Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and top Qatari envoys went through the motions of formalizing the Saudi-brokered reconciliation between them, when they met in Cairo Saturday, Dec. 20. Riyadh celebrated the meeting as the turning of a new page, and the Qatari envoy acknowledged Egypt’s preeminence in the Arab and Muslim worlds. debkafile: But the bone of intention over the emirate’s hosting of the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who was packing his bags to travel to Tehran, remained unresolved. The Saudis demanded his removal from emirate soil.More>
The 17-hour cycle of Australia’s first major Islamist terrorist experience at home, which began early Monday, Dec. 16, with a hostage siege at the Lindt chocolate café in Sydney’s bustling central business district, will have afforded Australia’s counter-terror services more operational lessons than any studiesMore>
Unconfirmed reports swirled around Arab capitals Sunday, Dec. 14, that President Barack Obama, in league with Moscow and Tehran, had turned his Syrian policy on its head to recognize Bashar Assad’s rule.More>
Five major blocs are emerging at the outset of Israel’s election campaign: right, left, center, religious and Arab. The only fresh face is Moshe Kahlan, late of Likud, who this week established his Kulanu (All of Us) party.More>
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,More>
US military sources revealed Monday, Dec. 8, that Israel’s air strikes near Damascus the day before wiped out Russian hardware including missiles dispatched post haste to help Syria and Hizballah frustrate a US no-fly zone plan for northern Syria. The Kremlin has warned that any no-fly zone over Syria would be treated as direct US intervention in the Syria war, and incur Russian military intervention. The advanced anti-air missiles and radar Moscow sent Syria and Hizballah to back up this warning were destroyed by Israel. Damascus threatens Israel with “unimaginable harm.”
Israel’s air strikes near Damascus international airport and the Syrian-Lebanese border Sunday, Dec. 7, are depicted by Middle East sources as Israel’s first overt military clash with Russia in the course of the Syrian war. Those sources assert that the strikes demolished components of Russian SA-25 or other types of top-line anti-air missile systems that Moscow had shipped in for Syria and the Lebanese Hizballah. The raid came less than 24 hours after Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov shook hands with Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut.
The Saudi, UAE and Egyptian rulers are acting to finally unravel the effects of Barack Obama’s “Arab Spring” and extinguish the Muslim Brotherhood and other elements he supported for overturning conservative regimes. debkafile: These Arab rulers have found a key ally in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who used the chance of an epic breakthrough in relations with leading Arab nations, with immediate and far-reaching effect on Israel’s security and standing in the region. He has not so far exposed this feat in campaigning for re-election.
President Barack Obama and his National Security team headed by Susan Rice have decided to seize on the political crisis besetting the Israeli government and the upcoming general election on March 17 for action to bar Binyamin Netanyahu’s reelection to a fourth term as prime minister.
This decision reverberated through Future party leader Yair Lapid’s assertion Wednesday night, Dec. 3, after he was sacked as finance minister, that Binyamin Netanyahu would not be next prime minister. He laid claim to the premiership himself. The Obama administration has maintained close ties with Lapid.