Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Lebanese PM Quits, Blasts Iran for Assassination Threat, Political Meddling

Posted by Tip Staff - November 06, 2017

Lebanese PM Quits, Blasts Iran for Assassination Threat, Political Meddling
Saudis Call Missile Attack near Airport an "Act of Military Aggression by the Iranian Regime"
Israel Hosts Its Largest-Ever Multinational Air Exercise, with U.S., European Nations, India
WATCH: Hippo Escapes Ramat Gan Zoo, Strolls Back In

Lebanese PM Quits, Blasts Iran for Assassination Threat, Political Meddling

Lebanon's prime minister resigned Saturday in a surprise announcement broadcast from Saudi Arabia, blasting Iran for meddling in his country and indicating that his life was in danger, The New York Times reported.

Saad Hariri, who was appointed prime minister last December by Michel Aoun, Lebanon's Hezollah-allied president, broadcast his statement on Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya television.

Hariri charged that Iran had established a "state within a state" in Lebanon through its proxy, Hezbollah.

"I sensed what was being conspired in the darkness to target my life," Hariri said, recalling that his own father had been assassinated in 2005. A United Nations tribunal has indicted five members of Hezbollah for Raifq Haririr's killing, but Hezbollah has refused to surrender the suspects.

A Saudi official later said that Hariri's bodyguards had uncovered a plot to kill him.

The Times noted that Hezbollah is the strongest faction in Lebanese politics because "of its powerful militia, which can act independently of the state and in recent years has served as an expeditionary force across Syria." The United Nations Security Council resolution 1701 called for "the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State."

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hariri's resignation should serve as a "wake-up call for the international community to act against Iranian aggression."

Saudis Call Missile Attack near Airport an "Act of Military Aggression by the Iranian Regime"


Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels reached Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh with a ballistic missile for the first time on Saturday, in an attack which was described by the kingdom as “a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime.”

Yemen’s Houthi-controlled defense ministry confirmed that its forces had targeted Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid International Airport with a long-range missile called the Burqan 2H, CNN reported.

The missile was intercepted and destroyed over northeast Riyadh, in proximity to the airport, and targeted civilian areas. It was the first time that the heart of the Saudi capital had been targeted since the kingdom intervened in the civil war in Yemen. The attack, therefore, marks a sharp escalation between the Saudi-led, Western-backed coalition that supports the legitimate government of Yemen and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

A statement from Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry noted that the Islamic Republic’s actions constitute a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216, which prohibits states from shipping weapons to Yemen’s armed rebel groups. It is further evidence of Iranian weapons being shipped abroad despite a UN restriction on arms transfers from Iran. The Islamic Republic has faced allegations in the past over violating the embargo in support of proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, the Palestinian territories and Yemen.

Over the past six months, Kornet anti-tank missiles—a weapon possessed by Iran, but not part of Yemen’s looted stockpiles—have been reported on the battlefield, as have other advanced systems, including armed drones.

Israel Hosts Its Largest-Ever Multinational Air Exercise, with U.S., European Nations, India


Israel's largest-ever biennnial aerial exercise, including the air forces of nine countries, is underway, The Times of Israel reported Sunday.

Teams from the United States, Greece, Poland, France, Italy and Germany will be participating in Blue Flag 2017. For the first time a team from India will participate. An eighth country, not identified by Israel, is also participating.

The participation of India in the exercise was described by the Times as "a sign of the improving military ties between Jerusalem and New Delhi."

There will be over 1,000 pilots, technicians and other support personnel participating in Blue Flag 2017. Previously, Israel hosted the Blue Flag exercises in 2013, and 2015, with each successive exercise getting larger. It is being held at the Ovda air force base, north of Eilat in southern Israel.

"The participating nations arrived in Israel in their own aircraft and will practice different situations and scenarios,” an IDF statement said. The multinational forces will be challenged by the IAF's Red Squadron, which acts as the enemy in aerial combat exercises.

The hope of the exercise according to the Israeli army is to sharpen technical skills and improve “diplomatic cooperation between the countries.”

"Exercise Blue Flag gives opportunity to the IAF to share and learn best practices with some of the best professionals from other Air Forces," the Indian Air Force said on Facebook, observing that this would be the first time it would be "operating with Israeli Air Force in a multilateral exercise setting."

Hippo Escapes Ramat Gan Zoo, Strolls Back In

Stewart Cowley’s The Hungry Hippo has been a bedtime favorite since its publication in 1986. The story tells of a grumpy young hippo named Potamus who stomps all over town in search of his favorite food.

Real life imitated art on November 1 when one of the 24 hippos at the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan Safari took a stroll outside the zoo gates. Was he searching for food, too, or perhaps freedom?

Zookeepers may never know because, not long after he walked through one of the Safari gates, which was accidentally left open, and munched on some grass, he turned around and slowly walked back in, seemingly startled by a passing car.

The entire adventure was captured on camera. It took place at 6:07pm, after the Safari had closed for the day. A zookeeper who appears to be quite panicked as his hippo heads for the streets of the big city was very relieved when the saga ended peacefully.

Apparently the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

This is not the first animal escape attempt from the Safari. In 2015, three rhinoceroses---named Keren Peles, Rihanna and Karnivala---sauntered out the same gate before being spotted by astonished joggers out for an early morning run. Another rhino, Tibor, made the same trip in 2016.

As whimsical as the whole experience sounds (perhaps fodder for a Hungry Hippo sequel?) the management at the Safari said it is taking the whole incident very seriously.

(via Israel21c)

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