Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (92)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Singapore has drawn most Western media attention away from Russia topics. Russia’s output remains along the theme of “… poor suffering victim Russia in a Russophobic universe ….”.

No developments in the Salisbury and Babchenko sting matters, BBC run interesting interview on the latter. Quite a few of Russia’s little helpers have their say.

Discord over Syria and Iran continues.


‘G7 Summit Being Used to Advance Another Russophobic Hysterical Plan’ – Author – Sputnik International
According to US media reports, UK Prime Minister Theresa May will use the G7 summit in Canada to put out a plan to counter alleged Russian aggression. The plan was reportedly divulged by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in a closed door meeting with Conservatives.
Russia Says New NATO Combat Readiness Plan A Threat To Security
Russia says that a new NATO plan to enhance its combat readiness in Europe would weaken security on the continent, and is warning that Moscow would take that into account in its own military planning.
Kremlin: Putin’s words about “consequences for Ukraine’s statehood” should be taken “unequivocally” | UNIAN
The Kremlin has said the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin about “grave consequences for Ukraine’s statehood as such” if Kyiv makes any attempt to liberate Donbas during the FIFA World Cup should be taken “unequivocally.” Peskov says Putin is extremely clear in his statements and speaks his mind. The Kremlin has said the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin about “grave consequences for Ukraine’s statehood as such” if Kyiv makes any attempt to liberate Donbas during the FIFA World Cup should be taken “unequivocally.” “You know, President Putin is extremely clear about what he thinks and speaks his mind, so everything here has been said unequivocally. The question [of the Russian writer fighting against Ukraine in Donbas] Zakhar Prilepin was, what would happen if Ukraine took advantage of the World Cup and decided to go on an offensive in Donbas, once again to unleash a war, bloody and fratricidal. President Putin answered very unequivocally,” Russian President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists, responding to an UNIAN correspondent’s request to clarify Putin’s words about “grave consequences for Ukraine’s statehood.”
Bellingcat demands Russia provide evidence of false accusations – 112.international
Bellingcat demands Russia provide evidence of false accusations
Russia Blasts ‘Fruitless’ U.S. Sanctions
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has angrily reacted to the latest round of U.S. sanctions targeting Russian individuals and entities, calling it another “fruitless” attempt to impose pressure on the coun…
Report: Russia Resurrects Cold War Tactics, Targets International University Students
Russia currently hosts nearly 250,000 international students. The country aims to triple this number by 2025. The government has launched an information campaign, calling all Russian students …
How Russia is using international students as a weapon in the new Cold War
Russia is aiming to triple international students numbers to more than 700,000 by 2025.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Secretly Destroyed GULAG Records in 2014, Museum Director Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 8 – Roman Romanov, the director of the Museum of the History of the GULAG, says that one of his researchers, Sergey Prudovsky has discovered that in September 2014, a classified order went out to destroy card files on GULAG victims, making the use of more general archives far more difficult if not impossible. He made that declaration in a letter to Mikhail Fedotov, a Putin advisor, that Kommersant reported today (kommersant.ru/doc/3652040). Prudovsky for his part said that the total number of repressed persons under Stalin is unknown, bu tin 1937-1938, there were more than 1.7 million political arrests. Thus, the amount of paper is enormous; and even if it is preserved, the destruction of the card files which serve as a kind of index and allow both officials and researchers to track down materials in various places becomes almost impossible. (As someone who has seen such files in Estonia left over from the occupation, the current author can confirm this.) Fedotov responded to a query from Kommersant by saying that he is “studying the problem,” adding that “we will always defend the preservation of archival materials” because “when there is a document, it is practically impossible to falsify things. But when there is no document, it is possible to dream up just about anything.” Commenting on this report, Igor Eidman, a Russian observer for Deutsche Welle, says that the destruction of Stalin-era documents in 2014 shows how much the Putin regime has become like a criminal organization down to the pettiest of details (blog.newsru.com/article/08jun2018/putin_stalin). “Bandits have a speciality, those who clean up after a crime, who destroy evidence left by those who have committed the crime in the first place. Putin has acted in this clean up role for Stalin. Stalin killed these people. Putin is killing the memory of them.” It seems certain, Eidman continues, that “this neo-Stalin or more precisely Stalin wannabe hopes that the memory about his own victims will also be destroyed by his successors. A dictator kills, another dictator cleans up the memory about his victims. Each successor liquidates the evidence against his predecessor.” “Apparently, Putin would like that Russian history will eternally go along this bloody circle.