we cannot approach reality on the basis of this trait alone. Therefore, we do not see that an “Israeli” war on Lebanon is an absolutely imperative issue.
The period after 2006 is not the same as the period before it!
14 years ago, the resistance achieved victories, and its capabilities accumulated in full view of the enemy, but it could not do anything.
The cost of the aggression that prevented the enemy from waging a war during the past stage is higher and more severe today. If the enemy before was unable to bear the costs of the war, today it is even more incapable of doing so.
Talk by the enemy’s leaders about waging a war in recent years is an attempt to restore cohesion, to reestablish some of the prestige they lost, and to dispel the inability that is eating them. The enemy knows best that any mistake it makes will be a great and destructive sin. The calculations of any confrontation – if it happens – will be unusual and unpredictable, not at the level of its image, its geography, nor at the level of the elements of this confrontation.
Today, the “Israeli” enemy trembles from the equation of the destructive missiles that will fall on the entire usurper entity. It also trembles from the Galilee equation – an equation it has never witnessed since its inception. This is in addition to the great surprises that will trample the enemy and its position.
The strategy of the resistance has proven to be a powerful dam against the enemy’s ambitions and goals, and it is the strong shield that protects and maintains its existence.
* What about the divine intervention in July 2006?
The divine intervention was present in every detail of the July war as well as previous operations – from Operation Truthful Promise to the first moments of the aggression until the moment of victory.
There was divine kindness and intervention in the timing of the aggression. The enemy was forced to launch its aggression at the wrong time in which it did not complete its preparations, while the resistance was on high alert. Thus, the enemy lost the most important element of the war, the element of surprise.
The missile hit the Sa’ar ship at sea when the enemy turned off its radar and its protective equipment. Who told the captain to turn off the devices at that moment?
The enemy’s helicopter crashed in Yater at the time when the enemy was preparing to expand and change the pattern of the aggression. That crash caused frustration.
The Katyusha rockets rained down on paratroopers who were gathered at the Kfar Giladi colony, killing and wounding dozens of officers and Zionist soldiers.
The feeling of tranquility among the resistance fighters along the front lines was divine. God Almighty planted love for the resistance and its secretary general in the hearts of the people in the most difficult, darkest, and bloodiest days.
The loyal people who sacrificed everything remained steadfast. They saw their life’s work burned and destroyed. However, the only word you hear from them is loyalty. This steadfastness and loyalty were divine intervention and kindness.
The entire course of the war was a intervention to the extent that even Shimon Peres had to declare that “God was with Hezbollah during the war.”
* What are the conclusions of the July 2006 war?
The main lessons of this war lie in the demise of the era of “Israeli” triumphs. The July victory is still continuing, and the enemy is still writhing at defeat.
During the war, we realized that we needed to be strong in a world ravaged by wolves and ruled by monsters.
We realized that we should not abandon our weapons and surrendering them is a betrayal of the homeland and the nation, and that we must protect these weapons with our bare hands. We realized that permanent readiness to confront the enemy must be achieved.
The essence of this war is that the enemy used everything and exhausted everything until it was threatened with a resounding fall. Meanwhile, the resistance proved that it is able to change the path of the region and turn dreams into reality by relying on God.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Russian Navy showcases its military might in large-scale drills off Syrian coast: video

Source
News Desk -2020-07-250


BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:50 A.M.) – The Russian Navy carried out large-scale drills off the coast of Syria’s Tartous Governorate this week, showcasing their military capabilities in the eastern Mediterranean region amid increased tensions between several nations.
According to Sputnik Arabic, the Syrian coastal region witnessed the qualitative training of the Russian Navy, as they used their warships, military choppers and combat aircraft to simulate the effectiveness of their forces in battle.
Sputnik filmed the naval drills from the coastal governorate of Tartous this week, which is where the Russian Navy is currently based in the eastern Mediterranean.


The publication reported the use of the advanced Raptor waterboats, which are classified among the fastest military boats in the Russian fleet, as they are able to sail at speeds of up to 50 knots, and to carry out various missions in the coast guard teams such as surveillance, and guard missions and rescue missions.
In addition to the training of the Raptor, large marine vessels, including the “Krasnodar” submarine and a missile cruiser, also took part in the military drills.
These Russian naval exercises come at a time of increased friction in the eastern Mediterranean, as Turkey’s role in Libya and their offshore drilling agitates Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece.

