Israel hits Hamas leader hiding out in Lebanon in Drone strike: Israel’s actions concern many that war is going to spread

Hamas-leader-killed

Important Takeaways:

  • How Israel’s war with Hamas is spiraling across the Middle East: As terror group’s deputy leader is killed in Beirut drone strike and targets are hit in Syria, fears grow of much wider regional conflict
  • Israel’s assassination of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in a drone strike in Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Tuesday has raised fears that the war in Gaza could spread beyond the Palestinian enclave and engulf the Middle East.
  • Arouri, 57, was the first senior Hamas political leader to be assassinated since Israel launched a brutal air and ground offensive against the group almost three months ago on the heels of the ruthless October 7 attacks on Israeli towns.
  • Lebanon’s heavily armed Hezbollah group, a powerful Hamas ally, previously vowed to strike back against any Israeli targeting of Palestinian officials in Lebanon, and said of the attack: ‘This crime will never pass without response and punishment.’
  • Hezbollah and the Israeli military have been exchanging fire almost daily over the Israeli-Lebanese border since Israel’s military campaign in Gaza began, but so far the Lebanese group has appeared reluctant to dramatically escalate the fighting.
  • A significant response now could send the conflict spiraling into all-out war on Israel’s northern border.
  • Meanwhile, Nasser Kanaani, spokesperson for the foreign ministry of Iran – the chief backer of Hamas and Hezbollah – said Arouri’s killing would ‘undoubtedly ignite another surge in the veins of resistance and the motivation to fight against the Zionist occupiers.

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Iran naval vessel entering Red Sea as U.S. aircraft carrier returning to Norfolk

Navy-in-Red-Sea

Important Takeaways:

  • Iranian warship enters Red Sea amid Houthis’ ongoing attacks on commercial vessels
  • Iran’s Alborz warship has reportedly entered the Red Sea, emerging at a time of heightened tensions in the key shipping route amid ongoing attacks on vessels in response to the Israel-Hamas war.
  • Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Monday that the vessel had entered the Red Sea through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, though it was unclear precisely when
  • Tasnim did not give details of the Alborz’s mission but said Iranian warships had been operating in open waters to secure shipping routes, combat piracy, and carry out other tasks since 2009.
  • The Alvand class destroyer had been a part of the Iranian navy’s 34th fleet, and patrolled the Gulf of Aden, the north of the Indian Ocean and the Bab Al-Mandab Strait as far back as 2015, according to Iran’s Press TV.
  • The news comes as the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group – which was moved to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea following Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 invasion of Israel – is heading back to its home in Norfolk, Va.
  • In response, many major shipping companies have rerouted their vessels around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adding exorbitant costs and delays.

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Iran threatens to shut down the Strait of Gibraltar, effectively closing a world shipping lane

Strait-of-Gibraltar-map

Important Takeaways:

  • Chemical tanker ‘is hit by drone from Iran off the coast of India – as Tehran threatens to close Strait of Gibraltar and Mediterranean Sea unless Israel stops bombing Gaza
  • The US has accused Iran of being behind a drone attack on a chemical tanker in the Indian Ocean.
  • The attack on the Chem Pluto on Saturday resulted in a fire, though no casualties were reported.
  • Though Iran has not commented on the attack, the US military said the ‘one-way attack’ was delivered by a ‘drone fired from Iran.’
  • It is understood to be the first time the US has accused Iran of targeting a ship directly. It is also believed to be the furthest attack undertaken by Iran from its own soil.
  • The accusations come as Iran has threatened to close off the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea if Israel and its allies continue to commit ‘crimes’ in Gaza.
  • Iran, which has backed Hamas, accused the US and other western states of propping up Israel’s alleged war crimes committed during its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, where more than 20,000 people have died since October 7.
  • ‘They shall soon await the closure of the Mediterranean Sea, (the Strait of) Gibraltar and other waterways,’ Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, a senior member of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Corps, said on Saturday.
  • While Iran has no direct access to the Mediterranean itself and it was not clear how the Guards could attempt to close it off, Iran-backed proxies in Lebanon and Syria have access to these waterways, which carry around a fifth of the world’s maritime trade.

