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Salisbury CW Attack / Syrian CW Attack Ad Hoc Update (68) + Israel vs. Iran

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Director General Andrew Parker of MI5, as a friend remarked, deserves a knighthood for his speech. Strong and to the point, he rightfully accuses Russia of rogue and thuggish behavior. 

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Russia continues its media campaign but not getting much traction in the Western mainstream, unlike Andrew Parker, Director-General of MI5, who presented a positively fabulous summary of Russia’s abysmal conduct at a European security event. DG Parker’s eloquent and very accurate exposition of Russia’s destructive and bizarre behavior has produced an immense volume of traffic in the global media, and this is only the first few hours. The pull-quotes and titles are dead accurate: “Bare-faced lying is default mode”,  “Fog Of Lies”, “Isolated Pariah”, “criminal thuggery”, “flagrant breaches of international rules”, “Russia poisoning broke international law”, “pernicious”, “Russian Threats To World Order” and others.  Russia appears to be  “bombing Voronezh” again with the counter-sanctions legislation.

Much media and political argument over Israel and Iran, and satellite BDA frames of last week’s airstrikes emerge. Some good observations on Russia’s inherent problem with Iran that has been a competitor in Syria rather than an ally. Latynina in Ekho Moskvy produces a sharp blog pointing out that Russia is retreating in Syria, and trying to bluff that it is doing otherwise (the essay appears to have vanished off the website since).

Europeans unhappy about the loss of commercial opportunities in Iran resulting from the collapse of the nuclear deal.

The Kremlin is retreating: in Russia they pointed to the indicative moment with Putin’s actions in Syria – To Inform is to Influence

I have a wee bit of angst running this story today, only because I cannot find the article in the Echo of Moscow. The story sent to me was published in “The Apostrophe”, The Kremlin is retreating: in Russia they pointed to the indicative moment with Putin’s actions in Syria. There are three fairly clear indicators:…

Russia should walk away from Iran or risk regional escalation, say experts – The National

<p>Speakers at the Beirut Institute in Abu Dhabi said Iran is looking to ‘control Syria’&nbsp;</p>

UAWire – Media: Putin’s aide Surkov responsible for LPR and DPR might resign

Aide to the President of the Russian Federation Vladislav Surkov, who is in charge of the Ukrainian direction and cooperation with the self-proclaimed Abkhazia and South Ossetia, may leave his post as a result of reshuffle in Putin’s administration, RBC news agency reports, citing several sources. The sources provided different reasons for Surkov’s possible resignation. This may be due to the fact that “the strategy in the Ukrainian direction overall has reached a deadlock, the Minsk agreements are not being implemented, no breakthroughs in the foreseeable future are expected.” A source close to the Kremlin adds that “In our lifetime, issues of the DPR and LPR cannot be solved; this will happen during the next generations.” According to RBC’s two sources close to the management working on the CIS issues, Surkov’s team had a conflict with the FSB, the Russian Federation’s principal security agency that is responsible for counterintelligence on the territory of the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic). The FSB, according to sources, supported the so-called head of the “MGB LPR” (so-called Ministry of State Security), Leonid Pasechnik in his conflict with the leader of LPR, Igor Plotnitsky. The head of the LPR, in turn, was supported by Surkov. At the same time, according to other sources, Surkov himself is ready to leave his post and this has nothing to do with the state of Russian-Ukrainian relations.

Moscow Rally Demands Internet Freedom

Hundreds protested in Moscow on May 13 against government attempts to curtail Internet freedom after authorities blocked the Telegram messaging service last month. A broad spectrum of political organizations joined the rally. Police detained at least 20 participants. (Current Time)

At Least 20 Detained At Moscow Rally For Internet Freedom

At least 20 people have been detained at a Moscow rally against government attempts to curtail Internet freedom, a rally coordinator says.

New Bill Would Jail Russians For Adhering To Western Sanctions

Russians who adhere to economic sanctions imposed by the United States could be imprisoned for four years under legislation due to be considered in parliament.

