Iran’s Shooting Down of a Ukrainian Passenger Plane Was Worse Than Human Error

Dec. 17 2020

On January 8, the Islamic Republic’s military fired two missiles at a Ukrainian airliner over Iranian airspace, killing everyone aboard. On Tuesday, the Canadian government released an official report on the incident, which caused the deaths of 55 of its citizens. The report makes repeated calls for “accountability,” but Terry Glavin doubts that those responsible will ever be held accountable.

The Iranian government, from the moment Flight PS752 . . . tumbled from the skies above Tehran in a ball of flame, until today, has been lying through its teeth about what happened.

For three full days following the event, the regime’s various official mouthpieces insisted that something must have gone wrong with the plane, that they had no idea what had happened, and only admitted to shooting down the plane when it became absolutely impossible to deny. And they’ve been covering up evidence and withholding evidence ever since. But what should anyone expect in the way of “accountability” from Khomeinist Iran?

Iranian airspace was left open and Iran’s skies were alive with civilian flights throughout the time that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was lobbing rockets at U.S. targets in Iraq in retaliation for Washington’s drone strike on the IRGC major-general Qassem Suleimani, commander of the IRGC’s terror-exporting Quds Force.

A recorded conversation between a Canadian victim’s relative and the Iranian senior investigator, Hassan Rezaeifar—a conversation that might be best described as a threatening phone call from the regime—contains what can only be understood as Rezaeifar’s candid admission that Iranian airspace was deliberately left open to conceal the IRGC’s retaliatory missile strikes on American targets. This would place the victims aboard Flight PS752 in the role of human shields. This was no human error.

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Read more at Ottawa Citizen

More about: Canada, Iran

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy