Thursday, November 19, 2015

MENA Report ( November 19 - 20 , 2015 ) - Around the MENA Horn ( Syria/ Iraq War Theater , ISIS Overlay - extending from Iraq/ Syria and into Europe , Iran nuclear agreement item of note , Israel , Paris Attacks and related items - investigations / Gov't reactions and potential over-reactions , Refugee Crisis - a wide look at some of the hot button issues of the day )


27 Dead After al-Qaeda Faction Raids Mali Hotel

Russian DM: 600 ISIS Killed in Missile Strikes

5 Killed, Several Wounded in Tel Aviv, West Bank Attacks

Air Strikes Will Have Little Effect on ISIS

Obama Aide: US Can't Sustain Ground Forces in Syria

Obama, Assad Put Kibosh on Hopes of Quick Syria Peace Deal

French President Announces Further Escalation of Strikes on ISIS

World Unites After ISIS Terror but Strikes May Backfire, Experts Say

France Wants Grand Coalition, But US Still Seeks to Exclude Russia

Arab Nations' Intel Tips Often Go Unheeded in West

House Votes to Block Syrian Refugees From US

Turkey, US Carry Op to Hit ISIS Near Syria Border

Report: Ceasefire in Damascus Suburb to Be Announced in Shortly

Heavy Fighting Leaves 250 Dead Across Iraq

White House Takes Credit for French Airstrikes on Syria

Report: Russian Plane Bomb Was in Cabin, Not Luggage

IAEA: Iran Dismantling Centrifuges Ahead of Schedule

27 Killed in Iraq as Militias Demand More Funding

ISIS Pursuing Chemical Weapons, Say Iraqi and US Officials

Syrian Rebel Group Studies Local Truce Near Damascus

Saudi Arabia Will Host Conference to Unite Syrian Opposition

Before ISIS Emerged, Syria Already Had a Full-Blown Civil War

10 Killed in Fighting for Key Yemen Province

Tehran Urges All Sides to Join UN-Backed Talks on Yemen

Keep Assad in Power to Defeat ISIS in Syria, Says Former UK Military Chief

British Air Strikes in Syria: Labor MPs Warn They Will Rebel if Not Given Free Vote on Bombing

Assad: No Political Process While 'Terrorists' in Syria

Army Map Suggests Presence of Russian Artillery Unit in Central Syria

Militants Will Not Advance to Lebanon: Russian FM



Things have changed , countries like Kuwait stepping to the plate against those who supply weapons to ISIS.

There are no good guys in a civil war. Yet Syria needs a smooth transition that will produce an inclusive govt without Islamists.

Security Council adopts resolution 2249 calling on all necessary measures to counter /via

resltn 2249 puts 'moderate' rebels in a tough spot: They hv to distance themselves frm JAN or they risk becomng legit targets.

SC resolution 2249: Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups also constitute a threat to international peace and security.

1) CNN: "No link between refugees & terrorists." True, the terrorists are homegrown. They are jihadists who traveled to Syria & returned.

2) The jihadists used the refugee route to return to Europe 'under the radar'. IS already said they would do that and they did.

3) Europe is facing a huge challenge. Lots of jihadi's returned, and maybe others also stayed 'under the radar' by taking the refugee route.

4) In addition to that, you also have the local IS supporters.

CNN: Hasna Aitboulahcen did not blow herself by using a suicide vest. A third man did it. They dont know who he is, yet.

U.N. to hold March summit to resettle, place millions of Syrians /via

Head of Germany's security service says are 'beginning of a terrorist world war'. Listen:

Notice Kuwait finally cracking down on backers of ISIS -another sign Paris Attack was a game changer in attitudes.

Turkey hard bargaining with EU continues. Turkey's stated conditions remain unchanged. Check to Europe

airstrikes hit targets in Aleppo, Idlib, near Palmyra

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BREAKING: Russia's long-range bombers carry out 60 sorties in 4 days

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BREAKING: Russian Air Force hit 731 terrorist targets in 394 sorties

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Russia is stepping up airstrikes aimed at degradation of oil trade of ISIS-which is allegedly losing1.5 ml per day.

state arrears, peaked in Dec 2012, got them at €3.9bln, reached almost €6bln in Sep
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Turkey isn't taking anything on faith from the EU and pledges won't cut it. Cash only ...

EU Commission agrees to change code for systematic checks on EU citizens at external borders. (source) 1/2

Legislative process could take 3-4 months "if all institutions get together" (source) 2/2

has the upper hand in the EU-Turkey refugee talks. He can practically do, say, and ask for anything. And the EU won't even flinch.


Paris Attacks and related investigations....

so 3 of the 11/13 attackers identities are still unknown? (fake) passport holder,+ 2 others?

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Note both Belgium and France have sought Constitutional changes post Paris attacks ....

Commentator makes good point. Abaaoud most likely operational leader , but someone else put balls in play.

Belgium announcing steps to address risks stemming from Belgian Syria foreign fighters & Belgians on watch lists...

Paris prosecutor confirms Abdelhamid Abaaoud is among the dead. His identity was confirmed through forensic testing.
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Refugee  Crisis / Related  Border Security Issues !

EU countries set to tighten passport checks , as part of effort to strengthen external Schengen border security.

Austria & Germany repeat call for other EU countries to step up to the plate regarding Refugee Crisis...

Serbia , Macedonia and Croatia clamp down further...

Meanwhile, Idomeni border btwn & is still closed. ~2000 ppl wait in the cold with ~500 more expected to arrive soon:

Europe needs tangible plan for crisis says on trip to

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Slovenia will suggest at the Balkan teleconference today that the countries start blocking access to "economic migrants".

It sent back 168 Moroccans to Croatia, as a kind of test case due to a spike in the number of economic migrants.

This sparked a panicked reaction from Serbia and Macedonia, who decided to block access to people not from Syr/Afg/Iraq.

But so far no permanent action is being taken.

Spox: "We absolutely need to provide protection to those who need it, whose lives are threatened, who are escaping war zones ... "

" ..For others we will need to reach an agreement.. No country has limitless capacity so capacity shd be for those who are really in need."