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US won’t strike ISIS resurgent in Assad-ruled areas, pushes Russia to curb pro-Iranian Hizballah push near Israel

While openly blaming Syria (and Russia) for giving ISIS free rein, US quietly rebukes Moscow for not reining in the pro-Iranian push towards Israeli border.

“The Syrian regime has failed to prevent the resurgence of ISIS on their own soil,” said British Maj. Gen. Gedney, deputy commander of Strategy and Support for the US-backed coalition to defeat the Islamic State terror group.  And even in areas where Syrian forces have intensified their efforts against ISIS, progress has been, at best, fleeting, he said. “We’ve got no intention to operate in areas that are currently held by the [Assad] regime.”

DEBKAfile places the coalition general’s comments against the backdrop of the quiet deal struck earlier this month between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. That conversation charted a division of labor in the Syrian arena to avoid clashes between their forces. It was understood that Russia would reciprocate for US consent to abstain from operating west of the Euphrates (in Assad-ruled domains) by curbing Turkish, Iranian and Hizballah operations, especially in border regions.

Gedney’s comments, while only directly referring to ISIS, also coincided Wednesday with the fall of the Beit Jinn enclave in one of those operations.

He went on to say that a “limited numbers of ISIS militants… seem to be moving with impunity through regime-held territory,” and pointed to a new concentration outside the US al-Tanf post in the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border triangle. “We’ve clearly seen a lot of operations by pro-regime forces, Russian-backed Syrian forces over to the east of the [Euphrates] river,” Gedney said. “We’ve questioned the effectiveness of some of those operations.” Syria and Russia must do more to wipe out ISIS in areas still controlled by the regime, US officials insist.
The US-led coalition is clearly pressing for a decision as to who will assume responsibility for dealing with this rising ISIS threat. DEBKAfile’s sources note that, alongside this question, is the one the US is implicitly addressing to the Russians regarding another terrorist threat: This one is posed by the fall of Beit Jinn opposite an IDF outpost in the foothills of Mount Hermon to a combined Syrian-Hizballah-militia force under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. At the moment, this combined force stands 11km from the Israeli border and appears to be poised to continue its victorious momentum for an assault on the Quneitra pocket on the doorstep of Israeli Golan, unless it is stopped.

Israel has quietly warned the Trump administration that if this combined hostile force moves any closer, the IDF will have no option but to step in to push it back. Clearly, the understandings reached between presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin were not holding up in this sector.
The Trump-Putin understanding was first revealed on Dec. 22 in DEBKA Weekly 783 (for subscribers) and the DEBKA Files ILTV show on Dec. 25. According to our exclusive sources, that understanding was sealed in a long telephone conversation on the Syrian question between the two presidents on Dec. 14.
Until now, it was understood in Washington and Jerusalem that Russia would reciprocate for US consent to abstain from operating west of the Euphrates (in Assad-ruled domains) by curbing Turkish, Iranian and Hizballah operations. Their deal hinged on two major points:

  1.  The war on ISIS in eastern Syria. A joint war room run by Russian and US-backed Kurdish YPG militia officers was to be established to deploy troops for blocking the westward movement of ISIS forces. (Hence Gen. Gedney’s complaint about this continuing movement.)
  2. Russia and the US would team up to thwart military operations by Iran, Hizballah and Turkey in areas controlled by the Assad regime, especially in proximity to Syria’s borders with Turkey, Israel and Jordan. On this point, Washington undertook to warn the Turks off their plans to invade northwestern Syria and seize control of Idlib province, whereas Moscow was to have instructed Damascus, Tehran and Hizballah to desist from military activity on those borders. This point has likewise gone by the board.

According to DEBKAfile’s military sources, Moscow claims that Putin’s commitment to Trump was met by withholding Russian air support from the disputed Syrian-Hizballah operations. But, in actual fact, the Iranian-commanded force circumvented the Russians and their deal with the Americans by fighting for Beit Jinn without Russian air support and winning the day without its help. This was more than a tactical victory to throw in Israel’s face; it set up a new reality in Syria, whereby Iran and Hizballah can cock a snoot at Moscow, its air cover and its deals with the Americans and go forward to win battles regardless and without Russian help.

