Friday, April 28, 2017

Golan Tension: Pro-Iran Troops Move On To Quneitra, Putin Warns N Korea Situation Has 'Seriously Deteriorated',






Early Thursday, April 26, a mixed Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah force embarked on a general offensive in southern Syria ready for a leap on Israel’s Golan border. They moved forward in the face of Israeli warnings that were relayed from Moscow to Tehran and Hizballah.

This latest warning was issued by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is visiting the Russian capital this week to attend an international security conference. After meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shogun, the Israeli minister stated clearly on Wednesday: “Israel will not allow the concentration of Iranian and Hizballah forces on its Golan border.”  

By Thursday morning, it was evident that a decision had been taken in Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Beirut to ignore Lieberman’s warning.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that early Thursday, Shiite militias under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, alongside Hizballah troops, organized as the Southern Shield Brigade, launched their offensive at Mt. Hermon southwest of Damascus, on their way to the Syrian-Israeli Golan border in the region of Quneitra. The Syrian contingents taking part in this push are the Syrian army’s elite 42nd Brigade and elements of the 4th Mechanized Division.

Their first objective is to capture a string of villages held by Syrian rebel groups in the region of Hadar on the Hermon slopes. They are advancing towards the Golan along the Beit Jinn route.
There is no word yet on whether the warning issued by the defense minister from Moscow has produced a direct Israeli response to the provocation. Very possibly the five explosions and ball of fire they set off at Damascus international airport Thursday morning may prove to be connected to that response.










Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program is deepening after the issue dominated talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow.
He and Abe believe the situation on the Korean peninsula has “seriously deteriorated,” Putin said Thursday after the Kremlin meeting. “We call on all states involved in the region’s affairs to refrain from military rhetoric and seek peaceful, constructive dialogue.”
Abe said he and Putin spent a long time discussing North Korea during the three hours of talks that also focused on resolving a seven-decade long dispute over four islands seized by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The issue has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace accord.
The 17th meeting between the two leaders took place after Russia warned on Wednesday that the Korean peninsula is “on the brink of war.” Japan has sent warships to join drillswith the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, which is leading a battle group ordered to the region by President Donald Trump. Putin and Abe are also trying to settle the dispute over the sovereignty of the islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the South Kurils in Russia. They agreed to create plans for economic cooperation on the islands during talks at a Japanese hot-spring resort near Abe’s ancestral home in December.









While emoting sympathy for Kim Jong Un's situation, President Trump told Reuters, during a lengthy interview ahead of his 100th day in office, that he'd "love to solve things diplomatically," but warned that "there is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea."

Putting a somewhat human face on the North Korean leader, President Trump had an interesting response when asked by Reuters if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be rational...

U.S. officials said military strikes remained an option but played down the prospect, though the administration has sent an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine to the region in a show of force.






Earlier today, Vladimir Putin warned that "the situation in Korea is deteriorating" and joined China in urging all sides to "avoid belligerent rhetoric." It was not clear what spooked the Russian president to escalate the rhetoric over North Korea, however in a move that will hardly help deescalate tensions, a North Korean propaganda outlet released a video clip on Thursday, which showed a simulated attack on the White House and declaring that “the enemy to be destroyed is in our sights.”
The video was released just days after North Korea conducted large-scale artillery drills, showing off conventional weaponry that can easily reach South Korea’s capital, Seoul. It also comes one day after the entire Senate was gathered at the White House to receive a briefing from Trump's top generals on the situation in North Korea. At the same time, the US sub, USS Michigan, which carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, docked in the South Korean port of Busan this week. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, along with the destroyers and cruiser that make up its strike group, will arrive in the Korean Peninsula area this weekend.


The clip was released by a North Korean website (Meari, or Echo) showing photos of the White House and aircraft carriers with a target on them, as if they are in the crosshair, the WaPo reported earlier. It then showed simulated footage of an aircraft carrier exploding into flames, with the caption: “When the enemy takes the first step toward provocation and invasion.”

The 2½ -minute video included scenes from the huge military parade that North Korea organized April 15 to mark the anniversary of the birth of the state’s founder, Kim Il Sung. It also showed footage of North Korean artillery and missile launches. 

Against the backdrop of missile launches, the caption read: “We will show you what a strong country that leads the world in nuclear and missile technology is capable of.”
A similar video, showing missiles arcing over the Pacific and leaving a U.S. city in flames, followed by images of a burning American flag and a cemetery filled with white crosses, was shown during a concert held April 16 and attended by Kim. 

While North Korea is best known for its bombastic rhetoric and exaggerated propaganda, in recent weeks it has ramped up its output as tensions have risen.




  • North Korean propaganda video shows a mock-up of rockets hitting US Capitol
  • It also shows the White House and aircraft carriers in Pyongyang's cross-hairs
  • Footage also taken from Kim Jong-un's recent military parades in Pyongyang













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