Friday, May 11, 2018

[TheList] 4719

The List 4719

To All

I hope that you all have a great Mother's Day weekend.



This Day In Naval History – May 11, 2018

May 11

1862—CSS Virginia is destroyed by Confederates off Craney Island to prevent capture.

1898—During the Spanish-American War, Marines and Sailors from USS Marblehead (C 11) and USS Nashville (PG 7) cut the trans-oceanic cable near Cienfuegos, Cuba, isolating Cuba from Spain. For heroism during this action, 54 Marines and Sailors received the Medal of Honor.   

1943—In the Attu Operation, Task Force 16, commanded by Rear Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid, landed a force of 3,000 US Army troops of the 7th Division in the cold and the mist of the Aleutians.

1945—During the Okinawa Campaign, kamikazes crash into Task Force 58's flagship, USS Bunker Hill (CV 17). As a result, Vice Adm. Marc A. Mitscher transfers his flag to USS English (DD 696), then to USS Enterprise (CV 6) on May 14.

1950—Viking Rocket #4 is launched from USS Norton Sound (AV 11), near the equator, for a successful 106.4 mile vertical flight called Project Reach.

1965 - U.S. destroyers deliver first shore bombardment of Vietnam War

May 12

1780—The city of Charleston, SC, falls to the British when Continental Gen. Benjamin Lincoln surrenders during the American Revolution. Three Continental Navy frigates (Boston, Providence, and Ranger) are captured; and one American frigate (Queen of France) is sunk to prevent capture. 

1938—USS Enterprise (CV 6) is commissioned. Notable service during WWII include the Doolittle Raid, the Battle of Midway, the Guadalcanal Campaign, Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the Okinawa Campaign, where she was badly damaged by a kamikaze strike.

1942—USS Massachusetts (BB 59) is commissioned. She serves in both the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, notably participating in Operation Torch, Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the bombing of the Japanese homeland.

1846 - U.S. declares war against Mexico

1975—SS Mayaguez, a tanker ship, is seized by Khmer Rouge, the Communist party of Kampuchea, and is escorted to Koh Tang Island with her 39 crew. President Gerald Ford sends in Marines who meet heavy resistance, but after crew is found safe, they retreat, although three Marines are inadvertently left behind and killed. 

1986—USS David R. Ray (DD 971) deters an Iranian Navy frigate's attempt to board SS President McKinley in the Gulf of Oman. 

May 13

1846—Congress declares war against Mexico. Commodore David Conner is responsible for the landing of the Army at Vera Cruz. In April 1847, Commodore Matthew C. Perry relieves Conner. On Feb. 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed ending hostilities.

1908—The Navy Nurse Corps is established by Public Law No. 115, though nurses have been volunteering onboard Navy ships prior to the Civil War.

1908—The Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, later called Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, is authorized for the enlargement and dredging of the Pearl Harbor channel and locks to admit the largest ships as it becomes a coaling station for the U.S. Navy.

1944—USS Francis M. Robinson (DE 220) sinks Japanese submarine RO 501 (ex-German U 1124) en route to Japan on her maiden voyage, 400 miles south-southwest of the Azores. 

1945 - Aircraft from fast carrier task force begin 2-day attack on Kyushu airfields, Japan

1964—The first all nuclear-powered task group, USS Enterprise (CVAN 65), USS Long Beach (CGN 9) and USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25), is organized and deploys to the Sixth Fleet. The task group departs in July and circumnavigates the globe without refueling, returning that October.  



Today in History May 11


Henry of Anjou becomes the first elected king of Poland.


French and English navies battle at Bantry Bay.


In the first major engagement of King William's War, British troops from Massachusetts seize Port Royal in Acadia (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) from the French.


French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army at Fontenoy.


The Columbia River is discovered by Captain Robert Gray.


British Prime Minster Spencer Perceval is shot by a bankrupt banker in the lobby of the House of Commons.


Indian mutineers seize Delhi.


Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd U.S. state.


Giuseppe Garibaldi lands at Marsala, Sicily.


Confederates scuttle the CSS Virginia off Norfolk, Virginia.


Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart is mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern.


Israeli soldiers capture Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires.


The Siege of Khe Sanh ends with the base is still in American hands.

1934    Dust storm sweeps from Great Plains across Eastern states






The forgotten realities of World War II

Without the U.S. contribution, fascism would have won

By Victor Davis Hanson - - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 8 marked the end of World War II in Europe 70 years ago — a horrific conflict that is still fought over by historians.

More than 60 million people perished — some 50 million of them in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and China.

The prewar Soviet state in the 1920s and 1930s had killed perhaps 20 million of its own citizens in purges, exiles, collectivizations, forced famines and show trials. Then it lost an estimated 25 million soldiers and civilians to the German army on the Eastern Front. Hitler's Germany by late 1942 had occupied almost 1 million square miles of Soviet ground.

The Soviet Red Army would eventually be responsible for three-quarters of Germany's World War II casualties, but at a cost of approximately 9 million dead of its own combatants. Nevertheless, the Allied defeat of the Axis powers is more complicated than just the monumental and heroic sacrifice of the Soviet soldier.

World War II started largely because the Soviet Union had assured Hitler that the two powers could partner up to divide Poland. With his eastern rear thus secure, Hitler then would be free to fight a one-front war in the West against the European democracies.

The Soviet Union only entered the war after it was double-crossed by Hitler in June 1941. Before the surprise German invasion, the Soviets had supplied Germany with substantial fuel, food and metals to help it bomb Great Britain into submission. For all practical purposes, Russia had been Nazi Germany's most useful ally.

Duplicitous Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin at one time or another both fought against and followed non-aggression arrangements with every Axis power — Germany, Italy and Japan. In contrast, the United States was the only major power of the war that did not start fighting until it was directly attacked.

The war in Europe was not just won with Soviet blood. When World War II started, America was isolationist and the Soviet Union collaborationist. After the fall of France in June 1940, Great Britain until June 1941 alone faced down the huge Nazi Empire that ranged from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara desert. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's steadfast leadership, Britain's superb air force and its indomitable Royal Navy ensured that even when outnumbered, isolated and bombed, England would be unconquerable.

Once the United States entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Axis cause was largely doomed. America mobilized 12 million soldiers — about the same number as did the Soviet Union, despite having a population of about 40 million fewer citizens.

American war production proved astonishing. At the huge Willow Run plant in Michigan, the greatest generation turned out a B-24 heavy bomber every hour. A single shipyard could mass-produce an ocean-going Liberty merchant ship from scratch in a week.

In just four years, the United States would produce more airplanes than all of the major war powers combined. Germany, Japan, Italy and the Soviet Union could not build a successful four-engine heavy bomber. America, in contrast, produced 34,000 excellent B-17s, B-24s and B-29s.

By 1944, the new U.S. Navy had become the largest in the history of civilization at more than 6,000 ships. Its B-29 heavy bomber program and Manhattan Project efforts together cost more $50 billion in today's dollars.

America sent troops throughout the Pacific islands, and to North Africa, Italy and Western Europe. The United States staged two simultaneous bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan while conducting surface and submarine campaigns against all of the Axis powers.

At the same time, the United States supplied the Soviet Union with 400,000 heavy trucks, 2,000 locomotives, 11,000 railcars and billions of dollars worth of planes, tanks, food, clothing and strategic resources. By 1943-44, the U.S. also supplied about 20 percent of Britain's munitions.

If the measure of wartime success is defined by quickly defeating and humiliating enemies at the least cost in blood and treasure, then America waged a brilliant war.

Of the major powers, only America's homeland was not systematically bombed. It was never invaded. While its 400,000 fatalities were a terrible cost of victory, the United States lost the smallest percentage of its population of any major power.

By late 1944, the American M1 rifle, B-29 heavy bomber, P-51 Mustang fighter, Gato-class submarines, Essex-class aircraft carriers and Iowa-class battleships were the best weapons of their class.

America did not win World War II alone. But without the United States, the war against Axis fascism would have been lost.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.


Thanks to Old Bandit.   We have had earlier versions of this before in the list and it is still inspiring

Where do we get such men?

Well worth the time.


From Moon, a good friend.



Before you <click> on the link below, know it's about 13 minutes long, an eternity in today's sound-bite world!!!  I found it to be a very moving video honoring the 88,000 American airmen killed in WWII…it is truly a superbly done tribute to pilots who died in the war. The gentleman who did the sculpture was the "last man standing" in the group he flew with … he began the project at the age of 90 … where do we get such men!!!

mOOn out!!!



The reason that the American Navy does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the Americans practice chaos on a daily basis." -- Grossadmiral Karl Donitz, Kriegsmarine




Good piece about the REAL John McCain!


-------- Forwarded Message --------


Just the facts 'mam....the real John McCain


Thu, 10 May 2018 08:55:12 -0400


Howard Pritz <>


​As the nation...and he himself...prepares for his change to ambient, it's becoming evident that any day now we'll be lowing the flags around the country and eulogizing John McCain on CNN, MSNBC and yes, even Fox News will make him out to be a great American and a true "maverick" and "hero" (his own self definition...not mine). I guarantee no one will mention the facts about who this guy really was. For those of you who never looked beyond the fake are the facts:

Fact # 1 a fellow POW's own words:

At Fort McNair, an army base located along the Potomac River in the nation's capital, a chance reunion takes place one day between two former POWs. It's the spring of 1974, and Navy commander John Sidney McCain III has returned home from the experience in Hanoi that, according to legend, transformed him from a callow and reckless youth into a serious man of patriotism and purpose. Walking along the grounds at Fort McNair, McCain by chance runs into John Dramesi, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who was also imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam.

McCain is studying at the National War College, a prestigious graduate program he had to pull strings with the Secretary of the Navy and his four-star admiral father to get into. Dramesi is enrolled, on his own merit, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in the building next door.

There's an obvious distance between the two men that belies their shared experience in North Vietnam — call it an honor gap. Like many American POWs, McCain broke down under torture and offered a "confession" to his North Vietnamese captors. Dramesi, in contrast, attempted two daring escapes. For the second he was brutalized for a month with daily torture sessions that nearly killed him. His partner in the escape, Lt. Col. Ed Atterberry, didn't survive the mistreatment. But Dramesi never said a disloyal word, and for his heroism was awarded two Air Force Crosses, one of the service's highest distinctions. McCain would later hail him as "one of the toughest guys I've ever met."

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

"I'm going to the Middle East," Dramesi says. "Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran."

"Why are you going to the Middle East?" McCain asks, dismissively.

"It's a place we're probably going to have some problems, I thought I might be able to learn something" Dramesi says.

"Why? Where are you going to, John?"

"Oh, I'm going to Rio."

"What the hell are you going to Rio for?"

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

"I got a better chance of getting laid."

Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. "McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man," Dramesi says today. "But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in."

Fact # 2. John McCain always lived in the shadow of his father...a four-star Navy Admiral and his grandfather who was also a decorated admiral...and hated it. But was always 

quick to use their influence to move up in his military career

Fact # 3. He attended an all-white, all-boys Episcopal boarding school just across the Potomac in Virginia through 12th grade where tuition alone today tops $40,000 a year 

Fact # 4 While there, McCain behaved with all the petulance his privilege allowed....according to his fellow classmates. They say he earned the nicknames "Punk" and "McNasty" .....Even the boys he hung around with disliked him and never got 'too close', with one calling him "a mean little fucker". 

Fact # 5 McCain's admittance to Annapolis was preordained by his bloodline. But while there his bad character did not improve. By his own account, he was a lazy, incurious student. His classmates, looking back, say he squeaked by only by prevailing of his buddies to help him cram for exams with money and promises of future favors from his admiral father.

Fact # 6 His grandfather's name and his father's Admiralty brought McCain a charmed existence at Annapolis. Unlike his classmates, his drinking, fist fights and demerits were quickly erased and forgotten. On his very first trip at Rio de Janeiro aboard the USS Hunt...the captain (a former student of his father), had the charmed Midshipman pilot the ship to South America and chum it up with the ship's officers while his classmates learned the ins and outs of the boiler room. While docked in Brazil, he and the captain hobnobbed with Brazilian admirals and the president of Brazil. His classmates were seldom allowed shore liberty

Fact # 7 Once out of Annapolis and through flight school (where his ability as a student didn't change) he became NOT a 'top gun' or even a middle gun. He took little interest in his flight manuals and training. By his own admission in his biography he had other priorities. "I enjoyed the off-duty life of a Navy flier more than I enjoyed the actual flying," McCain writes. "I drove a Corvette, dated a lot, spent all my free hours at bars and beach parties." McCain chased a lot of tail and was abusive to women, according to those who knew him at the time. He hit the dog and horse tracks, developed a taste for poker and dice. He picked up models when he could waving fist fulls of money and screwed a stripper when he couldn't. Not my words...but those of his friends.

Fact # 8  In the air, the hard-partying McCain had a knack for stalling out his planes in mid flight. He was still in training, in Texas, when he crashed his first plane into Corpus Christi Bay during a routine practice landing. The plane stalled due to pilot error, and McCain was knocked cold for a few seconds on impact. When he came to, the plane was underwater, and he had to swim to the surface to be rescued. Note..plane crash number one.

Fact # 9 Instead of any punishment, McCain soon found himself with a choice Mediterranean tour and he was granted much more liberty and leave than the others. He spent much of his time in Monte Carlo and it's casinos. While there, flying over the south of Spain on day, he decided to deviate from his assigned flight path and 'buzz' some civilians. Rocketing along mere feet above the ground, his plane sliced though a power line plunging much of the area into a blackout. A formal complaint was filed by the Spanish authorities. The incident was ruled 'accidental' and quickly forgotten. 

According to a fellow Navy Pilot. Phil Butler, USN Retired, who was there at the time and was ironically also a POW in North Vietnam a few years later:"In the Navy, if you crashed one airplane, nine times out of 10 you would lose your wings," says Butler, who, like his former classmate, was shot down and taken prisoner in North Vietnam. Spark "a small international incident" like McCain had? Any other pilot would have "found themselves as the deck officer on a destroyer someplace in a hurry,"  

Fact # 10 McCain, pulling stings to get a combat tour which, at the insistence of his father, would give him medals to add to his uniform and enhance his chances for advancement was assigned to ...are you ready for this...McCain air base in Meridian, Mississippi named after his grandfather to train for a post on the carrier USS Forrestal which was to be assigned to duty off the coast of Vietnam.

Fact # 11 While there McCain crashed again! Flying back from Philadelphia, where he was allowed to take a Navy plane to join in the reverie of the Army-Navy game, McCain again stalled while throttling too far down while coming in for a refueling stop in Norfolk, Virginia. This time he managed to bail out at 1,000 feet. As his parachute deployed, his plane crashed into trees below narrowly missing many houses near the field. Note...plane crash number two... That should have surely been the end of McCain's flying career...but Nooooo. 

Fact # 12 Fast forward now to a morning after his sixth bombing run over Vietnam while sitting in his plane waiting for take off from the USS Forrestal. A six foot long 'Zuni' rocket, inexplicably launched by an F-4 Phantom screamed across the flight deck, and ripped through the fuel tank of McCain's aircraft. Hundreds of gallons of fuel emptied on to the flight deck and caught on fire. McCain, while scrambling to get out of the plane, two 1,000 pound bombs were mysteriously dropped from his burning aircraft which added to the mayhem.

The explosions of the two bombs set off a chain reaction of other bombs nearby, creating an inferno that would kill 134 of the carrier's 5,000 man crew, injure 161 more and would threaten to sink the ship.

Fact # 13 McCain got out of his cockpit and ran from the plane before the explosions. Lt. Cmdr. Herb Hope, a pilot of an A-4 three planes down from McCain's on the flight deck was cornered by the flames at the stern but was able to hurl himself off the flight deck into the safety net and clamber to the deck below. According to an official Navy history of the fire, Hope "gallantly took command of the firefighting team and helped to contain the conflagration and save the ship".

Fact # 14 McCain..miraculously unscathed...took no part in dousing the flames as the other pilots did. McCain retreated to the safety of the 'ready room'. There, McCain watched the event unfold on the room;'s closed-circuit TV- bearing witness to the valiant self-sacrifice of his crew mates who died trying to save the ship. Many, while pushing exploding jets into the sea to keep their bombs from exploding on the deck.

Fact # 15 The following morning, while his crew mates were working to recover the bodies, McCain was making fast friends with R.W. "Johnny" Apple of the New York Times, who had arrived by helicopter to cover the deadly event. The son of an admiral who survived a near-death experience made good copy and McCain was quick to embellish his account. It was the beginning of a long friendship with Apple and the New York Times. Amazingly, when Apple left the smoldering Forrestal and headed to Saigon he took McCain with him. Somehow McCain got an immediate R&R grant and he and Apple continued their new friendship hitting the bars and whorehouses in Saigon. In the meantime the Forrestal limped to the Philippines for repairs. McCain was the only crew member to get R&R at the critical time.

