Russian Sukhoi Su-57 stealth jets deployed in Syria

Satellite imagery from Israel and abroad confirm Sukhoir Su-57 jets deployed in Syria; Russia to introduce squadron of 12 into air force this year; Pentagon: We do not consider these jets to be a threat to our operations in Syria, and will continue to deconflict operations as necessary.



Russia deployed its Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets in Syria, Israeli satellites capturing footage of the jet’s first combat drill in Syria.

The Sukhoi Su-57 is Russia’s most advanced fighter jet and have been deployed to Russia’s Khmeimim Airbase in western Syria. The stealth jets are fifth generation and are Russia’s most advanced aircraft. The Su-57 has supersonic flight speed, low visibility and runs on two engines.

It has been in development since 2010, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister reporting earlier this month that Russia singed a contract for 12 Su-57’s to be introduced to the Russian military forces thus year.

The Sukhoi Su-57 in Syria follows the United States’ deployment of its F-22 stealth fighters to Syria, the jets in missions combatting Islamic State forces in Syria earlier this month.

The Pentagon reported that the jets are not seen as a threat by the United States, a spokesman stating ahead of the weekend, “The addition of fifth-generation fighters into Syria would certainly not be in keeping with Russia’s announced force drawdown. We do not consider these jets to be a threat to our operations in Syria, and will continue to deconflict operations as necessary.”



Photo: Sukhoi Su-57, Wikimedia Commons, 2018

Nikki Haley: President Trump’s peace plan nearly finished.

Haley addressed peace process in Chicago following Abbas’s address to the UN Security Council; Haley: The plan won’t be loved by either side. And it won’t be hated by either side. But it’s a template to start talking.

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United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, addressed the Trump Administration’s efforts in the peace process, reporting that the peace plan is “nearly finished”.

Speaking at the University of Chicago ahead of the weekend, Haley took questions on the Middle East and President Trump’s efforts in the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis. On the progress of the process, she stated “I think they’re finishing up,” reporting that Trump’s envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt are “still going back and forth”.

While Haley did not give specifics, she did state that “The plan won’t be loved by either side. And it won’t be hated by either side. But it’s a template to start talking.” When asked about a two-state solution, she reiterated the United States’ stance, “It’s for them to decide. It is hard for me to see how they would want a single state.” She added “If they decide on two states, the United States will support two states. If they decide on certain boundaries, the United States is going to support those boundaries.”

She called on leaders to place their pride and ego aside, stating “The Palestinians deserve better and the Israelis deserve better. Right now they’re in conflict. It’s not a good situation. If the leaders would put aside their pride and their ego, and think about their people, and improving the quality of life for their people, this peace process will do that.”

Her remarks follow Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s address to the United Nations Security Council last week. Abbas called for a Middle East peace conference to be held this year, the Palestinians active in trying to find global mediators to replace the United States.

Following President Trump’s declaration of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year, and the moving of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Palestinians have banned communication with the United States, consistently attacking the United States in international bodies and the media. The PA has been clear that it no longer sees the United States as a mediator, its officials in talks with China, India and Russia to replace the United States.

Following Abbas’s speech to the Security Council, Haley spoke, stating to Abbas “The United States knows the Palestinian leadership was very unhappy with the decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem. You don’t have to like that decision, you don’t have to praise it. You don’t even have to accept it. But know this, that decision will not change.”


Photo: Haley speaks in Chicago, Screenshot, 2017

Trump Administration to open US Embassy in Jerusalem in May

Opening to coincide with Israel’s 70 years of independence in May; PLO: This is a violation of agreements between the PA and Israel and the destruction of the two-state solution, in addition to provoking all Arabs and Muslims.



The United States will move its embassy to Jerusalem in May of this year. The expedited move will coincide with Israel’s 70th independence celebration in May, the State Department and two Trump Administration officials confirming the relocation Friday.

The United States Congress will reportedly be notified on Friday and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been reported to have signed a security plan for the new embassy.

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas responded to the news, stating Friday “This is an unacceptable step. Any unilateral move will not give legitimacy to anyone and will be an obstacle to any effort to create peace in the region.” The secretary-general of the PLO, Saeb Erekat, claimed the decision would provoke the Arab world. Continuing with the Palestinians’ anti-US rhetoric, he warned “This is a violation of agreements between the PA and Israel and the destruction of the two-state solution, in addition to provoking all Arabs and Muslims.”

Israel’s Transportation Minister took to Twitter to thank President Trump, writing Friday “I would like to congratulate Donald Trump, the President of the US POTUS on his decision to transfer the US Embassy to our capital on Israel’s 70th Independence Day. There is no greater gift than that! The most just and correct move. Thanks friend!”

Prime Minister Netanyahu met with US House of Representatives in Jerusalem ahead of the weekend, their meeting centered on bilateral ties and “Iran’s attempts to establish a military presence in Syria.” According to a statement from his office, “Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the Senators and Representatives for the American support for Israel and welcomed President Trump’s decision to implement the law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. He added that bilateral relations were closer than ever.”

The prime minister was not available for immediate comment as it is the Sabbath in Israel.



Photo: Jerusalem, Wikimedia Commons, 2017

IDF intelligence unit foiled ISIS terror attack in Australia last year

Cleared for publication: IDF Unit 8200 help thwart attempted ISIS terror attack on Etihad flight from Sydney last summer; Netanyahu: I think that Israeli intelligence must be thanked for protecting not only Israelis but many civilians around the world.


The IDF’s Military Intelligence Unit, Unit 8200, helped in thwarting an attempted ISIS terror attack on a commercial flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi in July of last year.

The terror attack was planned for an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney, reports of the events only cleared for publication Wednesday.

Islamic State terrorists were planning to board a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi with an explosive device. They were also planning an attack using hydrogen sulfide gas. The terrorists were sent materials to build the bomb from Turkey, and had been recruited into ISIS through one of the terrorists’ brothers who was trained in Syria.

Four arrests were made at the time, Australia charging Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat, brothers, with two charges of terrorism.

The IDF confirmed its contribution to preventing the attack, stating on Wednesday “The thwarting of the attack led to the saving of the lives of dozens of innocent people and demonstrated that Unit 8200 is a player in the intelligence war against the Islamic State.”

It confirmed the reports that it “provided exclusive intelligence that led to the thwarting of an airliner bombing by Islamic State at the end of 2017,” adding that “The cooperation with the Israeli intelligence community allowed for the transfer of information to the local security authorities and led to the arrest of the suspects, who were in the advanced stages of preparations and close to executing the attack. The foiling of the attack led to saving dozens of innocent lives and demonstrates that Unit 8200 is a player in the intelligence battle against Islamic State.”

The IDF also confirmed that it recently thwarted an attempted Iranian cyber attack on organizations within Israel. Few details were given, just that Unit 8200 worked in cooperation with the Cyber Defense Division in the Computer Service Directorate, through “monitoring of the Iranian apparatus and early identification of offensive attempts in Israel.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed the reports on Wednesday while speaking to American Jewish community leaders. He stated “The Israeli intelligence services thwarted the downing of an Australian plane, an unimaginable slaughter. This would have caused a major disruption in global air transport and this is only one of dozens of terrorist attacks we have foiled around the world. I think that Israeli intelligence must be thanked for protecting not only Israelis but many civilians around the world.”

Amir addressed these events during his Middle East Current Events Update yesterday. You can watch the update here.

Photo: Etihad airways, Wikimedia Commons, 2017

Media refutes Iran’s claims it has no military bases in Syria

Following Zarif’s blatant lie that Iran has no bases in Syria, numerous media reports refute Iran’s claims; At least 10 Iranian bases reported in Syria; Over 20,000 militants trained by Iranian military personnel in Syria.



Iran rejected claims that it has military bases in Syria, its foreign minister lying to the press in Moscow on Monday.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied his country has any bases in Syria. Speaking at the “Russia in the Middle East: Playing on All Fields” event in Moscow Monday, Zarif lied, stating when asked of Iranian military bases in Syria “No we do not have them [in Syria].” He did confirm that there are “Iranian military advisors” in Syria.

Zarif instead took to accusing Israel of violating Syria’s sovereignty last weekend. The IDF shot down an Iranian drone which entered Israel from Syria, destroying the drone and carrying out multiple airstrikes on Iranian and Syrian targets. He claimed “What happened in Syria on Saturday? Israel violated Syria’s airspace several times. It should be noted that Israel is permanently bombing Syria. And Syrian forces had managed to down an Israeli aircraft for the first time,” Zarif confirming numerous lies by the Assad regime that it had downed Israeli jets in the past.

Iran has been actively building its military presence in Syria since 2011 in order to assist President Bashar al-Assad remain in power. According to reports, Iran currently operates 10 military bases in Syria. Along with its proxies in Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank, Iran continues to build its military presence and influence in the region.

Even the New York Times on Monday denied Iran’s claims, releasing a detailed report on three Iranian military bases in Syria, the Tuyas airbase, Al Shayrat airfield and al-Kiswah base. It claims that there “Iranian military personnel in Syria today range from the high hundreds to the low thousands”.

Over 20,000 militants have reportedly been trained through Iranian military personal to date, 6,000 of them members of Hezbollah from Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.

One of the bases, al-Kiswah, which is located close to ten miles from Damascus and about 30 miles from Israel’s border, is one of Iran’s permanent bases in Syria. Satellite footage of the base from the BBC and Israel in November of last year showed the bases’ ongoing construction.

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke before the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, bringing with him a piece of the Iranian drone Israel downed. He centered his speech on Iran’s efforts, mainly in Syria and through its proxies, to destroy the State of Israel.

On Iran’s growing presence in Syria, Netanyahu stated “Nowhere are Iran’s belligerent ambitions clearer than in Syria. There Iran hopes to complete a continuous empire, linking Tehran to Tartus, the Caspian to the Mediterranean.” He reiterated and warned “I made clear in word and deed that Israel has red lines it will enforce. Israel will continue to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria. Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror base from which to threaten Israel. Iran continues to try to cross those red lines.”

He again warned the Islamic Republic “Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves.”




Photo: Satellite footage of Iranian base in Syria, 2017