Iran Goes Hypersonic?
IRAN HAS BUILT A HYPERSONIC WEAPON THAT CAN FLY FIVE TIMES THE SPEED OF SOUND: Iran claims to have developed a hypersonic missile that is unstoppable by all current anti-air defenses. General Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC’s aerospace unit, said Thursday, November 10, that Tehran now possesses a ballistic missile that moves at ‘high speed and can maneuver in and out of the atmosphere’ – making it harder to shoot down.
General Hajizadeh said the missile is designed to target enemy anti-air systems and is a ‘generational leap’ forward in terms of Tehran’s military technology.
Until now, only Russia was known to possess hypersonic technology. China is thought to have tested a similar weapon last year, while the US is also in testing. North Korea has shown off what appear to be hypersonic missiles at military parades, but it is unclear if the technology is functional. Iran had not publicly acknowledged working on such a weapon before now. ‘This hypersonic ballistic missile was developed to counter air defense shields’ Hajizadeh said, quoted by Iranian media. ‘It will be able to breach all the systems of anti-missile defense’ said the general, adding that he believed it would take decades before a system capable of intercepting it is developed. ‘This missile, which targets enemy anti-missile systems, represents a great generational leap in the field of missiles.’ (DM / VFI News)
BIDEN SCRAMBLES FOR A PLAN B WITH IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL ON LIFE SUPPORT: The global push to constrain Iran’s nuclear program has entered uncharted territory as the U.S. and its allies signal that negotiations with Tehran are all but dead, and it’s not clear whether the Biden administration has a viable plan B to keep Iran’s theocratic regime from acquiring a nuclear bomb that the agreement was supposed to prevent.
The high-stakes multilateral talks have collapsed as Tehran deepens its diplomatic and military ties with Moscow, stoking fears that the Kremlin will offer covert help with Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for more drones and missiles for Russia’s war in Ukraine. Analysts say it has become clear that Iran, at least for now, has virtually given up on diplomacy with the West and decided that aligning with Russian President Vladimir Putin offers greater benefit than continuing down the path of talks with the U.S. and Europe. The negotiations were aimed at reviving the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which limited Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief. The demise of those talks, combined with Tehran’s deepening military partnership with Moscow, has thrust U.S. policy toward Iran into uncertainty. (WT / VFI News)
SYRIAN AIRBASE HIT BY ALLEGED ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE USED BY RUSSIAN MILITARY: Two Syrian soldiers were killed and three others were injured in alleged Israeli airstrikes that hit the Shayrat airbase southeast of Homs on Sunday evening, November 13, according to Syrian state media. The airbase is frequently used by Russian forces stationed in the country.
The airstrikes were conducted from over Lebanese airspace in northern Lebanon, according to the same media. Syrian journalist Nour Abo Hasan reported that the airstrikes targeted a shipment of weapons intended for Hezbollah which was on its way to Lebanon near the airport. The last Israeli airstrikes to target Syria were reported on October 27, when alleged Israeli airstrikes targeted sites in the Damascus area. Two additional waves of airstrikes targeted the Damascus area in the days preceding those strikes. The runway and underground facilities at Shayrat, including aircraft shelters, have undergone a major expansion by the Russian military in the last three years, the military source said. Russia, which maintains a major military presence in Syria, has forces stationed near Shayrat air base and uses the base, security sources say. (JPost / VFI News)
CHIEF OF STAFF: OPERATION BREAK THE WAVE TO CONTINUE’ AFTER DEADLY STABBING ATTACK: Tuesday evening, November 15, the Chief of the General Staff, LTG Aviv Kohavi, arrived at the scene of the morning’s stabbing attack near the Ariel Industrial Zone.
The Chief of the General Staff held a debrief at the area of the incident together with the Commanding Officer of the Central Command, MG Yehuda Fuchs, the Commanding Officer of the Judea and Samaria Division, BG Avi Bluth, and the Commanding Officer of the Ephraim Brigade, COL Mordi Weiss. The Chief of the General Staff expressed his condolences for the murdered and injured victims of the attack and conveyed his appreciation for the soldiers who neutralized the terrorist. He said: “Today’s shooting attack was severe and murderous, and should have ended differently. We will debrief and draw lessons. I offer my condolences to the families of the murdered and a quick recovery to the injured.” “Those who neutralized the terrorist were young soldiers who strived for contact and acted calmly in order to bring an end to the murderous killing spree. The IDF will continue Operation “Break the Wave” for as long as necessary and will operate anywhere and at any time, in order to fulfill its mission and maintain the sense of security of the residents living in Israel every day.” (INN / VFI News)
3 DEAD IN SAMARIA TERROR ATTACK, 4 WOUNDED: Three people were killed and four more wounded in a stabbing attack at three separate locations in and around the Israeli city of Ariel in Samaria, Tuesday morning, November 15. IDF paramedics, along with MDA and United Hatzalah personnel, treated the victims at the scene before evacuating them to Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva via ambulance.