Fact # 16 While whoring and drinking with his new reporter friends he sensed their desire to pillory the military and to win their favor he began to speak like the "peaceniks' of that time being quoted early in his public media career as saying " Now that I've seen what the bombs and napalm did to the people on our ship, I'm not so sure that I want to drop any more of that stuff on North Vietnam". The news media and especially the NY Times ate it up and were poised for more from their new 'friend' with connections high in the ranks of the hated military.

Fact # 17  But McCain was anxious to get back to the theater where more medals for his chest and career could be claimed. He pulled stings to get assigned to the carrier USS Oriskany and on October 25th 1967, he bombed a pair of unmanned MiGs parked on an airfield outside of Hanoi. Now his record was even...Enemy planes destroyed by McCain: two....American planes destroyed by McCain: two.

Fact # 18 One the very next day...Still cocky from his previous days "kills" he joined a bombing flight on a run to bomb a power plant on the outskirts of Hanoi. As his flight approached the target the flight's detection alerts sounded and his flight commander ordered the planes to take an evasive detour to avoid the zone before the enemy SAM's could get a lock on the planes. Being McCain, he instead dived on the target. By his own account McCain wrote in his memoirs: "The A-4 is small and fast and I thought I could outmaneuver a tracking SAM." Instead, as he stayed on target a SAM blew his wing off. 

Fact # 19 No one can deny McCain suffered terribly at the hands of the North Vietnamese. His ejection broke his knee and both arms. When he was captured he was bayoneted in the groin and his ankle and had his shoulder smashed by a rifle butt. He was dragged to a cell and left to die. 

Fact # 20 While in the POW camp and in terrible agony he pleaded with his captors to give him medical attention. Here is where it is said he played his life-long biggest 'trump' card again and revealed to them he was the son of a US Navy Admiral and was willing to give them any information the desired. They treated his wounds piecemeal as he divulged equal amount of information in a macabre trade. Upon his release McCain justified his behavior in his memoirs; "I had to tell them or I would have died in bed". Many other POWs didn't and his fellow POWs remembered McCain well after their release. Within days of his release his old pal Apple from the NY Times connected up with him and his comet-like rise in the media and politics took off and continued for the rest of his life

This my friends is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. But it doesn't end there. It was just the beginning of a sorted career in politics and the "Swamp" of Washington DC where careers are 'built' not earned and lies are common place. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather. But, alas he never succeeded and to that he has held the American voter in contempt.

Soon you'll be hearing eulogies from fellow D.C. swamp creatures and others with dubious pasts best kept hidden when our 'hero' passes on.

In broad strokes it's said that McCain's life story is oddly similar to that of George W. Bush. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers' powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives' evangelical churches.

In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to George W. Bush. Bush was a much better pilot.


PS: The information isn't 'new'. It was available when McCain ran for president. I researched both he and Obama and after learning of both of their backgrounds I chose to vote for McCain over Obama. It might give you an idea how troubling that decision was. You might want to research those who you vote for sometime and not go by what you're told by the media.




Thanks to THE Bear -


Dutch... the Israelis understand that gradualism and proportionality are losing strategies... sort of like the parent that applies a "time-out" when a few whacks with a paddle (or length of lattice, my Dad's idea—he only had to use it once) is called for... Bear


Begin forwarded message:

From: David
Date: May 10, 2018 
Subject: "Israel destroyed 'nearly all' Iranian military sites in Syria."  -- DPS Note: Read it carefully - all of Israel - political opposition included, spoke with one voice here.


Liberman: Israel destroyed 'nearly all' Iranian military sites in Syria

Defense minister warns Tehran: 'If you give us rain, you will get a flood'; opposition MK calls on

government to prepare for 'broader confrontation'

   Today, 10:02 am

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday morning that the IDF had destroyed "nearly all" of Iran's military infrastructure sites in Syria overnight in response to a rocket barrage on Israel's north, and warned Tehran that attacks on Israeli territory will be met with "the strongest possible force."

In his first public comments following the strikes on dozens of targets that the IDF said were affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards' al-Quds Force, Liberman said that Israel has no interest in escalating tensions but will not accept any provocation against it.

"If we get rain, you will get a flood," he warned Iran, speaking at an annual Herzliya Conference. "We will not let Iran use Syria as a base to attack us from."

Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up

"The Iranians tried to attack the sovereign territory of Israel," Liberman said. "Not one Iranian rocket landed in the State of Israel. Nobody was hurt. Nothing was damaged. And we're to be thankful for that. We damaged nearly all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria."

An illustrative map showing the general locations of Israeli strikes in Syria in response to a presumed Iranian attack on the Golan Heights on May 10, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

But he added, "It's not a stunning victory. Everything's limited at the moment to a confrontation between us and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria. Everyone wants to limit this confrontation and keep it in this form."

Liberman stressed that Israel had no interested in an escalation but that Iranian provocation met with force.

​"We are not trying to aggravate or create a new front. The ones constantly trying to spread and build more proxies are Iran. We see them acting everywhere," he said. "Iran is trying to create a new front with us. We will not let them use Syria as a base to attack us from."

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan warned Iran that Israel is "not playing and not bluffing.

"Tonight, we conveyed an important message to Iran and to the Assad regime: a message of determination and strength," Erdan tweeted.

"Israel will not cease to act against Iranian forces in Syria and will not forgive any attempt to attack the [Israeli] citizens of the north.

"We will not allow the religious extremist regime in Tehran to build military power in Syria that presents a threat to the citizens of Israel. We hold the Syrian regime responsible for whatever happens on its soil," he said.

"We are not playing and we are not bluffing. We are determined to do whatever is necessary to defend Israel."

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said on Twitter, "Israel last night sent a clear message to its enemies and Iran: The rules of the game have changed. We will not tolerate any threat against the security of our citizens and we will not accept the buildup of hostile Iranian forces a short distance from border communities."

Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition Yesh Atid party, said, "Israel will not tolerate Iranian attacks on our sovereign territory. We expect our friends and allies to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. The world must be united in the fight against terrorism and that means being united against #Iran and its terror proxies."

Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) tweeted, "We will put the Iranian genie back into the bottle. If Iran looks for adventures in Syria, it will come up against determination and strength."

Opposition Zionist Union lawmaker Amir Peretz called on the government to "prepare for a broader confrontation" and to allocate NIS 2 billion ($560 million) to deal with "gaps in the home front."

He told Channel 10 news on Thursday that the message Israel delivered was "unambiguous. The Iranians cannot be allowed to establish themselves on the [Israeli] border. We have to continue to deploy the Iron Dome [air defense system] and resolutely respond to any firing against Israel."

The Israeli army said Thursday morning that it had set back Iranian military capabilities in Syria by "many months" with its strikes on Iranian positions.

The Israel Defense Forces stressed that it was not seeking an escalation of hostilities with Tehran, after some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces from southern Syria just after midnight, prompting extensive Israeli retaliatory raids.

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said four projectiles were intercepted by Iron Dome and the rest fell in Syria.

There were no reports of Israeli casualties.

The overnight exchange was the largest-ever direct clash between the Iranian and Israeli militaries, and appeared to be the largest exchange involving Israel in Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

In all, Israel carried out dozens of raids against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Forces' intelligence centers, weapons depots, storage facilities, observation posts, and logistics centers in Syria, as well as the rocket launcher, the IDF said.


Item Number:4 Date: 05/11/2018 CHINA - J-20 FIGHTER, Y-20 CARGO AIRCRAFT ACHIEVE NEW FIRSTS (MAY 11/XIN)  XINHUA -- China's domestically developed military aircraft continue to advance.   For the first time, J-20 stealth fighters have conducted combat exercises over the ocean, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The air force did not specify where or when the training took place, noted the South China Morning Post.   The J-20 long-range fighter has been in development since 2006 and was formally declared operational in February.   Separately, China's Y-20 heavy transport aircraft performed its initial airborne and air delivery training, the air force announced on May 8.   The Y-20 has also begun boundary limit flight tests, according to Tang Changhong, the chief designer of the transport. The trials will fully validate the type, he said.   The Y-20 joined the Chinese air force in mid-2016. It has a maximum takeoff weight of approximately 200 metric tons.    

