Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (156)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

I certainly did not expect the sort of write-up I received from our anonymous expert, as a result of a newspaper article about me. I will include an excerpt from my Facebook introduction to the article cited below. 

“Pigsty Pinup Queen”

I made it into the Reading Eagle again. I believe this is the fifth time in 40 years. Thank you to my friend and yes, indeed, buddy, Dan Kelly. No, he did not write the original article about me when I was in Special Forces in the 1970s (and 1980s).

Insider notes: I have not heard back from the ACLU. I have heard back from the FBI. The case was “denied” in a Moscow civil court on September 18th, no reason given. 

My opponent has lawyered up, so I guess she will try again. It is not about the money, it is about a Russian trying to overturn my First Amendment rights and about getting a Russian civil court to have the ability to affect a private American. Another attorney said it’s never going to happen, but what the heck, she’s probably going to keep trying. The most adorable trolls are making comments in my blog again, her friends and family are back in action.

“Poking the Bear”, indeed, as Dan says in his article. The offending blogs stay up. Every word is documented. All except for the “Pigsty Pinup Queen”, a phrase specifically pointed out in the suit, that must have hit her sweet spot.  I can’t get over the mental sight picture of that one. I might have to develop that into an entire article to be printed elsewhere.

Anybody want to help publish an article about a Russian troll? I promise to behave.

</end editorial>



The Russian intent to deploy S-300P / SA-20B GARGOYLE to Syria is the dominant thread, other than Iran’s incessant threats against all and sundry. Both Israel and the US tell Muscovy that this is is a bad idea. The sad reality is that this sound advice is unlikely to be heeded. With the current mindset in Muscovy, oblivious to reason, Russia has become a menace to itself and everybody else. Norway espionage case continues. Interesting reports by Ivanov and Shelin on divisions in Muscovy over policy blunders.

Joel Harding, author of the  “To Inform is to Influence” counter-propaganda blog, recently dubbed the “Poking the Bear” blog, and frequently cited in this series, is being sued by a Russian lawyer over his criticisms of the Putin regime – evidently Harding cut a little too close to the bone for Muscovian comfort.

Today’s UK reports mostly deal with Russian money laundering.

POTUS currently giving an address in the UN, and has sharply criticised Tehran. PM May and SECSTATE Pompeo both state that Syria and Russia should be held accountable for CW use, and SECSTATE says Russian accountability should include the Assad regime. SECDEF Mattis warns Iran over their recent threats. US to retain forces in Syria until Iran and its proxies depart. Europeans attempt to bypass US sanctions – as with Nordstream 2, greed seems to be a dominant driver of a lot of policy in Europe regardless of its national security impacts. Turkey update.


Russia’s S-300 delivery shows Israel who’s in charge, but not aimed at hurting relations – analysts — RT World News

Russia’s decision to boost Syrian air defenses in response to the downing of an Il-20 plane amid an Israeli raid is meant to sting, but not pose a serious threat to Israel’s national security, experts told RT.

Putin to Netanyahu: We don’t believe IDF’s story – Israel National News

Russian president tells Netanyahu his government does not accept Israeli claims regarding downing of Russian military aircraft over Syria.

Plane downing result of ‘premeditated’ actions by Israeli pilots: Russia

The Kremlin on Monday accused Israeli pilots of “premeditated actions” over the downing of a Russian plane in Syria last week, warning it will harm relations between the two countries. “According to information of our military experts, the reason (behind the downing) were premeditated

Israel accused after Russian spy plane lost over Syria | World | The Times

Russia’s defence ministry has formally blamed Israel for violating an agreement aimed at preventing clashes between the two nations over the skies of Syria that led to the downing of a Russian reconnaissance aircraft.The Il-20 aircraft was carrying 15 Russian servicemen when it was shot down last we

Is Russia taking control of Syria’s air defences? – BBC News

The sale of the S-300 system to Syria suggests Russia will no longer turn a blind eye to Israeli raids.

