Now the Pentagon is revealing details about the weapon, what it will replace and when it might be deployed.
The labeling of the warhead as the W93 is important. Since the introduction of the W88 in the 1980s, all upgrades to warheads have been described as variants — for instance, the collapsing of several versions of the B61 gravity bomb into the B61-12. According to a senior defense official, the reason for the new designation comes from the reality that the warhead is largely a new design.
“The W93 doesn’t [currently] exist. And so this is not a simple life extension,” said the official, who spoke to Defense News on condition of anonymity while traveling to Minot Air Force Base last week.
Right now, there are two submarine-launched nuclear warheads in the arsenal: the W88 and the W76. The latter, which just completed a service life extension program, now comes in two varieties, the traditional W76-1 and a lower-yield W76-2. The W88, meanwhile, is in the early stages of a modernization effort.
However, each of those two systems will likely require additional modernization in 15-20 years, and their cores are increasingly older, even with efforts led by the National Nuclear Security Administration. Given that, the Pentagon believes now is the time to begin developing a future replacement.
“These things take time. And so now we’re beginning the normal process,” the official said. “We start now in a seven-phase process, from concept design to production and delivery. And we’re starting now.”
The goal for the W93 is to base it “on existing designs,” according to the official. But other than that, all options that will work with the Trident II submarine-launched missile are on the table. The Nuclear Weapons Council, which includes a number of Department of Defense principals, is leading the analysis of what the W93 may look like.
“You might move the secondary to where the primary was, move this around, you’ll have new conventional components, you’re going to make it safer,” the official said. “It’s going to be based on currently tested designs and components that are already in the stockpile. But it’ll be safer.”
The government’s goal is to have the new design, which in size would be somewhere between the two existing ballistic missile warheads, fielded by 2040.
“They’ll hate it. They’ll absolutely hate it,” a defense official says of Russia’s reaction to a new sea-launched cruise missile.
While the NNSA will lead development of the warehead’s internal parts, the official said the Pentagon will be involved “pretty quickly” in order to design the aero shell containing the weapon. To that end, the fiscal 2021 budget request includes $32 million for the DoD to begin working on the aero shell for the system, with $480 million planned over the Future Years Defense Program for the effort.
The Department of Energy has yet to put its detailed budget request online, but the Exchange Monitor reported last week that the NNSA requested $53 million in FY21 for work on the warhead.
The department is trying to be careful in describing the W93 as a new “program of record” as opposed to a new warhead design, despite the work involved. While the official acknowledged that phrasing is unlikely to satisfy those concerned about nuclear expansion, the individual was adamant that the plan currently involves retiring older warheads as the W93 comes online in order to maintain current levels in the stockpile.
“We do not anticipate that fielding the W93 will increase the overall size of the U.S. strategic stockpile. Based on current projections, introduction of the W93 into the stockpile will be offset by corresponding reductions of older weapon quantities,” the official said. “So that’s a big deal.”
That may mean the retirement of either the W76-1 or W88, but could also involve taking reserve warheads and disassembling those; the official said that trade-off is under discussion as the program develops, noting: “We don’t have to decide today whether to retire them or not.”
Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association questions why the W93 needs to begin now, a year after the W76 refurbishment is completed and two years earlier than had been previously predicted in budget documents. “NNSA already has too much work on its plate to sustain. Accelerating development of yet another excessively ambitious program will only make that problem worse,” he said.
Reif also expressed skepticism about how much can be drawn from existing technologies if developing a new warhead design.
“Claiming that the warhead is based on existing designs doesn’t provide much comfort given the significant changes being contemplated,” Reif said. “While I take the administration at its word that it has no plans to conduct a nuclear explosive test of the warhead, the scope of the changes under consideration could raise concerns about the reliability of the warhead and increase pressure to test down the road.”
The official said the NNSA and DoD expect pushback, particularity given the fact the W93 is the first “new” warhead design in decades. So the near-term focus of the department is going to be convincing pro-defense Democrats and dollar-focused appropriators that now is the time to begin the project.