The next few days are therefore fraught with three critical uncertainties: (a) Will ISIS persevere in its westward movement, or be halted by military counteraction? (b)  Will the Syrian army, Hizballah and pro-Iranian forces push forward from Beit Jinn to Quneitra and Israel’s Golan border? Or will they be stopped? And (c) Will the Trump-Putin understandings hold water, or will they be scuttled by (a) and (b)?

 

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56 thoughts on “US won’t strike ISIS resurgent in Assad-ruled areas, pushes Russia to curb pro-Iranian Hizballah push near Israel

  • Dec 28, 2017 @ 14:40 at 14:40
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    Israel should have red lines that none of the terrorists such as Iranian, Syrian and Russian-backed Hezbollah and ISIS pollution should cross without severe consequences. America needs to deal with the Russian-Iranian takeover of the ISIS Caliphate which is now the Shite Caliphate.

    • Dec 28, 2017 @ 18:16 at 18:16
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      Let’s watch if all these are true.
      Come on, Russia cannot hold back IRANIAN and hez forces . It doesn’t work that way.

      Now as the war is won by SAA, the attemp to establish a Northern Syria ruled by the Kurds unfold supported by US will see a major showdown between SAA and the Kurds with both US and Russia sit by the side.

      No country on Earth will allow such partition when Assad is winning. It just does not work that way

      A major fight is coming.
      Doubt Russia will be like good School boys

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 15:58 at 15:58
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        Russia has 50,000 troops in this operation – what they say goes. The Iranians are using up the entire GNP of that Islamic country to establish a Shia Caliphate beyond Iran’s borders to replace the Sunni-ISIL Caliphate. Both major sects of Islam represent the violence, regression and repression that is Islam.

        Russia has always been on the opposite side of Israel and a supporter of Assad regimes. Russia views Israel as a proxy of the USA and the cold war continues to this day – the Russians doing all they can to poke Israel in the eye.

        If Israel and the USA were smart, they would support the Kurds who the Iranians and Turks want put down, challenge the Turkish Islamic dictator and the Iranian incursion into Iraq and Syria and Lebanon , and make friends with those who are looking for friendship to challenge Iran at this time. Iran is an existential threat to Israel – Russia helps them to achieve their supremacy and dominance. Obama as an ex-President works behind the scenes to establish islamic Caliphates, especially Iran, regardless of their wish (which Obama-Soros seem to share with them) to destroy America and Israel.

    • Dec 28, 2017 @ 20:42 at 20:42
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      Russia just go in and fucking level them…

    • Dec 28, 2017 @ 23:11 at 23:11
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      Israel No need red line, since Golan isn’t Israel land. Just leave Golan per UN Res 242 and 497, then no reason for Syria with Iran help to attack Israel at Golan, to take Golan back of course, since Israel never obey UN Res and International laws.

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 0:37 at 0:37
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        idiot

        • Dec 29, 2017 @ 1:36 at 1:36
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          wow very clever response. What’s wrong with majority world opinion as it was represented by those UN Resolutions? Don’t you understand the meaning of ‘democracy’ and rule of law?

          • Dec 29, 2017 @ 4:31 at 4:31
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            “world citizen” you are joking aren’t you? The “un” is a corrupt, disgraced cabal of muslims, tyrants and globalists. It is on its last legs as an organization now with zero credibility. ALSO, probably more pertinent here – as you like to bring up “un resolutions” – whatever happened to resolution 1701, that forbade hezbollah and the lebanese from amassing the 150,000 + missiles and rockets – all aimed at Israel? A massive, flagrant breach turning the whole area into a powder keg? You cant have it both ways. You will not influence anyone that knows the facts and looks from both sides.

            https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-un-israel/israel-complains-to-u-n-about-rearming-by-hezbollah-idUSBRE8BJ1D220121220

          • Dec 29, 2017 @ 9:36 at 9:36
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            “majority world opinion” supported by arab/muslim countries, which by definition are biased towards Israel does not count much in terms of law or “rule of law” or the talk of “democracy”. Just consider the fact of beheading and execution in those countries and the “rule of law” goes out the window.
            That along with the “majority world opinion”, simply because if 3 billion flies would tell you that feces taste good, would that mean you would start eating it ? I think not.
            Same (“majority world opinion”) goes for the European countries, which by definition are anti-Semitic and against Israel.

          • Dec 31, 2017 @ 11:35 at 11:35
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            Your response is not so clever either so I would go easy on the sarcasm.
            First, popular or majority opinion does not represent fact. Opinions are subjective, often biased & based on assumptions & judgement that are quite often false.
            2nd, The UN is NOT a democracy. Maybe you should have a re-assessment of what it is.
            3rd, What rule of law are you referring to as UN resolutions are NOT law’s. Further, resolutions passed in the general ass’y are NOT binding & represent nothing more than an expression of will.
            Sec Council resolutions can be considered binding, if not vetoed, however, they are still NOT law. Even the ICC questions the the validity of SC resolutions being binding as many member states act in THEIR OWN interest (read a prejudice) which can place into question passed resolutions considered as binding.

        • Dec 29, 2017 @ 11:26 at 11:26
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          No, you are the idiot because he is 100% correct !!

          • Dec 29, 2017 @ 14:27 at 14:27
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            lol, Benny don’t keep your head burried or you’d lose your a*s hole

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 0:50 at 0:50
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        FYI, if the US or Israel suffer a nuke attack, Mecca would be obliterated in retaliation – for starters.

        An update from M.A.D. (Mutual Assured Destruction) to Mecca Assured Destruction.

        Hopefully those who wish to preserve the Hajj can persuade Fascist Iran to halt its program to trigger WW3 to trick their Mahdi to pop out of a well.

        • Dec 30, 2017 @ 6:36 at 6:36
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          Nuke attack? We don’t need that, you do.

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 16:48 at 16:48
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        LOL, hilarious!

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 16:49 at 16:49
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        worldcizen: Yes, DUUUUUHHHH, give the rapists, beheaders, terrorists, bloodthirsty conquerors, etc., the high ground and sit back in your leftist armchairs to watch your favorite savages attack and kill Jews. Let the terrorists take over your “global” country, bud, you deserve to see what it is like to live under sharia law, have your women and children under jihadists who will keep them as slaves and then kill them when they have satisfied their appetites – enjoy!!

        • Dec 29, 2017 @ 20:03 at 20:03
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          Dean, duuh , don’t you the simplest thing in life, stealing others land is an Ilegal action,and forbid by any religions. as for ISIS the rapists, beheaders, don’t worry Assad and his Russian friends working on uprooted them in Syria. Fyi some Israel officials love ISIS more than secular SAA.

        • Dec 30, 2017 @ 6:39 at 6:39
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          you made your bed, now lie in it. it’ in the ToRaH

          12. For he said to them, “This is the rest; give rest to the weary, and this is the tranquility,” but they would not listen.
          13. And the word of the Lord shall be for them a precept for a precept, a precept for a precept, a line for a line, a line for a line, a little there, a little there, in order that they go and stumble backwards and be broken, and be trapped and caught.
          14. Therefore, listen to the word of the Lord, men of scorn, allegorists of this people who are in Jerusalem.
          15. For you said, “We have made a treaty with death, and with the grave we have set a limit; when an overflowing scourge passes, it shall not come upon us, for we have made lies our shelter and in falsehood have we hidden ourselves.
          16. Therefore, so has the Lord God said: “Behold, I have laid as a foundation a stone in Zion, a fortress stone, a costly cornerstone, a foundation well founded; the believer shall not hasten.
          17. And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet, and hail shall sweep away the shelter of lies, and water shall flood the hidingplace.
          18. And your treaty with death shall be nullified, and your limit with the grave shall not endure; when an overflowing scourge passes, you shall be trampled by it.
          19. When it passes, it shall take you, for every morning it shall pass, by day and by night, and it shall be only terror to understand the message.
          20. For the bed is too short for one to stretch, and the ruler-it shall be narrow when he enters.
          21. For like the mountain of breaches shall the Lord arise, like the valley in Gibeon He shall be incensed; to perform His deed, strange is His deed, and to perform His work, strange is His work.
          22. And now, do not scorn, lest your pains become strong, for a complete destruction have I heard from the Lord God of Hosts upon the entire land.

      • Dec 31, 2017 @ 11:10 at 11:10
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        If the Golan does not belong to Israel than Northern Cyprus does not belong to Turkey & none of you anti Israel brigade EVER fight for the return of northern Cyprus to Cyprus.

    • Dec 29, 2017 @ 11:25 at 11:25
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      Russia should just level all the US and Israeli terrorists in Syria……..You MF’S talk about Sovereignty, but you have no respect for Sovereignty………Nuclear war is coming it is over for everyone…….so enjoy your last days MFS !!

      • Dec 30, 2017 @ 6:41 at 6:41
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        the bstrds are insane. only an existentially threatened evil, minority could contemplate such a device.

  • Dec 28, 2017 @ 17:43 at 17:43
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    Dean, totally agree with you! why is the IDF not doing anything?

    • Dec 28, 2017 @ 17:50 at 17:50
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      Netanyahu has always been more talk than action.

    • Dec 28, 2017 @ 18:18 at 18:18
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      Don’t think Israel want to meddle with iran
      which is too big for Israel to chew.

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 4:41 at 4:41
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        No, that’s not necessarily the case – Iran’s forces are a long way from home, and Israel has proven that it can go wherever it wants within the area. What is holding back Israel (I believe) is invoking the “Law of unintended consequences” – Once hostilities begin – things could very quickly get out of hand into a situation where there are no winners and possible, horrendous global ramifications. Israel is such a tiny country; its easy to imagine it being existentially threatened, and it then striking its enemies with WMD’s. Let’s hope and pray war does not come – it will destroy or harm all our lives in one way or another.

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 17:47 at 17:47
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        Iran is a backwards country like North Korea (and given nuclear guidance by Russia, the EU and North Korea). They use every scrap of money they have to gain a nuclear arsenal. Eventually their people will begin to ask questions as we see them doing today in great numbers. Iranian leadership will be destroyed from within by its own people and the mullahs given the Qaddafi enema.

  • Dec 28, 2017 @ 17:58 at 17:58
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    Somehow, the “Jewish” state seems to be more “Christian” then “Jewish”, if anybody can even tell the difference.

    Why are the Jews even in an conflict with the Islamic world??? There is no historical basis for such open hostility, only an Israeli basis. Israel is not a halachicly Jewish state. In fact, Judaism and Islam are far closer to each other than Judaism and Christianity are, from a religious legal perspective at least.

    It is Christianity that is incompatible with either Judaism or Islam. Do you homework.

    • Dec 28, 2017 @ 18:20 at 18:20
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      But it is the Jews that ate in conflict with Muslims not Christians.

      Somehow American Christians support the jews

      • Dec 28, 2017 @ 19:15 at 19:15
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        You two have no idea what you’re so confidently affirming. To understand the differences between Islam and Israel, you need to go back to Genesis. The problem is you look at these events as if they are strictly natural. You rule out the supernatural. Iran, Russia Turkey, Syria and other Muslim nations will surround Israel to destroy it and the God of Israel will rain down fire and brinstone on them. Then maybe you will understand – maybe. Also Christians will continue to support Israel, for they have the same God. The difference is that Israel has failed to recognize their Messiah

        • Dec 28, 2017 @ 19:25 at 19:25
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          No offense…..We did not fail to recognize The Jewish Messiah……He simply hasn’t arrived yet.
          That being said, we do appreciate the support and brotherhood of our Christian Brothers and Sisters.
          Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

          • Dec 29, 2017 @ 0:06 at 0:06
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            No visitation? You had it.

            ‘in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down’ Yirm 8:12

            Yirm 8:13
            I will surely consume them, saith the L+RD: [there shall be] no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and [the things that] I have given them shall pass away from them.

            |11| And Rebbe, Melech
            HaMoshiach entered into
            Yerushalayim into the Beis
            HaMikdash and, having
            looked around at everything,
            and, the hour now being late,
            he went out to Beit-Anyah with
            the Shneym Asar (Twelve).
            |12| And on the next day,
            when they came from Beit-
            Anyah, Rebbe, Melech
            HaMoshiach was hungry.
            |13| And having seen in the
            distance an etz te’enah (fig
            tree) in leaf, Rebbe, Melech
            HaMoshiach approached it to
            see whether he might find pri
            (fruit) on it. But when he
            came to it, he found nothing
            except leaves. For it was not
            the te’enim season.
            |14| And in reply, Rebbe,
            Melech HaMoshiach said to it,
            May no one ever be nourished
            from pri from you again! And
            Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach’s
            talmidim were listening.
            |15| Then they came to
            Yerushalayim. And having
            entered the Beis HaMikdash,
            Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach
            began to drive out the ones
            buying and selling in the Beis
            HaMikdash, and he
            overturned the shulchanot
            (tables) of the machalifei
            hakesafim (money changers)
            and the chairs of the ones
            selling the yonim (doves).
            |16| And he was not allowing
            anyone to carry things
            through the Beis HaMikdash.
            |17| And he was teaching
            Torah and he was saying to
            them, Has it not been written,
            BEITI BEIT TEFILLAH
            YIKAREI LKHOL HAAMMIM
            (My House shall be called a
            House of Prayer [for] all
            peoples), but you have made it
            a MEARAT PARITZIM (den of
            robbers). [YESHAYAH 56:7;
            YIRMEYAH 7:11]
            |18| And the Rashei
            Hakohanim (the Chief Priests)
            and the Sofrim (Scribes)
            heard this,
            and they were seeking how
            they might destroy him, for
            they were afraid of him, for all
            the multitude were amazed at
            his torah (teaching).
            |19| And when it became late,
            Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach
            and his talmidim went out of
            the city.
            |20| And in the boker
            (morning), early, as they
            passed by, they saw the etz
            teenah (fig tree) having been
            withered from [the] roots.