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Israeli strikes in Syria: why a Hezbollah retaliation is inevitable



Date: 23 July 2020
Author: lecridespeuples
A Hezbollah combatant was killed in the Israeli attack on Damascus. Israel expects a response.
Sources: Al-Mayadeen Web, July 21, 2020, and Al-Mayadeen TV, July 22, 2020
Translation: resistancenews.org
After Hezbollah announced the death of one of its fighters in the Israeli attack on Damascus on Monday evening, Israeli media reported “fear and vigilance in Israel” over Hezbollah’s expected response at the Lebanese-Palestinian border.
On Tuesday, July 21, Hezbollah announced the martyrdom of Ali Kamel Mohsen, who found martyrdom during the Israeli assault on the outskirts of Damascus airport on Monday evening.


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Martyr Ali Kamal Mohsein
Israeli media reported the “fear prevailing in Israel over the expected Hezbollah response, which announced that one of its members was killed in yesterday’s attack on Syria.”
Roi Kais, commentator on Arab affairs for the Israeli channel Kan, said in a tweet that Hezbollah’s announcement of the martyrdom of one of its members “certainly changes the picture.
Kais added: “Here we have to remind of Hassan Nasrallah’s equation: Any member of Hezbollah killed in Israeli attacks on Syria will be avenged by a retaliatory response at the Lebanese border.”
For his part, commentator and strategic issues analyst Yoni Ben-Menachem spoke on Twitter about “the vigilance in the Israeli security establishment for fear of a response from Hezbollah on the northern border.
It should be noted that regional sources have today denied to Al-Mayadeen the information that an Iranian officer was killed as a result of the Israeli aggression in Damascus’ outskirts.
A Syrian military source stated on Monday evening that 7 soldiers were injured, reporting as well material damage as a result of the assault.
Syrian air defense systems intercepted the majority of missiles fired by Israeli planes against southern Damascus from the occupied Golan.
UPDATE: On July 23, Al-Mayadeen announced that Israeli army drills planned at the Lebanese border have been canceled, and that one Israeli soldier died and another was injured when their vehicle overturned in the occupied Shebaa farms (confirmed by Times of Israel): even before the Hezbollah missiles which will not be long in coming—, fear is enough to avenge their martyr!
***

Reminder: the previous Hezbollah retaliations following similar incidents

Destruction of 3 Israeli armored vehicles on January 28, 2015, following an Israeli strike that killed 6 Hezbollah members in Quneitra
The equation announced by Nasrallah in his speech of January 30, 2015
The retreat of Israeli soldiers —replaced by wooden dummies— across the border with Lebanon following the assassination of two Hezbollah operatives in Damascus in August 2019
See also:
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Azerbaijan – Armenia Clashes: Why Tovuz? And Why Now?

Azerbaijan – Armenia Clashes: Why Tovuz? And Why Now?

