• Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow
    Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall?

    Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMarch 27, 2024

    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    On March 22, Russia suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history, in the course of which 137 people were killed and 182 others were injured. The four terrorists who carried out the attack chose one of the largest exhibition and concert venues in the country, Crocus City Hall, in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of Moscow, which hosts large events every day.

    Even though the investigation is still ongoing, the West has already claimed that the Islamic State (IS) is responsible for the tragedy. This was first reported by some media outlets, including Reuters and CNN, and was later picked up by Western officials. For example, on Monday, this was stated by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

    However, when we compare this terrorist attack with other IS attacks, we notice more differences than similarities.

    How IS kills

    On that fateful Friday night, a concert by Picnic, a St. Petersburg rock band, was supposed to take place in Crocus City Hall. This fact gave rise to comparisons with the horrible terrorist attack in France in November 2015. Back then, terrorists broke into the Bataclan Theater in Paris, where a concert of the US band Eagles of Death Metal was taking place. IS claimed responsibility for the crime, which left 89 people dead.

    Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack?

    Read more

    Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack?

    In those years, IS became increasingly active throughout the world – but this was actually a sign of its decline. In its heyday, IS didn’t urge its supporters to carry out terrorist attacks, but instead called on them to “fulfill the hijrah” – i.e., move to the territories controlled by the organization. Over ten years ago, this was quite easy to do, since part of the Syrian border with Turkey was controlled by the jihadists, which allowed people to freely cross it and join their ranks.

    However, as the terrorists lost many of their territories, their rhetoric changed. Through its information resources, IS urged its followers to commit terrorist acts in places where they lived. This caused an upsurge in violence in Europe: a wave of terror swept through France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and other countries. In Russia, the North Caucasus became a point of tension.

    The strategy was simple – anyone who supported the jihadists, wherever they lived, could record a video with an oath of allegiance to the “caliph,” send it via an automated feedback bot, and then commit a terrorist act. Often it was only the perpetrator who died, but for IS, this didn’t matter – it only cared about being mentioned in connection with the terrorist activity, which is why the organization occasionally took responsibility for crimes that it had nothing to do with.

    The terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, however, doesn’t match this straightforward strategy usually adopted by IS. In fact, the choice of a rock concert as the site of the terrorist attack is almost the only common feature between this attack and other acts of terror it has committed.

    What preceded the events at Crocus City Hall

    Four people who had not previously known each other were recruited to carry out the terrorist attack. One of them, Shamsidin Fariduni, was in Türkiye in February, and from there he flew to Russia on March 4. He spent at least ten days in Türkiye and investigators are currently determining who he communicated with while there.

    According to unofficial information, he met with a certain “Islamic preacher” in Istanbul. However, it is also known that the terrorists corresponded with the “preacher’s assistant.” According to Fariduni, this anonymous person sponsored and organized the terrorist attack.

    RT

    After arriving in Russia, Fariduni visited Crocus City Hall on March 7 in order to see the site where the crime was to be committed. From this, we may conclude that the attack was to take place soon after his arrival from Türkiye. On the same day, the US embassy in Russia warned its citizens to avoid large gatherings “over the next 48 hours” due to possible attacks by extremists.

    The next concert at Crocus City Hall was given by the singer Shaman, who is known for his patriotism. However, his concert on Saturday, March 9 passed without incident. In the following days, there were other performances at the venue, but apparently the terrorists were forced to adjust their plans.

    As a result, they chose the concert by the band Picnic, scheduled for March 22. Although this band is not as popular as Shaman, it is also known for its patriotic stance and for donating funds for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

    ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters

    Read more

    ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters

    What happened afterwards

    None of the terrorists planned to “join the Houris in paradise,” as is usual for IS followers. After shooting people in Crocus City Hall and setting the building on fire, they did not attack the special forces which arrived at the scene and instead got in a car and fled from Moscow. Neither did they wear “suicide belts” – a characteristic detail of IS followers who are ready to die after committing their crime.

    Another detail which is uncharacteristic for IS is the monetary reward promised to the terrorists. The payment was supposed to be made in two installments – before and after the attack. The terrorists had already received the first payment, amounting to 250,000 rubles ($2,700).

