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 17, 2014
The Syrian rebel Yarmouk Shuhada Brigades, backed and trained in Jordan for two years by US officers and supported by the Israeli army, has abruptly dumped them and switched to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, debkafile’s exclusive sources reveal. This sudden defection leaves IDF defense formations on the Golan, US and Jordanian deployments in the northern part of the kingdom, and pro-Western rebel conquests in southern Syria in danger of collapse. ISIS gains direct access to a long section of Israel’s Golan border with Syria.
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 Report September 12, 2014
The Obama strategy has drawn criticism for investing too little to achieve a short, sharp campaign to eradicate ISIS. Regional governments have too few troops to spare.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2014
Iran looks to get back into the Palestinian terror game by rearming Hamas and Islamic Jihad, attempting to use its Jordanian sleeper cells to smuggle weapons into the West Bank and Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2014
Islamists from Syria clash with the Lebanese Army in the northeast, prompting fears that Al Qaeda and its affiliates will spread in the country or spark an all-out Sunni-Shiite war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 4, 2014
Islamist entities not governed by international law are redrawing the map of the Middle East, swiftly gaining territory and oil.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 4, 2014
Netanyahu avoids direct engagement with Gaza, despite tensions running high in Jerusalem and the West Bank after Israeli kidnap-murder victims found and the possible revenge killing of a Palestinian in Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 29, 2014
“Ma’an is the Falluja of Jordan!” shouted thousands of Bedouin Saturday, June 28, in the southern Jordanian town of Ma’an. They held ISIS placards and flags in one hand and automatic rifles in the other. Ma’an lies104 km from the Israeli Eilat and some 60 km from the main artery linking northern Israel to the south. debkafile: In Washington, there was anxious talk Sunday about the prospect of the Islamists rocking Abdullah’s throne. This would leave the US no option but to approve American and Israeli military intervention in its defense.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis June 28, 2014
Armed US drones went into operation this weekend to defend its Baghdad embassy and Iraqi strategic facilities. Iran and Hizballah are braced for the oncoming Islamist suicide bombing assault on Beirut. Jordan and Saudi Arabia have deployed tank divisions on their borders against ISIS encroachments. Their next-door neighbor, Israel is nursing the blow to its prestige from the failure of its massive, all-out military-intelligence operation to rescue three kidnapped teenagers after two weeks. The sights of the Islamist State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) also include “Palestine.”
Revived US military intervention in Mid East flashpoints is heralded by active steps in Syria and Libya
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly May 20, 2014
The latest DEBKA Weekly out Friday homes in on the Obama administration’s seminal Middle East policy turnabout, performed unannounced almost overnight: The quiet switch from military withdrawal to proactive military intervention – based mainly on the CIA – is already impacting the Libyan and Syrian crises. Exclusive insights and fresh data will reveal how this extraordinary change is manifested in US-UAE backing for Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s nascent operation in Libya, compared with reliance on the strong Israeli and Jordanian armies to achieve US goals in Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 15, 2014
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Israel Wednesday May 14 for talks with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon from an inspection of the US-Jordanian underground command center located 10 kilometers north of Amman, debkafile reports. It was the first visit by a high-ranking US official to a US military facility directly involved in the Syrian war. His talks in Jordan and Israel will determine whether the US-backed rebel forces engaged in battle for control of the Golan town of Quneitra, open a new southern front against Bashar Assad and threaten Damascus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 22, 2014
Syrian rebels have been sighted wielding anti-aircraft weapons in various combat sectors in the last few days. Just as on April 6 debkafile was the first publication to disclose the supply of US weapons - BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles – to certain Syrian rebel militias, our military sources now reveal the delivery of Russian-made 9K310 Igla-1 aka SA-16 anti-aircraft rockets, whose operational range is 5.2 km. While the rebels can now hit Syrian assault aircraft for the first time, the new systems comes too late to turn the tide of war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 17, 2014
The Jordanian air strike Wednesday April 16 against an armored vehicle convoy from Syria destroyed an Al Qaeda raider force on its way to attack a US military target, debkafile reveals. Jordan’s first assault on a target outside the country took place on the Syrian side of the border opposite the eastern Jordanian town of Ruwaished. At a secret base nearby, Iraqi troops are being instructed by US and Jordanian instructors in counter-terror combat tactics. This episode dramatizes the escalating Al Qaeda-Iraq threat to Jordan, US forces based there and Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2014
The US has set up a new rebel command center at Quneitra near Israeli lines on the Golan. Its officers are indigenous Bedouin Al Nuaim tribesmen, defectors from the Syrian army, and Free Syrian Army survivors. Last week, Assad’s forces ambushed Syrian rebels trained in Jordan as they crossed into Syria. Over this weekend, his troops moved in on the environs of Quneitra and captured two villages. debkafile: There is still a long way to go before a force is ready to fight for a border strip in southern Syria under US-Israeli-Jordanian control.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 11, 2013
The suspension of US-UK non-lethal military aid to the Syrian opposition in the north – ostensibly to keep it out of Islamist hands – is only part of the story. The aid will be put in the hands of the pro-American rebel forces deployed to man a new security zone the two powers are carving out in the south, as a barrier against al Qaeda’s encroachments on the Jordanian, Israeli, and Lebanese borders, as well as Damascus. Two war rooms in Irbid, Jordan will run the operation under a US general.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2013
Two US war rooms were necessary in view of various Obama commitments to different Middle East allies. The area marked out as US area of influence is designed also to impede al Qaeda’s advance.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 28, 2013
The three terrorists killed by Israeli forces in the south Hebron village Yata Tuesday, Nov. 26, belonged to the first al Qaeda cell to infiltrate the West Bank from Sinai, most likely through Jordan, debkafile reports. They came to establish a major new network for attacking Israel and the Palestinian Authority - hence the combined army, Shin Bet and special anti-terror force’s expeditious action to terminate the cell. It is feared they were the harbinger of more infiltrations by al Qaide forces embedded around Israel’s borders in Sinai, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon.
Al Qaeda’s thrust toward Golan: Israel, Saudis, Jordan share urgent need to stem the fast-multiplying peril
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 26, 2013
The Golan villages' defense units along the Israeli-Syrian border will be put through their paces by an IDF exercise next week to build up their readiness and freshen their tactics against terrorist incursions. debkafile: It is estimated that the figure of 6,000 jihadists of Al Qaeda and affiliates present in Syria today will have doubled by next spring. Israel's alarm is shared by Saudi Arabia, which sees al Qaeda massing in Syria and on its borders with Jordan, Iraq and Yemen and threatening to overrun Lebanon and Jordan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 8, 2013
Large Syrian forces through Tuesday night, Oct. 8, tightened the siege on the rebel-held town of Khan Arnabeh which is the key to controlling the main highway from the capital, Damascus, to the Syrian Golan. The town is expected to fall quite soon. Its capture also provides the key to the central crossroads around the Golan town of Quneitra and will enable the Syria army to return to the UN-policed disengagement zone dividing the enclave between Syria and Israel. debkafile: The rebels are putting up no more than token resistance.