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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Golan’

IDF Stands By as Al Qaeda Offensive Threatens Golan Farmers

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

The IDF warned Golan Heights farmers Sunday that they are liable to be victims of stray rocket and mortar shell fire as Al Qaeda-led rebels advance in their offensive against the army of Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

At least one mortar shell exploded in the northern Golan Heights on Friday.

Israel has been careful to stay out of the civil war, now in its fourth year, but the IDF occasionally has responded to several firing incidents that appeared to be aimed at Israel.

So what do you do when your terrorist neighbors, whether Assad, ISIS or Al Qaeda, are killing and beheading each other, but an occasional rocket just happens to fall in your back yard?

You duck.

The IDF says, “Be careful,” and it is hard to criticize the walk-on-eggs policy.

If Israeli soldiers start showing their guns and attack rebel or loyalist positions, Israel, in a single step, or shot if you prefer, could instantly turn the ISIS, Assad and Al Qaeda into allies with the ultimate common enemy, those terrible Zionists.

You know, those are the ones who are occupying territory that was mostly uninhabited except for a Druze city and Syrian army positions used to pound Israeli farmers along the Kinneret until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Now, the shooting has shifted to the Golan Heights, where farmers have the option of being careful while they work or are being even more careful by not working.

But the IDF is not likely the bill for apples that are not picked and for cattle that are not grazing in the pasture.

The farmers are suffering, but at least they have the satisfaction of knowing that with every day, there are a few less terrorists on the other side of the border.

If the farmers can be agile enough to duck quickly, and the IDF can restrain from firing back, there might be peace on the day that the last terrorist blows himself up in frustration because there is no one else left to kill, except, of course, for Israelis.

 

Al Qaeda Controls Syrian Side of Golan Heights

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Al Qaeda forces have headed a rebel offensive and have taken control of most of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

“The regime has now lost control of about 80 percent of towns and villages in Quneitra province,’ and the Al Qaeda-led forces have taken over the only crossing over the armistice line between Syria and Israel, the organization’s director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The Islamist State ISIS terrorist organization has taken control of other areas to the east, but Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s air force has bombed ISIS training bases Saturday and killed at least eight Islamic State fighters.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are Israel’s New Northern Neighbors

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Al Qaeda, ISIS, Syrian rebels, and soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad are engaged in free-for-all and barbaric war that is taking place dangerously close to the Golan Heights border with Israel.

The Syrian government announced Sunday that it has reclaimed control only parts of Kuneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jumped on the chaos to thump his comparison of ISIS with Hamas, while President Barack Obama shocked Americans with a candid appraisal that the United States “does not have a strategy yet” to deal with the New Middle East, light years away from what then-President Bill Clinton promised when he sold the snake oil known as the Oslo Accords.

So long as terrorists kill each other in Syria, Israel can relax, but if and when one terrorist group survives and takes over, the IDF will be wishing for the good ‘ol days of fighting Hamas in Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s description that if a rose is a rose is a rose, ISIS is Islamic Jihad is Hamas. To paraphrase his famous “duck” statement in the United Nations, concerning a nuclear Iran, “if it looks like a wild animal, and if it walks like a wild animal, and if it talks like a wild animal, it is a wild animal – and not a duck.”

The radical Islamic movement has proven that extremism and barbarity are relevant terms, and the ISIS has made Assad look human, more or less, and made Al Qaeda look like middle-of-the-road Islam.

The Syrian government has not admitted the ISIS massacre of approximately 150 of its soldiers, who dropped their weapons and ran for what they thought was their lives in a battle. Instead, the ISIS caught up with them and murdered them. Before their deaths, several of them were “convicted” after their admissions of sins against Islam by not having raped and murdered enemies.

Naughty, naughty radical Muslims, they were.

It is difficult to express ”good news” when beheadings and kidnappings are common are Syria, but Obama’s “we do not have a strategy yet” comment on Thursday should be interpreted positively and not negatively.

It is a bit shocking that the Obama administration’s foreign policy gurus have been standing aside for more than three years during the bloodbath in Syria, after initially siding with Assad.

