Saturday, February 25, 2017

'The Nations' vs Israel: Iran's March To Jerusalem, Why The UN Deck Is Stacked Against Israel



Iran Won’t Stop Till It Reaches Jerusalem



It can be easy to allow the frequent Iranian diatribes against Israel to become cliché. Especially when headlines such as “Iran’s Supreme Leader Backs Holy Intifada to Destroy ‘Cancer’ Israel” or “Israel Is a ‘Cancerous Tumor,’ ‘Fake Nation’” appear so regularly in the news, as they did this week. This type of rhetoric from the Iranian regime has been used so often and for so long that we might be lulled into believing they are mere words. After all, after years of such hateful threats, Israel still exists.

However, every so often, it’s good to remember: This is not just rhetoric: the Iranians really do believe what they say. This is not mere hyperbole; the regime does believe in the destruction of the Jewish state. It really does believe that Israel is a cancerous tumor that it must literally remove from the Middle East. It really does believe that Israel needs to be wiped off the map. The only reason this has not happened already is not because Tehran lacks the will, it only lacks the means.

Here is what Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in the opening speech to the sixth international conference in support of the Palestinian intifada, an event that began on Tuesday in Tehran.

Bear in mind that this isn’t just a regular conference giving support to Palestinian statehood in some future peace deal with the Israelis, but rather a conference that specifically promotes the intifada, an unambiguously violent Palestinian uprising against the Jewish state, after which Israel would cease to exist. This isn’t a peace conference, but a literal DEATH-TO-ISRAEL CONFERENCE, and one whose speakers included all the top brass in Iran, including its three most powerful men: “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani, and the aforementioned supreme leader.


Khamenei then called on all Muslims across the Middle East to refocus on Jerusalem as the unifying factor between them all. He also noted the international community is moving toward a confrontation with Israel.

In concluding his speech, Khamenei called upon Allah to help those supporting the violent uprising against the Jews:


I ask God the Benevolent to help all you succeed in serving the issue of Palestine as the most important issue in the world of Islam and as the pivot of unity for all Muslims and all liberated individuals in the world.

Again, Jerusalem and the Jews are the real targets of the current Iranian regime. And given the dedicated majority support Khamenei receives at home, as well as the loyalty of the armed services, there will be no regime change any time soon in Tehran.

This Islamic kingdom is marching across the Middle East and has its eye on taking Jerusalem from the Jews, whose nation was also prophesied in the Bible. This regime is dedicated to the cause described above by its leader. Even though it’s hard for Western minds to fathom, Iran really will not stop until it has conquered Jerusalem.









It may shock readers to learn that the UN Human Rights Council has passed more anti-Israel resolutions than it has passed against all other countries combined?

Take a look around at the rest of the world. The Syrian civil war has been raging since 2011 with close to 500,000 deaths by various estimates. Hizb’allah has built up an arsenal of 150,000 rockets in Southern Lebanon, which is in flagrant violations of UN resolution 1701. ISIS is terrorizing and murdering people in the Middle East and is responsible for numerous terror attacks in Europe and elsewhere. North Korea continues its rogue behavior, with numerous provocative missile launches. Iran is a threat to the entire Middle East, especially Israel. It launches missiles with “Israel must be wiped out” painted on them. It’s also the single largest state sponsor of terrorism.

In perspective, these are but a few of the highly significant issues plaguing much of the world. Yet the UN seems to have a permanent case of tunnel vision when it comes to Israel.

Keep in mind that Israel is a mere 8,000 square miles in size, or roughly the size of New Jersey. Its total population, including over 1 million Arabs, is just over 8,000,000. The Jewish population of Israel is approximately 6.5 million. Contrast that against the world population of 7.5 billion, Jewish Israel represents less than one tenth of one percent of the entire world.

For example let’s take a close look at most anti-Israel body within the organization -- the UN Human Rights Council. Since 2006 when the United Nations Commission on Human Rights changed its name to the United Nations Human Rights Council, it has passed no less than 60 resolutions against Israel. That’s a sustained average of almost one every other month during the past 10 years. In 2016 alone, no less than 20 were passed, including an Incredible 10 on a single day! A total of four were passed against the rest of the world in 2016. This seems almost absurd, until you break down the UNHRC.

There are 47 member nations that comprise the UNHRC. Keep in mind the focus of it is “human rights.” Yet look at some of its members -- China, Cuba, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Burundi, Bangladesh, UAE, etc. Shouldn’t members be beacons of protecting human rights? Yet these countries are some of its worst offenders.

Back to the question of why the UNHRC has been so ardently anti-Israel for many years; once you understand how the UNHRC is structured with the Muslim nations in control, it becomes clear why they ignore many other obvious problematic areas, and devote so much attention to Israel. It sits smack dab in the heart of the Middle East, and has been a thorn in the side of the Arab Muslim world since the moment it was reborn in 1948. The existence of a sovereign Jewish state on land which most of the Muslim world considers holy, especially Jerusalem, represents a huge obstacle to their goal of ‘liberating’ all of Israel in favor of “Palestine.”

Keep in mind another body of the UN, UNESCO, is in the business of revising history by passing resolutions calling obvious Jewish holy sites such as the Cave of the Patriarchs, the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall Muslim holy sites.


Recently the UN Security Council passed a resolution naming Israeli “settlements” as the main obstacle to peace.
The United Nations as an organization is charged with upholding dignity and security for all the nations of the world. Yet, is it acting with equal vigilance enforcing these noble principle when it comes to Israel? The answer is a resounding no! Since the U.S. has a mere one vote in a small region of the UNHRC, it seems there’s little hope for change in its obsession with condemning Israel.








A vicious wave of anti-Semitism is hitting the United States
  • Just since the first of the year, nearly 70 Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) have received bomb threats.
  • Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized around the country — in St. Louis alone in recent days, more than 100 headstones in a Jewish cemetery were destroyed.
  • Anti-Semitic attacks on American college campuses have nearly doubled, according to ADL.

Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders are speaking out, as they should. So are the President, senior administration officials and Members of Congress, denouncing these attacks and calling for action to protect the Jewish people.


Over the weekend, in a show of solidarity with the suffering of the Jewish people, Vice President Mike Pence — a devout Evangelical Christian — took his family and advisors to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

“Today, 11 Jewish community centers received phoned-in bomb threats,” reported the JCC Association of North America.

“This comes in the aftermath of three waves of bomb threats in January (Jan. 9, Jan. 18, and Jan. 31), resulting in, through today, 69 incidents at 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province in total,” the JCCANA reported.

Such hate-driven attacks against Jewish people (or Muslims, or Christians, or atheists or anyone else) are ugly and despicable. Let’s be faithful in praying for them to stop, but let’s also look for ways to take a stand against such hatred, and stand with — and care for — those who are suffering right now.








Vice President Mike Pence assured the Republican Jewish Coalition that he and President Donald Trump will work tirelessly on foreign and domestic issues important to the group, such as enacting business-friendly policies at home and supporting Israel abroad.

“If the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel,” Pence told the group Friday night. The Republican administration is “assessing” whether to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, he said, and has put Iran “on notice.”







Liberal protesters became enraged when a Louisiana town hall with Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy opened with a prayer earlier this week, screaming at the chaplain as he tried to lead the crowd in prayer.
The protesters, who were there with a local chapter of anti-Trump group Indivisible, can be heard groaning and shouting as the chaplain says, “In God we trust.” One man can be heard saying, “Pray on your own time!” Others shouted incredulously, “Prayer? Prayer?”
Video of the event, first reported by The Washington Free Beacon, reveals one woman shouting the name “Lucifer” while the chaplain invokes God’s name. Other, non-protesting attendees can be heard trying to shush the protesters.
Protesters can be heard shouting about “separation of church and state” throughout the prayer. They became especially furious when the chaplain closed the prayer “in Jesus’s name.”





















