Sunday, January 12, 2020

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Tweets For Today

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 10:30 PM PST

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 09:30 PM PST

Readiness Rollout
Soldiers conduct a partial armored vehicle rollout exercise in support of readiness training in the Middle East, Jan. 5, 2020. The vehicles provide ground combat power for U.S. Army Central Command.

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... US Department of Defense.

Is The Iraqi Prime Minister Working To Keep US Troops In The Country?

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 09:00 PM PST

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi attends the funeral of the Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, and the Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in an airstrike at Baghdad airport, in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 4, 2020. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

Al-Monitor: Iraqi PM quietly working to keep US troops in country

Iraq's caretaker prime minister privately does not want US troops to withdraw, several sources familiar with the situation told Al-Monitor, though Adel Abdul Mahdi publicly backed a recent parliamentary vote that urged the Donald Trump administration to exit the war-torn country.

Despite calling on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to send an American delegation to Iraq to negotiate the withdrawal of US troops in a readout of a Friday call, Abdul Mahdi is trying to find a way to keep an American presence in the country while attempting to placate Iran-backed militia leaders who want to force 5,200 US troops out, a source familiar with the situation on the ground said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He is in a care-taker role, and will be replaced (probably) this year. If he has leverage to make the US troops stay, I do not see it.

White House Warns Iraq that It Would Cut-Off Its Access To It's Federal Reserve Account That Collects Its Oil Revenue If US Troops Are Forced To Withdraw

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 08:07 PM PST

If Iraq were to lose access to its accounts with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it would curtail Baghdad's ability to access the funds in them triggering a shortage of foreign exchange vital to the functioning of Iraq's already fragile economy[File; Carlo Allegri/Reuters]

Daily Mail: Trump administration threatens to cut off Iraq's access to key central bank account if US troops are forced to withdraw from the country

* US could shut off Iraq's access to Federal Reserve Bank of New York
* Account there is used to collect revenue from Iraq's sale of oil overseas
* Without the central banking access Iraq's economy could quickly collapse
* Iraq's parliament has called for US troops to withdraw from the country

The Trump administration has threatened to shut off Iraq's access to a key central banking account if U.S. troops are forced to with drawn from the country, according to a new report.

The State Department warned that Iraq's access to its main account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York could be shut off if the Iraqi government asks American troops to leave, Iraqi officials told the Wall Street Journal.

The account is used to collect revenue from Iraq's overseas oil sales, and shutting off access to it could quickly cripple the country's economy and its government's ability to provide basic services.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is what I call the US putting a gun to the Iraqi government's head.

More News On The White House Warning Iraq that It Would Cut-Off Its Access To It's Federal Reserve Account If US Troops Are Forced To Withdraw

Trump administration warns Iraq could lose New York Fed account if US troops forced to leave: WSJ -- CNBC
The US warned Iraq that its access to a key bank account holding billions is in jeopardy if the country expels American troops -- Business Insider
U.S. Warns Iraq It Risks Losing Access to Key Bank Account if Troops Told to Leave -- Wall Street Journal
Iraq warned to keep US troops or risk financial blow-WSJ -- Al Jazeera

Islamic State Posts A Video Detailing Its Operations Across The Sahel Over the Past Few Years

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 06:37 PM PST

Islamic State fighters outside of the Inates Nigerien military base in Dec. 2019.

Long War Journal: Islamic State video details operations across the Sahel

In its first official release from the region, a new Islamic State video details the jihadist group's varying operations across the Sahel over the last few years.

While the group has released videos from the region via its Amaq News in the past, today's video also marks the first time footage from the Sahel has been released through the Islamic State's West African Province.

While the group is now within the West African Province branding, it is still colloquially known as the "Islamic State in the Greater Sahara," or ISGS.

The large-scale production serves as both a recap and highlight reel for the Islamic State in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: They have been very active.