    The most important detail is the location where the terrorists were detained. Traffic cameras allowed intelligence services to monitor where they were headed. They were eventually detained on the federal highway M-3 Ukraine – a route which used to connect Russia and Ukraine but lost much of its international importance after the deterioration of relations between the two countries in 2014, and particularly after the start of Russia’s military operation in 2022.

    The terrorists were detained after passing the turn to route A240, which leads to Belarus. At that moment, it became obvious that there was only one place where they could be headed: Ukraine.

    Despite the fact that the terrorists were armed, only one of them, Mukhammadsobir Fayzov, put up resistance. All of the terrorists were detained alive, which was most likely an order given to the security forces involved in the operation. However, as we mentioned above, the terrorists themselves did not want to die.

    RT

    Moreover, they knew where to go to save their lives: to the Ukrainian border. Later, in his address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a “window” for passage had been opened for them on the Ukrainian side.

    This, too, is uncharacteristic for IS, since someone who carries out a terrorist act, especially an outsider, is always considered “disposable.” Even if he makes it out alive, no one will help him. Moreover, in earlier years, IS usually didn’t take responsibility for an attack if the perpetrator remained alive, as this could harm him during the investigation. However, later the organization no longer cared about this due to the deplorable state in which it found itself.

    All this comes down to the fact that compared to other attacks carried out by IS in the past few years, this one is strikingly different when it comes to the level of preparation, detailed planning, and financial compensation.

    Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up

    Read more

    Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up

    What does Ukraine have to do with it?

    Having already mentioned Ukraine several times, we must note its links with terrorists. Since 2015, it has been known that the Security Service of Ukraine tried to recruit radical Islamists with the goal of carrying out sabotage and terrorist attacks, etc. on Russian territory. Ukraine’s intelligence services were also active among the terrorists in Syria. This cooperation was marked in particular by the arrival in Ukraine of Chechen terrorist Rustam Azhiev, who served in the International Legion controlled by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

    Azhiev participated in the second Chechen campaign against the Russian Armed Forces and eventually fled to Türkiye. In 2011, he moved to Syria, where he headed the terrorist group Ajnad Al-Kavkaz. Under his command, the militants participated in hostilities against the Syrian Armed Forces and were noted for terrorist attacks directed against civilians. Azhiev operated side-by-side with groups that are recognized as terrorist organizations not only in the United States, but throughout the world. The main ally of Ajnad Al-Kavkaz was Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria.

    Over time, the Russian Armed Forces and Syrian Armed Forces liberated territories from terrorists and significantly reduced their supply base. As a result, Azhiev and his associates became involved in contract killings, extortion, torture, and racketeering. In 2019, Azhiev even had to publicly apologize for the actions of his associates, who kidnapped the wrong person.

    The terrorists had been “unemployed” for several years when in 2022, Azhiev and his associates were approached by Ukrainian intelligence services through an intermediary – field commander Akhmed Zakayev. Azhiev and his associates took part in combat operations against the Russian Armed Forces and as a reward, Azhiev was given a Ukrainian passport.

    RT

    In 2024, led by Azhiev, the terrorists participated in an attack on border settlements in Belgorod Region. In a video, Azhiev publicly admitted that the purpose of the operation was to destabilize the situation in Russia before and during the presidential elections. This was confirmed by the fact that the attacks stopped right after the elections.

    After the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall, the Austrian newspaper Heute discovered another link between Ukraine and radical Islamists. According to the publication, which cites information from intelligence services, many suspected terrorists had entered the EU from Ukraine. For example, in December 2023, a Tajik citizen and his wife, along with an accomplice, were detained in Vienna. They were preparing an attack on St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The couple had come to the EU from Ukraine in February 2022.

    ***

    Ukraine is the place of residence not only for many terrorists, but also IS administrators and those who sympathize with the terrorists. Some of these people are actively involved in raising funds for imprisoned IS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Some of this money goes to purchasing food and medicines. But quite often, it is spent on buying weapons to carry out attacks inside prisons, and for bribing guards. Since some of the terrorists are officially “employed” in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and others work for the Security Service of Ukraine, they can both push their employers to organize a terrorist attack or do so on their own, without formally consulting the authorities. Currently, one of the versions is that an employee of the Ukrainian intelligence services could’ve been hiding under the guise of the “preacher’s assistant.”



