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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

Syria Urges Russia to Attack All Rebel Forces

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The Syrian ambassador to Russia said Wednesday he hopes that the Russian Armed Forces will attack all the terrorist organizations present in Syria, including the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra.”

Ambassador Riad Haddad told Moscow’s Sputnik news that the Russian Air Force headquarters would be determined by the military command.

It is inevitable that Russia will not limit its military operations in Syria to attacks on the ISIS, as President Vladimir Putin has assured President Barack Obama.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is totally dependent on Russia to save his neck, and Russia is so heavily invested in Syria and Iran that it cannot afford to see the ISIS, rebel forces or Al Qaeda carve up the country.

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Rebels Betray US and Turn over American Weapons to Al Qaeda

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Remember how the Obama administration assured Congress that Syrian rebels would be vetted before being trained and armed by the U.S. Army?

It promised that only Moderate” rebels fighting the Assad regime would receive training and arms from the United States, but an entire rebel division that was part of the Obama administration’s “train and equip” program has turned over its weapons to the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, the London Telegraph reported.

Division 30, the first unit to be graduated in the U.S. training program to help fight the Islamic State (ISIS) but not the Assad regime, handed over a very large amount of ammunition and medium weaponry and a number of pick-ups,” according to a tweet by an al-Nusra member.

The report was confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which stated that 75 Division 30 fighters crossed from Turkey into Syria with four-wheel vehicles equipped with machine guns and ammunition bought with U.S. taxpayers’ money.

Last month, the first group of 54 U.S.-trained fighters re-entered Syria and promptly suffered a defeat at the hands of Al Nusra, which kidnapped several rebels.

In a hearing last week at the Senate Armed Forces Committee, U.S. Central Command General Lloyd Austin admitted that only “four or five” fighters remain as fighters against the ISIS in Syria.

Saudis Arrest Mastermind of 1996 Bombing that Killed 19 US Airmen on Iran’s Orders

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

(JNi.media) Ahmed Al-Mughassil, the mastermind of the 1996 bombing in eastern Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US airmen and injured hundreds of international service personnel has been arrested in Beirut and is on his way home to the Kingdom, Saudi security officials told Asharq Al-Awsat.

After living in hiding for 19 years, Mughassil’s capture may have been facilitated by the Iranians, who seek to allay their Gulf neighbors’ fears regarding their expansionism in the region.

The Khobar Towers bombing took place on June 25, 1996, in a housing complex in the city of Khobar, Saudi Arabia, located near the Dhahran Aramco national oil company headquarters. The towers were being used as quarters for foreign military personnel. A truck-bomb was detonated next to an eight-story building that housed US Air Force personnel. In all, 19 US servicemen were killed and 498 men and women of many nationalities were injured. Al-Qaeda was the initial suspect in the bombing, but the official US statement named members of Hezbollah as the culprits. In 2006, a US court found Iran and Hezbollah guilty of orchestrating the attack.

“The operation was carried out in coordination with the concerned bodies,” the Saudi security source told Asharq Al-Awsat, without elaborating on what role the Lebanese authorities had in Mughassil’s arrest and transfer.

Mughassil, 48, is believed to be the leader of the Iran-supported Hezbollah Al-Hejaz group indicted by the US court for the 1996 bombing. He was living in disguise in Beirut.

Saudi Arabia has yet to officially accuse Iran of involvement in the bombing, but the US has specifically blamed the Quds Force, an elite paramilitary unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, of orchestrating the bombing. Tehran has denied any connection to the bombing. Asharq Al-Awsat notes that both Iran’s former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and the current president, Hassan Rouhani, have made over the years behind-the-scene-efforts to contain the crisis between Tehran and Riyadh over the Khobar Towers bombing, stopping short of suggesting that Mughassil was served to the Saudis—and the Americans—by his patrons, as a good will gesture on the heels of the Iran nuclear deal.

Analysis: ISIS Will Go Down to Defeat in Egypt

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015


The Islamic State (ISIS) finally is going to be brought its knees in its attempt to take use the Sinai as a step to expand its terrorist empire to include Gaza, Egypt and even Israel.

