debkafile exclusive: On July 30, Hassan Nasrallah pressed into service the elite Hizballah Radwan Force, designed to conquer Israel’s Galilee, for extricating the combined Hizballah-Syrian armies from their month-long failure to recapture the key town of Zabadani - or even breach Al-Qaeda affiliated rebel Nusra Front defenses. This has become a make-or-break challenge for Hizballah, the test of its boasted prowess to win big battles, including a war on Israel, after failing to drive 1,200 Nusra rebels out of the 9-km sq.Zabadani arena, despite Syrian military,artillery and air supportMore>
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.More>
Syrian President Bashar Assad, in his first public speech in a year, Sunday, July 26, could afford to admit to loss of territory, after being handed Iran’s new rehabilitation plan for his army, DEBKAfile reveals. The US-Tehran nuclear accord effectively brings an Iranian military presence ever closer to the borders of Israel and Jordan.More>
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>
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...
The crash of a drone in the White House grounds Sunday night, Jan. 25, pointed to the absence of an electromagnetic perimeter fence. Its jammers would emit “white noise” to block off the communications links and command and control capacities of the smartphones and unmanned aerial vehicles serving a would-be assailant planning an attack by a tiny, armed drone.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 led by Hisham al-Ashmawy, who is seen as the hand behind the prosecutor general’s assassination and other attacks on regime officials. Tuesday, July 21, a joint ISIS-Hamas force struck the Multinational Force and Observers in northern Sinai - the first ever attack on the MFO, which is still ongoing.
In defiance of the 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. The transaction runs contrary to the terms of the nuclear accord the six world powers and Iran signed in Vienna earlier this month. These tanker planes can simultaneously refuel 6-8 warplanes. Their acquisition brings Israel, 1.200km away – and the Middle East at large - within easy range of Iranian aerial bombardment. It puts Iran ahead of Israel in mid-air refueling resources.
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.