U.S. military command notifies Israel & Egypt that it is reviewing whether to incorporate remote surveillance technology into its MFO unit in the Sinai Peninsula, allowing the Pentagon to withdraw some of its observation force.
By Reuters & Israel Hayom Staff
The U.S. military said on Tuesday it has formally notified Egypt and Israel that it is reviewing whether to automate aspects of multinational peacekeeping operations in the insurgency-wracked Sinai Peninsula, potentially allowing a reduction in American troop deployments.
Egyptian Army in Sinai
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U.S. officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said using remote surveillance technology could eventually allow the United States to withdraw hundreds of its roughly 700 peacekeeping troops.
Concerned about the safety of lightly armed US forces, the White House considers retreating (instead of securing their soldiers), allowing Islamic State-inspired groups in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to become even more active.
The Obama administration is quietly reviewing the future of America’s three-decade deployment to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, fearful the lightly equipped peacekeepers could be targets of escalating Islamic State-inspired violence.
Islamic State weapons in Sinai found by Egypt
Options range from beefing up their protection or even pulling them out altogether, officials told The Associated Press.
The American forces have helped marshal peace in the peninsula since Egypt’s 1979 historic peace treaty with Israel. Continue Reading »
Capt. Randell Dykes, the Commander of the USS San Antonio says ship’s visit to Israel is a ‘well-deserved break for the sailors & Marines.’ The Capt. says the port visit is unrelated to Syria, the ship is just refueling.
By Ahiya Raved, Yoav Zitun
Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio arrived in Haifa, Israel for a routine port visit on Wednesday, the US Navy said.
The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio, at sea in July, 2013 – Photo courtesy: Sabrina Fine/U.S. Navy file photo
San Antonio’s commanding officer, Capt. Continue Reading »
Capt. Sarah Schechter is the 1st ever female Air Force Rabbi in the 40-years of women serving as chaplains in the U.S. military.
Capt. Sarah Schechter, the Jewish chaplain of the 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, is the first ever female U.S. Air Force rabbi in 40 years of women serving as military chaplains, according to a recent feature on U.S. military website, military.com.
Screen shot showing Capt. Sarah Schechter.
A New York native, Schechter, whose father was a rabbi, told military.com that she decided to enlist because of September 11, when she was in her fourth year of rabbinical school. Continue Reading »
Head of the US Army’s central command reports that even though the sanctions are not working, it’s not too late to bring Iran ‘to its senses’.
World powers meet in Kazakhstan, for nuclear talks aimed to restore ‘int’l confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program’
Top US commander in the Middle East, General James Mattis, said the current sanctions and diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities are not working. He said Tehran has a history of denial and deceit and is enriching uranium beyond any plausible peaceful purpose.
General James Mattis – Photo: AFP
General Mattis, head of US Central Command, spoke to the Senate Armed Services Committee and said that it may still be possible to use sanctions and other pressure to bring Tehran to its senses, however, he says Iran is using the negotiations to buy time. Continue Reading »
U.S. congressional investigators say $US-multibillion missile defense system for Europe faces problems that can be corrected, but the ‘adjustments’ could stir a diplomatic row with Russia.
Secret U.S. Defense Department studies cast doubt on whether a multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe will ever be able to protect the U.S. from Iranian missiles as intended, congressional investigators say.
A Ghader missile is launched from the area near the Iranian port of Jask port on the shore of the Oman Sea during an Iranian navy drill, Jan. 1, 2013. – Photo by AP
Military officials say they believe the problems can be overcome and are moving forward with plans. Continue Reading »
The US Army Corps of Engineers plans to supervise construction of a 5-story underground secret facility for an IDF complex, simply named “Site 911.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to supervise construction of a five-story underground facility for an Israel Defense Forces complex, oddly named “Site 911,” at an Israeli Air Force base near Tel Aviv.
“Expected to take more than two years to build, at a cost of up to $100 million, the facility is to have classrooms on Level 1, an auditorium on Level 3, a laboratory, shock-resistant doors, protection from nonionizing radiation and very tight security. Continue Reading »
US forces begin to arrive in Israel ahead of largest joint military exercise yet
Air defense drill to cost over $37 million
By Yoav Zitun, AP
The US and Israel are embarking on the largest exercise in their long military relationship, against a backdrop of tension with Iran and sharp rhetoric in the American presidential election.
Trucks transporting Patriot batteries – Photo: Avi Rokach
An air defense drill planned for late this month will involve more than 3,500 Americans and 1,000 Israelis, practicing their ability to work together against a range of threats facing the main US ally in the Mideast. Continue Reading »
Daily Beast suggests US Special Forces have been training for operations in Iran for years, may be responsible for the explosions that sabotaged Iranian nuke sites’ power grid
Could the United States be behind a move to sabotage power lines at Iran‘s nuclear facilities? The Daily Beast on Wednesday suggested that US Special Forces, which have been training for operation inside Islamic Republic for years, could already be on the ground .
Fereydoun Abbasi – Photo: AFP
On Monday, Fereydoun Abbasi, Iran’s vice president and the chief of its nuclear energy agency, said that power lines between the city of Qom and the underground Fordo nuclear centrifuge facility were blown up with explosives on August 17. Continue Reading »
In closed talks, PM says missiles will be fired at Israel even if US strikes Iran, and thinks the likelihood of a US strike is small
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in closed talks over the weekend that a United States strike on Iran will not necessarily minimize the chances of a missile attack on Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
“I would prefer that the US attack Iran, but the likelihood of that is small,” he said. “In any case – even if the US attacks, missiles will be fired at Israel.”
This scenario is not as grave as the possibility that Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, he said. Continue Reading »
Naval ship deployed to Gulf in latest step of gradual US build-up; move follows string of hawkish Iranian statements.
DUBAI – A US navy ship that had been slated for decommissioning has been sent instead to the Gulf to help mine-clearing operations, the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain said, the latest move in a gradual US build-up as tensions with Iran smoulder.
US aircraft carrier in Strait of Hormuz – Photo: REUTERS
A fleet spokesman in Manama said the USS Ponce, described as an “afloat forward staging base” (AFSB), had arrived on Thursday after undergoing refitting for its new mission. Continue Reading »