MM Stock

Mail Magazine to RSS

Israel Ups Role in Syria Against Iranian Targets


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. February 12, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Israel Ups Role in Syria Against Iranian Targets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli military delivered "serious blows" to Iranian targets in Syria after a weekend of cross-border strikes, and signaled confrontation between Israel and Iran could escalate further if "agression" against his country continues. Syria's air force shot down an Israeli fighter jet, the first downed since 1982 (VOA), after Israel reportedly sent aircraft over central Homs province to carry out strikes on Syrian and Iranian targets (Al Jazeera). The move by Israel came after the country intercepted a drone allegedly operated by Iran (Al Jazeera) in Israeli airspace. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, starting a five-country tour (Haaretz) in the region, said he has no new plans to visit Israel in light of the escalation. ANALYSIS "The risk is a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran that will encompass Syria and Lebanon," Sami Nader said in an interview with Bloomberg. "The jet crash represented a severe blow to Israel's prestige and could mark a major change after years in which it acted against targets in Syria with relative impunity," Isabel Kershner, Anne Barnard, and Eric Schmitt write for the New York Times. "[Israel] uses Russia as an intermediary to convey its messages to the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis. And if they don't pick up on those messages, Israel uses its air force, which, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, has attacked Syrian and Iranian targets on at least one hundred occasions," Yossi Melman writes for Middle East Eye. PACIFIC RIM Pence Says U.S. Open to Talks With North Korea U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have agreed for the South to pursue further engagement with North Korea (WaPo), after which the United States could follow. Pence called the policy shift "maximum pressure and engagement at the same time." Peter Harrell and Juan Zarate lay out a long-term strategy for Washington and its allies on North Korea (Foreign Affairs). AUSTRALIA: A royal commission probe into wrongdoing in the country's banking sector (BBC) began hearings on Monday. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Sixteen Afghan Officers Killed in Insider Attack Officials said sixteen members of the national intelligence agency have been killed after four of their colleagues opened fire on them before fleeing (VOA). An attack by Taliban militants on the facility was underway at the time, according to the provincial government. INDIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, has unveiled plans for a Hindu temple (AP) to be built in the Gulf nation, whose 3.3 million residents from India far outnumber the local Emirati population. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA International Donors Gather in Kuwait for Iraq Conference Officials from some seventy countries and thousands of business leaders are gathered in Kuwait for a three-day conference as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi seeks $100 billion in investment (National) for more than 150 reconstruction projects following the defeat of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. This CFR Backgrounder explains what to watch for in post-ISIS Iraq and Syria. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Nigeria Resumes Boko Haram Mass Trial Some one thousand suspected members of the militant group Boko Haram will appear in court after the attorney general ordered the mass trial of terrorism suspects (Vanguard) to resume on Monday. The trial had been put on hold for four months (BBC) for further investigations. LIBERIA: Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has won the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African leadership (Al Jazeera). The prize, meant to be given out annually, has not been awarded in years when no candidate was considered qualified. EUROPE Oxfam Under Fire in UK Over Sex Abuse Claims Top officials from the charity Oxfam will meet with Britain's international development secretary as the government faces calls to cut the organization's public funding (BBC) in light of charges of sexual abuse by aid workers in Chad and Haiti. FRANCE: A court is expected to rule on a case by the tech giant Apple over demonstrations by tax activists (Guardian) outside its French stores. AMERICAS Eighteen Dead in Venezuelan Mine Raid Eighteen people have been killed in a raid by security forces (DW) on an illegal gold mine in Venezuela's eastern Bolivar State. No soldiers are believed to be among the dead. PERU: Peru has signed a free trade agreement with Australia (AAP) that is expected to boost sales of Australian food products in the South American nation. UNITED STATES Power Plant Fire Puts Some of Puerto Rico Back Into Darkness Much of northern Puerto Rico was without power on Sunday (NPR) after an explosion at a substation for the national power company. A third of the power authority's customers are still without power after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September. The White House is expected to present a ten-year plan to improve the nation's infrastructure (WSJ) that would use $200 billion in federal funds and drive up to $1.5 trillion in investment from local governments and the private sector. CFR's Heidi Crebo-Rediker writes that the devil is in the details when it comes to a bipartisan deal on infrastructure.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: February 12, 2018 at 11:10PM