Death Toll From Niger Army Base Attack Rises To 89

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 05:06 PM PST

File photo of soldiers in Niger © REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Reuters: Niger army base attack death toll rises to at least 89 -security sources

NIAMEY — The death toll from Thursday's attack by suspected jihadists on a Niger army base has risen to at least 89, four security sources said, surpassing a raid last month that killed 71 soldiers as the deadliest against Nigerien forces in years.

The government said on Thursday that 25 soldiers were killed while successfully repelling the attack in the western town of Chinagodrar by assailants aboard motorcycles and other vehicles.

But four security sources said that at least 89 members of Niger's security forces killed in the attack were buried on Saturday in the capital, Niamey.

One of the sources said the actual death toll could be higher because a number of dead soldiers were buried immediately on Thursday in Chinagodrar.

Niger's government spokesman and defense minister did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Saturday.

Read more ....

More News On The Latest Large-Scale Militant Attack In Niger

63 'terrorists', 25 others killed in Niger army base attack: defence ministry -- News 24/AFP
Death toll from Niger army base attack rises to 89 -- SBS
Niger Army Base Attack Death Toll Increases to at Least 89 - Reports -- Sputnik
Battleground Niger: Almost 90 people dead in jihadist attack on army base -- RT

Ceasefire Announced In Libya To Be Effective On Sunday January 12

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 03:48 PM PST

Khalifa Haftar announced on Saturday a ceasefire starting 00:01 a.m. on Sunday Jan. 12 conditional on acceptance by his rivals. (Reuters/File)

Reuters: Libyan forces loyal to Haftar announces conditional ceasefire: spokesman

BENGHAZI (Reuters) - Libyan eastern forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar announced on Saturday a ceasefire in the western region, which includes the capital Tripoli, starting 00:01 a.m. on Sunday (22:01 GMT) conditioned on acceptance by their rivals, a spokesman said.

Since April, Libyan National Army forces loyal to Haftar have been waging a campaign to take Tripoli, where they are battling forces aligned with the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

LNA on Thursday rebuffed a call by Turkey and Russia for the warring parties to declare a ceasefire amid clashes and air strikes in a conflict drawing increasing foreign involvement and concern.

Read more ....

More News On The Libyan Ceasefire And Peace Talks

Libyan forces loyal to Haftar announce ceasefire - spokesman -- The National
Libyan forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar have declared ceasefire -- Arab News
Libya's UN-backed leader welcomes cease-fire, doubts rival -- AP
Turkey asks Russia to get Libya's Haftar to accept ceasefire -- Al Jazeera
Erdoğan holds talks with head of European Council on reduction of Libya tensions -- Daily Sabah
German chancellor Merkel says Berlin will host Libya peace talks -- Reuters
E.U. Sidelined On Libya As Russia And Turkey Take Leading Role -- Forbes

French Government Offers To Scrap Plans To Raise Pension Age To 64 After Weeks Of Rioting And Crippling Strikes

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 03:27 PM PST

Daily Mail: Macron caves in: French government offers to scrap plan to raise pension age to 64 after weeks of rioting and crippling strikes - as Paris burns yet again

* French government has offered to withdraw plan to raise pension age by two years in compromise to unions
* The message was delivered as thousands of protesters took to the streets for 38th day of protests andstrikes
* The moderate CFDT union welcomed 'the withdrawal of the pivot age' from the controversial bill

France's government offered a possible compromise to unions waging a crippling, weeks-long transport strike against pension reform.

The government on Saturday offered to withdraw the most contested proposal that would in effect have raised the retirement age by two years.

'To demonstrate my confidence in the social partners... I am willing to withdraw from the bill the short-term measure I had proposed' to set a so-called 'pivot age' of 64 with effect from 2027, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe wrote in a letter to union leaders a day after they met seeking to end the labour action, now in its 38th day.

Read more ....

