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November 2017

Bray New World by Mark Steyn

Professor Mark Bray is what passes for the intellectual wing of Antifa. You might recall that I mentioned him here:

Antifa, says Mark Bray, “have no allegiance to liberal democracy, which they believe has failed the marginalized communities they’re defending.” Professor Bray is a lecturer in history at GRID, the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth, which is the usual social engineering flimflam masquerading as a field of scholarship, but it’s Ivy League so it’ll cost you an arm and a leg (metaphorically, I mean; not literally, like, say, attending a Charles Murray speech at Middlebury). Dartmouth College is in the town of Hanover (median family income $129,000), in the state of New Hampshire (93.9 per cent white, 1.1 per cent black). So, when it comes to “marginalizing” communities, Professor Bray knows whereof he speaks. It’s so much more rewarding, don’t you find, to defend marginalized communities from a safe distance: They look a lot more marginalized when they’re on the far horizon, somewhere south of the Massachusetts line.

But then, viewed from the Gender Research Institute in leafy, pampering Hanover, everything’s on the far horizon. I see The College Fix calls Professor Bray “a foppish son of privilege”. I’m not myself foppaphobic: My old school song contained the stern injunction, “Here’s no place for fop or idler”, notwithstanding that, on a casual glance of the room, large numbers of both had managed to slip in. But the Fix’s epithet does accurately convey the sense of no-nothing trustie-fundies winging it. Yet the Bray of Privilege is ringing throughout academe. In The Chronicle of Higher Education Nell Gluckman offers a glowing paean to the man she dubs “The Button-Down Anarchist”:

Bluestockings [‘a cooperatively owned bookstore in lower Manhattan’] was Mr. Bray’s first appearance on a 35-stop tour to promote Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook (Melville House), a book he’d never planned to write. He had researched turn-of-the-century Spanish radicalism as a doctoral student at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, and seemed well on his way to a life of teaching undergraduates and writing about modern European history. Then Donald Trump won the presidency, white nationalists rejoiced, and 20th-century European fascism was suddenly on everyone’s mind.

Bluestockings, eh? In my day, bluestockings used to know things. That’s what made them a turn-on. Now that last sentence is how a supposedly sophisticated “chronicle” of “higher” “education” summarizes a national election. Obviously, 20th-century European fascism wasn’t “on everyone’s mind”; for a start, it wasn’t on the minds of the half of the country that voted for Trump, who had, like them or not, reasons of their own. But never mind that – that’s just the groupthink of the American academy. What’s even more of an eye-roller for us free-speech types was the essay’s conclusion:

Mr. Scott has paid attention to the rising interest in antifa, and he has watched his friend [Professor Bray] on TV. He finds himself relying on Mr. Bray once again.

In fact, there’s a point Mr. Bray made in an interview that Mr. Scott often finds himself citing. “We don’t look back at the Weimar Republic today and celebrate them for allowing Nazis to have their free-speech rights,” he says. “We look back and say, Why didn’t they do something?”

It is a testament to the wholesale moronization of our culture that there are gazillions of apparently sane people willing to take out six figures of debt they’ll be paying off for decades for the privilege of being “taught” by the likes of Professor Bray. The reason “we don’t look back at the Weimar Republic today and celebrate them for allowing Nazis to have their free-speech rights” is because they didn’t. A decade ago, as my battles with Canada’s “human rights” commissions were beginning, I lost count of the number of bien-pensants insisting that, while in theory we could permit hatemongers like Steyn to exercise their free-speech rights, next thing you know it would be jackboots on the 401. As I said way back when:

“Hateful words” can lead to “unspeakable crimes.” The problem with this line is that it’s ahistorical twaddle, as I’ve pointed out. Yet still it comes up. It did last month, during my testimony to the House of Commons justice committee, when an opposition MP mused on whether it wouldn’t have been better to prohibit the publication of Mein Kampf.

“That analysis sounds as if it ought to be right,” I replied. “But the problem with it is that the Weimar Republic—Germany for the 12 years before the Nazi party came to power—had its own version of Section 13 and equivalent laws. It was very much a kind of proto-Canada in its hate speech laws. The Nazi party had 200 prosecutions brought against it for anti-Semitic speech. At one point the state of Bavaria issued an order banning Hitler from giving public speeches.”

Should Faculty Choose Who Speaks on Campus? The new guardians of the Maoist gate. Richard L. Cravatts

As universities continue to be roiled by a debate over which speakers, and which viewpoints, can and should be heard on campuses, some concerned administrators, faculty, and students have sought ways to mitigate the increasing number of events during which heckling, intimidation, and even physical violence were used to foreclose unpopular speech.

Those who have led these protest against conservative viewpoints—progressive students, Muslim students, leftist professors, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and others—have displayed a shocking disregard for the university’s cardinal virtue of free expression, deciding themselves who may say what about whom on their respective campuses, and purging from campuses those ideas they have deemed too hateful, too unsafe, too incendiary to tolerate or to allow to be heard.

When Antifa thugs and other illiberal Berkeley students marauded through campus to shut down a scheduled speech last February by conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, for instance, the apparent lesson learned by many who assessed the unfortunate events was not that the protestors’ unwillingness to let opposing views to be heard represented a grave threat to unfettered speech and expression; instead, the takeaway seemed to be that the disruptions and rioting were the fault of the conservative students groups who invited the controversial speakers in the first place, and that those shutting down so-called “hate speech,” any view inconsistent with liberal thought, were doing so defensively to prevent toxic, hurtful, or intellectually dangerous ideas from harming the sensibilities of the many coddled special interest groups on campus.

Guest speakers, of course, are invited to campus by student groups, but in the wake of a succession of controversial appearances by conservative speakers faculty also began to suggest different ways to avoid clashes of ideology, the most obvious one—in their minds, at least—being to more carefully vet individuals in advance and counsel student groups about potentially problematic speakers, based on their prior writing, speaking, and notoriety. This process sounds innocuous enough but is actually quite pernicious when the ultimate intent is to screen the views and ideologies of prospective speakers as a way of preventing them from ever coming to campus at all—in short, violating content neutrality when assessing permitted speech and proscribing certain views in advance.

One recent instance where a professor expressed his view that faculty should be actively involved in the selection of speakers was an October op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education in which Mark Edmundson, a professor at the University of Virginia, suggested that faculty members, not students, should “decide who gets to speak on campus.” “Free Speech Week was sponsored by a student group,” he wrote, referring to a four-day Berkeley event to host conservative speakers, “and yet it seems to me an open question whether students should be allowed to issue such invitations.”

Ignorance and Caricatures Mar Our Understanding of Russian Foreign Policy And why it’s harming our national interests. Bruce Thornton

All it took to transform Vladimir Putin from a candidate for a foreign policy “reset” into a global villain was a change in presidents.

In 2012 Barack Obama mocked Mitt Romney for his 1980s view that Russia under Putin was our most serious global rival. Obama earlier had sent his Secretary of State to offer a cartoonish “reset button” to the Russians, and followed up a few years later by offering Putin “flexibility” after his reelection. After Hillary’s defeat and Trump’s campaign suggestions of outreach to Russia, Putin suddenly became a villain straight out of Joe McCarthy’s central casting, the Svengali who seduced Republicans into “collusion” with “fake news” and “hacks” in order to put into power a president beholden to him. At least Senator John McCain has been consistent, holding fast to his reductive view of Putin as a dead-eyed KGB thug with whom it is impossible to do geopolitical business.

Once again, our foreign policy lacks continuity and coherence because we ignore history and rely instead on gratifying caricatures that serve partisan interests or moral preening rather than our country’s security and interests.

As a result of this bad habit, we find it impossible to look beyond the media cartoons, received wisdom, and partisan trimming, and instead learn the full context of a nation’s motives and beliefs. We need to understand all the springs of a geopolitical rival’s actions, not to forgive or rationalize them, but to follow Sun Tzu’s advice to know your enemy so you can properly counter his designs. It may make us feel better and more righteous to reduce Putin to an autocratic illiberal “gangster” or “murderer” or “kleptocrat,” but that won’t help us manage our relations with a nuclear-armed geopolitical rival seeking to expand its reach and influence.

One important dimension of Russian culture that we slight is religious faith. We in the West have been undergoing secularization for two centuries, and now have reached the point where religion is either an archaic superstition impeding human progress, or a quaint life-style choice with holiday traditions, tolerated as long they stay out of the public square. But Orthodox Christianity has retained a place in Russia that Christianity has lost in the West. And faith remains one of the foundations of Russian national sovereignty and patriotic pride to an extent that our elites, committed to a transnational globalism and secular technocracy, find retrograde. Despite the historical truth that our own political order recognized faith as its foundation, today we find taking religion seriously to be naïve or sinister, a sign of nefarious plots to restrict personal freedom by evoking religious authority. Hence the “evangelical fundamentalist” bogey that for nearly half a century progressives have brandished in order to delegitimize conservatives and their “bitter clinging” to patriotism and religion.

Nationalism and Orthodox Christianity, in contrast, long ago melded in Russian history, and was strong enough to survive the seven decades of atheist communism. Thus ignoring the role of history and religion in Russian foreign policy compromises our understanding of events. Take Putin’s annexation of Crimea a few years ago. In the standard Western narrative, Putin subverted a democratically elected government in Ukraine to protect its puppet oligarchy useful to the Russian plutocrats and their selfish interests. But from Russia’s point of view, it was the West that interfered in Ukraine’s politics and subverted democracy in order to advance a larger design: Basing NATO forces deeper into Russia’s sphere of influence, including Crimea, the historical home of an important Russian naval base.

These two views are not mutually exclusive. As Christopher Caldwell writes, “Both of these accounts are perfectly correct. It is just that one word [democracy] can mean something different to Americans than it does to Russians.” This is not to endorse postmodern radical relativism, the view that, as Hamlet says, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” The point is we are handicapping ourselves if we don’t understand that other point of view and take it into account in our calculations. If we had done so in the 1990s, we might not have been so hasty in enlarging NATO to include countries in Russia’s historical sphere of interest, both humiliating Russian national pride, and committing ourselves to protecting those countries against their only possible aggressor, Russia.

Trump’s Asia Trip Bolsters ‘America First’ The president projects American power after eight years of pathetic servility. Matthew Vadum

President Trump used his historic trip to Asian nations to bolster international resolve to combat North Korean nuclear adventurism and Islamic terrorism, as well as to promote his signature “America first” trade policies.

The tour was calculated to project American power after eight years of pathetic servility, weakness, and apology tours by President Obama, and, of course, to bolster Trump’s standing as a world leader, among other things. Despite some grumbling from Democrats like Nancy Pelosi who said the Chinese were likely laughing at Trump for treading lightly in China about that country’s trade imbalance with the U.S. after using strong rhetoric domestically, reviews have been generally positive. Trump was presidential, as pollsters like to say.

As he departed the U.S. on Nov. 3, the White House said Trump’s foreign trip, “the longest trip to Asia by an American president in more than a quarter century” to promote his counter-terrorism strategy “and reaffirm the importance of a free and open system where all independent nations are strong, sovereign, and free from the threats of terrorism, coercion, and nuclear war.”

In a nutshell, that is exactly what President Trump did overseas.

In Seoul, South Korea, Trump warned that “three of the largest aircraft carriers in the world” have been sent to the region in case North Korea refuses to make a deal on nuclear weapons. During his visit to Asia the media reported that the carriers USS Nimitz, USS Ronald Reagan, and USS Theodore Roosevelt, were conducting drills in the ocean near the Korean Peninsula.

“We have a nuclear submarine also positioned,” Trump said in a joint appearance with Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in. “We have many things happening that we hope, we hope — in fact, I’ll go a step further, we hope to God we never have to use.”

In South Korea’s National Assembly, Trump offered a nuclear ultimatum of sorts to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who has been taunting his neighbors and the U.S. by testing missiles in waters off Japan and not far from U.S. overseas territories.

“This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past. Do not underestimate us. Do not try us. We will defend our common security, our shared prosperity, and our sacred liberty,” Trump said.

Cataclysm: Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars Hanson’s background as a classicist and historian of the ancient world enables him to place World War II in a broader historical context. By Mackubin Thomas Owens

I have always found Victor Davis Hanson to be one of the most insightful historians of warfare, whether he was specifically discussing ancient wars, as he did in The Western Way of War (1989) and A War Like No Other (2005), or addressing the broader question of Western civilization and war, as he did in Carnage and Culture (2001). In addition, he is a master of clear prose. His books are a pleasure to read.

Nonetheless, I was a little apprehensive when asked to review The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won (Basic, 720 pp., $40). I wondered whether perhaps this was a bridge too far, the case of a gifted historian’s addressing a topic beyond his acknowledged area of expertise (the Greeks and Romans). I had seen this before. Some years ago, I was invited to review a book on the American Civil War by the marvelous military historian John Keegan. To my great sorrow, this book by a man I greatly admired was dreadful. It pained me to write a negative review. In addition, I thought that the organization of the book — chapters focused on large issues rather than presenting a chronological narrative — might result in a disjointed account of the great struggle.

I needn’t have worried. The Second World Wars is an outstanding work of historical interpretation. It is not an operational history of the war: Hanson does not provide extended accounts of military campaigns. It focuses instead on the decisions about why, how, and where to fight the war, the diverse methods of warfare employed by the belligerents, and how the investments and strategies of each side led to victory or defeat.

Hanson observes that this great cataclysm of the 20th century began as a traditional series of border conflicts among European powers, the manifestations of an old story: better-prepared aggressive states’ launching surprise attacks against weaker neighbors. He writes that by the end of 1940, this familiar form of European fighting had achieved a “Caesarian or Napoleonic” scale, but within a year, these smaller conflicts had unexpectedly coalesced into a cataclysm for which the aggressors — the “Axis” of Germany, Italy, and Japan — were strategically and materially unprepared. “Advances in Western technology and industrialization, when married with both totalitarian zealotry and fully mobilized democratic states, also ensured that the expanded war would become lethal in a way never before seen.”

The title of the book reflects Hanson’s observations that this war was fought to an unprecedented degree in diverse geographic locales (Europe, Africa, South Asia, China, and the expanses of the Pacific Ocean) based on premises that seemed unrelated, and that it was fought in so many diverse and unfamiliar ways — not only on land and at sea but in the air and below the surface — while mobilizing the manpower and industrial might of modern states.

Hanson points to three events — Axis blunders all — that transformed the traditional European border wars of 1939–40 into the global conflict that we now call World War II or the Second World War: Germany’s invasion of its erstwhile partner, the Soviet Union, in June 1941; Japan’s attack on the United States in December 1941; and the subsequent decision of both Germany and Italy to declare war on the United States.

Reflections on Terrorism: What Causes? Whose Causes? By Angelo Codevilla part 3

Our national discourse has blinded itself to the fact that, although the world is full of terrorists, nearly all act on behalf of causes irrelevant to America. Nor do we try to explain how the causes of foreign states and their satellite groups have helped create the wave of terrorism that now washes over us. The following tries to provide that explanation.https://amgreatness.com/2017/11/11/reflections-on-terrorism-what-causes-whose-causes/

In a nutshell: Some states—for example, Cuba and the Soviet Union/Russia—use terrorism as an adjunct of foreign policy driven partly by ideology. For others, like Iran, terrorist groups such as Hezbollah are straightforward extensions of their apparatus. The Muslim world’s regimes use terrorism instead of open warfare. Politics-by-terrorism is the default mode of the Third World’s domestic politics as well. Saudi Arabia, the munificent mother house of Wahhabism, is in a particular category. Whenever states have used or fostered terrorist groups or motivated terrorists by ideology, they have set in motion people and events that have their own independent dynamics.

Some terrorism was explicitly crafted to go against America. The prime example is the Soviet Union’s Tricontinental Organization, which held its founding conference in Havana in 1965 under a banner of crossed submachine guns and was supported by a bureaucracy in Prague, which involved groups from around the world, including the then-aggressively secular Palestine Liberation Organization and some Islamist groups. The Latin American terrorist groups patronized by Cuba, including Colombia’s FARC, have notable anti-American roots.

But the anti-American focus of the Muslim world’s terrorism is a creature of circumstances, in which the United States itself has played a role. While Islam is foreign to and incompatible with America, there is nothing specifically anti-American about it. The Iranian revolution’s anti-American focus had nothing to do with Shia theology and everything with the fact that it was working against the American-allied Shah with the Soviet Union’s help.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded to purge the Muslim world of Western influence. Its modern theorist, Sayyid Qutb, saw America as repugnant but he did not necessarily view it as an enemy. Aware of this, the State Department and CIA have bent U.S. policy backward to make friends with Islamists—all to no avail, because America continues to take part in maintaining that influence, sometimes by supporting its geopolitical allies, such as the Saudi monarchy. It was in support of the Saudis that the U.S. government stopped Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. After that, secular Saddam fostered all manner of terrorism against America, cleverly doing so in Islam’s name.

Willful Ignorance
The point here is the Muslim terrorists who were set in motion against America in Islam’s name on behalf of whomever and for whatever raison d’etat often merged religious reasons, secular reasons, and reasons of private interest seamlessly. The U.S. ruling class has never understood this. George W. Bush’s argument that U.S. troops in Iraq were fighting the terrorists there so we would not have to fight them here was willful ignorance.

Post-Saddam Iraq was overrun by terrorists, alright. But they were Sunni and Shia terrorists terrorizing to subdue each other’s communities. In 2003, they had nothing against America. The one out of four Iraqi Arabs who were Sunni, having ruled the Shia (and Kurds) brutally for their own benefit during and before the Saddam era, reacted to the Shia’s new assertiveness by trying to terrorize them into continuing their privileges.

Reflections on Terrorism: Idiots in Paradise By Angelo Codevilla

Every time some Muslim bombs, beheads, shoots, runs over, and otherwise terrorizes the likes of us in New York, Paris, London, Madrid, Boston, Barcelona, San Bernardino, or any other Western city, the Euro-American ruling class asks whether he acted in concert with international organizations. Decades ago, it asked about connections with states. It breathes a collective sigh of relief when, most of the time, it learns the terrorist had “self-radicalized,” mostly through the internet.https://amgreatness.com/2017/11/12/reflections-on-terrorism-idiots-in-paradise/

Thinking of such terrorists as “idiots”—unorganized, capable only of small harm—gives a false sense of safety. Why? Contemporary Euro-American society protects terrorists from those upon whom they prey, and provides all they need to kill and multiply. Given such a paradisiacal environment, terrorists need neither genius nor organization to wreak havoc. The idiots are not the “self-radicalized” terrorists, but the ones who think that their lack of obvious connections to international organizations makes us, somehow, less endangered.

To understand why the ubiquitous “terrorism-by-idiots” that we are now experiencing is inherently more dangerous than episodic acts on behalf of smart states, realize how this form of terrorism evolved from previous ones.

The Old, State-Sponsored Terror
When one state wages war on another by terrorism, it challenges the victim and focuses its collective response. Prudent practitioners of terrorism—the Soviet Union, Egypt under Gamal Nasser, Syria, contemporary Iran—have kept their sponsorship within the bounds of their Euro-American and Israeli victims’ tolerance. The Saudi government protects itself by touting opposition to terrorism, even as countless princelings are the world’s biggest financiers of violent Islamist ideology.

Over the past half-century, as the bounds of western societies’ tolerance stretched and the number of anti-Western terrorists multiplied, anti-Western terrorism acquired its own dynamic—what had been a tool of states, more or less calibrated to concrete state interests, morphed into a field of endeavor for groups ever more diverse and less dependent.

The U.S. Middle East Peace Plan? by Bassam Tawil

No American or European on the face of this earth could force a Palestinian leader to sign a peace treaty with Israel that would be rejected by an overwhelming majority of his people.

Trump’s “ultimate solution” may result in some Arab countries signing peace treaties with Israel. These countries anyway have no real conflict with Israel. Why should there not be peace between Israel and Kuwait? Why should there not be peace between Israel and Oman? Do any of the Arab countries have a territorial dispute with Israel? The only “problem” the Arab countries have with Israel is the one concerning the Palestinians.

The question remains: how will the Saudis and the rest of the international community respond to ongoing Palestinian rejectionism and intransigence?

Who said that Palestinians have no respect for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab countries? They do.

Palestinians have respect for the money of their Arab brethren. The respect they lack is for the heads of the Arab states, and the regimes and royal families there.

It is important to take this into consideration in light of the growing talk about Saudi Arabia’s effort to help the Trump Administration market a comprehensive peace plan for the Middle East, the details of which remain beguilingly mysterious.

Last week, the Saudis unexpectedly summoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to Riyadh for talks on Trump’s “ultimate solution” for the Israeli-Arab conflict, reportedly being promoted by Jared Kushner.

