Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syrian CW Attack / Israel vs. Iran Ad Hoc Update (72)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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When there is no viable news to exploit for propaganda – create some! The Russian play around Rogan’s WashEx OpEd is one for the textbooks, including the Russians impersonating a third party. Excellent analysis of the Russia – Israel “alliance of convenience” by Prof Blank, proven today by Russia truly throwing Assad under the bus. Yavlinsky, Lavrov and Wood on Russia’s folly.

In the UK, Salisbury Hospital discharges Col. Skripal after 11 weeks of treatment. As yet no Russian response.

Much on Iran, analysis of regime hardliners, riots continue, economy is a shambles and set to get worse, and Iran signs FTA with the sinking EEU ship. EU manoeuvring to save business deals with Iran.

Stephen Blank | Russia and Israel: Friends with benefits | TheHill

Iran might be restrained but it will likely look for other opportunities to attack Israeli and Western interests, including terrorism.

Putin meets Assad, says ‘foreign armed forces will start leaving Syria’ – Syria –

Russian president says given Syrian army’s ‘victories and successes,’ foreign armed forces ‘will start leaving Syrian territory’

Syria foreign troops: Putin tells Assad all ‘foreign forces’ will leave – CNN

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Thursday that “foreign armed forces” would leave Syria, according to Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA.

World War 3: Putin says after Assad victory in Syria USA and foreign armies should leave | World | News |

RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin says foreign armed forces will “start leaving Syrian territory” after the “victories and successes” of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s army, during an important summit between the two leaders.

Syria’s Assad Meets Putin in Russia, Says He Wants ‘Political Process’ as He Wins War

In his second known trip since 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Russian President Vladimir Putin that “stability is improving.”

Assad Meets Putin in a Surprise Visit to Russia – The New York Times

President Vladimir V. Putin says “foreign armed forces” will be withdrawn from Syria as part of peace settlement, a possible reference to Iran’s military presence.

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – Putin hails Assad’s decision to send delegation to UN to set up constitutional committee

Russian President said that at talks with the Syrian president, they had coordinated joint moves in fight against terrorism in Syria

Syria’s Assad flies to Russia for talks with Putin: Kremlin | Reuters

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s summer residence on the Black Sea for talks on Thursday about the Syrian conflict, the Kremlin said, a visit that underscored Moscow’s status as Assad’s chief backer.

Putin, Assad Discuss Syrian Conflict In Sochi

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a surprise visit to the Black Sea resort city of Sochi for talks with his Russian counterpart about Syria’s bloody seven-year conflict.

′Syria is a trap for Russia,′ says Putin rival Grigory Yavlinsky | News | DW | 17.05.2018

In an exclusive interview with DW, Russian economist and politician Grigory Yavlinsky says Putin’s policy of protecting the Syrian regime was not in Russia’s interest. Yavlinsky sees no change in Kremlin’s policies.

Expert: Syria Deployment Pushing the Limits of Russian Military Capability – USNI News

While the Kremlin’s newly professionalized military is armed with top-of-the-line ship-launched cruise missiles, flying more capable strike aircraft and firing precision munitions Russia, “does not have the ability to sustain forces far from the border,” a military expert said on Wednesday. “Syria pushed Russian logistics to its limits,” Anton Lavrov, a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and affiliated with the Center for Analysis and Technologies in Moscow, said. Moscow’s logistical trouble in Syria to maintain the 5,000 personnel, helicopters and aircraft illustrate one of the serious shortfalls in President Vladimir Putin’s drive to pull Russia’s conventional and nuclear forces out of their post-Soviet decay. “Russia doesn’t have the capability to sustain 20,000” troops in continuous operations far from its borders for any length of time. Even getting there is a challenge — from pier to pier, Lavrov said. The Kremlin had to buy old Black Sea merchant ships in Crimea and convert them into transports to move the soldiers and equipment including large trucks and heavy artillery, to its base in Syria and ports under the control of President Bashar al-Assad. And that was for movement into an uncontested area at the water’s edge. Moscow has not invested in amphibious assault in its current modernization program.

Todd Wood | Vladimir Putin crosses a bridge too far in writing off West – Washington Times

The decision to seize “Krim,” as it is pronounced in Russian and Ukrainian, marked the beginning of the end of any faint hopes the Putin government wanted a relationship with the West.

Tom Rogan | Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Crimea, Ukraine, with mainland Russia on Tuesday. Putin did so by in a typical show of bravado by leading a column of transport vehicles across the bridge.

Editorial | Our response to Russia’s threats against our journalists | Washington Examiner

The Russians are angry with us.

Tom Rogan | Why Putin wants to send me to the Black Dolphin

Russia is not particularly enamored by my piece on Tuesday outlining why Ukraine should blow up elements of Putin’s bridge from Ukraine to Russia.