One of the victims, a man in his forties, was critically wounded and later succumbed to his wounds. A second man of approximately the same age who was wounded at the gas station, was initially listed in serious condition, and also succumbed to his wounds. A third victim, who was in his thirties, was also fatally wounded next to the ‘Ten’ gas station in Ariel. Four others were wounded in the attack, and are all listed in critical or serious condition. The attack occurred at two sites in the industrial zone of Ariel in central Samaria, when two Arab terrorists attacked Israelis at the entrance to the industrial zone, and at a gas station. The terrorist fled the scene, an army spokesperson said, but was located by IDF forces on westbound Route 5 near the town of Peduel, where he was shot and killed. While attempting to evade authorities, the terrorist caused an accident involving eight cars on Route 5. (INN / VFI News)
ISRAELIS IN ISTANBUL ADVISED TO REMAIN AT HOTELS AFTER DEADLY BOMBING: Israeli tourists in Istanbul were advised Sunday, November 13, to remain in their hotel rooms and not explore the Turkish city, following a bombing on a popular pedestrian street that left six dead and dozens wounded.
An unnamed security source quoted by Hebrew media recommended that Israelis stay in their hotels until the situation became clearer, and to listen to local security. The source also called on Israelis to avoid travel to Turkey for non-essential reasons. There was no indication that the explosion, which Turkish leaders have said appears to be a terror attack, targeted Israelis. Israelis visiting Turkey have been advised to shelter in their rooms on previous occasions over attack fears, including this June, when Turkish authorities arrested numerous suspects linked to an alleged Iranian attack plot. Istanbul, just a two-hour flight from Tel Aviv, is a popular tourist destination for Israelis. The Foreign Ministry said it was not aware of any Israelis wounded in Sunday’s blast, although many were nearby when the explosion went off. Israeli leaders expressed condolences to Turkey after the explosion. “On behalf of the people of Israel, I send my sincere condolences to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the people of Turkey following today’s heinous terrorist attack in Istanbul,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement. “Our nations stand together in the fight against terror.” The blast took place as Istanbul’s Jewish community was hosting a Jewish culture day, in which they welcomed large crowds into the Neve Shalom synagogue. The event was cut short as news spread about the blast, which took place just blocks away. (TOI / VFI News)
JORDANIAN KING, SUDANESE MILITARY RULER CONGRATULATE NETANYAHU ON ELECTION WIN: Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday, November 14, phoned Likud chief Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his election victory, the prime minister’s designate office said.
The statement on the call gave no further details and there was no official confirmation from Jordan. Netanyahu and Abdullah had a prickly relationship when the Likud leader was last in power, with ties between Amman and Jerusalem deteriorating significantly. The call was Netanyahu’s latest with a foreign leader since his right-religious bloc won a majority of seats in the November 1 vote, amid international hand-wringing over his far-right coalition partners. Netanyahu’s office also said Monday that he received a congratulatory letter from Sudan’s military ruler, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. During Netanyahu’s last stint as premier between 2009 and 2021, ties between Jerusalem and Amman deteriorated markedly, with Abdullah saying in 2019 that relations were “at an all-time low” after a series of incidents that prompted Jordan to recall its ambassador to Israel. (TOI / VFI News)
MISS ISRAEL BEAUTY PAGEANT CANCELED AFTER MORE THAN 70 YEARS: The Miss Israel beauty contest will not be held this year, ending a run of annual competitions that started in 1950. As a result, Israel will not be sending a contestant to the international Miss Universe contest to be held January 2023 in the US.
The move by organizers of the Israel contest, which was quietly announced this month, drew a range of responses from past winners, from lamenting the development to welcoming the event’s demise. In recent years the pageant has faced criticism for judging women on their physical appearance. Sella Sharlin, Miss Israel 2019, told media on Friday, November 11, “I think that the competition, for those who aren’t familiar with it in depth, today gives a lot of tools to anyone who is chosen.” She spoke about the work that winning the contest had led to, including “lectures that I later got to give to youth. I founded a group of associations that deal with financial education for youth. “At the end of the day, this competition gives a platform and a place for women to lead, to initiate, and not necessarily to talk about beauty,” Sharlin said. She suggested changes could have been made, such as dropping the swimwear section of the contest and placing more emphasis on “standing in front of an audience, speaking, leading things, giving space to female power. Not for beauty or the looks of women.” (TOI / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff