US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The Times of Israel


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"UN puts cost of Syria war destruction at $388 billion"

Der durch den Krieg in Syrien herbeigeführte materielle Schaden wird von der UNO in einer neuen Schätzung auf ca. 388 Milliarden US-Dollar beziffert. Die Zahl berücksichtigt ausdrücklich nicht den Verlust von Menschenleben und die langfristigen wirtschaftlichen Folgen des Krieges. "The figure was released after a two-day meeting of more than 50 Syrian and international experts in neighboring Lebanon, hosted by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). ESCWA said the 'volume of destruction in physical capital and its sectoral distribution' had been estimated at more than $388 billion. It said the figure did not include 'human losses resulting from deaths or the loss of human competences and skilled labor due to displacement, which were considered the most important enablers of the Syrian economy.'"

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"Syria boots IS from Golan Heights, retaking full control of frontier with Israel"

Die syrischen Regierungstruppen haben ihre sechswöchige Kampagne zur Rückeroberung des Grenzgebietes zu Israel offenbar erfolgreich beendet. "The Syrian government regained control of the frontier with the Israel’s Golan Heights for the first time in seven years on Monday, after Islamic State-linked militants gave up their last pocket of territory in the area. The breakthrough against the militants, reported by state media and an opposition-linked war monitoring group, capped a six-week-long bloody campaign to retake the southwest corner of the country. Rebels captured the area along the Golan Heights after a popular uprising broke out against Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2011. An IS-linked outfit known as the Khaled bin Al-Waleed Army later seized the area from the opposition fighters."

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"North Korea begins dismantling rocket test site — analysts"

Aktuellen Satellitenaufnahmen zufolge hat Nordkorea damit begonnen, eine wichtige Raketentestanlage abzubauen. Experten werten dies als wichtigen Schritt zur Erfüllung der Vereinbarungen von Singapur. "According to the respected 38 North group, commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae satellite launching station indicates Pyongyang has begun taking down a processing building and a rocket-engine test stand that had been used to test liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles. Sohae, on the northwest coast of North Korea, has been used to test rockets, with the aim of putting a satellite into orbit. (...) 38 North analyst Joseph Bermudez called the move an 'important first step' for Kim in fulfilling commitments he made to Trump during their June summit in Singapore."

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"In Damascus, Syrians dare to hope that war’s end may be near"

In den von der Regierung kontrollierten Gebieten in Syrien wächst Bassem Mroue zufolge die Hoffnung, dass der sieben Jahre andauernde Krieg endlich zu Ende gehen könnte. "The country has suffered catastrophic damage and some aspects of the conflict are far from over. Still, many Syrians — even some among the opposition — are hoping for some degree of security and stability. The government now controls major opposition strongholds and key cities like Aleppo, Homs, and even Daraa, the southern city where the uprising was born from protests in March 2011. The vital border crossing with Jordan, sealed for years, is expected to reopen soon after troops recaptured Daraa province, and hopes are high for the resumption of trade and Syrian exports to Arab countries. Syrians can now drive all the way form the Jordanian border in the south to the central province of Hama on one of the country’s most important highways that was severed by insurgents for years in several locations. There is talk that the railway from Damascus to Aleppo might resume operations later this year."

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"Egypt warned Hamas: Israel will go to war 'in two hours' if you respond to raids"

Die Erschießung eines israelischen Soldaten durch einen palästinensischen Scharfschützen in Gaza hätte am Freitag offenbar beinahe zu einem offenen Krieg geführt, berichtet die Times of Israel. "An unofficial ceasefire reached overnight Friday-Saturday between Israel and Hamas came after Egypt warned the Palestinian terror group that Israel would launch a war 'in two hours' if Hamas responded to IDF retaliatory strikes in Gaza following the killing of an IDF soldier by Palestinian sniper fire, Israeli television reported Saturday. Channel 10 news also reported that Egypt threatened to impose sanctions on Hamas if it does not end the launch of incendiary airborne devices toward Israeli territory. (...) The Israel Defense Forces said it struck more than 60 Hamas targets Friday in response to sniper fire from the Strip that killed IDF infantryman Aviv Levi, 21, from Petah Tikva. Staff Sgt. Levi was the first Israeli fatality in fighting along the border since the 2014 war."

