On 3 January 2020, at 12:32 a.m. local time, General Soleimani's Airbus A320 Cham Wings plane arrived at Baghdad International Airport from Damascus International Airport after being delayed for two hours for unknown reasons. An MQ-9 Reaper drone of the U.S. Air Force and other military aircraft loitered above the area as Soleimani and other pro-Iranian paramilitary figures, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a U.S.-designated terrorist, entered two vehicles and departed the airport towards downtown Baghdad. At 12:47 a.m., the Reaper drone launched several missiles, striking the convoy on an access road as it departed the airport, engulfing the two cars in flames and killing 10 people.
There is no silver bullet in electricity or energy demand and bill management, because customers (sites) have different specific situations, e.g. different comfort/convenience needs, different electricity tariffs, or different usage patterns. Electricity tariff may have a few elements, such as daily access and metering charge, energy charge (based on kWh, MWh) or peak demand charge (e.g. a price for the highest 30min energy consumption in a month). PV is a promising option for reducing energy charge when electricity price is reasonably high and continuously increasing, such as in Australia and Germany. However, for sites with peak demand charge in place, PV may be less attractive if peak demands mostly occur in the late afternoon to early evening, for example residential communities. Overall, energy investment is largely an economical decision and it is better to make investment decisions based on systematical evaluation of options in operational improvement, energy efficiency, onsite generation and energy storage.More Info
Solar trackers increase the energy produced per module at the cost of mechanical complexity and increased need for maintenance. They sense the direction of the Sun and tilt or rotate the modules as needed for maximum exposure to the light. Alternatively, fixed racks hold modules stationary throughout the day at a given tilt (zenith angle) and facing a given direction (azimuth angle). Tilt angles equivalent to an installation's latitude are common. Some systems may also adjust the tilt angle based on the time of year. Similarly, to maximize total energy output, modules are often oriented to face south (in the Northern Hemisphere) or north (in the Southern Hemisphere). On the other hand, east- and west-facing arrays (covering an east–west facing roof, for example) may also be useful. Even though such installations might not produce the maximum possible total energy, their power output would likely be more consistent throughout the day and possibly larger during peak demand.More Info
According to an unnamed senior U.S. official, sometime after the bombing of Kata'ib Hezbollah in late December 2019, a security briefing was convened at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate where he and his advisors, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff General Mark Milley discussed how to respond to Iran's alleged role in sponsoring anti-U.S. attacks in Iraq. Reportedly, the targeted killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, whom U.S. officials regarded as a facilitator of attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq, was listed as the "most extreme option" of many options on a briefing slide, reflecting an alleged practice among Pentagon officials whereby a very extreme option is presented to presidents so as to make other options appear more palatable. Trump chose the option to kill Soleimani. The president's order prompted the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies that have tracked Soleimani's whereabouts for years to locate him on a flight from Damascus to Baghdad, reportedly to hold meetings with Iraqi militiamen. The air strike would have been called off if Soleimani had been on his way to meet with Iraqi government officials aligned with the U.S.More Info
On 27 December 2019, the K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk Province, Iraq—one of many Iraqi military bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve coalition personnel—was attacked by more than 30 rockets, killing an Iraqi-American U.S. defense contractor, and injuring multiple U.S. and Iraqi service members. The U.S. blamed the Iranian-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah militia for the attack. Furthermore, a senior U.S. official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said there had been a campaign of 11 attacks on Iraqi bases hosting OIR personnel in the two months before the 27 December incident, many of which the U.S. also attributed to Kata'ib Hezbollah. On 29 December 2019, retaliatory U.S. airstrikes targeted five Kata'ib Hezbollah weapon storage facilities and command and control locations in Iraq and Syria. 25 militia members died and 55 were wounded.More Info
The modern Middle East has seen a number of occasions in which the assassination of high-level government and military figures was attempted, or at least considered. Such instances include United States air raids targeting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 1986 and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 1991, 1998, and 2003, in addition to successful missions to kill non-state terrorist leaders such as Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Governments conducting assassinations of foreign leaders was largely frowned upon in prior centuries, but that norm has been weakening over time, especially since World War II. The effectiveness of anti-terrorist "leadership targeting" has become a subject of scholarly debate, especially with regard to whether such killings are actually beneficial to a country's foreign policy goals. In the wake of the strike against Soleimani, both the topic of further eroding norms and questions regarding effectiveness were raised. The costs and benefits of foreign policy assassinations are difficult to compute, and decisions to go ahead with such actions often reflect the vague, and not always realized, hope that any successor to the targeted person will be less capable against, or will embody policies more favorable toward, the country taking the action.More Info
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