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia on Track to ‘Disappear from History,’ Krupnov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 10 – If current trends continue, Yury Krupnov says, Russians will be condemned to “disappear from history” with the population of their country declining to only 50 percent of what it is today by the end of this century and changing in its ethnic composition to the point where it will not be Russia anymore. The demographer from the Moscow Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development tells Kazan’s Business-Gazeta that super-high mortality among Russian men, declining birthrates overall, and migration patterns both within the country and with its neighbors are working against Russia (business-gazeta.ru/article/385156). Moreover, “even if the country is preserved and will exist until the end of the century [in something like its current borders], it will be an entirely different country,” Krupnov says, one in which the titular nationality of today will not be the dominant nation then. To prevent that from happening, he says, policies need to be put in place to boost the number of families having three or more children from the current six percent to 50 percent,” an increase of seven to eight times that will require both “a cultural revolution” and “an economic revolution” as well. That challenge is enormous, he acknowledges, but says that “this is what must be done: otherwise we will simply die out.” Moscow must pursue this goal rather that making GDP a goal in itself. Krupnov made five other intriguing comments: · “Russians voted not for Putin but for Russian statehood” because Russians are among the few nations that are so state-centered that they recognize that they can lose almost anything else but that if they lose the state, they will lose everything. · Russia must restore itself as a separate civilization; otherwise it will be riven by ethno-national conflicts that could tear it apart just as they did the USSR a generation ago. “It isn’t difficult to destroy a state, but then nothing will remain.” · The flight from the countryside into the cities is undermining Russian national security. Instead of promoting urban agglomerations, Moscow must promote de-urbanization if the country is to survive. o The Tatar ethnos is on the rise and is expanding rapidly because it is investing in people. “It is very sad that the entire country is not living according to the Tatarstan model. It must use this passionate energy.” o Many expected Tatarstan to be the delayed action mine that would destroy the Russian Federation. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. “But the threat remains. If cases of ethnicization are not kept within strict limits, this can work both against Russian and in the final analysis against Tatarstan.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: There are Fewer ‘Rossiyane’ in Russia than There are Chukchis, Census Shows
Paul Goble Staunton, June 9 – In the 2010 Russian census, commentator Mikhail L. says, only 13,357 residents listed Rossiyanin, the term for “non-ethnic Russian” that the Kremlin wants to promote as their ethnicity, fewer than the more than 15,000 who identified as Chukchis and 8300 times fewer than identified themselves as Russkiy, the term for “ethnic Russian.” Moreover, he points out in a comment on the communist-oriented Forum-MSK portal, Russian census takers did not even include Rossiyane as a subgroup of ethnic Russians but rather listed them among the large number of people who identified themselves in unusual ways such as elves or gnomes (forum-msk.org/material/news/14713191.html). That arrangement suggests, Mikhail L. continues, that the authorities viewed them as some kind of “ethnic renegades, most likely of all consisting of former [ethnic] Russians.” What makes this important, he suggests, is that the Russian media talks about them all the time even though 99.99 percent of the population of the country “ignores” their existence. Advocates of having all residents of the Russian Federation identify as Rossiyane, that is, civic Russians, such as Academician Valery Tishkov who has led the charge for making this change will reasonably counter that when Russians are asked about their ethnicity, they would not naturally give such a non-ethnic identity as a response. But the fact that the census takers grouped the Rossiyane not as a subgroup of the ethnic Russian nation but as a separate national identity is interesting. On the one hand, it is no more than a consistent application of the principle that ethnic Russian identity and non-ethnic Russian identity are two very different things. On the other, however, this treatment shows just how problematic the census reports are. Obviously, someone has to decide on how to group responses – Tishkov in fact has played that role in the past – but deciding to separate Russkiye and Rossiyane in this way underscores just how ideological this all is, something certain to offend ethnic Russians and non-Russians alike.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Found Out They were Russians Less than 150 Years Ago, Butakov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 10 – Russians use the ethnonym “Russian” as if it were something ancient, Yaroslav Butakov says; “but this is not the case: the word ‘Russian’ as a name entered into the language comparatively recently; and “for a long time, our ancestors called themselves something else.” “The ethnonym ‘Russian’ is initially an adjectival form,” much as is the case with many Germanic peoples like the English and Deutsch but far more rarely among other Slavic groups like the Poles, the Czechs, the Croatians, the Ukrainians, and the Bulgarians, the Russian commentator says (russian7.ru/post/kak-i-kogda-russkie-uznali-chto-oni-russ/). For most of the last millennium, “’Russian’ related only to the land populated by Rus or under the power of Rus,” he says. Many of the residents of the Russian land called themselves Rusins, while others like the Byzantines called them Rossy. Then when ancient Rus was split between Muscovy and Lithuania, “the word Rusin was used by the former.” “As a rule,” Butakov continues, it served for identification in the conflicts of a larger community” and acquired a certain super-national meaning. But Muscovy and Lithuania “called [the residents of] one another Muscovite and Lithuanian.” But even in the 18th century, he says, “Russians as had been the case earlier did not know that they were Russians.” “Only since the middle of the 19th century did official ethnography, obviously under the influence of the term ‘nationality’ from the ideological slogan-triade, introduce the word Russian to designation the entire community of Orthodox subjects of the all-Russian empire who spoke Slavic languages.” The official ideology divided these people into the Great Russians, the Little Russians and the White Russians, Butakov says; but it is important to keep in mind that “the population itself never called itself” using these terms. And that points to an important conclusion: the neologism Russian was invented to consolidate the Orthodox of the empire. Up to World War I, there is a great deal of evidence that “the mass of the people who are now called Russians did not have any common national self-consciousness” and identified instead by regions. Those who did use the term Russian as a self-designator extended it exclusively to the Great Russians, even though no one used that term. After the Bolshevik revolution, the liquidation of illiteracy and the imposition of a passport regime “confirmed the term Russian as a form of ethnic self-identification,” a shift that was finally cemented in black by the Russian patriotism that Moscow promoted during World War II.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: 60 Percent of Population of Northern Territories (Kuriles) are Ukrainians, Japanese Expert Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 10 – Yoshihiko Okabe, an expert on Russia at the University of Kobe in Japan, says that “about 60 percent of the population” of the Northern Territories – what Moscow calls the Kuriles – consists of ethnic Ukrainians, the result of the forced resettlement of populations there by the Soviet government after 1945. Speaking at an international conference in Kyiv on “Russia’s Violation of International Law,” the Japanese expert said that he had determined that during a recent visit to the islands at which time he noticed that a large share of the people there have last names ending in “-chenko” (regnum.ru/news/polit/2429632.html). Okabe said Ukrainians in particular should not refer to the Northern Territories as the Kuriles but back Tokyo’s position. To call them the Kuriles, he continued, is to “recognize that these islands are Russian territory. “By calling them the Northern Territories of Japan, we can attract attention to the fact that Japanese territory was illegally occupied by Russia.” His comments reflect both the history of these islands and the long-held position of Japanese officials. After the Soviet Union seized these islands in 1945, it did exactly what it did in the western borderlands of the USSR: it moved its own citizens from neighboring regions into them. In the case of the Northern Territories, these were primarily Ukrainian people living the the Russian Far East, what Ukrainians refer to as the Zelyony klin or “green wedge.” For background on this, see Ivan Svit’s Ukrains’ko-iapons’ki vzaiemyny (in Ukrainian, New York, 1972, 371 pp.) and John Stephan’s The Russian Far East (Stanford, 1994.) Japanese officials have long taken the position Okabe does. Yuriko Koike, a former Japanese minister and currently head of the Tokyo prefecture, observes that “like everywhere in Russia, the residents of the Kurile islands became poor, suffering from the actions of an unprofessional and corrupt government.” “By a strange irony of fate,” Koike continues, “among the current residents of the Kuriles are a large number of ethnic Ukrainians.” On Iturup, for example, “Ukrainians form on the order of 60 percent of the population.” Would Vladimir Putin accept the results of a referendum by them “as easily as he did in Crimea?”
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin to Ram Through Putin’s Language Law This Month, Not in September
Paul Goble Staunton, June 8 – After promising that the draft language law would not be taken up by the full Duma until the fall session, a commitment that opponents of the measure hoped to use to push for changes in the legislation, Vyacheslav Nikonov, head of the Duma education committee, announced today that the measure will be voted on instead in 11 days. That announcement (tass.ru/obschestvo/5274669) reverses what he said only a few days ago (nazaccent.ru/content/27226-gosduma-perenesla-rassmotrenie-zakonoproekta-o-dobrovolnom.html) and appears to reflect a double calculation on the part of the Presidential Administration which is pushing this measure for Putin. On the one hand, it is certain to have caught the bill’s opponents among non-Russians flatfooted. They will have less time to organize and respond and now face the prospect that the measure will sale through the whole Duma before the end of this month without any significant change. And on the other, this timing also means that the measure will go into effect this fall at the start of the next school year rather than in mid-year or even a year later as many opponents of the measure hoped, a speeding up in the timetable that suggests Putin plans to introduce other, still more radical changes in nationality policy in the near future. In reporting on this development and on the discussions that preceded it, Ramazan Alpaut of Radio Svoboda’s portal raised the question bluntly in a post entitled “Has Moscow outsmarted the language activists?” (idelreal.org/a/29277782.html). In the short term, that would certainly appear to be the case. Moscow’s much-ballyhooed changes in the original draft in fact “change nothing,” ever more non-Russian activists say; and thus they are confronted with a situation in which they were played by the regime, likely reflecting the Kremlin’s desire that there not be any protests about language issues during the World Cup. But if the Kremlin has won this battle, it may have lost the war. Non-Russians can now clearly see that Putin and the Russian government have no interest in compromise and, more to the point, can’t be trusted to keep their word from one day to the next on when an important piece of legislation will come up for a vote. Such perceptions will lead to the radicalization of opinion not only among those who were completely opposed to the measure from the start, mostly nationalist activists to begin with, but also and more significantly among those, many of them officials in the republics, who sought a compromise and now have been betrayed. Both groups will be more suspicious of anything Moscow says as a result; and that will make it harder for Putin’s regime to make the other changes that seem certain to follow. Non-Russians, both civilian activists and officials, are likely to view any such change from the outset as a direct threat to their future. That is the kind of loss of trust that contributed to the disintegration of the Soviet Union a generation ago. It is entirely possible however unlikely it may seem to many now that it will have the same impact on a Putin government not only too clever by half but transparently duplicitous as well.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin is a Business Masquerading as a State, Varna Says
Paul Goble Staunton, June 11 – Many Russian government actions that seem absurd if one assumes that the set of bodies the Kremlin calls are state become completely explicable, even logical, if it is recognized that one is dealing with a business that seeks to imitate a state, according to Anatoly Varna, a commentator for the Riga-based Harbin portal. Like its Soviet predecessor, the Russian “imitation state is acting like a commercial company: its main efforts it directs toward where it can achieve maximum profit and lowest costs,” oil and gas exports in the former and the population in the latter (harbin.lv/imitatsionnoe-gosudarstvo). “Who is the main enemy and prevents a company from getting high profits? Competitors. And who are the competitors of Russia as a corporation? Other countries. Consequently, they are enemies; therefore, Russia is surrounded by enemies, from the point of view of the directors of the company.” Domestically, the most powerful company puts pressure on smaller businesses and the population. “Putin is the president of a company and not of the state; and more than that, he isn’t a tsar having begun his career in one of the subdivisions of the security service of the company. There he attracted attention and support as a good crisis manager and over time became one of the owners.” “By the way,” Varna continues, “the siloviki are the security service of the company: their task is to guarantee the security of the company and its leadership. Thus, our police have somewhat different functions than those in other countries and they are coping with this brilliantly.” The “imitation state” or state as corporation also explains the slogans the owners occasionally put out. For a government to urge that the country “catch up and surpass” another country is absurd, “but if this very same rhetoric is used by the leadership of a weak company in comparison to a strong, this sounds completely normal.” If Russians or others try to understand what the owners are doing as if they were men of state, nothing will make sense, Varna concludes. But if they view it as the company it in fact is, then everything is simple and clear. The “owners” of what they and others call the Russian state are behaving exactly as the heads of a corporation.


G7 members plan rapid response unit to curb hostile state action | World news | The Guardian
Initiative aims to combat attacks such as the Sergei Skripal poisoning
UK to call for new Russia response unit at G7: Buzzfeed quoting Johnson | Reuters
British Prime Minister Theresa May will propose to world leaders that they should create an international rapid response unit to counter Russian cyber attacks and assassinations, her foreign minister Boris Johnson was quoted as saying.
British PM says G7 ready to impose new anti-Russian sanctions – G7 leaders ready to implement new anti-Russian sanctions – 112.international
G7 leaders ready to implement new anti-Russian sanctions
Joining Some Dots On The Skripal Case: Part 4 – The Dodgy Dossier | Zero Hedge
“As someone who has worked for more than a decade with the microfilm collection of Soviet documents in the Hoover Institution Archives, I can say that the dossier itself was compiled not by an ex-British intelligence officer but by a Russian trained in the KGB tradition “
German Officials Admit “Still No Evidence” From UK That Russia Poisoned Skripals | Zero Hedge
“The BND has interrogated its sources and tried to somehow verify [UK’s claim that Russia was responsible for poisoning the Skripals].. But that was not successful. “


Arkady Babchenko: Fake Ukrainian killer details plot – BBC News
The man allegedly hired to kill journalist Arkady Babchenko says he helped officials uncover the plot.
Instigator of Babchenko’s murder wanted to kill 60 people by autumn – 112.international
Oleksy Tsymbalyuk, who was hired by Borys Herman for the murder of journalist Arkadiy Babchenko claimed that the instigator wanted to make out with the whole hit list until the autumn as he reported to BBC. Tsymbalyuk claimed that in 2006 he joined the priesthood but later the monastery and in 2014 he went off to war. He began as the medic of the ‘Right Sector’ and then joint the intelligence group against smuggling. Then he got acquainted with SBU worker and appealed to him when he got such ‘work’. Tsymbalyuk said that he got acquainted with B. Herman in 2015 when he sold arms and equipment to the volunteers. ‘He invited me to for a lunch on April 4-5. it was a so-called first try of the recruitment. At this meeting, Herman said that there is some group of people, mostly Russians. They hinder Ukraine, the whole world; they are enemies and should be killed and some group of people allocated money for this’. Tsymbalyuk expressed the interest to know more. ‘On April 6 I got the specific proposal on Babchenko’.
Man Behind Hoax Russian Journalist Assassination Says It Was Ploy To ‘Slap Putin in the Face’
Oleksiy Tsymbaliuk said the plan was to get key intelligence.
Arkady Babchenko: Russian journalist’s pretend killer describes plot
A UKRAINIAN man alledgedly hired to assassinate a Russian journalist has revealed the exteme measures he took to help stage the journalist’s death instead of killing him.
