Pro-Iranian forces claim they shelled Americans in Syria

Pro-Iranian militias have fired eight rockets at the American base in Syria in response to US airstrikes.

In the late afternoon, around dusk, reports emerged that pro-Iranian groups had shelled areas in eastern Syria across from Deir Ezzor, ostensibly targeting US forces near the Omar oil fields. This is an important and strategic area and US forces who support the Syrian Democratic Forces, have been reported to have a facility or base in this area. The attack was linked to airstrikes the US had carried out in Syria targeting pro-Iranian groups on Monday.

“US Forces in Syria, while under multiple rocket attack, acted in self- defense and conducted counter-battery artillery fire at rocket launching positions,” wrote Col. Wayne Marotto, the spokesperson for the US-led Coalition to defeat ISIS.
At approx. 7:44 PM local time, US Forces in Syria were attacked by multiple rockets. There are no injuries and damage is being assessed, the US said.

Tasnim and Fars News in Iran both reported that artillery and katyusha rockets were fired. Video appeared to show a rocket trail similar to the kind of rockets Hamas uses in Gaza to target Israel. Open source intelligence accounts on social media confirmed the attack. Omar Abu Layla, who runs Deir Ezzor 24 wrote that “jets strike headquarters of Iranian militias in the vicinity of al-Mayadeen city.” He then retweeted accounts of shelling of the area near Omar oil field where US forces are allegedly located.

Video circulating social media reportedly from this evening of #Iran|ian back militants shelling Omar Oil Field in Deir Ez Zoe, #Syria where #US personnel are based.
— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) June 28, 2021

According to witnesses, the attack took place in the area of ​​Al-Omar oil field and the surrounding residential sheds, which resulted in heavy material losses in this place and the burning of several vehicles in the area. The attack comes roughly 18 hours after the US carried out airstrikes near Albukamal targeting pro-Iranian units that are linked to Iraq and which the US accuses of drone attacks on US facilities in Iraq. Pro-Iranian militias, such as Kataib Hezbollah and PMU Brigade 14, known as Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, were allegedly targeted.

Pro-Iranian militias operate in Syria from Albukamal on the Iraq border to Deir Ezzor and then via T-4 base to Damascus and Syria. Iran also has IRGC forces in Syria and members of the Fetemiyun brigade, volunteers from Afghanistan and Pakistan. These are Shi’ite groups. Iraqi militias also operate in Syria and have festooned the border area with bases and villas they control. The attacks on the US on the evening of June 28 appear to be retaliation.

Tasnim reports that “witnesses said US occupying forces were present in the area at the time of the attack, but did not say how many were killed. Some media outlets reported that the action was carried out by resistance groups.” After the attack, several reconnaissance planes belonging to the American occupying forces and the international coalition flew over the region, the Iranian media says. The Syrian online newspaper Al-Jasr also reported that the US military base in the Al-Mayadin area of ​​Syria was hit by at least eight Katyusha missiles.

The rapidity of Iranian reporting on the attacks appears to confirm they took place or that Iran is using this as propaganda against the US. Fars News says that the local “Saberin News reported a severe rocket attack on the Al-Omar oil field base in Deir ez-Zor on Syrian soil near the border with Iraq. According to the report, at least eight rockets targeted US coalition headquarters in the Omar oil field. Pillars of fire and smoke have now risen from the Omar oil field, and US helicopters have flown over it, Saberin News said. The report did not specify the source of the rocket fire.” The official Syrian News Agency (SANA) also confirmed the attack on the US military base in the Omar oil field.

The US-led Coalition did not respond to an inquiry but was looking into the reports at the time of writing.

Has Mossad done enough damage that IAEA inspection pause not a disaster?

It has been four days since the IAEA-Iran inspections cooperation deal expired and the Islamic Republic seems to indicate it’s in no rush to answer whether cooperation would continue.

You would think the sky was falling, but it isn’t.

It has been four days since the IAEA-Iran inspections deal expired, and even on Monday the Islamic Republic seemed to indicate it was in no rush to say whether cooperation would continue.

If the world is finally blind regarding the nuclear program at a moment when Tehran can already enrich uranium up to the 60% level, only one rung down from the 90% weaponized level, how come Israel and the West are so calm?
Why isn’t the world freaked out that this could be the moment that the ayatollahs are breaking out to a nuclear weapon and giving 48-hour ultimatums for a preemptive strike?

Sure, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made statements in recent days suggesting that time eventually could run out on the JCPOA nuclear-deal negotiations.

France, the IAEA and some others have expressed angst over the situation.

But no one is even threatening a perfunctory emergency referral to the UN Security Council for a high-minded condemnation.

Some of the explanation for the Europeans could be that they do not tend to take action even in a crisis.

Maybe the same could be said for the Biden administration, which to date has mostly emphasized diplomacy over force.

Yet, there is also no sense of emergency from Israel.