  Item Number:7 Date: 05/11/2018 IRAN - TEHRAN COMMITTED TO JCPOA, SAY RUSSIAN OFFICIALS (MAY 11/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- A top Russian official says that Iran has confirmed its pledge to remain within the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) following talks in Tehran on Thursday, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   Both Russia and Iran have reaffirmed their commitment to the multinational agreement, including full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.   Moscow is reconsidering its own cooperation with Iran under the new conditions and how to protect various bilateral activities and ensure further progress, the minister said.   On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA, the multilateral agreement that put restraints on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international economic sanctions.   On Wednesday, the IAEA said it could confirm that "the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented by Iran," as quoted by the Daily Sabah (Istanbul).   Iran "is subject to the world's most robust nuclear verification regime under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is a significant verification gain," the IAEA said in a statement.   The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany are scheduled to meet with representatives of Iran on May 14 to discuss ways to salvage the agreement.  

 Item Number:8 Date: 05/11/2018 IRAQ - 5 TOP ISIS LEADERS ARRESTED (MAY 11/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Iraqi intelligence services say five senior officials from the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) have been arrested, reports the New York Times.   The men included Ismail Alwaan al-Ithawi (also known as Abu Zeid al-Iraqi), a top aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, two Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.   Their arrest capped off a three-month operation in which Iraqi agents tracked Ithawi to the Turkish city of Sakarya, about 100 miles (160 km) east of Istanbul.   Turkish authorities arrested him in February and extradited him to Iraq. His interrogation led intelligence officers to the four other ISIS leaders.   Among those arrested were Saddam al-Jammel, a Syrian who oversaw ISIS territory around Deir Ezzor, and Abu Abdel al-Haq, once the terror group's internal security chief.   Information obtained from Ithawi supported a coalition airstrike in April that killed 39 suspected ISIS members near Hajin in eastern Syria, said an unnamed intelligence official.   

  Item Number:9 Date: 05/11/2018 ISRAEL - HAMAS THREATENS MAJOR BORDER BREACH DURING PROTESTS (MAY 11/INDEPUK)  THE INDEPENDENT (U.K.) -- A top member of the Hamas militant group has suggested that weeks of protest could culminate in a mass breach of the border fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip, reports the Independent (U.K.).   "What's the problem if hundreds of thousands storm this fence, which is not a border of a state?" Yahya Sinwar asked reporters on Thursday.   The leader warned that desperation among young Gazans had become a "ticking bomb." Israeli officials last year similarly warned that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza could "blow up" in Israel's direction.   Sinwar spent two decades in Israeli prison for his involvement in Hamas attacks. He now serves as the group's top executive in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is the de-facto government.   Since March 30, weekly protests have been a constant feature along the fence separating Israel from the densely-populated Palestinian enclave.   The demonstrations are part of the March of Return, a series of protests to commemorate lands lost to Israel in 1948 and 1976.   Sinwar intimated that the final day of protests, scheduled for May 15, could end with a large scale breach that Israeli officials have promised to put down with force.   More than 40 Palestinians have been killed since the protests began. Critics have accused Israeli of using excessive force. Israel says it takes all possible precautions and accuses the protests of providing cover for militants

  Item Number:11 Date: 05/11/2018 SOMALIA - 18 DIE IN SEPARATE ATTACKS IN SOUTHERN WANLAWEYN DISTRICT (MAY 11/SHABELLE)  SHABELLE MEDIA NETWORK -- At least 18 people have been killed in two attacks in the Wanlaweyn district in southern Somalia, reports the Shabelle Media Network.   On Thursday, seven Somali soldiers were killed when their pickup truck struck a land mine. Two other soldiers were injured, said local officials.   Meanwhile, on Wednesday, at least 11 people were killed in a suicide attack at a marketplace in the Wanlaweyn district, reported Agence France-Presse. At least 10 people were injured in the blast, reported Reuters.   The district is not far from the Balidogle airbase, where U.S. special operations forces maintain a facility.   The Al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack and is suspected in Thursday's bombing.     