Strana.ua appeals to international organizations, G7 due to opening of criminal case against it – 112.international
The internet-newspaper Strana appealed to the international organizations and G7 ambassadors to Ukraine due to the opening of the criminal case against it by the SBU when it published the list of 47 potential victims of the Russian special services. Here is the text of the appeal of the news agency. ‘It is an appeal of the editor’s office of the internet-newspaper Strana to the international human rights organizations and G7 ambassadors in Kyiv. The fight of the Ukrainian authority against the freedom of speech has new continuation in the criminal proceeding opened by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) due to the publication of 47 journalists and writers by Strana whom should be liquidated during the terrorist acts in Ukraine. At the same time, the SBU officially confirmed the authenticity of the list. According to the SBU, our news agency is guilty as it published the list without the agreement of the prosecutor and that this data was not provided for the publishing by the procedural investigator and body of the pretrial investigation. We are sure that such criminal proceeding is not only absurd but also illegal as it attempts to the main mass media function – to bring socially important information to the readers. Almost all mass media of Ukraine that republished the news of Strana are sure about the social importance of the 47 list. The publishing of this list is socially important also for the international community as it is the part of the SBU special operation on the staging of the murder of journalist Arkadiy Babchenko and the Ukrainian authority misled the foreign partners by it, including the international organization for the protection of the journalists. The ambiguous behavior of the Ukrainian law enforcement bodies in Babchenko’s case condemned by the international organizations and representatives of the number of states demands the maximal disclosure from the Ukrainian authorities in this case and the maximally full and clear coverage of it from the Ukrainian mass media.
What Arkady Babchenko’s staged murder means for journalism | Ukraine | Al Jazeera
A look at how the staged murder undermines Ukraine’s credibility and could possibly endanger journalists down the road.
🇷🇺 Playing dead: Arkady Babchenko and post-truth conflict | The Listening Post (Full) – YouTube
On The Listening Post this week: Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko faked his death to escape his killers but his stunt could cause problems for the media. Plus, nostalgia producers in Iranian diaspora media. Playing dead: Arkady Babchenko and post-truth conflict Last week, news spread of the murder of a Russian dissident journalist Arkahdy Babchenko, shot and killed outside his apartment in Kiev, Ukraine. Except as we all now know, it never happened. Babchenko said he faked his own death as part of an operation alongside Ukrainian security services to thwart a plot to kill him. He said it was about survival, but media freedom advocates have been critical saying the stunt undermined Ukraine’s credibility and could have serious consequences for other journalists down the road. Contributors: Ayder Muzhdabaev, deputy director general, ATR Television Network Nina Ognianova, Committee to Protect Journalists Alexei Kuznetsov, deputy news editor, RT Mark Galeotti, Institute of International Relations, Prague
What If Babchecnko Had Decided To Stay “Dead”? | Zero Hedge
“The point is that the people who are paid to fact check official narratives didn’t do it, and would never have done it. They were simply sold a line and bought it, uninterrogated, uninvestigated, unwrapped.”


Full Interview: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran nuclear deal – BBC News – YouTube
BBC News Published on Jun 11, 2018 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks to Evan Davis about why the Iran nuclear deal is “dead” and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Iran Warns Europe That Time Is Running Out On Saving Nuclear Deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the withdrawal of the United States from the Iranian nuclear deal, sayiIran has warned Europe that time is running out on saving an international dea…
Iran’s World Cup Carpet Diplomacy
A diplomatic opportunity looms as Iran plans to give silk carpets to opponents and soccer bodies at the World Cup in Russia.
Iran Is Delighted By Europe’s Support for Nuclear Deal, Rouhani Tells Macron
Macron responded to Rouhani by saying that he “hoped that Iran, for its part, will fulfill its obligations without any ambiguity.”
UAWire – Putin: US withdrawal from Iran nuclear agreement will destabilize the whole region
Washington’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will have a negative impact on the stability of the region, Russian …
🇮🇷 🇷🇺 Iran, Russia vow to uphold nuclear deal at China summit | Al Jazeera English – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 10, 2018 As US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un prepare to talk about nuclear disarmament in North Korea, countries meeting in China are trying to salvage the Iran deal on uranium enrichment. Trump withdrew from the agreement with world leaders last month. At the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, Iran, Russia and Kazakhstan have vowed to uphold the deal. Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi reports from Beijing.