However, considering that everything his administration touches turns to you know what, Israel and the rest of the world might be better off to the let animals act like animals, pity the innocent civilians who are caught in hell on earth, and let the United States worry about Ferguson and immigrants from Mexico.

Israel also is undoubtedly anxiously preparing for a potential future battle against ISIS or Al Qaeda domination on the Golan Heights.

ISIS, Al Qaeda and Syrian rebels have common enemies in Basher Assad and Israel, but they also are battling each other in order to stake a claim of which terrorists will rule whatever is left of Syria in the future.

The Al-Nusra terrorists long ago split off from Al Qaeda, engaged in its own civil war while fighting both rebels and Assad.

It is all in the name of Allah.

“We in the Al Nusra Front only fight to raise the word of Allah, to make the oppressed triumphant,” one fighter said, according to Fox News. “We only fight to get rid of the enemy Bashar and his soldiers. We have come to fight them so that we can impose Allah’s laws on the country.”

Al Qaeda distances itself from ISIS and announced that ISIS “is not a branch of the Al Qaeda group [and] does not have an organizational relationship with it and is not the group responsible for their actions.”

Syrian Mortar Hits Majdal Shams

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

A mortar shell, apparently from fighting in Syria, hit near the village of Majdal Shams in the northern Golan Heights. It is believed that the mortar was launched from the Syrian side of the Hermon mountain.

No injuries or damage were reported from the hit.

Al Qaeda Quickly Constructing Main Mideast Base in Syria

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

Al Qaeda is quickly constructing its main regional Middle East base in Syria, from where it plans to export terrorism and Islamic radicalism to neighboring states, then to the West, a new report released by an Israeli security research institute warned.

The jihadis later aspire, according to the report, to turn “Greater Syria” — an old geographic term encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories — into an Islamic caliphate.

The exhaustive study took a year to compile, according to researchers at the Tel Aviv-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which released it.

The Center itself is a part of the Israeli Intelligence and Heritage Commemoration Center, founded in the 1980s by leading members of the Israeli intelligence community.

The report identified the Al Nusra Front as Al Qaeda’s official arm in Syria; they added that the organization is quickly entrenching itself in the north and east of Syria, where the Assad regime’s rule has collapsed.

According to Dr. Reuven Erlich, the head of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the Al Nusra Front is entrenching itself in Syria at a rate several times faster than the time it took Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to become a serious international terrorist presence.

Erlich, who served in several posts in IDF Military Intelligence, also cautioned that Syria’s location in the heart of the Middle East, its proximity to Europe, and its border with Israel mean that geopolitically, the jihadi threat from Syria is more central than the one from Afghanistan or Pakistan.

He compared Al Nusra’s activities in Syria today to the incubation period of a virus, before it begins spreading and infecting other hosts. Later, Erlich warned, the plague of jihad will spread outwards from Syria to the region, then go on to threaten global security.

The researchers who composed the report assessed the chances of Al Nusra realizing its goal of building a caliphate as low, due to Syria’s diverse sectarian, ethnic, and religious population, and strong tradition of secular Arab nationalism.

Nevertheless, they said, the group is on course to become one of the most prominent rebel entities, and will play a key role in shaping a post-Assad Syria, while using its growing presence as a springboard to launch international terrorist attacks.

At the moment, Al Nusra’s most urgent goal is toppling President Assad; its members are therefore not yet focusing on enforcing Shari’a law in Syria. They show a pragmatic willingness to work with other rebel organizations, including the main Free Syrian Army. But once the Assad regime falls, a violent campaign by jihadis might begin to cement their control over any new government formed by rebels in Damascus.

A second jihadi organization operates in Syria, the researchers said, called the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, formed by Al-Qaeda in Iraq, though Al Nusra is the only one to have received official recognition by Al Qaeda’s central leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, in June this year.

“The two branches together have an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 operatives in our assessment, and the number is growing,” the report stated.

Erlich said the influence of the group is out of proportion to its numbers, due its operational capabilities and influence on the population.

The Al Nusra Front is led Abu Muhammad al-Julani, who possibly hails from the Syrian Golan, and rules over a network of fighters and local subordinates in Syria’s districts.