        • Dec 28, 2017 @ 20:56 at 20:56
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          Well said that man

        • Dec 29, 2017 @ 4:30 at 4:30
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          The Jews didn’t reject Jesus instead Jewish leadership knew who wrote the Net Testament and was not going to accept Arius Calpurnius Piso’s fictional story. You should read “True Authorship of the New Testament” It is sold at Amazon. It is Roman history.

        • Dec 29, 2017 @ 18:04 at 18:04
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          And you have failed to stick to the basics. You base your religion on a good man but a man nonetheless. Muslims base their religion on a very flawed man and one who wanted to displace and replace other religions. Do not let Christianity once again mimic the Islamic religion which is a replacement theology.

    • Dec 28, 2017 @ 23:43 at 23:43
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      What utter dribble.Your homework text books must have come from the Acme fake facts society!

    • Dec 29, 2017 @ 17:51 at 17:51
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      Most of the Islamic writings deal with putting the “Jew” in his place so I am not sure what you are smoking but it has turned your head into mush. Jews have in the past lived as dhimmis in every Islamic state from time immemorial and often evicted. Now there are only a few Jews in the 56 Islamic countries and most will not let you in if you have a passport stamped with Israel…so take your fantasies of Islamic love for Jews and stuff them.

  • Dec 28, 2017 @ 20:02 at 20:02
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    There is much more at play here than simply attacking the advancing Iranian/Hezballah forces it seems to be coming more complicated in the later stages of the conflict.
    here are some facts/opinions of mine.
    Israel must be more selective in its strikes in Syria going forward to many of them and the point gets lost while really accomplishing very little overall.

    In addition to that must carful not to anger/embarrass Russia because like it or not they can reciprocate in many ways without much effort and I feel at the end of the day the Iranians and company would have no choice but to step in line if Putin made the request they need Russian/Chinese help in preventing an American attack which I believe is next there agenda.

    Yes Israel has very capable armed forces but it cannot take on Iran,Hezballah the Syrian army and who ever eles on is own it will have to draw the US into it period. Also look at political world climate overall the EU is drifting away from being in lockstep with the US. Look at the recent vote at the regarding the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem UN even with Nikki Hayley’s threats it was still vote down by a huge margin with only vassal countries voting for it .The world power base is slowly shifting away from the US especially with Trump in power and US dollar as the world bench mark is being slowing eroded day by day and this is happening now! and I believe this is more threat then anything above for Israel in the future because with out it being the world currency and being able to print money to no end there will be no 700 billion $ military budget if you watch what is going on with China Russia India Brazil and many others even Saudi Arabia selling oil to China in Chinese currency bypassing US currency 10 tears ago this would have been unheard of and with China now being the worlds largest oil importer and country with the most buying power and soon the worlds largest economy I know this is a world away from what’s going in Syria but I feel some of these issues must be considered when lashing out military and I am not anti US or Israel or anyone else for that matter but fact remains that the world id changing like it or not.

    • Dec 29, 2017 @ 1:28 at 1:28
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      The solution is very simple, Israel just need to obey UN Resolutions No. 242 and 497. Just do it, no need rocket science to understand this ‘complex’ situation actually.
      Just leave Golan and other stolen lands(Lebanon, Palestinian) like Israel did in Sinai.