UAWire – Russia to introduce 4 year sentence for compliance with anti-Russian sanctions

Russia’s State Duma is moving firmly towards the adoption of a law that will make it a criminal offense to comply with US sanctions in Russia. As RIA Novosti reported with reference to a source acquainted with the text of the bill, physical entities could face up to four years of prison time for this offense. Fines of up to 600,000 rubles and four years of correctional labor are also possible. The offense in question involves action (or inaction) to implement sanctions introduced by foreign states, if it results in Russian citizens and companies losing out on business deals, the source explained. Persons who facilitate the introduction of restrictive measures against Russia, who call for this or hand over any evidence, will be threatened by up to three years of imprisonment and fines of up to 500,000 rubles. The bill, which has been signed by State Duma Spokesperson Vyacheslav Volodin, the leaders of all the parties as well as Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matvienko, will be passed at the end of next week and may finally be adopted on May 24. The punishment for the offense will be introduced exclusively for physical entities, explained United Russia Deputy Chairman Andrei Isaev: if banks or companies are caught violating the law, their officials can be put in prison. “One company has a long-standing contract with another. And the contract is dissolved, because this company is afraid of being associated with the one under sanctions. And this is taking place within Russia, in Russian jurisdiction. It turns out that they do not comply with Russian laws, but rather the laws of another government which are aimed against the Russian Federation. This specifically will be covered by this law,” Isaev explained. “It will affect banks or organizations that are active in Russian, but the rule will concern citizens, because it is they who are ‘betraying the Fatherland by their actions’,” he emphasized. Consideration of amendments will take place effectively at the same time as the primary bill on counter sanctions. The counter sanctions bill will give the government the mandate to restrict the presence of American business and American specialists in Russia, to ban imports from the US of foodstuff, medicines, tobacco and alcohol, and to stop collaboration in rocket engines, nuclear energy and aircraft construction.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Draft Russian Law Against Assisting Sanctions to Be Used to Block Investigations into Elite Crimes, Gudkov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 14 – A draft bill backed by United Russia that would impose criminal sanctions on any Russian who helps the sanctions regime will have the effect, quite possibly intended, of blocking any investigation into crimes by members of the Putin elite, according to opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov. On his Facebook page today, Gudkov says that the measure is written in such a broad- brush way — for the text, see – that the powers that be could employ it against anyone who tries to expose crimes by members of the Putin elite ( That is because, he argues, its provisions mean that exposing such crimes could become the basis for the imposition or continuation of Western sanctions and thus put anyone who conducted them at risk of being subject to the draconian fines and even prison time the measure introduces ( Although Gudkov does not say it, this is one more example of the way the Kremlin uses law-like measures to violate the Russian Constitution and engage in the illegal suppression of the rights of Russian people and to confuse some in the West by introducing a law nominally about one thing that the Russian powers that be will use for other purposes.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Soviets Executed More than Three Times as Many Red Army Soldiers as Nazis Executed German Ones

Paul Goble Staunton, May 13 – Sometimes the driest of statistics throw a harsher light on reality than any longer discussion. According to official statistics, during World War II, Soviet tribunals convicted more than 2.5 million Soviet citizens, condemned 472,000 for “counter-revolutionary activity,” and executed 217,000. “The death sentences, Radio Liberty’s Dmitry Volchek notes, were mostly carried out by the Special Department, later SMERSH, or by a group of the victim’s fellow Red Army soldiers.” Just how horrific these numbers are and what they say about the Soviet population’s much-ballyhooed enthusiastic support of Stalin is shown by comparisons with executions in other countries. During World War II, British military tribunals sentenced to death 40 soldiers, French ones, 102, and American ones, 146. German military tribunals, Volchek reports, sentenced to death some 30,000 soldiers – and approximately the same number of German deserters at the end of the war (

Russia: ‘Bare-faced lying is default mode’

Sky News – First for Breaking News, video, headlines, analysis and top stories from business, politics, entertainment and more in the UK and worldwide.

Case against Russia in Skripal poisoning now stronger: MI5 chief

The head of Britain’s MI5 spy agency said on Monday Britain’s case that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter had strengthened in recent weeks. Andrew Parker told reporters in Berlin that the investigation was continuing, but he did not want

MI5 Chief: Russia Has Unleashed A ‘Fog Of Lies’ And Risks Becoming An ‘Isolated Pariah’

Russia is seeking to undermine European democracies and sow doubt in the West through malign activities and a “fog of lies,” the head of Britain’s domestic spy agency has told European intelligence chiefs.

UK spy poisoning: MI5 chief accuses Russia of ‘flagrant breaches’

The head of MI5 said the attempt to assassinate former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia risked several lives.

