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  • US Embassy Baghdad, Iraq

    President Trump fired a social media broadside at the Iranian regime Sunday afternoon, vowing that war between Washington and Tehran would result in "the official end of Iran" before warning, "[n]ever threaten the United States again!"

    Trump tweeted hours after a rocket landed less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, the first such attack since September. An Iraqi military spokesman told reporters the rocket appeared to have been fired from east Baghdad, which is home to several Iran-backed Shiite militias.

    The U.S. also ordered nonessential staff out of its diplomatic posts in Iraq days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Baghdad told Iraqi intelligence that the United States had been picking up intelligence that Iran is threatening American interests in the Middle East. Two Iraqi officials told the Associated Press that Pompeo had offered no details of the alleged threat.

  • A bus purportedly targeted by a bomb near Egypt's Giza pyramids on May 19, 2019. (screen capture: Twitter)

    An explosion struck a tourist bus on Sunday near Egypt’s famed pyramids, injuring 17 people including foreigners, security and medical sources said.

    South Africans and Egyptians were among those injured when the explosive device went off, hitting the bus, according to the sources.

    The consul at Israel’s embassy in Cairo said no Israelis were injured in the blast, according to the Foreign Ministry.

  • Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Pavel. (photo credit: REUTERS)

    IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir will head to Brussels next week to represent Israel at a meeting of the NATO Military Committee, the alliance’s highest military authority, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

    The meeting will see senior officers from NATO armies attend as well as representatives from NATO’s Middle East Dialogue, including Egypt and Jordan.

    Zamir’s working visit to Brussels comes as tensions between the United States and Iran are at an all-time high, and as NATO member Turkey continues to push forward in purchasing the advanced S-400 missile defense system from Russia.

     

  • Air strike in Syria (archive) Reuters

    Sounds of explosions were reportedly heard in the vicinity of the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday evening.

    Syrian media claimed the explosions were the result of an Israeli air strike on the country.

    The official Syrian news agency SANA reported that the country’s aerial defense systems targeted “luminous objects coming from occupied territories, shooting down a number of them.”

    Syrian TV aired footage of what it claimed were the “luminous objects” that were fired from Israel.

  • In this May 9, 2019 photo released by the US Navy, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln transits the Suez Canal in Egypt. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dan Snow, US Navy via AP)

    A state-aligned Saudi newspaper has called for “surgical” US strikes in retaliation against alleged threats from Iran.

    The Arab News published an editorial in English on Thursday, arguing that after incidents this week against Saudi energy targets, the next logical step “should be surgical strikes.”

    The editorial said US airstrikes in Syria, when the government there was suspected of using chemical weapons against civilians, “set a precedent.”

     

  • US President Donald Trump. (photo credit: REUTERS)

    As the US administration prepares to roll out its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, there are indications of growing instability and consternation in Jordan.

    Facing increased demands for major political and economic reforms in the kingdom, King Abdullah II seems worried that his kingdom will pay a heavy price whether it accepts or rejects the deal.

    The monarch’s biggest fear, political analysts say, is that the plan would require Jordan to absorb millions of Palestinians who are already living in the kingdom. Abdullah is also worried that the plan would end the Hashemites’ historic custodianship over the holy sites in Jerusalem in favor of other Arab and Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

    In an attempt to reassure the Jordanian monarch, US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, last month took to Twitter to announce: “@King Abdullah II & Jordan are strong US allies. Rumors that our peace vision includes a confederation between Jordan, Israel & the PA [Palestinian Authority], or that the vision contemplates making Jordan the homeland for Palestinians, are incorrect. Please don’t spread rumors.”

  • In this photo provided by the US Navy, the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group transits the Suez Canal, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Darion Chanelle Triplett/US Navy via AP)

    Two US guided-missile destroyers transited through the Strait of Hormuz without incident on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported, amid soaring tensions with Iran in the region.

    A US defense official was quoted as saying it was the “quietest transit we have seen in a long time,” an incident that was seen as lessening the likelihood of an armed confrontation between Iran and the US.

  • Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran, September 18, 2016. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

    Top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani has met with Iran-linked Iraqi militias in Baghdad, telling them to “prepare for proxy war,” according to a report Thursday, amid rapidly rising tensions between the Washington and Tehran.

    Soleimani called the militias for a meeting three weeks ago, the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday. It wasn’t immediately clear when the meeting actually took place.

    “It wasn’t a call to arms, but it wasn’t far off,” a senior intelligence source said.

  • KURDISH MEMBERS of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan hike through the mountains from Iraq to Iran.. (photo credit: COURTESY ZACH HUFF)

    The United States ordered its non-emergency government employees to leave its Baghdad embassy and the consulate in Erbil on Wednesday. Erbil is the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and locals are concerned that US-Iran tensions will now engulf the Kurdish region at a sensitive time. The Kurdistan region is strategically important and has been a center of security in the area between the Iraqi central government, Turkey and Iran.

    Over the last two weeks, the US has warned of Iranian threats across the region and that any attacks by Iran or its proxies will result in retaliation. According to reports, the US has also shared information with Baghdad and with European allies that indicate direct Iranian threats in Iraq. For instance, a BBC Arabic report said that Pompeo had handed Iraqis evidence of Iranian plans, and other reports indicated Iranian-backed Shia militias had deployed missiles in Iraq.

  • US Secretery of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Suzan [L] sitting next to US Ambassador in Israel David Friedman meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [R] and his wife Sara. . (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

    The Trump administration challenged the UN’s claim that Israel must withdraw to the pre-1967 lines, in an opinion piece two of its top officials published on Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman argued that the historic Security Council Resolution 242 – which the international community often cites as the basis of its claim that Israel is required to relinquish all territory it acquired during the June 1967 Six Day War – bolsters the international legitimacy of the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967.

    Their argument, however, could also be applicable to the West Bank, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967.

    Speculation is high that the Trump peace plan, which is expected to be released in early June, would allow for Israel to retain control of all the settlements located in Area C of the West Bank.

  • In this undated photo released by Sepahnews, the website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Hossein Salami speaks in a meeting in Tehran, Iran (Sepahnews via AP)

    The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps on Wednesday warned Tehran was on the brink of full-on conflict with its enemy, a day after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said there would not be a war with the United States amid escalating tensions.

    “We are on the cusp of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy,” Major General Hossein Salami said, according to the Reuters news agency, which cited Iran’s Fars news agency.

    “This moment in history — because the enemy has stepped into the field of confrontation with us with all the possible capacity — is the most decisive moment of the Islamic revolution,” added Salami, who tapped as the new IRGC chief last month.

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“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.” 
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