Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (81)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

The wedge between Russia and Iran, in Syria, appears to be growing. Instead of direct and discreet talks with Iran, however, Russia is making public statements telling Iran what to do. This is a serious escalation and not generally done in public. Two hyper-macho countries are telling each other what to do…   stay tuned, this is interesting.  

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Russian alternate reality campaign around Salisbury, the Mideast, and NATO continues. Polish media leak report indicating Poland’s offer to fund US$2B toward permanent US FOB in Poland, Russian denouncements and threats outnumber actual reports on the proposal. More saber-rattling by Muscovy.

The Beeb interviews Salisbury NHS Hospital medical staff on how they saved the Skripals, as the hospital chief of staff Dr. Christine Blanshard noted the total world experience in treating Novichok poisoning is now three patients and was zero when the Skripals were admitted. Very revealing interviews, and likely to go viral in the media.

Much on Iran, Syria, and Israel. Israel launching a diplomatic campaign in Europe to gain support for the US and Israeli position on Iran after Muscovy was turned. Israel and US reported to be signing MoU on Iran. Russia advocates that Iran depart Syria, and specifically insists only Syrian troops be deployed along Israel’s border. Syrian AF reported to be expelling Iran and its proxies from Syrian airbases. Claims, denied loudly by Tehran, that Iran secretly negotiated with Israel in Jordan. Two other bizarre stories now circulating.

Yulia Skripal Speaks – But There Are Still More Questions Than Answers – Sputnik International

Last week’s surprise television appearance by Yulia Skripal, recorded at a secret location somewhere in England, went some way to assuage concerns that many have had for her well-being.

Russian Ex-Undercover Agent Suspects Yulia Skripal is a ‘Toy’ in Hands of UK – Sputnik International

Yulia Skripal, who was allegedly poisoned along with her father in the British city of Salisbury, has given an interview to Reuters, according to a video released by the agency. In her first public testimony, she asked that her privacy be respected and expressed a willingness to eventually return to Russia.

Kremlin: Permanent U.S. Military Presence in Poland Would Harm European Security | World News | US News

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Kremlin – permanent U.S. military presence in Poland would harm European security | Reuters

The Kremlin expressed concern on Monday over media reports that Poland has requested a permanent U.S. military presence on its soil, saying NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders undermined stability in Europe.

Permanent US Base in Poland Only in Interests of US ‘War Hawks’ – Politician – Sputnik International

Poland is ready to pay up to 2 billion dollars for the deployment of a permanent US military base in the country, according to the country’s defense ministry. Radio Sputnik discussed Poland’s proposal to the United States with Konrad Renkas, a Polish political analyst and vice-chairman of the Zmiana party.

Russia Threatens ‘Counter-Measures’ To Permanent US Military Presence In Poland

These expansionist actions, of course, inevitably lead to counter-measures on the Russian side in order to balance the parity that breaks each time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

U.S. Base Will Turn Poland Into Potential Target, Russian Senator Warns

A senior Russian senator has warned that Poland could become a prime target in a possible East-West conflict if it stationed a permanent NATO military base. Poland has offered to pay the United States $2 billion to house a permanent military installation to deter “potential Russian aggression,” according to a defense ministry proposal reported on by Poland’s news portal. Poland has temporarily hosted more than 1,100 NATO soldiers, including U.S. troops, south of Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad for over a year as the Western military alliance shied away from deploying permanent military capabilities on the Russian frontier.

Russia Warns More U.S. Troops in Poland Could ‘Lead to Counteraction’ From Kremlin

“This of course in no way creates security and stability on the continent,” a Kremlin spokesman said of Poland’s offer to pay for a permanent U.S. presence.