The war in the Sinai is not over, but the ISIS attacks on Egyptian army checkpoints and police stations Wednesday were met with a fierce response that eventually will show the world that the Islamic State cannot succeed where a country is unified. ISIS, like Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks, survive on anarchy.

Wherever there is a power vacuum, the terrorists can step in, bankroll schools and welfare program, and take over the area business infrastructure to control the economy and government.

That is what Hezbollah did in southern Lebanon and Hamas did in Gaza.

ISIS also is succeeding in Libya, a semi-anarchic state since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi.

It has frightened the world by beheading men, women and children, and it has recruited butcher knife-wielding agents in Western countries

But beheading victim does not mean it can take over a country unless it totally demoralizes its citizens into surrender.

The ISIS is not invincible, and its incursion into Egypt will prove it.

Egypt, unlike Iraq and Syria, is bordered by open waters on two sides, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the east. The Sinai Peninsula’s tiny land border to the northeast is with Israel, where Cairo has no fear of ISIS terrorists infiltrating the country

That leaves only Libya to the east and Sudan to the south, and both of them indeed are dangerous sources of jihadists and weapons.

But Egypt has one other factor running in its favor, and that is a fierce nationalism that worship and despite its dictators but always survives them by finding another.

ISIS was able to exploit a civil war in Syria and a total breakdown of sanity in Iraq to gain power.

Egypt is a different story. The country was divided between secularist and Islamists after the fall of Mubarak, but with only two sides fighting each other, the victor took the spoils. The Muslim Brotherhood swept into power, and then fell a year later, succeeded by a military regime until an election placed General Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in power last year.

The Sinai Peninsula is prime territory for ISIS. It is steeped in anarchy, neglected by Cairo for years, and its Bedouin tribes have carved out their own little fiefdoms.

Hamas and other terrorist organizations have exploited the vacuum of power over the past several years to carry out attacks in the Red Sea resort area and more recently on the army, but they always have been hit-and-run operations.

Geography and demography in the Sinai make it a wrong choice for ISIS. The Sinai is a desert. There are no major cities except for the Red Sea resort of El-Arish. The Egyptian air force Wednesday had no trouble in carrying out massive bombing raids on jihadist positions.

There was no worry of killing hundreds or even dozens of civilians, if there is such a creation in the criminal and terror-infested Sinai.

ISIS organized in the Sinai with the help of foreign intelligence, according to Egyptian military officials. It had no trouble smuggling weapons by sea from Sudan or from Gaza, but it would take a massive undercover infiltration outside of the Sinai and closer to Cairo for ISIS to be able to undermine the Egyptian regime.

Al-Sisi Wednesday night pre-empted a subversive Muslim Brotherhood-ISIS underground by approving drastic measures to expedite judicial proceedings against jihadists and their fund-raisers, with the death penalty hanging over their heads.

Fears Grow of Assad Waging Last-Stand Deadly Chemical Attack

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has produced new chemical weapons that U.S. intelligence officials he might use in a last-ditch effort to save his own neck, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda and rebel forces have taken over most of Syria.

President Barack Obama, with great fanfare, removed a threat last year to bomb Syria when an agreement was reached for Assad to allow international inspectors to remove his stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, forbidden under the Geneva Convention.

It is questionable whether Assad disclosed his entire stockpile, and all it takes is one warehouse of chemical weapons to unleash a nightmare.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British army’s chemical-weapons unit, told the Journal:

Even if the regime had only one ton of VX left, that would be enough to kill thousands of people.

Trusting Assad is likely trusting Iran to come clean on its nuclear program.

And even if inspectors did find all of Assad’s weapons, nothing prevented him from producing new chemicals, which is exactly what he apparently has done.

Instead of sarin gas, which Assad used in 2013 in attacks that killed more than 1,400 people, he has developed a new chemical bomb using chlorine, according to the Journal, which added that U.S. official suspect that Assad may have hidden some of his chemical weapon stockpile last year.

That should not be surprising to anyone except the same American officials who really think that Iran will live up to an agreement just as Assad did not.

The American intelligence information on Assad’s chemical weapons is “being taken very seriously because he’s getting desperate,” according to officials quoted by the Journal.

The Assad regime, of course, denies it has any chemical weapons.”Experts have been saying for more than three years that Assad won’t last another six months.

Eventually, they will be correct.

