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June 21, 2014
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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP
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Special Operations Forces Now in Iraq,
Air Strikes Possible in Syria
June 21, 2014
 
Between June 15-19 , 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:

6/19 Pres. Obama: US prepared to send up to 300 add'l mil advisers [special forces] to Iraq + set up joint intel centers. Surveillance missions now underway.

6/16 Boots on the Ground: White House says POTUS "considering" using specops forces in Iraq to engage rebels. AlertsUSA mil sources state deployments now underway.

6/15 State Dept announces evac of a "substantial number" of diplomatic staff from US Embassy Baghdad due to growing militant threat (+ poss forthcoming air strikes).

What You Need To Know

On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the return of U.S. military forces to Iraq and the ongoing breakup of the country. As of the time of this report's preparation on Friday, information out of Iraq indicates that Iranian forces are pouring into the country and that the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Baghdad. Gen. Qassem Solaimani, is now in Iraq essentially leading the fight to defend Baghdad.

Why Iran you ask?

Because Iran and Iraq are the two primary Shia dominated Muslim countries in the world. There are only 3 others: Lebanon, Bahrain and Azerbaijan. For all intents and purposes, only about 15% of the world’s Muslims are Shia, with the rest identifying as Sunni. While both share a common belief in the core doctrines of Islam, they have an epic hatred for each dating back to the year 632 when the prophet Muhammad died and a rift formed over who would be his successor. Despite the death of approximately a million soldiers in the Iran-Iraq war fought in the 1980's, Shia religious sites in Iraq are now threatened, bringing the two countries together to fight.

Sunni-Shia Map - ALLOW IMAGES

It is being reported that Iran's leadership offered Iraq its army, spies and highly trained revolutionary guard corps to fight against the ISIS insurgents.

Which brings us back to growing U.S. involvement. The week began with the deployment of approximately 100 U.S. soldiers, including more than 50 members of a Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team based in Bahrain, to the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad to help protect diplomatic personnel and the facility.

Hundreds of U.S. special operations forces from the Army and Navy have also deployed to the Iraq to advise, train and likely lead Iraqi Security Force (ISF) units as well as well as carry out reconnaissance and surveillance operations at points across the country.

NOTE: The Pentagon will not telegraph the deployment of special operations forces. If they are talking about sending them, many are already there and likely have been for some time.

As reported in last week's update, ISIS rebels have overrun Iraqi government forces and now control major swaths of territory equating to between 1/4 to 1/3rd of the country. Given their progress on the battlefield and the vast supply of armaments acquired by overrunning depots and bases, they constitute a formidable force. Not surprisingly, there are reports that large amounts of these armaments are being transported back to Syria.

The Obama administration has authorized both “manned and unmanned” surveillance flights over Iraq, some of which are being conducted from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush which entered the Persian Gulf this past Sunday, with others being launched from any number of U.S. bases in the region (Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, etc...). The Iraqi government has asked the U.S. to carry out air strikes but up to the time of this report's preparation, President Obama has not authorized the move. While portrayed by the White House and the media as the President being reluctant, the reality is that specific targets must first be precisely identified and strike packages assembled, and this is where the special operations forces come in.

The President met with Congressional leaders on Wed of this week after which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the president "indicated he didn't feel the need to seek Congress's approval for military action.

Despite President Obama's statements late this week that there will be no mission creep, several media outlets report being briefed by a senior administration official who declined to rule out the possibility that future air strikes might also extend into Syria. Further, details of National Security Council meetings are being leaked this week by the ubiquitous unnamed officials who state that the Obama Administration now considers the conflicts in Syria and Iraq as a single challenge.

What does all this mean to you here in N. America?

In addition to the obvious involvement of American soldiers on yet another battlefield, as previously reported by AlertsUSA Threat Journal on multiple occasions (see this, this and this), U.S. and Canadian Muslims are heading over to Syria and Iraq in increasing numbers to join the jihad. There is tremendous concern that these individuals will then return home and unleash mayhem in this country. So great is the threat that last month the State Department stated that the U.S. and European countries are "gravely concerned." Further, the FBI has established a specialized task force to attempt to monitor these individuals. British authorities are even threatening sentences.

