Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (120)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Today’s commentary could be summarised as: Russia/Iran/Turkey threaten/bluster/bluff as economy/currency/stocks nosedive/crash/tank. In all instances the incumbent leadership is to blame, choosing to create mayhem in foreign policy to generate domestic support as defenders of the homeland against foreign conspiracies. It would be comical if not so tragic for all three nations.

Nice analysis by Portnikov – he is apt to be correct about Muscovy, their track record fits this pattern. SDI2.

Wiltshire police have £10m of costs incurred due to Russian CW attack. This is not counting other UK agency costs.

China appears to be meddling in Syria or Iran, something they are likely to regret given the duplicity of the parties they are intending to rescue.

Moscow to Hit Back at Washington Sanctions With ‘Mirror Measures’ – Sputnik International

BELGRADE (Sputnik) – Russia will respond to upcoming US sanctions tied to the Salisbury poisoning with similar measures of its own, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said during a trip to Serbia.

Russia ‘can’t beat US in trade war,’ but could hurt Washington elsewhere (or team up with China) — RT World News

After Prime Minister Medvedev accused the US of declaring a trade war with its latest sanctions against Russia, experts weigh up how much damage each country might inflict on the other and what Moscow can do to dodge the blows.

Russia strongly warns US against stepping up sanctions – The Boston Globe

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russi would retaliate with economic, political, and unspecified “other” means.

Pompeo discusses new sanctions in call with Russian counterpart | TheHill

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke by phone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday about new sanctions levied on Moscow for its poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain.

Lavrov Tells Pompeo About Russia’s ‘Categorical Rejection’ of New US Sanctions – Sputnik International

Earlier, the US State Department announced new sanctions on Moscow over the allegations of involvement in poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom in March.

Latest sanctions against Russia show Trump not in control of his administration — RT Op-ed

US President Donald Trump is not in control of his own administration, as evidenced by the latest round of sanctions imposed against Russia for the alleged involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals in the UK in March.

An Angry Kremlin Faces New Rounds of U.S. Sanctions – The New York Times

President Vladimir V. Putin has nimbly exploited differences between Washington and its allies, but he has yet to translate that into fewer sanctions against Russia.

Russia chastises U.S. after sanctions over chemical attack in Britain – The Washington Post

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blasted the new measures in a call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Putin, Russia Security Council Say Sanctions ‘Absolutely Illegal’

President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Security Council have described possible new U.S. sanctions against Moscow as “absolutely illegal,” Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pesko…

Russia not expected to stand up for tanking rouble amid sanctions | Reuters

A threat of more U.S. sanctions has sent the rouble tumbling to its weakest since mid-2016 but authorities are not expected to leap the currency’s defense after weathering a similar storm in April, analysts said.

Washington Rules | Comment | The Times

The poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal remains a mystery. Russia’s motivation can only be guessed at but the most plausible explanation is that, with or without President Putin’s explicit approval, Russian military intelligence sought to punish a traitor and test the limits of western patience w

U.S. strongly condemns Russia’s poisoning of former spy: White House | Reuters

The White House said on Friday the United States strongly condemned Russia’s use of chemical weapons against a former Russian agent in Britain, two days after the U.S. State Department announced sanctions over the move.

Russia’s Medvedev rages against US sanctions | Financial Times

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday issued a fierce warning against a further escalation of western sanctions, in a reflection of growing concern over moves by the US to step up economic pressure on Moscow.

Medvedev: U.S. sanctions against Russian banks would be ‘declaration of economic war’ – POLITICO

Medvedev’s comments do mark an escalation in rhetoric from the Kremlin, as Russia contends with the economic impact it has already felt since the new sanctions were announced on Wednesday.

Russia: New US sanctions a ‘declaration of economic war’ | TheHill

Russian is harshly warning the U.S. against further increasing sanctions, saying the new penalties announced this week “amount to a declaration of economic war.”

Further US sanctions would be ‘declaration of economic war’: Medvedev

Russia warned Friday that if the US followed through with threats to impose further harsh economic sanctions it would be seen as a “declaration of economic war”. The warning by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev came after Washington unveiled a raft of new sanctions against Russia over its alleged

Russia slams U.S. sanctions, warns of stiff response to ‘economic war’

Russia’s prime minister warned the U.S. against imposing new sanctions and said the Kremlin would view any ban on banking as a “declaration of economic war.”

Russia PM Dmitry Medvedev says new US sanctions would be “declaration of economic war” – CBS News

&quot;We must absolutely respond to this war. By economic means, by political means and if necessary by other means,&quot; Dmitry Medvedev says

Russian premier Medvedev warns U.S. against crossing red line on sanctions – MarketWatch

Moscow issued a stern warning to the U.S. on Friday against ramping up sanctions against Russia, saying the Kremlin will retaliate with economic, political and unspecified “other” measures.

Russia Tells U.S. It Will Retaliate Against Sanctions Economically, Politically or Using ‘Other’ Methods

The U.S. has already announced incoming sanctions against sensitive electronic imports and senators want fresh restrictions on Russian finance and investments.

Theresa May urged to follow US sanctions on Russia over Salisbury by blocking ‘corrupt’ Kremlin money into UK

Tory rising star Tom Tugendhat said there was a ‘big question’ hanging over the UK given Washington’s intervention, after concluding it was Moscow behind the nerve agent attack on the Skripals

Medvedev: More U.S. Sanctions are Economic War

Russia would consider any U.S. move to curb the operations of Russian banks or their foreign currency dealings a declaration of economic war, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday. The United States announced a new round of sanctions on Wednesday targeting Russia that pushed the rouble to two-year lows and sparked a wider sell-off over fears Russia was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions. Separate legislation introduced last week in draft form by Republican and Democratic senators proposes curbs on the operations of several state-owned Russian banks in the United States and restrictions on their use of the dollar. Medvedev said Moscow would take economic, political or other retaliatory measures against the United States if Washington targeted Russian banks. “I would not like to comment on talks about future sanctions, but I can say one thing: If some ban on banks’ operations or on their use of one or another currency follows, it would be possible to clearly call it a declaration of economic war,” said Medvedev.

‘No surprise if Moscow recalls ambassador’: Russia will lash out against new sanctions, say experts — RT World News

Washington’s latest sanctions have left no room for a constructive response from Moscow, analysts explain, but opinions differ widely on how much the measures will affect relations between the two countries.

Britain hails US sanctions on Russia over spy attack | World | News |

RUSSIA condemned the US yesterday for imposing “illegal” new sanctions over the Salisbury novichok nerve agent attack as Britain applauded the move.

Russia to US: Sanctions over our assassinations and our election disruption would be an act of economic war, or something

Message received, then.

Rouble, caught in ‘perfect storm’, sinks to lowest since mid-2016 | Reuters

The Russian rouble sank to its lowest level since early June 2016 on Friday, battered by concerns over the impact of new U.S. sanctions, falling oil prices and a broadly stronger dollar.

Russia to limit foreign currency buying as rouble falls to two-year low | Financial Times

Russia’s central bank said on Friday it would temporarily restrict its foreign currency purchases to ease pressure on the rouble after worries over fresh US sanctions sent it to a two-year low.

UAWire – New US sanctions may threaten Russia’s nuclear industry

The new USA sanctions bill imposes restrictions on the importation of low-enriched uranium from Russia until 2031 which might affect the Russian …

Putin’s Response to Star Wars 2.0 will Be Different than Gorbachev’s But Just as Destructive of Russia, Portnikov Says – To Inform is to Influence

Saturday, August 11, 2018 Paul Goble Staunton, August 10 – After US President Ronald Reagan announced his strategic defense initiative, commonly referred to as Star Wars, Soviet leaders first sought to counter it, but then Mikhail Gorbachev realized Moscow couldn’t afford to and began the concessions foreign and domestic that led to the end of…