Russia to Supply Syria With Air-Defense System, Raising Tensions With Israel – WSJ

The Russian government announced plans to send a powerful air-defense system to Syria, escalating tensions with Israel following the downing of a Russian war plane last week that the Kremlin has blamed on Israeli forces.

Russia Says Will Send Newer S-300 Missile Systems to Syria

Russia’s defense minister says Moscow will send more modern S-300 missile defense systems to Syria following the downing of a Russian plane.

Kremlin: decision to supply Syria with S-300 not directed at any third country | Reuters

Russia’s decision to supply Syria with an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is aimed at increasing safety of Russian military, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.US

In a blow to Israel, Russia says it will send Syria powerful antiaircraft missiles – The Washington Post

The S-300 systems could make it harder for Israel to strike Iranian targets in Syria.

Russia to supply Syria with S-300 missile defense system after blaming Israel for deadly shoot-down of Russian jet – CBS News

Moscow says long-frozen sale of modern missile defense system to Assad regime will go ahead as regional tension mounts

Russia to send S-300 missile defence systems to Syria | Russia News | Al Jazeera

Moscow bolsters Syria’s air defence a week after it blamed Israel for the accidental shooting down of its aircraft.

U.S. Says Russia Supplying S-300 Missiles To Syria Is ‘Major Mistake’

Russia will supply Syria with an S-300 ground-to-air missile system, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says, suggesting it would improve the country’s defenses and help avert a repeat of the downing o…

🇷🇺 🇸🇾 Russia to send S-300 missile defence systems to Syria | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Sep 24, 2018 The US has warned Russia it is causing a “significant escalation” by deploying new, advanced missiles to Syria. The Kremlin is sending an S-300 missile defence system to its ally, a week after one of its planes was shot down by inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft fire. US National Security Adviser John Bolton has encouraged Moscow to reconsider the sale, calling it a “major mistake”.

S-300 missile system: Russia to upgrade Syrian air defences – BBC News

Israel warns that the delivery of the S-300 system to Syria will “magnify dangers” in the region.

Why Russia’s S-300 delivery to Syria won’t change much for Israel

Israel will attempt to ignore Russia’s delivery of an S-300 air defense system to Syria. But if that system competently targets Israeli jets, the Israelis will destroy it.

Russia upgrades Syria’s defense system in blow to Israel – CNN

Russia will modernize Syria’s air defense system after Israel downed a Russian aircraft last week.

Russia Promises Advanced Missiles to Syria After Rift With Israel – The New York Times

Blaming Israel for the loss of a Russian plane in Syria, Russia will modernize Syria’s missile arsenal. The move could complicate the air war in Syria.

Benjamin Netanyahu warns Vladimir Putin against upgrading Syria’s anti-aircraft defenses

Russia should not give “irresponsible actors” in Syria an upgraded anti-aircraft defense system, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Israel Warns Russia Over ‘Dangers’ Of Supplying Syria With Advanced Air Defenses

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against delivering an advanced air-defense system to Syria, saying it will further destabilize the war-torn region.

What next for Russian-Israeli relations? | Russia | Al Jazeera

Russia’s decision to install the S-300 in Syria increases the risk of unintended confrontation with Israel.

Russia Providing More Evidence It Supports And Finances Terrorism – To Inform is to Influence

Russian military trucks were caught by the OSCE sneaking into Ukraine, avoiding border crossings and accountability.  If Russia has nothing to hide, why is it sneaking into Donbas?  This is “hard” OSCE evidence. Of note, this article cites an ongoing legal struggle by Ukraine to label Russia as supporting and financing terrorism. This fact almost…

Norway’s parliament searched for wiretap due to suspicion of Russian in espionage – 112.international

The building of the “Storting”, the parliament of Norway was searched after the detention of a citizen of Russia, who turned out to be a worker of Russia’s parliament, in the suspicion of the espionage as DW reported. “”The workers of the security bodies of Norway searched the building of the country’s parliament for the presence of the listening devices right after Mikhail Bochkarev, the worker of the apparatus of the Russian Federation Council was detained in the airport of Oslo in the suspicion in the espionage, who also participated in the parliamentarian international seminar on September 20, 21,” the message said.