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – Kremlin says Russia ready to respond to NATO infrastructure expansion

The Kremlin spokesman has commented on Warsaw’s plans to build a US base in Poland

Su-57s destroy mock targets at Aviadarts army contest (VIDEO) — RT World News

A pair of cutting-edge Russian Su-57 fighter jets have taken part in the Aviadarts-2018 army competition, launching a mock attack on ground targets and destroying them. The modern jets are currently undergoing extensive testing.

Russia is a major threat to world, – Duda –

According to Andrzej Duda, the experience gained over the past two years did not provide any reasons to come back to wider cooperation between NATO and Russia, but it demonstrated the Moscow is not interested in an honest constructive dialogue

NATO Secretary General with the President of Poland Andrzej Duda, 28 MAY 2018 – YouTube

NATO News Published on May 28, 2018 Joint press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda at the Presidential Palace Belweder, Warsaw, Poland on Monday 28 May 2018.

Poland Seeks Permanent U.S. Troop Presence To Counter Russia

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on May 28 that he has had talks with U.S. officials about permanently stationing U.S. troops in Poland as a deterrent against Russian aggression.

Poland Wants Permanent US Base To Deter Russia

Call comes as NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, attends the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw…

Poland seeks permanent US troop presence, offers financing – Business Insider

US troops are currently in Poland on a temporary, rotational mission, but the country’s defense minister says discussions with Washington about a permanent…

Poland Pushes For Permanent US Military Base, Offers Up To $2B

The proposal, which was drafted by senior defense ministry officials and Polish military officers, was sent to Washington without consulting the foreign ministry or even the president, Andrzej Duda.

Poland Willing to Pay for Permanent US Military Presence –

Polish news portal Onet has obtained a proposal drawn up by the country’s defence ministry which appears to offer the United States 2 billion US dollars towards setting up a permanent military base on Polish territory. The proposal, which will anger Russia, comes a month before NATO leaders meet at a summit in Brussels, and is likely to drive a further wedge between Poland and Germany, which favours taking a less aggressive stance towards Russia. “This proposal outlines the clear and present need for a permanent US armoured division deployed in Poland,” states the document. “Poland is committed to providing significant support that may reach 1.5–2 billion US dollars to establish joint military installations and providing for more flexible movement of US forces. Together, the United States and Poland can build an even stronger bond – one which guarantees the safety, security and freedom of its people for generations to come.”

Poland’s €1.7 billion bid for permanent US base to combat ‘Russian interference’ | Euronews

There are already US forces in Poland on a rotational basis but recent Russian actions mean a permanent presence is now necessary, according to a proposal by the country’s defence ministry.

Former Presidents See Threat In Rising Polish-Ukrainian Tensions

Five ex-presidents from Poland and Ukraine have issued a joint appeal for reconciliation between their countries amid growing nationalism and provocations from Russia that have strained their relat…

Ex-presidents see threat in rising Polish-Ukrainian tensions | Fox News

Five ex-presidents from Poland and Ukraine have made a joint appeal for reconciliation between their nations as growing nationalism in both societies and provocations from Russia have strained the alliance.

Polish PM Calls Nord Stream 2 ‘Weapon’ Of Hybrid Warfare

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says Russia’s planned natural-gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, is a weapon of hybrid warfare that Moscow wants to use to undermine European energy security and …

Poland says Russian gas pipeline is a ‘new hybrid weapon’ – The Washington Post

Poland’s prime minister on Monday called a planned Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, a “new hybrid weapon” and says Moscow wants to use it to undermine NATO and the European Union.

Russian spy poisoning: How the Skripals were saved – BBC News

The staff who treated poisoned Russians Sergei and Yulia Skripal speak in detail for the first time.

Medics who battled to save ex-Russian spy following nerve agent attack feared mass casualties | Daily Mail Online

Lorna Wilkinson, director of nursing at Salisbury District Hospital, said she was worried about the potential scale of the incident when PC Nick Bailey was admitted with similar symptoms.

‘There was a real concern as to how big could this get’ says Lorna Wilkinson – YouTube

Doctors At First Doubted Skripals Would Survive Nerve-Agent Poisoning

A hospital consultant who treated former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, for exposure to a military-grade nerve agent did not at first think the two would survive, he said in an…

Salisbury doctors feared ‘all-consuming’ nerve agent crisis following attack on Sergei Skripal and daughter | The Independent

Medics who treated Sergei Skripal and his daughter have told how they feared that novichok exposure could spread through Salisbury and trigger an “all-consuming” crisis. NHS staff at Salisbury District Hospital said they initially suspected the victims were suffering an opioid overdose but quickly realised they were dealing with a nerve agent.

Doctors thought Sergei and Yulia Skripal would die after Salisbury poisoning | News | The Times

The doctors who treated Sergei and Yulia Skripal have revealed that they thought that they would die. Salisbury district hospital feared that it was at the centre of an “all-consuming” chemical weapons attack when the Skripals and PC Nick Bailey arrived in March, staff have said.Initial treatment

Salisbury doctors did not believe Skripals would survive Novichok poisoning  

The doctors who treated the Skripals following the Salisbury Novichok attack did not believe the former Russian spy and his daughter would survive, they have revealed.

We didn’t expect Skripals to survive, says Salisbury poisoning doctor | UK news | The Guardian

Hospital staff recall moment ex-spy and daughter were rushed in for emergency care

Tuesday briefing: Miracle of how the Skripals were saved | World news | The Guardian

Salisbury hospital’s lifesaving care for novichok victims …

‘We expected Skripals not to survive’ – BBC News

Hospital staff who treated the Skripals for poisoning open up about the night they were admitted.

Doctors Are Uncertain About The Future Health Of Sergei And Yulia Skripal

“We have a total world experience of treating three patients for the effects of Novichok poisoning and I think it’s safe to say that we’re still learning,” said Dr Christine Blanshard.

Doctors who treated Skripals uncertain about their long-term health | Reuters

The doctors who treated a Russian former spy and his daughter after they were poisoned with a nerve agent in Britain say they don’t know what the pair’s long term health outlook is – and initially feared the incident could have been much worse.

Analysis: Israel is splitting Europe

The deep divisions within Europe present unique possibilities for Washington and Jerusalem. By: Daniel Krygier, World Israel News Counter-intuitively, liberal Western Europe is soft on Iran and Hamas and hostile toward democratic Israel, while the former Soviet bloc countries have become Israel’s biggest supporters. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s expected trip to Paris and Berlin will once again expose the ideological fault line that increasingly divides Europe on both European issues and policies concerning the Middle East. The move of the US embassy to Israel’s capital Jerusalem, the Gaza border tensions and the Iran nuclear deal have essentially divided the European continent into two camps. France, Germany, Britain and the European Union (EU) leadership all opposed President Trump’s decision to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Paris, Berlin, London and Brussels are also staunch defenders of the Iran nuclear deal and harsh critics of Israel defending itself against Hamas’ aggression on the Gaza border. Most Western European countries belong to this European ideological camp. The other Europe consists of countries that are more sympathetic towards the US and Israel. This group includes Austria and former Eastern European states like Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Romania. Unlike France and Germany, these countries did not oppose the move of the American embassy to Jerusalem and several of them are in various stages of potentially following suit by moving their own embassies to Israel’s capital.

Netanyahu to discuss Iran with French, German leaders next week | Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet the leaders of France, Germany and possibly Britain next week to discuss ways to stop what he called Iran’s nuclear ambitions and regional expansionism, he said on Monday.

PM Netanyahu, Minister Lieberman to meet European leaders on Iran

Premier to leave for Germany, France next week, possibly also visiting UK to impress upon countries leaders importance of blocking Iranian nuclear aspirations, expansion in Middle East; Defense Minister Lieberman to visit Moscow for meeting with Russian counterpart, accompanied by head of Military Intelligence Directorate.

John Bolton will reportedly meet with Israeli national security adviser to ratify joint approach to Iran | Business Insider

US National Security Adviser John Bolton will reportedly meet with his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabat, in Washington on Tuesday to discuss a joint approach to Iran. US National Security Adviser John Bolton will reportedly meet with his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabat, in Washington on Tuesday. Sources said the two officials will be ratifying an existing agreement between Israel and the US on how to deal with Iran. Changes will reportedly be made to the agreement to reflect the “new reality” now that the US is no longer bound to the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will discuss Iran with several European leaders next week.

Report: US, Israel to sign memorandum of understanding on Iran – Israel National News

Israel’s National Security Advisor to meet US counterpart in Washington to sign MOU on Iran as administration ups pressure on regime.

Israeli Defense Chief To Meet Russian Counterpart In Moscow

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman plans to travel to Moscow to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on May 31.

Israel sees an opportunity to drive a Iran out of Syria as Russia looks to its own interests

Israel is increasingly optimistic of being able to force Iran out of Syria as Russia comes to see that Iran’s presence may threaten its own interests, a senior Israeli intelligence official said Monday.

Netanyahu says Iranian forces need to be kept out of all of Syria | The Times of Israel

PM’s remark an apparent rebuff of Russia, which earlier suggested it was open to Israeli rejection of Iranian forces only in border area

Netanyahu: Israel Won’t Be Satisfied if Iran Leaves Only Southern Syria – Sputnik International

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to insist that Iran should leave the entire territory of Syria.

Netanyahu: Iran Should Be Denied Any Military Presence in Syria – Sputnik International

Israel has called for Iran to withdraw its military forces from Syria with Tehran insisting it only has military advisers in the country despite Tel-Aviv’s numerous claims to the opposite.

Netanyahu says Iran can have no military presence in Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he will press German and French leaders next week to support his position that Iran should have no military presence in neighbouring Syria. Netanyahu will travel to Germany and France for talks expected to focus on the US decision to withdraw from

Russian Troops Keep Dying in Syria Six Months After Putin Announced Their Withdrawal

On May 27, Russian media quoted the country’s Defense Ministry as saying two servicemen were killed on the spot and two others died in the hospital from the injuries sustained during shelling in …

Russia Calls For Iran to Leave Syria While Assad Regime Restricts Bases From Iranian Use – Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective.

In the wake of Israeli airstrikes, sources in Syria are reporting that their government is refusing to allow the Iranian military from using their bases. At the same time, Russia is calling for Iran to leave the region bordering Israel. Zaman Al Wasl, the Syrian opposition newspaper, cited General Ahmed Balloul, head of the Bashar al-Assad regime’s air force, as saying that their airports are now restricted to Syrian army personnel. He said this comes as a result of reported Israeli airstrikes targeting Iranian forces in Syria. Strikes attributed to Israel against Syrian bases have killed about 40 Iranian military personnel. On Thursday night, an air base in western Syria was targeted in an airstrike.

Will Iran withdraw its forces from Syria? – Opinion – Israel News |

With Israel adamant on preventing Iran from getting close to the border and Russia ordering a retreat from Syria, Iran has some choices to make – that Assad may not like

‘Deal with Russia is good, but Iran won’t comply’ – Israel National News

INSS head says deal with Russia to prevent Iran and Hezbollah from moving into southern Syria has no enforcement mechanism.

Israel, Russia said to reach secret deal on pushing Iran away from Syria border | The Times of Israel

Reported agreement will see Israel consent to return of Assad’s army to Syrian Golan Heights, in exchange for Russia ensuring no Iranian or Hezbollah troops there

Russia, backing Israel: Only Assad troops should be on Syria’s southern border | The Times of Israel

Foreign Minister Lavrov indicates Moscow open to Israeli demands that Iranian forces be kept far from Israel’s frontiers; urges withdrawal of all ‘non-Syrian forces’

Israel, Russia agree to boot Iran and Hezbollah from northern border – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The report says Jerusalem and Moscow agreed to allow Israel to maintain its ability to act against Iran’s expansion in Syria.