Vitaly Portnikov: Star Wars Begins

The Pentagon agrees that space in the future can become an arena of military confrontation. Putin and his entourage must swallow the bait. US Vice President Mike Pence announced the need for the creation of the United States Space Forces. Judging by the latest statements by US congressmen, military and representatives of the administration, almost everyone agrees with the need to create a new kind of troop. And most importantly – the appearance of the Space Forces corresponds to the representation of President Donald Trump about the power of America. The US president wants not just a new kind of troop. He seeks to give him special importance, to create a ministry and a post of member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the highest military command of the United States. The White House and the Pentagon agree that space can in the future become the arena of military confrontation. Some experts can say that so far, Trump’s plans look like science fiction. However, who is exactly interested in this fantasy – so it’s Putin. The idea that he controls a space power is one of the main for the Russian president. And one of the main ideas that justifies the existence of the Russian imperial myth in the absence of the Russian Empire. May 9 and April 12 – these are the two dates by which in Moscow justify any aggression, any crimes of modern Russia. And what is it to lose to Americans in space? Never! Three decades ago, President Ronald Reagan caught the Kremlin gerontocrats in the bait of the “Star Wars”. The Soviet economy was barely breathing, but the Kremlin decided to abandon all efforts to ensure military parity with the United States. The results were remarkable – the Soviet Union died and stopped threatening the civilized world. The Russian Federation does not even have half the capacity of the USSR. However, there is a readiness for this very civilized world to shit using petrodollars and new technologies. Therefore, the collapse of Putin’s Russia will also be a remarkable event for all decent people. And to ensure this collapse, Putin and his entourage must swallow the bait of the American space army. If someone thinks that the Russian leadership is capable of taking into account Reagan’s lesson, he is mistaken. For those like Putin, the collapse of the USSR is due to the fact that the Kremlin of the times of Gorbachev was not sufficiently vigorously opposed to America. Here died General Secretary Andropov and Defense Minister Ustinov – and came to power spies and collaborators. So the only way out is to spend as much money on the army as possible, create our own space forces, and prove to the Americans that this time Russia will not bend before the enemy. Andropov, Ustinov, Putin – together and to the end! Let’s wish Putin a lot of luck and huge expenditure on creating a “response” to the American space forces. We are even more interested in this than Putin himself.

U.S. Missile Defense Agency unveils details about hypersonic defense activities – Defence Blog

Wiltshire Police’s Novichok poisonings bill ‘more than £10m’ – BBC News

Extra officers from 40 forces helped Wiltshire Police respond to two “unparalleled incidents”.

Novichok nerve agent poisonings investigation cost police more than £10m

Investigations into the two nerve agent incidents, one of which caused the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44, led to cops in Wiltshire spending over £7million on extra officers

Iran tests ballistic missile for first time this year: report | TheHill

Iran’s military conducted its first ballistic missile test of 2018 late last week, a move seen as a show of defiance toward the Trump administration, according to U.S. officials.

Iran test-fires ballistic missile for first time in 2018, officials say | Fox News

For the first time in more than a year, Iran test-fired a ballistic missile in a brazen display of defiance months after President Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark nuclear deal and days before his administration slapped new sanctions on the Islamic Republic, three U.S. officials with knowledge of the launch tell Fox News.

Iran Supreme Leader calls for action to face ‘economic war’: state TV | Reuters

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called for “swift and just” legal action from new courts after the head of the judiciary said the country faced an “economic war”, state television reported.

Iran Supreme Leader Calls for Action to Face ‘Economic War’

He agrees with judiciary chief’s call to set up special courts to deal quickly with financial crimes

Iran’s Economic Worries Mount as Iraq Applies New US Sanctions

Some analysts think it may be difficult, though, to apply US sanctions in an effective way

Iran threatens Trump with WORLD WAR 3 as it vows solidarity with Turkey over lira | World | News |

IRAN has threatened the US with WORLD WAR 3 in a vow of unity with Turkey after President Donald Trump imposed further sanctions on the nation that crippled the lira.

Iran and U.S. Won’t Meet at UN Summit in New York, Zarif Says – Bloomberg

Iranian and U.S. officials won’t meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, as the Islamic Republic braces for the onset of White House sanctions on its oil exports.

America’s F-14 Tomcat Was Retired Years Ago. But She Still Flies for Iran. | The National Interest

Five decades in, Iran’s F-14s are only getting better and better. And more and more important to the Persian state’s defense.

U.S.-Iran Sanctions Give China Lead in World’s Biggest Gas Field | Fortune

China National Petroleum Corp. is expected to take the lead on a $5B project to develop Iran’s share of the world’s biggest gas deposit

U.S.-Iran Sanctions Give China Lead in World’s Top Gas Field – Bloomberg

China National Petroleum Corp. is expected to take the lead on a $5 billion project to develop Iran’s share of the world’s biggest gas deposit, taking over from France’s Total SA, which halted operations after U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

China: We Might Help Assad with the War in Syria

Direct military assistance from China would mark a dramatic shift in Middle East geopolitics.

