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Israel Hits Iranian Military Posts in Syria

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20 Nov 2019 (All day)
Israel Hits Iranian Military Posts in Syria
Israeli aircraft carried out strikes on Iranian military posts in Syria early Wednesday morning in response to a barrage of rockets fired at Israel by Iranian-backed militia forces near Damascus Tuesday morning. When Assad-regime air defense units fired at the Israeli aircraft, they were also targeted. Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett declared that "the rules have changed: Anyone who shoots at the State of Israel during the day will not sleep at night. Like last week and now this week.  Our message to Iran's leaders is simple: You are no longer immune. Wherever you stretch your tentacles-we will hack them off. The IDF will continue to protect Israeli citizens "

Syrian opposition groups claimed that there were 11 people killed by the strikes including 7 non-Syrians, presumably members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

“The Iranian attack against Israeli territory yesterday is further proof of the current Iranian purpose in Syria. Their presence in the region is a danger to Israel's security, regional stability and to the Syrian regime,” the IDF said in a statement.

Deadline for Gantz Coalition Deal Approaching
Midnight Wednesday is the deadline for Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to form a governing coalition, but as of Wednesday afternoon the prospects of such an event coming about looked dim. Gantz spoke to reporters Wednesday morning, devoting his remarks to blaming the Likud Party led by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the impasse, saying Netanyahu “would do anything to drag us to third elections." He added an entreaty to Netanyahu to "accept the election results," and to "give up the immunity and the right-wing bloc and negotiate the foundations of the two biggest parties."

Head of the Likud negotiation talks MK Yariv Levin responded by saying "The prime minister agreed to terms that would violate his rights and shorten his candidacy. Show me one concession, even a little one, made by blue and white. I have never seen negotiations being held where there hasn't been a meeting for ten days. The reason is that Blue and White are busy forming a delusional minority government. I hope that fails."

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman appeared to end the final hope of a unity government being formed before the midnight deadline by telling reporters that he would not cooperate with Blue and White plans to form a minority government with the support of the Joint (Arab) List party and he also wouldn’t join with the Right-wing bloc led by Likud to form a government with a slight majority. He added that both major parties were equally to blame for the imbroglio, but he still had hope that a third election could be avoided.

Pentagon Issues New Report on Threat from Iran
A Pentagon study released this week said that the arsenal of missiles possessed by Iran’s military is larger than that of any of its Middle Eastern neighbors. "Lacking a modern air force, Iran has embraced ballistic missiles as a long-range strike capability to dissuade its adversaries in the region -- particularly the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia -- from attacking Iran," the report said. Defense Intelligence Agency director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley said: "Iran sees itself as closer than ever to achieving its goals. Tehran has played the cards dealt it by the fall of Saddam [Hussein in Iraq], the uprising in Syria, the rise and retreat of ISIS, and the conflict in Yemen."

Here is a video about the threat from Iran



Massive Street Demonstrations Continue in Lebanon and Iraq
Lebanon’s titular parliament appeared to be hopelessly checkmated Wednesday by protesters who have twice this week physically prevented them from entering the capital building to hold sessions. Protesters chanting “revolution, revolution," continued to occupy the streets around the building Wednesday morning, as rumors circulated that security forces had refused orders to violently disperse them. In Iraq, protests have been more frequently violent, with protesters expressing deep skepticism at statements by lawmakers that reforms are imminent.

Today's video shows a recent panel discussion about Russia's growing presense in the Middle East