“We’ll have that debate,” the official said. “But it’s a very long process, and we want to get it started now.”
PAKISTAN is “pushing terrorists” across the Indian side of the so-called Line of Control which separates the two countries in an effort to sabotage peace efforts in the disputed Kashmir region, a senior police officer has claimed.
By Ciaran McGrath 22:19, Mon, Feb 24, 2020 | UPDATED: 22:40, Mon, Feb 24, 2020
Kashmir: Civilians mourn losses after cross-border attacks
Tensions over Kashmir and neighbouring Jammu are regarded as a major flashpoint between India and Pakistan, and threatened to boil over last year when the killing of 44 Indian military police in an attack by a suicide bomber prompted a retaliatory air strike on what India said were terror training camps on the Pakistani side of the divide. Dilbag Singh, Director General of Police (DGP) with Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) said: “The ceasefire violations by Pakistan has increased manifold with an aim to push as many terrorists into this side to sabotage the peaceful atmosphere.
“Despite increased ceasefire violations, we are alert to the challenge and have already foiled a number of infiltration attempts.”
Mr Singh, speaking to reporters at the 9th Police Martyr’s Memorial Inter Club T-20 Cricket Championship in Kathua district, said the security grid imposed along the Line of Control on the International Border was designed to prevent further incursions.
The security grid along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) is strong to scuttle Pakistan’s designs and ensure further improvement in the overall security situation in the coming months, he said.
Dilbag Singh accused Pakistan of “pushing terrorists” over the Line of Control (Image: GETTY)
Mr Singh said all three had been members of Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based Jihadist group.
He added: “Our security grid is very strong and we are prepared to foil Pakistani attempts to push terrorists into this side.”
Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani stands on a vehicle during a rally in Kashmir (Image: GETTY)
Nevertheless, striking a positive note, Mr Singh said there had been a fall in the number of local youths joining what he described as “terrorist” organisations.
He explained: “The inclination of local youth to join terrorism in the Valley is on the decline.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Image: GETTY)
Kashmiri people shout pro-freedom slogans as senior Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani addresses them (Image: GETTY)
“Sport activities are getting a big boost with proper infrastructure and training.”
He also said information provided by members of the community had been crucial in foiling attacks.
He added: “Sometimes people come forward with information on the basis of suspicion. This is very good and shows that people are very active.
The disputed Kashmir and Jammu regions in the north of India (Image: GETTY)
“We act on the inputs and have successful operations against terrorists. The operation against them is moving very fast.”
Nevertheless, he put the number of “listed terrorists” in the region at between 240 and 250.
He also paid tribute police personnel killed in the line of duty in sacrifices which the JKP would not forget.
People chant slogans as they carry banner during a gathering in Kashmir (Image: GETTY)
He added: “Police will continue its efforts to promote sports to channelise energy of the youth in the positive direction to build a better society, keep our youths away from drugs and other social ills and give platforms to choose sports as a career.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has faced large scale-protests at home and criticism abroad for enacting a citizenship law which is regarded as discriminating against Muslims, amid increasing concerns about the perceived undermining of India’s secular traditions.
The measure came months after the Indian government withdrew the special autonomy given to Muslim-majority territory of Kashmir.
Allawi was tasked on February 1 with forming a new Iraqi government after caretaker PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi resigned in late 2019 in the face of mass protests over corruption, unemployment, and the lack of basic public services.
This is Allawi’s first phone call with the US secretary of state.
“During the call, the latest political developments on the regional and international levels were reviewed, and the necessity for coordination and joint work was emphasized,” read a statement from the Iraqi prime minister’s office.
“Pleased to speak with new #Iraq PM-designate Mohammed Allawi. I welcomed his promise to hold early elections, reaffirmed our commitment to Iraq, urged an end to violence, and called for accountability and urgent action to address protesters’ legitimate demands,” Pompeo said in a tweet following the call.