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 7:57 at 7:57
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        Apparently, you are as stupid as you appear to be. If Israel leaves the Golan it cedes control of the whole Gallilee and Lake Kinneret which can easily be shelled from the heights of the Golan. Now, Israel controls the heights and its powerful military installations there keep and invader from the Northeast in check. Jordan and its King survive only because of the protection Israel provides them from the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Either you know this and are playing to the ignorant, or you are really the fool you present yourself as being. All the UN resolutions are designed to force Israel into indefensible positions. It won’t happen. You are not fooling anyone. Stop living in a fantasy land. This is not about territory- it is about envy and hatred.

  • Dec 28, 2017 @ 20:47 at 20:47
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    We are waiting for a massive buildup of enemy forces. It will be easier to take care of a larger number then of small pockets. After this the Iranians and HIzballers, will probably stay away more then 40km.
    IAF will sit on them until there is nothing left.

  • Dec 28, 2017 @ 21:48 at 21:48
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    I LOVE Israel and the Jewish people. I realize I am a worthless Mutant and beg for the forgiveness of the GREAT people of Israel. Please if there are any Jewish Veterinarians who can help me with my flea problem I need your help desperately. Please note I am half Donkey because of my backgroun

    • Dec 28, 2017 @ 22:04 at 22:04
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      Oh the sarcasm…..lol….

    • Dec 29, 2017 @ 18:11 at 18:11
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      You must smell up your house very badly. How do the animals get along with you smelling so ripe, ISISrael Defeated Yet Again?

  • Dec 28, 2017 @ 23:39 at 23:39
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    while I believe there will be war simply because you have on one side (hezbollah), having all those rockets and you don’t have rockets unless you intend on using them. so it is inevitable a war at one point will break out in the north.
    Assad will not join in. he no longer has the army and air force and he know it will be suicide for him to join
    in.
    Neither will Iran do anything because they to know they will face a far superior army that can be supplied close by and they cannot being as far away from their base (country of Iran).
    they may try some sorties but will get pulverized. besides, they risk being bombed by 3 or maybe 4 Israeli submarines off the coast of Iran. that would get their attention quickly enough.

    Russia will stay out of it. no strategic value here.
    also, Iran might see activity started by Saudi Arabia on their border, so fighting 3 fronts would do immense damage. a lose lose proposition.

    Hezbollah and Hamas have been itching for a fight and I also believe Israel is also.
    might be the right thing to do and get rid of both.

    last car is the USA. certainly Trump has no love for Iran as Obama did. he knows and has said they are not following the basic concept of the agreement and are cheating somehow. he might even have proof already and instead of announcing it, he goes after them another way.

    the first reality to the above will be if Hezbollah, Iran and Assad stay far away from the border. if they refuse or play cat and mouse, all hell will break out.
    that’s my take.

    • Dec 29, 2017 @ 5:42 at 5:42
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      Interesting comment, and where’ve-you-been. Fair warning, though, you’re probably wasting your breath. I only comment on the off chance that I’m wrong in that assumption.

      The problem is that this has developed beyond everyone’s control, now including the Russians – who have been placated by a grant of bases of operations for their Air Force (and by extension the Army) and the Navy, with the capacity for a substantial part of their active forces. This allows them, if nothing else, to be able to sit and watch all NATO, Israeli, and Saudi operations in that sector with total impunity and answerable to none. By itself, this is a bad position.

      It’s well past due to call a duck a duck – Syria does not exist. It has ceased to exist. Assad is a dead letter, and the fact is that if he died tomorrow then the strategic balance would not change. He is a puppet of the Iranian/Hezbollah/Russian axis, as are his men. They have taken complete control of the country, and if Assad does not like it then he will be answerable to a crack army (IRGC/Hezbollah), air force (Russia), and navy (Russia…obviously), all of which are fast running out of targets, which I will get back to in another two paragraphs. But to reiterate, there is no Syria.

      Hezbollah and Hamas have attempted to subvert Israel by two different ways – the former by a buildup, the latter by firing off one or two rockets at a time. Hamas has served as a good distraction while Hezbollah has been spending its time learning how to fight, sharpening its teeth and gaining valuable battlefield experience that the Israelis, regardless of their training, cannot match. They are fast becoming a dangerous enemy. I would normally agree on wiping both out, but the issue at hand is that because of inertia on both sides (rest on one, motion on the other), the Iranians have the initiative, and are nearly at the point where they can call the Israelis to battle on their terms. The time was right to destroy them before, but now is not that time. And yet, the Iranians are in the process of capturing the Hermon foothills, so it is possible that the Israelis will need to call both groups to battle in short order on less-than-ideal terms. And for once, they need to finish the job, at least in Gaza – and be ready to redeploy on a moment’s notice to the Golan Heights, where a repeat of the 1973 war may recur if they aren’t careful. It’s a bad spot to be in.