Syrian civil war enters dangerous phase as Assad contends with American and Turkish troops – The Washington Post

With Assad now firmly in control of most of the country, he will now have to contend with the presence of Turkish and American troops

Turkey’s Erdoğan cannot win war on reality – Washington Post | Ahval

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may believe that he is fighting off an economic attack by sinister international enemies, but he will lose a war against reality, economy columnist Matt O’Brien wrote for the Washington Post. “Maybe the best way to tell a government’s policies are failing is when it blames the rest of the world for waging an “economic war” against it,” O’Brien said. “That, after all, is what Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro has been telling his people for years, and it’s what Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has now started to say. The real culprit, of course, is that both governments have forced their central banks to follow counterproductive, if not outright ruinous, policies. But no matter: The truth can have a hard time competing with foreign scapegoats,” he said. While Turkey is not yet undergoing a full-on crisis like Venezuela, O’Brien said, it would do unless Erdoğan chooses to treat the problem as an economic one rather than as a hostile attack. Turkey needs higher interest rates, something that Erdoğan is ideologically opposed to, he said, despite all economic indicators suggesting they would be a good thing. Else, if things continue as they are, Turkey’s banks and businesses will be soon left in real trouble.

Turkey’s crisis could widen, and its options are running out | World news | The Guardian

Erdoğan or the central bank have days to prevent a tsunami of selling and a collapse of the lira

Turkey’s Erdogan Slams U.S. Over Tariff Move – WSJ

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the U.S., blaming the Trump administration for stoking confrontational relations that have sent the Turkish lira into a tailspin.

In Break From Precedent, Trump’s Moves Aggravate Turkey’s Currency Crisis, Rather Than Calm It – WSJ

President Trump’s decision to double steel tariffs on Turkey as its government battled a currency collapse marked a departure for the U.S. from how it traditionally handles financial turmoil.

Trump escalates feud with Turkey, imposing higher metals tariffs | Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump intensified his spat with Turkey on Friday by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports, putting unprecedented economic pressure on a NATO ally and deepening turmoil in Turkish financial markets.

Trump hits Turkey with tariffs after talks to free U.S. minister deadlock

Following an impasse in high-level negotiations to free an America preacher detained in Turkey, President Trump on Friday said he had ordered heavy tariffs on Ankara’s export of steel and aluminum to the United States, a punitive move that deepened a growing political and economic rift with the N…

Trump puts Turkey alliance on the line with standoff over pastor – Bloomberg

Trump puts Turkey alliance on the line with standoff over pastor.

Markets scorn Turkey’s ‘new economic model’ to stop lira slide | Financial Times

Investors dismiss finance minister’s plan and call for more radical steps

Erdogan Warns Trump That Alliance Is at Risk as Tensions Climb – Bloomberg

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the U.S. that its decades-long alliance with the country is at risk after rising political tensions between the two nations erupted and helped stoke a financial crisis that shook global markets.

Erdogan calls on Turks to buy lira ‘in response to economic war’ – YouTube

Guardian News Published on Aug 10, 2018 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tried to restore confidence in the Turkish lira after it plunged by more than 20% against the dollar on Friday. The sudden drop came when Donald Trump announced on Twitter he was doubling US import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. The Turkish president called on Turks to exchange dollars, euros and gold for Turkish lira. He said this would be Turkey’s response ‘to those who wage economic war against us’. The lira has been under sustained pressure on foreign exchanges, dropping by almost 50% against the dollar in the past 12 months. Turkey’s economic crisis deepens as Trump doubles tariffs

Turkish lira loss deepens as Erdogan calls for citizens to convert out of dollars, gold

The Turkish lira added to its steep losses on Friday, hitting a fresh record low, after President Donald Trump authorized the doubling of metals tariffs on Turkey.

Turkish lira plunges 17% to record low against dollar

The Turkish lira plummeted as much as 17% against the dollar on Friday, deepening worries about the country’s economic stability.

Coercive Economic Diplomacy – WSJ

Trump unleashes the world’s currency traders on Turkey’s lira.

Opinion | Turkey’s Downward Spiral – The New York Times

As Presidents Trump and Erdogan feud, the alliance between the United States and Turkey grows ever more frayed.

As US-Turkey relations enter crisis mode, here’s what Trump should do

U.S.-Turkey relations are now so poor that the longstanding alliance is in danger.

Syrian rebels build an army with Turkish help, face challenges | Reuters

A “National Army” being set up by Syrian rebels with Turkey’s help could become a long-term obstacle to President Bashar al-Assad’s recovery of the northwest – if they can end factional rivalries that have long blighted the opposition.

Energy executives lament Trump tariffs as costs rise on pipeline projects | Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal to double tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey could push up costs even further for domestic oil and gas pipeline projects, as energy executives said they were already struggling from earlier tariff rises.

Dow Falls Sharply, Stocks Close Lower on Turkey Crisis Jitters – TheStreet

Stocks on Wall Street tumble amid the ongoing collapse of the Turkish lira….^IXIC