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"Israel passes Jewish state law, enshrining 'national home of the Jewish people'"

Das israelische Parlament hat das umstrittene "Nationalitätsgesetz" verabschiedet, das den jüdischen Charakter des Landes bekräftigt. "Lawmakers approved the bill in its second and third readings overnight, with 62 voting in favor, 55 opposed and two abstaining, after hours of heated debate in the Knesset chamber. Similar to a constitution, the Basic Laws underpin Israel’s legal system and are more difficult to repeal than regular laws. The nation-state bill, proponents say, puts Jewish values and democratic values on equal footing. Critics, however, say the law effectively discriminates against Israel’s Arabs and other minority communities. The law also declares that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, sets the Hebrew calendar as the official calendar of the state, and recognizes Independence Day, days of remembrance and Jewish holidays."

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"Putin and Trump presented unified front on Syria, but differences abound"

Aus israelischer Sicht war beim Gipfeltreffen in Helsinki vor allem das Thema Syrien von Bedeutung. Trump und Putin waren sich Ron Kampeas zufolge darin einig, dass israelische Sicherheitsinteressen bei einer Lösung des Konflikts eine wichtige Rolle spielen müssen. Bestehende Differenzen seien allerdings nicht geklärt worden. "Beneath the comity there lurked several significant differences of how each side sees the outcomes. Implicit in Putin’s emphasis on ensuring Israel’s security in the 'south' is that Iran, Russia’s de facto ally in assisting the Assad regime’s bid for survival, will be absent from that region, as will its proxy, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. But Netanyahu wants Iran out of Syria, period. (...) Putin made clear that he sees the United States and Russia as equal partners in determining the outcome in Syria. 'Russia and the United States apparently can act proactively and take considerable leadership on this issue, and organize the interaction to overcome humanitarian crisis and help Syrian refugees to go back to their homes,' he said. Trump, notably, did not object."

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"Syria rebels begin evacuating 'cradle' of uprising in Daraa"

Die Rebellen im Südwesten Syriens haben den mit Russland vereinbarten Rückzug aus der Stadt Daraa an der Grenze zu Jordanien begonnen. "In recent days, rebels have handed over heavy-duty arms and other equipment to government forces who entered the city’s rebel-held southern districts for the first time in years to plant the national flag. On Sunday, rebels and civilians who did not want to live under regime control were granted safe passage to opposition-held Idlib in Syria’s northwest. Hundreds of fighters and some of their relatives, carrying suitcases packed with clothes, boarded around 15 buses in Daraa city, AFP’s correspondent there said. The vehicles, parked on a main thoroughfare connecting the city’s government-held north with its rebel-held south, were searched by Russian forces before setting off just after midday for Idlib."

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"Emerging deal on Syria will likely curb, but not end, Iran’s presence"

Auf dem Gipfeltreffen Donald Trumps mit Wladimir Putin in Helsinki wird wohl auch die Frage nach der Zukunft der iranischen Präsenz in Syrien eine Rolle spielen. Zeina Karam erwartet in seiner Analyse einen Kompromiss, da der von den USA und Israel gewünschte vollständige Abzug der bis zu 80.000 Kämpfer unrealistisch sei. "One possibility is that Putin and Trump could reach a deal that would envisage the deployment of Syrian government forces along the frontier with the Israeli-held side of the Golan Heights and the withdrawal of Iranian forces and Hezbollah from the area. For that to happen, Israel would want guarantees that Assad honor a decades-old agreement that sets out a demilitarized zone along the frontier and limits the forces each side can deploy within 15 miles (25 kilometers). Ayham Kamel, an analyst with Eurasia Group, said Moscow may ask for acceptance of Assad and an eventual withdrawal of US troops from Syria, as Trump has suggested he would like to happen by the end of the year. 'A public deal that accepts Assad in return for limiting Iranian influence implicitly if not explicitly gives him some legitimacy,' Kamel said."

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"Pledging not to oust Assad, Netanyahu urges Putin to ‘get Iranians out’ of Syria"

Israels Premierminister Netanjahu hat Russlands Präsident Putin bei seinem Besuch in Moskau versichert, nicht länger den Sturz von Syriens Präsident Assad anzustreben. Im Gegenzug erwartet Netanjahu, dass sich Putin für den Abzug iranischer Milizen aus Syrien einsetzt. "'We won’t take action against the Assad regime, and you get the Iranians out,' Netanyahu told Putin, the Reuters news agency reported, citing an Israel official who requested anonymity. According to a report last month, Israel’s willingness to leave Assad in power echoes the US position. A Western diplomat told Al-Hayat in June that the US is open to the idea of Assad staying in power and does not oppose the regime retaking all areas it lost to rebels groups during the seven-year civil war."

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"Harsh words may mean North Korea seeking deal with Trump"

Die jüngsten verbalen Dissonanzen zwischen Nordkorea und US-Außenminister Pompeo werden von einigen Experten nicht als Vorzeichen eines Scheiterns der Gespräche, sondern als Verhandlungstaktik interpretiert, berichtet Ken Moritsugu. "On one level, the sheen of last month’s Singapore summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with broad smiles and handshakes, has yet to wear off. But on another, North Korea may be betting that Trump, the real estate developer-turned-president, will be more willing than his negotiators to ease off his administration’s hard-line positions to make a deal. (...) it came as some surprise when North Korea’s state news agency fired out a late-night missive blasting the talks, warning that 'we may be shaken in our unshakeable will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating trust.' The statement was widely seen as a negotiating tactic to put the US on the back foot as talks get underway. It also underscores crucial gaps in how the US and North Korea define denuclearization and see the path forward. Unless they can close those gaps, the whole effort may be doomed."

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"Russia: Complete Iranian withdrawal from Syria is ‘absolutely unrealistic’"

Beim geplanten Gipfeltreffen Donald Trumps mit Wladimir Putin am 16. Juli soll auch die künftige Präsenz des Irans in Syrien besprochen werden. Russlands Außenminister Lawrow hat bereits angekündigt, dass ein vollständiger Rückzug Irans "unrealistisch" und ein Kompromiss nötig sei. "(...) Lavrov said Iran is one of the key powers in the region, and that it would be 'absolutely unrealistic' to expect it to abandon its interests in the country. He said regional powers should discuss mutual complaints and negotiate a compromise. Israel has repeatedly said it will not tolerate an Iranian military presence in Syria, and has recently acknowledged carrying out airstrikes on Iranian targets in the country. Israel has also struck Syrian air defense systems that fired at Israeli fighter jets during the raids. (...) Last week the Arabic-language Al-Hayat newspaper reported that Trump would make a full Iranian pullout from Syria territory a priority at that meeting. US officials, the diplomat was quoted as saying, are convinced that Russia would be unwilling to 'pay a heavy price' for Iran’s continued presence in Syria. The diplomat, who was not identified in the report, also said Washington had given Israel a 'green light' to strike Iranian military assets in Syria."

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"Assad’s regime pounds south Syria after rebels say talks with Russia failed"

Die Verhandlungen über einen Waffenstillstand im Süden Syriens sind vorerst geplatzt. Layal Abou Rahal berichtet über die Hintergründe des Scheiterns der Gespräche zwischen den Rebellen und russischen Unterhändlern. "Spokesman Ibrahim Jabbawi said the talks had not produced “any results” because Moscow had insisted rebels hand over their heavy arms in one go. 'The session ended. No future meetings have been set,' Jabbawi told AFP. After the talks collapsed, Russian and regime aircraft resumed strikes on several parts of the province for the first time in four days, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. A source close to the talks said rebels would be willing to hand over their heavy weapons in several phases. The meeting followed an hours-long session on Tuesday, in which rebels proposed that the army withdraw from recaptured towns and grant fighters and civilians unwilling to live under regime control safe passage to rebel-held territory elsewhere. Moscow had roundly rejected the terms and responded with a counter-proposal, the source said. It told negotiators that population transfers were not on the table in the south, although it had agreed to them in other areas like Eastern Ghouta and Aleppo."

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"UN calls emergency meet as 300,000 Syrians flee regime offensive in south"

Der UN-Sicherheitsrat wird sich am Donnerstag mit der neuen Flüchtlingskrise im Süden Syriens beschäftigen. Zwischen 270.000 und 330.000 syrische Zivilisten sind dort seit dem 19. Juni vor den neuen Kämpfen zwischen Regierungstruppen und Rebellen geflohen. Jordanien und Israel haben sich geweigert, die Grenzen für die Flüchtlinge zu öffnen. "Israel has transferred food, tents and medicine to Syrians on the border, and has allowed in a small number for medical treatment, but says it will not change its longstanding policy to not let in refugees. Jordan, which has recorded some 650,000 Syrian refugees to the UN on its soil, says it can no longer accept more. 'Intense air and ground based strikes have reportedly continued in multiple areas in Syria’s Daraa Governorate, resulting in the death and injury of civilians and the largest displacement in the area since the conflict began,' UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters."

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"Pro-Assad troops take over Golan UN post in demilitarized area on Israeli border"

Streitkräfte der Assad-Regierung haben im Zuge ihrer aktuellen Offensive im Süden Syriens offenbar einen verlassenen UN-Posten auf den Golan- Höhen besetzt. Das israelische Militär habe angedeutet, dass es die Truppen gewaltsam vertreiben könnte, berichtet die Times of Israel. "The post, abandoned by United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) troops on the Golan, is meant to be free of both Israeli and Syrian troops, according to the cessation of hostilities agreement between the two countries that followed the 1973 Yom Kippur War. (...) The IDF statement suggested Israel might act to remove the forces from the post by force. Officials told Kan that Israel 'sees UNDOF as responsible for tracking and acting against military forces in the separation zone, and is determined to prevent military entrenchment in that area.'"

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"Syrian army drops leaflets on southern towns ahead of offensive"

Die syrischen Regierungstruppen haben in Flugblättern eine neue Offensive gegen Rebellengruppen im Süden des Landes in der Nähe der Golan-Höhen angekündigt. Die betroffene Provinz Daraa gehört Bassem Mroue zufolge eigentlich zu einer von Russland, den USA und Jordanien vereinbarten "Deeskalationszone". "Syrian government forces have been massing troops ahead of a possible attack on Daraa province and the nearby Quneitra region that borders Jordan and the Israeli Golan Heights. The United States warned last month it would take 'firm and appropriate measures' to protect a ceasefire in southern Syria if government forces move against rebels there. The region has also been a source of regional tensions between Iran and Israel in recent months."

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"Israel, Russia said to reach secret deal on pushing Iran away from Syria border"

Einem israelischen TV-Bericht zufolge haben sich Russland und Israel insgeheim darauf verständigt, iranische und Hisbollah-Truppen aus dem südlichen Grenzgebiet Syriens zurückzuziehen. Im Gegenzug will Israel demnach die erneute Stationierung syrischer Regierungstruppen tolerieren. "The reported agreement also includes a clause on Israel’s right to continue to take action against Iranian military activities in Syria. Hadashot quoted diplomatic sources saying, apparently on the basis of this clause, Israel considers the agreement to be a breakthrough in that it means the US and Russia are now supporting Israel’s opposition to Iran’s military presence in Syria. Furthermore, an Israeli source was quoted saying, the deal means Assad is now regaining almost all of Syria, under Russian protection and with Israel’s agreement, after eight years of civil war."