Tom Rogan on Twitter: “I got played by the Russians yesterday.… “

Pavlo Klimkin on Twitter: “Just read @TomRtweets tweet. Funny. I’ve never spoken to the man and sincerely the article isn’t worth commenting. Not sure wether he wants to present me as a hero or a criminal 🙂 in fact,it doesn’t matter. Looks like another Russia-led provocation”

Tom Rogan on Twitter: “Had a great conversation with @MFA_Ukraine minister Pavlo Klimkin just now. He said the Ukrainian people supported my piece and that Ukraine would help me if Russia tries to send me to the Black Dolphin. Some good banter.”

US Journalist Urges Ukraine to Blow Up Russia’s Crimean Bridge, Shocks Twitter – Sputnik International

Social media networks were thrown into an uproar after an American journalist advised Ukraine to blow up a recently constructed bridge between the Crimean Peninsula and mainland Russia.

US Journalist Urging to Blow Up Crimean Bridge Claims He Got Support From Kiev – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US journalist Tom Rogan, who wrote an article urging the Ukrainian government to blow up the recently opened Crimean Bridge, said he had a pleasant conversation with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin after his piece was published and received a promise of support from Kiev.

Washington Examiner Promotes and Encourages Terrorism Against Russia – Eurasia Future

Washington Examiner Promotes and Encourages Terrorism Against Russia

Russia Opens Case Against Washington Examiner Editor Over Crimea Bridge Piece – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal case against an editor from the Washington Examiner media outlet, which released an article suggesting that Ukraine should “blow up” the Crimean Bridge, the committee’s spokeswoman said on Friday.

Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital | Salisbury Journal

SERGEI Skripal has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital after he was poisoned with a nerve agent 11 weeks ago.

Sergei Skripal, Russian Ex-Spy Poisoned by Nerve Agent, Is Released From Hospital – The New York Times

The British authorities said that Moscow was to blame for the attack, touching off a diplomatic dispute that led to the expulsion of hundreds of diplomats from the West and Russia.

The former Russian spy who was poisoned with nerve agent in England has been discharged from hospital | Business Insider

The former Russian spy who was poisoned with nerve agent in Salisbury, England, has been let out of hospital. Sergei Skripal and his daughter were exposed to the Novichok nerve agent earlier this year, sparking a diplomatic crisis. Britain accused Russia of carrying out the attack, while Russia continues to maintain their innocence. Skripal’s daughter, Yulia, was discharged a month ago.

Ex-spy Sergei Skripal discharged after poisoning – BBC News

The Russian exile was found slumped on a bench in Salisbury on 4 March.

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital after recovering from Salisbury nerve agent attack – Mirror Online

Mr Skripal, 66, had been in a coma after he and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found slumped on a park bench in March

Sergei Skripal discharged from Salisbury hospital | UK news | The Guardian

Russian former spy and daughter were left critically ill after exposure to nerve agent

Nearly 100 police staff given psychological support after Salisbury attack

More than 90 police officers have been given psychological support in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack which left Sergei and Yulia Skripal critically ill, the chief constable of Wiltshire Police has revealed.

Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital ten weeks after nerve agent attack

Sergei Skripal, the former Russian spy, who was poisoned with a nerve agent at his home in Salisbury, has been discharged from hospital, it has been announced.

Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital after Salisbury nerve agent attack – ITV News

Read Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital after Salisbury nerve agent attack latest on ITV News. All the news

Poisoned Ex-Spy Skripal Released From British Hospital

Sergei Skripal, a Russian former double agent who was poisoned with a nerve toxin in England in March, has been released from the hospital, British health authorities said on May 18.

Sergei Skripal Discharged From Salisbury District Hospital

The former Russian spy and his daughter were exposed to a nerve agent.

Poisoned Ex-Spy Sergei Skripal Discharged From Hospital – The Daily Beast

Attempted murder sparked international condemnation of Russia.

Poisoned russian spy Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital | UK | News |

RUSSIAN double agent Sergei Skripal has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital almost three months after he survived an assassination attempt, officials have announced.

Sergei Skripal, Former Spy Poisoned With Novichok, Released From Hospital But Still Recovering

Sergei Skripal, the former spy who was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok, was released from the hospital today. But health officials stress that Skripal still needs more time to properly recover.

Poisoned Ex-Russian Spy Is Discharged From U.K. Hospital – WSJ

The former Russian spy who was poisoned on U.K. soil more than two months ago has been released from hospital, after a nerve-agent attack that has inflamed tensions with Russia.

Israel’s thrashing of Iran in Syria provides for a peaceful summer – maybe – Israel News –

Even Arab media outlets are admiring the Israel Air Force’s achievements over Syria’s skies, and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah probably won’t want to wreck Lebanon’s tourist season

Iran Can’t Stop Exporting Terror and Trouble in the Middle East. Here’s Why.

The scars of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war have never been forgotten or forgiven by Iran’s hardliners. Their righteous ‘resistance’ has become their raison d’être.

Deadly protests continue in southern Iran for a second day: ‘Streets look war-torn’ | Fox News

Deadly protests in the southern Iranian city of Kazerun continued for a second day following the deaths of two protesters Wednesday.

