Protesters burn down Iranian consulate in southern Iraq

Six demonstrators killed by security forces as violence grips the country Anti-government protesters have burned down the Iranian consulate in southern Iraq, while six protesters were killed by security forces who fired live rounds amid ongoing violence in the country. Protesters torched the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Najaf late on Wednesday. One protester was killed and at least 35 people were wounded when police fired live ammunition to prevent them from entering the building, a police official said. The demonstrators removed the Iranian flag from the building and replaced it with an Iraqi one. Iranian staff were not harmed and escaped the building from the back door and authorities imposed a curfew in Najaf. The incident marked …

The Drone Iran Shot Down Was a $220M Surveillance Monster

Early Thursday morning, Iran shot down a United States unmanned aerial vehicle over the Strait of Hormuz, which runs between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Iran identified the drone as an RQ-4A Global Hawk, a $220 million UAV that acts as a massive surveillance platform in the sky. The attack marks an escalation with tensions already running high between the US and Iran—particularly because of the value and technical sensitivity of the downed drone. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Thursday that the Northrup Grumman-made Global Hawk—part of a multibillion-dollar program that dates back to 2001—had entered Iranian airspace and crashed in Iranian waters; US Central Command confirmed the time and general location of the attack, …

US says video shows Iranian military removing mine from tanker

US secretary of state accuses Tehran of lashing out but Iran denies responsibility for early morning attack The US military has released video footage it says shows an Iranian military patrol boat approach one of two tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman, to support the Trump administrations claims that Iran was responsible. The blurry black and white footage, taken from the air, shows a small military boat alongside the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, and someone standing up on the prow of the boat to remove an object from the tankers hull. The small boat then pulls away from the tanker. US officials were quoted as saying the boat was an Iranian Revolutionary Guard patrol boat approaching the tanker after it …

Pentagon Wants to Send 10,000 Troops to Middle East Amid Rising Iran Tensions: Report

The Pentagon is set to present plans to the White House on Thursday outlining the proposed deployment of up to 10,000 troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, the Reuters also reported Wednesday that the Defense Department was considering a plan to send 5,000 additional troops to the region. Sources said the request had been made by U.S. Central Command, but it was not yet clear if the Pentagon would approve. A source also told Reuters the troops would be a defensive force. As a matter of longstanding policy, we are not going to discuss or speculate on potential future plans and requests for forces, Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told Reuters. Speculation that the U.S. …

Saudi oil tankers show ‘significant damage’ after attack Riyadh

Attack on vessels, one bound for US, follow warnings Iran or proxies could target shipping Saudi Arabia has said two of its oil tankers have been damaged in mysterious sabotage attacks in the Gulf, as the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, held emergency talks with his European counterparts about mounting tensions in the region. The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that four commercial vessels had been sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, outside the Strait of Hormuz. The UAE did not give the ships nationalities or any other details about the vessels ownership, but Riyadh identified two of them as Saudi, and a Norwegian company said it owned another. The fourth ship was reportedly the A Michel, a storage tanker …

EXCLUSIVE: Trump Admin Inflated Iran Intel, U.S. Officials Say

On Sunday, the National Security Council announced that the U.S. was sending a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf in response to troubling and escalatory warnings from Iranan eye-popping move that raised fears of a potential military confrontation with Tehran. Justifying the move, anonymous government officials cited intelligence indicating Iran had Gen. Qasem Soleimanithe head of the Quds Force, Irans covert action armhas told proxy forces in Iraq that a conflict with the U.S. will come soon, this source noted. I would characterize the current situation as shaping operations on both sides to tilt the field in preparation for a possible coming conflict, continued the second source, who is also a U.S. government official. …