Mike Pompeo has warned that any attack by Tehran or its proxies resulting in a single American casualty will generate a counterattack, U.S. officials said. The departure of acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan could further sideline the Pentagon, which has sought to reduce the potential for hostilities.
There is a reason Iran is hitting ships from other countries. It fears retaliation by US forces if it attacked US ships or planes. But make no mistake those attacks on the tankers are by Iran. It is the only country who has threatened to shut down shipping in the area. It is the only country deploying craft used to laying mines in the area. It has launched anti-aircraft missiles at US drones that would see its activity in attacking the tankers. I think the attempt of some in the media to downplay the Iranian role in the attacks on the tanker is because they support Obama's bad deal with Iran and not because they don't believe Iran is responsible.
Russian forces blew up bridges on the Euphrates river held by Iranian militias several days ago, according to a report. This is the first time the Russians attacked Iranian targets in Syria.
The information came from a senior Syrian official who refused to be identified, and was reported in Bas News, a Kurdish news website.
This would certainly put the Iranian operations in Syria at risk. The story does not indicate what prompted the attack. Israel has been making it clear to Syria and to Russia that it would not tolerate Iranian forces in Syria it deemed a threat to its security.
Just across the border from the U.S., drug gangs slaughtered 23 people — hanging nine from a bridge and decapitating 14 more, whose heads were found stashed in coolers near the town hall.
The four men and five women discovered dangling from the Colosio Bridge in Nuevo Laredo were handcuffed, blindfolded and bore signs of torture.
A banner hanging from the bridge claimed the victims — between the ages of 25 and 30 — had committed an April 24 car bombing outside a police station, Mexican media reported.
Hours later, the 14 headless bodies were found in black bags in a gray van parked near a trade association.
The heads were in three ice chests found three hours later.
Nuevo Laredo, on the Texas border, is the site of a vicious feud between the Zeta and Gulf cartels.
Last month, another 14 bodies were found abandoned outside the mayor's office.
The drug cartels are fighting over access to the I-35 corridor which begins in Laredo and runs up the middle of the United…