Russia considers pulling back Iranian forces from Israel-Syria border – Syria –

Russia fears Israel’s strikes in Syria will undermine Assad’s rule. Israel believes Moscow may agree to move the Iranians 60 kilometers away from the Israeli border

Get your militia out of southern Syria, Russia’s Lavrov tells Iran | Arab News

LONDON: Iran came under pressure from both alies and enemies on Tuesday as Russia, Israel and Jordan all insisted there was no place for Tehran-funded militias on Syria’s southern border. Israel and Jordan have repeatedly insisted that the Shiite militias that backed President Bashar Assad in the war, should not be allowed near their borders.  A cease-fire brokered last year

Russia: Only Syrian forces should be stationed on Israel border | News | Al Jazeera

Moscow calls for exit of non-Syrian forces from ‘de-escalation area’ as rebels prepare for potential government push.

Only Syrian army should be on country’s southern border: Russia

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Russia said on Monday only Syrian army troops should be on the country’s southern border with Jordan and Israel, after Washington warned of “firm measures” over truce violations in the region. Rebels control stretches of southwest Syria, bordering the Israeli-occupied

Only Syrian army should be on country’s southern border – Russia | Reuters

Russia said on Monday only Syrian army troops should be on the country’s southern border with Jordan and Israel, after Washington warned of “firm measures” over truce violations in the region.

Report: Syrian Air Force bars Iran from using its bases – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

A Syrian opposition site reports that the Syrian air force forbade Iranian-backed Shi’ite factions from storing ammunition in its bases.

Syria bans Iranian forces from using airbases | JerusalemOnline

The source who provided Zaman al-Wasl with the information said that the decision was made due to the rising tensions between Iran and Israel.

Report: Syria bans Iran from using its hangars after Israeli strikes | The Times of Israel

Highly irregular decision follows meeting between Assad and Putin in Russia, according to Zaman Al Wasl news site, citing ‘well-informed’ source

Syria Forbids Iran from Using Syrian Air Force Hangars | The Jewish Press – | Jewish Press News Desk | 14 Sivan 5778 – May 28, 2018 |

An unconfirmed report on a Syrian Rebel site claims that the commander of the Syrian Air Force has forbidden the Iranian military from using the air force hangars on any Syrian Air Force bases anymore. The report claims this is a result of the repeated Israeli strike against those bases and hangers which the Iranians have been using.

Report: Iranian Ambassador in Jordan: We Have Reached Understandings with Regional Players to Prevent All-Out War | The Jewish Press – | Jewish Press News Desk | 14 Sivan 5778 – May 28, 2018 |

Reports in Arab media sources state that Iran has reached understandings with Israel to prevent an all-out war. According to a report in the London-based Saudi website Elaph, last week Israel and Iran held secret meetings in Jordan to set down the rules-of-the-game to prevent an all-out war in the region. The meeting was held in a hotel in Amman with a Jordanian mediator.

Iran denies alleged meeting in Jordan with Israel intelligence – Middle East Monitor

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday denied reports of a “secret meeting” allegedly held in Amman recently between Iranian officials and Israeli Mossad officers, reports Anadolu Agency. Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying “no talks were held” between Iranian officials and Israeli intelligence agents in the Jordanian capital. On Sunday, London-based Arabic-language news outlet Elaph — which is owned by a Saudi businessman — quoted a “participant” at the alleged meeting as saying that Iran’s ambassador to Jordan, along with several Iranian security officials, had met with Israeli intelligence agents in Amman. According to Elaph, the two sides agreed at the meeting that Hezbollah and other Shia militias would refrain from taking part in any future conflict between Syria’s Assad regime and opposition forces near the Jordan-Syria border.