A longer State Department statement included mention of some thorny issues between the two countries, including the recent spate of rocket attacks against Iraqi bases hosting US troops in Iraq.
One such rocket attack on December 27, 2019 killed a US civilian contractor in Kirkuk and injured other personnel.
Pro-Iran militias are thought to be behind the attacks – acting as proxies for Tehran, which is locked in an ever-escalating tit-for-tat with Washington.
A Kurdish delegation composed of multiple parties, including those with intense political rivalries, returned to the Kurdistan Region from Baghdad on Sunday.
They are expected to meet with Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani and other top officials on Monday to decide whether to boycott or join the cabinet.
Pompeo “urged the new Prime Minister to resolve differences with Iraq’s Kurdish and Sunni political leaders to assure success in pursuing the vital tasks faced by his government,” the State Department said.
Rejecting Allawi’s call for a parliamentary session on Monday, Parliamentary Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and his deputy Hassan al-Kaabi said they must first meet to examine the resumes of Allawi’s chosen ministers and his cabinet manifesto.
Pompeo also used the call to raise concerns about Iraq’s handling of the mass protests sweeping the country’s central and southern provinces, where kidnappings, torture, and targeted killings have drawn condemnation.
“The Secretary and the Prime Minister-designate also agreed on the importance of beginning reforms that would better position the government to provide the Iraqi people a life of dignity, prosperity, and security,” the State Department added.
Lt. Gen. Nadeem Zaki Manj, head of the military’s Strategic Plans Division, oversaw the launch, saying it represents a “major step towards complementing Pakistan’s deterrence capability.”
A video accompanying the ispr statement shows the weapon being launched from one of the Pakistani Air Force’s Mirage iii fighter jets:
The successful launch underscores how far Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program has come since 1998 when it became the first Islamic nation to join the short list of nuclear-armed powers. Since its first successful nuclear detonation in May of that year, Pakistan has steadily developed more powerful, more compact and more numerous nuclear warheads—and, as evidenced by the new Ra’ad ii variant, more deft systems to deliver them.
Meanwhile, parts of Pakistan have become hotbeds of intensifying Islamic radicalism, which calls the security of these unfathomably destructive weapons into question. “Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world,” Michael Morell, a former acting Central Intelligence Agency director, told Axios in 2018. “[A]nti-state jihadist extremism is growing in Pakistan, creating the nightmare society down the road: an extremist government in Islamabad with nuclear weapons.”
The Pakistani military has control over the nation’s 70 to 90 nuclear weapons. But the military routinely works with some of the most dangerous terrorist groups on the planet, including the ruthless Haqqani branch of the Afghan Taliban. The Brookings Institution noted, “Pakistan has provided direct military and intelligence aid” to the Haqqani, which has resulted in “the deaths of U.S. soldiers, Afghan security personnel and civilians, plus significant destabilization of Afghanistan.”
Rahmatullah Nabil, former chief of the Afghan Intelligence service, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed: “[E]ven as Pakistani officials proclaim that their nuclear assets are secure, evidence, including internal Pakistani documents, suggests that they know better.”
Nabil said he is “skeptical about Pakistan’s ability to keep its nuclear weapons safe from extremists,” and warned that the international community “must take action to prevent a global catastrophe before it is too late.”
The Trumpet has often warned of the danger of Pakistan and its increasingly advanced nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of Islamists radicals, particularly those with ties to one of the world’s other Islamic Repbulics. In our January 2008 issue, editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “Pakistan also has the nuclear bomb and could be taken over by radical Islam, with plenty of help from Iran.” The nation’s military could soon become a “proxy of the Iranian mullahs,” he wrote.
Whether Pakistan’s nuclear weapons fell under the control of Iran-linked jihadists, homegrown terrorists or some other faction, the results could be catastrophic.
During His ministry on Earth, Jesus Christ warned of the modern age of nuclear proliferation, saying it would indicate that the end of the age of man’s rule over man was near, and that His return was imminent: “For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive …” (Matthew 24:21-22; New Living Translation).
Yet as we see nuclear cataclysm looming on the horizon, there is reason for hope! In verse 22, just after Christ stated that the war at the end of this age would be so destructive that it could end all human life, He added a crucial statement: “But it will be shortened.”
Nuclear World War iii will be interrupted! Just before the nations detonate enough weaponry to wipe out all human life, Jesus Christ will cut the conflict short. After the time of unprecedented war, He will bring in a new era of unprecedented peace and security. Regarding this future epoch of worldwide harmony, Isaiah 2:4 says: “[N]ation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Iron Dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel, in the city of Ashkelon, Israel, February 23, 2020. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen
Israel struck Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip and Syria on Sunday night, after the group fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel in response to the death of an Islamic Jihad operative who was believed to be laying an explosive device along the Gaza security fence. Two Islamic Jihad operatives were killed in the strike in Syria, the organization confirmed on Monday early morning.
In a one-on-one talk with the Free Beacon on Friday following high-level meetings with the Saudi royal family in Riyadh, Pompeo pulled the curtain back on the Trump administration’s years-long effort to combat Iran militarily and diplomatically.
In the coming months, Pompeo said, he and the president will make a major decision about whether to petition the U.N. to invoke what is known as “snapback” on a set of international sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the Obama administration’s nuclear accord. Iran hawks in Congress have been pressing Pompeo and the administration to pursue this course of action for months, a message the secretary says he has received and is digging into. Such a move would deal a deathblow to the nuclear deal.
‘Snapback’ at the U.N.
While the president has yet to make an ultimate decision on snapback at the U.N., the administration has already begun to lay the groundwork for this course of action. An internal legal opinion recently issued by the State Department made the case that snapback is now warranted, a position that Pompeo confirmed when asked by the Free Beacon.
The issue of snapback has been complicated by the expiration in October of this year of a U.N. ban on Iran’s advanced missile program, which has nonetheless continued to make progress in the years since the nuclear deal was signed. If the ban is lifted by the U.N. Security Council—where members such as China and Russia could veto U.S. efforts to block lifting the embargo—Iran would legally be able to purchase advanced offensive weapons.
“As a policy matter, we’ve made very clear it’s unacceptable” for the arms embargo to be lifted, Pompeo said. “We’ve known these deadlines, these sunset pieces we’re approaching, we now have the first one, a very significant one” coming up in October.
“Think about this,” Pompeo said of the possibility the arms embargo is lifted: “We had [missiles] fly out of Yemen towards Saudi Arabia and it will be lawful to sell those very missiles to the Iranians in what is now eight months. We’re determined to push back against that, we’re determined to stop it. We’ve spoken to our German, our French, our British counterparts about this. They know, too, they appreciate the threat.”
These European nations, however, remain “wedded” to the nuclear deal and are not nearly as forward leaning on the Iran issue as the United States.
“They believe fundamentally that staying in that deal is in the best interest of their nations,” Pompeo said. “Our push is this: The Iranians are largely ignoring the most important components of the [nuclear deal] with respect to nuclear enrichment.”
“It’s important to have the coalition as closely aligned as we possibly can,” he said. “We’re working already at the United Nations to set forward this discussion. I hope, too, the Russians and Chinese will understand. You talked about their veto. We’re not assuming that. We believe that the Russians and Chinese also share our concern that an Iran that is able to buy significant weapons systems is fundamentally destabilizing here in the Middle East.”
As with snapback, Republican hawks in Congress have been pressing the administration for months to stop issuing a set of sanctions waivers that permit Iran to engage in some of its most contested nuclear work, including at the Fordow facility, a secretive military bunker dug into the side of a mountain.
For months, Republican allies typically aligned with Pompeo and the president have accused career officials at the State Department of pursuing these waivers in a bid to keep the nuclear deal on life support, as the Free Beacon has reported on multiple times.