More News On The French Government Offering To Scrap Plans To Raise The Pension Age To 64 After Weeks Of Rioting And Crippling Strikes

French PM 'willing' to temporarily shelve plans to raise age for full pension benefits -- France 24
France protests: PM offers pension compromise in bid to end strike -- BBC
French PM makes major concession to unions over pension age -- The Guardian
French prime minister makes concession to pension protest -- DW
French Government 'Willing' to Step Back From Most Contested Pension Reform Proposal Amid Protests -- Sputnik

World Leaders React To Iran Admitting That It Downed Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 01:27 PM PST

DW: Germany, world leaders react after Iran admits downing plane by 'mistake'

Ukraine's President Zelenskiy demanded Iran pay compensation and a full investigation over the downing of the Ukrainian passenger jet, while Germany called for measures to prevent such a disaster in the future.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday said Ukraine expected a full investigation and compensation from Iran, after Tehran said it "unintentionally" shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people board.

After mounting international pressure, Iran earlier on Saturday voiced regret over firing at the passenger plane in "error" amid heightened US tensions.

Iran had initially denied bringing down the aircraft.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Russian social media and media commentators have been critical of the Iranian admission. Canadian PM Trudeau has been the most vocal in expressing outrage over this tragedy .... BREAKING NEWS: Justin Trudeau casts doubt on Iran's claim that shooting down of passenger jet was an 'accident' as he demands justice and compensation for families of 57 Canadian victims (Daily Mail) But Trudeau's anger pales in comparison to what many in Iran are now feeling .... Protesters in Tehran clash with riot police as they demand the Ayatollah RESIGNS and call for regime change after Iran finally admits to shooting down jet and killing 176 people (Daily Mail).

German Chancellor Merkel Meets Russian President Putin In Moscow

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 01:00 PM PST

Euronews/AFP: Angela Merkel meets Vladimir Putin in Moscow amid Iran crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Her visit — the first to Russia since May 2018 — comes as Iran admitted accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane shortly after its takeoff from Tehran, killing 176 passengers and crew.

Iran and Libya are expected to be the main points of discussion between the leaders, as Putin has strong influence in both countries.

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned of an escalation of violence in Libya earlier this week after a meeting of EU foreign ministers, especially in light of a recent airstrike on a military school.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Meeting Between German Chancellor Merkel And Russian President Putin In Moscow

German and Russian leaders discuss Mideast tensions -- AP
Putin, Merkel Align Goals on Libya and Russian Gas for Germany -- Bloomberg
Merkel says Germany supports Nord Stream 2 implementation -- TASS
German Chancellor urges all parties to back Iran nuclear deal -- Reuters
Merkel and Putin agree Iran nuclear deal should be preserved by all means -- RT
Merkel: Germany to host Libya peace conference -- Al Jazeera
German chancellor Merkel says Berlin will host Libya peace talks -- Reuters
Merkel, Putin call for Libya deescalation at Kremlin talks -- AFP
Russia's Putin: time to hold Libya peace talks in Berlin -- Reuters
Russia's Putin: Russians fighting in Libya do not represent the state -- Reuters
Merkel Says Nord Stream 2 Beneficial for Many European States, Not Only Germany -- Sputnik
Angela Merkel and Vladmir Putin push ahead with pipeline -- DW

Sultan Qaboos Of Oman Dies Aged 79 Cousin Named As Successor

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 12:35 PM PST

BBC: Sultan Qaboos of Oman, Arab world's longest-serving ruler, dies aged 79

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman, the Arab world's longest-serving ruler, has died aged 79.

The sultan deposed his father in a bloodless coup with British support in 1970 and set Oman on a path to development, using its oil wealth.

Widely regarded as popular, he was also an absolute monarch and any dissenting voices were silenced.

No cause of death has been confirmed. His cousin Haitham bin Tariq Al Said has been sworn in as his successor.

A family council had three days to choose a successor as Qaboos had no heir or publicly designated successor. Instead they opted for opening the sealed envelope in which Qaboos had secretly left his own choice.

Read more ....

More News On the Death Of Sultan Qaboos Of Oman

Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who modernized Oman, dies at 79 -- AP
Oman Sultan Qaboos has died: state media -- AFP
Haitham bin Tariq sworn in as Oman's new sultan -- Al Jazeera
Cousin of late Oman sultan sworn in as new ruler -- AFP
Sultan of Oman dies and is succeeded by cousin -- The Guardian
New Oman ruler chosen by agreement, or secret letter -- AFP
Oman's Sultan Qaboos dies; successor vows to pursue peace -- Reuters
Oman's new ruler backs policy that made kingdom vital mediator -- AFP
New Oman ruler vows to uphold late sultan's peaceful policy -- AP
Oman's new sultan promises both continuity and reforms -- AFP
Sultan Qaboos ushered in Oman renaissance, quiet diplomacy -- Reuters
Oman's new ruler chosen to provide continuity -- Alexander Cornwell, Reuters

'Loss for region': World reacts to death of Oman's Sultan Qaboos -- Al Jazeera
Israel's Netanyahu mourns Oman's 'great leader' -- AFP

Oman's Sultan Qaboos, a negotiator in a volatile region -- Al Jazeera
Oman: the discreet Gulf mediator -- AFP
A new era for Oman nears under Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said -- DW

Taiwan Presidential Election: Tsai Ing-wen Re-Elected In A Landslide For President

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 12:10 PM PST

Daily Mail: Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen celebrates winning second term with landslide victory as voters show strong support for her tough stance on China

* Tsai Ing-wen took 57.2 per cent of the vote to soundly defeat her two challengers
* She warned communist-ruled China not to use threats of force against Taiwan
* Voters chose Tsai's position on China over Han Kuo-yu's calls for friendlier ties

Taiwan's independence-leaning president Tsai Ing-wen has won a second term in office with a landslide victory, signalling strong voter support for her tough stance against China.

Ms Tsai took 57.2 per cent of the vote to soundly defeat two challengers, Han Kuo-yu of the rival Nationalist Party and James Soong of the smaller People First Party.

She wasted no time in warning communist-ruled China, which views Taiwan as a renegade province, not to try to use threats of force against the self-governed island.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The election was not even close.

More News On Taiwan's Election

Taiwan elections: Tsai Ing-wen re-elected as president as rival Han Kuo-yu concedes defeat -- SCMP
Taiwan's leader reelected as voters back tough China stance -- AP
Taiwan president wins landslide victory in stark rebuke to China -- Reuters
Taiwan's Tsai wins landslide in stinging result for China -- AFP
President Tsai Ing-wen declares victory in Taiwan election, opposition candidate concedes defeat -- France 24
President Tsai Ing-wen wins Taiwan election -- Al Jazeera
Taiwan election: Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term -- BBC
China reiterates opposition to Taiwan independence after vote -- Reuters
Taiwan president tells China they will not give in to threats -- Reuters
Taiwan president says will try to break deadlock with China -- Reuters
US hails Taiwan leader's re-election, 'robust' democracy -- AFP
Analysis: Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen's landslide re-election a massive blow to Xi Jinping -- ACB News Online

2 U.S. Troops Killed And 2 Wounded By Taliban Bomb In Southern Afghanistan

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 11:32 AM PST

A map shows the location of the roadside bomb attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan

Daily Mail: Two U.S. are soldiers killed and two others are injured in Taliban roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan

* IED struck US vehicle on Saturday in the Dand district of Kandahar province
* Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the roadside bomb attack
* Two U.S. service members were killed and two others injured

Two U.S. service members were killed and two others injured when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan Saturday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, immediately claimed responsibility for the attack the southern Kandahar province.

The Department of Defense did not identify the service members, in keeping with policy to wait 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete.

The U.S. service members were conducting operations as part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission. It was not immediately clear which branch of the military they were with.

Read more ....

