Not a single competent army capable of launching all-out war on ISIS in Syria or Iraq is to be found between the Jordan and the Euphrates and Tigris to the east, or Ramadi and Riyadh to the south. Assad and Hizballah are regrouping to defend Syrian cities; Tehran to save the Shiite towns and oil of S. Iraq. Sunday, May 24, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the Iraqi army had shown no will to fight. UK ex-army chief Lord Dannatt called for 5,000 British ground troops to fight the Islamists in Syria and Iraq.More>
The US has joined the battle for Qalamoun. DEBKAfile discloses that a US special operations unit, stationed at the north Lebanese Hamat air base, is directing unarmed Aerosonde MK 4.7 intelligence-gathering flights over the Qalamoun Mt arena.More>
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.More>
Two days after the blow to US strategy in the region landed by Ramadi’s fall to the Islamic State, the Obama administration faces its next test in the region: An Iranian cargo vessel accompanied by two warships plans to break the US-Saudi-Egyptian blockade of Yemen by docking at Hodeida and refusing to submit to a search for illicit weapons.More>
Jordan’s King Abdullah has warned Washington that US air strikes alone can’t stop the Islamic State’s advances in Iraq and Syria. What is more, they leave his kingdom next door exposed to an Islamist incursion in the south that would also put Saudi Arabia in peril.More>
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 - even before the Islamic State warned that this first attack on US soil would not be its last. Both homegrown Islamist terrorists were shot dead. But 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...
French intelligence failures over the Charlie Hebdo terror attack will not be gilded over. Contrary to a French police statement, Hayat Boumeddiene, wife of the terrorist Amedy Coulibaly who murdered four Jews in cold blood at the kosher supermarket. Friday, Jan. 9, was never in the store at all but had been able to skip from France to Syria a week earlier.
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
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.
Ramadi, provincial capital of western Iraqi Anbar, fell to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Friday, May 15. The town, 110 km west of Baghdad, controls the traffic on the Euphrates River. Small pockets of Iraqi troops are still stranded there after taking hundreds of casualties. debkafile: ISIS’s new fighting momentum has carried it across Anbar province to capture Jubba, next door to Iraq’s biggest air base at Al-Ansar where US officers are training Iraqi troops. The jihadis are also moving in on the oil town of Baiji.
Amid Hizballah’s rising war losses, its leader Hassan Nasrallah has strongly urged the Lebanese chief of staff Gen. Jean Kahwagi to send his troops into battle over the strategic Qalamoun Mountain, alongside Hizballah and the Syrian army, debkafile discloses. The Lebanese general gave him a flat no, saying the Lebanese army would not “slip” into any war inside Syria. Despite local gains by Syria and Hizballah, rebel jihadists have grasped that they can slip across into Lebanon unopposed. For now, this battle has no foreseeable resolution, while laying Lebanon open to jihadist spillover from Syria.