Pompeo said the sanctions waivers are not being debated in the shadows, nor are they being manipulated by career officials, dubbed deep-state operatives by critics. Each time the waivers come up for renewal, Pompeo, his team, and the White House reassess their value. As of now, they are still necessary in order to keep tabs on Iran’s nuclear work, he said.
“We go back and make our best assessment of whether allowing those waivers to continue reduces risk to the United States or increases risk,” Pompeo told the Free Beacon in one of his most in-depth explanations of the contested issue to date.
“Pieces of those waivers that, in fact, have held back the program,” he said. “They’ve given us access and information that’s been to our benefit. The analysis that the president has come to when he made the decision to extend those waivers is that it was in our interest.”
As for GOP critics of the waivers, “There’s a couple who have been loud about it,” Pompeo said.
“We take it all on board. We do value their thinking and their analysis. And we welcome their thoughts as well. I’ve spoken to each of those members at least once or twice about this personally in addition to the public messaging that’s taken place. We take it on board. … We’ve tried to articulate our rationale as well,” he said. “And, look, we disagree with our friends from time to time as well.”
U.S. Aid Dollars for Lebanon
Another long-running issue of disagreement between the Trump administration and its allies in Congress has been the millions in taxpayer aid it sends to Lebanon, a nation largely controlled by the Iranian proxy group Hezbollah.
The dispute over these aid dollars spilled into the public in December, when the Free Beacon reported that the administration released millions of aid dollars over the objection of Trump loyalists in the administration and Congress whowarned the money is directly benefiting Hezbollah.
U.S. officials who spoke to the Free Beacon at the time warned the money would fuel Hezbollah’s next war against Israel. Republican leaders such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) went so far as to demand the administration freeze economic and military aid until a review of the funds’ dispersal could be conducted.
The pressure campaign appeared to work. In late January, U.S. officials told the Free Beacon that the administration is reconsidering the aid in light of the Lebanese elections that ushered in a government closer to Hezbollah than ever before.
While that has eased GOP criticism, it is likely the issue will again become a flashpoint as it comes time to send Lebanon another tranche of aid dollars. When that time comes, the administration will be forced to decide whether it will continue propping up the Lebanese Armed Forces, which critics say is controlled by Hezbollah. Pompeo will play a key role in that decision.
Asked how he views the competing interests, Pompeo emphasized “the deep connection of Hezbollah inside that government is unacceptable.”
That very issue was raised Thursday evening when Pompeo met with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, the secretary told the Free Beacon.
“The Arab states and the United States are united in saying, ‘We’re happy to support Lebanon when it is prepared to not be under the control of the Iranian influence, Hezbollah,'” Pompeo said.
It is, however, unlikely that U.S. aid to Lebanon will end, Pompeo confirmed in comments likely to irritate hardliners in Congress.
“The president and our administration has to date continued to believe that underwriting the institution that is least impacted by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Armed Forces, ultimately provided a security opportunity to give the next Lebanese government,” Pompeo said.
But aid money will not flow arbitrarily. The administration will closely investigate where this aid is going, Pompeo vowed.
“We will the next time we’re making decisions about not only how much and how, but where and whether its appropriate to provide continued assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces, we’ll reevaluate that,” he said. “There are good elements inside of Lebanon who want nothing more than to be disconnected from Hezbollah. We want to support and encourage those people who are standing up for the fundamental rights of the Lebanese people.”
“But where we find a Lebanese footprint that is too significant to ignore, I think the entire coalition that is staring at this problem from Iran … understand the risk,” Pompeo said.
The Trump Administration’s Alliance with Saudi Arabia
When it comes to “pushing back against Iran,” no one has relied more on the United States than Saudi Arabia.
During Pompeo’s two days in the country, he powwowed with the royal family about the ongoing threat Tehran poses to the country’s security. He also visited a top Saudi air base to see up close how some 2,500 American military personnel are working with their Saudi counterparts to monitor Iranian acts of aggression.
When Tehran attacked a Saudi oil facility in 2019, the already close partners found themselves in even closer coordination, a relationship that perhaps rivals the longstanding one enjoyed by the United States and Israel.
“Those words have great meaning,” Pompeo said. “These relationships that we have in the region, whether its our relationship with the Saudis, the Emiratis, the work we do out of Bahrain, all off these folks who are in this coalition, who understand that if we can get the Islamic Republic to behave in a way that is not theocratically revolutionary, we’ve got a real chance to increase growth [and] prosperity in the region.”
“We’ve fundamentally made the right decision to continue to work with the Kingdom to deliver security and safety for the American people,” Pompeo said in response to such critics of the administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, mainly from the human rights angle.
Saudi Arabia, in recent years, has come under a constant barrage of terrorist rockets.
The United States and its Saudi partners will not hesitate to combat these acts of terror, Pompeo said.
“This can’t become ordinary course, it can’t become routine for a nation to underwrite missiles being fired violating the sovereignty of other Middle Eastern nations,” he said. “They’ve been great partners. They’ve all been willing to step up themselves and share the burden, the cost, and risk associated with this.”
Historic religious differences have been put aside in pursuit of a unified regional policy that sees Iran as the aggressor and the United States as a countering force.
“This isn’t about Muslims, or Christians, or Jews,” Pompeo said. “This is about security in the region. They have a common objective and common threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran and they are prepared to come together knowing full well the history of the region, but come together to push back against this common threat.”
The Obama Administration’s Legacy of Failure in the Middle East
“This threat, the threat that emanates from Iran, and they’ve understood this strategically for a long time, and it’s what the previous administration fundamentally misunderstood, that this is a cohesive effort by the Islamic Republic of Iran to demonstrate their capacity and impose costs in a way that would ultimately encircle the Jewish state, which they have clearly said they want to wipe from the face of the earth,” Pompeo said. “We have an obligation, a moral obligation and security obligation to push back against that.”
The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.
The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.
42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.
Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina
“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth toldThe Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”
Frightening Results From New Study
The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.
New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis
Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:
Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.
“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran toldThe Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.
“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, toldThe Journal.
This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.
The leader’s statement follows a request by Prime Minister-designate Allawi last week in which he called on the Iraqi parliament to hold an emergency session to vote on the new governmental cabinet.
“We look forward to the parliament session in which they will vote on the new Iraqi governmental cabinet, but if they fail to hold the session, or do not vote on the new cabinet, or the cabinet does not meet the demands of the nation or the Marjaiya [Shiite clerical leadership], we will hold a million person march and then turn it into a strike around Green Zone area in Baghdad to apply more pressure,” Sadr said in a tweet on Saturday.
Anti-government protesters have been in the streets for almost five months, demanding regime change, constitutional change, and a better quality of life in a country where poverty and corruption are widespread.
Security forces have responded with deadly violence, including live rounds and military-grade tear gas. More than 600 protesters and security force members have been killed and at least 18,000 people injured since protests began in October, according to an Amnesty International report published in January.
Adil Abdul-Mahdi – now Iraq’s caretaker prime minister – resigned in December amid violence against protestors. After weeks of contention, Allawi was tasked on February 1 by President Barham Salih to form a new government. Protesters expressed discontent at his appointment, believing former communications minister Allawi to be part of the same establishment they were protesting against.
Sadr, who was in the northern Iran province of Qom during most of the course of protests, returned unannounced to the Iraqi province of Najaf on Saturday.
As head of the Saiyrun Alliance, the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, he threw his support behind Allawi’s premiership.
As part of his cosign of Allawi’s future prime ministerial tenure, Sadr ordered his ‘blue hats’ militia to leave the protest epicenter of Tahrir Square on January 24. With protesters left near defenseless, Iraqi security forces and pro-government militias attacked protesters in Baghdad and other central and southern cities, burning their tents and abducting activists.