    Moreover, Kiev has prior experience in carrying out terrorist acts on Russian territory – both directly, as in the case of Daria Dugina, and through intermediaries, as in the case of Vladlen Tatarsky. Therefore, using radical Islamists, such as IS followers, to carry out terrorist attacks fully corresponds to Ukraine’s strategy, which comes down to inflicting maximum damage on Russia and its residents.


    ATTENTION READERS

    We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
    In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

    About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
    Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.

    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/krainian-caliphate-what-the-west-prefers-not-to-notice-when-blaming-isis-for-the-terrorist-attack-in-moscow/
    Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall? Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMarch 27, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. On March 22, Russia suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history, in the course of which 137 people were killed and 182 others were injured. The four terrorists who carried out the attack chose one of the largest exhibition and concert venues in the country, Crocus City Hall, in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of Moscow, which hosts large events every day. Even though the investigation is still ongoing, the West has already claimed that the Islamic State (IS) is responsible for the tragedy. This was first reported by some media outlets, including Reuters and CNN, and was later picked up by Western officials. For example, on Monday, this was stated by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. However, when we compare this terrorist attack with other IS attacks, we notice more differences than similarities. How IS kills On that fateful Friday night, a concert by Picnic, a St. Petersburg rock band, was supposed to take place in Crocus City Hall. This fact gave rise to comparisons with the horrible terrorist attack in France in November 2015. Back then, terrorists broke into the Bataclan Theater in Paris, where a concert of the US band Eagles of Death Metal was taking place. IS claimed responsibility for the crime, which left 89 people dead. Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack? Read more Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack? In those years, IS became increasingly active throughout the world – but this was actually a sign of its decline. In its heyday, IS didn’t urge its supporters to carry out terrorist attacks, but instead called on them to “fulfill the hijrah” – i.e., move to the territories controlled by the organization. Over ten years ago, this was quite easy to do, since part of the Syrian border with Turkey was controlled by the jihadists, which allowed people to freely cross it and join their ranks. However, as the terrorists lost many of their territories, their rhetoric changed. Through its information resources, IS urged its followers to commit terrorist acts in places where they lived. This caused an upsurge in violence in Europe: a wave of terror swept through France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and other countries. In Russia, the North Caucasus became a point of tension. The strategy was simple – anyone who supported the jihadists, wherever they lived, could record a video with an oath of allegiance to the “caliph,” send it via an automated feedback bot, and then commit a terrorist act. Often it was only the perpetrator who died, but for IS, this didn’t matter – it only cared about being mentioned in connection with the terrorist activity, which is why the organization occasionally took responsibility for crimes that it had nothing to do with. The terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, however, doesn’t match this straightforward strategy usually adopted by IS. In fact, the choice of a rock concert as the site of the terrorist attack is almost the only common feature between this attack and other acts of terror it has committed. What preceded the events at Crocus City Hall Four people who had not previously known each other were recruited to carry out the terrorist attack. One of them, Shamsidin Fariduni, was in Türkiye in February, and from there he flew to Russia on March 4. He spent at least ten days in Türkiye and investigators are currently determining who he communicated with while there. According to unofficial information, he met with a certain “Islamic preacher” in Istanbul. However, it is also known that the terrorists corresponded with the “preacher’s assistant.” According to Fariduni, this anonymous person sponsored and organized the terrorist attack. RT After arriving in Russia, Fariduni visited Crocus City Hall on March 7 in order to see the site where the crime was to be committed. From this, we may conclude that the attack was to take place soon after his arrival from Türkiye. On the same day, the US embassy in Russia warned its citizens to avoid large gatherings “over the next 48 hours” due to possible attacks by extremists. The next concert at Crocus City Hall was given by the singer Shaman, who is known for his patriotism. However, his concert on Saturday, March 9 passed without incident. In the following days, there were other performances at the venue, but apparently the terrorists were forced to adjust their plans. As a result, they chose the concert by the band Picnic, scheduled for March 22. Although this band is not as popular as Shaman, it is also known for its patriotic stance and for donating funds for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine. ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters Read more ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters What happened afterwards None of the terrorists planned to “join the Houris in paradise,” as is usual for IS followers. After shooting people in Crocus City Hall and setting the building on fire, they did not attack the special forces which arrived at the scene and instead got in a car and fled from Moscow. Neither did they wear “suicide belts” – a characteristic detail of IS followers who are ready to die after committing their crime. Another detail which is uncharacteristic for IS is the monetary reward promised to the terrorists. The payment was supposed to be made in two installments – before and after the attack. The terrorists had already received the first payment, amounting to 250,000 rubles ($2,700). The most important detail is the location where the terrorists were detained. Traffic cameras allowed intelligence services to monitor where they were headed. They were eventually detained on the federal highway M-3 Ukraine – a route which used to connect Russia and Ukraine but lost much of its international importance after the deterioration of relations between the two countries in 2014, and particularly after the start of Russia’s military