More News On 2 U.S. Troops Killed And 2 Wounded By Taliban Bomb In Southern Afghanistan

Two US military service members killed in Afghanistan -- The Guardian/AP
Two U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan: NATO -- Reuters
Roadside bomb kills two US troops in Afghanistan -- France 24
2 U.S. Troops Killed By Taliban Bomb In Southern Afghanistan -- NPR
2 US service members killed in roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan -- USA Today
2 US service members killed in Afghanistan -- CNN
Two U.S. Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan After Vehicle Hits Roadside Bomb -- RFE
The Taliban claimed responsibility for a roadside bomb that killed 2 US soldiers in Afghanistan -- Business Insider

Iranians Are Furious That Their Government Concealed The Truth On Shooting Down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 10:34 AM PST

Reuters: Angry Iranians question authorities for concealing truth on plane incident

Iran's statement on Saturday that a Ukrainian passenger plane was downed by a missile fired unintentionally followed growing pressure from abroad but also at home, and for some Iranians, the authorities' expressions of condolence were not enough.

For days, Iran had denied Western accusations it was responsible for Wednesday's crash soon after take-off from Tehran, in which all 176 people aboard were killed. Authorities said on Saturday that air defences had been fired in error while on high alert following Iranian missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq.

Expressions of condolence over the incident from Supreme Leader and President Hassan Rouhani failed to calm angry Iranians, who used social media to express their outrage against the establishment for concealing the truth.

"It is a national tragedy. The way it was handled and it was announced by the authorities was even more tragic," said Ali Ansari, a moderate cleric, according to Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency.

Read more ....

Update #1: Iranian protesters demand Khamenei quit over plane downing (Jerusalem Post)
Update #2: 'Death to liars!' Iranian protesters in Tehran turn against regime and demand the Ayatollah RESIGN after country's military admits it shot down passenger plane full of its own citizens (Daily Mail)

WNU Editor: There are many reasons why Iranians are angry at their government. And in the whole scheme of things this is probably one of the lesser reasons why they are fuming.

Iranian News Coverage On Their Government's Admission That They Shot Down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 10:33 AM PST

TEHRAN – Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, said on Saturday that after he became "confident" that the Ukrainian passenger plane had been shot down erroneously by the Iranian air defense system "I wished death".

Tehran Times: 'I wished death' after realizing Ukrainian passenger plane had been mistakenly shot down: IRGC Aerospace Force chief

The passenger plane, with 179 people aboard, was mistakenly downed on Wednesday morning. It happened a few hours after Iran fired dozens of missiles at the U.S. airbase inside Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.

Hajizadeh said he was in western Iran when the incident happened.

"I will accept all the responsibilities for this incident," he told a press conference.

He added, "We will obey any decision by officials."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Iranian government is admitting that they shot down the plane, but are blaming the US for why it was shot down .... US bears full responsibility for the tragic downing of Ukraine airliner: Analyst (Press TV).

Update: More details are beginning to emerge. The missile was launched from a base used by the IRGC to develop ballistic missiles.

Update #2: The official Iranian Armed Forces statement .... Ukrainian civil airliner downed due to human error: Armed Forces statement (Tehran Times).

More On Iranian News Coverage On Their Government's Admission That They Shot Down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Ukrainian civil airliner downed due to human error -- MEHR News Agency
Iran: Ukrainian plane brought down 'due to human error' -- Press TV
Iran Armed Forces: Ukrainian Jetliner Downed Due to Human Error -- Tasnim News Agency

We accept full responsibility for Ukrainian plane crash: IRGC Aerospace chief -- Press TV
IRGC Aerospace Chief: Ukrainian Jetliner Mistaken for Cruise Missile -- Tasnim News Agency
IRGC Aerospace chief elaborates on Ukrainian plane mishap -- MEHR News Agency

Leader orders probe into passenger plane crash -- Tehran Times
Iran Leader ordered swift release of Ukraine plane downing details: Report -- Press TV
Ayatollah Khamenei Orders Iran Armed Forces to Probe into Plane Crash -- Tasnim News Agency
Leader urges Armed Forces to look for probable culpabilities in unintentional downing of Ukrainian plane -- MEHR News Agency

