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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Iran Bombs ISIS in Iraq

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Iranian warplanes bombs Islamic State (ISIS) forces in inside the Iraqi border as Tehran openly joins the western-led war against the Sunni terrorist army.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John F. Kirby implicitly confirmed the Iranian aerials strikes, saying that he has “no reason to believe” the reports about them were untrue.

Tehran’s overt offensive further turn the Middle East into a constantly changing maze of upheavals that are light years ahead of the United States’ ability to grasp what happened yesterday, let alone today.

The previous and current American administrations

have invested billions of dollars in Iraq, and the willingness of Iran to stage aerial bombings in Iraqi air space could further de-stabilize Iraq, torn by intra-Muslim wars.

Fighting the ISIS also gives Iran a handy lever to use against the United States while it continues its unsupervised nuclear development program.

ISIS ‘Prince’ of Iraq’s Anbar Province Killed

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The “prince” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Anbar Province is dead, according to a report by Al Arabiya.

Senan Meteeb, the so-called ISIS “emir” of western Anbar, was reportedly killed early Wednesday in a coalition air strike.

At least 24 other ISIS fighters were also allegedly killed in the attack, and numerous others were wounded.

The strike came one day after ISIS terrorists slaughtered 25 people from the Albunimr tribe in Anbar, Al Arabiya reported. Hundreds from the Sunni Muslim tribe have been murdered by ISIS.

Tribal fighters are demanding more air support from the U.S.-led coalition and Baghdad. The tribe’s cooperation with the Iraqi government — which is Shi’ite-led — is seen as key in order to defeat ISIS in the province, where the terrorist group has made considerable gains.

In the Short Run, Biden Might Well Keep his Promise that Iran Won’t Get Nukes

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

{Originally posted at author’s website, Liberty Unyielding}

It’s not just the promise, of course.  It’s the Bidenesque way he makes it:

Monday, Biden had to remind Israeli leaders that the U.S. is not seeking a negotiation with Iran at Israel’s expense.

“I have heard so much malarkey about our position on Iran,” Biden said. “We will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon, period. I would not put my 42-year reputation on the line if I were not certain when I say it. We mean it.”

Daniel Greenfield casts a doubt or two on that 42-year reputation, and that’s fair enough.  We would be fools to take seriously such assurances from Joe Biden.

But there are reasons why Iran may well delay that moment of focused provocation when the radical Islamic regime proves itself nuclear armed.  If the Iranians don’t have the means to offer that proof yet, they are very close to it – so close that it is now their choice how fast to move, and in what way.

Where we are

Iran now lacks only the public demonstration of uranium enrichment to a weapons-grade level (above 95%), and a detectable warhead detonation.  To talk of a “breakout” capacity – a bomb-in-waiting – as something we are still looking for is now misleading.  Using such terms suggests that there is something more we need to see from Iran, before we officially set the breakout watch.

But the reality is that there is nothing we have yet to see that we can reliably expect to see.  We’ve reached the point at which it is prudent to assume the breakout watch has already started – and imprudent not to.

Fifteen years ago, Iran did not have a reliable uranium enrichment process; did not have an industrial-scale infrastructure for enrichment; did not have a stockpile of enriched uranium; did not have her own uranium production capacity; did not have a detonator mechanism for a uranium warhead; did not have a missile that could deliver a nuclear warhead; and did not have anything close to an intercontinental missile capability.

As little as six years ago, moreover, the United States had more than enough ready combat power, between our Air Force and Navy, to quickly strike a meaningful blow against an Iranian nuclear infrastructure that was still comparatively rudimentary and geographically concentrated.

Both of those conditions have changed significantly.  Iran now does have all the things she lacked in 1999: enough low-enriched uranium for at least 7-8 warheads; a proven enrichment process, including enrichment to higher purity (19.75%); an industrial-scale infrastructure, with geographic dispersion; an indigenous uranium production capacity (see here and here); a tested detonator mechanism for a nuclear warhead; at least one medium-range ballistic missile series that could deliver a nuclear warhead; and a satellite/rocket program advanced enough to support ICBM testing in as little as 1-3 years.  Iran has acquired almost all of these things since UN sanctions were implemented in 2007, and under the regime of IAEA inspections.

Reminder: Nothing has interrupted the trend of Iran’s uranium enrichment. Red column shows low-enriched UF6 stockpiled (versus total cumulative enrichment in blue), once Iran began enriching some stock to 20% in Jan 2012. Although Iran has “downblended” her 20%-enriched stock, the rate of increase in the total stockpile of 5% LEU has been robust: 17% from 11/13 to 11/14. (Data source: IAEA)

Reminder: Nothing has interrupted the trend of Iran’s uranium enrichment. Red column shows low-enriched UF6 stockpiled (versus total cumulative enrichment in blue), once Iran began enriching some stock to 20% in Jan 2012. Although Iran has “downblended” her 20%-enriched stock, the rate of increase in the total stockpile of 5% LEU has been robust: 17% from 11/13 to 11/14. (Data source: IAEA)

American military power, in the meantime, has declined to such an extent that mounting a quick, comprehensive strike on the Iranian infrastructure is no longer feasible.  We couldn’t do it quickly.  Not only could we not do it quickly; we couldn’t do it without first restoring the readiness of military units we no longer keep at their highest readiness level.  It would take months to prepare for a comprehensive strike campaign – and would require the prior allocation of special funding from Congress.

Where Iran once wanted to be

Iran’s vision for the future has been shaped, as everyone’s has, by the consequences of the Arab Spring.  It has also been shaped by the withdrawal of American power under Obama.

Four or five years ago, Iran took as a given the U.S. posture in the larger Middle East.  That posture included a key strategic presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan; close partnerships with almost all the Gulf Cooperation Council nations; special relationships, including military cooperation, with both Egypt and Israel; and unchallenged supremacy on the regional seas.

Iran’s basic objective was to peel America’s partners away through the pressure of proxy insurgencies (and other underhanded tactics), and thus squeeze us out of the region.  The first-order purpose of having the bomb was to immunize Iran against retaliation in that process, as the USSR had immunized itself with a nuclear “deterrent” force when it worked through proxy conflicts in the Cold War.

Iran also set her sights on chokepoints in the regional waterways, from the Strait of Hormuz through the Red Sea and all the way to Morocco and the Strait of Gibraltar.  No one was close to having a navy that could challenge the U.S. Navy, but even great navies are vulnerable in chokepoints.

At a kind of eschatological-strategic level, meanwhile, just as the Arab Spring was unfolding in early 2011, Iranian TV was running a mullah-approved “documentary” that outlined a scheme of military preparation for the arrival of the “twelfth imam.”  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad figured as a great military commander from Shia prophecy in this fantastical oeuvre, which depicted a dénouement in the armed conquest of Jerusalem.  (“Rescuing” Jerusalem had already figured for years in Iranian policy rhetoric, as well as in the concept of some major military exercises.)

Where Iran now wants to be

In the years since Obama took office, much has changed.  One thing hasn’t, and that’s Iran’s interest in gaining leverage at critical chokepoints in the regional seaways.  But some of the focused urgency has been bled out of the pressure campaign against America’s regional partners, in part because of the Arab Spring, and in part because Barack Obama has been doing an excellent job of peeling them away from us himself.

The momentum of Iran’s efforts has shifted to a new, more geographically focused vector, one that as recently as 2011 appeared to be unthinkable.  Where once Iran was confined to putting general pressure on various American partners in the region, and perhaps maneuvering to leapfrog nearby territory in which we seemed established – Iraq, Jordan, Israel – Iran can now realistically contemplate making an “internal” line of communication (LOC) through that territory.  She might accomplish that by proxy first, and then, eventually, exploit the LOC directly.

In fact, with much of the territory in question now disputed between ISIS and a weak Iraqi government, Iran has all the more reason for being there, with advisors and military equipment.

The bonus?  The U.S., weakened and compromised as our power is, has signed up to do at least some of the fighting against ISIS.  If Iran plays her cards right, American forces will open her strategic LOC through the heart of the Middle East for her.

US-Led Air Strike Reportedly Hit No. 1 Leader of ISIS

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

A U.S.-led air strike on the ISIS may have critically injured or killed the top leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization, Al-Arabiya television reported Saturday.

If true, it would be the most dramatic success in the war on terror since US Navy SEALs killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden three and a half years ago.

The Saudi-owned media said the radio was carried out on an Iraqi town near the Syrian border, where Reuters witnesses told Reuters senior ISIS terrorist leaders were meeting.

The leader of the ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, otherwise known as the “Invisible Sheikh” because of his absence from the public.

American officials have not commented except to say that an aerial strike bombed a convoy n an area more than 150 miles from the house where the ISIS meeting was meeting in the town that Al Arabiya said was bombed.

The United States has placed a $10 million bounty on Al-Baghdadi’s head

In two years, he has transformed the ISIS into a billion-dollar terrorist empire that makes $1 million a day from oil fields that its terrorists have captured in Iraq.

President Barack Obama on Friday authorized another 1,500 U.S. soldiers to be deployed in Iraq in the war against the ISIS. It seems the president, who campaigned in 2008 on an anti-war campaign, has discovered that one has to engage terrorists with bullets and bombs and not diplomacy and negotiations.

Israeli Doctor Joins ISIS, Gets Killed

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

The Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon announced Sunday morning that an Israeli Bedouin doctor who was doing his internship at the medical center is the same person who security sources said joined the Islamic State ISIS group of barbaric killers and was killed in fighting in August.

The doctor was identified as Alkian Othman, age 26, from the Bedouin city of Hura, located approximately 10 miles north of Be’er Sheva. His brother was arrested last April for helping him on his journey.

Barzilai officials searched for its resident doctor-turned-terrorist after he disappeared and discovered that he changed professions. Instead of saving lives, he preferred to end lives, and his case, it was his own.

Othman, who studied medicine in Jordan, was supposed to begin working in Israel’s Soroka Medical Center in May but suddenly disappeared.

“Security forces contacted us and searched for him,” Barzilai Hospital said in a statement on Sunday. “Then, we were informed that he chose to join ISIS.”

So much for a bright future.

He had plenty of other companions from Israel.

More than 30 Israeli Druze, Bedouin and Arabs, all of them with Israeli citizenship, have been enlisted in the ranks of ISIS after leaving the country for a “vacation” in Turkey and then moving to Syria.

“My son went to Syria last January, and we did not know what his intentions were,” said the father of Ahmed Havashi, from northern Israel, who also was killed in battle. “I told him this is not our religion; this is not the message of Islam,” the bereaved father added.

Syrian Rebels Claim They Overran Golan Spy Post Backed by Russians [video]

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Syrian rebels have posted a YouTube claiming that they overran a spy post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that was partially manned by Russians.

The video, picked up by The Daily Beast shows includes insignia and other signs that the post was run by Syrian intelligence with help from Russia. The post probably was used to monitor communications between rebel forces but also might have been used to tune in on the Israeli side of the strategic Golan Heights.

Photos of the location of IDF units were found bit the Free Syrian Army (FSA), confirming reports from Israel earlier this year that Russia is even more deeply involved in the Assad regime than previously estimated. Russian insignia were seen in the YouTube.

An FSA official told The Daily Beast that its fighters spotted more than dozen Russians in the area before the FSA overran the post.

Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia’s military and intelligence services at New York University was quoted as saying that Russian advisers probably were “running an operation for detailed radio technical intelligence; we are not talking about intercepting telemetry and aircraft.”

With the ISIS advancing in northern Syria and closing in on cities in Iraq, including Baghdad, it is safe to assume that Israel would have preferred that Assad forces, even with the presence of Russian personnel, man a spy post across from the Israeli border instead of its being operated by rebels who just as easily could be overrun by Al Qaeda or ISIS jihadists.

Israeli Arab Who Joined ISIS Killed in Iraq

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

An Arab citizen form Israel who left his home in the Galilee this year and joined the ISIS has been killed in fighting in Iraq.

He was identified as 23-year-old Hamed Mohammed Habashi, 23, who is believed to have traveled to Turkey and to Syria.

Other Israeli Arab also have joined the Islamic State, which is a magnet for jihadists to help fulfil the ISIS aim of turning Israel into a Muslim country that is to be part of an Islamic Caliphate.

Hamas is mild stuff compared with ISIS in terms bravado, making it attractive to wannabe gung-ho jihadists.

“Unfortunately, lately we’ve been hearing about a lot of youths and men of religion who support the Islamic State. I don’t understand this. This is an organization that must be classified as a first-class terror organization,” A Galilee Muslim cleric told Yediot Acharonot.

As previously reported, several Arabs from Israel, including some from Judea and Samaria, have joined Al Qaeda and rebel forces fighting Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

ISIS flags are the new rage in Israel, and several have been seen flying in Israeli cities.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-arab-who-joined-isis-killed-in-iraq/2014/10/11/

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