Russia Summons Norway’s Ambassador After Arrest Of Man On Espionage Charges

The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned Norway’s ambassador to protest the arrest of a Russian citizen outside Oslo on suspicion of spying.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Support for Pension Age Boost Means System Can’t Function as It Did, Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, September 23 – Vladimir Putin’s backing of government plans to raise the pension age has not been accepted by the population, Sergey Shelin says; and consequently, while the system remains strong, “in the new atmosphere, it cannot work in the old way, although it is trying to,” leading to “surprises every day.” The Rosbalt commentator says that until relatively recently, all the components of Russian society and politics had their specific niche, one assigned by the Kremlin, and fit into what might be called Putin’s “utopia.” Everyone knew what he could and could not do from loyalists to the extra-systemic opposition (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2018/09/17/1732512.html). That “utopia” worked, Shelin continues, but only “in the special climate” which existed in Russia, one in which those below “saw in the leader their benefactor” or at least “the lesser evil” as compared to any who might challenge him. But “suddenly the climate has changed,” and the old rules have along with it. This is “not simply about ratings,” he says. They have fallen back to pre-crisis levels “but all the same are still high.” Two other things are more important. On the one hand, the masses have begun to sense that the leader and his regime “have turned their back on the people” and are pursuing only their own interests. And on the other, the pension reform which Putin has now come out in support has called attention to the growing gap between rich and poor in Russia, with the rich apparently having won out in demanding that the poor pay more for the continued well-being of the rich, something that many Russians find deeply offensive. Chairman Mao famously said that the top of society “wants to receive everything without giving anything in return. And this is a violation of heavenly harmony, something heaven always punishes people for.” “This thought,” Shelin suggest, “is completely applicable to [Russian] affairs, albeit with modifications reflecting the specific features of Russia.” What is happening, he continues, are some strange things that wouldn’t have occurred only a few months ago: the head of the Russian Guard challenging the previously unmentionable Navalny to a duel, sloppy and embarrassing propaganda about the Skripal case, and the scandalous handling of fraud and regime losses in the September 9 elections in the Far East. But while those developments have received the most attention, Shelin argues, what happened in St. Petersburg with anti-pension meetings on September 9 and September 16 is even more indicative of the new reality, with the regime clumsily and repressively moving against more groups than before. “If the authorities earlier had been severe to the Navalny people, now, the level of repression has sharply increased” not only against them but against all its critics even if they are prepared to play by the rules, a reflection of a violation of the rules of the utopia that had existed and one that by its nature destabilizes the situation. “Apparently,” the Rosbalt commentator suggests, “the fear of losing control over events has overwhelmed” officials even in this case. The authorities are denigrating even peaceful opposition figures and refusing them even the small possibilities they had extended to such groups in the past. Like all utopias whose creators plan for them to last for centuries, the Putin one “has turned out to be short-lived.” The regime has been shaken but not yet weakened, and so the coming months promise to feature many new developments as the regime struggles to come up with “a different cocktail of repressions and concessions.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian ‘Siloviki’ Leaders Worried by Putin’s Course Seeking a New Direction, ‘Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya’ Says

