Iran is threatening again to close the Strait of Hormuz – a key Persian Gulf shipping route – “if the enemy makes a small mistake” and threatens the Islamic Republic, one of its generals boasted Tuesday.
The oil shipping waterway has frequently been the subject of diplomatic clashes between Tehran and Washington.
“If the enemy makes a small mistake, we will shut the Strait of Hormuz, kill their sedition in the bud and endanger the arrogant powers’ interests,” Iranian army’s Deputy Chief of Staff Brigadier General Ali Shadmani said, according to the Fars news agency.
Iran has used the Persian Gulf as a test site for rocket launches, the Times of Israel reports.
In January, Iran detained 10 American sailors whose patrol boats were traveling inside Iranian territorial waters near Farsi Island. Multiple defense officials told Fox News that a “multitude of errors” led to the incident and that the sailors violated the Navy’s longstanding "code of conduct."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's attempt to elicit Russian military cooperation in the fight against Islamic State in Syria suffered two potentially crippling blows on Thursday.First, the Syrian army said it had cut off all supply routes into the eastern part of the city of Aleppo - Syria's most important opposition stronghold - and President Bashar al-Assad's government asked residents to leave the city.
That move, U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity said on Thursday, appeared to be an effort to pre-empt a U.S. demand that Russia and Syria reopen a major road into the divided northern city before talks could begin on creating a joint intelligence center to coordinate air attacks against Islamic State.
Then al Qaeda's Syrian branch announced on Thursday it was terminating its relationship with the global network created by Osama bin Laden and changing its name to remove what it called a pretext by the United States and other countries to attack Syrians.
Although one U.S. official called it "a change in name only," the move complicates the American proposal to limit the Russians and Syrians to targeting only Nusra and IS, not other rebel groups supported by Washington and its allies in the coalition against Islamic State."By disavowing its ties to al Qaeda - which, incidentally, it did with al Qaeda's blessing - Nusra has made it harder to isolate it from more moderate groups, some of whose members may join it now because it's more powerful than some of the groups they belong to now," said the official.
But while Washington and Moscow have both expressed hope they can find a way to cooperate against IS, Kerry's proposal was already in trouble due to the competing objectives of the Cold War-era foes as well as resistance from U.S. military and intelligence officials.U.S. officials questioned Russian and Syrian claims that their aim in evacuating civilians from Aleppo was to clear the way for humanitarian assistance to reach the besieged city, where 200,000-300,000 civilians remain with only two to three weeks of food on hand."Why would you evacuate a city that you wanted to send humanitarian aid to?" asked one official. "
At first glance, that would appear to be a unilateral effort by Moscow and Assad to pre-empt Kerry's demand for ending the siege of Aleppo before starting negotiations on the larger issues.
If the proposal isn't dead, it seems to be pretty badly wounded."
The French government has moved to further militarize the country under an open-ended state of emergency following the latest terror attack.
In a statement released by the Elysee Palace on Thursday, the government announced a plan to form a national guard. “President of the Republic [Hollande] decided to establish the National Guard from the existing operating reserves,” the statement reads. Hollande said the government will “as soon as possible begin the establishment of this structure, which would serve to protect the French people.”
The Defense and Security Council will be officially notified of the plan in August and the national guard units will be formed in September, according to the statement.
The announcement arrives on the heels of a horrific attack and beheading of a priest at the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church in Normandy. Earlier this month, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel went on a rampage with a truck in Nice on Bastille Day, killing 84 people. In November, terrorists launched coordinated attacks in Paris, killing 130 people.
The attack in Nice prompted Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to call for “all willing French patriots” to sign up as reservists. Marine Le Pen, the National Front leader, demanded a return of compulsory national service.
Following the attack during the Bastille Day celebration, Hollande extended the state of emergency and added new measures. Police are permitted to search without a court warrant, detain children, seize data from computers and mobile phones, and to search luggage and vehicles without judicial approval.
Earlier this week, Germany also signaled it will begin domestic militarization.
In the aftermath of the Munich attacks last week, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper it “would be completely incomprehensible … if we had a terrorist situation like Brussels in Frankfurt, Stuttgart or Munich and we were not permitted to call in the well-trained forces of the Bundeswehr, even though they stand ready.”
Germany May Use Internal Army to Combat Terrorism As Europeans Told to “Expect Attacks” On a Daily Basis
“Suicide bombing.” “Axe attack on a train.” “Fatal machete attack.” “Priest’s throat cut.” “Mall shooting rampage.”