British spy chief says Russia is spreading lies to undermine the West – Business Insider

BERLIN (Reuters) – Britain’s MI5 spy chief…

MI5 boss Andrew Parker accuses Russian state of ‘criminal thuggery’

Andrew Parker reveals 12 terror plots have been thwarted in the UK since the Westminster attack in March last year.

Europe must stand united against Russian thuggery, says Andrew Parker | News | The Times

Threats from Russian “thuggery” and Islamist terrorists mean that European intelligence co-operation is more vital than ever, the head of MI5 said this morning as he appealed for Brexit not to derail security collaboration.In the first public speech outside Britain by a serving head of MI5, Andrew

UK spymaster tells EU – Let’s work together to counter Islamist militants, Russia | Reuters

Britain and the European Union must retain close security ties after Brexit to foil Islamic State militant attacks and counter Russia’s “pernicious” attempts to subvert Western democracies, the head of Britain’s domestic spy agency said on Monday.

‘Flagrant’ Kremlin breaches international rules: UK intel chief

Russia is committing “flagrant breaches of international rules,” the head of Britain’s security service claimed May 14 in which he will also stress the importance of post-Brexit security ties.

MI5 chief slams Russia for `bare-faced lies´ over… | Daily Mail Online

Director general of the Security Service Andrew Parker said the Kremlin had tried to mislead the world.

MI5 chief condemns Russia’s ‘fog of lies’ and accuses state of ‘flagrant breaches’ of international law | London Evening Standard

The head of MI5 will condemn Russia’s “fog of lies” today as he accuses the state of “flagrant breaches of international rules” following the Salisbury nerve agent attack. In his first public comments on Monday since the poisoning in March, Andrew Parker will declare the attack was a “deliberate and targeted” act. The director general of the Security Service will also warn that the Russian government is pursuing an agenda through “aggressive and pernicious actions” by its military and intelligence services.

MI5 chief says Salisbury nerve agent attack deliberate and targeted – ITV News

Read MI5 chief says Salisbury nerve agent attack deliberate and targeted latest on ITV News. All the Politics, World news

MI5 chief: Russia trying to undermine European democracies – BBC News

Andrew Parker hits out at the “reckless” Salisbury attack and warns Russia may become a “more isolated pariah”.

British Spy Chief Details Russian Threats To World Order

Britain’s spy chief accused Russia of attempting to subvert Western democracies by sowing disinformation and spreading lies. The head of the MI5 security service, Andrew Parker, said on May 14 that a series of recent aggressive actions directed by the Kremlin — including media manipulation and meddling in elections — were unacceptable. His speech to an audience of security officials in Berlin marked the first time a sitting head of MI5 has spoken publicly abroad. (Reuters)

Newspaper headlines: ‘Russia poisoning broke international law’ – BBC News

The Times and the Telegraph features a preview of a speech from the head of MI5.

European spy chiefs warn of hybrid threats from Russia, IS – Chicago Tribune

European intelligence chiefs warned Monday that Russia is actively seeking to undermine European democracies.

British spy chief calls for post-Brexit security deal – Times Of Oman

London: Britain and the European Union must build a close security partnership after Brexit to foil IS militant attacks and counter Russia’s malign attempts to subvert Western democracies, the head of Britain’s domestic spy agency said. Britain, as Europe’s preeminent intelligence power, is seeking a new security pact with the bloc to ensure it gets continued access to secrets from major EU countries as it seeks to clinch a broader Brexit deal. In the first public speech outside Britain by a serving head of MI5, Andrew Parker will tell an event in Berlin hosted by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence service that IS militants are plotting “devastating and more complex attacks.” “European intelligence cooperation today is simply unrecognisable to what it looked like five years ago,” MI5 Director General Parker will say on Monday, according to excerpts of his speech made available to Reuters.

Unconventional Defence | Comment | The Times

The first duty of a democratic state is to keep its citizens safe from harm. In a speech today in Berlin, Andrew Parker, the director-general of MI5, will set out the range of security threats that Britain and its allies now face from terrorist groups and hostile states. His assessment is sober but

Czech Foreign Minister Says Skripal Visit To Prague ‘Logical’

Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky said a reported visit by former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal to meet Czech intelligence officials seemed “logical” as part of “normal cooperation” between Czech and British intelligence. Stropnicky was commenting on reports in The New York Times and Czech weekly Respekt that Skripal briefed Czech agents in 2012. He was speaking to RFE/RL’s Ray Furlong on May 14.