Iran’s Options Against the U.S. and Israel
Tehran’s challenge: Hitting back at its rivals without incurring additional sanctions or military action, or alienating the Europeans interested in preserving the nuclear deal. Iran will retaliate against the United States and Israel as opportunities arise. To reduce the risk of incurring more sanctions and military action, or of alienating the European Union, Iran will defend itself by using cyberwarfare and other asymmetric means that can’t be easily traced back to it. Iran will deploy its cybercapabilities against government institutions of the United States, Israel and the Arab Gulf states, as well as against businesses based in these countries that are engaged in the oil and gas and finance sectors. In the long term, both sides will find themselves pulled into a cycle of escalation, which will push Iran to use riskier options to retaliate against the United States and Israel.
U.S. Charges Russians, Syrians With Violating U.S. Sanctions
The United States has charged five employees of Russia’s Sovfracht shipping company and three Syrians with supplying Syria with jet fuel in violation of U.S. sanctions.
Spurned by the US, Iran angrily watches as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un meet | South China Morning Post
At China summit, Hassan Rowhani criticises US ‘unilateralism’ in withdrawing from nuclear deal, while in Tehran there are fears of tougher times ahead
Effigies of Donald Trump are burnt in Iran during ‘Death to Israel’ demonstrations  | Daily Mail Online
This year’s Al-Quds Day event saw the usual burning of flags and chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’, as well as a huge Donald Trump figure being hanged from a crane.
Iranian soldiers return to southern Syria in disguise
Senior Syrian rebels claim Iran and Hezbollahs troops, who had reportedly withdrawn from southern Syria, are wearing Syrian army uniforms to avoid Israeli strikes against them; Hezbollahs leader vows if the whole world comes together to force us to leave Syria, they will not be able to evict us.
The lesson Trump learnt from Iran | Arab News
All eyes are on Singapore this week for the forthcoming meeting between the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. Nevertheless, Iran and its nuclear program have not been forgotten.   Despite enduring the hardship of extreme sanctions, North Korea managed to make a nuclear bomb and still get to the negotiating table. Iran reached the negotiating stage
Syrian army boosts air defenses near Golan frontier: pro-Assad commander | Reuters
The Syrian army has reinforced its anti-aircraft defenses near the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a commander in the regional alliance that backs President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday.
Assad is underestimating the obstacles to victory | Arab News
It is indisputable that the Syrian war has turned decidedly in President Bashar Assad’s favor. Nonetheless, his claim last week that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is “the only problem left” in terms of his repeated vow to retake the whole country is overly optimistic. There are three major regions that stand in the way of his goal, and the Kurdish-dominated, US-backed SDF
Assad blames Theresa May for chemical attack along with USA, UK and France for Civil War | World | News | Express.co.uk
THERESA May is a colonialist liar who along with the UK’s allies deliberately prolonged the Syrian Civil War and even helped stage the alleged chemical attack in Douma, according to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Syrian President Assad brands gas attacks ‘fake news’ | Daily Mail Online
The Syrian leader claims Britain even helped stage April’s notorious chemical attack in the suburb of Douma and that its actions are giving support to the Islamic State terror group.
Assad shows no flicker of remorse, says foreign affairs analyst MARK ALMOND | Daily Mail Online
Whether or not we believe his claims there never was a gas attack in Douma, no one doubts the litany of bloodshed imprisonment, and torture that have accompanied Assad’s rule, writes MARK ALMOND.
Syria’s Assad denies Russia makes decisions for him: interview | Reuters
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied that military ally Russia was making decisions for him, but said it was natural for there to be differences of opinion between allies, in an interview published on Sunday by state media.
Syria war: Assad denies claims about Russia dictating his army | News | Al Jazeera
Western powers are prolonging the civil war in hopes of toppling the Syrian government, according to Assad.
Assad: Russia and Israel aren’t coordinated – Israel National News
Syrian President denies reports that Israel coordinated air strikes in Syria with Russia.