Paul Goble Staunton, September 24 – Rumors are circulating in Moscow that the most senior leaders of Russia’s force structures are worried about Vladimir Putin’s current course regarding pension reforms, see the election results as confirmation of their worries that the regime faces increasing opposition from the population, and are now demanding that the Kremlin change course. These rumors were given real shape by blogger Aleksey Ivanov in an article last week in the nationalist newspaper Zavtra, the editors of the nationalist Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya portal say. (For Ivanov’s article, see zavtra.ru/events/siloviki_i_pensionnaya_reforma; for RNL’s commentary, see ruskline.ru/news_rl/2018/09/24/siloviki_nedovolny_putinym/.) According to the Russian blogger, rumors about siloviki concerns regarding the pension reform have been circulating all summer; but they have taken on new form and urgency because of the losses that the government’s United Russia Party suffered – and fears among the siloviki that still worse political changes are ahead. Sources say, Ivanov wrote, that “on the basis” of the election results, Nikolay Patrushev and former defense minister Sergey Ivanov are saying that the pension reform plan must be cancelled lest it become “a long-term source of political instability” and even a direct threat to the regime. According to the Zavtra article, Parushev, Ivanov, Belousov, and Glazyev share that view. Volodin, Sobyanin and Chemezov are close to it. Supporters of continuing the planned increase in the pension age include Kudrin, Siluanov, Golikova, Nabiullina, Sechin, Miller, Rotenbeerg, Timbechenko, Kobalchuk, Shuvalov, Gref, Turchak, and Oreshkin. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev occupies “a special position.” He favors going ahead but wants to make sure that he is not made the fall guy for the program, Ivanov wrote. “Our ‘Red patriots,’” Russkaya narodnaya liniya argues, “base their constructions on the idea that the pension reform is not a domestic Russian problem but part of a global strategy for the final transformation of the Russian Federation into a raw materials supplier” for the rest of the world. By destroying popular support for the government and for “Putin personally,” the pension reform plan could easily lead to “the final loss of sovereignty by the Russian Federation.” In that event, the siloviki know, “they would be the first to be physically destroyed because the final transformation of the Russian Federation into a raw materials colony would be accompanied by the replacement of the existing administrative system.” The day after the Zavtra article appeared, a Russian blogger argued that the siloviki leaders see themselves as an integral part of the current system and do not want to see any fundamental change in the system. Policies may have to be sacrificed, however, in order to save the situation (gala-gala15.livejournal.com/845116.html). Specifically, he said, “for the siloviki, a change in the status quo as a result of a growth in conflict between the authorities and the people, something capable of leading to a revolt leading to the reformation of the entire system and even its defeat” is a personal threat because unlike the liberals, the siloviki couldn’t decamp to the West. According to Russkaya narodnaya liniya, the leaders of the force structures are demanding not only a change in policy but the removal of the representative of “the liberal market block from power” lest the latter use popular anger as a means of advancing themselves into power. The siloviki argue, the portal says, that they can in fact purge these people, something the liberals can’t do in return. “Apparently, the portal continues, “the powers that be are beginning to understand” this situation” especially in the wake of the electoral defeats of the previously ruling United Russia Party. And at least one possibility that points to is the formation of a new “right-conservative party” which would replace United Russia and do battle with the liberals in order to defend the state and ensure a continuing role for the current siloviki. In the hothouse atmosphere that is Moscow, such rumors are inevitable; and by their very nature, they are seldom confirmed and often contradicted. But there is a logic to what Zavtra and Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya say, a logic that may in fact be working its way in the minds of the Kremlin elite. To the extent that is possible, it suggests that the split in the Russian power elite the West had hoped to provoke with its sanctions is in fact the result of a self-inflicted wound by the Putin Administration. And to the extent that is so, those within the regime who are challenging the Kremlin leader on pension reform are in a stronger and much more threatening position.

Dan Kelly: Russians hit back at blogger

My buddy Joel Harding writes a blog called “To Inform is to Influence.” Harding, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area, is a Jacksonwald native and former Reading Eagle newspaper carrier. He’s also an Eagle Scout who spent the 1970s in the Special Forces, the 1980s in Army intelligence, and the 1990s in government intelligence posts with the CIA, NSA and others. He now works as an information operations consultant. Information operations is our version of Russian propaganda (except based on truth). I last wrote about Harding in January 2017 when I speculated President Donald Trump was a dupe for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prior to that, Harding reported in December 2015 that his blog had been blocked by the Roskomnadzor, a Russian regulatory agency similar to our FCC. He said that meant his message was hitting the target. Last week he copied me on a letter he wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union asking for its help. Harding said a well-connected Russian lawyer, whose name I won’t use here because I don’t want her coming after me too, hates his blog because it is widely read in resistance circles in Ukraine and Russia. “Most of my blogs deal with Russian propaganda,” Harding wrote. On Sept. 15, Harding received a package containing what appeared to be court papers but all in Russian, ordering him to appear in a Russian court Sept. 5. The letter appeared to have been posted Aug. 20. The Russians are hitting back at Harding. They keep getting him kicked out of social media sites. The alleged Russian trolls are trolling Harding. It had been their only way to fight Harding’s truth machine. But now, he said, they are trying to convince a Russian court to enter a judgment against him if he doesn’t stop hitting them over the head with the facts about Russian transgressions in Ukraine. “A friend’s wife is Ukrainian and is fluent in Russian,” he said. “She did a quick translation for me. It says (Russians) are trying to set a new precedent to force me to change my blog, and she wants to be awarded $1,348.22 (90,000 rubles).” It’s not the money. If the Russians are successful, they could impact Harding’s First Amendment rights – an unprecedented move. Harding said he sent a copy of the lawsuit to the three most powerful troll-fighting organizations he could think of, the ACLU, the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Reading Eagle. Harding’s blog is called “To Inform is to Influence.” He should call it “Poking the Bear.”

World War 3: UK defence chief orders STRONGER ties with FRENCH as Russian threat DEEPENS | World | News | Express.co.uk

BRITAIN’S defence chief Sir General Nick Carter is strengthening ties between the UK and France ahead of Brexit and “the growing risks to UK security” in order to unify the two European nations against threats from Russia, China and the continuing conflict in Syria.

Essay: British Skill vs. Russian Killers | WUWM

Tensions remain high between Russia and the UK in the wake of a case that involves double-agents, poisoning, and collateral damage. The case may have

Danish scandal reveals UK′s Faustian pact with Russia | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.09.2018

An EU Commissioner called it “the biggest scandal in Europe today.” The Danske Bank-Russia money laundering affair is a shock for many in Denmark — for high-end UK realtors it’s just a supply chain glitch.

UAWire – Finland conducts police sting operation against suspected Russian-backed money launderer

On Saturday, Finnish authorities began a large-scale police operation that included a search and seizure of property of a Finnish-registered company believed to be involved in money laundering. Yle news agency reported that over a hundred representatives of law enforcement agencies were involved in the special operation in the Turku archipelago and in the Varsinais Suomi (region of southwest Finland). During the operation, police searched ten locations, the homes and offices of the company’s employees, whose owners are registered in another EU country. Authorities would not reveal the name of the company but Finnish media reports that their target was Airiston Helmi. The police suspect that in addition to large-scale money laundering, the company may have also used illegal immigrants for labor. The company could have committed several million-euro worth of financial fraud. The Varsinais Suomi Coast Guard and local police assisted the criminal police in the operation. Flights were prohibited over the territory while the operation was underway. The authorities seized operation materials, questioned seven people of various nationalities and detained two of them. On Sunday morning, the police announced another arrest.

Has Anyone Seen Roman Abramovich? The Last Days of Londongrad – Bloomberg

The Russian billionaire has avoided Britain for months and is preparing his finances to skirt the threat of American sanctions.

Tom Watson: UK on frontier of ‘new cold war’ that Russia is winning | Politics | The Guardian

Labour’s deputy leader also discussed claim Theresa May thwarted investigation into Leave.EU donor Arron Banks

Live: President Trump speaks at the UN – CNNPolitics

President Trump speaks at the UN General Assembly in New York as his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces sexual assault allegations. Follow here for the latest. The US President trumpeted his decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, calling it “horrible,” and noted that “many countries in the Middle East strongly supported” his decision. “Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction they do not respect their neighbors borders or the sovereign rights of nations,” Trump said. He added: “Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the middle east and far beyond. The Iranian people are rightly outraged that their leaders have embezzled billions of dollars from Iran’s treasury, seized valuable portions of the nation’s economy…all to send out their proxies to wage war.” Trump said the US has launched “a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds that it needs to advance its bloody agenda.” He said additional sanctions will resume in the coming months and said the world must ensure that “the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the world’s most dangerous weapons.” He vowed to continue to support “Iran’s people.”

