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December 23, 2014 / 1 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’

Battle Ends Between ISIS-linked Fighters and Lebanese Army in Tripoli

Monday, October 27th, 2014

After two days of heavy gunfire, the streets are now silent in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city.

Lebanon’s army and Islamist fighters linked to Syrian rebels, the Jabhat al Nusra (Al Nusra Front), Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror groups have ceased fighting.

But not until after they had claimed the lives of 11 soldiers and eight civilians.

The two-day battle was the worst Syrian-linked violence in Lebanon since the summer, when Islamist fighters linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, and Jabhat al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) invaded the Lebanese border town of Arsal.

The Syrian “rebels” – actually foreign terrorists, for the most part – took 20 Lebanese soldiers captive in that raid. Three have since been executed.

The mostly Sunni Muslim city has seen numerous battles – overflow from the civil war raging in Syria – over the past three-plus years.

Israel has seen overflow from that war as well, with some of the shelling and missile fire directed into the Golan Heights. Occasionally it becomes unclear who is firing what at whom; on those occasions, the IDF fires back at the source, and the silence on Israel’s northern border returns.

Due to the sectarian nature of the Middle East, Lebanon has had its share of instability. Sunni Muslims have for the most part lined up behind the Syrian rebels, who are themselves a divided group, some having broken away to become jihadists and others having remained moderate.

Shi’ite Lebanese have supported the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along with the Hezbollah terrorist organization. Both are generously patronized by Iran. Russia has also been an eager participant, supporting Assad with weapons as well.

Since February, Lebanon has been a country without a president. That is when the term of former President Michel Suleiman expired – and none has been elected to take his place.

For now, the army has managed to clear nearly all the positions held by the Islamist gunmen, according to Sunni politician Samir Jisr, who spoke with international media. Almost. There are still a few positions left to clear around the city.

American ISIS Member Killed in Fighting [video]

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

An ISIS fighter who goes by the name of Abu Muhammad al-Amriki (the American), was reportedly killed on Sunday, Oct. 12.

Al-Amriki was killed during a battle at the strategically important Syrian border town of Kobane, which has been valiantly defended by the Kurds for several weeks.

The man who lived in the United States for approximately ten years and then left to join jihadis appeared in a video earlier this year.

In that video al-Amriki seems not entirely fluent in English. American authorities have not yet determined whether he was ever formally an American citizen, although his nom de guerre makes clear that is how he self-identified.

In the video, the terrorist seems to be describing some sort of weapons double-crossing as the explanation for why he chose to defect to the ISIS terrorist group from a different Syrian terrorist group, Jabhat al Nusra. See the video at the end of this article.

The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS has been hitting positions in the area for several days, but it seems to be too little, too late, and Kobane is soon expected to fall to the ISIS genocidal death squad.

On Feb. 4, James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, told Congress that more than 50 Americans are thought to be waging jihad in Syria, and are among 7,500 foreign fighters in the country. Foreign reports say the number of Americans waging jihad in Syria is substantially higher than 50.

There are many times more Europeans than American who have successfully integrated into the various terrorist groups in the Middle East region.

Iran, US Equip & Finance Lebanese Army to Fight ISIS

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Wartime makes the strangest bedfellows. Iran and the United States are both equipping the Lebanese army so its soldiers can protect the nation from encroaching cross-border attacks by terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Iran announced Tuesday that it has decided to boost Beirut’s coffers with an extra gift of cash for the Lebanese Army, which will also strengthen Tehran’s ties with the country as well.

Ali Shamkhani, director of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, made the announcement during a visit to meet with Lebanese officials in Beirut.

“The Islamic Republic has decided to give a military grant to the Lebanese Army,” Shamkhani told reporters at a news conference, Associated Press reported. This is the first time Iran has announced an offer of military assistance to Lebanon, although it has generously supported the country’s Hezbollah terrorist organization for many years.

Tehran will supply the country with military equipment to be used in fighting radical Islamist factions, according to Shamkhani. “The state of Lebanon welcomed this grant,” he told reporters, but did not reveal which equipment Iran was planning to supply.

At least 20 Lebanese soldiers and a police officer were kidnapped by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization in a cross-border raid from Syria in early August. ISIS has since beheaded two of the soldiers, and another was murdered separately, also while in captivity. Of the group, eighteen are still being held hostage in Syria.

Lebanon’s military and other security forces are also supported by funding from the United States and Saudi Arabia, and have been for some time.

Recently the United States also sent several shipments of arms to the country’s army in order to help Israel’s northern neighbor protect itself from ISIS, which has just formed a new alliance with the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization.

Jabhat al-Nusra currently controls the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing — the sole border crossing between Israel and Syria. ISIS controls the Iraqi side of two border crossings between Iraq and Syria, and that belonging to the sole crossing between Iraq and Jordan.

Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra Joins ISIS In Syria

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terror group in Syria is reconciling with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The two groups have been at odds for most of the past year. However, last week’s U.S.-led air strikes in northern and eastern Syria have prompted Jabhat al-Nusra to renew its ties with ISIS, declaring the strikes a “war on Islam” in an audio statement released this past weekend.

Scores of al-Nusra members were killed in the first wave of U.S.-led air strikes, leading the group to vow retaliation for the attacks. The two terror groups are now holding war councils together, according to a senior source quoted by Britain’s London-based newspaper, The Guardian.

A spokesperson for the group told the paper that 73 members had defected to ISIS on Friday alone. More are planning to do the same this week. “We are in a long war,” al-Nusra spokesperson Abu Firas al-Suri said in a statement posted on social networking sites. “This war will not end in months or years; this war could last for decades.”

U.S. President Barack Obama admitted the intelligence community had underestimated the situation in both Iraq and Syria.

In an interview on “60 Minutes” broadcast on the CBS network, Obama said, “Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves. And so this became ground zero for jihadists around the world.”

That ‘ground zero’ is barely a fired mortar shell away from Israel’s northern border with Syria. “Spillover” from the Syrian civil war raging between government troops and rebel forces has resulted in shell fire landing not only in Israeli territory but also in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey.

Of more concern is the fact that Jabhat al-Nusra controls the Quneitra border crossing — the sole crossing between Israel and Syria — and that ISIS now controls the border crosssings between Iraq and Syria, and the Iraqi side of the crossing with Jordan.

Israeli military officials are monitoring the situation closely.

Report: US Sending Indirect Military Aid to Hezbollah

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The United States has reportedly sent indirect military aid to the Hezbollah terrorist organization, according to information released in a New York Times interview with Hezbollah public relations liaison Mohammed Afif.

The aid, which came in the form of new weapons, was channeled via the Lebanese Army, which closely coordinates with the Hezbollah terrorist group, according to Afif. In addition, U.S. intelligence is being channeled to Hezbollah as well, according to Lebanese sources. This would explain how the terrorist organization was able to pinpoint its first UAV bombing so precisely against the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group, which is not associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group and which in fact currently is fighting against the organization. Al Qaeda has denounced ISIS as “too brutal.”

The assistance to Hezbollah, which appears on America’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, comes in stark contrast to the block placed by the Obama White House on a needed transfer to Israel of Hellfire missiles during this summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Shield in Gaza. The transfer of any weapons and other military hardware to Israel, even routine munitions requests, was temporarily blocked by the State Department and the White House, which required a double signature on any delivery. The hold was released following an intense protest against the action by Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. However, any form of American military aid – once a ‘given’ by Israel’s “closest friend and ally” – continues to be scrutinized by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry; an unprecedented situation in relations between the two countries.

“We need to open up a new page with world media, with the Arabs and internationally,” Afif told NYT. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has referred to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a “monster.” He equated the battle with ISIS as “a battle of life and death no less important than fighting the Israeli enemy, as [its] actions and objectives only serve Israel.”

