Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Largest joint US-Israeli missile drill to kick off with participation of 3,000 US troops. More at the Jerusalem Post.
• Manssor Arbabsiar pleaded guilty for his involvement in an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington. AP writes:
Assistant US Attorney Edward Kim asked Arbabsiar if Iranian military officials based in Iran were involved in the plot. Arbabsiar said they were.
Arbabsiar admitted that he was directed by Iranian military officials to go to Mexico on multiple occasions from the spring to the fall of last year to arrange the assassination.
• Worth reading: Peter Mullen (Daily Telegraph) asks:
The leaders of Iran have declared many times that they wish to obliterate Israel. Why should Israel not believe this threat? More to the point, why should Israel stay its military response and instead put its trust in the capacity of the bureaucrats in “the international community” to shuffle papers?
“Northern Syria is awash with advanced antitank and antiaircraft weapons. The situation has changed very quickly,” said a Syrian involved in weapons procurement. Most of the shoulder-fired missiles have come from Libya, smuggled into the country through the Turkish border, several rebel coordinators said. Others have been supplied by militant Palestinian factions now supporting the Syrian uprising.
• Bashar Assad’s losing support of his own Alawite ethnic group. The Washington Post writes:
“But it’s clear there’s a dynamic in Qardaha that is not in favor of Assad. There’s just so many tensions.”
Indeed, assumptions of Alawite loyalty to the regime mask a far more complex reality in which traditional clan rivalries are becoming tangled in deep frustrations among the many members of the community who have misgivings about the direction in which Assad is leading them, according to Alawite residents of the coastal region and exiled activists.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• On a related note, The Daily Beast/Newsweek announced — to little surprise — that it is going web only. The last print edition of the US edition will be Dec. 31.Editor in chief Tina Brown writes:
We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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