According to unconfirmed reports, the Saudis pressured Abbas to endorse the Trump Administration’s “peace plan.” Abbas was reportedly told that he had no choice but to accept the plan or resign. At this stage, it remains unclear how Abbas responded to the Saudi “ultimatum.”

Trump Shines in Foreign Policy By James Lewis See note please

Alas, this is too optimistic…while Trump and Mattis are doing well, our homeland security is damaged by pockets of Isis enthusiasts, lack of a good immigration policy and a State Department that does not recognize the dangers of Radical Islam and jihad. They also ignore Africa and the spread of Islamic terror …..rsk
Remember ISIS? When Obama left office, it was still a growing network of eager sadistic killers, with secret sponsorship by Turkey, by some Gulf Arab regimes, the Wahhabi radicals, and by the Iranians. Today a lot of those boastful YouTube killers are just smoking splotches in the sand.

A single MOAB bomb was dropped on a mountain tunnel complex in Afghanistan, apparently a clean target with no “weddings” going on. The day afterwards the media said that 94 ISIS killers died, but that assumes that somebody had already cleaned up that collapsed tunnel structure; not a chance. So a hundred or more of the worst human beings since Hitler died in one big explosion.

Most important, the United States sent a strong signal of determination. Trump-Mattis announced a strategy of “surround and kill the enemy in place.” For mass-murdering criminals there will be no mercy.

The U.S. media just rolled its eyes and yawned, but the Muslim world got the message loud and clear. They’ve been wondering how long the United States, which was the winning power in the Cold War and the two world wars was going to come back to its senses. Well, the MOAB bombing wasn’t wish-washy, it wasn’t half-hearted and it didn’t signal cowardice and weakness. The United States was finally getting serious.

Obama would never even name the enemy, and most importantly, under Obama the United States lost the moral high ground against child-murdering sadists; we started to support Sunni killer cults in Syria.

If ISIS is just a minor nuisance, as Obama tried to tell us, that would make the genocides of history meaningless. But genocide is first-degree murder on an enormous scale. Murder with malice aforethought is punished for a good reason. The church killer in Tennessee the other day had a previous conviction for attacking a two-year-old baby, and he should have been put away for good. It would have saved many good and decent lives in Tennessee.

ISIS is just like that guy, except they think God wants them to kill babies.

Obama never, ever seemed to get that basic point of morality, nor did Hillary, nor did any other Democrat. Trump and Mattis obviously understand it, and Mattis has been subtly reminding Muslims that yes, they also have a moral code that prohibits baby killing (it depends on the religion of the baby). Since Mattis took over, DOD press releases constantly remind Muslims that baby-killing is the worst evil.

Obama seemed to take the side of the enemy, and Bush just called the whole thing “the War on Terror,” totally ignoring the monstrous doctrine that runs Al Qaida and ISIS and other jihad killer cults. American military who were on the ground in Syria and Afghanistan were tremendously demoralized by U.S. failure to cast this war in the proper moral terms. Mattis in particular emphasizes morality in war, a concept liberals can’t even imagine. You kill people because they are beyond evil. You don’t kill innocents. Somehow the Democrats can’t seem to remember that.

So Trump and Mattis have been effective against ISIS because they know they are doing the right thing. So do the rest of us. (But Hillary never seemed to get the point, either.)

Iran builds military base in Syria, 30 miles from Israeli border

Iran’s military is establishing a permanent base inside Syria, just outside Damascus, BBC reported on Friday.

Citing a “Western intelligence source,” the report says that the Iranian military has taken over a compound at a site used by the Syrian army outside El-Kiswah, south of the Syrian capital and just a short 50 km from the border with Israel.

Satellite images of the purported site, commissioned by the BBC, appear to show construction activity at the site between January and October this year. The images show a series of two dozen large and low-rise buildings, likely for housing soldiers and vehicles.

The images do not reveal any signs of large or unconventional weaponry.

Independent analysis of the images says the facility is military in nature, but the BBC noted that it is impossible to independently verify the purpose of the site and the presence of the Iranian military.

Iran and its proxies have been supporting the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war and have deployed a force estimated at 500 Iranian army soldiers, 5,000 Hezbollah terrorists and several thousand guerrillas from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

As ISIS moves out, Iran moves in,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted last Sunday, following up on previous warnings.