Report: Israel, Iran Reach Back-Channel Understandings on Syria Operation | Jewish & Israel News – Israel and Iran recently used back channels to reach ‎behind-the-scenes understandings over Syrian ‎maneuvers in the southern Golan Heights, Saudi media ‎reported Sunday.‎ According to the independent Arabic news website Elaph, Syrian ‎President Bashar Assad’s military is scheduled to ‎carry out large operations in Daraa and Quneitra, in ‎the Syrian Golan Heights, to counter ‎rebel forces in the area.‎

Report: Israel, Iran engage in indirect negotiations over Syria fighting – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

The report said a Jordanian mediator carried messages between the sides.

Israel and Iran ‘hold negotiations over Syria in adjacent hotel rooms’ | Daily Mail Online

The two nations allegedly sent representatives to stay in a hotel in Amman, Jordan in next door rooms – with a Jordanian mediator passing messages between the two parties.

Why the month of May did not see an all-out Middle East explosion – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

Undoubtedly the ingredients were in place this month that could have led to an explosion.

India, Top Iranian Oil Importer, Says Will Not Heed U.S. Sanctions

India will keep trading with Iran and Venezuela despite the threat of penalties for violating U.S. sanctions recently announced against the two countries, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has said.

UAWire – Jordan backs out of plans to build large nuclear plant with Russia

Jordanian authorities have decided to back out of plans to build a large nuclear plant with Russia. The reason was that Amman considers it too …

UAWire – Turkey allows Russia’s Gazprom to extend Turkish stream pipeline to the EU

Turkey has concluded an agreement with the Russian Energy Corporation Gazprom regarding construction of the Turkish stream pipeline’s second- …

UAWire – Russia may send more warships to Mediterranean

The Russian Navy will maintain an effective and balanced size of the fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, Naval Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Korolev …

Israel and Iran revert back to familiar patterns in Syria – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The stand-off between arch-foes may ultimately be decided by a third party: Russia.

Moscow: Reports Israeli jets intercepted over Lebanon are ‘amateur nonsense’ | The Times of Israel

After its warplanes said to confront F-16s, Russia’s Defense Ministry says it doesn’t operate in Lebanese airspace

Moscow Denies Reports on Interception of Israeli F-16 by Russian Su-34 – Sputnik International

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied reports on an alleged interception of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by a Russian Su-34 aircraft, stating that the country’s aircraft do not conduct missions in Lebanese airspace.

In rare face-off, Russian jets reportedly intercept Israeli planes over Lebanon | The Times of Israel

SU-34 planes said to have challenged IAF F-16s in Tripoli’s skies despite mechanism to avoid conflicts between Moscow and Jerusalem

Russia denies reports on interception of Israeli F-16 jet with Russian Su-34 in Lebanon

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied reports on an alleged interception of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by a Russian Su-34 aircraft, stating that the country’s aircraft do not conduct missions in Lebanese airspace. “The information spread by one of the Israeli news outlets about an alleged ‘interception’ of two

‘Darkest day in history’ as Syria begins UN disarmament presidency

Following Switzerland, the Syrian Arab Republic is the next in line for the alphabetically rotated presidency.

Outrage as Syria, accused of using chemical weapons, assumes presidency of UN disarmament group | South China Morning Post

‘The Syrian regime has caused immeasurable suffering – through massive bombardment, oppression, starvation and repeated use of chemical weapons’

Anger as Syria heads global disarmament body – BBC News

The country, which is accused of chemical attacks, takes the helm of global forum on arms control.

Anger Spreads as Syria Leads Global Disarmament Body – The New York Times

Western officials expressed outrage as the country took its turn in the alphabetical rotation, pointing to the government’s attacks on its own citizens.

Ed Morrissey on Twitter: “OPCW: Call Us Crazy, But Maybe Syria Didn’t Give Up Their Chemical Weapons After All And guess who’s leading the UN-affiliated Conference on Disarmament?…”