Opinion—Syria May Be the Melting Pot of Trouble, But Focus Is Key

Syria is so bad the bad guys are fighting worse guys and now not everyone on the “good side” is happy even when the good guys have success against the bad guys. It’s a hodge-podge of turmoil and terror, impacting virtually the entire region. It’s not just that three or …

Israel—An Ancient King of Making Glass

Centuries before the Land of Israel was a hub for the high-tech industry, the region was among the world leaders in another profession involving science, skill, and specialized knowledge: glass making. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced in a press release on Monday that they have discovered 1,600-year-old kilns used …

Russia Enters as Possible Israel-Palestinian Mediator

A new proposal for Middle East peace talks has emerged alongside France’s plans, and this one isn’t in Jerusalem, Ramallah, or Cairo. In fact, it’s not in the Middle East at all—it’s in Moscow. But despite the change in venue, it doesn’t look as though the Palestinians are changing demands …

Expert Slams Nuke Deal as Iran Sets Up Air Defense System at Nuclear Site

Iran proudly announced on Monday that they have stationed the advanced Russian S-300 air defense missile system at their Fordow underground nuclear enrichment facility, which left one concerned expert arguing the move highlights the failure of the Iran nuclear deal. “So why exactly did Iran deploy S-300 around Fordow? Hmmm, …

Recent Articles:

Expert Slams Nuke Deal as Iran Sets Up Air Defense System at Nuclear Site

August 29, 2016 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Is Iran laying the military groundwork for a nuclear weapons program? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Is Iran laying the military groundwork for a nuclear weapons program? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Iran proudly announced on Monday that they have stationed the advanced Russian S-300 air defense missile system at their Fordow underground nuclear enrichment facility, which left one concerned expert arguing the move highlights the failure of the Iran nuclear deal. “So why exactly did Iran deploy S-300 around Fordow? Hmmm, must be b/c Iran’s nuc program is purely peaceful…” said Dr. Emily Landau via her Twitter feed. Dr. Landau, a Senior Research Fellow and the of the Head of Arms Control Program at The Institute for National Security Studies in Israel, has long critiqued the Iranian nuclear agreement reached between the Islamic Republic and the six major world powers last year.

The S-300 launch was promoted by an Iranian general on the Fars News Agency. Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli attempted to defend the location of the advanced S-300 because the nuclear program needs security as an important Iranian achievement. Yet the same Fars article cited analysts boasting that the Fordow facility is so well built under a mountain that it’s impenetrable already. … Continue Reading

Russia Enters as Possible Israel-Palestinian Mediator

August 28, 2016 Peace and Conflict
Will the Russians get the Palestinians to talk to Israel again? Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

Will the Russians get the Palestinians to talk to Israel again? Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

A new proposal for Middle East peace talks has emerged alongside France’s plans, and this one isn’t in Jerusalem, Ramallah, or Cairo. In fact, it’s not in the Middle East at all—it’s in Moscow. But despite the change in venue, it doesn’t look as though the Palestinians are changing demands of preconditions before talks, so the negotiations may be dead before they’ve even started.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced last week in an interview republished in Ahram Online that Russian President Vladimir Putin was interested in hosting direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. If they occur, it would mark the first public and official bilateral peace talks in years. But moving from an invitation to a meeting will be a challenge. The Times of Israel reported on Sunday that the Palestinians aren’t budging on their preconditions for talks: releasing Palestinian prisoners and a moratorium on Israeli settlement construction. … Continue Reading

Ancient Grenade among Family Inheritance Given to Israeli Authority

August 24, 2016 News
These historical artifacts were a sea treasure retrieved by a power plant employee. Photo courtesy of Diego Barkan, Israel Antiquities Authority.

These historical artifacts were a sea treasure retrieved by a power plant employee. Photo courtesy of Diego Barkan, Israel Antiquities Authority.

The Mazliah family in the central-region of Israel recently inherited a small trove of ancient artifacts—including a hand grenade almost 500-years-old, or perhaps even older. And the family’s father, Marcel, had simply accumulated a collection of historical items by retrieving them from the sea while working at coastal power station.

After his death, the Mazliah family decided the best place for the items is in the hands of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which is the official preserver of ancient artifacts in Israel. A press release from the IAA on the donation said that the family presented to the IAA representatives “metal objects, most of which are decorated, that apparently fell overboard from a metal merchant’s ship in the Early Islamic period.” … Continue Reading

Israel ‘Not Interested’ in Gaza Escalation, But Not Allowing Hamas to Rearm

August 23, 2016 News
Ready for another fight? Spent Rockets fired from Gaza. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock.

Ready for another fight? Spent Rockets fired from Gaza. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock.

Two years after Operation Protective Edge saw Israel fight a war with Hamas and take on terror tunnels that snuck into Israel from Gaza, the Jewish state’s leadership made it clear they would continue to defend themselves as needed. Nonetheless, just days after the latest Gaza rocket attack on Israel, President Reuven Rivlin also made it clear they aren’t seeking another fight.

“We are not interested in an escalation. Just as the other side want to live in peace and live comfortable lives so do we,” said Rivlin in comments released by his office. “At the same time, we are ready to face any hostility toward us.” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was also firm in his view of Gaza, stating that they were not going to allow Hamas to rearm. According to Haaretz, Lieberman slammed Hamas for spending its resources on military buildup instead of the Gazan people. … Continue Reading

ISIS Child Suicide Bomber Believed Behind Wedding Attack in Turkey

August 21, 2016 News
Turkey trying to maintain national unity after minority targeted in terror attack. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

Turkey trying to maintain national unity after minority targeted in terror attack. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

Terrorism in Turkey shockingly reached a new low over the weekend, as a terror attack believed to have been perpetrated by ISIS at a wedding ceremony is also thought to have been carried out by a suicide bomber just 12-14 years old. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted by the Hurriyet Daily News as confirming the suspect’s youthful age, while saying there are “strong indications” it was done by ISIS.

At least 51 people were killed in the attack, which took place in the Turkish town of Gaziantep, not far from the Syrian border. The BBC reported that the target was a Kurdish wedding, noting it was possibly an act of revenge for the military achievements by Kurds allied with the United States battling ISIS in Syria. A minority group in Turkey, Kurds have long had a complicated relationship with the state. Erdoğan was quoted by the Hurriyet Daily News as saying that the goal of such attacks is to divide Turkey along sectarian lines, a method that has proved tragically successful in Iraq and Syria. Israel was among the nations that sent condolences and condemnations of the barbarous attack. … Continue Reading

Russian Use of Iranian Air Base to Strike ISIS Could Violate UN Rule

Are the Russians breaking the law by using an Iranian air base? Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

Are the Russians breaking the law by using an Iranian air base? Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

Russia’s using of an Iranian air base to launch airstrikes on combatants in Syria doesn’t just “complicate” things according to the US State Department—it could also violate international law. At question is United Nations Resolution 2231, one of the UN resolutions that addresses Iran. “It’s a bit more nuanced and complicated. It involves sometimes allowing certain weaponry to be used or housed in Iran,” said spokesman Mark Toner in Wednesday’s press briefing posted to the State Department website. “Again, I don’t have the language in front of me, but it’s very nuanced and it’s very complex… We’re assessing whether this would constitute a violation.”

While lawyers are reviewing the Russian decision to use Hamedan Air Base in Iran, Toner said that the actions at the least “not helpful.” Said Toner, “It continues to complicate what is already a very dangerous situation in and around [the Syrian city of] Aleppo when you have Russia using Iranian air bases as a way to carry out more intensive bombing runs that are hitting, continue to hit, civilian populations. And so our concerns remain very vivid.” Russia, not surprisingly, disagreed with the US position. … Continue Reading

Stay informed! Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow The Mideast Update on Twitter

Like The Mideast Update on Facebook

Categories