A leading Syrian opposition figure has warned of an Iranian takeover of the Middle East, facilitated by the inability of Western policymakers to understand the shifting dynamics in the region, especially with regard to their potential impact upon the State of Israel.
“Western strategy in Syria leads in one direction — an Iranian takeover,” Kamal al-Lubani told Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon on Friday.
Al-Lubani, who is currently visiting Israel, is a member of the political bureau of the National Coalition for Syrian Opposition and Revolutionary Forces and long-standing critic of Iran’s expanding regional influence. In 2013, it was al-Lubani who rejected an offer from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to “mediate” between the Syrian opposition and the Damascus regime of President Bashar al-Assad, pointing out that the proposal was “laughable” because Iran was “part of the problem.”
Four years on, al-Lubani remains convinced that Iran is the principal source of instability in the region. “The old-fashioned notion that we are witnessing a religious war of Sunni against Shia Muslims is a mistake,” al-Lubani said during the interview at a Tel Aviv hotel.
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After Kim Jong Un and North Korea conducted their biggest nuclear test yet, South Korea is bolstering its plan to “eliminate” the dictator should they feel threatened by nuclear weapons, according to CNN.
South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo revealed the information in parliament on Thursday, saying that a special forces unit is already on standby.
“South Korea has a general idea and plan to use precision missile capabilities to target the enemy’s facilities in major areas, as well as eliminating the enemy’s leadership,” he said.
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North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test on Thursday night was accompanied by an announcement that they now now have the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile. The ten megaton explosion, their fifth since 2006, was recorded as a 5.3 magnitude seismic event by monitors in the US, Japan, China and Europe. The nuclear test coincided with the 68th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).
The North Korean claim of being able to launch a nuclear attack seems accurate since they successfully conducted a test on a medium-range ballistic missile on Monday.
“We’ve improved our ability to produce standardized and miniaturized nuclear warheads so we can produce as many as we want,” announced DKNA, North Korean national television. “This is our response to hostile powers, including the US. We sent out a message that if the enemies attack us, we can counterattack. The measures to protect our dignity and our right to exist from the US threat will continue.”
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