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Middle East

IG Looking Into Allegations that Obama Admin Pressured Intel Analysts to Downplay ISIS

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

From the first moments President Obama took office, he has downplayed threats from radical Islamists. He was elected based on his promise to bring the troops home. He was reelected after claiming that al -Qaeda was “decimated.” Al-Qaeda was nothing of the sort. And while the United States withdrew from the Middle East, an even […]

ISIS’ British ‘Cyber Caliphate’ Leader Reportedly Killed in Airstrike

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The head of ISIS’ “cyber caliphate” has been killed in an airstrike, a Syrian monitoring group said. Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, a grassroots ISIS opposition group that has reporters within the Islamic State, broke the news about Brit Junaid Hussain. ISIS accounts on Twitter have had mixed acknowledgment and denial of the Birmingham man’s […]

Iraq Begins Documenting Christian Persecution

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

The Iraqi government has for the first time begun collecting and documenting statistics on Christian persecution in the country. Some of the figures include 7,000 violations against property belonging to Christians since 2003 and a decrease in the Christian population of Iraq of over a million during the same timeframe. One report in June claimed […]

U.S. Convenes First UN Security Council Meeting on Gay Rights

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Obama administration lauded as “historic” Monday’s first-of-its-kind meeting at the UN Security Council on gay rights, organized by the U.S. Missions at the UN and Chile. Much of the meeting focused on the murder of homosexuals by ISIS, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and other groups in the region including the Al-Nusra Front, but […]

House Dem: Iran Deal ‘Makes War More Likely’

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Many of the Democrats who have come out against the Iran nuclear deal, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), are veteran lawmakers who have less to fear than young members in terms of repercussions from leadership or the administration for defying the president. But a […]

There Are No ‘Secret Side Deals’ Between IAEA and Iran, Says Admin, Just ‘Confidential’ Deals

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Obama administration stressed today that there’s nothing secret about the pacts between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency — the documents that Congress isn’t allowed to view and the White House isn’t allowed to posses are simply confidential. The Associated Press last week leaked text of one of the documents it was able […]

State Dept.: It Could Have Made U.S. Hostages’ Situation ‘Worse’ if We Linked Them to Iran Deal

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The State Department’s spokesman told CNN this morning that one reason U.S. hostages weren’t included in the Iran nuclear deal is because it could have made their situation “worse.” Retired FBI agent Bob Levinson went missing nearly eight years ago, likely taken by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. U.S. Marine veteran Amir Hekmati marks his fourth […]

VIDEO: Veterans Note Iran Behind U.S. Deaths, But We’ll Totally Catch Nuke Deal Violations!

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

A think-tank and lobbying organization with Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter on the board of directors is running an ad in support of the Iran deal featuring veterans who say their colleagues suffered at the hands of Tehran’s involvement with Iraq insurgents. The Truman National Security Project is running the spots as a 501(c)(4) […]

European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’Terrorism

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

Quick action by unarmed off-duty U.S. servicemen on a high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris narrowly averted tragedy yesterday as they subdued a terrorist gunman before he could begin his rampage. And according to multiple reports, the suspect in custody was known to multiple European intelligence agencies — yet another case of what I […]

Islamic War on Christianity Continues: ISIS Bulldozes Catholic Monastery in Syria

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

While most of the MSM was sleeping… Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) militants have destroyed a historic monastery seized in their latest advance across central Syria. Photographs appeared online of fighters from Isil with bulldozers at the Mar Elian monastery in Al-Qaryatain, in Homs province. The monitoring group Syrian Observatory of Human […]

State Dept.: We Totally Trust IAEA with Inspections Where Only Iran Can Inspect

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The State Department said today that everybody shouldn’t worry about the Iran side agreements, because the International Atomic Energy Agency will do a great job with inspections where they’re not allowed. Press secretary John Kirby was grilled about an Associated Press story focusing on a draft seen of one of the final inspection agreements. According […]

Peek at Iran-IAEA Agreement Shows Iran Will Use Own Inspectors on Military Site

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Congress has been rebuffed in its requests to see the deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, with many arguing that lawmakers can’t consider the deal as they’re entitled by law without knowing all the details. But the Associated Press has seen one of those documents, and reports today that “Iran will be […]

Corker to Vote Against ‘Fanciful’ Iran Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has determined that Congress should reject the Iran nuclear deal “and send it back to the president.” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced his “no” vote yesterday in a Washington Post op-ed, the same day that the former Democratic chairman of the committee, Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), gave […]

ISIS Beheads Top Archaeologist in Ancient City of Palmyra

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

When ISIS seized the ancient city of Palmyra in May, antiquities experts feared that their first move would be to destroy the 1st and 2nd century ruins in the Syrian town. Now, they’ve beheaded the antiquities expert. Khaled Assad, 81, was the former director general of Palmyra antiquities and museums, holding the position for four […]

ISIS Threatens Sex Slavery For Kidnapped Assyrian Christian Women

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

Continuing their campaign of unspeakable horror against non-Muslims, ISIS has threatened sex slavery for a trio of Assyrian Christian women whom the group kidnapped in February. These women could be among the large group ISIS kidnapped in February, when 220 Assyrian Christians disappeared from the province of Hassakeh in north-east Syria. A source from the […]

Menendez a ‘No’ Vote, Details Better Iran Deal that Obama, Kerry Claim Doesn’t Exist

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Stressing that his vote is “much greater and graver” than supporting President Obama or not, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) delivered his verdict of the Iran nuclear deal in an address at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations. In short, not only will Menendez vote against the deal but will lend his voice […]

Who Has the ‘JV Team’? Iraqi Army Conducts ‘Tactical Withdrawal’ From Baiji After ISIS Victory

Monday, August 17th, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

The Islamic State has scored at least a temporary victory in the critical city of Baiji — Iraqi forces conducted a “tactical withdrawal” over the weekend from areas around the town. Several key Iraqi Army and militia leaders were reportedly killed in the fighting around the city, home to the largest oil refinery in the […]

Israeli Leaders Unite Across Political Divide Against Iran Deal

Sunday, August 16th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

A delegation of congressional Democrats, 22 in total, was flown into Jerusalem this past week by AIPAC and told in no uncertain terms by a bevy of Israeli politicians that a vote in favor of the Iran deal is a vote against Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was joined by left-wing Zionist Camp leaders Tzipi […]

Iranian Spokeswoman Openly Mocks Obama’s Pro-Deal PR

Sunday, August 16th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Via IMRA: Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham on Thursday deplored US President’s recent anti-Iran remarks, saying that Barack Obama does not consider the realities inside Iran. In a recent interview with NPR, Obama had claimed that it is possible Iran starts making different decisions on regional issues and toning down its anti-Israel rhetoric. In reply, Afkham described the […]

UPDATE: Israeli Air Force Wants to Expand, Not Cancel Military Drill with U.S.

Sunday, August 16th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Last week it was reported that Israel would potentially cancel a joint military exercise with the United States in the wake of the potential deal with Iran. The story went viral in the Israeli and Jewish presses. This week the Israeli Air Force is telling a different story: …despite Israeli press reports, the Israeli military wants […]

New York Times Upset that American Airstrikes Hit Human Shields Used by ISIS in Syria

Friday, August 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

“Monitoring groups” are upset. An airstrike by the American-led military coalition in northern Syria this week killed eight civilians, including two women and five children, according to neighbors and relatives of the dead. The episode revived accusations by monitoring groups that the United States and its allies are not careful enough about who is killed […]

Dem Rep. Scott: Deal ‘Permits’ Bomb ‘Without Iran Even Having to Cheat At All’

Friday, August 14th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

A Democratic congressman who co-chaired President Obama’s election campaign in Georgia blasted the Iran nuclear deal as a pact that “allows for Iran to get a nuclear bomb.” Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and the Congressional Black Caucus, told Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE […]

ADL Comes Out Against Iran Deal

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

J Street is now the sole major Jewish policy group supporting the Iran nuclear deal. The Anti-Defamation League announced this evening that “because our profound concerns with the agreement have not yet been satisfactorily addressed, ADL believes that Congress should vote no.” ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt wrote at the Huffington Post that the organization consulted […]

Florida Dem Says No to Iran Deal, Introducing Bill to Authorize Military Force

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

A House Democrat says he’ll not only vote against the Iran nuclear deal, but top it off with a bill to authorize military force as needed against the Islamic Republic to keep it from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), ranking House Dem on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, or […]

ISIS Uses Chemical Weapons Against Kurds

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Islamic State was confirmed to have used chemical weapons against Kurds this week. Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported today that the German military, which is helping train Peshmerga and is supplying the Kurds directly instead of through Baghdad, confirmed the discovery: The autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq had asked for international […]

Chairman to Kerry: We’ll Cut Off IAEA’s Money If Congress Doesn’t See Iran Deals

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, which oversees contributions to the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned Secretary of State John Kerry that funding could be withheld if Congress doesn’t get to see the Iran side agreements. Kerry has told Congress that the administration doesn’t have a copy […]

Arguing Palestinian Authority Operations Would Be Hurt, U.S. Intervenes in Terror Judgment

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Obama administration, not surprisingly, paid no heed to the requests of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and began the week by intervening in a terrorism case on the behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Schumer’s letter last week to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Secretary of State John Kerry involves the case Sokolow v. Palestinian Liberation […]

Hoyer, McCarthy: ‘Congress Stands United with Israel’

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Top House Dem and GOP leaders issued a joint statement this morning in support of Israel. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) noted their recent congressional delegation to Israel, where they toured an Iron Dome missile defense site. “During the summer of 2014 as Hamas indiscriminately launched rockets at civilian […]

Veterans vs. Obama: Wounded Soldier Launches Powerful Campaign Against Iran Deal

Monday, August 10th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The White House tried hard to whip lawmakers to support the Iran nuclear deal while everyone was still in town — but the summer recess lobbying is now out of the administration’s reach. Last week, President Obama tried take control of the messaging war with a speech at American University in which he branded those […]

Top Foreign Relations Dem: Iran Vote ‘Not a Party Loyalty Test’

Monday, August 10th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Another key Democratic senator who might vote to oppose the administration on the Iran nuclear deal said after Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) defection that he’s “proud” of his caucus. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was appointed to the ranking member spot after the previous one, Sen. Robert […]

Key Dem Explains Iran ‘No’ Vote: Must Send Constitutional Message that Deal Is Not Binding

Monday, August 10th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Democratic ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific came out against the Iran nuclear, marking the latest defection from the administration position after Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) became a “no” vote. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who has a long legislative history of battling the mullahs in Tehran, is […]

Israel Holds Off on Joint Military Exercise with U.S. in Wake of Potential Iran Deal

Monday, August 10th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

IMRA picked up on this release from the Israeli Defense Forces: The relations with the USA continue to be very tense: the editorial board of Israel Defense has learnt that Israel declined far-reaching proposals for Israeli-American defense cooperation in the context of a massive joint training exercise, designated Juniper Cobra 16, scheduled for early 2016. The exercise should include […]

ISIS Abducts Christians to Use as ‘Bargaining Chips’

Monday, August 10th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Arab media reports: Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have abducted hundreds of civilians, including dozens of Christians, from a central Syrian town it captured earlier this week, activists say, a development that has prompted hundreds of Christian families to flee to areas outside the control of the ultra-radical group. Syria-based activists who monitor the group’s activity […]

Schumer to Lynch, Kerry: Don’t Step in to Help Palestinians in Multi-Million Terror Lawsuit

Thursday, August 6th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) not only came out against the Iran deal — something he planned to announce Friday but was reportedly leaked early to the Huffington Post by a miffed White House — but on Thursday asked the administration to butt out of a case to grant damages to Palestinian terror victims. Schumer’s letter […]

‘The Very Real Risk… Is Too Great’: Schumer to Vote NO on Iran Deal

Thursday, August 6th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) long-awaited decision on the Iran nuclear deal is in: No. “Every several years or so a legislator is called upon to cast a momentous vote in which the stakes are high and both sides of the issue are vociferous in their views,” the next leader of the Senate Dems wrote in […]