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"For Hamas, dancing on the brink of chaos is a winning tactic"

Avi Issacharoff meint, dass die Hamas mit den organisierten Protesten an der Grenze zwischen Gaza und Israel eine riskante aber bislang erfolgreiche Taktik verfolge. Dies habe sich am Montag gezeigt, als die Situation fast außer Kontrolle geraten sei. "Hamas of 2018 has learned to use a vocabulary not dissimilar to that of the Palestinian Authority: 'nonviolent resistance,' 'popular struggle,' etc. And it is largely supportive of continuing the supposedly 'nonviolent' marches as long as they are under control, apparently uninterested in being dragged into all-out war. But on Monday afternoon, there came a point when Hamas almost lost control. At a time when events were clearly headed toward escalation — with Israel intensifying its airstrikes and more and more Palestinians showing willingness to rush toward the fence and sacrifice their lives — it appeared that someone in Hamas’s leadership did some course correction, giving the order to stop the demonstrations, at least for the day, and to lower the intensity a bit. It must be noted that Hamas’s ability to subsequently restrain not just the demonstrators but also Gaza’s other armed groups, none of which fired at Israel overnight, shows something of its impressive control over the Strip."

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"Israel threatens to kill Hamas leaders if riots continue — report"

Israel hat die Hamas einem TV-Bericht zufolge im Fall weiterer Zusammenstöße an der Grenze zu Gaza vor erneuten Attentaten auf Hamas-Anführer gewarnt. "'If the protests continue, the assassinations will return,' Hadashot TV news quoted security officials as saying in a message sent to Hamas via Egypt. The reported warning came as Hamas escalated its own threats of violence. 'We say clearly today to all the world that the peaceful march of our people lured the enemy into shedding more blood,' said Khalil al-Hayya, a senior leader in Hamas."

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"Palestinians say 41 killed, including terror operatives, as 50,000 rally in Gaza"

Die Times of Israel berichtet über die jüngsten Zusammenstöße palästinensischer Protestierender mit israelischen Sicherheitskräften an der Grenze zu Gaza. "Forty-one Palestinians were killed Monday in violent clashes with Israeli forces along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, Palestinians said, in a burst of bloodshed that cast a cloud over Israel’s festive inauguration of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. It was the deadliest day in Gaza since the devastating cross-border war between the territory’s Hamas rulers and Israel in 2014. Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said 41 Palestinians were killed and over 500 were wounded in the violence, amid the biggest riots and rallies in a weeks-long campaign of protests against Israel."

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"It’s not just Abbas: Blaming Jews for the Holocaust is widespread"

Palästinenserpräsident Abbas hat vor kurzem in einer Rede den Juden eine Mitschuld am Holocaust gegeben. Cnaan Liphshiz schreibt, dass dieses Erklärungsmuster unter Palästinensern und auch in Europa verbreitet sei und als "ideologische Waffe" gegen Israel eingesetzt werde. "This trope that Jews brought genocide on themselves by controlling the levers of financial power is rooted in European classical anti-Semitism as expressed in the Russian forgery 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion,' according to Esther Webman, a senior scholar at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies in Tel Aviv. Her field of expertise is Arab anti-Semitism and perceptions of the Holocaust. 'In Arab discourse, these anti-Semitic teachings are weaponization to foment hatred of Israel,' she said. For various reasons, such theories are particularly prevalent in Eastern European countries whose populations were widely complicit in the Holocaust, according to Holocaust historian Efraim Zuroff, the Eastern Europe director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center."

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"Derisive response to PM’s exposé shows world still refusing to get real on Iran"

David Horovitz ist von der internationalen Reaktion auf die Enthüllung von Informationen über die iranische Atomwaffenforschung enttäuscht. Premierminister Netanjahu habe keineswegs demonstrieren wollen, dass der Iran das Atomabkommen missachtet. Er habe vielmehr darauf aufmerksam gemacht, dass Teheran das Abkommen gar nicht verletzten muss, um Atomwaffen entwickeln zu können. "Netanyahu’s critics further assert that there was nothing new in the material he presented — nothing new in the showcasing of Iran’s own evidence of its deceit, and of the specifics of its nuclear weapons program. First of all, that criticism is patently false. The International Atomic Energy Agency, in its own reporting, has never claimed to have attained remotely comparable access to Iran’s own documentation. The Mossad spirited out 100,000 files. The P5+1 negotiators should race to pore over the material. But secondly, if it is the P5+1’s contention that they knew every detail of the program as now conclusively presented by Netanyahu, and knew therefore the precise extent of Iran’s duplicity, then how could they possibly have negotiated so lax an accord with the ayatollahs?"

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"Congress members call out Ukraine government for glorifying Nazis"

Über 50 US-Kongressabgeordnete aus beiden Parteien haben die ukrainische Regierung in einem offenen Brief für ein Gesetz und für offiziell unterstützte Gedenkveranstaltungen kritisiert, in denen Kollaborateure der Nazis im Zweiten Weltkrieg gefeiert werden. "More than 50 US Congress members condemned Ukrainian legislation that they said 'glorifies Nazi collaborators' and therefore goes further than Poland’s laws on rhetoric about the Holocaust. (...) 'Ukraine’s luck of flying beneath the radar has finally run out,' Dovid Katz, the founder of the Defending History website about Holocaust distortion in Eastern Europe, wrote on Twitter about the letter. 'Never imagined we’d see this day.' The language on Ukraine 'is brutal — and richly deserved,' he added. The letter states that 'It’s particularly troubling that much of the Nazi glorification in Ukraine is government-supported.' It noted ceremonies, gestures and legislation venerating leaders of the UPA and OUN militias, who fought alongside Nazi Germany during World War II and whose troops participated in atrocities against Jews and other victims."

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"Debunking 25 left-wing and Arab myths from a left-wing Arab perspective"

Der kanadisch-arabische Autor Fred Maroun, der bis 1984 zehn Jahre in Libanon gelebt hat und sich selbst als politisch links stehend betrachtet, will in diesem Blogeintrag 25 Anschuldigungen arabischer und linker "Feinde" Israels entkräften. "Left-wing and Arab enemies of Israel make a number of accusations that they repeat as if they were facts. Here I take apart those myths from a left-wing Arab perspective. I summarize the facts, but I include many links to other articles that provide further background. Some of the articles referenced are mine, where I reference serious sources not considered pro-Israel, including Haaretz, BBC, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and The Huffington Post. I also reference pro-Israel sources that are known for their journalistic integrity, including The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, and The Gatestone Institute. This article is not for everyone. It is intended only for a narrow audience: People who are willing to base their opinions on facts and not lies. Others are kindly advised to stay away, lest they be contaminated by facts that they would rather continue ignoring."

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"Israel reveals how it’s winning the battle against Hamas’s Gaza attack tunnels"

Nach der erneuten Zerstörung eines Tunnels der Hamas hat das israelische Militär ein Video veröffentlicht, auf dem die neuen Methoden und Technologien zur Lokalisierung der Tunnel präsentiert werden. "The new technologies and work-methods implemented by the new 'laboratory' close to the Gaza border do not add up to a panacea against all attempts by terror groups to tunnel into Israel, but the relentless and 'systematic' approach now being used means that Hamas 'is gradually being denied' its attack-tunnel weapon, the TV report added. Military sources on Sunday suggested that Hamas might have been intending to utilize the tunnel under the cover of the mass protests it is encouraging at the Gaza border each Friday. The TV report said Hamas was switching tactics to mass border protests because the Iron Dome rocket intercept system has gradually neutralized the terror group’s rocket capabilities, and the new IDF laboratory is gradually neutralizing its tunnel capabilities."

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"In spy wars, Israel chooses Russia over UK, but Trump could play spoiler"

Israel habe bisher darauf verzichtet, sich der international koordinierten Aktion zur Ausweisung russischer Diplomaten aus westlichen Ländern anzuschließen, schreibt Raphael Ahren. Die Zukunft dieser neutralen Position werde vor allem vom Verhalten der USA abhängen. "Jerusalem’s desire to stay in Moscow’s good graces side is understandable. For a start, many Israeli citizens have deep roots in Russia. More importantly, the government of Vladimir Putin has become a major player in regional affairs, having boots on the ground — and jets in the air — only a few miles from Israel’s borders in Syria. (...) As long as it is only the British that expects Israel to speak out against Moscow, Jerusalem will probably maintain its neutrality. But if Trump were to urge Netanyahu to back up the West’s anti-Russia moves, it’s unlikely he’d be able to resist the pressure. 'If we’re put between this rock and that hard place,' a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday, 'my guess is that the prime minister is going to go with the US president.'"

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"Three minutes over Syria: How Israel destroyed Assad’s nuclear reactor"

Israel hat nach jahrelangem Schweigen eingestanden, im Jahr 2007 eine syrische Atomanlage durch einen Luftangriff zerstört zu haben. Yossi Melman und Dan Raviv berichten über die Hintergründe der damaligen Operation. "Plainly, the decision by Olmert to blow up the complex — after he had unsuccessfully asked then-president George W. Bush to do so — prevented Assad from attaining nuclear weapons. Potentially, it also prevented the world’s most bloodthirsty terrorists from acquiring the world’s most lethal weapons. Israeli ministers and officials are proud of the action across-the-board. Olmert — who would announce less than a year later that he would be stepping down amid accusations of corruption, and who wound up serving 16 months in jail for bribery — told The Times of Israel that striking the Syrian reactor was one of his most important and difficult decisions, and one with which he is particularly satisfied. His nemesis, Barak, acknowledges that 'Olmert deserves full credit for the courageous decision.'"

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"Pick for new CIA chief a career spymaster who once ran secret prison"

Mit Gina Haspel könnte zum ersten Mal eine Frau zur neuen CIA-Direktorin ernannt werden. Deb Riechmann schreibt, dass Haspel zuvor u.a. ein Geheimgefängnis in Thailand geleitet habe, in dem Terrorverdächtige gefoltert worden seien. Beweise für diese Praxis seien danach vernichtet worden. "Haspel, the current deputy CIA director, helped carry out an order that the agency destroy its waterboarding videos. That order prompted a lengthy Justice Department investigation that ended without charges. Haspel, who has extensive overseas experience, briefly ran a secret CIA prison where accused terrorists Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002, according to current and former US intelligence officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity."

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"Fear of Syrian war expanding may paradoxically trigger peace deal"

Die erneute Eskalation des Krieges in Syrien hat die Gefahr einer direkten Konfrontation zwischen den USA und Russland spürbar anwachsen lassen. Paradoxerweise könnte dies die Verhandlungen über eine Lösung des Konflikts im UN-Sicherheitsrat vorantreiben, schreibt Philippe Rater. "On Wednesday, a Security Council meeting on Syria that was initially slated to be public but was ultimately held behind closed doors, suggested a turning point had been reached. The language that emerged was a mix of tension and caution that converged on one point: the need for unity to calm things down. (...) In closed door meetings, Russia, which may be at the end of its military and financial commitment in Syria, speaks of its will to get out of the conflict, insists it has no hidden agenda, and even goes so far as seeking Western help to persuade Damascus, according to this diplomat. This is a new position after the series of Russian vetoes in late 2017 of Western resolutions that went against Syria. 'The road to peace will come when all of the parties stop provoking each other, and choose the responsible path,' [US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley] said. In that sense the risk of a major international clash in Syria might open the doors for a breakthrough. This can serve as 'leverage to obtain a peace accord in Syria at a time when lines are beginning to move,' said [France’s UN ambassador Francois Delattre]."

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"France threatens Syria strikes if chemical attacks proven"

Sollte die Verantwortung der syrischen Regierung für einen Chemiewaffeneinsatz gegen Zivilisten durch Beweise bestätigt werden, würde Frankreich Militärschläge gegen die Urheber durchführen, so eine Drohung des französischen Präsidenten Macron. "'But today our services have not established proof that proscribed chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations,' he added. 'As soon as such proof is established, I will do what I said,' Macron warned, while adding that 'the priority is the fight against the terrorists, the jihadists.' Regarding the Syrian regime itself, either during or after the conflict, he added, 'It will be answerable to international justice.'"

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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