      You may be right about Trump. I don’t hold my breath on beneficial American intervention, though; from the point of view of just about everyone who was once supported by the Americans or was counting on their support (Hungary in 1956, Cuba in 1960, Czechoslovakia in 1968, South Vietnam [and for that matter, half of Indochina] in 1975, Iran [twice, 1979 and 2009, and possibly once more by next week], Georgia in 2008, Ukraine in 2014, Kurdistan in 2017…), the US is very much a fair-weather friend. It is nice when they help defend the West, but never let them ask you to play the trust game. I also never believe in speeches without appropriate action, as words by themselves don’t mean very much.

      In terms of what happens next, a large force will wipe out the rebellion, and then what? I doubt that having cobbled together the army, the Iranians would be content to let it disperse. My personal guesses would be North Africa, the Sinai, or Yemen. Of the three, the first is accessible by a sealift, and the third by an airlift, both of which can be supplied at least partly by the Russians and partly by Iranian airlines. The Sinai is a touchy proposition due to the Egypt-Israeli agreement, but it would succeed in opening up a third front to Israel, as well as controlling the Suez Canal and the Straits of Tiran, and overlooking the key Saudi cities of Aqaba, Mecca, and Medina. Alternatively, if the US can be persuaded to leave Jordan, then the Hashemite Kingdom will probably burn, from the inside or from the outside. The Saudis and the Israelis are both hard targets. The Iranians will probably consolidate their positions first before attacking. They are not as far from supply lines as one might think, thanks to the requirements of six years of war. And of course, with such a force operating near the borders, the Israelis should be ready for anything, conventional or not.

      For the purposes of the Israeli Navy, submarines would largely be a last-ditch weapon, assuming that a third are at sea at any given time. As soon as the submarines are detected, they will be hunted. Sunk or not, a sub can’t do much if it is forced to lie low and wait for ASW-equipped units to pass. With deployed teams, thanks to the decentralization of Iranian bases, the results of non-assassination, non-anti-infrastructure missions are limited at best.

      Finally, it is dangerous to work plans rigidly around what you think that your enemy will do. Unless the war minister is one of your men and fully trusted, the enemy will frequently do something else.

    • Dec 30, 2017 @ 6:53 at 6:53
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      150000 rockets heading your way, superman.

  • Dec 29, 2017 @ 0:08 at 0:08
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    Daniel 9:26

    Zachariah 12:10

    Jeshua was/is a Jew.

    His message brought the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to the whole world.

    Although he died seemingly accomplishing nothing, as Daniel says, when the scales fall from the eyes there will be mourning in Jerusalem for the one who was pierced, as Zachariah said.

    He was and is the Jewish Messiah.

    The great I AM will determine the outcome of this pending final roll of the dice.

    Hear oh Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One!

    • Dec 29, 2017 @ 11:50 at 11:50
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      I like that. You only got the last two words right, but that’s close enough!

    • Dec 30, 2017 @ 6:59 at 6:59
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      yeah, smashing the great house into chips was nothing.

      Yeshu’a the prince was crowned at death and was resurrected and has manifestly conquered the earth. Even Muslims know him as the Messiah. He has reigned.

      “In the times of the Messiah, the L-rd shall manifest a second time His hand” (Isaiah 11:11). He shall be the Redeemer in person so that “Israel shall be saved in the L-rd with an everlasting salvation” (Isaiah 45:17). And “his rest shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10). All the world shall say, “It is fitting that his rest shall be glorious, for while ordinary kings acquire glory for themselves through victorious wars, and do not believe themselves to be esteemed when they are at rest, he, on the contrary, without waging war makes everyone subject to him, and all render him homage.” [Commentary Minha-Ghedola in the Grand Rabbinic Bible of Amsterdam, 1700-1705 Rabbinic Bible of Bombergi]

  • Dec 29, 2017 @ 11:58 at 11:58
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    Good comment, David. Its also about global jihad. These people (muslims) have no trouble at all concocting all sorts of excuses – often hurt feelings about nasty things said about their prophet – in order to ‘justify’ their disgusting, primitive, barbaric acts in the name of their ‘religion’. The “occupation” is just another convenient ploy in order to harry and persecute Jews – anywhere. “Unbelievers’ of any kind – even other muslims who don’t follow their particular strain of the virus, are there to be terrorized.