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CNN’s Van Jones: The Left and Colleges are failing Jewish Americans

CNN-snippet

Important Takeaways:

  • Van Jones: ‘A Lot of Jewish Americans Feel Unsupported’ by Left, Colleges Are Failing While Students Are ‘Used by Iran’
  • During CNN’s coverage of the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, CNN Political Commentator and former Obama Adviser Van Jones said that he thought there was improvement this week, because “Sheryl Sandberg and other people went to the United Nations and said rape is not resistance. And we’ve got to make sure that — we’ve got a whole generation of young people who, they don’t understand some of these longstanding conflicts and the idea that Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter. He never raped anybody. He never kidnapped anybody’s grandmother. If he used weapons, he went after soldiers and infrastructure. Those are freedom fighters. Hamas is not.”
  • Later, he added, “We have a responsibility to say to this next generation, you may not know, but you’re getting pimped and used by Iran on some of this stuff. … Now, I hope those college presidents are more effective at addressing their young people on their campus than they were with Congress. But if they’re not, somebody needs to.”

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Iran joins the club of hypersonic weapons

Tehran-Ballistic-missile

Important Takeaways:

  • According to the IRNA news agency, the Fattah-2 missile is equipped with a hypersonic glider warhead that places it “in the HGV… class of hypersonic weapons.”
  • Iranian media reported that the Islamic Republic had become only the fourth nation in the world to make use of such technology.
  • A hypersonic glide vehicle, or HGV, is a type of warhead that allows a rocket to maneuver and glide at hypersonic speeds
  • Very few nations have operational HGV missiles to date. One of them is Russia, which possesses the ‘Avangard’ gliders mounted on its silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles like the ‘Sarmat’.
  • The Russian HGV is capable of flying between 20 and 27 times faster than the speed of sound or between 24,000 and 33,000 kilometers per hour. It has a potential explosive yield of to two megatons, which is more than 100 times greater than the explosion produced by the US nuclear bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
  • In 2019, China officially put its DF-ZF HGV missile into service. Mounted on a road-mobile medium-range ballistic missile, the Chinese hypersonic glider can travel up to 10 times faster than the speed of sound at a speed of 12,360 kilometers per hour and carry a nuclear charge.
  • The US was expected to have its ‘Dark Eagle’ Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) enter service in September…
  • Little is known about Iran’s Fattah-2 missile, as the national media provided very few details on the projectile’s technical characteristics. Its predecessor, the Fattah missile that was officially unveiled less than six months ago, had a range of 1,400 kilometers and could travel between 13 and 15 times faster than the speed of sound.

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Bribe Money? Biden Administration sends big money to Iran

Important Takeaways:

  • Biden Administration’s $10 Billion Prize to Iran: Just A Small Thank You for Engineering a War, Wounding 56 US Troops and Trying to Drive the US Out of The Middle East
  • From the Iranian regime’s perspective, annihilating Israel and the Jews would presumably be a major breakthrough, giving them a dominance over the Muslim world, even greater than Saudi Arabia’s.
  • The dedicated funds that this new $10 billion will release can now be used to put the finishing touches on the mullahs’ nuclear bomb – to threaten their Sunni neighbors in the Gulf, Europe, and above all, “The Great Satan, the United States. Iran’s plans for cutting “The Great Satan” (and others) down to size are already underway in Cuba and throughout South America. Earlier this month, Israel helped Brazil thwart an attack by the Iran-backed terrorist group Hizballah on Brazil’s Jews.
  • Sadly, the $10 billion looks suspiciously like a “pretty please” bribe not to try to drive the US out of the region this year [before the 2024 US election]; instead, wait for next year.
  • The solution is not to give Iran $10 billion as a prize for practicing extensive regional aggression and engineering mass-murder. Real solutions would include cutting the flow of funds by re-imposing — and enforcing — primary and secondary sanctions; incapacitating the port from which Iran sends oil to China; sending Ayatollah Khamenei and the leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG) pictures of their homes; making the ruling mullahs seriously aware of military options, such as taking out the training bases and leadership of the IRGC, and employing significant military force when required — for instance now.

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NATO ally Turkey defends terrorists and cozies up to Iran

Turkey-Palestine-Hamas

Important Takeaways:

  • Turkey cozies up to Iran after praising Hamas ‘mujahideen,’ seeks reconciliation on key issues
  • Turkey has found itself at odds with its NATO allies, most of whom have backed Israel’s right to defend itself following the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7, while Turkey has echoed the stances of other Middle Eastern nations in questioning Israel and defending the Palestinians.
  • Erdogan took things a step further and defended the Hamas terrorists who carried out the attack, calling the group a “mujahideen,” or freedom fighters, “defending their lands.” He has also continued to push for a ceasefire, accusing the West of being “too weak” to call for one — a stance that seems common among the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) members.

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Biden administration unlocks $10 Billion in frozen funds to Iran

Biden-Ali-Khamenei

Important Takeaways:

  • The Biden administration on Tuesday reapproved a sanctions waiver that will allow Iran to access upward of $10 billion in frozen assets, the State Department confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon.
  • The sanctions waiver, which was set to expire today after first being authorized for a period of 120 days in July, allows Iraq to transfer payments for multibillion-dollar electricity imports from Iran into accounts outside of the country that can be used by Tehran.
  • While Iran can only use the funds related to the sanctions waiver for the purchase of humanitarian goods, critics of the administration’s policy argue that by freeing up this cash, Iran can allocate other financial resources to its global terrorism operation, which has been in overdrive since Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel. Analysts place the amount of cash accessible by Iran at upward of $10 billion

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Hezbollah leader says his forces will not stop fighting and are sending new weapons to the battlefield

Lebanon-Israel-Palestinians

Important Takeaways:

  • Hezbollah says it is introducing new weapons in ongoing battles with Israeli troops
  • The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group said Saturday his fighters have introduced new weapons, including a missile with a heavy warhead in the ongoing fighting along the Lebanon-Israel border, adding that they will keep using the tense frontier to pressure Israel.
  • Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also blasted the United States over the Israel-Hamas war, saying it is the only country that can stop Israel’s wide offensive on the Gaza Strip but doesn’t do so. He said attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, that Washington says have reached more than 40 rockets and suicide drone attacks, will continue until the war in Gaza comes to an end.
  • Nasrallah’s comments came as the situation along Lebanon’s southern border continues to escalate. Hezbollah on Friday attacked northern Israel with three suicide drones after an Israeli strike in central Syria killed seven Hezbollah fighters.
  • Hezbollah officials say that by attacking Israeli posts along the border, the Iran-backed group is keeping three Israeli army divisions busy at a time when Israeli troops are pushing into the Gaza Strip where more than 11,000 people have been killed over the past five weeks, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

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Iran’s nuclear weaponry development could move faster with help from North Korea and Russia

Iran-Nuclear-Facility

Important Takeaways:

  • As tensions soar, Iran is months away from developing nuclear weapons
  • The world’s attention is focused on Gaza, but it would be a grievous mistake to overlook the risks posed by Tehran’s nuclear program. There are three critical components to the ability to deploy nuclear weaponry; it is nearing sufficient capability in all three.
  • The first, and most crucial of these is a sufficient stockpile of weapons-grade uranium (90 per cent enriched or higher). The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency shows that Iran has a stockpile of 3,441 kilograms of enriched uranium, of which 122kg has reached a level of 60 per cent. Within four weeks, this could be initially enriched to 90 per cent, and then converted to uranium metal – sufficient to build two nuclear weapons. Given its existing stockpile, Iran could easily obtain more material should it decide to do so.
  • The second is the ability to design weapons. Iran had a structured nuclear weapons program in place until 2003, and carried on with related work until 2009. Moreover, it has close military and economic ties with North Korea, which has successfully carried out six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017. It is not improbable that Iran would be able to construct a nuclear weapon within a few weeks of obtaining sufficient enriched uranium metal – without the need for testing.
  • The greatest barrier is the third; the ability to deliver a weapon to its targets. Ballistic missiles, air and sea launched cruise missiles, and indeed gravity bombs are all possible options. But aircraft are relatively easily intercepted, and while Iran has an advanced missiles program it does not yet appear to have systems capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
  • This could change rapidly. Until October 18, UN Security Council Resolution 2231 on the design, development and acquisition of missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons was still in force. That has now expired, and Russia has already announced its intention to collaborate with Tehran on missile-related activities. With North Korean warheads and Russian missiles, the timeline for a viable Iranian nuclear weapon could be short.

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