operation in 2022. The terrorists were detained after passing the turn to route A240, which leads to Belarus. At that moment, it became obvious that there was only one place where they could be headed: Ukraine. Despite the fact that the terrorists were armed, only one of them, Mukhammadsobir Fayzov, put up resistance. All of the terrorists were detained alive, which was most likely an order given to the security forces involved in the operation. However, as we mentioned above, the terrorists themselves did not want to die. RT Moreover, they knew where to go to save their lives: to the Ukrainian border. Later, in his address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a “window” for passage had been opened for them on the Ukrainian side. This, too, is uncharacteristic for IS, since someone who carries out a terrorist act, especially an outsider, is always considered “disposable.” Even if he makes it out alive, no one will help him. Moreover, in earlier years, IS usually didn’t take responsibility for an attack if the perpetrator remained alive, as this could harm him during the investigation. However, later the organization no longer cared about this due to the deplorable state in which it found itself. All this comes down to the fact that compared to other attacks carried out by IS in the past few years, this one is strikingly different when it comes to the level of preparation, detailed planning, and financial compensation. Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up Read more Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up What does Ukraine have to do with it? Having already mentioned Ukraine several times, we must note its links with terrorists. Since 2015, it has been known that the Security Service of Ukraine tried to recruit radical Islamists with the goal of carrying out sabotage and terrorist attacks, etc. on Russian territory. Ukraine’s intelligence services were also active among the terrorists in Syria. This cooperation was marked in particular by the arrival in Ukraine of Chechen terrorist Rustam Azhiev, who served in the International Legion controlled by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. Azhiev participated in the second Chechen campaign against the Russian Armed Forces and eventually fled to Türkiye. In 2011, he moved to Syria, where he headed the terrorist group Ajnad Al-Kavkaz. Under his command, the militants participated in hostilities against the Syrian Armed Forces and were noted for terrorist attacks directed against civilians. Azhiev operated side-by-side with groups that are recognized as terrorist organizations not only in the United States, but throughout the world. The main ally of Ajnad Al-Kavkaz was Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria. Over time, the Russian Armed Forces and Syrian Armed Forces liberated territories from terrorists and significantly reduced their supply base. As a result, Azhiev and his associates became involved in contract killings, extortion, torture, and racketeering. In 2019, Azhiev even had to publicly apologize for the actions of his associates, who kidnapped the wrong person. The terrorists had been “unemployed” for several years when in 2022, Azhiev and his associates were approached by Ukrainian intelligence services through an intermediary – field commander Akhmed Zakayev. Azhiev and his associates took part in combat operations against the Russian Armed Forces and as a reward, Azhiev was given a Ukrainian passport. RT In 2024, led by Azhiev, the terrorists participated in an attack on border settlements in Belgorod Region. In a video, Azhiev publicly admitted that the purpose of the operation was to destabilize the situation in Russia before and during the presidential elections. This was confirmed by the fact that the attacks stopped right after the elections. After the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall, the Austrian newspaper Heute discovered another link between Ukraine and radical Islamists. According to the publication, which cites information from intelligence services, many suspected terrorists had entered the EU from Ukraine. For example, in December 2023, a Tajik citizen and his wife, along with an accomplice, were detained in Vienna. They were preparing an attack on St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The couple had come to the EU from Ukraine in February 2022. *** Ukraine is the place of residence not only for many terrorists, but also IS administrators and those who sympathize with the terrorists. Some of these people are actively involved in raising funds for imprisoned IS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Some of this money goes to purchasing food and medicines. But quite often, it is spent on buying weapons to carry out attacks inside prisons, and for bribing guards. Since some of the terrorists are officially “employed” in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and others work for the Security Service of Ukraine, they can both push their employers to organize a terrorist attack or do so on their own, without formally consulting the authorities. Currently, one of the versions is that an employee of the Ukrainian intelligence services could’ve been hiding under the guise of the “preacher’s assistant.” Moreover, Kiev has prior experience in carrying out terrorist acts on Russian territory – both directly, as in the case of Daria Dugina, and through intermediaries, as in the case of Vladlen Tatarsky. Therefore, using radical Islamists, such as IS followers, to carry out terrorist attacks fully corresponds to Ukraine’s strategy, which comes down to inflicting maximum damage on Russia and its residents. ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/krainian-caliphate-what-the-west-prefers-not-to-notice-when-blaming-isis-for-the-terrorist-attack-in-moscow/
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    Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow
    Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall?
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  • Pentagon Won’t Say Where It’s Sending U.S. Troops — to Avoid Embarrassing Host Nations
    Ken KlippensteinNovember 16 2023, 5:00 a.m.
    U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron take off from RAF Lakenheath, England, for a deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Oct. 16, 2023. While deployed, the 494th FS will support 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) and be an engaged, postured and ready partner, supporting coalition forces to assure, deter and defend in an increasingly complex and dynamic security environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Olivia Gibson)
    The U.S. military has deployed thousands of troops to the Middle East since Hamas’s surprise October 7 attack on Israel but refuses to disclose the military bases or even host nations of the deployments — not for security reasons, but to spare the host nations embarrassment.

    One such base, the Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan, welcomed several new F-15 attack jets last month, the same aircraft used to bomb facilities used by Iranian-backed militias in Syria at least twice since October, following attacks on U.S. troops by groups supported by Iran.

    “A confluence of factors are driving the U.S. and Iran towards a direct military conflict, including the buildup of forces.”
    Despite the hostilities, the Pentagon has declined to acknowledge the base or the military buildup taking place on it for political reasons, even as the growing U.S. presence and increasing activities contribute to rising tensions with Iran.

    “A confluence of factors are driving the U.S. and Iran towards a direct military conflict, including the buildup of forces, the retaliatory actions in Syria by U.S. forces, and Iranian proxies’ provocations,” Bruce Riedel, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Intercept. “It is a dangerous situation.”

    Government records reviewed by The Intercept, along with open-source data, reveal that Muwaffaq Salti continues to act as a low-key U.S. military base central to growing tensions with Iran.

    “The main hub for U.S. air operations in Syria is now Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan, but the American presence is unacknowledged because of host country sensitivities,” said Aaron Stein in a 2021 report by the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

    Named after Jordanian Lt. Muwaffaq Salti, a pilot who died fighting the Israeli air force during a conflict involving the West Bank in 1966, it isn’t hard to see why the U.S. government doesn’t want its presence on the air base public. Jordan, a nation home to over 2 million Palestinian refugees, is being rocked by protests opposing Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

    “Tit-for-Tat Exchanges”

    As the U.S. spirals toward a potential regional war with Iran that could dwarf the casualties in Israel’s war on Gaza, the American government has withheld from the public knowledge of where U.S. troops are in harm’s way.

    At the time of this writing, there have been 55 attacks on U.S. service members in Iraq and Syria since October 17, according to the Pentagon, resulting in 59 injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.

    Most Read

    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a press conference Monday emphasized how unclear the endgame of the attacks is to the U.S. military.

    “It’s been tit-for-tat exchanges and hard to predict, you know, what will happen going forward,” Austin said.


    Related

    Secret U.S. Military Presence in Yemen Adds a Twist to Houthi Attack on Israel

    Experts say the U.S. deployments may not only fail to deter Iranian attacks, they might also invite them.

    “Enlargement of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East increases the risk of armed conflict with Iran because it means more potential points of hostile contact between U.S. troops and armed elements allied with Iran,” Paul Pillar, a nonresident fellow at the Quincy Institute, told The Intercept. “As has been the case with U.S. military components in Iraq and Syria, such a presence serves less as a deterrent than as a convenient target for anyone in the area who wants to strike at the United States.”

    “Undisclosed Location”

    “Yeah, undisclosed location in the Middle East,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told a reporter asking about the location of U.S. troops being deployed to the region during an October press briefing.

    “But nice try,” Ryder taunted.

    The exchange is representative of the Pentagon’s response to questions from the press about the U.S. military buildup. (The Pentagon did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Intercept.)

    “Can we say in some Arab countries or Gulf?” another reporter asked about the deployments.

    “Yeah, I can’t go into specific locations,” Ryder replied.

    Elias Yousif, a research analyst with the Stimson Center’s Conventional Defense Program, said, “Washington is trying to provide some plausible deniability to host countries at a time when association with the United States is coming to be seen as a political liability.”

    Despite the secrecy, photographs released by the Defense Department showing F-15s landing at what it described as an “undisclosed location” were quickly geolocated by open-source researchers and shown to be Muwaffaq Salti Air Base.

    “Washington is trying to provide some plausible deniability to host countries at a time when association with the United States is coming to be seen as a political liability.”
    Secrecy runs rampant in U.S. efforts linked to the Israeli war against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Little is known about the quantity and nature of the weapons the U.S. military has provided to Israel, despite the Pentagon’s willingness to disclose an itemized list of military support for Ukraine, as The Intercept previously reported.

    Clues about Muwaffaq Salti are scattered throughout federal records, including a reference to the base in the annex of a controversial defense cooperation agreement signed by the U.S. and Jordan in 2021. The agreement, which authorizes how the U.S. military is able to operate within the country, was enacted by royal decree, bypassing Jordan’s parliament.

    Even before Israel’s war on Gaza, the U.S. presence in Muwaffaq Salti was expanding. In December 2021, the Pentagon launched a major upgrade to the air base in order to, as Janes Defence Weekly put it, “turn it into a more permanent base.”


    https://theintercept.com/2023/11/16/pentagon-jordan-military-air-base/
    Pentagon Won’t Say Where It’s Sending U.S. Troops — to Avoid Embarrassing Host Nations Ken KlippensteinNovember 16 2023, 5:00 a.m. U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron take off from RAF Lakenheath, England, for a deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Oct. 16, 2023. While deployed, the 494th FS will support 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) and be an engaged, postured and ready partner, supporting coalition forces to assure, deter and defend in an increasingly complex and dynamic security environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Olivia Gibson) The U.S. military has deployed thousands of troops to the Middle East since Hamas’s surprise October 7 attack on Israel but refuses to disclose the military bases or even host nations of the deployments — not for security reasons, but to spare the host nations embarrassment. One such base, the Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan, welcomed several new F-15 attack jets last month, the same aircraft used to bomb facilities used by Iranian-backed militias in Syria at least twice since October, following attacks on U.S. troops by groups supported by Iran. “A confluence of factors are driving the U.S. and Iran towards a direct military conflict, including the buildup of forces.” Despite the hostilities, the Pentagon has declined to acknowledge the base or the military buildup taking place on it for political reasons, even as the growing U.S. presence and increasing activities contribute to rising tensions with Iran. “A confluence of factors are driving the U.S. and Iran towards a direct military conflict, including the buildup of forces, the retaliatory actions in Syria by U.S. forces, and Iranian proxies’ provocations,” Bruce Riedel, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Intercept. “It is a dangerous situation.” Government records reviewed by The Intercept, along with open-source data, reveal that Muwaffaq Salti continues to act as a low-key U.S. military base central to growing tensions with Iran. “The main hub for U.S. air operations in Syria is now Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan, but the American presence is unacknowledged because of host country sensitivities,” said Aaron Stein in a 2021 report by the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Named after Jordanian Lt. Muwaffaq Salti, a pilot who died fighting the Israeli air force during a conflict involving the West Bank in 1966, it isn’t hard to see why the U.S. government doesn’t want its presence on the air base public. Jordan, a nation home to over 2 million Palestinian refugees, is being rocked by protests opposing Israel’s military operation in Gaza. “Tit-for-Tat Exchanges” As the U.S. spirals toward a potential regional war with Iran that could dwarf the casualties in Israel’s war on Gaza, the American government has withheld from the public knowledge of where U.S. troops are in harm’s way. At the time of this writing, there have been 55 attacks on U.S. service members in Iraq and Syria since October 17, according to the Pentagon, resulting in 59 injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Most Read Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a press conference Monday emphasized how unclear the endgame of the attacks is to the U.S. military. “It’s been tit-for-tat exchanges and hard to predict, you know, what will happen going forward,” Austin said. Related Secret U.S. Military Presence in Yemen Adds a Twist to Houthi Attack on Israel Experts say the U.S. deployments may not only fail to deter Iranian attacks, they might also invite them. “Enlargement of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East increases the risk of armed conflict with Iran because it means more potential points of hostile contact between U.S. troops and armed elements allied with Iran,” Paul Pillar, a nonresident fellow at the Quincy Institute, told The Intercept. “As has been the case with U.S. military components in Iraq and Syria, such a presence serves less as a deterrent than as a convenient target for anyone in the area who wants to strike at the United States.” “Undisclosed Location” “Yeah, undisclosed location in the Middle East,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told a reporter asking about the location of U.S. troops being deployed to the region during an October press briefing. “But nice try,” Ryder taunted. The exchange is representative of the Pentagon’s response to questions from the press about the U.S. military buildup. (The Pentagon did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Intercept.) “Can we say in some Arab countries or Gulf?” another reporter asked about the deployments. “Yeah, I can’t go into specific locations,” Ryder replied. Elias Yousif, a research analyst with the Stimson Center’s Conventional Defense Program, said, “Washington is trying to provide some plausible deniability to host countries at a time when association with the United States is coming to be seen as a political liability.” Despite the secrecy, photographs released by the Defense Department showing F-15s landing at what it described as an “undisclosed location” were quickly geolocated by open-source researchers and shown to be Muwaffaq Salti Air Base. “Washington is trying to provide some plausible deniability to host countries at a time when association with the United States is coming to be seen as a political liability.” Secrecy runs rampant in U.S. efforts linked to the Israeli war against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Little is known about the quantity and nature of the weapons the U.S. military has provided to Israel, despite the Pentagon’s willingness to disclose an itemized list of military support for Ukraine, as The Intercept previously reported. Clues about Muwaffaq Salti are scattered throughout federal records, including a reference to the base in the annex of a controversial defense cooperation agreement signed by the U.S. and Jordan in 2021. The agreement, which authorizes how the U.S. military is able to operate within the country, was enacted by royal decree, bypassing Jordan’s parliament. Even before Israel’s war on Gaza, the U.S. presence in Muwaffaq Salti was expanding. In December 2021, the Pentagon launched a major upgrade to the air base in order to, as Janes Defence Weekly put it, “turn it into a more permanent base.” https://theintercept.com/2023/11/16/pentagon-jordan-military-air-base/
    THEINTERCEPT.COM
    Pentagon Won’t Say Where It’s Sending U.S. Troops — to Avoid Embarrassing Host Nations
    Because of Israel's war on Gaza, the U.S. is building up forces in Jordan — forces used to attack Iran, risking a regional war.
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  • 9 Amazing facts about the eagle.

    1. Eagles have excellent eyesight and can see prey from great distances. They can even spot a rabbit from up to two miles away!

    2. Eagles are found on every continent except Antarctica.

    3. The bald eagle is the national bird and symbol of the United States.

    4. Eagles can fly up to speeds of 120 miles per hour (193 km/h) when diving for prey.

    5. Eagles have a wingspan of up to 7 feet (2.1 meters).

    6. Eagles are known to mate for life and will return to the same nest every year to breed.

    7. Eagles are apex predators and have few natural predators themselves, with the exception of other eagles and large predators such as bears.

    8. Eagles are important cultural symbols in many cultures and are often associated with power, strength, and freedom.

    9. Eagles are believed to have a lifespan of up to 30 years in the wild, although many eagles die before reaching their full potential due to habitat loss, hunting, or other factors.
    9 Amazing facts about the eagle. 1. Eagles have excellent eyesight and can see prey from great distances. They can even spot a rabbit from up to two miles away! 2. Eagles are found on every continent except Antarctica. 3. The bald eagle is the national bird and symbol of the United States. 4. Eagles can fly up to speeds of 120 miles per hour (193 km/h) when diving for prey. 5. Eagles have a wingspan of up to 7 feet (2.1 meters). 6. Eagles are known to mate for life and will return to the same nest every year to breed. 7. Eagles are apex predators and have few natural predators themselves, with the exception of other eagles and large predators such as bears. 8. Eagles are important cultural symbols in many cultures and are often associated with power, strength, and freedom. 9. Eagles are believed to have a lifespan of up to 30 years in the wild, although many eagles die before reaching their full potential due to habitat loss, hunting, or other factors.
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  • Philadelphia looks tough in the NFL Conference Championship against San Francisco <i class="twa twa-american-football"></i> <br />
    <br />
    With Brock Purdy hurt in the game, the Philadelphia Eagles may be Super Bowl bound...<br/>[Philadelphia looks tough in the NFL Conference Championship against San Francisco ????
    W](https://somee.social/posts/687716)
    Philadelphia looks tough in the NFL Conference Championship against San Francisco <i class="twa twa-american-football"></i> <br /> <br /> With Brock Purdy hurt in the game, the Philadelphia Eagles may be Super Bowl bound...<br/>[Philadelphia looks tough in the NFL Conference Championship against San Francisco ???? W](https://somee.social/posts/687716)
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  • Go Huntman, in the Elite Eight of the Colorado State Playoffs!!! Playing the #1 seed in the Denver Coliseum!!! SoMee’s own Huntman23!
    Good luck to Hunter and the Valor Eagles!!!????
    Go Huntman, in the Elite Eight of the Colorado State Playoffs!!! Playing the #1 seed in the Denver Coliseum!!! SoMee’s own Huntman23! Good luck to Hunter and the Valor Eagles!!!????
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  • Let’s Go Huntman, let’s Go Eagles!!!
    Getting ready for game two of two for this trip to Colorado!!! ????????????
    Good luck boys!!! Let’s get a win and then the adults are off for pizza and beer!!! Lol
    Let’s Go Huntman, let’s Go Eagles!!! Getting ready for game two of two for this trip to Colorado!!! ???????????? Good luck boys!!! Let’s get a win and then the adults are off for pizza and beer!!! Lol
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  • Wow, what a Super Bowl...

    Congratulations to Kansas City for the win and the Eagles for a hard fought game. It was a thriller of a game!
    Wow, what a Super Bowl... Congratulations to Kansas City for the win and the Eagles for a hard fought game. It was a thriller of a game!
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  • Watching the half time show...Mac is walking the tightrope on the top of the couch enjoying the show ! Eagles looking pretty good !!!
    Watching the half time show...Mac is walking the tightrope on the top of the couch enjoying the show ! Eagles looking pretty good !!!
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  • Fly Eagles Fly!!!
    Fly Eagles Fly!!!
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  • Super Bowl LVII is this weekend with the Philadelphia Eagles opening as slight favorites over Kansas City.

    Who do you think wins the Super Bowl?

    Kansas City has more recent Super Bowl experience, but the Eagles are ready tough! Hopefully, it's a good game.
    Super Bowl LVII is this weekend with the Philadelphia Eagles opening as slight favorites over Kansas City. Who do you think wins the Super Bowl? Kansas City has more recent Super Bowl experience, but the Eagles are ready tough! Hopefully, it's a good game.
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  • Eagles going to the bowl again...let's go baby! E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!
    Eagles going to the bowl again...let's go baby! E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!
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  • Not very happy with the outcome of todays game. All i have to say is that the Bengals beat themselves here. Lots of bad calls by the refs giving Kansas Cify advantages they shouldn't have had. Communism won this year in the NFL as they just wanted the weaker football team to play the Philadelphia Commies in the Superbowl. The Communist got what they wanted. Eagles will win this Superbowl hands down.
    Not very happy with the outcome of todays game. All i have to say is that the Bengals beat themselves here. Lots of bad calls by the refs giving Kansas Cify advantages they shouldn't have had. Communism won this year in the NFL as they just wanted the weaker football team to play the Philadelphia Commies in the Superbowl. The Communist got what they wanted. Eagles will win this Superbowl hands down.
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  • Congrats to Eagles!! Once again in the superbowl!! ????
    Congrats to Eagles!! Once again in the superbowl!! ????
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