Friday, February 24, 2017

Israel Prepares As Iran And Hezbollah Increase Threats While Increasing Military Might




Israel Prepares As Iran and Hezbollah Ratchet Up the Rhetoric 




According to Arab media sources, the Israeli Air Force launched a series of strikes against military targets within Syria in the early morning hours of Wednesday. The attacks, which reportedly targeted a Hezbollah weapons convoy, occurred near Damascus. According to at least one report, a busload of Hezbollah terrorists was hit, though this was not confirmed. 

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement. The muted Israeli response is consistent with Israel’s policy of acting resolutely to preserve its interests while keeping unnecessary rhetoric and gratuitous bravado under wraps. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Israel’s enemies who have struck an extremely belligerent tone in recent weeks, even more so than usual.
On Tuesday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei referred to Israel as a “cancerous tumor” and encouraged Palestinians to revolt until achieving the goal of “complete liberation of Palestine.” Earlier in the week, an unnamed but high-level Syrian official told a Kuwaiti media outlet that Syria “will be partners with Hezbollah in any future war against Israel.”
Not to be outdone, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, a corrupt political lackey who is almost certainly on Hezbollah’s (or the Islamic Republic’s) payroll voiced strong support for Hezbollah and its acquisition of sophisticated weapons in violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701. He also threatened Israel with an “appropriate response” if Israel violated Lebanese sovereignty. 
Of course, the notion of Lebanese sovereignty in any form is laughable since Lebanon is a failed state that is under the full influence and control of the Islamic Republic. In many respects, the state of Lebanon today parallels that of Vichy France. The Lebanese army – a fractured microcosm of a dysfunctional and divided Lebanese society – has taken a subordinate role to Hezbollah and has often acted as an auxiliary force for Hezbollah, coordinating military activities with the terror group. It is thus partly responsible for the degradation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and complicit in violating UNSCR 1701.
But the most cantankerous rhetoric in recent days is emanating from Iran’s premier proxy mercenary force, Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who’s been in hiding since 2006, announced this week that in the next war with Israel, his organization would not be constrained by red lines and would fire missiles at Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility and at the ammonia storage facilities in Haifa. A direct hit on the ammonia storage facilities could cause widespread injuries on a scale not seen since the Bhopal industrial disaster.
Hezbollah is said to possess approximately 150,000 rockets and missiles of all shapes and sizes. In fact, its formidable missile arsenal surpasses the collective strength most Western armies. One of the missiles that worry Israeli military planners most is the Fateh 110. Hezbollah possesses an unknown quantity of these weapons, which were transferred to the terror group by Iran via Syria.
With a range of between 200 and 300 Km, the Fateh 110 is capable of reaching Haifa, Tel Aviv and Dimona. It carries a payload of 500 Kg and can inflict significant damage on dense population centers. Some have suggested that the missile’s guidance system might be as accurate as 100 m CEP (Circular Error Probable); meaning that it has a 50% chance of landing within 100 meters of its target but this is speculative.
Most of Dimona’s critical platforms are buried deep beneath the surface under thick, protective layers of reinforced steel and concrete and plans to relocate the vulnerable Haifa ammonia facility to a more secure location are in the advanced stages. Nevertheless, the warhead carried by the Fateh 110 can vaporize an entire city block and cause skyscrapers like the Azrieli Towers to collapse.

 Analysts have surmised that in the next conflict, Hezbollah will fire an average of 1,500 rockets per day.

According to published sources, Hezbollah has managed to acquire sophisticated Russian made Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles. The Israeli military has had success in thwarting Yakhont shipments but some missiles managed to get through to the terror group. 
Hezbollah already has a number of Chinese C-802 missiles but the Yakhont carries a larger payload and possesses a more sophisticated guidance system that is capable of better coping with electronic counter measures. Of particular concern is the vulnerability of Israel’s offshore gas platforms to Yakhont missile strikes or surprise naval commando attacks. Hezbollah terror tunnels – similar to those uncovered by the Israel Defense Forces during Operation Protective Edge – are also of grave concern.
Why Israel’s enemies have chosen this particular moment to ratchet up the anti-Israel vitriol in what appears to be a coordinated effort is anyone’s guess. The Syrian and Lebanese armies do not pose serious threats. By contrast, threats emanating from Iran and Hezbollah should be taken very seriously. 


Israel cannot afford to rest on its laurels and its military planners are taking every contingency into consideration. Israel has already provided the United States, the EU and UN with incontrovertible proof that Hezbollah is exploiting the civilian population and using homes, schools and hospitals to store its hardware. In the coming round, Hezbollah will not be able to utilize the high civilian casualty rate to score propaganda points – as in did in 2006 – because the world is already cognizant of the organization’s cynical methods.


Moreover, the Lebanese government’s collusion with Hezbollah in turning a blind eye toward Hezbollah’s illegal activities – including permitting Iranian commercial airliners laden with military equipment to land at Rafic Hariri International Airport – will allow Israel greater freedom of action. Lebanese infrastructure including power plants, electricity grids, bridges, airports and other dual use facilities will all be fair game. Lebanon will revert to the Stone Age.



Pope Francis Condemns Europe's Ancient Walls Against Islam





[Below are a few pictures of the Vatican's walls - just to add some much needed perspective on the situation]






Image result for vatican wallImage result for vatican wallImage result for vatican wallImage result for vatican wall




Pope Francis continues to argue for two interrelated points that, while seemingly humane, compromise Western nations and expose their citizens to danger.
He reiterated his first point earlier this month when he said, “I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges.”  Francis has made this appeal frequently, both figuratively (when imploring Western nations not to close their doors against more incoming Muslim migrants), and literally—including by characterizing Donald Trump’s proposal to build a U.S.-Mexico wall as “not Christian.”
Francis reiterated his second point a few days ago when he said, “Muslim terrorism does not exist.”  His logic is that, because there are Christians who engage in criminal and violent activities—and yet no one blames Christianity for their behavior—so too should Islam not be blamed when Muslims engage in criminal and violent activities. 
In this, the Catholic pope appears unable or unwilling to make the pivotal distinction between violence committed in accordance with religious teachings (Islam) and violence committed in contradiction of religious teachings (Christianity).
But there’s another relevant and often overlooked irony: every morning Francis wakes up in the Vatican and looks out his window, he sees a very large and visible reminder that gives the lie to both his argument against walls and his argument in defense of Islam. I speak of the great walls surrounding Vatican City, more specifically the Leonine Walls.
Context: A couple of years after Islamic prophet Muhammad died in 632, his followers erupted out of Arabia and conquered the surrounding lands of non-Muslims in the name of Islamic jihad.  In a few decades, they had conquered two-thirds of what was in the 7th century Christendom.  They took all of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain, until they were finally stopped at Tours in central France (732).  By the late 9th century, jihadi incursions had transformed the Mediterranean into a Muslim lake; the major islands—Sicily, Crete, Rhodes, Malta, Cyprus—were conquered, and the European coast was habitually raided for booty and slaves.  


It was in this context that, in 846, Muslim fleets from North Africa landed near Rome.  Unable to breach the walls of the Eternal City, they sacked and despoiled the surrounding countryside, including—to the consternation of Christendom—the venerated and centuries-old basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul.  The Muslim invaders intentionally desecrated the tombs of the revered apostles and stripped them of their treasures, including a large golden cross.  Pope Leo IV (847-855) responded by building large walls and fortifications along the right bank of the Tiber to protect the sacred sites from further Muslim raids.  Completed by 852, the walls were in most places 40 feet high and 12 feet thick.


Today, many Muslims, not just of the ISIS-variety, continue to boast that Islam will conquer Rome, the only of five apostolic sees—the other four being Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Constantinople—never to have been subjugated by jihad.  Similarly, Muslims all throughout Europe continue exhibiting the same hostility and contempt for all things and persons non-Islamic, whether by going on church vandalizing sprees and breaking crosses, or by treating “infidel” women as theirs by right for sex and rape.

In short, Pope Leo’s walls prove Pope Francis wrong on both counts: yes, walls are sometimes necessary to preserve civilization; and yes, Islam does promote violence and intolerance for the other—far more than any other religion.  This fact is easily discerned by examining the past and present words and deeds of Muslims, all of which evince a remarkable and unwavering continuity of violence for “infidels.”