    “No Golan Needed”

  • Dec 29, 2017 @ 15:33 at 15:33
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    Islam is a virus!

    • Dec 29, 2017 @ 15:50 at 15:50
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      No, ZIONIST EXTREMISM is a virus…….NUCLEAR WAR IS COMING NOBODY CAN SAVE YOU OR ME OR THE WORLD…….well at least all the ZIONIST EXTREMISTS will be destroyed so a good thing will happen….

      • Dec 29, 2017 @ 18:08 at 18:08
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        There are special psychotropic drugs for your condition, “Benny is a fraud.”

  • Dec 29, 2017 @ 15:49 at 15:49
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    Why would you attack your allies ISIS ?? LOL……you people are beyond repair……no hope !!

  • Dec 29, 2017 @ 17:26 at 17:26
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    To call lran an existential threat is incorrect. The truth is the opposite. Israel is the existential threat to it’s Islamic neighbors. Islam – in the opinion of Muslims – is the only true religion, so how can tiny Israel present this existential threat. As of 2017 there have been 892 Jewish Nobel laureates. 12 Muslim Nobel laureates (only 5 of which are in literature or science). Go to a hospital today and try to imagine modern medicine without the advancements by Jewish scientists, researchers and doctors. Not a pretty picture.

    The total number of books translated into Arabic during the 1,000 years since the age of Caliph Al-Ma’moun [a ninth-century Arab ruler who was a patron of cultural interaction between Arab, Persian, and Greek scholars] to this day is less than those translated in Spain in one year” World Press.Aug 10, 2009

    Tel Aviv’s startup ecosystem has been ranked No. 3 in the world this year by venture capital firm SparkLabs Global Ventures, following Silicon Valley and Stockholm. New York City and Los Angeles round out the top five list. Other than Israel no middle eastern countries made this list.

    Prophet Mohammed died in 692 Ad – Islam has been around for 1386 years
    Hebrew Calendar year is 5778 How can the Jewish history and strong historical claims and ties to Israel be denied.

    In 1948 almost every single “Palestinian” voluntarily left Israel to avoid the coming slaughter pronounced by Israel’s neighbors in the hopes of returning and building upon the ashes of the Jewish people who were expected to die there. Israel prevailed in 1948, 1967, 1972 and till to this day surrounded by a hateful and envious population that could have benefitted by a peaceful and productive relationship chose to seek Israel’s destruction instead.

    The Israeli Embassy in Cairo praised on Tuesday an Egyptian scholar who — in televised remarks last weekend — questioned the sanctity of Jerusalem to Muslims.

    “We are pleased to hear the words of writer and historian Youssef Ziedan and his description of the deep-rooted relationship between Jews and Muslims that existed even before Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him,” the embassy statement said, according to an Al Jazeera translation. “And at how he pointed out that the origins of the ongoing conflict between the two sides stem from extremists.”

    “There is no doubt that Ziedan’s interpretation entails the need to abandon the culture of hate between the two sides, and this in our view is an important message,” the statement concluded. “Cooperation between Jews and Muslims would benefit Egyptians and Israelis and would be beneficial to the two sides’ rising generations.”

    Such a big insult to the Islamic world when a city like Jerusalem, which has very little importance to Muslims, becomes a focal point for such hatred and abuse when it is recognized as Israel’s capital. By the way all Muslims have full access to their holy sites in Jerusalem. Can a Jew, a Christian or any non muslim go to Mecca or Medina? NO

    When does it all stop? Jews and Arabs lived in peace for thousands of years and now everything is hatred and destruction. When does a Muslim with courage stand up and offer his hand in peace? (Don’t talk about resolutions, borders or concessions because we know those people wont stop while Israel continues to exist in any form)

    Time for a Muslim reformation, join the rest of us in the 21st Century.

    • Dec 30, 2017 @ 7:03 at 7:03
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      you stole it all. and now you withhold the fruits of human progress from the children of men. we don’t need your medicine. also jewish compensation mechanism prize is a fraud. ffs, obama won it.

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