Allawi has until March 2 to form a government. Iraqi officials have quietly expressed skepticism that he will be able to complete the task on time.
Since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, cabinets have been formed through a sectarian power-sharing system, leading to widespread horsetrading among various sects and parties. Iraq’s Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions are likely to hold tightly to their shares of posts in the outgoing cabinet and aim to carry them over into the next lineup.
Sadr has previously sponsored mass mobilization to push forward his demands of the Iraqi political establishment.
He called last month on his supporters to participate in a million person march on the streets of Baghdad to protest US troop presence in Iraq. Though it attracted far fewer people than intended, several hundred thousand people attended the January 24 march.
Miriam JacksonFebruary 22, 2020 A number of weeks earlier, a speaker of the Gaza- based Al-Quds Brigades, an armed wing of the resistance intrigue Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), gotten in touch with Palestinians to occupy arms as well as strike army checkpoints as well as unlawful negotiations in the West Bank, defining it as a “response” to the “Deal of the Century” recommended by the Trump management. An offer unsurprisingly declined by the Palestinian individuals as well as management, over its undeviating Zionist position on an undistracted Jerusalem as well as the alternate bantustans produced by more additions.
Strategic Council on Foreign Relations of Iran @SCFRonline FAILED DEAL OF THE CENTURY AWAITS NEW INTIFADA!https://www.scfr.ir/en/?p=121678 #Intifada#deal_of_the_century#Trump#Netanyahu#Israeal#Palestine View image on Twitter
4:24 AM – Feb 17, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy
However, Iran’s uniformity with the Palestinian reason was preserved quickly after the starting of the Islamic Republic in 1979, with Ayatollah Khomeini’s effort of the International Quds Day, dropping on the last Friday of everyRamadan Former secretary-general of PIJ, Ramadan Shalah, has actually mentioned that: “Our ties with Iran date back to the first days of our movement, just after the Islamic revolution took over in Iran.” Reflecting on the 50- day Gaza battle in the Summer of 2014, Shalah additionally declared that: “Without Iran’s strategic and efficient help, resistance and victory in Gaza would have been impossible.”
Iranian support for the Palestinian resistance would certainly end up being more famous adhering to the Second Intifada in 2000, additionally referred to as Al-Aqsa Intifada, after the after that-Israeli head of state, Ariel Sharon, made an intriguing, heavily-guarded browse through to the disputed website of Al-Aqsa mosque, an event which has actually ended up being normalised as well as a routine event in recent times. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site, Iran’s “direct involvement” in Palestinian regions might be mapped to the Second Intifada, where “hundreds of wounded Palestinians” throughout the uprising got clinical therapy in Iran, which throughout their keep, a few of them supplied knowledge or went through basic training. Supplies as well as functional support provided to resistance activities comprise Iran’s “indirect involvement”.
Of all the Palestinian resistance activities, PIJ is the 2nd biggest intrigue in Gaza after Hamas, however called “more militant” as well as with more powerful ideological connections toIran It’s financing, however, is apparently moderate in contrast to Hamas as well as Hezbollah, as well as was quickly stopped in 2015 over arguments over PIJ’s rejection to condemn Saudi’s army hostility versus in Yemen versus the Houthi- led pressures, that create component of Iran’s Axis ofResistance This caused Iran moving concentrate on a dissenting group of PIJ, made up of PIJ participants that took on the Shia institution of idea, creating the Al-Sabirin motion operating in Gaza because 2014, which has itself dropped up in arms once in a while with Hamas as well as various other Sunni Islamist activities. It has actually apparently developed cells in the West Bank as well as Jerusalem, however has actually looked for to minimize any type of sectarian identification. Nevertheless, PIJ remains to profit from Iranian support to this particular day, as well as is remarkable in being among minority Sunni Arab teams to support Iran throughout its battle with Iraq