Opinion: Syrian Conflict Playing with Wild Fire

The Butterfly Effect builds off of the theory that if a butterfly flaps its wings, the impact of its action ultimately can impact a hurricane many miles away. In short, it argues that the world is interconnected and even small actions have unexpected consequences. Well, the Syrian civil war is …

A Heavenly Message? Lunar Eclipses to Line Up with Biblical Feasts

Ever wondered if G-d wanted to tell you something? Well, get ready to wonder, because the moon is going to do something over the next two years that has only happened eight times in the last 2000 years. From April 2014 through October 2015, lunar eclipses will be occurring on …

US Delivering Attack Helicopters to Egypt for Counterterrorism

Sometimes there are not just good guys and bad guys—there are bad guys and worse guys as well. That’s apparently the perspective the US is taking after they decided to send Egypt 10 Apache attack helicopters to help the Egyptian counterterrorism effort in the Sinai region that borders Israel. US …

Syrian Chemical Attack Would Be Violation of Deal If Proved

  Chlorine is a typical cleaning agent used in swimming pools, but can be dangerous when used as a weapon. And if the Syrian regime did in fact try to use chlorine as a weapon, that would be a violation of an international chemical weapons agreement they signed last year.US …

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US Delivering Attack Helicopters to Egypt for Counterterrorism

April 23, 2014 Egypt, Peace and Conflict

Sometimes there are not just good guys and bad guys—there are bad guys and worse guys as well. That’s apparently the perspective the US is taking after they decided to send Egypt 10 Apache attack helicopters to help the Egyptian counterterrorism effort in the Sinai region that borders Israel.

US military aid to Egypt has been reduced ever since a military coup took power in Egypt and harshly cracked down on its Islamist opponents. However, despite American concerns about Egyptian democracy, the serious terrorism threats facing Egypt are an even greater concern—especially considering their threat to Israel. … Continue Reading

Syrian Chemical Attack Would Be Violation of Deal If Proved

April 22, 2014 News, Syria

 

Will Syria keep its poisonous chemical weapons? Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Mr James Brabenec (IMCOM)

Will Syria keep its poisonous chemical weapons? Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Mr James Brabenec (IMCOM)

Chlorine is a typical cleaning agent used in swimming pools, but can be dangerous when used as a weapon. And if the Syrian regime did in fact try to use chlorine as a weapon, that would be a violation of an international chemical weapons agreement they signed last year.

US spokesperson Jen Psaki on Monday was quoted by a State Department statement as saying they had “indications” that a “toxic industrial chemical” that was “probably chlorine” had been used on a rebel-dominated area within Syria. The regime has been accused of carrying out the attack, claims that now must be investigated. What’s clear, however, is the seriousness of such a claim if proven true.

… Continue Reading

Air Force Attacks Syrian Vehicles Trying to Enter Jordan

April 17, 2014 News, Syria
The Syrian war is too close for comfort. Photo: Signpost showing distance to Damascus. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Syrian war is too close for comfort. Photo: Signpost showing distance to Damascus. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Syrian conflict has expanded its reach yet again, with Jordan the latest country to use its military on forces threatening its border. Israel faced a bomb attack backed by the Syrian army and retaliated, Turkey shot down a Syrian jet near its border, and now Jordan has targeted “a number of armed vehicles” trying to enter their country, according to the Petra News Agency.

But while the previous two border incidents in the region involved the Syrian army, the instigators of Jordan’s foray into the violence remain unclear. Were they from the Syrian regime, or rebel forces? And if they’re rebels, does that mean a new war front could be opening? … Continue Reading

US Shifts Goals in Israel-Palestinian Talks

Keep 'em talking? President Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Photo Courtesy of Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Keep ‘em talking? President Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Photo Courtesy of Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

It wasn’t that long ago, less than nine months, that the US wanted the Israel-Palestinian talks to forge a “final status agreement.” Then, the focus for the talks tempered to just reaching a “framework agreement.” Now, the US is just hoping to keep the talks going.

In comments released by the State Department, spokesperson Marie Harf said that the current talks are seeking “just to extend” the talks. And after a tragic murder of an Israeli by Palestinian gunfire earlier this week, just keeping the sides talking will be a tall order. … Continue Reading

Iranian Military Issues Veto Threat on Nuclear Deal

April 13, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program

Sometimes ideas that are floated end up sinking, and other times they don’t really leave the docks. That’s what happened to Iranian goals of sailing warships into the Atlantic Ocean, with the Fars News Agency confirming the ships were called back to Iran before reaching the ocean that borders the US and Europe.

But if you think that’s a sign of Iran changing its tune, a military deputy chief of staff made it clear that’s not the case – especially when it comes to the nuclear talks with world powers. That’s key, because the Iranian armed forces are the biggest concern in those talks – they’re the most likely ones who would build or use nuclear weapons, after all.
… Continue Reading

Iran, World Powers Discuss ‘All Concerns’—Deal Drafting Is Next

Just talking, or making progress? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Just talking, or making progress? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

If the goal for the first set of talks between Iran and the major world powers was to discuss every concern related to Iran’s nuclear program, then consider things a success so far. Of course, it means nothing if an actual deal isn’t reached—so don’t expect the actual negotiations and drafting of a deal to be easy. But it is next.

A senior US administration official, in comments released by the State Department, said that the deal drafting stage is the next step, but, “I would caution everyone from thinking that a final agreement is imminent or that it will be easy. As we draft, I have no doubt this will be quite difficult at times.” What’s more, just as everything was discussed, everything has to be agreed upon as well. … Continue Reading

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