Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran · Russia · Syria

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (127)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Muscovian mendacity does not appear to have any limits whatsoever – Pomerantsev was indeed right. Multiple reports along multiple recent Russia threads. Much debate over sanctions – notably Russia is buying up gold reserves – that speaks for itself. The SARMAT story is priceless.

The only Salisbury reports were produced directly or indirectly by Muscovy – whenever this theme goes quiet, the Russians do something to keep it alive.

Iran makes more threats while the US doubles down. Russia again dumps on Iran in Syria. More dischord in Iran. More pro-Iran pronouncements from Europe, mostly from players with money agendas. More posturing by the Erdogan camp.

Western media largely win the “hostile propaganda distribution award” for the coverage of the Iranian repainted F-5F Tiger II propaganda stunt – if there was ever proof that media laziness and illiteracy is the greatest aid hostile regimes have, this would be the case study.

‘Our build-up is defensive, Russia’s aggressive,’ says NATO after Putin’s remark – but is that fair? — RT World News

NATO claims its military buildup in Eastern Europe is justified as it deters Russia’s superior might. Yet, any Russian activity is overshadowed by the US-led bloc’s huge border drills, supposedly held to ‘counter’ Moscow’s moves.

Nato-Russia: Putin and Nato trade barbs over troops – BBC News

Nato says its actions are “defensive” after Putin accuses it of moving forces closer to Russia.

Vladimir Putin: Russia issues warning as NATO admits it’s ‘no match’ | Daily Star

VLADIMIR Putin issued a dire warning to the West as NATO admitted its forces in Europe “cannot compare” to Russia.

Russia is buying lots of gold to shield it from sanctions

The Russian central bank has beefed up its holdings of gold at a time when Moscow’s relationship with Washington remains tense.

Putin deplores U.S. sanctions, but lauds Trump meeting | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday condemned U.S. sanctions against Russia as counter-productive, but said a summit he had held last month with U.S. President Donald Trump had still been useful.

Putin Says Trump Summit ‘Useful,’ Deplores ‘Senseless’ U.S. Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that his summit with his U.S. counterpart last month was “useful,” adding that the sides were not hoping to remove all differences in the two-hour talks.

Putin Meets With Security Council Chief Ahead Of Talks With Bolton

The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has met with his Security Council to discuss Moscow’s relations with Washington — a day before a meeting in Geneva between Security Council Secretary Niko…

Russian Journalists Murdered in Africa May Have Been Set Up

These three journalists died investigating mercenaries tied directly to an oligarch and an intelligence agency indicted by the Mueller probe in the U.S.

The Kremlin’s mysterious mercenaries and the killing of Russian journalists in Africa – The Washington Post

Russia’s private soldiers are implicated in a scandal once again.

Russia Signs Military Cooperation Deal With Central African Republic

Russia signed a military cooperation agreement with the Central African Republic (CAR) on August 21, less than a month after three prominent Russian journalists were killed in the war-ridden countr…

Russia plans largest war games since end of Soviet Union – CNN

Russia will stage its largest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union next month, the country’s Defense Ministry said Monday.

Report: Russia to Retrieve a Nuclear-Powered Missile Lost at Sea – The Daily Beast

Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted that the missile would have “unlimited range.”

Russia looking for lost nuclear-powered missile

The operation will include three vessels, one of which is equipped to handle radioactive material from the weapon’s nuclear core.

Russia searches for nuclear missile LOST AT SEA after failed test | World | News |

RUSSIA  is preparing to launch a search for nuclear missile, Vladimir Putin once bragged was like nothing the world has ever seen, after it became was lost at sea following a bungled test, US intelligence has revealed.

Kremlin Dismisses U.S. Report About Missing Nuclear-Powered Missile

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed a report by a U.S. television network that Russia lost a nuclear-powered missile in the Barents Sea during 2017 and is launching an operation to get it…

Europe Is Warming Up to Putin – Bloomberg

With Donald Trump upending diplomatic ties around the world, the Russian leader is finding a friendlier reception from European leaders who’ve long shunned him.

Facebook finds disinformation campaigns run from Iran and Russia

Facebook has taken down pages, groups and accounts it identified as part of a coordinated disinformation campaign that originated in Iran and targeted countries around the world. It also found a number of new pages connected to Russia.

Facebook announces that fake accounts are now coming not just from Russia – ThinkProgress

Iran joins Russia in creating fake accounts, fake pages, and fake news sites.

Iran fake-news campaign included Twitter, Google – INSIDER

Twitter announced that it had suspended 284 accounts for “coordinated manipulation” a day after a tip-off from cybersecurity firm about an Iranian-backed influence campaign caused Facebook to shut down 652 pages.

Facebook Deletes Political Misinformation Sites Linked To Iran, Russia

Facebook says it has removed 652 accounts and web pages linked to Russia and Iran for spreading political misinformation ahead of the November U.S. congressional elections.

U.S. Cracks Down On Russian Nationals, Company, Threatens ‘More Economic Pain’

The U.S. Treasury has imposed sanctions on several Russian nationals and companies as Washington warned it was ready to tighten the economic screws further on Moscow if it did not change its ways.

Pressure is on Trump to take tougher actions against Russia: Expert

Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, has been accused of undermining democracies and violating international rules with activities including tampering with the election in the U.S. and poisoning a former Russian spy in the U.K.

U.S. Widens Russia Sanctions Amid Calls They Don’t Go Far Enough – WSJ

The Trump administration imposed new sanctions against Russia, escalating U.S. diplomatic pressure on Moscow as the White House tries to fend off a push by lawmakers to deploy even-more-potent tools to cripple the Russian economy.

Trump administration slaps new sanctions on Russian firms, individuals | TheHill

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced that it is sanctioning two Russian firms and individuals for attempting to evade U.S. sanctions penalizing Moscow for engaging in malicious cyber activity.

U.S. lawmakers seek to impose more sanctions on ‘menace’ Russia | Reuters

U.S. lawmakers pushed for more aggressive steps to counteract the Russian “menace” on Tuesday, despite Trump administration officials insisting current sanctions were having an effect and vowing to impose more economic pain if Moscow does not change its behavior.

Commentary: The right way to sanction Putin’s Russia | Reuters

The United States and its allies are increasingly frustrated over malign activities by Russia. Moscow wages war in Ukraine, abets brutality in Syria, interferes in elections, and poisons opponents. In response, Washington has imposed sanctions and closed Russian consulates in San Francisco and Seattle and vacation estates in Maryland and New York, all believed to be used by Vladimir Putin’s government for intelligence purposes. This week the U.S. unveiled new sanctions, and is expected to impose even more in the future.

New U.S. Sanctions Target Russia for Defying Rules on North Korea – The New York Times

The administration’s targets include ships that were transferring oil to North Korean vessels, which imported the oil despite international sanctions.

Russia keeps getting hit with sanctions. Do they make a difference? – The Washington Post

The Kremlin is building a sanctions-proof economy. That means short-term stability and long-term pain.

State Department trolls Putin by naming post after missile he bragged about

Earlier this year, Putin boasted about a new intercontinental missile named Sarmat. On Tuesday, an official announced a new position at the State Department: senior advisor for Russian malign activities and trends — or SARMAT.

Pompeo discusses Russian threat with UK Foreign Secretary –

Pompeo discusses Russian threat with UK Foreign Secretary

What does Jeremy Hunt want from the United States? – BBC News

As the UK prepares for Brexit, it seeks to shore up its relationship with the United States.

Jeremy Corbyn ally says Labour would try BLOCK more sanctions on Russia

LABOUR would try to block any more Russia sanctions, a key Jeremy Corbyn ally declared. Leftie Barry Gardiner reckoned further punishment would “ratchet up international tensions”.

To Russia With Love: Why Southern U.S. Extremists Are Mad About Vladimir Putin

The League of the South hates black people, Jews, and lots of other people. But there’s one country, and one man, it really, really likes.

Russians visit Salisbury where ex-spy were poisoned with novichok | Salisbury Journal

A RUSSIAN tourist who visited Salisbury last week says ‘it is important to meet local people and share opinions’ after visiting Salisbury during a…

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – West made a hundred Novichok type agents over years, says Russian Foreign Ministry

The Foreign Ministry pointed out it is rather hard to name the country where the type of agent identified in Salisbury had come from

Iran threatens to hit U.S., Israel after Trump aide warns of ‘maximum pressure’ | Reuters

Iran warned on Wednesday it would hit U.S. and Israeli targets if it were attacked by the United States after President Donald Trump’s security adviser said Washington would exert maximum pressure on Tehran going beyond economic sanctions.

Iran threatens to hit U.S., Israel after Trump aide warns of ‘maximum pressure’ | Reuters

Iran warned on Wednesday it would hit U.S. and Israeli targets if it were attacked by the United States after President Donald Trump’s security adviser said Washington would exert maximum pressure on Tehran going beyond economic sanctions.

John Bolton says Russian President Vladimir Putin told US he would be content to see Iranian forces leave Syria – The Washington Post

The national security adviser’s comments contradicted recent statements by Russian officials.

Trump adviser Bolton says Russia ‘stuck’ in Syria, Iran must leave | Reuters

Russia is “stuck” in Syria and looking for others to fund post-war reconstruction there, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said, describing this as an opportunity for Washington to press for Iranian forces to quit the country.

🇺🇸 🇮🇷 Bolton visits Israel, warns of more pressure on Iran | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Aug 22, 2018 The US national security adviser says a lot more pressure will be applied on Iran over its nuclear plans, and its presence in Syria.

Bolton Says U.S. Seeks ‘Behavior’ Change From Iran, Not Regime Change

White House national-security adviser John Bolton says the United States is not seeking to topple Iran’s government, but says Washington does want authorities in Tehran to change their behavior.

U.S. Vows to Grant Few Waivers on Iran Sanctions – WSJ

The Trump administration is looking to ratchet up pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear program, going beyond previous international sanctions, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said.

Western Powers Warn Syria Not To Use Chemical Weapons Again

The United States, France, and Britain are warning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to use chemical weapons as he launches a campaign to retake the last remaining rebel-held province in Syria.

John Bolton Warns Syria: U.S. “Will Respond Strongly” If Chemical Weapons Used In Idlib | NBC News – YouTube

NBC News Published on Aug 22, 2018 National Security Adviser John Bolton cautioned the Syrian government over its use of chemical weapons and reiterated the U.S. commitment to enforce sanctions on Iran.

Bolton: US to act ‘very strongly’ if Syria uses chemical arms | News | Al Jazeera

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton also says Washington seeks to change Iran’s behaviour, not its regime.

Sanctions on Iran having effect, but regime change is not U.S. policy: Bolton | Reuters

U.S. sanctions are having a strong effect on Iran’s economy and popular opinion, though regime change there is not part of Washington’s policy, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said on Wednesday.

US v IRAN latest: Donald Trump issues furious ULTIMATUM to EU | World | News |

EUROPEAN Union chiefs have been warned by Donald Trump’s team to make a choice between United States and Iran.

‘Death Threat’ From Iran’s Religious Heartland Intensifies Debate Over Rohani Government

After a group of clerics in the Iranian holy city of Qom hinted that Iran’s president could meet the fate of a late mentor, even conservatives are questioning how far the country’s hard-liners are …

Defending Iran deal, Germany looks to bypass US payment channels

Europe should look to bypass U.S. payment systems by creating its own financial channels, Germany’s foreign minister has said.

Iran Nuclear Deal: European Union Should Work Toward Replacement – Bloomberg

Instead of holding out false hope, EU leaders should start working on a new agreement.

European Union financial system call from Germany to challenge Donald Trump Iran sanctions | World | News |

GERMAN Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has dramatically called for Europe to create a new system for financial transactions, from which the US would be excluded, as the Trump administration threatens sanctions against European companies which carry on dealing with Iran.

‘Europe should not allow the US to act over our heads’: Germany is challenging the US’s financial monopoly as the Iran row deepens | Business Insider

The US monopoly over global payments infrastructure has been challenged by Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, who suggested that the EU should set up its own payment system that would give Brussels independence from Washington.

Iran unveils new fighter jet with Washington in mind | Fox News

Iran displayed a new twin-seat fighter jet Tuesday, saying it’s all Iranian-made and with advanced avionics and fire control systems. The country’s president said it would enhance Tehran’s deterrence capabilities in confronting Washington.

In Iran, ‘death to America’ doesn’t always mean what it seems – CNN

Far from the spotlight of the global standoff between the US and Iran, there is a Tehran that gets up early, stocks the food markets, attends dawn prayers and sweeps the roads before the morning traffic takes hold.

Trump’s Iran strategy is debunked — from the right – The Washington Post

Trump has exactly the wrong Iran strategy.

UAWire – Germany rejects Putin’s request to help restore Syria

The German Government believes that it is premature to raise the question of providing assistance for the reconstruction of Syria because a political truce must first be established there, said Steffen Seibert, spokesman for the Federal Government and head of the Federal Press Office on Monday, August 20. “The German federal government does not believe that the problem of Syria’s restoration should be addressed immediately’, dpa news agency quotes Seibert as saying. He added that the Syrian province of Idlib is at a risk of “humanitarian catastrophe.” Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on August 18. He urged Europe to help restore the destroyed Syrian infrastructure. He explained that it would encourage refugees to return but the proposal was heavily criticized by German politicians.

UAWire – Russian Foreign Minister: UN issued a secret directive prohibiting countries from taking part in restoration of Syria

The political department of the UN Secretariat issued a “secret directive” that prohibits all bodies of the organization from participating in  …

Turkey: ‘Trump administration is targeting a NATO ally’ | TheHill

A spokesperson for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed the White House’s recent tariffs and sanctions on Turkey.

Exclusive: Bolton remarks proof U.S. targeting Turkey in economic war – Erdogan spokesman | Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Wednesday remarks by the U.S. National Security Adviser regarding Turkey’s economic situation were proof that the U.S. administration is targeting a NATO ally as part of an economic war.

Bolton: Turkey can end lira crisis ‘instantly’ by freeing pastor | News | Al Jazeera

Trump’s security adviser says Ankara should ‘do the right thing’ and free a US pastor held in Turkey without condition.

Merkel Ally Says Erdogan to Face List of German Demands on Visit – Bloomberg

Germany is demanding policy changes by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he wants any help in stabilizing the economy, according to a party ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Turkey-U.S. Tiff Shows How Deep NATO’s Problems Run – Bloomberg

Europe can’t just blame Trump if everything falls apart.

Crimean Tatar Leader Says Turkey’s Erdogan Promised ‘To Talk To Putin’ Regarding Ukrainians Jailed In Russia

Ukrainian lawmaker Mustafa Dzhemilev, a veteran leader of the Crimean Tatars, says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised “to talk” to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the situation for Ukrainian nationals jailed in Russia.

Military experts say Iran’s new fighter jet is actually a US plane from the 1970s

Tehran unveiled the “homegrown” jet at a ceremony on Tuesday

Iran’s ‘New’ Fighter Jet Provokes Derision, As Observers Note Likeness To U.S. Jet From The ’60s

Tehran has a track record of dubious launches of fighter aircraft which are not all they seem, including a stealth aircraft unveiled in 2013 which proved to be a model

Iran just unveiled a new fighter jet to make sure its military is ‘ready to fight’ the US | Business Insider

Iran unveiled a new fighter jet Tuesday, claiming that the “state-of-the-art” aircraft strengthens the country’s ability to stand up to the US.

Iran unveils ‘first domestically manufactured’ fighter jet – CNN

Iran unveiled what it described as the country’s “first domestically manufactured” fighter jet Tuesday, state-run Press TV reported.

Iran Reveals Newest Fighter Jet in Defiance of U.S. Sanctions

The Kowsar, which has highly integrated architecture and a fire-control system that uses fourth-generation digital data networks, is Iran’s first domestically produced jet fighter.