Iran President 'Deeply Regrets' Unintentional Downing of Ukrainian Plane -- Tasnim News Agency
Rouhani: Investigations will continue to prosecute those involved in plane crash -- Tehran Times
Those responsible for unforgivable mistake to be prosecuted: Rouhani -- MEHR News Agency

Human Error at Time of Crisis Caused by US Adventurism Led to Disaster: Iran's Zarif -- Tasnim News Agency
Zarif blames 'US adventurism' over tragic plane incident, offers apologies -- Tehran Times

Iran's justice orders military court to conduct immediate probe into plane crash -- Press TV
Iran Judiciary Chief Orders Investigation into Downing of Ukrainian Plane -- Tasnim News Agency
Iranian Speaker Urges Probe into Human Error behind Downing of Plane -- Tasnim News Agency
Larijani requires affiliated organizations to address Ukrainian plane incident on top agenda -- MEHR News Agency

US Senate Democrats Will Not Support Measure Praising U.S. Military For Soleimani Killing

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 09:11 AM PST

Washington Free Beacon: Senate Dems Won't Support Measure Praising U.S. Military for Soleimani Killing

Not a single Democratic member of the Senate has lent their support to a Republican-driven congressional effort to praise the U.S. military and intelligence community members who helped carry out the successful strike that killed Iranian terror leader Qassem Soleimani.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and 42 of his GOP colleagues in the Senate earlier this week forwarded a resolution honoring American military and intelligence community members who helped conduct the raid that killed Iran's chief terror mastermind.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is not going to help the Democrats when voters go to the polls this November.

US Special Operations Releases Photos Showing Qassem Soleimani's Personal Effects And Twisted Wreckage After The Drone Strike Killed Him In Baghdad

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 08:42 AM PST

Some of the items Soleimani was carrying when he died. His phone is partially visible at the top left.

Daily Mail: Photos taken by US Special Operations show Qassem Soleimani's personal effects and twisted wreckage after drone strike killed him in Baghdad

* New photos show aftermath of January 3 drone strike at Baghdad International Airport
* Quds Forces leader Qassem Soleimani and nine others were killed in two cars hit by US drone missiles
* Photos show burning wreckage and some of Soleimani's personal effects after the strike

Photos taken by U.S. Special Operations forces have been released in the aftermath of the American drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport.

The photos, which depict the grisly outcome of the January 3 Reaper drone's missile strike on two cars carrying Soleimani and nine others, were obtained by Fox News from a U.S. government source.

The U.S. soldiers were secretly following Soleimani's convoy about a half-mile behind his entourage, and rushed to the scene immediately after the strike to confirm that the Iranian general had been killed.

The photos show the burning, twisted wreckage of the vehicle Solemani was traveling in, as well as some of the items he was carrying, including a cell phone and currency.

Read more ....

Update: Photos taken by US Special Operations forces show aftermath of strike that killed Soleimani (FOX News).

WNU Editor: These pictures tell me that US Special Forces were near the strike when it happened. It is almost as if they were waiting for him. According to FOX News Qassem Soleimani's cell phone and electronics was destroyed ....

.... Under normal circumstances, Soleimani's phone and other electronics would be taken away for forensic analysis. However, the missile strike and ensuing fire made such an investigation impossible.

That is the official US statement. But when I look at the above photo it is clear that his phone is intact. I am willing to bet that everyone who was on Soleimani's cell phone is now operating on the premise that his electronics and cell phone were not destroyed, and that US intelligence already has all the data in their possession.

Pictures From On The Ground Reveal In Ain Al-Assad Airbase Shows The Damage Following Iran's Missile Attack

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 08:15 AM PST

Iraqi sites published photos that they said were leaked from inside the Al-Asad base, in Anbar Province, after the Iranian missile strike, in retaliation for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. [Arabi21]

Middle East Monitor: Leaked pictures from Ain Al-Assad Airbase following Iranian attacks

The pictures show severe damage of the airbase, which hosts US forces.

Iraqi news websites have published leaked pictures from inside the US Ain Al-Assad Airbase in the Iraqi governate of Al Anbar, following the Iranian missile strike, reported on Friday.

The pictures show severe damage of the airbase, which hosts US forces. Meanwhile, Iranians have also published videos on social media claiming to show the damage inside the airbase.

The pictures were published at the same time as other images captured by satellite were also published, showing the sites which were hit by the Iranian ballistic missiles.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are only three pictures but they show extensive damage at this Iraqi base. I am sure more pictures are going to be posted in the coming days.

The Curse Of Soleimani

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 08:08 AM PST

WNU Editor: No comment necessary.

President Trump: Iran Was Targeting Four US Embassies

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 08:01 AM PST

Daily Mail: Donald Trump claims Qassem Soleimani was planning to blow up 'PROBABLY four' U.S. embassies before he was killed in a drone strike after Mike Pompeo says U.S. did NOT know 'where or when'

* President Trump told Laura Ingraham that there were 'probably four' U.S. embassies being threatened by Iranian general Qassem Soleimani
* I can reveal that I believe it probably wouldn've been four embassies,' the president told the Fox News Channel host
* The president specified the Baghdad embassy as one of the targets, as the complex had already been attacked by Iranian-backed protesters
* Earlier Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled down on the president's claims that U.S. embassies were in jeopardy
* The Trump administration has been called out by members of Congress for taking out Soleimani without authorization

President Trump said in a new interview with Laura Ingraham Friday that there were 'probably four' U.S. embassies in the crosshairs of an attack orchestrated by Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

'I can reveal that I believe it probably wouldn've been four embassies,' Trump told the Fox News Channel host.

The president also offered that it was 'probably' going to be the embassy in Baghdad, which saw Iran-backed militia members attack it last week, further inflaming tensions between the U.S. and Iran, that led to Soleimani's death.

Trump's comments come after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled down on the president's claims that embassies were Soleimani's targets.

Read more ....

More On President Trump's Remarks That Iran Was Targeting Four US Embassies

Trump tells Fox News' Laura Ingraham 'four embassies' were targeted in imminent threat from Iran -- FOX News
Trump believes Iran was targeting four U.S. embassies: Fox News -- Reuters
Trump: Iran was plotting attack on four U.S. embassies before Soleimani killing -- Bloomberg
Trump officials didn't tell Senate that Soleimani plot allegedly targeted four embassies -- CBS

New Video From Iran Emerges Showing The Missile That Was Fired At Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 09:59 AM PST

Sputnik: Alleged Video of Moment Missile Fired at Doomed Ukrainian Plane Released

On Saturday, the Iranian Guards Corps Troops announced they had taken down Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 plane en route from Tehran to Kiev, mistaking it for a missile. At the same time Ukrainian authorities have called on Iran to take full responsibility for the incident that claimed 176 lives.

A new video allegedly showing a moment the missile that hit a Ukrainian airliner was launched has been making round on the internet. Posted by Foreign affairs editor of Walla News, Guy Elster, the footage shows what seems to be a missile firing that is filmed during the night at a parking lot. Mere seconds after the launch, the night sky gets flashed.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Even with most international airlines now boycotting Iran unless they provid answers on what caused the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, I am still surprised that the Iranian government came clean this quickly on admitting that it was responsible for the shooting down of this passenger jet. If Iran is sincere that they are going to investigate and punish those who are responsible for this tragedy, the families can then have at least some closure.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 07:14 AM PST

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 11 Jan 2020 07:01 AM PST

People stand near the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers that crashed near Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on 8 January 2020. © AFP 2019 / Rohhollah Vadati / ISNA

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures: 4-10 January (Sputnik).

The entire photo-gallery of the past week is one of the best that I have seen in a long time from Sputnik. The one that caught my eye was Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad at a Damascus cathedral on 7 January 2020.