14-Dec-11 World View — American Troops Said To Be Massing In Jordan On Syria's Border

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • It’s as if last week’s Euro Zone summit had never happened
  • Lone gunman kills four people, wounds dozens in Liège, Belgium
  • American troops said to be massing in Jordan on Syria’s border
  • Iran threatens military maneuvers to close Strait of Hormuz
  • Oil prices react to Iran’s threat to close Strait of Hormuz
  • The ability to close the Strait of Hormuz gives Iran a unique threat
  • Israeli ‘price tag’ attacks against soldiers and Palestinians grow

It’s as if last week’s Euro Zone summit had never happened

The Euro (Telegraph)

The Euro (Telegraph)

Last Friday’s euro zone summit was supposed to be the last chance to save the euro, but it’s now becoming apparent to almost everyone that the deal that was reached — which only calls for more meetings and discussions between now and March — accomplished absolutely nothing. Euro zone bond yields (interest rates) fell briefly, but have been climbing again. An auction of Italy’s bonds is scheduled for Wednesday, and Italy’s five-year borrowing costs are expected to mark a new record. Reuters

Lone gunman kills four people, wounds dozens in Liège, Belgium

A lone gunman armed with grenades opened fire on a square packed with children and Christmas shoppers in the eastern Belgian city of Liège on Tuesday, killing four people and wounding 123 before fatally shooting himself in the head. Officials named the gunman as Nordine Amrani, 33, a known criminal. The motive is unknown, but it may have been a foiled bid to rescue a suspect from the courthouse. AFP/Reuters


American troops said to be massing in Jordan on Syria’s border

A blogger with contacts in Jordan is reporting that hundreds of foreign military groups, including American forces, are moving into the region around Jordan’s Al-Mafraq military base in north Jordan, about 5-10 km from the border with Syria. These include forces that are being diverted from Iraq, as the U.S. completes its final withdrawal from Iraq. This is the first time that U.S. boots have hit the ground directly opposite the army of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. Jordan’s King Abdullah II has approved this deployment because of Assad’s threats to “burn the whole region,” with Jordan being a particularly vulnerable target of al-Assad’s wrath. Debka and OpEd News

Iran threatens military maneuvers to close Strait of Hormuz

Strait of Hormuz (Nasa)

Strait of Hormuz (Nasa)

Member of Parliament Parviz Sorouri, of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, says that Iran plans to conduct military maneuvers to practice closing the Strait of Hormuz — through which 30% of the world’s seaborne oil shipments pass. “We will hold an exercise to close the Strait of Hormuz in the near future. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure,” says Sorouri, saying that the move is in retaliation to Western threats to impose an oil embargo on Iran. Sorouri claims that international law permits Iran to close the Strait, which lies within Iran’s territorial waters. Tehran Times

Oil prices react to Iran’s threat to close Strait of Hormuz

Oil prices spiked on Tuesday on the news of Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. “Crude oil is one of the most susceptible commodities to geopolitical risks and traders will react to anything in the Middle East that has potential to disrupt oil supplies,” said one analyst. Bloomberg

The ability to close the Strait of Hormuz gives Iran a unique threat

According to an international law expert, the waters in the Strait of Hormuz are technically iranian territory, but they are also an international strait, which gives foreign ships “a higher right of transit,” so Iran does not have the legal right to close the strait. However, Iran may do it anyway. “Iran’s specialty is asymmetric warfare. This is what they practice in their simulations and their exercises. This includes the use of small ships or boats, also suicide boats, underwater warfare capability, combined with the use of ballistic and cruise missiles. So they can pack a punch if they are able to get these weapons off the ground.” RFERL

Israeli ‘price tag’ attacks against soldiers and Palestinians grow

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is considering ways to stop the growth of “price tag” attacks against soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank. The phrase “price tag” is frequently used by far-right Israeli settlers to denote revenge attacks against Palestinians or soldiers in response to moves by the Israeli government to evacuate illegal West Bank outposts, or as retribution for attacks by Palestinians. Complaints are rising that the IDF is refusing to prosecute vandalism and violence by settlers. Jerusalem Post and Haaretz

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