Report

Israeli Prime Minister Slams Iran Deal at U.N.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his annual speech at the U.N. General Assembly yesterday. In his remarks, he criticized the international community for their support for the Iran nuclear agreement reached in July. He reiterated Israel’s position that it will act alone if necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. “Israel will ...

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his annual speech at the U.N. General Assembly yesterday. In his remarks, he criticized the international community for their support for the Iran nuclear agreement reached in July. He reiterated Israel’s position that it will act alone if necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. “Israel will not allow Iran to break in, walk in or sneak in to the nuclear weapons club,” Netanyahu said, noting that his position will not be weakened by any resolutions that “may be adopted in this building.” Netanyahu condemned the United Nations’ silence on Iranian threats against Israel. “Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country, murder my people, and the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been absolutely nothing.” Netanyahu then remained silent at the podium for 45 seconds, glowering at the assembly, before continuing, “Utter silence. Deafening silence. Perhaps you can understand why Israel is not joining you in celebrating this deal.”

Russia Continues Air Campaign in Syria

Russia continued its air campaign in Syria overnight. Russian officials say several of the airstrikes they conducted targeted Islamic State facilities near Raqqa, but many of the targets struck were in areas contested by the Assad regime, including rebel sites near Homs and in Hama province. These targets are far from any Islamic State presence, despite Russian claims to be targeting the Islamic State. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a joint statement with Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States condemning the Russian airstrikes.

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Headlines

  • A gunman opened fire on a car carrying an Israeli family traveling on a West Bank road, killing the parents and injuring their four children.

 

  • The Iraqi government has cut off wages and pensions to residents in Islamic State-occupied cities to prevent the money from being used to fund the terror group, though some worry the move has made residents desperate and more accepting of the Islamic State.

 

  • Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience in New Hampshire that “I personally would be advocating now for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air” in Syria.

 

  • Islamic State militants in Libya attacked a major oil port at Es Sider; the port is currently closed, but the attack was stopped by guards at a gate outside the main facility.

 

  • Unnamed “Lebanese sources” told Reuters that hundreds of Iranian and Iranian-supported forces are entering Syria in advance of a new offensive to support the Assad regime.

Arguments and Analysis

Syrian Rebels And Activists Think Russia Is Bombing Them To Hurt The U.S.” (Mike Giglio and Munzer al-Awad, BuzzFeed)

“Hassan Hamada, who said his Division 101 Battalion likewise had received U.S. support, said he and other rebel commanders were caught off guard by the Russian strikes. ‘We were surprised because they attacked groups that get support from the U.S., but now we realized that they are fighting the U.S. through us. They sent a message to the U.S. that says that we will protect Assad, even if you don’t accept it.’ Osama Abu Zaid, a spokesman for the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), an umbrella group that includes U.S.-backed battalions, said Tammaju al-Aaza, Suquor Jabal al-Zawiya and Division 101 had all received U.S. support. ‘Russia doesn’t care who supports the FSA,’ he said.”

 

Saudi Arabia’s Yemen Gambit” (Neil Partrick, Sada)

“The Saudi air force cannot even secure its primary goal, maintaining Hadi in power in either Aden or Sanaa. And if Saudi ground troop numbers in Yemen remain limited — likely given troops’ modest fighting experience and the domestic political backlash from casualties — this war could run on and on without defeating the Houthis, leaving them to pose a real danger to Saudi southern border security. Even if Emirati and Qatari troops, and possibly some Egyptian forces, join the limited numbers of Saudi troops, they will remain focused on defending Hadi and his allies rather than eliminating the Houthis as a military force. Egypt is believed to have sent approximately 700 ground troops to Yemen, but its willingness to do more on the ground is constrained by its cool relations with Riyadh over the Muslim Brotherhood and Syria. Neither former King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud nor his close friend Abdel Fattah el-Sisi really thought through what their shared commitment to a joint Arab regional fighting force would mean in terms of how many Egyptian soldiers would be required to fight in Yemen, and both subsequently backed away from having a large number of Egyptian troops in Yemen or anywhere else in Arabia.”

-J. Dana Stuster

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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