Tag Archives: Tripoli

Beirut Graffiti

Yes, Beirut tends to rely on Graffiti at times. One could argue that this is the place that got the reputation that things happen, where the writing is on the wall. The city of Beirut, which was once part of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, (around 300,000 days ago) with a border to the county of Tripoli to the north is now in a repeated dangerous position. The placement as well as the situation is very apt and very applicable. You see, as the situation evolved in 1198, ‘Duke Henry of Brabant their commander and the crusaders proceeded to Tyre, initiating a campaign to expel the Muslims from Beirut and to subject the Levant coast up to Tripoli‘, it made for the change where King Amalric of Cyprus became King of Jerusalem, yet that was not the end of the story. 16 years later the impact is seen in other ways. As German troops under Archchancellor Conrad of Mainz and Marshal Henry of Kalden were not accepted, the troops ended up going to other places, seeking other alliances. 12,000 to 15,000 men; mostly disbanded and most did not end up going back, they stayed in Crusader territory, Acre, Jaffa, and Caesarea. The events seem trivial, but they are not. It is because of that event that the Battle of Bouvines those 16 years later and optionally a generation later was a speculated direct cause where 5,000 French infantry were able to do in 7500 German infantry. Even as Germany had up to 200 additional knights close to 200 knights were killed, over 100 captured (for Ransom most likely) with a large chunk of the Brabantine infantry slaughtered. The 3rd Crusade had a larger impact than most saw.

Yet how does that relate to today?

Well, the setting is similar, As Palestine could not contain their Hezbollah troops, their allegiance to Iran now has a much larger cost that is coming to bear. The Jerusalem Post reports: ‘Palestinians in bid to avert ‘real crisis’ with Saudi Arabia‘, and it seems that “the Saudis are not responding to Palestinian requests to arrange such a visit”, well, is that not a big surprise? No it is not, it is the direct cost of doing business and facilitating to Iran is about to cost Palestine more than they are willing to admit to.

So when I see: ““We’re in the midst of a real crisis with Saudi Arabia,” a PA official told The Jerusalem Post. “They seem to be very angry with us”” (at https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Palestinians-in-bid-to-avert-real-crisis-with-Saudi-Arabia-597538), I wonder if they had ever considered muzzling Hezbollah? We see more escalations with: “The assault on July 23 by Palestinians on a Saudi blogger during a visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount has further aggravated tensions between Ramallah and Riyadh. The blogger, Mohammed Saud, was part of an Arab journalist delegation invited by the Foreign Ministry to visit Israel“, yet the interference where Hezbollah facilitated for Houthi troops by firing on Saudi Arabia is largely left untouched by the Jerusalem Post, why was that?

Did Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not realise that facilitating to the Iranian proxy war would bite them at some point? Why on earth would the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia facilitate to any Palestinian needs? Palestine is now willing to talk as Iran is about to drop them like a bad habit? The attacks by Israel on Iran is also an initial indication that Iran is pulling back on all fronts to be ready for what comes next and some would argue that this leaves Palestine deservingly out in the cold. It is at that point that we see Rawafed bin Saeed, a Saudi national who described himself as a poet, author and journalist making the claim “Why don’t the Palestinians demonstrate against Iran, Hezbollah and Turkey?” and that claim leads to larger issues. Palestine made the largest mistake by becoming the tool of Iran and now that the issue is spawning a larger concern, Palestine is worried, because they wrongfully thought it would all blow over and it seems that Saudi Arabia does not agree with that point of view. So when we see: “Scores of videos and comments ridiculing the Saudis and denouncing the royal family as “traitors” and “puppets” in the hands of the US and Israel have filled Facebook and Twitter in the past few months“, we should see a larger issue, it is seen in one word that is linked to it all. The word ‘smear campaign‘, implies orchestration and more than merely the voices of individuals, that in light of the Facebook revelation a little more than two days ago where we were treated to ‘Facebook bans ‘Saudi Arabia-linked propaganda accounts’‘ implies (implies set to speculation) gives light that Palestinians voices are optionally not silenced and now we see half-baked censoring becoming a larger issue. If Palestinian smear campaigns were not muzzled, we see an imbalance fuelling the anger of Saudi Arabia and that becomes a larger issue soon enough. So when we see the quote: “There’s a feeling that things are quickly spiralling out of control. If we don’t fix the situation, the Palestinians in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries will pay a heavy price“, did Hezbollah not advice Palestinians to move to Iran as fast as possible? You cannot facilitate to another party in a proxy war and think that the rest remains the same.

