As the US and Turkey got started on a new air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria, the jhadis pulled off their most devastating attack yet on the Syrian army’s biggest arsenal. They subjected the giant Al-Safira military complex north of Aleppo to a steady blitz of an estimated 50 Grad missiles from Monday night to Tuesday, July 28. debkafile’s military sources report that Facility No.790, a large depot of the Syrian army’s strategic weapons, including chemicals, was set on fire and flattened. Many Iranian technical personnel were also working there.
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.More>
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.More>
The Islamic State’s success in infiltrating elite Egyptian military units and banding together with the Palestinian Hamas poses mounting danger to the life and rule of Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi. DEBKAfile: A large group of Egyptian officers and men has defected to ISIS.More>
In defiance of the Vienna accord's arms embargo, Iran has placed an order for 100 Russian IL78 MKI tanker aircraft for refueling its air force in mid-flight, DEBKAfile reports exclusively.This brings Israel, 1.200km away – and the Middle East at large - within easy range of Iranian aerial bombardment.More>
Abdel Karim Rubash, Deputy Commander of the elite Al Qods Brigades, was the third Iranian general killed in Syria this year and the most senior to die on the Syrian battlefield in four years. His death, kept dark by Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah, is disclosed here by debkafile. Gen. Rubash initiated Hizballah’s introduction to the Syrian war effort. He also organized the Iranian arms convoys to Hizballah via Damascus, some of which Israel bombed from the air. When he died, a combined Syrian-Shiite militia force he had set up had begun advancing on ISIS-held Palmyra.More...
If the breach of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was conducted by hackers linked to China, as suspected, the secrets of an estimated 41 million US federal employees were laid bare in what may have been the biggest data base theft in cyber history. debkafile: That breach is still ongoing. More malware is buried in the OPM’s infrastructure, ready for a remote signal from the hackers’ command and control centers working for China.
The two gunmen who Sunday, May 3, tried - and failed - to shoot up an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, northeast of Dallas, sounded a wakeup call for US counter-terrorism agencies. Both homegrown Islamists were shot dead. The incident betrayed the “human intelligence” weakness of US and Western agencies – a shortage of undercover agents to mingle in communities which may produce terrorists.More...
DarkNet is the hidden bottom floor of the legal, public worldwide web. Extensively used by sophisticated criminal organizations and spooks, it conducts a lively trade in stolen official data, false identities, fake credit cards, firearms and ammo, human traffic and biological and chemical weapons. Also found there are hard porno, materials for pedophiles and snuff videos.More...
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has switched tactics for his struggle against the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. It was unanimously endorsed Monday, July 20, by the UN Security Council and European Union in the first step towards winding down sanctions. debkafile: Instead of an all-out effort to block the deal’s passage through Congress, Netanyahu will propose to Congress new laws to specify the issues on which Iranian violations would make US administration penalties mandatory. In Tehran, the Guards chief has rejected the UN resolution as “crossing Iran’s red lines.”
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.
Mohammed Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, who Thursday, July 16, murdered four US Marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and wounded three people, was the third Muslim of Jordanian-Palestinian descent to massacre US military or intelligence personnel in six years. debkafile: These acts of terror were the price US agencies paid for relying on Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate for penetration agents against Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other radical Islamist organizations. He must have been under Jordanian radar when he traveled to Yemen, and Jordan’s GID must have tipped off US intelligence.
In long conversations taking place in the last few days, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has put before opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog a proposition for a national emergency government, which debkafile’s political sources are calling the “Deal of the Century.” It would toss out the traditional lines polarizing the “rightwing” and “leftwing” political camps and reshuffle them in a different order – that is if the Labor leader says yes. He is offered at least seven top portfolios for his party. Herzog himself would be Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. The new centrist guidelines would leave room for talks with the Palestinians.