DEBKAfile Special Report January 15, 2015
Belgian security and special operations units raided 10 apartments in the eastern town of Verviers and Brussels Thursday, Jan. 15, in search of native jihadis back from Syria who had formed cells to carry out what federal prosecutors called terrorist attacks “on a grand scale,” similar to the terrorist violence that swept Paris last week. In Verviers, two ISIS-linked jihadis were killed and one arrested after they opened fire on the forces. Explosions and gunshots were heard from the clash. One police source said: “We have averted a Belgian Charlie Hebdo.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 14, 2015
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.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 13, 2015
The Islamic State’s elite unit wiped out the forward command group of the a commando force belonging to Iran’s Al Qods Brigades early Monday, Jan. 12, killing its commander, Gen. Mehdi Norouzi, at Hashimiyah north of Baghdad. debkafile exclusively reveals ISIS's new tactic of systematically taking down high Iranian officers to throw their forces into disarray. The jihadis affirm the deaths of 555 Iranian officers in four months. Israel’s deep concerns about ISIS effectiveness and close US-Iranian collaboration in Iraq were brushed aside in Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 12, 2015
Pakistani and Afghan Taliban high-ups vowed allegiance Sunday, Jan. 12 to the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi – forging concord among key Islamist terror movement groups for defying the values that brought millions out for a mammoth rally of Western unity against terror that day. Taliban cemented the pact by beheading a Pakistani soldier held prisoner. Last week, Amedy Coulibaly, who murdered four Jews in a Paris market, also said he acted for ISIS. Abu Bakr has therefore extended his reach to South Asia after Europe and Arab lands.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 11, 2015
French intelligence failures over the Charlie Hebdo terror attack will not be gilded over. Contrary to a French police statement, Hayat Boumeddiene, wife of the terrorist Amedy Coulibaly who murdered four Jews in cold blood at the kosher supermarket. Friday, Jan. 9, was never in the store at all but had been able to skip from France to Syria a week earlier.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2015
Saudi Arabia faced a double crisis Sunday, Jan. 5: King Abdullah, 91, is gravely ill – reportedly with lung cancer - and preparing to abdicate. Two American specialists have been rushed to Riyadh to treat him, as his successors stand by, although princely disputes may delay an announcement. This development coincided with a bid Sunday by ISIS terrorists to smash into the kingdom from Iraq. The assailants killed Gen. Odah al-Balawi, commander of the northern Saudi border guard, and three other soldiers, before four died in the clash, two by suicide.
Obama’s 2015 gift for Israel and Mid East: Funding for a new Iraqi army – dominated by Iran’s Rev Guards
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 1, 2015
President Obama’s New Year’s gift to Israel and the Mid-East: a multibillion fund for restoring the Iraqi army as a division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Its Dep. Com. Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, said this week that Iran was assembling from the Shiite militias fighting in Syria and Iraq “an army larger even than the Lebanese Hizballah.” Obama’s financial and military assistance for this army commits the US to forging a strong military bond with Tehran and helping make Iran the foremost Mid East military power.
ISIS capture of Jordanian pilot puts US and Jordan in conflicting dilemmas, may be pivotal to anti-terror war
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 25, 2014
The US military is going to great lengths to deny that ISIS shot down the Jordanian Air Force F-16 which came down Wednesday, Dec. 24 over the northern Syrian town of Raqaa. First Lieutenant Muath al-Kasaesbeh, aged 27, was the first Arab pilot captured by the Islamic State. Jordanian tribal leaders and the US military are making intense efforts to keep the pilot, a member of the Bararsha tribe oif South Jordan, safe. Washington regards his fate as potentially pivotal to the continued participation of four Arab air forces in the war on ISIS.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2014
The current military state of play in Iraq is being fought bizarrely on three more or less disconnected levels, debkafile reports. A combined Iraqi-Kurdish force captured Mt. Sinjar and, accompanied by US advisers, is poised to attack the northern town of Tal Afar, 50 km west of Mosul. ISIS has meanwhile focused on grabbing the oil regions of Syria and Iraq and renewed its siege of the Iraqi refinery town of Baiji, so pumping up its revenues from $2 to 2.5 billion, despite falling crude prices – and even dumping looted oil for $25-30 per barrel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 10, 2014
A group of at least ten ISIS operations and intelligence officers, led by a senior commander, has arrived in Sinai and taken charge of the local Ansar Beit al-Maqdas jihadis, thereby opening up a dangerous new front against Egypt and Israel, in proximity to the Suez Canal, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, debkafile reports. Since Ansar pledged allegiance to IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdad considers Sinai a province of his Islamic caliphate. His forward command in Sinai is directed to move from targeting Egypt to fighting the “Egyptian-Zionist alliance.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 2, 2014
All the US and Western strike and surveillance flights against ISIS in Syria and Iraq reach their targets through Israeli and Jordanian airspace, US, European and civilian monitors of global air force movements report. This is confirmed by detailed maps released by bodies tracking the movements of military strike and refueling craft across the world. One of two corridors (see attached map) runs north of Tel Aviv through Jordan to Iraq and the second through Golan to Syria. Israel and Jordan are revealed as partners in the US-led air offensive against ISIS.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 13, 2014
“We’re going to build the kind of coalition that allows us to lead, but also isn’t entirely dependent on what we do,” said President Barack Obama at a fundraiser in Baltimore Friday, Sept. 12. That was exactly the kind of ambiguous comment which the governments America is wooing to join the coalition find so off-putting. And so, US Gen. John Allen, appointed Friday, Sept 12, to lead the coalition, learned that 10 Arab and Muslim leaders were just as equivocal when Secretary of State John Kerry’s asked them for combat troops.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 12, 2014
Barack Obama set out a four-point strategy for fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, starting with a systematic air campaign in Iraq, followed by Kurdish and Iraqi ground offensives and after they roll ISIS back, US air strikes over is Syrian strongholds.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 12, 2014
Turkey stuns Washington by dropping out of the US-led coalition, refusing to fight jihadis or let its bases be used for air strikes.
Grave setbacks for Obama’s strategy: Turkey backs out of US-led war on IS. Germany, UK say no to air campaign
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 11, 2014
Turkey inflicted a stunning blow Thursday, Sept. 11 at President Barack Obama’s strategy for a broad US-led coalition for tackling and defeating the Islamic State, and the potential 11-member group which US Secretary of State John Kerry established in Jeddah that day. Ankara said its air bases would be unavailable for US-led attacks on “jihadists in Iraq and Syria.” Turkey would also “not take part in combat operations against militants.” This knocked out one of the props from under the Obama plan. The UK and Germany also said no to air strikes in Syria..
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 10, 2014
Shortly before President Barack Obama was to unveil his strategy for tackling ISIS in Iraq and Syria Wednesday, Sept. 10, US and Syrian officers held secret talks for coordinating their military efforts in Syria against the common foe, debkafile reveals exclusively. The Syrian officers, on the authority of President Bashar Assad, met on the quiet several times with American officers in the capital of one of the Gulf emirates – probably Muscat in Oman. The Syrian side of the US campaign is judged to be more complicated than the operation in Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 9, 2014
A “Western diplomat” reported Monday, Sept. 8, that “Israel has provided satellite imagery…in support of the US-led aerial campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq.” This information was “shared by Washington with Arab and Turkish allies after being “scrubbed of evidence of its Israeli origin.” debkafile: This tall tale is clearly part of a deep US game - to break up the Saudi-Egyptian-UAE bloc which backed Israel’s Gaza operation, and draw Arab allies into the Obama coalition for fighting the Islamic State, offering the bait of Israeli intelligence available only through Washington.
US-Iranian military, intelligence cooperation in war on ISIS reaps first successes in Syria and Iraq
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 5, 2014
At least 18 foreign ISIS fighters, including Americans and Europeans, were killed in a Syrian air raid Thursday, Sept. 4, over their Raqqa HQ. A second Syrian air raid killed or injured another group of high ISIS officers at Abu Kamal near the Iraqi border. A day earlier, US jets struck an IS base in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar, killing its commander, Abu Hajar Al-Sufi, and two top lieutenants of ISIS chief Abu Baker Al-Baghdadi. All these actions owed their success to deepening US-Iranian military and intelligence cooperation. Is this Obama's unadmitted strategy?
ISIS Horror Spectacles in Iraq to Divert Attention from Its Maneuvers to Seize Euphrates-Tigris Basins
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 4, 2014
The ISIS leader is quietly moving his contingents from Syria into Iraq to rendezvous with the Iraqi arm to occupy the Euphrates basin, using the sound and fury of US air strikes to obscure his steps.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 4, 2014
Kurdish leaders spurn the advice of their US military advisers fearing it is tilted to meet Iran’s main objective which is to preempt Kurdish independence rather than to fight ISIS.