Oddly, earlier this year a new bill was introduced in Congress to create stiff penalties for U.S. citizens who travel abroad to engage in such battles. Authored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.), the International Conflicts of Concern Act is now stalled in the bureaucracy and is reported to have less than a 2% chance of becoming law.

For over a year, AlertsUSA Threat Journal has been warning subscribers that direct U.S. military involvement in Syria was not scrapped when President Obama pulled back from launching an all out attack last summer. Billions of dollars have been spent building command and control facilities in neighboring Jordan, repositioning equipment and forces originally in Iraq as well as training so called "moderate" Islamic militants.

Readers should expect that more war is coming, along with a greatly expanded U.S. military role up to and including U.S. boots on the ground. Further, there is high potential that U.S. strikes in Syria could then prompt the direct involvement of Russia, which maintains close ties with the Syrian government and who stood in their defense last summer (also see this, this and this).

ADDITIONAL POINTS TO PONDER

For at least three years the U.S. has been training and arming rebels in Syria who are now fighting with ISIS in Iraq. Talk about blowback...

Russia is heavily invested in the West Qurna-2 and Block 10 oil fields in southern Iraq.

Despite Washington deciding that democratically elected Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has "got to go," Russian President Vladimir Putin offers total backing for al-Maliki and the fight against insurgents.

 

AlertsUSA continues to monitor developments in the region and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat environment, or additional U.S. involvement, as events warrant.


AlertsUSA.com

OTHER ALERTS ISSUED THIS WEEK

6/17 DoD announces upcoming deployment of tethered blimps above MD to monitor for potential threats to Nat'l Capital Region, incl cruise missiles, aircraft, etc..

 
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NATO Warns Russia After Redeployment
of Forces to Ukraine Border
June 21, 2014
On June 19, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:

6/19 NATO reports 1000s of Russian troops have redeployed to Ukraine border. Mil sources also indicate return of heavy armor, air defense sys, fighter jets & helos.

What You Need To Know

On Thursday of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding Russia's redeployment of thousands of troops to the Ukrainian border, along with heavy armor, air defense systems, fighter jets (Su-34 Fullbacks) and attack helicopters. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the move “a very regrettable step backwards.” Russia's moves come following a major upswing in violence as the Ukrainian military pounds pro-Russian forces in breakaway eastern provinces. The predominantly pro-Russian populace in eastern Ukraine is, quite literally, pleading for Russian intervention.

Ukrainian defense officials stated late this week that new Russian units include two airborne divisions, an airborne assault brigade and a motorized rifle brigade. It also said that a military convoy stretching almost 10 miles in length was spotted on the road between Moscow and the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. The convoy was not moving, just parked on the roadside. Additionally, social media outlets are filled with pictures and videos showing the new troop movements (see this and this)

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Put, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian news agencies the country wasn't massing soldiers, but had shifted some troops to strengthen border security.

Earlier in the week, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander of U.S. European Command General Philip Breedlove warned Russia to stop the flow of heavy weapons and fighters into Ukraine.

General Breedlove's comments came after satellite intelligence confirmed Russian armor crossed the border.

Late this week the State Dept held a telephone press briefing with yet another unnamed Obama Administration official who stated the following:

"We are confident that Russia last week sent tanks and rocket launchers from a deployment site in southwest Russia to eastern Ukraine. We have information that additional tanks have been prepared for departure from the same deployment site. We also have information that Russia has accumulated artillery at a deployment site in southwest Russia, including a type of artillery utilized by Ukrainian forces, but no longer in Russia’s active forces. And we believe that Russia may soon provide this equipment to separatists."

Related Developments:

- Russia Cuts of Natural Gas Supplies to Ukraine
- Large Explosion on Major Ukraine Gas Pipeline
- Putin Advisor Proposes "Anti-Dollar Alliance"
- RAF Intercepts Russian Military Planes
- Putin Puts 65,000 Troops on Alert as U.S. Broadens Sanctions

ADDITIONAL POINT TO PONDER

The USGOV openly admits spending billions to destablize Ukraine.

As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments in this increasingly tense region and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat environment or increased U.S. involvement as events warrant.


Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.

New USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

  06/20/2014
  06/19/2014
  06/16/2014
  04/10/2014
   
See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.

Take Advantage of These Resources

Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation's threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.

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