There are regular statements by Israeli officials warning about holes in the JCPOA and about Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi.

But there are no imminent threats from Jerusalem designed to force the Islamic Republic to immediately reinstate the inspections or face the consequences.

Part of the answer is probably that several Iranian IAEA deadlines have come and gone without Tehran taking any leap forward, and a new deal has already been worked out.

All of its nuclear violations have been slow, incremental and forecasted in advance so as to not surprise or provoke the global community.

So what if four days have passed.

There is a strong expectation that since even hardliner Raisi has endorsed a return to the JCPOA, that is the path the ayatollahs are on, and this is a minor technical face-saving issue.

Even as Iran on Monday refused to recommit to IAEA inspections, its officials noticeably made sure to keep the possibility of a return to inspections open.

One Iranian parliamentary official said the IAEA would never see all of the recorded footage of Iran’s nuclear facilities, which it is holding on to.

But a different official said the footage was not being destroyed, which means it could still be quietly turned over at some later point.

However, all of these reasons are probably secondary to the real explanation of why Israel and the West are more perturbed than anxious.

The real reason is: Boom! All of the key Iranian nuclear facilities have been blown up recently.

Two different facilities at Natanz were blown up in July 2020 and April 2021.

After Iranian statements that they had recovered from these attacks, The Jerusalem Post learned from Israeli defense sources that this was not true, and Tehran’s nuclear program is in a sling or worse.

This was later confirmed by an IAEA report that, when read according to the timing of the April 2021 attack, showed how handicapped Tehran’s uranium enrichment is due to destroyed centrifuges.

Last week, there was an attack on a key Iranian nuclear facility at Karaj, essentially replacing Natanz, which was repeatedly blown up.

It is as if Iran has a nuclear ship that sprouts a dozen new leaks every time they fill one of the old leaks.

None of this means Iran is not a threat. If the IAEA were blind for a longer period, say, several weeks, there would be much greater concern from Israel and globally.

But it does mean that if Iran needs a bit more time to sulk before offering a face-saving formula for continuing IAEA cooperation, Jerusalem does not yet need to lose any sleep.

The wild world of the Mossad in Sudan – analysis

Could normalization between Israel and Sudan endangered by internal Israeli rivalries?

Is it possible that the coup of Israeli-Sudanese normalization could be endangered by internal Israeli rivalries?
Earlier this week, Axios reported that senior Sudanese civilian officials were complaining to both Israeli and US government officials about uncoordinated side contacts between the Mossad and Sudanese military officials.

Bennett, Sisi discuss Israeli captives in Gaza, agree to meet

Leaders spoke in phone conversation about bilateral issues and affirmed the importance of the 1979 peace treaty to regional stability.

The two Israeli men and the remains of two soldiers held captive in Gaza must be returned, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday.

It was the first phone conversation between the two leaders, as efforts continue to consolidate a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Both Bennett and Sisi agreed to set up a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible.

Sisi emphasized the importance of a Gaza Strip ceasefire and the need to improve the civilian and humanitarian situation for the Palestinians living there, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Bennett spoke of the importance of Hamas returning the remains of two soldiers killed in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, and the release of Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.

The conversation took place hours after Israel allowed fuel for the Gaza power plant to enter the Gaza Strip for the first time since Operation Guardian of the Walls last month.

It is another sign that tensions between Israel and Hamas are easing.

Egypt and the United Nations are key brokers in efforts to achieve a permanent ceasefire. Last week, the status of talks to maintain calm between Israel and Hamas appeared fragile. But this week, the process appeared to be advancing.
Bennett and Sisi spoke of the bilateral issues between the two countries and affirmed the significance of the 1979 peace treaty between their countries to regional stability.

Bennett thanked Sisi for his role in maintaining that stability. An Israeli delegation is expected to go to Cairo this week to discuss Egypt’s continued efforts to broker the Gaza ceasefire, according to a report over the weekend in the London-based media outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland welcomed the reentry of fuel into Gaza.

“Under the United Nations framework, the Qatari-funded fuel deliveries for the Gaza Power Plant will resume [Monday], as per the previous agreement between the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the State of Qatar,” he said in a tweet. “I welcome all steps taken to de-escalate the situation. [The] UN will continue to work with all concerned parties and partners to solidify a ceasefire and help the people of Gaza.”

Also on Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to discuss the situation in Gaza.

“Good to meet with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs @MBA_AlThani in Rome,” Blinken wrote on his Twitter page. “We discussed advancing regional security and stability, and building international support for humanitarian and development efforts in Gaza.”

Bennett expected to meet Biden at White House in coming weeks

Alternate prime minister Yair Lapid departed to UAE for first official visit since Abraham Accords * Bennett and Biden’s meeting to take place in coming weeks

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House in July or August, Bennett’s spokesman said on Monday.

The White House and the Prime Minister’s Office have been in talks to set a date for Bennett’s visit, likely to be his first trip abroad since becoming prime minister two weeks ago.

