Israel and Iran’s Lebanese surrogate, the Shiite Hizballah, are both evidently sounding out their opponents’ intentions after vows of revenge for the air strike which killed a dozen Hizballah and Iranian officers on the Golan on Jan. 18. Heightened military movements in the last 24 hours focus on the 900-meters tall Ramim Ridge. Sunday night, as a large explosion was heard in Lebanon, huge IDF trucks transported concrete ramparts to the Upper Galilee, in case Hizballah resorts to a sniper attack like the one that killed a high Israeli officer five years ago.More>
The new Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz pledged continuity for the kingdom’s oil and other policies in his first speech Friday, Jan. 23, following the death of his half-brother King Abdullah. He will have to stand up to Russia and Iran to maintain this oil policy.More>
Neither the US Congress nor Israel accepts the Obama formula on Iran. Israel decided to strike an Iranian-Hizballah military convoy on Golan, causing the death of an Iranian general. This gave Senate sanctions initiatives military muscle. House Speaker John Boehner responded by inviting Binyamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Feb. 11.More>
Moscow is to sell Iran its most advanced S-400 as well as the disputed S-300 defensive systems under the military cooperation pact signed in Tehran Tuesday, Jan. 20. Egypt, Syria and the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah will also receive Russian S-300 missiles. Israel faces encirclement from three directions.More>
Israeli military chiefs are gearing up for an early Hizballah cross-border attack on Upper or Western Galilee in response to the helicopter strike which Sunday, Jan. 18, killed 10 Hizballah and Iranian officers, including Iranian general Mohammad Ali Allah Dadi.More>
Lebanese and Western sources reveal that the two missiles fired Sunday, Jan. 18, by Israeli helicopters at an armed military convoy on the Syrian side of the Golan struck a group of Iranian and Hizballah officers near Quneitra. Five Hizballah officers were killed, including Jihad Mughniyeh son of the Shiite terrorist movement’s military chief, whom Israel killed in 2008, and an Iranian commander. debkafile: The group was inspecting a site for deploying a Hizballah force integrated in Syria’s surface missile deployment opposite Israel’s Golan lines.
In the last two days, 25 jihadi suspects were rounded up and secret cells broken down in Belgium, France and Germany. But these counter-terror operations lifted only corners of the Islamist terrorist network of active cells spread across Europe by dedicated killers, armed to the teeth and expertly trained in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan in the skills of mass murder. debkafile: notes that operational cooperation among Europe’s intelligence and security services is far too rare and a central continental anti-terror mechanism for shared strategy and intelligence sorely missing.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander-in-chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Al Qods Brigades, and of Iranian forces in Iraq, was seriously injured by an ISIS suicide squad near Samarra in central Iraq and rushed to hospital in Tehran, debkafile reports. The pivotal figure for most of a decade in Iran’s external military, espionage and terrorist operations, he was targeted by ISIS, whose agents infiltrated his command staff and blew themselves up at close quarters. This new ISIS modus operandi was first revealed exclusively by debkafile on Jan. 13.
Four hostages held by Islamist gunmen at a Jewish grocery store in Paris were reported dead Friday, Jan. 9 by French police, shortly after a rescue operation that killed the gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, who earlier shot dead a policewoman. Other captives were set free. Minutes before, Said and Cherif Kouachi died in a shooting attack on the police siege force at a factory near Dammartin-en-Goelle, 40 km northeast of Paris. The two Charlie Hebdo killers were holed up there threatening to “die as martyrs” with their hostage before going on the offensive.