Theresa May says Russia and Syria must be held accountable for use of chemical weapons

Prime minister calls on world leaders to do more to prevent further use of chemical weapons

Theresa May says she trusts President Donald Trump despite Iran sanctions | City A.M.

Prime Minister Theresa May has stood by the UK’s special relationship with the US despite Donald Trump’s decision to take his country out of the Iran

Pompeo: U.S. may hold Russia accountable for chemical weapons in Syria – POLITICO

“We’ll have to analyze once the activity takes place. We pray that it doesn’t.”

Pompeo says U.S. may hold Russia accountable for chemical weapons in Syria – media | UNIAN

The Trump administration may hold Russia accountable if Syrian President Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons again, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview that aired Sunday. We will hold accountable those that are responsible for violating this fundamental principle, this idea that chemical weapons are fundamentally different than other types of weapon systems, Pompeo said.

Trump administration warns Russia of ‘major mistake’ if it supplies Syria with advanced missiles | Fox News

The Russian movement announced Monday that the Syrian government will be supplied with S-300 missile defense systems amid the downing of a Russian plane by Syria last week, a move the Trump administration calls a “major mistake.”

US officials see Kremlin’s intent to supply Syria with S-300 missiles as ‘major mistake’ (25.09.18 11:16) « World | Censor.NET

U.S. officials hope Russia would reconsider deployment of the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Syria. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he expects to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in New York amid concerns expressed by Washington over Moscow’s plans to supply Syria with the S-300 surface-to-air missile system. As reported by Censor.NET citing Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Pompeo made the remarks on Sept. 24, just hours after Russia announced that it was supplying the S-300 missile system to improve Syria’s defenses and help prevent a repeat of the downing of a Russian warplane by Syrian forces a week ago. Anticipating a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which opens on Sept. 25, Pompeo said “I’m sure Sergei and I will have our time together.” “We are trying to find every place we can where there is common ground, where we can work with the Russians,” Pompeo said, adding that Washington will hold Moscow “accountable” for many areas where Russia is working against the United States. U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton said on Sept. 24 that Russia’s decision to deploy the advanced antiaircraft missiles to Syria was a “major mistake” and a “significant escalation” in Syria’s seven-year war. Bolton also said U.S. troops will not leave Syria until Iranian forces leave.

Iranian Regime Change Advocates Are Licking Their Chops | The National Interest

If Washington’s mayhem doesn’t interfere, discussion of Iran is poised to dominate the UN General Assembly.

Iran terrorist attack shows regime opponents see ‘unique opportunity,’ experts say

Militants disguised as soldiers opened fire at the procession of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard while they marched through the oil-rich city of Ahvaz.

Mattis to Iran: Don’t Even Think About Taking Us On | Military.com

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned Iran against blaming the U.S. for a terror attack that killed at least 25. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday warned Iran against threatening the U.S. with retaliation for a terror attack over the weekend that killed at least 25. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have charged that the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel were behind the attack Saturday in the oil province of Khuzestan and vowed to “take revenge,” but Mattis said it was “ludicrous to suggest we had anything to do with it.” He warned that the U.S. is prepared to respond against any Iranian attempt to move against its forces in the region. “We’ve been clear; they shouldn’t take us on like that,” Mattis said at an informal session with defense reporters at the Pentagon.

Bolton: U.S. forces will stay in Syria until Iran and its proxies depart – The Washington Post

Pentagon insists that U.S. military in Syria remains solely to defeat the Islamic State

Jim Mattis says US in Syria to fight ISIS, denies policy rift with John Bolton

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday that the U.S. military mission remains defeating the Islamic State and shoring up local forces, following comments by national security adviser John Bolton that troops will remain in the country until Iran militias leave.

U.S. Forces Will Remain in Syria After Battle With ISIS Ends

American forces will remain in Syria to provide training to local forces in order to ensure stability within the region, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters.

Photos: Russian Su-35 pilot says he beat an F-22 in a mock dogfight – Business Insider

An unofficial account of a Russian pilot of the Su-35, Russia’s top jet fighter, posted pictures claiming to show a US F-22 Raptor stealth jet flying in the…

Trump says there’s no plan to meet with ‘lovely’ Hassan Rouhani

The top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader on Tuesday rejected a U.S. offer for top-level meetings, as both countries’ presidents were due to attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Trump’s Iran Threats Dial Up Drama for UN Gathering of Leaders – Bloomberg

President Donald Trump enters the United Nations General Assembly this week with America’s closest allies frustrated over fraying ties and the entire world wary as it awaits critical U.S. decisions on Iran and North Korea.

Trump Continues His Two-Front War on Iran With Planned U.N. Address

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was originally published by The Interpreter, which is published by the Lowy Institute, an independent,

Donald Trump to chair key UN meeting with world’s major powers

The White House has sent conflicting signals about whether Trump will focus on Iran or nuclear arms when he chairs the U.N. Security Council meeting.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Humiliated by Attack, Vow to Retaliate – The New York Times

After an attack that killed 25 people, including 12 members of the elite unit, Iran promises to strike back against the United States and its gulf allies.

Iran arrests ‘separatists’ behind deadly Ahvaz parade attack | News | Al Jazeera

Intelligence officers say they have found a hideout and weapons stores after Saturday’s shooting in Ahvaz city.

Trump Will Face an Iran Gap With European Allies at U.N. – WSJ

President Trump and his European counterparts square off at the United Nations this week on a key policy issue: the fate of the Iran nuclear agreement as the Islamic Republic pursues its regional ambitions.

Europe Plans ‘Special Vehicle’ to Maintain Companies’ Ties to Iran, Avoid U.S. Sanctions – WSJ

The European Union said it would establish a special payment channel to allow European and other companies to legally continue financial transactions with Iran while avoiding exposure to U.S. sanctions.

Iran nuclear deal: Plan put forward to dodge US sanctions – BBC News

A new payment system is to be created as major powers try to keep doing business with Iran.

As U.S. sanctions near, Europe fails to protect Iran deal | Reuters

At a meeting in Washington after Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May, a senior U.S. official told European diplomats that their efforts to save the deal by protecting EU investment in the Islamic republic were pointless.US

Iran-Trump tensions: US army Donald Trump in Syria conflict US troops risk world war 3 | World | News | Express.co.uk

VAST swathes of US military personnel will remain in Syria for as long as Iranian-backed troops invited by President Assad remain in the area, US national security adviser John Bolton has insisted.

Five countries announce deal to defy Trump on oil trade with Iran

Five countries that are signatories to the Iran nuclear deal announced Monday night that they will create a financial mechanism to allow them to continue trade with Iran, including importing oil, as U.S. sanctions kick in this November.

Why Iran is blaming Saudi Arabia and America over the Ahvaz attack

The specificity and scale of Iranian threats that have followed Saturday’s terrorist attack in Ahvaz indicate that Iran will retaliate against those it blames for the attack. And while Saudi Arabia and the UAE are at the top of Iran’s blame list, the U.S. and Israel are also being mentioned.

The UAE Will Shape the Future of Yemen – Defense One

As the United Arab Emirates’ bloody war against the Houthis drags on, it’s also playing a key role in the fight against al-Qaeda.

Pompeo Says U.S May Hold Talks With Turkey on Pastor This Week – Bloomberg

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. may hold more talks with Turkey on a U.S. pastor the country is holding and he could be released this month.

Turkey’s lira firms after Pompeo says he expects talks on U.S. pastor | Reuters

med more than 3 percent on Monday after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he expected discussions with Turkish officials this week over the fate of a U.S. pastor whose trial has strained relations. US

Oil Prices Reach Four-Year High After Top Producers Decline To Raise Output

Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent, hitting a four-year high, after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other global producers declined to announce an immediate increase…

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