DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 25, 2015
After hree rounds of Turkish bombing attacks on the Islamic State in northern Syria, Ankara and Washington agreed Saturday, July 25, to name the security zone covered by a “partial no fly zone” they had declared in northern Syria the “Islamic State free zone.” This name represents a US-Turkish concession to Iran of immunity for its allies, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizballah, in order to gain Tehran’s cooperation in the campaign against ISIS. This deal advances Syrian-Hizballah hold on northern Syria against Islamist assaults, but drops the Kurds by the wayside.
Jordan launches war on ISIS in Iraq, Turkish warplanes hit ISIS in Syria. US, Israel involved in both ops
DEBKAfile Special Report July 24, 2015
The Middle East woke up Friday, July 24, to two new, fully-fledged wars launched by Jordan and Turkey against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as its forces advanced on their borders. The US and Israel are involved in both campaigns. Jordanian armored, commando and air forces are already operating deep inside Iraq, aided by Cobra helicopters provided by Israel, while Friday morning, Turkey conducted its first cross-border air strike against ISIS targets in Syria. Both governments also carried mass arrests of suspected Islamist terrorists.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 20, 2015
Israeli leaders’ main business with visiting US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter when they meet Monday, July 20, is their concern about Tehran’s possible endgame in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will ask Carter if the US has any control over the Iranian command centers, and is in a position to stop Tehran harnessing Hizballah and Syrian troops to help its Shiite militias push ISIS onto the Golan and the Jordanian borders, so as to remove the threat to Tehran’s allies in Damascus and Baghdad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 16, 2015
Obama saw the Arab world engulfed in ghastly bloody wars in the foreseeable future and was confirmed in his determination to make Iran America’s top strategic ally in the Middle East. Arab rulers are still reeling from the blow and finding it hard to adapt to their new circumstances.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 9, 2015
ISIS is now fighting to capture the big Iraqi refinery town of Baiji from a mixed force of Iraqi army and Shiite troops under Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. The US admits that its warplanes return from Iraq with most of their ordnance unused.
Turkey and Jordan said preparing buffer zones inside Syria. Israeli air support mooted. Putin issues warning
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2015
Turkish and Jordanian armies were reported on June 30 to be getting ready to cross into Syria and set up security buffer zones – to fight ISIS, oppose the Assad regime and stem the never-ending flow of refugees. It is not clear if they are coordinated. Turkey has prepared 18,000 troops for the operation. Its air force is to impose a no-fly zone against Syrian flights. The Jordanian army is also on the ready to go in and said to be seeking Israel’s air force participation for air cover and a parallel no-fly zone in the south.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 26, 2015
Friday, June 26, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) demonstrated the broad scope of its brutal reach by perpetrating terrorist attacks on three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia, in one day, the second Friday of the Muslim festival of Ramadan. The deadliest occurred at two hotel beaches in the popular Tunisian resort town of Sousse, where gunmen killed at least 39 holidaymakers, many of them foreign tourists - mostly British and German. One gunman was killed. It followed the atrocity at a US-owned French gas factory near Grenoble.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 25, 2015
The Saudi and Jordanian kings are moving forward on a scheme to bring the Sunnis of Iraqi Anbar and southern Syria under the Jordanian Crown and build an anti-ISIS barrier for Saudi Arabia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 18, 2015
Kurdish forces with US aerial backing pulled of an epic victory against ISIS, capturing Tel Abyad a town close which is close enough to the ISIS Syrian “capital” of Raqqa to lay it to siege.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 11, 2015
Israel has a historic commitment to its Druze citizens and so the dangers besetting more than half a million of their distressed Syrian brethren on Jabal Druze, 88 km from its border, and 38 km from Jordan, confronts the Netanyahu government with a grave dilemma. Conceding to Israeli Druze leaders’ demand to send them arms would draw Israel out of its long abstention from direct involvement in the Syrian conflict. But refusing many thousands of Druze refugees admission, if put to flight by Islamists, is not an option, which may not be precluded anyway by sending weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2015
Israel’s wide-ranging military exercise this week had a hidden agenda of warning Tehran that Israel would not accept a fourth hostile army taking up position on its border if Iranian troops were sent to Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 28, 2015
ISIS has seized a dozen oil fields in Iraq and Syria amassing billions of dollars in black market sales and saving up to buy a nuclear bomb.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 21, 2015
The fall of Damascus and Baghdad, or large slices thereof, to the rapacious Islamic State, is no longer the subject of strategic forecasts, but here and now. It is the price the region is paying for President Barack Obama’s single-minded obsession with détente with Tehran and a nuclear accord. Ramadi’s fall in Iraq and Palmyra’s in Syria proved ISIS’s ability to rock the Middle East to its foundations. Watching the threats closing in, Jerusalem, Amman and Riyadh grasp they may have to contend alone – not just with Iran but also with ISIS.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 17, 2015
The US Delta Special Operations raid that killed ISIS oil chief Abu Sayyaf Saturday, May 16, could not have taken place without prior US coordination with Damascus and Moscow. debkafile: Washington’s denial of coordination did not preclude a prior notice to Moscow, which then passed it on to Damascus. The operation therefore fixed another Middle East landmark: The US, Russia and the Assad regime pulled together for the first time against the Islamic State, for an operation that was more extensive than reported. Not one, but five top ISIS commanders, were killed
DEBKAfile Special Report May 16, 2015
America’s first ground operation in the Syrian war targeted the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. On Saturday, May 16, Special Operations forces attacked an ISIS house in the Deir a-Zour district of eastern Syria, and killed the high-value Islamist commander and oil and gas chief, Abu Sayyaf, when he resisted capture. debkafile: Catching him alive was preferable in view of his importance to the Islamist group as overseer of the Syrian and Iraqi oil fields they have commandeered, and energy sales which net the group's war chest an estimated $5million a day.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 14, 2015
The B-52H bomber which flew directly from the US to join a multilateral anti-terror exercise in Jordan was hardly the right weapon for swatting ISIS, but better suited for a strong message to Tehran and Damascus.
First ISIS Shooting Attack into Israeli Golan, First Ambush of US-Backed Syrian Rebels near Quneitra
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2015
ISIS has pushed down from eastern Syria into the South reaching to within a stone’s throw of Israel’s Golan border. The jihadis conducted their first ambush against US-backed Syrian rebels near Quneitra, killing six officers and men.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2015
Fear of ISIS drove the hitherto neutral Syrian Druzes into seeking support from Assad. He turned them over to the Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah who recruited them as Hizballah fighters and terrorists against Israel.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly April 28, 2015
Behind the failed bombing attack on an Israeli military post in the northern Golan Sunday, April 26, hangs a big story: The bomb squad belonged to a new Druze militia, which Hizballah recruited, the Iranian Al Qods Brigades armed and whose mission was assigned by a Syrian intelligence master.
The coming DEBKA Weekly out next Friday shows this event to be a microcosm of Tehran’s tactics for muscling in on Syria’s million-strong Druze minority as the lever for broader regional dominion.
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Arab sources report Israel air strikes against Syrian-Hizballah missile bases, Hizballah arms convoys. DEBKAfile: Hizballah secret airstrip possible target
DEBKAfile Special Report April 25, 2015
Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya TV reported Saturday, April 25, Israeli air strikes against Hizballah and Syrian targets in the Qalamoun Mts. on the Syrian-Lebanese border from April 22 to April 24. Neither Israeli nor Syrian officials confirm these reports. The IAF targets are described as the 155th, 65th and 92nd Brigades of the Syrian army and Hizballah, two Hizballah arms convoys and Syrian long-range missile bases or batteries. debkafile: The putative air strike may also have targeted Hizballah’s first ever airstrip for drones in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley.