Latest Headlines

‘US President Donald Trump ignored reports from US intelligence that said they had no evidence Syria had used sarin to attack a rebel-held town, Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh says.

Hersh is most famous for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War. He also uncovered the abuse of prisoners by US personnel at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. In a report published by the German newspaper Die Welt on Sunday, he describes how the Trump administration mishandled the media frenzy after the Syrian bombing of the rebel-held town Khan Sheikhoun in April.

Trump chose to ignore reports compiled by American intelligence and the military that contradicted the prevailing media narrative accusing Damascus of using sarin gas to kill civilians, the report says, citing accounts by anonymous US military advisers. Instead, he ordered his military to prepare options for a response, which they did.’

Read more: Trump ignored intel, launched Tomahawks in Syria based on media – Pulitzer winner Seymour Hersh

‘The IDF struck two artillery launchers and an ammunition truck on the Syrian side of the border after “several Syrian projectiles” landed in Israeli territory without causing any casualties. A similar incident occurred in the same Golan Heights region on Saturday.

“In response to several Syrian projectiles launched towards Israel, IDF targeted 2 Syrian regime artillery positions & an ammunitions truck,” the Israel Defense Forces tweeted on their official feed on Sunday afternoon.

The tweet came three hours after the IDF said Syrian projectiles had “hit an open area in the northern Golan Heights,” while noting that “no injuries were reported.”

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that even shells reaching Israeli territory accidentally would be met with a swift retribution.’

Read more: Israel targets Syrian artillery positions & ammunitions truck in second incident in two days

‘Al-Qaeda attacked a Syrian Arab Army position in Madinat al-Baath (map) next to the Israel occupied Golan heights. Al-Qaeda requested Israeli fire-support by launching some mortars towards empty space in the Israel occupied area. The Israeli Defense Force accepted the request and destroyed two Syrian Arab Army tanks. Two Syrian soldiers were killed. The SAA held steady and the al-Qaeda attack on its position failed.

This was very easy to predict. Israel has supported al-Qaeda in the area since at least 2014. The al-Qaeda fire-request-by-mortar scheme has been in place for at least three years. In October 2014 the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which back then still covered the area, reported to the UN Security Council:

On 23 June [2014], Israel targeted nine Syrian army positions with tank fire and air strikes after mortar fire from the Syrian side the previous day killed an Israeli civilian. Israel’s assessment is that most of these incidents are due to errant fire resulting from fighting in Syria. Israel said that armed opposition groups were probably responsible but that its forces fired on Syrian military positions to stress that Syria was responsible for security on its side of the ceasefire line.’

Read more: Israel’s Fire Support for Its Al-Qaeda Mercenaries Started Three Years Ago

‘Senior Israeli Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu believes the Israeli army should stop arresting Palestinians and execute them instead.

“It must execute them and leave no one alive,” Eliyahu wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday, according to Defend Democracy Press.

Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of the city of Safed, has a record of making racist remarks about Arabs and Muslims. He once said Israel should take “revenge” against Arabs, and that Palestinians, whom he once labeled enemies of Israel, must be “destroyed and crushed in order to end violence.”

“If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1,000,” Eliyahu told the Jerusalem Post in 2007. “And if they do not stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000, even a million.”’

Read more: Senior Israeli Rabbi Calls for the Mass Execution of Palestinians

‘Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan al-Saud, who lives in Germany, has revealed what he claims are the US conditions for helping Mohamed Bin Salman to become King of Saudi Arabia before his father’s death, reported on Friday.

Writing on Twitter, Khalid said that he had received the information from an informed source within Saudi Arabia’s ruling family.

The alleged conditions include “absolute obedience to the US and Israel and carrying out whatever they ask him to do.” Three other conditions, claimed Khalid, are stated in return for helping Bin Salman take the throne before the death of his father: “Working to settle all Gaza residents in north Sinai as an alternative homeland and Saudi Arabia along with the UAE will afford the needed funds; getting rid of Hamas and whoever supports it; and getting Sanafir Island from Egypt.”’

Read more: Saudi prince reveals ‘US conditions’ for Mohamed Bin Salman to be king

‘A US senator who reportedly advises US President Donald Trump’s White House on foreign policy has repeated baseless allegations against Iran, claiming that Tehran poses danger to the security of the United States.

“The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran,” said Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton, Politico reported Sunday.

Cotton made the comments as the White House was busy devising a “comprehensive Iran policy,” as Stuart Jones, the acting assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs, told The Associated Press last month.

Meanwhile, senior officials and key allies of the president were reportedly calling for “regime change” in Iran.

Trump, who recently clinched an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, accuses Tehran of destabilizing the Middle East, despite the monarchy’s aggression against the impoverished Yemen, promotion of the Takfiri Wahhabi ideology, and funding Daesh terrorists in Syria and Iraq.’

Read more: Trump-friendly senator parrots ‘regime change’ calls against Iran

‘US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has welcomed Qatar’s reaction to the list of demands put forward by the Gulf States in an ultimatum and called on “each of the countries” involved to sit down at the negotiating table to resolve the issue.

Tillerson said that the “series of requests presented by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE” at least partly provides “a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution.”

He urged the sides to continue negotiations by saying that it would be a “productive step,” adding that the US believes its allies are “stronger when they are working together.” Tillerson also reiterated that the common goal of the US, the Gulf States and Qatar is “stopping terrorism and countering extremism” and added that “each country involved has something to contribute to that effort.”

Tillerson also urged all sides to “lower” their rhetoric to ease tensions, and said that the US would stay in “close contact” with all parties and support Kuwait in its mediation efforts.’

Read more: ‘Productive step’: US urges Qatar & Gulf States to come to negotiating table

‘Rome has released €5.2 billion in emergency funding on Sunday to wind up the failing Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, with the country’s finance minister saying the total bailout costs might reach €17 billion.

“The total resources mobilized could reach a maximum of 17 billion euros – but the immediate cost to the state is a little more than 5 billion,” said Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan. He assured Italians that on Monday “there will be normal operations at the teller windows.”

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni defended the move as a vital “burden-sharing, not a bail-in,” aimed at saving “account-holders, savers, of these two banks, in favor of those who work in these banks, and in general in favor of the economy of the territory, one of our most important.”’

Read more: Italy to pay up to €17 billion to rescue two failing Venetian banks

‘Prime Minister Theresa May has finally reached an agreement with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) allowing her to officially form a minority government.

May was pictured with the DUP leader Arlene Foster, while their respective Westminster chief whips, Gavin Williamson for the Conservative Party and Jeffrey Donaldson for the DUP, signed the deal.

The DUP took a total of 10 seats at the general election on June 8.

The Conservatives reduced their share in the House of Commons to 317, falling short of the 326 needed for a majority.

The Tories now hope to be able to pass policy through the Commons with the tactical support of the DUP.’

Read more: Theresa May strikes deal with DUP to prop up minority government