US Policy: Passports of Americans Born on Israeli Golan Heights List ‘Syria’

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

The U.S. passport of an Americans born on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights must state the birthplace as Syria, according to U.S. State Department. policy.

The JewishPress.com raised several questions with the U.S. Embassy following the recent Supreme Court ruling that ruled against Congress being able to overturn Executive Branch policy concerning the stated birthplace of an American born in Jerusalem.

The policy was and continues to be that the birthplace on the passport is “Jerusalem,” without a country, regardless of whether he was born in “West” Jerusalem or in the rest of the city that was reunited in the war.

But what would happen if there were a hospital on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and an American birth were registered there?

It may not even be a theoretical question in the near future. The NRG website reported last week that Druze in the Israeli side of the Golan Heights want to establish and maintain a hospital to treat their brethren wounded on the Syrian side of the border.

Regardless, this is American policy, updated in 2008 and stated under the bureaucratic section “M 1360 APPENDIX D  BIRTH IN ISRAEL, JERUSALEM, AND ISRAELI-OCCUPIED AREAS


  1. Background. As a result of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Government of Israel currently occupies and administers the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory [bold-face added} and that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.

  1. Birth in the Golan Heights: The birthplace that should appear on passports whose bearers were born in the Golan Heights is SYRIA [capital letters appear in the original text].

Perhaps the State Department is not aware of it, but there are questions whether Syria even exists today. There is a “Syrian government” that controls a shrinking part of the country.

The Islamic State (ISIS) controls a good portion of Syria. Rebels control a healthy (or unhealthy) part. Al Qaeda also has claims.

But for now, Syria is Syria, including the Golan Heights, even if Israel annexed the strategic area 34 years ago, and even if half the population of the Golan Heights is Jewish.

Policy is policy, and if an American wants to test the unreal reality, it is only a matter of time before there really will be a need for a hospital there. By that time, perhaps Syria not longer will exist.  Since Foggy Bottom cannot possibly come up with the conclusion that the Golan Heights is in Israel, it would have to accept facts on the ground across the border. Perhaps an American born will see his passport stating, “Golan Heights, Islamic State.”

Who knows? Anything is possible with the State Department, anything except Jerusalem being recognized as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights being considered part of the Jewish country.

The State Department regulations offer some other fascinating tidbits.

What if you were an American born before 1948, before Israel became an independent country, but in parts of Jerusalem that were only reunited in 1967? For example, let’s say you were an American born in 1947 in the Old City, which at that time was the home of Misgav Ladach Hospital.

Guess what would be written on the passport?

The policy states:

For persons born before May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and later was annexed by the city, enter either PALESTINE or the name of the location (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation.

“Palestine” was what all of the British Mandate was called, but the Palestinian Authority has adopted the name, which is on many of its official documents and which its schools teach means all of the Land of Israel. “All” means “all,” including Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Eilat.

There is a lesson here about the formulation of American policy. Once it is established, it is written in stone, and even a Congressional act cannot change it. This is what was learned from the Supreme Court decision that said that the Congressional Act in 1998 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not mean that the State Department has to agree to it.

The State Department formulated its policy long ago that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria. No negotiations, No compromise. No nothing. It is Syria, period, and if tomorrow it is the Islamic State, we’ll see.

The other side of the policy is that Judea, Gaza, Samaria and “eastern, southern and northern” Jerusalem “are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.”

The folks at the State Department cannot be that stupid to realize that there will be no negotiations. It must know there is no one with whom to negotiate. It must know that in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority, there is nothing to negotiate except what color ink Israel uses to sign over the store, while the Palestinian Authority uses invisible ink.

Now we know why the Obama administration is so stubbornly fixed on the “peace process.’ It knows it has no chance, but policy is policy.

The State Department stated ages ago that the final status of the “territories” will be decided by negotiations, and that’s that. The world may change, but policy is a different story, especially if a change might help Israel.

The State Department decided way back when that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria, and that is why an American born there would have a passport stating “Golan Heights, Syria.”

And what if an American were born in the State Department? Is that part of the United States or is it territory occupied by policy-makers who cannot see past yesterday?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-policy-passport-of-americans-born-on-israeli-golan-heights-is-syria/2015/06/23/

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