Doomed? Why Iran’s Economic Mess Will Get Worse

The first fallout will be that Iran will find it harder to sell crude oil on the global market. The revenue from these sales is a vital source of foreign currency.

Iran braces for economic war with America – A system in shock

TEHRAN’S grand bazaar, a weathervane of politics, is on strike again. Shutdowns there foreshadowed Iran’s 1979 revolution. In 2012 they pushed the government into talks that eventually resulted in a deal, signed in 2015, that restricted Iran’s nuclear efforts in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran Agrees Interim Free Trade Zone With Russia-Led Eurasian Union

Iran has signed a provisional free trade zone agreement with a Russia-led economic union, days after being hit by U.S. sanctions. The U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran’s central bank governor and three other individuals Tuesday after President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear agreement with Tehran last week. Iran, which sought to save the nuclear deal with European signatories including Russia, was due to finalize a free trade deal with the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) by the end of 2017.

Iran Signs Free Trade Agreement With Eurasian Economic Union in Move That is Healthy for Iran, Russia and Non-EAEU Member Pakistan

Iran Signs Free Trade Agreement With Eurasian Economic Union in Move That is Healthy for Iran, Russia and Non-EAEU Member Pakistan

Russia, China tighten ties with Iran; EU faces tough time – Newspaper – DAWN.COM

Hamstrung By The U.S., Iran Tilts East For Trade Opportunities

With the United States having pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and Europe considering how to respond in a way that will protect its business interests, Tehran is looking east for new markets and…

US withdrawal from the JCPOA: Total’s position related to the South Pars 11 project in Iran |

Paris – On 4 July 2017, Total, together with the other partner Petrochina, executed the contract related to the South Pars 11 (SP11) project, in full compliance with UN resolutions and US, EU and French legislation applicable at the time. SP11 is a gas development project dedicated to the supply of domestic gas to the domestic Iranian market and for which Total has voluntarily implemented an IRGC-free policy for all contractors participating in the project, thereby contributing to the international policy to restrain the field of influence of the IRGC. On 8 May 2018, President Donald Trump announced the United States’ decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and to reinstate the US sanctions that were in force before the JCPOA’s implementation, subject to certain wind down periods. As a consequence and as already explained before, Total will not be in a position to continue the SP11 project and will have to unwind all related operations before 4 November 2018 unless Total is granted a specific project waiver by the US authorities with the support of the French and European authorities. This project waiver should include protection of the Company from any secondary sanction as per US legislation. Total has always been clear that it cannot afford to be exposed to any secondary sanction, which might include the loss of financing in dollars by US banks for its worldwide operations (US banks are involved in more than 90% of Total’s financing operations), the loss of its US shareholders (US shareholders represent more than 30% of Total’s shareholding) or the inability to continue its US operations (US assets represent more than 10 billion dollars of capital employed). In these circumstances, Total will not take any further commitment related to the SP11 project and, in accordance with its contractual commitments vis à vis the Iranian authorities, is engaging with the French and US authorities to examine the possibility of a project waiver. Total confirms that its actual spending to date with respect to the SP11 contract is less than 40 million euros in Group share. Furthermore, considering the various growth opportunities which have

Why Iran itself is likely to exit the nuclear deal | USA | Al Jazeera

Despite European efforts to salvage the JCPOA, without the US, Iran no longer has much motivation to stay in the deal.

Clashing With Trump, E.U. Tries to Blunt U.S. Sanctions on Iran – The New York Times

Its leaders said they would seek to prohibit companies based in the 28-nation bloc from complying with newly reimposed American sanctions.

Iran nuclear deal: EU moves to avoid impact of US sanctions – BBC News

The bloc is resurrecting an old statute in order to protect billions of dollars of investment in Iran.

US sanctions war against Iran prompts fight-back from Europe

European leaders said Thursday they will do their utmost to protect the region’s companies from the adverse effects of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Merkel, Macron Try to Preserve Iran Deal Without Provoking U.S. – WSJ

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out actions that could put the European Union and the U.S. into a trade war over Iran sanctions, laying bare the limits of Europe’s ability to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.

Opinion | Trump’s Iran Move May Swamp Greece – The New York Times

The danger illustrates the unforeseen consequences of impetuous American actions.

Iraq election result challenges foreign influence, from US to Iran

Muqtada al-Sadr is in the rare position of opposing both the U.S. and Iran, his win reflecting the demand for an Iraqi state run by Iraqis. The final results of Iraq’s first post-ISIS election have revealed a shock win for controversial anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Sadr is in the rare position of opposing both the U.S. and Iran, meaning the future of each country’s role in Iraq may be in question. Iraq’s stability will depend on its future government’s ability to tackle corruption and bridge its deep sectarian divides.

Lieberman: I support Trump on Jerusalem embassy, Iran nuke deal exit

Democrats and Republicans need to put aside politics and support solid policies regardless of which party takes the lead, says the one-time Democratic VP nominee.