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US warns Iran: Do not confuse prudence with weakness

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White House national security Adviser John Bolton (Picture : nytimes.com)

Jerusalem, June 23 (IANS) The United States national security Adviser warned on Sunday that the decision not to attack Iran is temporary and that the country should not confuse “prudence with weakness”.

White House national security Adviser John Bolton made the remarks during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, reported Efe news.

The pair held discussions at the Israeli leader’s residence and spoke at a joint press conference about the strength of their alliance and the magnitude of the threat that Iran represents in the region.

Bolton emphasized that the White House’s determination not to attack Iran is a temporary decision.

“Netanyahu’s good relationship with Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin augurs well for the meeting and for a better alignment of the policies of these three countries in a series of fundamental security issues,” said Bolton.

After insisting that Iran represents a threat to international peace and security in the Middle East and the world, the US warned that neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should confuse “prudence and discretion with weakness.”

Bolton, known for his tough stance against the Iranian regime, emphasized that the US decision not to attack Iran is “for the time being.”

Netanyahu pointed out that the Iranian threat dates from much earlier than the recent incidents in the Persian Gulf, when an American drone was shot down and two vessels attacked.

Both referred to the new sanctions that the US will impose on the country, which Bolton said will be announced on Monday and that Netanyahu praised.

Bolton’s visit to Israel came two days before a tripartite meeting between the national security advisors of Israel, Russia and the US to discuss growing tensions in the region and escalating tensions between the US and Iran.

Relations between Tehran and Washington have escalated in recent weeks, with the US deciding to send additional troops, ships and missiles to the Persian Gulf.

The US has accused Iran of a series of alleged sabotage attacks against oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, most recently on June 13 when the Japanese-operated Kokuka Courageous and Norwegian-owned Front Altair were hit by explosives.

Iran has denied any involvement in the incidents and has instead accused the US of trying to destabilize the region.

Middle East

4 rockets hit military base near Baghdad, 6 injured

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Baghdad, Dec 9 : Four rockets struck a military base near the Baghdad airport, leaving six army personnel injured, Iraqi authorities said Monday.

According to a statement by the media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, forces searched the areas around the military base and found a rocket launcher left with some unfired rockets because of malfunction, Xinhua news agency reported

The statement however, did not say when the attack took place or identified which base was hit.

Meanwhile, an Interior Ministry official told Xinhua that the targeted base was where US troops were stationed.

Military bases housing US troops across Iraq and the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad have been frequently targeted by insurgents’ mortar and rocket attacks.

Over 5,000 .S troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against the Islamic State (IS) militants, mainly providing training and advice to the Iraqi forces.

The troops are part of the US-led international coalition that has been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.

The incident came as mass demonstrations have continued in Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since early October, demanding comprehensive reform, accountability for corruption, improvement of public services and job opportunities.

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Middle East

Deadly car bombs target Turkish-held town in north Syria

The car bombs were detonated on Thursday in swift succession at the al-A’laf roundabout in Ras al-Ayn, the report said.

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Car Bomb in Syria

Damascus, Dec 6 : At least two civilians were killed when two car bombs went off in Syria’s northeastern city of Ras al-Ayn controlled by the Turkey-backed rebels, state-run SANA news agency reported.

The car bombs were detonated on Thursday in swift succession at the al-A’laf roundabout in Ras al-Ayn, the report said.

Six people were also wounded in the bombing attack, it added.

The attack is the latest in series of bombings targeting the areas that have been recently stormed by the Turkey-backed rebels and Turkish forces, Xinhua news agency reported.

The previous day, at least five Turkish soldiers were killed when a car bomb targeted their convoy in the city of Jarablus in northern Aleppo province when it was en route to a Turkish-run base on the outskirts of the city, SANA reported.

It added that 12 other Turkish soldiers were wounded and later sent across the border to Turkish hospitals.

There have been a series of bombings and explosions targeting the Turkey-backed rebels and Turkish forces in northern Syria since Turkey launched an offensive against the Syrian Kurdish forces in October.

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Middle East

Israel PM Netanyahu indicted for fraud, bribery

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Jerusalem, Dec 3 :Netanyahu Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted for fraud, bribery and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases.

Israeli Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit publicly released an official indictment on Monday, allowing a period of 30 days during which the long-time leader may request the parliament to grant him immunity from standing trial, Xinhua reported.

The 77-page indictment charges Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate corruption scandals.

According to the indictment, the trial will be held at the Jerusalem District Court. The date of the trial has not yet been published.

The document contains a list of 333 witnesses the prosecution may call to testify against Netanyahu, including Sheldon Adelson, an American Jewish business magnate and one of US President Donald Trump’s major donors, and Arnon Milchan, an Israeli billionaire and Hollywood producer, and other businessmen and politicians.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying the indictment is part of “an orchestrated witch hunt”.

He is the first Israeli Prime Minister, who has been served with an indictment while being in office.

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