Pranksters produce enlistment ads featuring Trump Jr: "I'm not enlisting but YOU should"

The Good Liars -- the comedy duo of Davram Stiefler and Jason Selvig -- redecorated a Brooklyn armed forces recruiting center with posters featuring Donald Trump Jr and the slogan, "I'm not enlisting but you should" with the strapline, "There's weak, and then there's Trump weak." Read the rest

Rocket falls in Northern Iraq near Balad air base which houses US troops

A rocket is reported to have fallen in Iraq's northern Salahuddin province, reports Reuters reports, citing police sources. The strike is close to the Balad air base which houses US troops. Read the rest

'Highly likely' Iran shot down Ukrainian airliner that killed 176 people, U.S. officials say — and probably an accident

U.S. intelligence officials are telling news agencies today they are confident that Iran painted the Ukrainian airliner with radar, then fired two surface to air missiles that brought down the aircraft, killing all 176 people aboard. Read the rest

Technical problems — not missiles — may have downed Ukrainian airliner in Iran, say some intel experts

All 176 people on board died.

The Ukrainian airliner that went down just after liftoff in Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard, probably suffered a technical malfunction and was not brought down by a missile -- that's what various Western intelligence sources are now saying.

The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 dropped from about 8,000 feet to earth in a fireball shortly after take-off from Tehran. Read the rest

IRAQ: Multiple Katyusha rockets fall in Baghdad's Green Zone (VIDEO)

By various reports, multiple (two or three) Katyusha rockets hit targets inside Baghdad's Green Zone in the past hour. Read the rest

Aviation experts think the Iran plane crash may have been shot down

A Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) flight crashed shortly after it took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport near Tehran yesterday. All 176 people on the plane died.

The first reports about the crash put the blame on mechanical error. But several aviation experts now think the plane was shot down, according to The Independent:

While some aviation experts said it was too early to speculate, the OPS group, an aviation risk monitoring group, said: “We would recommend the starting assumption to be that this was a shootdown event, similar to MH17 – until there is clear evidence to the contrary," highlighting photos of the crash site which they said "show obvious projectile holes in the fuselage and a wing section."

OPS Group has photos that show holes in the plane's wings, which it says are signs the plane was shot down.

Image: by Kambui - Ukraine International Airlines - UIA Boeing 737-528 UR-GAT, CC BY 2.0, Link Read the rest

Iraq: Chevron evacuates staff from Kurdistan oil site, will Russia's Rosneft benefit?

Chevron said Monday it has evacuated all expatriate oil workers from Iraq, following last week's Trump airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Read the rest

House Intel chair Adam Schiff on Iran: 'We have to expect retaliation'

In remarks to reporters about the U.S.-led assassination of top Iran general Qasem Soleimani, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff [D-CA] said that the United States must now “expect retaliation” by Iran, which today vowed a “crushing response” against the United States and its allies. Read the rest

Iran War: As U.S. sends 3,500 more troops to mideast, the vibe in Baghdad is bad

PHOTO - In this 2016 photo released by the office of Iran's supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran. Soleimani was killed yesterday in U.S. airstrike on the Baghdad airport in Iraq.

As the U.S. sends some 3,500 additional troops to the mideast, Washington Post reporter Mustafa Salim [@Mustafa_salimb on Twitter] describes the mood in Baghdad as grim. Read the rest

US sends 3,500+ more troops to Middle East as Iran tensions escalate

DEPLOYMENTS COME AS IRAN TENSIONS FLARE AFTER U.S. AIRSTRIKE IN BAGHDAD Read the rest

American warship seizes what U.S. says are Iran missile parts headed to Yemen

Oh boy. Here we go. Read the rest

900 pages of leaked Iranian spy cables reveal how America's failures after invasions allowed Iran to seize control of Iraqi politics

An anonymous source claiming to be an Iraqi patriot sent The Intercept leaks of 900 pages' worth of spy-agency cables and memos sent by Iranian spies in Iraq; James Risen (previously) reported them out in a joint project with the New York Times that reveals how the US's post-invasion nation-building failures created a political vacuum that Iran filled, allowing it to dominate the political and tactical landscape in Iraq. Read the rest

Iranian Instagram celeb (in)famous for extreme cosmetic surgery was arrested for blasphemy

Iranian cosmetic surgery enthusiast Sahar Tabar, 22, has reportedly been arrested for blasphemy. Tabar is known for her creepy selfies in which she augments her surgically-edited face with makeup and digital effects. From BBC News:

Judicial authorities arrested Tabar after members of the public reportedly made complaints about her, Tasnim reported.

She is accused of blasphemy, instigating violence, illegally acquiring property, insulting the country's dress code and encouraging young people to commit corruption.

Read the rest

Trump tells reporters he's considering 'ultimate option' for Iran (what?)

If you take him at his word, Trump just said he wants to nuke Iran. The man is nuts, the man is also President. Are we going to start another war? No one knows. Read the rest

Trump tweeted sensitive U.S. surveillance image of Iran, experts say

Today, illegitimate, popular-vote-losing, manifestly unfit U.S. President Donald Trump did something extraordinarily stupid on Twitter, even for him.

Looks like the president may have just tweeted an image from a classified satellite or drone that shows the aftermath of an accident at an Iranian space facility.

Yeah, no big deal. Read the rest

America can only go to war against Iran if it reinstates the draft

Gil Barndollar -- a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, the Republic of Georgia, Guantanamo Bay and Bahrain, who also holds a PhD in History from Cambridge -- writes in USA Today about what a US regime change effort in Iran would mean, logistically speaking. Read the rest

John Bolton has always been at war with Iran, soon America will be too

Anyone else getting Iraq déjà vu?

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