i24 News – American bases once again came under attack by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles, according to Shahab news agency, just a few hours after extensive retaliatory strikes by the United States against Iranian-backed militias in Syria and Iraq.
Following the death of three American soldiers by a drone strike in Jordan, the U.S. carried out strikes against 85 targets located at seven locations in the region, as well as imposing fresh sanctions and reportedly a cyber attack on Iranian targets.
American officials told The New York Times that the U.S. conducted covert cyber-operations against Iranian targets, but declined to provide further details. Though there were overt sanctions on officials from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) cyber division, including the department’s commander Hamid Reza Lashgarian, as well as on companies reportedly supplying the offensive programs.
Furthermore, the Saudi AlHadath channel reported that a senior commander of the Iranian-backed militias was killed in one of the U.S. strikes in Iraq. While other reports indicate that the attacks will result in “significant damage” to the capabilities of the targeted groups, with initial estimates of six dead and 11 wounded.
U.S. President Joe Biden described the operation as striking “targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militia use to attack U.S. forces. Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing.”
“The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond,” Biden concluded.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups continue to represent a direct threat to the stability of Iraq, the region, and the safety of Americans. We will continue to take action, do whatever is necessary to protect our people, and… pic.twitter.com/Y53nvRfjjx
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 3, 2024
General Michael E. Kurilla, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) commander, posted on X a video of a B-1 bomber taking off, and wrote “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups continue to represent a direct threat to the stability of Iraq, the region, and the safety of Americans. We will continue to take action, do whatever is necessary to protect our people, and hold those responsible who threaten their safety.”
According to reports, some of the arsenal used were long-range bombers like the B-1 that flew from the continental United States to carry out the attacks. National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, said “there will be additional response action taken in coming days”.
In addition, some reports indicate the Jordanian Air Force participated in the strikes.
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UAE Allocates $5 Million in Support of UNRWA in Gaza
i24 News – While several countries this week announced a suspension of funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the United Arab Emirates declared that they would allocate additional funds for the Gaza Strip’s reconstruction, according to state media.
The UAE promised $5 million for the UN agency dedicated solely to helping Palestinian refugees, despite recent revelations that its employees were involved in the Hamas-led October 7 massacres in southern Israel.
European countries, from the UK to Germany, as well as the United States and Australia all froze funding to UNRWA amid reviews in the aid agency and its employees.
While some have pushed for a complete shutdown of the agency, including U.S. lawmakers and Israeli ministers, others have said that it was inadvisable to do so during the war when UNRWA was set up to provide needed humanitarian aid.
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Hamas Delegation Postpones Cairo Visit Amid Ongoing Consultations on Potential Hostage Deal
i24 News – Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has postponed the anticipated visit of the delegation to Cairo. Sources suggest that the delay is to facilitate additional consultations with various Palestinian factions.
The move comes after last week’s Paris summit, where a potential framework for a hostage agreement was discussed.
Several Arab media outlets indicate that Hamas is inclined to accept the proposed agreement’s framework. Although it doesn’t necessitate a complete cessation of the conflict in Gaza, the organization seeks modifications and corrections. Hamas is reportedly pushing for four phases instead of three, extended ceasefire periods, and internal control over governance in the strip post-conflict.
According to well-informed sources cited by the pro-Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Hamas is content with the guarantees provided by the mediators but remains firm on specific demands. These demands include the selection of names for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, determining the extent of aid entering Gaza, and ensuring freedom of movement, including the return of Gaza residents to their homes.
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Newly released documents from the Deschênes Commission show Canada’s reluctance to prosecute Nazi war criminals
The release of formerly classified documents from the 1986 Deschênes Commission—which investigated how Nazi war criminals entered Canada after the Second World War—reveals greater details about why the government was reluctant to prosecute them once they were in the country, says David Matas, the lawyer who represented B’nai Brith Canada at the inquiry. Canada released […]