Afif, meanwhile, has blamed the United States for creating ISIS in the first place by supporting opposition forces in their fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Hezbollah supports with guerrilla fighters. “This beast you which you raised up, as in past cases, you find it’s dangerous for you,” he commented in the report.

While U.S. President Barack Obama has talked about starting air strikes against ISIS in Syria as well as in Iraq – where American attacks have been taking place for several weeks – he has yet to carry out the threat. Both Russia and Iran, which generously supports both Syria and Hezbollah, have warned the U.S. not to venture into Syrian air space without permission from Assad. Since the U.S. has been arming rebels to oppose him, such authorization is unlikely.

Hezbollah Used UAVs to Kill Al Qaeda Terrorists in Syria

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

For the first time, Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist organization has used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to bomb its enemies in Syria.

Hezbollah attacked Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) positions on the outskirts of Arsal, along the Syrian border, according to the Iranian FARS news agency.

Although Hezbollah has previously used the drones for reconnaissance missions this marks the first time the terrorist organization has used the UAVs in an aggressive action.

Israel Watching Northern Border with Syria, Lebanon

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Israeli military leaders are closely monitoring activity on the other side of the northern border and preparing for the day the situation “will change,” a senior military source said Sunday.

At present, fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror organization are miles away from Israel’s northern border, the officer said. But that could change within hours.

Syria’s civil war, launched in 2011, is still raging and spawning more rebel factions and new terrrorist groups by the day. Mortar shellfire from the conflict has “spilled over” the border into Israeli territory – and into other countries as well – numerous times in the past three years.

Sometimes the shell fire is deliberate, however. “We can tell the difference between stray fire and intended attacks,” the military source said. “Sometimes we respond to stray fire, and not necessarily right away. The goal is for the war to stay on the Syrian side of the border.”

The bottom line, he said, is to attack only if there is reason, and to attack a position that is directly tied to fire aimed at Israel. “We do not attack a position for no reason,” the officer said. “The Syrian air force has not violated the demilitarization agreement. We all know where the red lines are.”

Due to the security situation, IDF soldiers became farmers in the Golan Heights to keep civilians home and safe. The soldiers maintained orchards instead of civilian farmers at Ein Zivun due to the unstable situation at Quneitra. Soldiers also brought in the harvest, the officer said. “I also plan to do this to calm the residents. We are not going backwards at all. For Israel, the situation is good.”

While life in Israel is centered on survival, life in Lebanon is growing more difficult by the day, and not just for the average resident but even for Hezbollah terrorists. The group’s ranks have been thinned by its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Three Hezbollah terrorists were killed over the weekend in a suicide bombing in northeast Lebanon. The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terror organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper.

Jabhat al- Nusra is allegedly still holding at least 21 Lebanese soldiers hostage in the city of Arsal, according to security sources quoted by the Daily Star. The terror group seized control over the border city last month. The group is reportedly hoping to erase the borders that separate Syria from Lebanon and Iraq, thus allowing the formation of a huge Islamic state. Jabhat al-Nusra has seized significant tracts of land around the Quneitra crossing with Israel, but the group is linked to Al Qaeda, and not ISIS.

Meanwhile ISIS has been busy with its own missions, among them apparently a passion to wipe out the Kurds. At least 66,000 Syrian Kurds fled to the border with Turkey this weekend, running for the lives from the oncoming hordes of ISIS terrorists who swallowed between 20 to 40 Kurdish towns over the past 24 hours. A National Geographic photojournalist described the scene on the border as “organized pandemonium.”

Turkish military forces had cut holes in the barbed wire security fence to allow the refugees to get through, which they did, rushing in by the thousands. “Twenty to 40 cities fell in the last 24 hours, and ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is moving in with tanks and artillery and killing people in its path, so everyone dropped what they were doing.” The writer, John Stanmeyer, added that he was told it was a fairly stable Kurdish area until 24 hours earlier.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-watching-northern-border-with-syria-lebanon/2014/09/21/

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