Biden “looks forward to hosting Prime Minister Bennett soon,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in Monday’s briefing. “We’re working on a date.”

The planned visit, so early in Bennett’s term, indicates the Biden administration’s embrace of the new government, made up of parties that span much of the Israeli political spectrum.

The trip is unlikely to take place before July 18, while Congress is in recess.

President Reuven Rivlin landed in Washington on Monday and was expected to meet with Biden in the White House after press time. Rivlin also plans to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Bennett views Rivlin’s trip as a sort of test of how he and his views will be accepted in Washington. Both he and Rivlin oppose a two-state solution but are in favor of humanitarian gestures toward the Palestinians and are right-wingers, but they support working with a diverse coalition, a source close to the prime minister said.

Bennett views the Biden administration’s persistence in bringing Rivlin to Washington in his last days in office as a good sign, being that President-elect Isaac Herzog’s views, especially on a two-state solution, are more in line with Biden’s.

Rivlin is expected to convey to Biden that Israel seeks to be part of the conversation as the US and Iran indirectly negotiate their return to the 2015 nuclear deal, specifically on issues of enforcement and defense if Tehran violates the agreement.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is set to depart for the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday morning for the first state visit by an Israeli minister and the first since Israel and the UAE entered the Abraham Accords.

Lapid is scheduled to meet several ministers during his trip, including his Emirati counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, State Minister for Economic Matters Ahmed Al Sayegh and Culture Minister Noura Al Kaabi. He will also meet with representatives of the Jewish communities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Lapid is set to dedicate the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Israeli Consulate in Dubai. Emirati government officials and Jewish community representatives will attend the events.

In addition, Lapid will visit Israel’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 world exposition, which will begin in October.
Ambassador to the US and UN Gilad Erdan on Sunday announced he was resigning his post in Washington and would leave as soon as Bennett appointed a replacement.

Erdan’s time in Washington was supposed to end in November.

“It was a true honor to represent Israel to our closest ally,” he said. “During my tenure, I worked to establish ties with the Biden administration, as well as to strengthen the bipartisan support. Those ties were proven during the Gaza operation when the US halted anti-Israel initiatives in the [UN Security Council] and approved additional funding for the Iron Dome.”

Erdan said he plans to continue to represent Israel at the UN.

New Issue Of Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) ‘Inspire’ Magazine – The First Since April 2017 – Calls Colorado Shooter Ahmad Al-Issa ‘Mujahid,’ Urges Muslims To Follow In His Path And Target ‘The American Enemy’ Inside And Outside The U.S.

On June 29, 2021, Al-Malahem, the media arm of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released[1] the first issue of its Inspire magazine since 2017.

This issue of the magazine, titled “Praise and Guidance,” praised the Colorado shooter Ahmad Al-Aliwi Al-Issa, perpetrator of the March 22, 2021 mass shooting at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado in which 10 people were killed. It referred to Al-Issa as a mujahid – a jihad fighter – and went on to call on Muslims to target “the American enemy” inside and outside the U.S.

U.S. carries out deadly airstrikes in Iraq and Syria

In a statement, the Pentagon claims American F-15 and F-16 warplanes struck ‘operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq’.

Syria’s state news agency, SANA, has reported that one child has been killed and at least three other civilians have sustained injuries on the outskirts of al-Bukamal in Syria’s eastern Dayr al-Zowr province next to the Iraqi border. SANA says residential buildings had been damaged.

The attack in Iraq is reported to have occurred in the country’s western Anbar province, along the Syrian border. It’s not the first time American warplanes have struck this important border crossing region and the second time President Joe Biden has authorized attacks against it since taking office.

The Pentagon statement added that Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada have been targeted in Iraq.

Two battalions that are part of the Popular Mobilization Forces, the most efficient branch of the Iraqi armed forces that fought and liberated towns and cities from the Daesh terrorist group. In a statement, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada has said that it mourns the martyrdom of four of its members in new American aggression.

The statement added that it will avenge their deaths. The airstrikes come as bases where American troops are stationed and American logistical convoys have come under constant attack by Iraqi resistance movements, demanding the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country. Since Washington assassinated Iranian Lieutenant General, Qassem Soleimani, and top Iraqi commander, Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, in an act of terrorism at the direct orders of then-President Donald Trump, at Baghdad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020, the Iraqi parliament passed a bill calling on the U.S. to withdraw its forces from the country. Following the legislation, a million man march also took place in the Iraqi capital demanding the same. However, the U.S. has so far refused to end the occupation.

Clashes Between Various Groups in Northern Syria

Opposition groups backed by Turkey clashed in-between themselves and with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, according to Athr Press.

Local sources told Athr Press that the Mu’tasim Division group had tried to expel the families of fighters from other groups within the area it controls in Ras al-Ain city, in the rural northwest of Hassakeh.