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  • housand of Basij soldiers stage mock seige of Temple Mount in Iran. (photo credit:FARS)

    Syria’s Baniyas on the Mediterranean sea between Latakia and Tartus is the site of a large oil refinery.

    Before the civil war broke out in 2011 travel guides suggested tourists visit the Crusader fortress of Qalaat Marqab nearby. Today visitors can add to that list a mysterious military construction project stretching several kilometers along Wadi Jahannam, which is 8 km. from Baniyas.

    A report on Channel 2 on August 15 provided images of the site from an Israeli satellite. The report said this is likely a factory to build long-range missiles. The area the factory is constructed in near the border of the Tartus and Latakia governorates is one that is closely linked to other military facilities of the Syrian regime and its allies. These include a Russian naval base at Tartus and Khmeimim air force base to the north, which is also allegedly used by Russia and the Iranians.

    According to an August 14 report in Die Welt, “in June, aircraft from Iran were flown directly to Khmeimim airport... in order to bring military goods to Russia. The military goods were taken by truck to the Mediterranean port in Tartus.”

  • US airbase in Qatar (Photo: Getty Images)

    With its wall-sized screens simultaneously showing America's air wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, this war room at the heart of America's biggest military campaigns is already something of a technological marvel. 

    "It's state of the art but too slow for the future," said Gen. David Goldfein, chief of staff of the Air Force, who is visiting the center at Qatar's Al Udeid Air Base this week with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

    The Qatar-based operations center is undergoing a series of upgrades to its top-secret computer systems to transform how war planners here do business.

    The Combined Air Operations Center, known in military-speak as the "CAOC," is grappling with a dizzying amount of data and intelligence flowing in from sources like satellites, drones, radar and US aircraft flying over Middle East hot spots and bombing ISIS positions.

     

  • A general view shows the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side. (photo credit:REUTERS)

    The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is considering either forcing another group of Palestinian Authority employees working in the health and education sectors in the Gaza Strip into early retirement or slashing social-welfare payments allocated to the territory as a continuation of its measures to pressure Hamas to cede control of the Strip, Ahmad Majdalani, a close confidante of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Wednesday.

    Over the past four months, the Palestinian leadership, headed by Abbas, has cut a number of budgets allocated to Gaza by decreasing electricity supplied to the Strip, slashing Gazan PA employees’ salaries and forcing some of them into early retirement, and reducing payments for medical-related costs there.

    Majdalani said Hamas has to choose between “dissolving its administrative committee and empowering the [PA] government to take responsibility in its place or bearing full responsibility for Gaza.”

    “It is not logical that Hamas has a government in Gaza and we fund that government,” Majdalani said.

     

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    Today, very few people fully understand the extensive consequences of President Obama’s two terms in office. Life as we know it in America will never be the same as the nation is experiencing today.  

    In Revealed: Obama’s Legacy, the details are presented.

    • Ran roughshod over the U.S. Constitution
    • Undermined America’s Judicial System
    • World’s number one promoter of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT)
    • Celebrated Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage with a rainbow imaged on the White House
    • Directed a destructive transformation of the U.S. military
    • Lectured God-fearing Christians on how to behave
    • A Muslim apologist and defender of Islam in America
    • Passionate about Middle East refugees coming to America
    • Expressed no emotion over Christians being persecuted for their faith
    • Endangered Israel and U.S. Middle East allies by destabilizing the region
    • U.S. Federal Debt will almost double to $20 trillion; Federal Reserve debt increased over $4 trillion; personal debt at record levels
    • And much more ...

     

  • After an exodus of CEOs from the President's Manufacturing Council and business leaders' abrupt decision to dissolve the Strategic and Policy Forum, President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he would end both.

    Corporate leaders distanced themselves from Trump this week after his tepid response to violence at a white nationalist rally over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    The executives on the Strategic and Policy Forum agreed to disbandWednesday in a decision to "condemn" Trump's remarks about the Charlottesville violence, one member told CNBC.

     

  • Americans' debt level notched another record high in the second quarter, after having earlier in the year surpassed its pre-crisis peak, on the back of modest rises in mortgage, auto and credit card debt, where delinquencies jumped. 

    Total U.S. household debt was $12.84 trillion in the three months to June, up $552 billion from a year ago, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report published on Tuesday. 

    The proportion of overall debt that was delinquent, at 4.8 percent, was on par with the previous quarter. However a red flag was raised over the transitions of credit card balances into delinquency, which the New York Fed said "ticked up notably."

  • Mossad chief Yossi Cohen (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

    Mossad director Yossi Cohen will be part of a security delegation sent by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington to discuss the security situation in Syria and Lebanon.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sending a security delegation to the United States that will include Mossad director Yossi Cohen. 

    American news site Axios reports that the delegation will arrive in Washington later in the week and will meet with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, his deputy Dina Powell, US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and other senior officials.

  • Prime Minister Netanyahu met with US Congress delegation, August 10, 2-17. . (photo credit:AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a delegation of 33 Republican congressmen last week that he is in favor of an independent Kurdish state in parts of Iraq, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

    According to a source who took part in the discussion on Thursday, Netanyahu expressed his “positive attitude” toward a Kurdish state in the Kurdish areas of Iraq, saying the Kurds are a “brave, pro-Western people who share our values.”

    Netanyahu does not frequently address the Kurdish issue, which is a politically highly sensitive one because the traditional US position – at least until US President Donald Trump took office in January – was that Iraq should remain a united state and not be broken up into separate parts.

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Provocative Commentary


“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds