Several sources have confirmed rumours that Israel have purchased most of its oil supplies from ISIS militants who stole it from Syria via tanker truck convoys. In a carefully detailed article, Al-Araby lays out the entire process from start to finish, showing how ISIS supposedly steals the oil from Conoco oil fields in Syria and then transports them down to Iraqi Kurdistan where the oil is purchased illegally and refined to some small degree so they can get around import regulations in Turkey. The oil is put in tanker trucks labeled as legitimate oil from the Iraqi Kurdistan region and sold to black market buyers in Turkey. The article explains how one of the biggest buyers of that stolen oil just happens to be an Israeli-Greek duel citizen named Uncle Farid.
Russia has strengthened its anti-aircraft defences in Syria by moving a cruiser towards the coast and deploying new missiles at its main base. The Moskva cruiser’s long-range air defence system will provide cover for Russian aircraft, as will the S-400 missiles which arrived on Thursday. The row over Turkey’s downing of a Russian combat jet on Tuesday rages on.
Many question whether a marriage of convenience between two states with such a history of adversity can last, but for now it is clear that Russia and Iran’s leaders see their new alliance as their best chance to maintain influence in Syria and in the region as a whole.
Both Russia and Turkey say the Russian Su-24, an all-weather attack aircraft, was shot down by Turkish F-16s in the Turkey-Syria border area on 24 November. President Putin said the plane, which had two crew members, was flying at an altitude of 6,000m (19,685ft) when it was hit by an air-to-air missile. The planes were warned 10 times over the space of five minutes via an “emergency” channel and asked to change direction
The government shut down two Arabic-language outlets last week, leaving nearly 30 journalists jobless. The Union of Israeli Journalists: “Shutting down media outlets is nearly unheard of in democratic regimes.” As reported on the media watchdog site The Seventh Eye, police and Shin Bet agents raided and shut down the newsroom of veteran newspaper, Sawt al-Haq wa Al-Hurriya, as well as the news website PLS48, while confiscating computers and other equipment.
“It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence.” Siamak Namazi sent me an Internet meme with this quote only a few weeks ago. It was his clever way of responding to the heated discussions I was having on social media in his defense. The Daily Beast had just published an article attacking Siamak and his family, via a pseudonym, as Siamak was being interrogated in Iran. The article falsely claims that the Namazi family stood to gain millions of dollars from the P5+1 Iran Deal and they were promoting the deal through “the Iran Lobby,” the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).
An Iranian court has sentenced Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to a prison term, the state news agency said on Sunday, quoting the judiciary spokesman in a case that is a sensitive issue in contentious U.S.-Iranian relations. The length of the prison term was not specified. “Serving a jail term is in Jason Rezaian’s sentence but I cannot give details,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told a weekly news conference in Tehran, according to IRNA.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the marketing of land for the construction of 454 homes in two settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, a government official said on Tuesday. The announcement, seen as a provocation by Palestinians, comes amid weeks of escalating violence between Palestinians and Israeli forces, which began in early October over increasing visits by Jews to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, also known as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem.
Shahram Ahmadi has been sentenced to death in Iran due to his activism as a Sunni Muslim and a Kurd. Members of ethnic or religious minorities in Iran who engage in criticism of the government are singled out by authorities for particularly harsh treatment, and there is a well-documented history of the Judiciary disproportionately meting out capital punishment to minority activists.
At least 76 Palestinians and 10 Israelis have been killed in ongoing violence in the occupied East Jerusalem that began in September. The clashes began after dozens of Jewish settlers backed by Israeli security stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Palestinians oppose efforts by far-right Jewish groups who want to divide the holy site and build a Jewish temple there. Palestinians in Jerusalem s Old City say they have no one to safeguard their basic human rights. They are asking for an international force to protect them. On Oct. 24, the Jerusalemite Women s Coalition, a group of women s rights organizations and feminists, called for international protection, citing increased violence by Israeli settlers and the Israeli army. It is urging the international community to defend Palestinians living in East Jerusalem.