U.S. Says Redirects Syria Funds as Allies Pony Up $300 million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Friday it will redirect $230 million in frozen funding away from Syria and had raised $300 million from coalition partners for recovery efforts in areas retaken from Islamic State militants in northeast Syria.

North Korea on the Mediterranean

Gaza

Since March 30, when Hamas launched its first “return march” with thousands storming Israel’s border, Israel’s media pundits have said neither side wants escalation. They had it right. What’s being termed “the small arrangement” looks like a big win for Hamas, whose strategy most resembles that of North Korea.

Indictment Reveals GRU Role in Election Meddling

GRU headquarters

A team of Russian GRU military intelligence officers specializing in covert influence operations played the key role in the 2016 election meddling operation while working out of an office building on 22 Kirova Street in Moscow called “The Tower” by GRU spies.

Beginning in April 2016, the GRU team known as Unit 74455 and headed by Col. Aleksandr V. Osadchuk was the key player in the major Russian influence operation aimed at swaying the 2016 presidential election through covertly disseminating hacked documents on the internet.

Iraq, Turkey, European Allies Scheme to Skirt New U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Iran

Iran’s regional allies and some European nations continue to form new plans to skirt a rash of upcoming sanctions on Tehran to keep the hardline regime afloat as protesters continue to push for regime change in the Islamic Republic, according to U.S. officials and experts.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is the latest regional official to oppose the new sanctions and throw his government’s support behind Iran as it works with regional allies and others to avoid a series of new sanctions by the Trump administration aimed at further squeezing Tehran’s economy and choking off funding for its terrorist forces.