The US has provocatively sent one of its biggest warships through the Strait of Hormuz amidst Iranian wargames taking place in the region shortly after warning Iran that any closure of the key oil choke point would not be tolerated.“
A US aircraft carrier entered a zone near the Strait of Hormuz being used by the Iranian navy for wargames, an Iranian official said Thursday amid rising tensions over the key oil-transit channel,” reports YNet News.
More Rocket Attacks On Southern Israel
Babies and toddlers asleep for their afternoon naps were rudely awakened and snatched from their beds as the Color Red rocket alert siren blared its warning Thursday for a second time.
Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists in northern Gaza aimed their Qassam rocket attack on Jewish communities in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council district.
People in the Eshkol Regional Council district were forced to make detours to safe spaces and bomb shelters on their way to work and school earlier in the day as they returned from their Chanukah vacations, when Gaza terrorists launched the first Qassam attack of the day on the region.
IDF Confirms Preparations For Extensive Future Gaza Military Action
Four rockets were fired Wednesday from Gaza into Israel, with two landing in open areas in the Eshkol region and another landing in the Sha'ar Hanegev region
The strike followed a targeted killing in which two sorties by the Israel Air Force killed three terrorists and wounded another nine overnight Tuesday in communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.
The rocket fire comes as the Israel Defense Forces' Gaza Division is preparing for a possible large-scale incursion into the Gaza Strip, now three years after Operation Cast Lead. "We are preparing and in fact are ready for another campaign, which will be varied and different, to renew our deterrence,
Pentagon: Iranian Disruption Of Oil Route "Will Not Be Tolerated"
U.S. military officials warned Wednesday that any attempt by Iran to disrupt oil shipments at the mouth of the Persian Gulf "will not be tolerated," as Iran threatened for the second day in a row to interfere with the critical passageway.
Pentagon spokesman George Little describe the route, the Strait of Hormuz, as an "economic lifeline" vital to stability in the region. He said any attempt to block it would be "problematic."
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy's 5th fleet warned Iran against disrupting shipments in the strait, saying the U.S. Navy keeps a "robust presence in the region" and is "ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation."
Conflict Between Iran And West "The Greatest Danger" of 2012 - Russia's UN Envoy
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, believes that the conflict looming between Iran and Western countries poses the “greatest danger” in the upcoming year.
Iran’s recent threats to block a vital oil route if the West places sanctions on its oil exports, followed by the US’s sharp response to the threat, have attracted the attention of the international community and raised concerns that the events might push the two nations to the brink of war.
And below, we see what could be the most interesting and germane article in today's news:
Obama Administration Secretly Preparing Options For Aiding The Syrian Opposition
As the violence in Syria spirals out of control, top officials in President Barack Obama's administration are quietly preparing options for how to assist the Syrian opposition, including gaming out the unlikely option of setting up a no-fly zone in Syria and preparing for another major diplomatic initiative.
National Security Council (NSC) has begun an informal, quiet interagency process to create and collect options for aiding the Syrian opposition, two administration officials confirmed to The Cable.
"The interagency is now looking at options for Syria, but it's still at the preliminary stage," one official said. "There are many people in the administration that realize the status quo is unsustainable and there is an internal recognition that existing financial sanctions are not going to bring down the Syrian regime in the near future."
After imposing several rounds of financial sanctions on Syrian regime leaders, the focus is now shifting to assisting the opposition directly. The interagency process is still ongoing and the NSC has tasked State and DOD to present options in the near future, but nothing has been decided, said the officials
We already know what Assad's response will be if and when this type of "intervention" occurs, and if Assad follows through with his promise to send missiles into Israel, we will have officially reached the first "tipping point" in the region.