Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Iran Vows Revenge, Israel Moving Tanks To The North

Iran Vows To Take Revenge On Israel

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander says Israel will be punished for allegedly killing one of its generals in an airstrike in Syria attributed to the IAF that also killed six Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist fighters.

Nasser Soltani says "Israel will certainly pay for what it did." He spoke during a ceremony Wednesday for Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, who will be buried in his hometown of Sirjan in southeastern Iran on Thursday.

Soltani is quoted by the state TV as saying Allahdadi was "martyred while performing his advisory mission" in Syria.

Iran and Hezbollah, who are allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, blamed Israel for Sunday's airstrike in the Golan Heights.

Israel, which is believed to be behind a number of airstrikes in Syria in recent years, has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

The IDF mobilizes its forces in the north as the shockwaves from Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria continue to ripple across the Middle East. The Hebrew press reports on Israeli tanks being moved toward the Lebanese border following the deployment of Iron Dome batteries.

Despite the veil of silence cloaking the Israeli government, unnamed Israeli officials speak to the press and intimate concerns about the strike that killed an Iranian general, a senior Hezbollah commander and a number of the Lebanese group’s fighters.

Citing a Reuters report, Haaretzreports that an anonymous Israeli security official said Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi was not the target of the strike, and that Israeli intelligence believed there were only lower-ranking Hezbollah fighters on site at the time of the attack.

Other unnamed Israeli officials tell Israel Hayom that the government believes that Hezbollah will retaliate against Israel and related targets abroad. Such targets include Jewish communities, Israeli diplomatic delegations and Israeli targets in the Golan and Galilee, the paper says. (One target Israel Hayom neglects to mention but which Yedioth Ahronoth headlines is Israel’s natural gas rigs in the Mediterranean.)

On the northern front, Israel Hayom reports that the IDF is reinforcing its troops and deployed several units to the border with Lebanon, and to towns near the border, in light of the rising tensions. It says that the Iron Dome batteries which were reportedly deployed in the north remained on high alert in case of possible rocket fire by Hezbollah.

Yedioth Ahronoth reports that anybody driving up Israel’s main north-south artery, Route 6, saw long convoys of armored personnel carriers and tanks making their way north on trucks. It says that all of Israel’s nine Iron Dome batteries have been deployed, including in new locations that have recently been assessed. Despite the deployment of Israeli forces along the border to protect communities, the paper quotes one resident of a northern town whose fears aren’t assuaged.

Haaretz quotes a Lebanese parliamentarian from Hezbollah telling local media that the Shiite terrorist group will retaliate strongly against Israel’s Syria airstrike, and that Israel’s operation intended to raise the morale of the fighters against the Assad regime and convey a double message to Hezbollah and Iran. He said that Hezbollah will take its time picking out a target and striking back.
“Hezbollah and its leadership have the smarts, the resources and the capability to respond accordingly, after taking into consideration the political-security situation of Lebanon and the region at large,” he said.

Ukraine's military claimed hundreds of Russian troops crossed the border to help the rebels, as intense fighting between government and pro-Russian separatist forces continued Monday in eastern Ukraine.
In Kyiv on Monday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukrainian intelligence had confirmed Russian cross-border arms deliveries to the separatists were continuing.
“Tanks, howitzers, Grad systems, Smerch, Buk,” Yatsenyuk told a joint news conference with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, listing Russian-made missile systems that he said were being channeled to the separatists.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said about 700 Russian troops had also crossed into Ukraine to back up the rebel forces.
"This morning, two groups of armed forces from the Russian Federation crossed the border," Lysenko told the French news agency AFP.
Meanwhile, Russia, expressing concern at what it called an escalation by Kyiv, published its own peace plan on Monday in the form of a letter from President Vladimir Putin to Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, which it said Poroshenko had rejected.
“It's the biggest, even strategic mistake of the Ukrainian authorities to bank on a military solution to the crisis,” Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin as saying. “This may lead to irreversible consequences for Ukrainian statehood.”
Concerns mounted over the fate of civilians caught in the fighting.
The Donetsk city council reported Monday that eight people had been killed and 29 injured in the city since Friday.
Separatist officials and witnesses told Reuters that a hospital in the center of the city had been shelled. Rebel officials said a surgeon and five elderly patients were injured in the incident, which they blamed on government forces.  

Russia might deliver a long-overdue S-300 air defense missile system to Iran, honoring a contract that was cancelled in 2010 following strong pressure from the West, Iranian and Russian media said on Tuesday.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is visiting Tehran and signed an agreement with Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan to boost cooperation, Iran's Fars semi-official news agency said.

The economic prophet who foresaw the Lehman crisis with uncanny accuracy is even more worried about the world's financial system going into 2015.
Beggar-thy-neighbour devaluations are spreading to every region. All the major central banks are stoking asset bubbles deliberately to put off the day of reckoning. This time emerging markets have been drawn into the quagmire as well, corrupted by the leakage from quantitative easing (QE) in the West.
"We are in a world that is dangerously unanchored," said William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD's Review Committee. "We're seeing true currency wars and everybody is doing it, and I have no idea where this is going to end."

He said the global elastic has been stretched even further than it was in 2008 on the eve of the Great Recession. The excesses have reached almost every corner of the globe, and combined public/private debt is 20pc of GDP higher today. "We are holding a tiger by the tail," he said.

He deplores the rush to QE as an "unthinking fashion". Those who argue that the US and the UK are growing faster than Europe because they carried out QE early are confusing "correlation with causality". The Anglo-Saxon pioneers have yet to pay the price. "It ain't over until the fat lady sings. There are serious side-effects building up and we don't know what will happen when they try to reverse what they have done."
The painful irony is that central banks may have brought about exactly what they most feared by trying to keep growth buoyant at all costs, he argues, and not allowing productivity gains to drive down prices gently as occurred in episodes of the 19th century. "They have created so much debt that they may have turned a good deflation into a bad deflation after all."

Many share markets may be riding higher on hopes of European stimulus this week and overlooking plunging oil prices, and even lower global growth targets, but experts say its time that investors woke up to the fact that central bankers aren't doing a great job.

Indeed William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD's Review Committee and a former chief economist to the Bank for International Settlements has warned that QE in Europe is doomed to failure at this late stage and may instead draw the region into deeper difficulties. "Sovereign bond yields haven't been so low since the 'Black Plague': how much more bang can you get for your buck?", The UK Telegraph reported.

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