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June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Kerry Neglects To Mention American Citizenship Of Abducted Teenager

Secretary of State John Kerry’s condemnation of the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers omits the fact that one of those abducted is a U.S. citizen.

“The United States strongly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release,” reads Kerry’s official statement, which came three days after the abduction. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.”

One of the three teens kidnapped last Thursday is Naftali Frenkel, 16, a dual Israeli-American citizen whose parents live in the central Israeli town of Nof Ayalon. The two others are Israelis Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19.

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv was informed Friday that U.S. citizen Frenkel was among those abducted.

Frankel’s mother, Rachel Frenkel, told reporters Sunday that the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv has been “very supportive.”

 

Obama Approved Iranian Military Intervention In Iraq

The deployment of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to Iraq came after the Obama administration quietly gave its approval of the Shiite troop movement, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The Obama administration pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to allow battalions of the Quds Force to aid the Iraqi military in its fight against the Sunni Muslim Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

The Quds Force is a special unit of the Revolutionary Guard responsible for international operations.

According to numerous press reports, the Iranian forces were dispatched Thursday to fight in Tikrit, which was initially held by the ISIS but was subsequently liberated by the Iraqi army with help from Iran. The Wall Street Journal reported that two Guards units were further tasked with protecting Baghdad and the Shiite holy sites in the cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Obama’s actions give clarity to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki’s statement on June 12 that Iran could play a “constructive” role in Iraq.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., further told CNN that the U.S. should work with Iran to fight the Sunni extremists who could overrun Iraq. He compared such cooperation with the U.S. working with Joseph Stalin during World War II.

The direct military involvement of Iran, however, could trigger larger regional Shiite-Sunni clashes and may even represent the start of a proxy war between Sunni Saudi Arabia and the Shiite leadership of Tehran.

 

Is Saudi Arabia Meddling In Iraq? 

Jordanian and Syrian regime sources are accusing Saudi Arabia of arming the jihadist group that reportedly has seized control of Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq.

Sources from both regimes say the Saudis are a driving force in supporting the group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Syrian regime sources said the Saudis view the failure to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a three-years-long insurgency as a victory for Assad’s ally, Iran.

The sources said the Saudi kingdom is supporting the Iraqi jihadists, particularly ISIS, in a bid to offset Iranian dominance in Iraq and the region and to gain a Sunni stronghold in the strategic area.

The Jordanian regime sources told this column they fear the sectarian violence will spill over into their own country as well as into Syria.

ISIS previously posted a video on YouTube threatening to move on to Jordan and “slaughter” King Abdullah, whom they view as an enemy of Islam.

 

Bergdahl Returns Home, Baumel Remains Languishing

While the national conversation has been focused on the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, last Wednesday quietly marked the 32nd anniversary of the capture in Syria of a Brooklyn-born Israeli soldier. Reports in recent years have indicated Zachary Baumel, seized in Lebanon in 1982, is still alive.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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