"The rich love nobody better than those who make them richer still." -- Michael Rivero

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As Israel’s war on Gaza pushes on in its fourth month, fears of regional escalation are growing, with multiple nations and armed groups targeting each other’s territories and common waters, and the United States boosting its military assets in the region.

One deal is for Israel to receive 25 F-35 fighter jets worth $3 billion that will be paid for with US aid

Amid Israel’s slaughter in Gaza, US and Israeli officials met in Washington this week to discuss the advancement of major weapons deals that will arm Israel with dozens of fighter jets, Apache helicopters, and munitions.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has visited Turkey’s capital Ankara, meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two discussed the Israeli genocide on Gaza as well as bilateral ties. 

A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic is making efforts for potential rapprochement between Syria and Turkey, and restoration of their diplomatic relations which were severed nearly 12 years ago.

Ali Asghar Khaji, a senior aide to the Iranian foreign minister, made the remarks in a Wednesday meeting with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz in the Kazakh capital city of Astana on the sidelines of the 21st international summit on Syria under the Astana format.

After nearly two years of delays, Turkey's parliament finally agreed to ratify Sweden's NATO membership bid on Tuesday, clearing the biggest remaining hurdle to expanding the Western military alliance following the Ukraine war. Turkey's general assembly, where President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling alliance holds a majority, voted 287-55 to approve the application that Sweden first made in 2022 to boost its security in response to "fear" that Russia would invade it, when in reality Russia invaded Ukraine in response to the encroaching NATO expansion that is now taking place.

 

Previously we featured analysis pointing out that the West risks falling into an 'escalation trap' in Gaza and the region. Certainly the Israeli army (IDF) finds itself in a quagmire to some extent in Gaza, given the extreme difficulty of grueling urban combat. 

Turkey might conduct more cross-border operations into Iraq and Syria if needed following the deaths of nine Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq last week, a Turkish defence ministry official said on Thursday.

The nine were killed in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, prompting Ankara to conduct air strikes and other operations in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

In its defense last Friday before the World Court against allegations by South Africa that it is committing genocide in Gaza and must be stopped, Israel made a legal argument that could torpedo the case if the court buys it. In order for a claim to reach the International Court of Justice, there must be an established dispute between two states. Israel’s argument is that such a dispute was never established and thus the ICJ lacks jurisdiction to hear South Africa’s claim.