He is a veteran of jihadist battles against US forces in Iraq, and a former follower of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who set up Al Qaeda in Iraq in the previous decade.

Rank and file members of the group are a mix of Syrians and foreign volunteers from the Arab and Muslim world, the report said, adding that foreign volunteers number in the thousands. Additionally, between 500 and 600 European Muslim volunteers are in the organization, mainly hailing from the UK and France. They are expected, after returning from the battlefields, to spread jihad in their home countries, the report said.

The Al Nusra Front’s most senior body is called the Consulting Council of Jihad Fighters. Its leadership is made up of staff dealing with military operations, fundraising, weapons acquisitions and smuggling, religious affairs and public relations. Fighting units are usually called battalions or companies.

The report mapped out the Al Nusra Front’s presence in Syria, noting that it was strongest in the north and east, where the Assad regime has collapsed. In these areas, called “liberated zones” by the jihadis, Al Nusra and affiliated groups provide public services, maintain health, legal, and policing systems, and distribute food, clothing and blankets.

In some places, residents have complained about a strict code of Shari’a-based conduct being enforced.

According to the report, the group is weakest on the Mediterranean coast, where the minority Alawite population — of which the ruling Assad regime is mostly composed — is located.

Most of Al Nusra’s attacks are focused on greater Damascus and on northern and eastern Syria, in places such as Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Idlib and Deir al-Zor. Its actions are guerrilla-terrorist campaigns against the regime’s bases, facilities and individuals.

Tactics include suicide car bombings, roadside bombs, suicide bombers on foot, and firing on bases and airfields with light arms and mortars. Security checkpoints are a frequent target.

“Suicide bombings are a signature brand” of Al Nusra and are operationally effective, but have resulted in negative public relations among other Syrian rebels, said the report.

The Al Nusra Front plans to attack Israel from the Syrian Golan, according to an assessment that appeared in the report. It “can be expected to establish an operative terrorist infrastructure in the Golan Heights, a continuation of military infrastructure it is currently constructing in Deraa,” the southwestern city where the anti-Assad uprising began in 2011.

“In our assessment, Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist organizations may integrate themselves into terrorist attacks from the Golan Heights despite the fundamental ideological differences between them,” it added.

Al Nusra can also be expected to link up with fellow jihadis who follow Al Qaeda’s ideology in neighboring Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip.

Pro-Western Arab states are on the target list too, the report said, adding that Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, all of which support the rebels, might be targeted by Al Nusra in the form of subversive, radical Islamists entering them and setting up terrorist cells.

In northern Syria, Al Nusra and its allies have seized key national resources such as oil and gas fields, oil pipelines, dams, power plants and grain silos.

These sites are now operated by jihadis, who sometimes sell oil and gas to the Assad regime for profit, enabling the organization to pay its operatives a monthly salary, purchase more weapons, and run assistance programs in “liberated areas.”

As Al Nusra fighters raid Syrian weapons depots, the fear remains, the report stated, that “in the absence of the considerations of restraint that influence other terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorist organizations,” they could obtain chemical and biological weapons, and use them in terrorist attacks.

IDF Hits Syrian Military Position with Tammuz Missile

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

In response to the mortar fire that hit the Israeli side of the Golan on Saturday multiple times, on Saturday afternoon the IDF launched a “Tammuz” missile at at least one of the Syrian military positions that launched the mortars.

The missile hit the position and took out a Syrian’s mortar cannon. It’s unknown if any Syrian soldiers were hit in the retaliatory strike.

The Tammuz guided missile has a range of 25 kilometers, can track a target independently, and can penetrate the armor of any tank. Each missile costs half a million shekels.

Syrian Mortars Hit the Golan

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

The IDF is reporting that at least 1 Syrian mortar landed in central Golan over Shabbat, and another landed near the border. Residents in the Golan are reporting that 10 mortars hit inside Israeli territory, and that one fell just outside Kibbutz Na’arim.

Israel also brought 12 wounded Syrians into Israel for emergency medical treatment during the day.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/syrian-mortars-hit-the-golan/2013/08/17/

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