Quitting Syria too soon would be a ‘blunder’: Mattis | The Times of Israel
US defense secretary warns against leaving a vacuum even though Trump has vowed to pull out the troops
Netanyahu: ‘Purpose of my Europe trip achieved’ – Israel National News
PM says European leaders agreed to goal he set forth ‘to form broad international agreement that Iran should leave Syria, all of Syria’.
Netanyahu: Removing Iranian forces from Syria is a process
Commenting on his meetings with Merkel, Macron and May last week, the prime minister says he focused on Iranian aggression in our region and primarily Iranian entrenchment in Syria and that the goal of reaching international understandings about the matter was achieved to a large extent.
Geagea says ‘no’ to normalizing relations with Syrian gov’t, slams Hezbollah
BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:45 P.M.) – The leader of the Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Geagea, stated during an interview with the Al-Modon News Agency on Saturday
Israel wont sit idly as Hamas, Hezbollah cooperate in southern Lebanon: Danon
BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:20 P.M.) – Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) stated on Saturday that his country will not sit idly while Hezbollah and
Avigdor Liberman hopes Iran will follow North Korea’s lead on denuclearization – Middle East – Jerusalem Post
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore Sunday morning.
The Fracturing of the Jewish People – WSJ
Israel has become a red state while U.S. Jews remain blue.
UN Chief Seeks Probe Into ‘Russian’ Syria Air Strikes
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an investigation into deadly air strikes in northern Syria last week that were allegedly conducted by Russian jets.
UN: Worse may still come in Syria, after airstrikes in Idlib | Fox News
The U.N. humanitarian agency’s top official for Syria is expressing concern about recent airstrikes in rebel-held Idlib province, warning that we may have not seen the worst of the crisis in Syria even after 7 years of war.
U.N. fears for 2.5 million in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib as fighting escalates | Reuters
An escalation in fighting and air strikes in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province leaves 2.5 million civilians with “no place else to go” within their shattered homeland, the United Nations said on Monday.
UAWire – Turkish Defense Ministry: NATO concerned about Russian S-400 radars
Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli has attended talks with US Defense Secretary James Mattis in Brussels, during which he discussed the …
U.N. Pushes to Avert ‘Catastrophic’ U.A.E. Attack on Yemen Port – WSJ
A United Nations envoy launches an urgent effort to head off an expected United Arab Emirates assault on Yemen’s most important port in the coming days, fearing an attack could create a humanitarian disaster.
Arab Coalition Attacks Yemeni City in Bid to Oust Rebels – The New York Times
United Nations officials and others said they feared an assault on the city of Hudaydah would worsen what is already the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
Yemen war: Saudi-led coalition starts assault on vital Hodeida port city
A Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s exiled government began an assault on Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, a crucial battle in the 3-year-old conflict.
Saudi-Led Alliance Gears Up for Battle in Key Yemeni Port City
It would be the first time since the foreign armies joined the war in 2015 on behalf of Yemen’s exiled government that they have attempted to capture such a well-defended major city
Tales of torture and horror: Inside Houthi prisons in Yemen | Human Rights | Al Jazeera
Ex-prisoners tell their stories of torture, arbitrary detention and mistreatment in Houthi-controlled prisons.
With U.S. Withdrawal From The Iran Deal, Expect India-Iran Oil Trade To Take A Hit
With new sanctions set to take effect in Iran November, what does President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal mean for India and Indian companies conducting business with Iran?
Iran Reports Deadly Clashes With ‘Terrorists’ Near Iraq Border
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) say there have been three clashes with militants along the border with Iraq in recent days, leaving several dead.
Iraq elections: Ballot box warehouse catches fire ahead of recount – CNN
A Baghdad warehouse being used to store ballot boxes for Iraq’s contested parliamentary election caught fire on Sunday, ahead of a nationwide recount effort.
🇮🇷 Producing nostalgia: Iran diaspora TV’s rebranding of Shah | The Listening Post – YouTube
Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 10, 2018 When TV producer Mostafa Azizi returned to visit Iran six years ago, he was surprised to find that almost everyone he knew was watching the then relatively new TV channel, Manoto.
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