Oil prices are falling fast. Here’s why

Oil prices have been slumping since Friday when Saudi Arabia indicated a willingness to pump more oil into global markets.

The sharp price decline was triggered on Friday by Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil exporter in the world and de facto leader of oil cartel OPEC. Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said during a CNN-hosted panel in St. Petersburg, Russia, that he was in intensive discussions with Russia and other OPEC nations to pump more oil to ease global supply concerns.

OPEC oil producers and Russia are due to meet in Vienna on June 22 to discuss easing self-imposed supply caps, which have been in place since 2017.

Source: Oil prices are falling fast. Here’s why

U.S. warplanes take out ISIS sleeper cell in Iraq

 

U.S. and allied warplanes destroyed an Islamic State sleeper cell near the terror group’s former stronghold of Mosul Tuesday, ending with roughly 12 jihadists dead, military officials in Baghdad say.

The strikes targeted a segment of underground bunkers and tunnels used by Islamic State, or ISIS, fighters to defend the northern Iraqi city against Iraqi troops, backed by U.S. and coalition airpower, during last year’s offensive to retake Mosul.

The recent airstrikes come amid questions whether the White House and the Pentagon will maintain its military presence in Iraq to support Baghdad’s efforts to stamp out remaining ISIS cells, or withdraw U.S. troops from the country. The Trump administration has already indicated its desire to scale back American military forces battling the Islamic State in Syria.

Source: U.S. warplanes take out ISIS sleeper cell in Iraq

F-35 stealth fighter sees first combat, in Israeli operation – BBC News

Israel confirms the US-made F-35, from the world’s costliest military programme, was used recently.

  • Developed by Lockheed Martin and first flown in 2006, the main reason for the fighter is its versatility, projected to serve the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy in one design
  • Three variants: conventional takeoff (A); short takeoff and vertical landing (B) and carrier-based catapult (C)
  • Stealth is clearly a key factor, its airframe and design materials allow pilots to penetrate areas without being detected by radar
  • This gives it a small radar cross-section, which is said to allow it to engage enemy aircraft before they see it. A helmet-mounted display system means the jet does not have to be pointing at its target to fire weapons
  • But it’s the sensors, communications and avionics that it trumpets the most – data is shared immediately with operational commanders, and pilots can track the enemy, jam radars and thwart attacks

Source: F-35 stealth fighter sees first combat, in Israeli operation – BBC News

US vows strongest ever Iran sanctions

The top US diplomat sets out new demands to Iran, which says the US is reverting to old “delusions”.

In a speech in Washington, America’s top diplomat said Iran would be “battling to keep its economy alive” after the sanctions took effect.

His Iranian counterpart said the US was a prisoner of its “failed policies” and would suffer the consequences.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump took the US out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Source: US vows strongest ever Iran sanctions

As ISIS targets disappear in Iraq and Syria, US military shifts focus back to Afghanistan | Fox News

As the war against the Islamic State terror group winds down in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. military is increasingly turning its attention to Afghanistan.

As of early May, ISIS holds only two small pockets of territory in eastern Syria, and none in Iraq.

U.S.-backed fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have since returned to eastern Syria following Turkey’s incursion into northwest Syria, drawing Kurdish fighters from the fight against ISIS. The SDF recently announced it is once again fully committed to defeating ISIS.

Air Force A-10 jets and drones were recently called to thwart a battle against the Taliban in western Afghanistan, when the city of Farah was threatened.

Source: As ISIS targets disappear in Iraq and Syria, US military shifts focus back to Afghanistan | Fox News

 

U.N. Chief: Halt ‘All Hostile Acts’ in the Middle East | Time

BEIRUT (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate halt to “all hostile acts” to avoid “a new conflagration” in the Middle East after Israeli forces bombed Iranian targets inside Syria.

Guterres’ comments came as a calm night followed intense attacks on parts of Syria by Israel. Israel said the strikes early Thursday were retaliation for an Iranian rocket barrage on its positions in the Golan Heights and has called on the U.N. Security Council and secretary-general to immediately condemn Iran’s attack.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Israel’s attacks and called it a blatant violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

Source: U.N. Chief: Halt ‘All Hostile Acts’ in the Middle East | Time

Israel says Iran fired rockets at military in the Golan Heights near Syrian border – CBS News

JERUSALEM — Israel’s military says Iranian forces based in neighboring Syria fired about 20 projectiles at Israeli positions in the Golan Heights.

Air raid sirens went off shortly after the Syrian state news agency and activists reported rocket fire from Israel into southern Syria just before midnight Wednesday.

The Israeli Defense Forces said it believes the rockets were launched by special forces in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says aircraft flew over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, adjacent to southern Syria. There are no immediate reports of airstrikes.

Source: Israel says Iran fired rockets at military in the Golan Heights near Syrian border – CBS News

Iran military base in Syria attacked, sources say | Fox News

An Iranian military base in Syria was attacked on Tuesday, sources confirmed to Fox News.

The military compound that was hit is located about 10 miles south of the Syrian capital city of Damascus, western military sources said.

The attack happened in Kisweh, according to the official news agency SANA, about an hour after President Trump’s announcemed that he would be pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Source: Iran military base in Syria attacked, sources say | Fox News

Trump Dumps Iran Deal — Hallelujah! | National Review

The Iran deal empowered the totalitarians. Trump’s exit squeezes them.

If you think that is an exaggeration, then you evidently think the Obama administration’s injection of well over a hundred billion dollars — some of it in the form of cash bribes — into the coffers of the world’s leading state sponsor of anti-American terrorism was either trivial or, more delusionally, a master-stroke of statecraft.

Of course, there’s a lot of delusion going around. After repeatedly vowing to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons (with signature “If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance” candor), President Obama, and his trusty factotum John Kerry, made an agreement that guaranteed Iran would obtain a nuclear weapon.

Source: Trump Dumps Iran Deal — Hallelujah! | National Review