Foreign Minister Thinks Czech Agents Benefited From Skripal Meetings

Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky says he believes his country’s intelligence services benefited from being briefed six years ago by Sergei Skripal, the Russian former double agent who was poisoned with a nerve toxin along with his daughter in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

Tougher Israeli Posture in Syria Tests Russia-Iran Alliance – WSJ

The Kremlin’s military alliance with Tehran in Syria is showing cracks after fierce Israeli strikes against Iranian forces, testing the limits of the relationship.

Minister Gallant: We have an opportunity to uproot Iran from Syria – Breaking News – Jerusalem Post

“We must strike the iron while it’s hot,” Construction Minister Yoav Gallant [Kulanu] said at a Shabbat cultural event in Givat Shmuel on Saturday.

Get Rid Of Your Iranian Allies, They Will Harm You, Israel Tells Assad | Independent Newspapers Nigeria

Israel’s Defence Minister warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday to renounce the Iranian military presence in his country, saying the activities of Assad’s staunchest regional ally would only cause “damage and problems”.

Israel ‘Must Destroy Any Trace of Iran in Syria, Put Genie in Bottle’ – Minister – Sputnik International

Tensions between Israel and Iran have severely escalated since Tel Aviv fired dozens of missiles at alleged Iranian positions in Syria in retaliation for a purported bombardment by Tehran.

Not to give in: “It’s harder for Iran to refrain from striking Israel” — Politics, Russia — EADaily

It is growingly hard for Iran to refrain from counterstriking Israel from Syria not to look as if it has given in. However, there are several factors that contain Iran.

Satellite Images Allegedly Show Aftermath of Israeli Strike on Syria (PHOTOS) – Sputnik International

The Israeli Air Force hit multiple targets in Syria late last week in what it said was a ‘retaliatory’ measure amid an alleged Iranian military buildup in the Arab Republic.

Satellite images reveal damage caused by Israeli airstrike in Syria | JerusalemOnline

ImageSat International has released before and after satellite images of Iranian sites in Syria to show the damage caused by last week’s Israeli airstrike. Most of the sites were operated by Iran’s Quds force.

Before and after images show Israeli strike on Iranian base – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Satellite images show complete destruction of one structure, abandonment of another.

Before and after: Satellite pictures show destroyed Iranian targets following Israeli strike – Iran –

Images reveal what Iranian targets in Damascus look like after Israel hit them in the most extensive strike the country has carried out in decades

Iran and Israel′s Syrian shadow war laid bare | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 14.05.2018

Tensions between archenemies Iran and Israel are soaring in Syria, complicating an already complex civil war and threatening a regional conflagration. Russia may be the only power in a position to contain it.

Spotlight on Iran (April 29 – May 13, 2018) – The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

Iran Now Engaged in Direct Fighting

Iran Focus is dedicated to providing comprehensive, up-to-date information and news on the Persian Gulf and Middle East region in a fair and balanced manner.

How far will Israel and Iran go in pursuing their Syria interest

Why have tensions grown so markedly this past week?

Apparently there are sane people in Tehran – Opinion – Israel News |

The last two weeks have seen unprecedented fighting between Israel and Iran, yet there have been no real Israeli causalities. Odeh Bisharat questions why

Top Putin aide: No talk of delivering S-300 air defense system to Syria – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

Israel has repeatedly urged Moscow not to provide the weapons platform to the Assad regime.

Russia will not send S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria

Possibly seeking to de-escalate tensions in Syria, Russia will not provide Syria with the S-300 air defense systems. By: JNS and World Israel News Staff Russian officials on Friday indicated that they have changed their minds and will not supply the Syrian government with the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile system. Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin who oversees military assistance to other countries, told the Russian Izvestia daily that the systems are currently not needed in Syria. “For now, we’re not talking about any deliveries of new modern [air-defense] systems,” Kozhin said when asked about the S-300 system. Kozhin’s comments immediately followed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Russia on Wednesday. Netanyahu, who attended Russia’s military parade commemorating its 73rd anniversary victory over Nazi Germany, sought to discuss the escalating situation in Syria with Putin. A day later, Iran launched 20 rockets at Israel, and the IDF retaliated by wiping out nearly Iran’s entire military infrastructure in Syria. An Iranian version of the S-300 was destroyed in the strike before they had a chance to deploy it. An operational S-300 could have significantly complicated Israel’s strikes. Last month, the Russian military announced its decision to supply the Syrian military with the advanced air defense system, to the chagrin of Israel, which requested Russia not take this step. Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The S-300 is one of the most advanced air defense systems in the world. Designed to intercept aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, it would significantly upgrade Syria’s defensive capabilities. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman had issued a stern warning to Russia over the deployment of the advanced S-300 systems in Syria, declaring that Israel would view such a deployment as crossing a red line and would destroy the missiles. IranIsrael-Russia relationsRussiaS-300Syria Print Email 22 Comments Get the Latest Israel News! United With Israel

Why Netanyahu attended Victory Day Parade in Moscow? – Why Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu came to Putin’s parade? –

Newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza Only two leaders of the foreign states – Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vučić and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu – watched the Victory Day Parade together with Putin. An attempt to weaken the alliance between Moscow and Tehran However, Netanyahu appeared in Moscow not only to admire the tanks: first, he came to discuss the situation in Syria, where the Israeli aviation regularly strikes at the fighters of the Hezbollah movement and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, fighting on the side President Assad, who enjoys the support of Russia. Russian and Israeli forces can clash at any moment, so Israel wants to clarify the rules of the game in an increasingly confusing situation and get from Moscow something like a license to shoot those, whom Israeli politicians consider a threat to their country. Such negotiations are facilitated by rapprochement on the ground of history. Wacław Radziwinowicz

Bolton – ‘Regime change’ in Iran not policy of Trump administration | Reuters

White House national security adviser John Bolton, who has in the past suggested the U.S. government should push for a change in government in Iran, said on Sunday that is not the Trump administration’s current policy.

Bolton says ‘it’s possible’ US will sanction European companies working with Iran – CNNPolitics

White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday that “it’s possible” there will be secondary sanctions imposed on European companies as a result of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

US security adviser: US may SANCTION European companies in Iran | World | News |

MAJOR British firms including Debenhams today became unwittingly caught-up in Donald Trump’s crackdown on Iran which could trigger unprecedented US economic sanctions against Britain.

Europeans Should Have Known Trump Would Abandon Iran Deal, Bolton Says – The New York Times

The remarks could further exasperate the Europeans, who spent months negotiating to salvage the accord and believed they had nearly satisfied the president’s demands.

US wants to work with Europeans on new Iran deal: Pompeo

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington still wants to work with its European partners on an agreement to counter Iran’s

Trump team sends mixed signals to Europe – POLITICO

The administration said it expects U.S. allies will fall in line with its Iran policy but doesn’t exclude the possibility of punishing them.

Lavrov, Zarif, Meet In Moscow On Iran Nuclear Deal

After holding talks in China, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet on May 14 in Moscow with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov as part of efforts to save the landmark nuclear deal…

‘All Is Shambles’: The Days After the Iran Deal – Defense One

Prominent advocates for withdrawal grappled too little with the possibility that the president cannot pull this off.

The True Consequences of America’s Withdrawal from the Iran Deal | The National Interest

Regardless of the fact that President Trump is playing to a domestic audience, his action will have consequences the world over.

Europe Steps Up Bid to Salvage Iran Accord Ditched by Trump – Bloomberg

European powers alarmed by Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord set out this week on an urgent search for ways to hold the deal together and avoid a further escalation of violence in the Middle East.

Can Europe Defend The Iran Nuclear Deal After Trump ‘Sabotage’?

The next few days could decide whether the Iran nuclear deal can survive without the support of the U.S., or if it will collapse in the face of a new wave of sanctions on Tehran.

A Look at Iranian Newspaper Front Pages on May 14

IFP has taken a look at the front pages of Iranian newspapers on Monday, May 14, and picked headlines from 20 of them. IFP has simply translated the headlines and does not vouch for their accuracy.

How Iran could turn our friends against us (Opinion) – CNN

In her presidential weekly briefing, Samantha Vinograd warns that, in response to the US decision to withdraw from the Iran deal, the Iranian government will try to turn our European allies against us.

France and Germany split over future of eurozone escalates | World | News |

TENSIONS between France and Germany are growing with Emmanuel Macron’s attempts to impose his European Union vision still ruffling feathers in Berlin just as cracks begin to appear over the bloc’s response to Donald Trump’s Iran sanctions threats.