After Syria, Libya, and Iraq, a new front opens in a region with direct relationship with Turkey. On July 11, artillery clashes broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which, according to Azerbaijan, resulted in the killing of 100 Armenians. Though, Armenia denied this and admitted the killing of four members of the army, Baku, for its part, admitted the killing of 11 Azerbaijanis, including two officers. This was the first clash between the two countries since the “Four Day War” in 2016.
In principle, relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan were seen as one people in two countries, and the national bond that unites them was stronger than sectarian disparity: Shiites in Azerbaijan and Sunni in Turkey. Turkey and Azerbaijan represent a strong base for American and Atlantic interests, in addition to the presence of a robust “Israeli” intelligence against Iran in Azerbaijan.
Although some Turkish opposition parties disagree with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on more than one foreign policy dossier, they meet with him in standing with Azerbaijan, on a national basis. Accordingly, the Parliament’s main parties issued a joint statement denouncing what they described as an Armenian attack on Azerbaijan. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu fully supported Azerbaijan, while Erdogan described Armenia’s actions as an attempt beyond its limits. In the light of this, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Defense and Commander of the Air Force, Ramiz Tahirov, met Turkish Minister of Defense Khulusi Akar in Ankara.
Nevertheless, many observers in Turkey portray different and foggy environment concerning the objectives of the recent escalation and the position of both, Ankara and Moscow:
  • Talks regarding the conflicts in power in Azerbaijan, that President Ilham Aliyev and his deputy and wife Mehriban Aliyeva, are seeking to get rid of the old guard, who stands in the way of improving relations with the Russian Federation. Hence, Foreign Minister Aldar Mamedyarov was sacked and replaced by Gihon Bayramov. Mehriban had visited Russia last fall in the framework of strengthening ties with Moscow, and President Vladimir Putin awarded her with the “Order of Friendship”. The recent clashes came as an opportunity to get rid of opposition to President Aliyev in the Azerbaijani interior.
In this context, “Khabar Turk” newspaper’s Chettener Chiten said Russia believes that facing the United States’ attempts to isolate the country from the region in Libya, the eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus cannot happen by just establishing good relations with Armenia, but it is necessary to establish good relations with Baku as well. Hence, Russia’s sale of the S-300 missile system to Baku was to develop relations between both parties.
  • What caught the observers’ attention, including former Turkish ambassador in Baku Unal Cevikoz, is the site of the clash in the Azerbaijani Tovuz region. The site is located on the Armenia and Azerbaijan borders, directly and geographically far from the Karabakh region, and is therefore not related to the Karabakh conflict. Cevikoz saw this as a potential cause of tension between Turkey and Russia, where Turkey should take diplomatic steps and contain the situation before things get worse. Tovuz is also close to the Georgian border; among its strategic advantages is that the famous Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan oil and gas pipeline, the main railway and the highway connecting Baku and Tbilisi all run next to it.
Tovuz is not a disputed region between Azerbaijan and Armenia, unlike other regions in Karabakh and beyond. This means that the recent tension exceeds with its objectives the previous traditional factors. Retired military analyst, Onal Atabay, said concerning the Tovuz’s strategic location, that it was in Russia’s interest to widen the front line against Turkey, which is pressing Russia in Libya, Syria and the eastern Mediterranean. Drawing the pressure on Turkey by moving the Caucasus Front is appropriate, given that Turkey may not be able to afford to open several fronts at once, so the Caucasus front will be a bargaining chip in the hands of Russia towards Turkey and the US concerning the Libyan dossier.
There is no doubt that Russia is the strongest in the Caucasus conflict, given that the relations between Baku and Ankara are not stable, as the latter, according to writer Murat Yatkin, observes cautiously the Russian-Azerbaijani rapprochement. So Turkey is satisfied today with carrying out military flights on the border with Armenia, providing logistic and advisory assistance, and not responding in a way that might draw it into a war it is not ready for. Likewise, Turkey is not very comfortable with the Azerbaijani position and is hesitating, as a result, believing that Baku is playing a double game: it speaks with Ankara in Turkish and with Moscow in Russian, as Fahmy Tashkent notes in the daily “Gazette Dwar”.
  • What Russia might target in triggering the Tovuz front is pressure on Turkey and Azerbaijan over the Baku Ceyhan pass line near Tovuz and the possibility of disrupting it under the pretext of military operations. This would deal a severe blow to economic cooperation between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and after them the United States; knowing that Russia, like Armenia, is very damaged by this line, which is an alternative to Russian oil and gas pipelines and marginalizes Armenia and deprives it of financial returns and outward orientation if the line runs through its territory. Faruk Logoglu, former Turkish ambassador to Baku [1996-1998], believes that Russia is not interested in stabilizing the Caucasus so that Armenia and Azerbaijan will need Russia and its mediations.
  • And given the good relationship between France and Armenia, the former is not far from exerting pressure on Turkey, which has been in turn challenging France, for months, in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya, as well as the West by turning the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
So far, developments are not on the verge of escalation. And messages from one side or the other have been received. Now, light has been shed to the fate of other fronts, especially Libya, and whether Tovuz’s messages will be received.

