Sunday, June 22, 2014

UN Envoy Caught Trying to Send $20 Mil to Hamas

UN Envoy Caught Trying to Send $20 Mil to Hamas

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.

Obama is funding Hamas indirectly by continuing aid to the PLO\Hamas unity government, but the UN’s Mideast envoy is in trouble for taking a much more direct approach.
Robert Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process tried to find a way to transfer $20 million dollars from Qatar to Hamas.
According to diplomatic sources, Serry asked Israel and the Palestinian Authority to allow the transfer of the funds, but was met with refusals from both sides. He did not give up, however, and continued to push the idea through the UN institutions.
According to the sources, he wanted the money to be transferred to UN agencies, which would then transfer it to Hamas inside Gaza.
The sources said that Serry was trying to find an alternative avenue to getting funds to Hamas, since the Egyptians have closed the smuggling tunnels through which the money used to pass.
Serry is claiming that he would have only made the transfer if Israel had agreed to it, which it did not. Obviously.
The Qatar angle is interesting as it has its fingers in a lot of pies, including Hamas, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in general.

Israel launches strikes on targets in Syria

Israel launches strikes on targets in Syria

Air Force attacks positions in Syrian-controlled Golan Heights in retaliation for missile attack which claimed life of 13-year-old teen.
Latest Update: 06.23.14, 01:45 / Israel News
The Israel Air Force launched attacks on nine Syrian military positions in the Golan Heights late Sunday night in response to a missile attack earlier in the day that killed a 13-year-old boy on the Israeli side of the border.

The IDF said the targets belonged to President Bashar Assad's Syrian army, and included command posts and firing positions. The military confirmed direct hits on the targets. High-precision ground-to-ground Spike (Tamuz) missiles were also used in the attack.

Residents of northern Israel reported hearing explosions from across the border with Syria.

The strikes were launched shortly after midnight, when IAF jets fired missiles on Syrian army positions on the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights.

Syrian opposition sources claimed that there were 3 attacks on Syrian army positions. They said the headquarters of Syria's 90th Division, which is stationed in Quneitra, was also attacked.

Related stories:

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said Sunday's cross-border missile attack on Israeli vehicles was a "continuation of a number of attacks in recent months against IDF forces near the border in general and this area specifically. The IDF will act with determination at any time and in any way it sees fit to protest the citizens of the State of Israel."

Earlier in the day, the IDF responded to the killing of Israeli teen Mohammed Karaka by firing artillery rounds into outposts on Syrian territory, but later discussions raised the possibility of attacking other targets on the Syrian Golan.

Investigations conducted Sunday night in GOC Northern Command raised the possibility that the advanced Kornet anti-tank missile was fired from an area contested by the Syrian army and rebel forces.

The IDF believes the attack on the Syrian border had no connection to recent developments in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. The full investigation will also examine why IDF outposts in the area failed to spot the terror cell.

ISIS Just Attacked Iran Iranian troops die in Qasre Shirin border clash

On June 19, militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria attacked Iranian border guards near Iran’s border city of Qasre Shirin, according to Iranian social media.
A photograph showed the bodies of at least two Iranian officers apparently killed in the skirmish. Iran’s state-controlled media didn’t initially report the clash at Qasre Shirin, as Tehran routinely censors violent border incidents.
But Iranian officials took an unusual step and eventually talked about this particular incident. The first official to react was Fath Allah Hosseini, Qasre Shirin’s representative in the Iranian parliament. Hosseini insisted that residents were not afraid of ISIS, which has captured much of northwestern Iraq in recent weeks.
Then on June 21, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan—the Iranian army’s senior ground force commander—confirmed to the state-run YJC news agency that the incident took place. But Pourdastan said that the attackers were from the Kurdish militant group Party for Free Life of Kurdistan, also known by its Kurdish acronym PEJAK.
But this an odd claim given the intensity of the attack and the location.
Iranian officers killed during June 19 clashes. Photo via Iranian social media
For one, Kurdish troops are battling ISIS forces 12 miles to the south near the Iraqi city of Khanaqin. Kurdish militia groups are scrambling to fortify their territory against further attacks. It seems unlikely they would open a second front by hitting Iran.
It’s possible that by mentioning PEJAK, Pourdastan is attempting to ease fears of an ISIS attack inside Iran. Pourdastan did not confirm Iranian casualties—a standard practice for Iranian officials.
He added that Iranian military units along Iran’s western borders are on full alert, including Iranian army aviation units equipped with AH-1 Cobra and Bell-214 Isfahan helicopters. Last week, Iranian state media also reported that the Iranian air force is on alert and ready to carry out expeditionary missions into Iraq.
Iran has previously benefited from ISIS—at least when the terror group stayed put in Syria. In 2013, when ISIS forces began attacking other rebel positions south of Aleppo, Iranian-backed forces took the opportunity to capture the city of Al Safirah, which commanded a critical supply route for Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad’s troops.
But tensions between Tehran and ISIS have been building in recent months. Previously, ISIS announced it wouldn’t attack Iranians, in order to maintain its supply routes through Iran. But in May, amid the ongoing fighting with Al Qaeda-linked rebel groups such as Jabhat Al Nusrah and Islamic Front, ISIS retracted the assurance.
After the announcement, ISIS launched a wave of suicide attacks targeting Iranian nationals in Iraq. Last week, ISIS also began publicizing battle reports in Farsi.
As Iranian regular forces brace for a confrontation with ISIS, Iran’s special operations expeditionary unit—the Quds Force—could arm, organize and command Shia militias in Iraq.
With the attack on Qasre Shirin, it appears ISIS is striking back.
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