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Chicago Weekend Shootings: 53 people shot, 4 fatally

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Over the weekend in Chicago, 49 people were wounded and four people were killed in shootings, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The youngest victims were 15-years-old, both wounded in separate shooting incidents. Both minors are expected to survive.

The youngest fatality was a 21-year-old man, who was shot in a vehicle on Saturday on the City’s West Side. Three other individuals in the car were injured.

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DEVELOPING: Israel at War, Iran launches missiles

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THIS STORY IS DEVELOPING 

Iran launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel Saturday, as tensions mount across the globe at the escalating crisis in the Middle East.  Missiles are currently traveling toward Israel as I put this story together and the situation on the ground in the region remains extremely fluid.

Iranian missiles were intercepted over Jerusalem using Israel’s Iron Dome system. In video posted to X, the missiles can be seen clearly over Israel’s Knesset building. Iranian Missiles were also intercepted over the Kotel and Temple Mount, according to Israeli government reports and citizen video.

Israeli citizens and visitors are preparing for the strikes and continuously monitoring the media in the early morning hours in Jerusalem, sources told me. According to U.S. and Israeli military officials the cruise missiles are traveling at slow speeds and expected to reach Israeli territory within hours.

Officials told reporters the missiles could take hours to reach their targets in Israel, however, Israeli military officials and the United States military assets in the region are prepared to intercept them.

President Joe Biden, along with senior officials in his team, have promised to back Israel during this very delicate time. However, reports from CNN  that Biden was going to make an announcement to the nation were unfounded when White House officials stated Saturday afternoon that Biden would not be speaking.

However, it’s the Biden administration’s failure to renew sanctions against Iran’s military and Iran’s continuing oil sales that have emboldened the cult like regime to target Israel on a massive scale, stated one U.S. official.

Here’s my most recent interview with former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, on Biden’s failure to hold Iran accountable and the administration’s actions toward Israel, which I believe emboldened Iran to target our greatest ally.

Friedman said during the Sara Carter Show podcast last week,  the Biden administration’s policy in the Middle East is a complete failure “from start to finish.”

“Look, they, they destroyed America’s credibility generally, which is always kind of the key ingredients to any advancements in the Middle East, because people, you know, in the Middle East are very different than America, you can’t, you can’t talk your way into peace, you can’t talk your way into normalization, you have to, you have to demonstrate that, you know, you bring to the table, a certain strength, a strength, both both a physical strength in a in a in a sense of conviction, where people trust you and, you know, in some respects, they fear you,”  he added.

“And, you know, from the day we left Afghanistan, that was just out the window completely,” he told me. “So people, I don’t think people understand how the withdrawal from Afghanistan set the stage for everything that went wrong after that, in terms of foreign policy from, you know, the the Russian attack on Ukraine, to come US and Iran and it all started there.” 

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, posted on X Saturday, “Our ally Israel is under attack from Iran. America should back Israel to the hilt. Resolution where others waver is a hallmark of leadership among nations and men.”

He is absolutely right.

 

A former Israeli Defense Official told SaraACarter.com stated that the U.S. military succeeded in intercepting a missile that was launched from Iran. According to reports the United States and Great Britain have intercepted and taken down multiple missiles.

Officials working in Israel that spoke to SaraACarter.com said that the nation is preparing for the strike and concern is mounting because of the extraordinary nature of the strike. This is the first time Iran has launched missiles directly from its territory to Israel without the use of proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

Foreign Ambassadors and top diplomats in Israel received a message Saturday evening to remain on high alert and prepare for possible incoming strikes.

“Excellencies – you are aware, Iran has launched an aerial attack on Israel,” the warning states. “It is highly advised to stay tonight near a shelter or a safe room and stay tuned to the developing situation. We will update as music as possible and are available for you.”

Fox News is reporting that any missiles flying over Jordanian air space will be shot down by either Jordanian and U.S. forces. However, U.S. Intelligence officials are warning that Iran may be planning on a multi-faceted attack and the current missiles may only be one part of a much larger attack.

“What else do they have in the box, is Hezbollah,” said one U.S. official. “We could see other attacks coming from various other proxies in the region – so Israel has to be monitoring all possibilities. This does open the door for Israel to actually launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities as well – which makes one wonder, why begs the question, why did Iran choose to launch from its territory?”

 

 

Since last week, tensions in the Middle East have remained on high alert. U.S. Intelligence agencies have been closely monitoring what they deemed to be “credible” threats of an Iranian attack on Israel, following a strike on Iran’s Damascus consulate, where two top Iranian IRGC Generals were killed.

In response to the perceived threat, the U.S. is bolstering its presence in the region, deploying “additional assets” to bolster regional deterrence efforts and enhance force protection for U.S. forces, according to a U.S. defense official speaking to Fox News. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby reiterated the seriousness of the situation, emphasizing the U.S.’s commitment to closely monitoring the potential threat posed by Iran.

The evolving situation has prompted U.S. CENTCOM Gen. Michael Kurilla to visit Israel, where he met with top military officials to assess military preparedness amidst growing concerns over Iranian retaliation. However, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder refrained from speculating on specific threats from Iran, even as Tehran continues to promise action.

The State Department has issued new travel advisories for Israel, warning of potential terrorist attacks in major cities. Meanwhile, Iran has signaled its intent to respond to the attack on its consulate, albeit in a manner aimed at avoiding major escalation.

Amidst the uncertainty, experts weigh in on the potential ramifications of Iranian retaliation. Gen. Jack Keane of the Institute for the Study of War (IFSW) predicts an eventual attack, citing Iran’s desire to avoid escalation while exerting psychological pressure. However, Keane underscores the strength of Israel and the West’s leverage, suggesting a firm response to Iranian aggression.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, echoes concerns over the potential fallout from Iranian retaliation, highlighting the risks of escalation for Tehran. Taleblu emphasizes Iran’s strategic challenges in orchestrating an effective response, suggesting that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei faces a pivotal moment in his leadership.

As tensions simmer in the region, the U.S. and its allies brace for potential escalation, mindful of the delicate balance of power and the stakes involved in any confrontation with Iran. Amidst the uncertainty, one thing remains clear: the Middle East remains a powder keg, with the potential for conflict looming large on the horizon.

Alexander Carter Contributed to this report.

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