Over Easy: Around the World
As Crane-Station is unable to post, this will be early again, and yes, it is Wednesday, but FDL has been under attack.
Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.
The establishment of a front against Syria through the Golan Heights by Hezbollah has been the occasion of Israel announcing it will not tolerate the presence there of forces that it sees as inimical to its own interests.
Launched on Feb. 9, the offensive is intended to push rebel forces in the Quneitra and Deraa provinces back toward the Jordanian border. If it succeeds, the effort would enable Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shia group, to extend its front line with Israel from the Mediterranean coast to the Yarmouk River on the Syria-Jordan border, a distance of 114 miles. But Israel has warned that it will not tolerate Iran and Hezbollah building a military front in the Golan, its quietest border since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, despite the ongoing Israeli occupation of the Syrian territory. In an apparent signal of that resolve, Israel last month staged a rare missile strike against a Hezbollah convoy in the Golan.
Regional media reports say that Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, has inspected the southern front line in recent days, strengthening a belief that the operation is under Iran’s direction. One of Iran’s key objectives could be to regain Tel al-Hara, a 3,500-foot hill where a signals-intelligence facility built nine years ago to tap into Israeli communications was overrun by rebels in October.
A bail-out cobbled together for Greece seemed likely to proceed, as that country went around on an initial refusal of the privatization of its electricity provider and grid operator, which international interests are lined up to buy. The proceeds of selling off its power industry are a key to acceptance of the third funding measure to pay off old Greek debt.
Over in Germany, finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has done his bit for international goodwill by questioning whether Greece’s government can be trusted.
Discussing the Greek bailout extension on SWR2 radio, Schäuble said:
“It wasn’t easy an easy decision for us but neither was it easy for the Greek government because (they) had told the people something completely different in the campaign and afterwards,”
“The question now is whether one can believe the Greek government’s assurances or not. There’s a lot of doubt in Germany, that has to be understood.”
Launched along with a cluster of associated satellites, and unnamed and unidentified Russian satellite has engaged world interest that includes speculation about its purpose when it began performing maneuvers.
The Financial Times was the first to report on the mysterious object presumably being a “Russian satellite killer.” The UK international daily said the object is now being tracked by the US military under the NORAD designation 39765 and claimed that the secrecy around it caused “fears over the revival of a defunct Kremlin project to destroy satellites.”
As Russia’s defense ministry did not respond to journalists’ request for comment, more news outlets as well as space enthusiasts on social media, got involved with the mystery.
However, while in the 1960s the USSR’s anti-satellite system, or ASAT, could have been more about potentially approaching “enemy” satellites to destroy them, in the modern world stealing or interfering with other countries’ data might be an even more powerful weapon, as not only governments but common people have become dependent on satellites, using them for basic daily needs, such as communication and navigation.