At a point, it stops being a “conflict” and starts being a “war”, and we are on the cusp of that war right now. Here’s an update…
We have been reporting extensively on the fast escalating situation in the Middle East.
In the span of about 24 hours:
- President Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Iran Nuclear “Deal”
- Israel engages in preventive air strikes against the Syrian Army and Iranian positions inside Syria
- Iran says it won’t back down from the military build-up in Syria after the attacks from Israel reportedly kill 15 people including 8 Iranians
- Now the details are blurry, but Iran and Israel appear to be exchanging mortar shelling and air strikes
Here’s recent picture, video and status updates from various Twitter feeds (from newest to oldest) on this rapid and severe escalation of force:
— Eva J. Koulouriotis (@evacool_) May 9, 2018
3 sources, one near Khan Arnabeh, 2 in Jubatha al-Khashab, are confirming reports of an Israeli strike on a regime position the western outskirts of Hader, a Druze village that houses Hezbollah-affiliated fighters.
Another Quneitra source confirms the interception by Iron Dome.
— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) May 9, 2018
— Danny Makki (@Dannymakkisyria) May 9, 2018
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) May 9, 2018
— Michael Wilner (@mawilner) May 9, 2018
Explosions heard in the Golan but no reports of rockets landing on the Israeli side. Could be Iron Dome interceptions. https://t.co/AAVOAiGtf8
— Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) May 9, 2018
— חדשות עשר (@news10) May 9, 2018
Several sirens sounded in the area of the Golan Heights. The details are being looked into and will be given shortly
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 9, 2018
So far President Trump has not commented on the situation.
His concern is to focus on the “good news” of the 3 Hostages returning to the U.S. after being held by North Korea:
Looking forward to greeting the Hostages (no longer) at 2:00 A.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
The Iran Deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know what will happen. In just a short time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons…. pic.twitter.com/58qwBLzxIH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
Here is a summary of the escalation, which is far from over, from Fox News:
Iranian forces based in Syria fired approximately 20 rockets toward Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said late Wednesday.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its Iron Dome missile defense system had intercepted “some” of the incoming rockets. No injuries were reported.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Al Quds force had fired the rockets at several Israeli bases, though he would not say how Israel had determined the Iranian involvement. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Israeli-controlled Golan.
Israel “views this Iranian attack very severely,” Conricus told reporters. He said Israel had responded, but did not provide details.
“This event is not over,” he added.
In a statement to Fox News, the IDF asked residents of the Golan Heights to remain in special “safety zones” for the time being.
Syria’s state news agency said early Thursday that Syrian air defenses had intercepted “hostile Israeli missiles,” and Syrian media later said the missiles were fired over southwestern Damascus.
The pro-Syrian government Al-Mayadeen TV said more than 50 missiles had been fired from Syria toward Israeli forces in the Golan Heights.
Earlier, Syria’s state news agency said rockets suspected to have been fired from Israel had hit southern Syria’s Quneitra province late Wednesday. Activists said it was artillery fire from Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. There were no reports of casualties.
Israel has been on heightened alert in recent days, anticipating a possible Iranian retaliation for a series of deadly strikes on its military positions in Syria.
Syrian state media said Israel struck a military outpost on Tuesday near the capital of Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard in Kisweh, killing at least 15 people, eight of them Iranians.
Just before midnight Wednesday, Syria state news agency reported that rockets suspected to be coming from Israel hit southern Syria’s Quneitra province. Activists said it was artillery fire from Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. There were no reports of any deaths.
Tensions between Israel and Iran are high over Iran’s efforts to expand its military presence in Syria, where it is a key ally of President Bashar Assad. Repeated airstrikes attributed to Israel have killed Iranian fighters and prompted threats of reprisal from Tehran. Meantime, President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday that the U.S. would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran has triggered uncertainty and threatened to spark more unrest in the Middle East.
For an alternative media perspective on the escalation of force in what is possibly the start of a new Middle Eastern War or even World War III:
- Here’s David Stockman’s take on the situation
- Here’s Paul Craig Robert’s take on the situation
- Here’s Dave at X22 Report’s take on the situation
- Here’s Daniel McAdams of The Ron Paul Institute’s take on the situation
That is by no means an exhaustive or authoritative source on all things Iran/Israel, but it’s a start and a primer.
Here’s a quick, sequence of events summary from Zero Hedge:
The situation is fluid to say the least, but as far as we can tell this is what has happened tonight so far:
1. Sirens go off in Golan Heights
2. Loud explosions heard
Then blame-game begins…
3. AP: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Wednesday that Israel has attacked targets of the Syrian military on the outskirts of Quneitra.
4. AP: Activists reported rocket fire from Israel into southern Syrian just before midnight Wednesday.
5. AP: The Israeli army says it is investigating and has no further details.
6. IDF report that Iranian Quds force fired 20 rockets towards forward IDF positions on Golan Heights.
7. According to al-Mayadeen (pro-gov) 10 positions of the Israeli Army were shelled with rockets, and several vehicles were targeted with guided missiles.
8. The IDF views this event with great severity and remains prepared for a wide variety of scenarios.
9. Exchanges continue…
So it is unclear who started the ‘fight’, but for now missile, mortar and rocket exchanges continue.
How does this affect the markets?
What cards will Russia play in response to this escalation?
Will the United States respond?
So far we don’t know the answer to those questions.
One thing is certain: If there were geo-political tensions in the Middle East before, those same tensions are off the charts now.
– Half Dollar
About the Author
U.S. Army Iraq War Combat Veteran Paul “Half Dollar” Eberhart has an AS in Information Systems and Security from Western Technical College and a BA in Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paul dived into gold & silver in 2009 as a natural progression from the prepper community. He is self-studied in the field of economics, an active amateur trader, and a Silver Bug at heart.