I find the idea that “the Palestinian Authority is considering dispatching a senior delegation to Riyadh for urgent talks with members of the Saudi royal family and government officials on ways to avert a further deterioration” slightly delusional. You cannot back Hezbollah and allow them to be Iranian tools and then accept that Saudi Arabia remains nice, the Palestinians allowed for the deterioration and the rising of pressures. Now that Houthi forces are a larger problem, moving out comes with a price and as such the larger deterioration that we see where Saudi Arabia, Israel and the UAE will turn on Palestine and Iran to a much larger degree is a mere consequence of proxy wars. Even as we see the impact of what some called ‘ordinary Saudi and Palestinians‘, the link to ‘smear campaign‘ implies levels of support and I am perfectly willing that both sides as engaged in this, yet the technology sector has decided to move against Saudi Arabia, whilst there is little support that Palestinian voices are censored to a similar degree. It changes the balance of the seesaw and now we see a larger discontent on all levels. It is at that point where we see that “Saudis opposed to normalization with Israel have come out against the Palestinians” has a different tune, just as there was an impact in the crusades due to the Arch chancellor Conrad of Mainz and Marshal Henry of Kalden, in similar steps Palestinian acts are no longer accepted by more players than just Israel and now they have a problem, and one might voice: ‘and rightfully so’, just like the Germans learned the hard way in the Crusades, Palestine will soon face a larger issue as Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel optionally close all taps that fill the cups of opportunity, it is merely the impact of actions and now that more nations demand actions against Hezbollah, Palestine is now with their back against the wall and their earlier claims and disregard will now lead to loss of options and talking parties, the talking parties that they desperately need, and as Iran is pushed, they will hang a ‘do not disturb‘ sign on their embassies and talking partners. That part is growing and as the NY Times reported on ‘sanctions on Wafiq Safa, Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, and Amin Sherri’, the state of Hezbollah support to Iran is now starting to cost them a lot more and Palestine gets to learn this the hard way, all the talking partners are stepping back and soon enough they will face the lack of discussions through Moscow as well, as far as all can tell, a Hezbollah tainting is giving the tainted a global disadvantage, I always expected it to happen, but with the Saudi tensions the upcoming problems to Palestine are a lot closer than I expected them to be.

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Iranian puppets

Saudi Arabia has been under attack for a while, yet the latest one has been the hardest hit for now. 26 people were injured in a drone attack on Abha Airport. The fact that it is 107 Km away from the border gives rise that this is not the end. Even as we see: “a late-night cruise missile attack by Houthi rebel fighters”, I wonder if they were really Houthi or members of Hezbollah calling themselves Houthi. In addition, when we see: “the missile directed at the airport had been supplied by Iran, even claiming Iranian experts were present at the missile’s launch” as the Saudi government stated this, I am not 100% convinced. The supply yes, the presence is another matter. There is pretty hard evidence that Iran has been supplying drone technology to Lebanon and they have been training Hezbollah forces. I think this is a first of several operations where we see Hezbollah paying the invoice from Iran by being operationally active as a proxy for Iran. It does not make Iran innocence, it does change the picture. the claim by Washington “Iran is directing the increasingly sophisticated Houthi attacks deep into Saudi territory” is more accurate as I see it. It changes the premise as well as the actions required. From my point of view, we merely need to be able to strike at one team, if anyone is found to be Lebanese, Saudi Arabia can change the premise by using Hezbollah goods and strike Beirut – Rafic Hariri International Airport with alternative hardware. Lebanon stops being the least volatile country in the Middle East and it would stop commerce and a few other options at the same time. I wonder how much support they get from Iran at that point. I believe in the old operational premise to victory

Segregation, isolation, and assassination, the tactical premise in three parts that is nice and all solving; It can be directed at a person, a location, or even an infrastructure, the premise matters. It is time to stop Hezbollah, that part is essential as it does more than merely slow down Houthi rebels, it pushes for Iran to go all in whilst being the visible transgressor, or it forces them to back off completely; that is how I personally see it.

So as we see the Pentagon rally behind diplomatic forces, I cannot help but wonder how it is possible for 15 dicks to be pussies? For the non-insiders, it is comprised of the 7 joint chiefs of staff, the septet of intelligence (Army, Navy, Air force, Marine, FBI, CIA and NSA) and of course the National Security Advisor. It is time to change the premise, it really is. It is also a must to proclaim ourselves to either the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or Iran and I will never proclaim myself towards Iran (a man must keep some principles).

We can be all angry find a solution to erase them. As I see it, my version is more productive in the end. They are targeting close to the border as much as possible, this implies that their hardware has limitations. Even so to merely rely on anti-drone and some version of an Aveillant system is economically not too viable, it will merely make some places (like airports more secure). When we look around we see that there are 6 ways to take care of drones.

  1. Guns, which requires precision and manpower
  2. Nets, same as the first, yet a net covers an area better chance of results and a chance to get the drone decently unharmed, or retrieve enough evidence to consider a counter offensive
  3. Jammer, a two pronged option, as the connection fails most drones go back to their point of origin giving the option of finding out who was behind it.
  4. Hacking, a drone can be used for hacking, but the other way is also an option if the drone lacks certain security measures, optionally getting access to logs and other information
  5. Birds of Prey (Eagle, Falcon), A Dutch solution to use a bird of prey to hunt a drone, an Eagle will be 10 times more deadly than a drone, Eagles are a lot more agile and remaining as fast all the time.
  6. Drones, Fighting drones with drones is not the most viable one, however these drones have paint guns which would hinder rotor function and speed, forcing gravity and drag to be the main issues for the drone.

The issue is not merely how to do it, but the specifics of the drone become a larger issue. An Eagle and most solutions will not work against the MQ-9 Reaper drone (to name but an example), yet Hezbollah and Iran rely on the Qods Mohajer (optionally the Raad 85), which when considering the range is the more likely suspect. What is important to know is that these devices requires a certain skill level, hence there is no way that a Houthi forces could have done this by themselves. It required Hezbollah/Iranian supervision. There the option of jamming and drones with a paint gun would work, if a jammer gets shot onto the drone, it will give them a way to follow, paint can have the same effect whilst at the same time limit its capabilities. If the drone is loaded with explosives and set for a one way trip there is a lot less to do, yet the paint could still impact its ability if there is enough space left, if the paint is loaded with metal it could light it up making it a much better target. All options that have been considered in the last few years in anti-drone activities, the question is how to proceed now.

I believe that inaction will no longer get us anywhere, especially when Hezbollah is involved. That is the one speculative part. There is no way that Houthi rebel forces have the skills; I believe that Iran is too focussed on having some level of deniability, hence the Hezbollah part. It is entirely probable that Iranian forces are involved, yet that would be the pilot and with the range, that pilot would have been really close to the Yemeni border making Abha airport a target, yet unlikely that more inland another target would be available to them.

Knowing that gives more options, but also makes it harder to proceed, the earlier five methods mentioned are direct, there is one other option, but I am not discussing it here at present as it optionally involves DoD classified materials (and involves DARPA’s project on Machine learning applied intelligence to the radio spectrum) and lets not put that part out in the open. It is actually a clever program conceived by Paul Tilghman, a graduate from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), an excellent school that is slightly below MIT and on par with UTS (my creative stomping grounds).

It is a roadmap that needs to be followed, I am all for bombing Hezbollah sites, unlike the earlier mentioned group of 15, I prefer my level of evidence to be a little higher as such the Tilghman solution is called for, after that, when we get that we can address the viability of Beirut and Tripoli with 2500 lbs hardware donations, depending on the evidence found mind you, we can make adjustments, as some materials would have needed to be shipped to Yemen either directly or via Lebanon and in all honesty, I am of the mind that Iran would not have done this directly. Proxy wars require a higher level of deniability to remain proxy wars; as such we need the hardware as evidence.

And even as we see: “Mohamed Abdel Salam, said the attack was in response to Saudi Arabia’s “continued aggression and blockade on Yemen”. Earlier in the week, he said attacks on Saudi airports were “the best way to break the blockade”” (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/12/yemen-houthi-rebel-missile-attack-injures-26-saudi-airport) we need to realise that this is growing and potentially a lot larger than before. Even as we acknowledge that the forces have withdrawn from the harbour, we have no insight on where they went, there is no indication that they have stopped fighting, merely that they are at the moment inactive, a status that can change at any given moment.

Add to that the threat (or is that the promise) by Tehran who decided to “threaten to resume enriching uranium towards weapons-grade level on 7 July if US sanctions are not lifted or its European allies fail to offer new terms for the nuclear deal“, here my answer is ‘What deal?‘, there is enough indication that enriching never stopped, but was merely scaled down to 95% of previous effort, as such there is no need to offer more incentives that will only be broken. As such my strategy to seek out Houthi (and optionally Hezbollah forces) to take away the proxy options of Iran, they must either commit 100% or back down, at present their fear is having to commit fully to this and change the stage of proxy war to actual war, and as such my strategy makes sense. They have no hope of winning as too many government would be willing to align with Saudi Arabia (that might make them surprised and happy as well), and a united front against Iran is what Iran fears, because Turkey would have no option but to cut ties out of fear what happens when we are done with the other Iranian puppets.

It is perhaps the only side where I disagree with James Jeffrey (US special representative for Syria engagement), I do not believe that it is a “hegemonic quest to dominate the Middle East“, I believe that Iran knows that this is no longer an option, yet bolstering foundations of a growing alliance is the best that they hope for and here Iran merely facilitates in the urge to state to Syria (the government and its current president) in the voice of ‘You owe us, we helped you‘, it is slightly pathetic and merely the voice of a used car salesman at present. As more of the proxy war becomes open and proven Iran is backed into a corner, it makes Iran more dangerous, but it also forces them to act, not through proxy and I am decently certain that Iran has too much to lose as present, especially as Russia denied them the S-400 solution.

Even as Gevorg Mirzayan (an expert in Middle East and a leading analyst at the agency Foreign Policy) is getting headlines with ‘‘Dumping’ Iran Would Be Mistaken, Since Russia Doesn’t Know What The US Will Offer In Return‘, we see that the stage is a valid question, but there we also see the answer. the direct (and somewhat less diplomatic) answer is “Never set a stage where a rabid dog can call the shots“, the more diplomatic answer (by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov) was “Russia has not received any requests from Iran for delivering its S-400 air defense systems” is nice, and it puts Iran in a space where they need to admit to needing this kind of hardware, yet on the other side, Russia realises that Iran is driven to flame the middle East and down the track if its alliance is too strong, takes Saudi Arabia out of consideration for several lucrative Russian ventures and they know it.

All these elements are in play and in place, so segregating and isolating Hezbollah limits the options of Iran, making it an essential step to pursue. Interesting is that these steps were firmly visible as early as last year August, and that group of 15 did little to bolster solutions towards truly isolating Iran, that Miaow division was optionally seeking milk and cream and finding not that much of either.

So the time is now essential moving to critical to take the options away from Iran, we let Lebanon decide whether they want to get caught in a room painted in a corner with no directions remaining, at that point they become a real easy target.

That was not hard was it?

Happy Friday and remember, it will be Monday morning in 60 hours, so make the most of it.

 

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