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UN Agencies Warn of More Food Shortages in Yemen

UN Agencies Warn of More Food Shortages in Yemen
Food shortages will rise sharply in parts of war-torn Yemen in the next six months mainly because of the overall economic decline and the coronavirus pandemic that has ripped through the Arab world’s poorest country, United Nations agencies warned.
A report by the World Food Program [WFP], the UN Children’s Fund and the Food and Agriculture Organization said the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity is expected to increase from two million to 3.2 million in the country’s south.
Yemen has been the site of the largest food crisis in the world since the beginning of the Saudi war against the country in 2015.
Coronavirus restrictions, economic shocks, conflict, reduced remittances, desert locusts, floods and significant underfunding of this year’s aid response have compounded an already dire hunger situation after five years of war.
Famine, nevertheless, has never been officially declared in Yemen.
“Yemen is facing a crisis on multiple fronts,” said Laurent Bukera, the WFP director for Yemen. “We must act now.”
Yemen’s conflict has killed more than 100,000 people and created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, with more than three million people internally displaced and two-thirds of the population reliant on food assistance for survival.
“Yemen is again on the brink of a major food security crisis,” said Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.
Some 24 million Yemeni people – 80 percent of the country’s population – require some form of assistance or protection, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
And 75 percent of UN programs for the country, covering essentially every sector, from food to healthcare and nutrition, have already shut their doors or reduced operations.
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قدرات إيران الدفاعيّة تجاوزت مستوى التهديدات





أكد وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف، استعداد بلاده إلى «تطوير العلاقات مع السعودية والإمارات على قاعدة الاحترام المتبادل».
ورأى ظريف أن «السعودية تريد الاعتماد على قوى أجنبية عدة بدلاً من الاعتماد على جار واحد سيبقى دائماً هنا»، مشيراً إلى أن إيران «دائماً على استعداد لإجراء محادثات بناءة مع السعودية ولا توجد لديها أي مشكلة».
ظريف قال إنه «تمّ التوصل إلى اتفاقات جيدة جداً بين إيران والعراق خلال زيارة رئيس الوزراء العراقي إلى طهران».
ووصف ظريف خلال مؤتمر صحافي مع نظيره الروسي سيرغي لافروف، في موسكو أول أمس الثلاثاء، العلاقات الإيرانية مع روسيا بـ»الاستراتيجية»، منوهاً إلى أن «الحوار المستمر مع الدول الصديقة في الوضع الراهن أمر ضروري».
وعقب مغادرة موسكو، كتب وزير الخارجية الإيراني تغريدة، قال فيها إنه «سلم رسالة مهمة إلى الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين واتفق مع وزير الخارجية الروسي أيضاً على وضع اللمسات الأخيرة على اتفاق التعاون طويل الأمد مع روسيا».
وأضاف ظريف «لدينا وجهات نظر واحدة بشأن الاتفاق النووي وضرورة الالتزام بالقانون الدولي. واتفقنا على وضع اللمسات الأخيرة على اتفاق التعاون الشامل الاستراتيجي طويل الأمد».
​كما، أجرى وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف، أول أمس محادثات مع نظيره الروسي سيرغي لافروف حول الاتفاق النووي والمستجدات الإقليمية والدولية وذلك بعد تقديم رسالة من الرئيس حسن روحاني إلى الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين.
على صعيد آخر، قال القائد العام للجيش الإيراني، اللواء سيد عبد الرحيم موسوي: «إننا تمكنا من تطوير قدراتنا الدفاعية في مجال تعبئة القوى البشرية وتطوير الأجهزة المتقدمة، بما يتناسب ومستوى التهديدات، بل اجتيازه».
ونقلت وكالة «إرنا»، مساء أمس، عن موسوي أن «قوة الدفاع الجوي الإيرانية تضطلع بمهام رئيسية، لكونها تقف في الخط الأمامي لساحات الدفاع عن البلاد»، مشيراً إلى أن «قدرات إيران الدفاعية تخطت مستوى التهديدات في شتى المجالات التعبوية، وامتلاك الأجهزة والمعدات العسكرية الحديثة».
وأفادت الوكالة بأن «تصريحات موسوي جاءت خلال الزيارة التفقدية التي قام بها اليوم، مرافقاً بقائد قوة الدفاع الجوي في الجيش الإيراني، العميد صباحي فرد، للأقسام المختلفة بوحدة الرد السريع التابعة لهذه القوة المسلحة في طهران».
وبدوره، قدم العميد صباحي فرد، قائد قوة الدفاع الجوي للجيش الإيراني، تقريراً حول الإجراءات المتخذة من أجل الارتقاء بالمستويين، الدفاعي والقتالي، وإعادة تأهيل الأجهزة والمعدات لدى هذه القوة.

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