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At least 13,000 Palestinians riot along Gaza border, IDF hits Hamas post

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At least 13000 Palestinians riot along Gaza border IDF hits Hamas post

The Palestinian rioters were seen throwing rocks, firebombs and hand grenades at IDF soldiers, while also burning tires and trying to breach the border fence.

 At least 13,000 Palestinians rioted along the border between Israel and Gaza on Friday in the latest escalation in tensions in the region.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the Palestinian rioters were seen throwing rocks, firebombs and hand grenades at IDF soldiers, while also burning tires and trying to breach the border fence.

As a result of the riots, the IDF said that it had hit a Hamas post in the northern Gaza Strip.

“IDF troops monitored the suspects in each incident and all the suspects returned to the Gaza Strip soon after crossing,” the IDF said. “In response to the violent events along the security fence, an IDF aircraft targeted a Hamas military post.”

The fresh riots come as earlier this week Israel asked Qatar to suspend its monthly disbursement of $15 million to the Gaza Strip after a rocket was fired on Israel.

Qatar began making monthly money transfers to Gaza last year in an effort to alleviate the humanitarian situation there. A total of $90 million has been set aside for aid funds to Gaza.

At the same time, an Egyptian delegation of intelligence officials also visited Gaza on Thursday to meet with leader Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas officials. The goal of the delegation was to supervise the border protests and prevent an escalation with Israel.

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Military

ISIS bombing in Syria makes no sense

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ISIS bombing in Syria makes no sense

A terrorist bombing in Manbij, Syria, caused many casualties, including U.S. troops. ISIS-affiliated al-Amaq Agency has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Manbij, which is 20 miles from the Turkish border in northern Syria, has troops from multiple nations and groups regularly on the streets. The restaurant where the bombing took place was reported the venue for a meeting between U.S., French, and Kurdish troops at the time of the attack.

Here is a video of the attack. Warning: Graphic.

My Take

Terrorism in general doesn’t make sense, but this attack seems especially strange. Why would ISIS plan an attack now when the United States is close to leaving the region?

National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have indicated the troop withdrawal will happen more slowly and methodically than President Trump initially indicated when he announced the move. But this attack is not going to prompt our exit to speed up. If anything, it gives the President justification to keep troops in Syria against the wishes of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Not that he needs it, but apparently he thinks he does.

It’s futile to try to make sense of any acts of terrorism, or more specifically, the inhumane motivations for committing them. But they usually serve a purpose, at least in the eyes of the terrorists. This one seems out of place.

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Media

Iran’s first satellite launch goes up in flames

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Irans first satellite launch goes up in flames

Iran’s space program is all about national pride and has absolutely nothing to do with the weapons program they may or may not be engaging in that runs contrary to the agreement they made with the United Nations in 2015. That’s their story, at least.

The reality, according to United States officials, is that both the technology they’re using to attempt to put satellites in orbit and possible the satellites themselves are easily weaponized. Their contention is Iran can continue their nuclear weapons ambitions unabated by hiding behind the guise of “national pride” to fuel weapons research and testing.

Their first attempt went spectacularly wrong.

Iran Satellite Launch, Which US Warned Against, Fails

https://www.algemeiner.com/2019/01/15/iran-satellite-launch-which-us-warned-against-fails/“I would have liked to make everybody happy with good news but sometimes life doesn’t go forward the way we anticipate,” he said on Twitter.

Another satellite, named Doosti, was waiting to be launched.

“We should not come up short or stop,” Azari-Jahromi wrote. “It’s exactly in these circumstances that we Iranians are different than other people in spirit and bravery.”

There is no date set yet for the second or third attempts.

My Take

There is absolutely no reason for Iran to spend the money on their own satellites if not for weapons research and/or implementation. Space has been considered the next great battleground as the United States, China, Russia, and others continue exploring ways to rain down terror from orbit. Considering how badly Iran’s economy is doing lately, they should spend more money on keeping their nation functioning and their people fed instead of wasting it on national pride.

Between the money President Obama gave them and the growth of their oil markets, it’s unlikely Iran will stop until they’ve achieved their goal of having nuclear weapons capable of striking anywhere in the world. They can already reach a large chunk.


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Military

Israel, Great Britain air forces to conduct first joint drill

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Israel Great Britain air forces to conduct first joint drill

The RAF and IAF will participate in joint air defense exercises for the first time history. Both are considered to be among the most advanced air forces in the world, combining American aerial technology and equipment with their own homegrown technologies.

The IAF was invited to take part in the Cobra Warrior exercises later this year. Here is video from last year:

This continues a trend of both cooperation between Israel and Great Britain as well as the British trend of inviting new allies to participate. Last year, both Germany and Italy took part.

According to The Tower:

Israeli Air Force to Participate in First-Ever Joint Drill with RAF Later this Year

http://www.thetower.org/7054-israeli-air-force-to-participate-in-first-ever-joint-drill-with-raf-later-this-year/In a sign of intensified military and defense relations, a team of Israeli combat pilots last year held a joint training seminar with the RAF Typhoon aircrew at a base in Lossiemouth in Scotland, but on that occasion did not arrive with their own aircraft. In 2017, the RAF and IAF completed three days of joint exercises to test sea rescue capabilities in stormy conditions. The two air forces have also exchanged experience they gained operating the new F-35 stealth fighters.

My Take

It’s important for Israel to expand its military relationships to countries other than the United States. While we’re experiencing strong relations with Israel under President Trump, we learned with his predecessor how quickly the relationship can sour. If the next Democratic President (or possibly even a moderate Republican) decides to turn our backs on Israel, they’ll need backup from other nations.

Israel is our only true ally as well as the only actual Democracy in the Middle East. We must support them militarily, but if that ever changes, Israel needs to be ready with other friends to help her.


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