All that just since a vehicle plowed through hundreds of people on the streets in Nice, France. Is there any end to the madness?
No one came to the aid the European people as they cried out about the obscene way in which Middle East refugees were being allowed to storm into the country, as countless women were raped and culture clashes reached fever pitch and many areas became too dangerous to go to anymore.
Now, Muslim radicals, ISIS thugs and lone wolf sympathizers are striking out all across Europe. And it is happening so quickly that the media can’t even cover it all; people have little sense of how far the violence is spreading.
So intently has Europe been bombarded with attacks, that officials are literally warning citizens in France, Germany and other nations to expect attacks:
During Tuesday’s press conference, Seehofer said Germany is facing “a new dimension of terror,” while Bavaria’s interior minister announced that the state’s police ranks would be increased. Hermann also suggested that Germany’s army (Bundeswehr) could be used to aid police in dealing with major terror threats. The debate over whether to deploy the Bundeswehr domestically should not wait “until the next attack happens,” he stressed, as quoted by General-Anzeiger. Lawmakers in Berlin are also discussing the possibility of establishing “troops of reservists” to aid police during internal crisis situations, German media outlet Bild reported, citing its own sources.
In July, Germany approved its new military roadmap, the White Paper, which allows for the use of the German army inside the country in cases of large-scale terror attacks.
Doing so will come at a cost, venturing into martial law territory. Every major public arena could be crawling with troops, even as government can do little to stop random terror attacks from individuals motivated by distorted ideologies.
Europe is about to be a much different place, and this contagion may well spread to the United States as well.
The appalling conclusion: even with an Orwellian security regime and a heavy military presence on the streets of French cities, the French government can’t (or won’t) do anything against jihadists.
What’s more, given the ability of these kinds of terrorists to “self-radicalize” via the Internet or extremists within the already huge Muslim diaspora communities, even the most intrusive surveillance program will fail to detect budding attackers.
Already, before the latest round of attacks, city councilors, gun shop owners, and figures in the intelligence community were all speaking about France as a nation on the verge of civil conflict. [What next? Could France be facing a civil war? By Jonathan Miller, CNBC, July 18, 2016] The general lack of faith in civil authorities is not being helped by new allegations French Interior Ministry officials were attempting to doctor reports and cover up their incompetence. [Scandal grows over lack of security on night of Nice terror attack, by James McAuley, Washington Post, July 25, 2016]
There are also rumblings in Germany. The governor of Bavaria said Germany “must do whatever is necessary to protect our citizens” and spoke of his citizens as being fearful and on edge. [Germany must address fears after attacks, says Bavaria governor, BBC, July 26, 2016]
As we are learning in Europe, a large Muslim population practically guarantees more terrorist attacks because it provides a group of people susceptible to being radicalized by uncontrollable means, including books, social networking, or websites. In practice, once you have a large Muslim population, the danger of Islamic extremism and jihadism becomes a permanent fixture of your society—unless that population is physically removed.
There’s been a notable reluctance by the Main Stream Media to cover these recent European attacks. Indeed, the slaughter and decapitation of a Catholic priest by Muslim terrorists in France was barely considered newsworthy at all by outlets like the Huffington Post, Slate, or Salon, all of which are giving far more attention to conspiracy theories about Vladimir Putin working to make Donald Trump President of the United States.
But the Lying Press can’t cover up everything—especially as there is every indication more attacks are on the way.
And each new attack supports Trump’s theme that th e Obama Administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unleashed global chaos and enabled the rise of the Islamic State. Furthermore, it forces Hillary Clinton to justify why she wants to invite more Muslim refugees i nto the country when even government surveillance is no guarantee against spontaneous outbreaks of jihad.
German chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday (28 July) rejected calls to change her refugee policies after a recent series of attacks committed by asylum seekers in Germany.
The attackers "shame the country that welcomed them" as well as all the refugees who need protection, she said at a press conference in Berlin.
She said they wanted to "undermine our sense of community, our openness and our willingness to help people in need".
"We firmly reject this,” she said, adding that Germany would "stick to [its] principles".
Merkel interrupted her holidays to call the press conference in the wake of several attacks that left 10 people dead and more than 40 injured since 18 July.
After a young Afghan man attacked passengers on a train with an axe, a Syrian man killed a woman with a machette and another Syrian man blew himself up in front of a restaurant. In Munich, a German-Iranian born in Germany shot nine people in a fast-food restaurant.
These attacks, as well as the recent ones in France and Turkey, have broken a "taboo of civilisation", because they "happened in places where any of us could have been," Merkel said.
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