More ironically, had it not been for Pope Leo’s walls—and so many other Christian walls, such as Constantinople’s, which kept Islam out of Europe for centuries, and Vienna’s, which stopped a full-blown jihad as recent as 1683—there might not be a pope today to pontificate about how terrible walls are and how misunderstood Islam is.  And when Francis accuses those who want to protect their people by building walls of not being Christian, as he did of Trump, he essentially accuses his betters—men like Pope Leo IV, who did so much to protect and preserve Christendom at a time when Islam seemed to be swallowing up the world—of being no Christians at all.




N Korea's EMP Threat, U.S. Claims Beijing Installing Long-Range Missiles In S China Sea, U.S. Deploys Nuclear-Powered Carrier




Expert Warns: "This Doomsday Scenario Has Become Plausible Enough To Compel The US To Take Active Measures"




When might North Korea develop missiles capable of striking the United States? Today


Four years ago in December 2012, when North Korea orbited its KMS-3 satellite over the U.S., I warned they could conduct an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack by satellite. 


An EMP that blacks out the national electric grid would be a far greater catastrophe than blasting a city. A North Korean 10-kiloton warhead blasting a city might cause about 200,000 casualties. 


However, the same warhead making a high-altitude EMP attack — though there would be no blast, thermal or fallout effects on the ground — could knock out the electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for more than a year, killing 90 percent of the population through starvation

Why blast a city when EMP attack can destroy the whole nation? North Korea wants to be able to do both. They can launch an EMP attack already. 

Another advantage of EMP attack by satellite is anonymity, to escape retaliation, whereas an intercontinental ballistic missile destroying a city would have North Korea’s fingerprints all over it. 

North Korea’s KMS-3 satellite is in low-Earth orbit, along with hundreds of other satellites. KMS-3’s south polar trajectory approaches the United States from the south, where there are no ballistic missile early warning radars or national missile defenses. The U.S. is blind and defenseless from that direction. 

An EMP attack would damage radars, satellites, ground stations and other national technical means necessary to ascertain who attacked. A super-EMP weapon could paralyze even hardened command, control, communications and intelligence assets and strategic forces, rendering them unable to retaliate, even if the aggressor could be identified. 

In 2004, Moscow’s top EMP experts warned the Congressional EMP Commission that the design for their super-EMP warhead “accidentally” leaked to North Korea; that Russian, Chinese and Pakistani scientists had been recruited by Pyongyang and were helping its nuclear and missile programs; and that North Korea could develop a super-EMP warhead “in a few years.” 


In 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test. It was dismissed by the press as failed because of the very low-yield — only one to three kilotons. But it looked to the EMP Commission like a super-EMP weapon because such a weapon would have very low yield, being designed to produce gamma rays (which create the EMP shock wave), not a big explosion. Most of North Korea’s nuclear tests have been low-yield devices. 


One simple design for a super-EMP warhead would resemble an Enhanced Radiation Weapon (ERW), or neutron weapon, which produces a lot of gamma rays in addition to neutrons, like the ERW artillery shell for the 155 mm howitzer, designed during the 1950s and deployed by the U.S. during the 1980s. Such a weapon would have very low-yield, one to five kilotons, and weigh less than 100 pounds — small enough to fit on North Korea’s KMS-3 satellite. 

North Korea launched another suspicious satellite, the KMS-4, on the same south polar trajectory as the KMS-3, on Feb. 7, 2016. So now there are two North Korean satellites orbiting over the United States on trajectories consistent with a surprise EMP attack — perhaps another idea borrowed from the Russians. Moscow during the Cold War had a secret weapon, the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, to deliver a surprise EMP attack by satellite. 


Senior national security experts from the Reagan and Clinton administrations have warned about the potential EMP threat from North Korea’s satellites — including a former director of central intelligence, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, White House science adviser and director of the Strategic Defense Initiative. South Korean military intelligence reportedly warned that Russians are in North Korea helping develop super-EMP weapons. In 2013 a military commentator for the People’s Republic of China stated North Korea has super-EMP warheads. 

EMP threats from satellites are ignored by the liberal media, which prefer to insist North Korea cannot yet blast a U.S. city with an ICBM. 

ames Oberg, a distinguished rocket scientist who visited North Korea’s satellite launch facility, warns in this recent Space Review article


“There have been fears expressed that North Korea might use a satellite to carry a small nuclear warhead into orbit and then detonate it over the United States for an EMP strike. These concerns seem extreme and require an astronomical scale of irrationality on the part of the regime. The most frightening aspect, I’ve come to realize, is that exactly such a scale of insanity is now evident in the rest of their ‘space program.’ That doomsday scenario, it now seems, has become plausible enough to compel the United States to take active measures to insure that no North Korean satellite, unless thoroughly inspected before launch, be allowed to reach orbit and ever overfly the United States.” 









US officials are reporting that China has almost completed constructing two dozen buildings on its artificial islands in the South China Sea. The structures, according to reports, are intended to contain long-range surface-to-air missiles.

Washington has vocally denounced China’s island building, calling it illegal, and in January Rex Tillerson, then-nominee for Secretary of State, described the US position on Beijing by saying, "We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed." 
China lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea’s islands and maritime; although Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Taiwan  have claims as well. Beijing balked at a landmark July 2016 decision by an international tribunal in The Hague declaring that China had no historic right to the islands and had caused “irreparable harm” to the marine environment.

The concrete structures feature retractable roofs, and are found in the Spratly Island chain on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reefs. American officials believe that the military-length airstrips already present on the islands signal a military escalation. 

One unnamed official said, "It is not like the Chinese to build anything in the South China Sea just to build it, and these structures resemble others that house SAM [surface-to-air missile] batteries, so the logical conclusion is that’s what they are for."








On Thursday, Chinese defense officials announced that they are well aware of the recent deployment of the US Navy’s nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson, to patrol the South China Sea in ‘routine operations,’ a move one Beijing official said that China opposes.

The deployment of the USS Carl Vinson spurred Chinese officials to denounce the “relevant countries” involved in the carrier’s activities. Geng Shuang said Tuesday, “we oppose relevant countries threatening and undermining the sovereignty and security of coastal states under the pretext of such freedom.”


In an appearance before the US Senate, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson took a hawkish stance on the Spratly islands, arguing that China had behaved illegally in the region. Tillerson also threatened to prevent Chinese ships from accessing the disputed South, comments that spurred backlash from Beijing officials. A Global Times op-ed called the Secretary of State’s comments “unprofessional,” explicating that US attempts to blockade Chinese access through the South China Sea would lead to a “military clash.” 

Meanwhile, Chinese lawmakers have announced revisions to a 1984 Maritime Traffic Safety Law that would give Chinese officials the authority to ban ships from entering what China considers to be its territorial waters. Under the proposed draft, non-Chinese military ships would be required to apply for pilotage if they desired to transit the South China Sea and ships that tried to avoid applying for a pilot’s license would be slapped with a fine between 300-500 yuan ($43,706-72,844). The draft is slated to become law in 2020, but will likely be met with resistance by the US, Sputnik reported









It seems like yesterday that ISIS appeared to be an unstoppable juggernaut. Just a few years ago, the terror organization swept through city after city in Syria and Iraq, taking slaves and scattering armies along the way. Now it appears that ISIS’ dream of an Islamic caliphate is finally being brushed into the ash heap of history where it belongs.
According to a recent study by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, ISIS’ profits have plummeted by 55% since the peak of their power in 2014. Their profits, which mainly include oil revenues, taxes, and fines (but also include revenue from looting, selling antiquities, kidnapping, slavery, and donations) has fallen from $1.9 billion per year to $870 million. That is because ISIS has lost 62% of its territory in Iraq, and 30% of its territory in Syria since 2014.
According to the study, they haven’t been able to secure any new streams of income. Furthermore, “There are good reasons to believe that Islamic State revenues will further decline. In particular, capturing Mosul, the Caliphate’s ‘commercial capital,’ will have a significant detrimental effect on Islamic State finances.”