  Item Number:12 Date: 05/11/2018 SOUTH AFRICA - 'EXTREMISM' SUSPECTED IN BRUTAL KILLING OF IMAM (MAY 11/EWN)  EYEWITNESS NEWS (ZA) -- At least one person has been killed in an attack on a mosque in eastern South Africa, reports Eyewitness News (South Africa).   Three attackers burst into the mosque in Verulam on Thursday, slitting the throats of the imam of mosque and two others.   The attackers also set part of the building on fire before fleeing.   The mosque is attended by Shi'ite Muslims, said locals.   Police at the scene of the attack described the suspects as Egyptian. Police later clarified that they had not yet identified suspects or a motive.   On Friday, responsibility for the investigation was placed with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the "Hawks," reported Reuters.   A Hawk spokesman said initial assessments of the crime scene suggest an "element of extremism" to the attack. He did not elaborate.  

  Item Number:14 Date: 05/11/2018 USA - BACKED BY U.A.E., NEW SANCTIONS TARGET ELITE QUDS FORCE (MAY 11/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- The U.S. has imposed new sanctions targeting an elite Iranian military unit responsible for foreign operations, reports the Wall Street Journal.   On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Dept. announced new sanctions on six Iranian individuals and three Iranian companies that are alleged to funnel money to the Quds Force, part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.   An oil company and two other firms are said to have funneled Tehran's oil profits to couriers, who would exchange the money for dollars in the United Arab Emirates, said Treasury.   Sanctions are being imposed with the cooperation of the U.A.E., U.S. officials said.   The Iranian central back was complicit in the scheme, supporting conversion activities and allowing the network to access funds in foreign accounts, said a Treasury release. The bank has not been formally sanctioned, but Treasury has indicated that it will re-impose a number of sanctions on Iran's oil and banking sectors in the coming months, reported Business Insider.   The announcement came days after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal and impose new sanctions on Tehran.   Washington is giving companies three to six months to end their business dealings with Iran.   U.S. officials hope that new sanctions will convince Iran to return to the negotiating table, said an anonymous senior official at the State Dept.   Negotiating teams will head to the region soon, the official added.  

  Item Number:15 Date: 05/11/2018 USA - NAVY EXPLORING HARD-KILL SELF-DEFENSE SYSTEM FOR COMBAT SUPPORT AIRCRAFT (MAY 11/WARZONE)  THE WAR ZONE -- The U.S. Navy Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has issued a request for information for a hard-kill self-defense system for combat support aircraft, reports the War Zone website.   NAVAIR issued a request for information for a Hard-Kill Self-Protection Countermeasure System (HKSPCS) last week.   The system would be installed on tankers, transport aircraft and other large combat support aircraft as well as a potential unmanned air vehicle platform.   The Navy envisions the hard-kill system as complement to existing electronic or soft-kill systems. The latter are designed to blind the guidance systems of incoming missiles with laser- and radio frequency-based countermeasures, or confuse them by deploying chaff and flares, noted Flight Global.   A potential solution would be a salvo of miniature, highly maneuverable interceptors, the website said. These could be fired internally or from a pod attached to the manned aircraft.   A new unmanned aerial vehicle could fly alongside the transports and launch interceptors at threats, according to the NAVAIR document.   The service has become increasingly concerned about the possible vulnerability of its support aircraft in any future high-end conflict against an adversary with capable air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles and sensors.   Responses to the RFI are due by May 21

Item Number:16 Date: 05/11/2018 USA - TRUMP TO MEET WITH KIM JONG UN IN SINGAPORE IN JUNE (MAY 11/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- President Donald Trump has announced that he will meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore next month, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   Trump announced that the meeting will take place on June 12 on Twitter on Thursday.   The summit, which will focus on the potential denuclearization of North Korea, will be the first in-person meeting between a sitting U.S. President and a North Korean leader.   The announcement came hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned to the U.S. after meeting with North Korean officials in Pyongyang. Three American citizens held by North Korea were released following the talks.   The meeting will be "historic" and an "excellent first step toward promotion of the positive situation development in the Korean Peninsula and building a good future," Kim said, as cited by North Korean state media.   U.S. objectives for the summit include the immediate "permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction program," Pompeo said.   Pyongyang has not indicated what it seeks from the talks. Hardliners are expected to resist denuclearization, which many see as the only way to prevent U.S.-led efforts to unseat the regime, noted Agence France-Presse.


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