A Digest of DEBKAfile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Week Ending July 2, 2015
June 26, 2015 Briefs
- Palestinian terrorist attacks Israeli soldiers in Jordan Valley
A Palestinian terrorist drove up in a car to the IDF Beka’ot checkpoint in the Jordan Valley Friday and opened fire on the soldiers. None were hurt. They shot back and killed the terrorist.
- Obama, Putin discuss Iran, Islamic State, Ukraine in phone call
Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned US President Barack Obama on Thursday for their first conversation since February. They discussed Iran nuclear talks, the need to counter Islamic State militants and the “increasingly dangerous situation in Syria.”
ISIS “Ramadan operations” leave at least 209 dead in France, Tunisia and Mid East
26 Jun. Friday, June 26, the second Friday of Ramadan, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) perpetrated terrorist attacks on three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia. The deadliest occurred at hotel beaches in the popular Tunisian resort town of Sousse, where gunmen killed at least 38 foreign holidaymakers, most British. The gunman was killed. It followed the atrocity at a US-owned French gas factory near Lyon where an Islamist terrorist planted a decapitated body and hung the severed head on the railings outside.
In Kuwait, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shiite mosque. At least 24 worshippers were killed and 200 injured after Friday prayer.
In the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, ISIS forces, after regaining some of the suburbs from which Kurdish forces drove them out last month, reportedly “executed” 146 Syrians.
British Prime Minister David Campbell said he feared that the ISIS onslaught Friday was the tip of the iceberg.”
France has stepped up security at “sensitive sites” including Jewish synagogues and schools.
June 28, 2015 Briefs
- Two Israeli soldiers critically injured in air force base fire
Doctors are fighting to save two soldiers who were badly burned in a fire that broke out at the Ramon Air Base dorms in southern Israel.
- Rocket alerts in northern Golan
One rocket exploded on the Syrian side of the Israeli Golan border, the second on open ground. Both appear to be caused by errant fire from Syrian civil war.
- Iraqi Shiite group shown striking ISIS with Iranian-made drones
Iran released to YouTube video clips showing Iraqi Shiite Hezballah Brigades (Kata’ib Hezbollah) using drones to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, under the instruction of pro-Iranian Lebanese Hizballah officers. The drones look like Iranian-made Abarbil-3s. One clip shows a drone hitting an ISIS vehicle at the Iraqi refinery town of Baiji.
- ISIS communiqué threatens Jerusalem Christians for the first time
A leaflet distributed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria warned Christians living in the Palestinian Jerusalem neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina to leave, as all Islamic neighborhoods will be “cleaned” during the month of Ramadan. ISIS plans to move on to the Old City and Church of the Sepulcher to “cleanse” those who “betrayed the Omarite covenant.” It is signed by the ISIS Emirate of Beit Al Maqdis.
- Rocket alert sirens in Hof Ashkelon
Hof Ashkelon, Yad Mordecai and Netev Ha’Asara in southern Israel were alerted to falling rockets Sunday morning. Security forces say it was a false alarm.
- Giant Iranian tankers keep Assad regime and army in fuel
Oil market sources reveal that 10 giant Suezmax tankers carrying a million barrels of oil each are delivering oil from Iran to Syria to keep Bashar Assad’s regime and army supplied with fuel – in violation of UN sanctions against both countries.
Syria, Hizballah torpedo understanding between Druze and Syrian rebel Nusra Front near Israeli border
28 Jun. Bashar Assad and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah went all out to stir up adversity between the Druze of the Golan and Israel, and the Syrian rebel Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. To torpedo the armistice deal brokered between them by the US, Jordan and Israel, they pumped 200 Syrian and Hizballah troops into the Druze village of Khader on the Syrian Golan, 3 km from the Israeli border. debkafile: Nusra then gave the Druze an ultimatum: stop cooperating with Syria and Hizballah or face retribution that would be inflicted on another smaller Jabal Druze village – Skaska.
June 29, 2015 Briefs
- New evidence suggests two gunmen in Tunisia terror attack
As UK Home Secretary Teresa May arrived in Tunis Monday to lead the investigation into last Friday’s terror attack, witnesses reported that the gunman, identified as Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui, landed on the five-star Hotel Rui Imperial Marhaba hotel beach by jet ski or speedboat. The number of young Tunisians who have joined the Islamic State may be as high as 3,000. Scotland Yard has launched its largest counter-terrorism deployments since the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005, which left 52 dead.
- Palestinian woman knifes Israeli female soldier at Rachel’s Tomb
The Israeli woman soldier was conducting a security search at the Rachel’s Tomb shrine in Bethlehem when a Palestinian woman pulled out a knife and slashed her in the throat. The soldier was taken to hospital with moderate injuries. The Palestinian woman was arrested and found with two more knives in her possession.
- Israeli soldiers intercept Swedish boat trying to breach Gaza siege
Early Monday, the IDF intercepted and boarded the Swedish boat Marianne leading a flotilla which set out to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. After refusing to change course, the Marianne was boarded some 100 nautical miles from its destination and escorted to Ashdod Port. There was no resistance from the 18 pro-Palestinian activists and journalists aboard. The other three boats turned around and headed back. Israeli drones tracked them in case of a trick.
On eve of Iran deal, US retreats on inspections of nuclear past, speeds up sanctions relief
29 Jun. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday, June 28: “We are seeing a clear retreat from the red lines that the world powers set recently and publicly. There is no reason to rush to sign this bad agreement which is getting worse every day.” He was referring to three major concessions the US approved in the last days leading up to a nuclear deal with Iran: debkafile discloses them here: The US no longer holds Iran accountable for its past clandestine nuclear weapons tests; has granted Tehran the options of permitting or barring international inspections; and set out unconditional sanctions relief in three tight stages. Nothing is therefore left of the original US pledges to link sanctions relief to Iran’s compliance with its commitments or President Obama’s solemn vow to “snap back” sanctions any time for any Iranian violations.
June 30, 2015 Briefs
- Iran nuclear talks in crisis as Obama threatens to walk away
President Obama threatened to "walk away" from a nuclear deal unless Iran agrees to "serious, rigorous verification mechanism" to make sure it is complying with the terms of any deal. As the negotiations were extended past their Tuesday deadline for an extra week, sharp disagreements emerged. Obama said at a joint White House press conference Tuesday with visiting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff: "I've said from the start, I will walk away from the negotiations if in fact it's a bad deal."
- Iran and powers take an extra week for a nuclear deal
Iran and six world powers gave themselves an extra week until July 7 to reach a final nuclear accord after it became clear they would miss a deadline on Tuesday.
- One of four Israelis injured by terrorists Monday dies of wounds
Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, 23, of Kochav Hashahar was one of the four young men in a car shot up by Palestinian terrorists in the northern West Bank Monday night. They were driving home from a basketball game. After all-night surgery at Shearei Tzedek hospital, he died of his injuries. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon accused the Palestinian Authority of incitement broadcast constantly over Palestinian media as stirring up the latest wave of terrorist violence against Israelis.
This was the fourth serious Palestinian terrorist attack in three days, the sixth since the onset of Ramadan ten days ago. An Israeli woman soldier is in hospital in serious condition after being slashed in the throat by a Palestinian woman Monday at Rachel’s Tomb.
Turkey and Jordan said preparing buffer zones inside Syria. Israeli air support mooted. Putin issues warning
30 Jun. 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 and its air force 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.
Some 200 dead – Egyptian troops, Islamists, civilians – in major ISIS-Egyptian battle in North Sinai
30 Jun. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant moved ominously close to Israel’s borders Wednesday, July 1 – not as predicted in the north, but in the south. In Sinai, ISIS followed up on its Ramadan terror outrages in France, Tunisia, Kuwait and Kobani, with a massive offensive against Egyptian forces stationed around Sheikh Zuwaid near the Israeli and Gazan borders. Around 200 people killed in the fierce ten-hour battle – Egyptian troops, Islamist attackers and civilians, Israeli and US Mid East forces went on preparedness in case of more ISIS attacks.
July 2, 2015 Briefs
- London police arrest a 15-year girl suspected terrorist
Scotland Yard says a 15-year old girl as been arrested in East London in suspicion of terrorism. No further details.
- All Clear at the Navy Yard
The Navy Yard campus in Washington was declared all clear after reports of a shooting on the site.
- Cairo: 300 ISIS terrorists carried out North Sinai assault
An Egyptian security force disclosed Thursday that around 300 armed terrorists carried out the massive offensive on Egyptian troops and police in north Sinai Wednesday. He reported that around 100 were killed in the battle. He did not release Egyptian casualty figures, which are estimated at more than sixty.
- Tunisia charges eight suspects in beach terror attack
Police in Tunis Thursday charged eight suspects, among them a woman, as part of a terrorist ring they unrolled with direct links to last Friday’s Islamist attack on a hotel beach which killed 39 holidaymakers. Police sources reported that they were all trained at ISIS camps in Libya, along with the two terrorists who killed 19 tourists at the Tunis Bardo Museum in the last week of March before they were shot.
- FBI on high terror alert for July 4 weekend
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have asked Americans to remain vigilant to the threat of a terror attack over the Fourth of July weekend. Command centers have been set up at 56 FBI command centers across America. Although officials say there is no credible threat, the FBI is reacting to a call to arms by the Islamic State for mass murder during Ramadan, especially after its simultaneous attacks on three continents last Friday. debkafile: Extra vigilance for Islamist attacks should also be observed on July 13, the 27th day of Ramadan when Muslims observe the “Night of Al Qadar” and the “gates of the firmament” are believed to open wide to Muslim prayers.
- Hizballah attacks rebels holding Syrian Zabadani
HIzballah launched an all-out attack to oust rebel groups from Zabadani, one of the biggest towns of the Syrian Qalamoun Mts. on the Lebanese border, 50 km northwest of Damascus.