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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Report: Syrian Air Kill Kills 18 ISIS Terrorists, including One American

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Syrian Air Force killed 18 ISIS jihadists, including one American, in a bombing raid in the eastern part of the country on Thursday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The report cannot be verified because of Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’ official ban on foreign journalists. The Observatory has been a prime source for news of the civil war and often, but nor always, is accurate.

Ina separate report, Turkey said its security forces have arrested 19 people affiliated with the Islamic State, or ISIS, near the border with Syria.

The reported bombing raid targeted a building that ISIS used as its headquarters. Another bombing raid near Iraq also killed ISIS members, Reuters reported.

ISIS controls at least one province in northern Syria and has seized large parts of another province with rich oil reserves. It has perfected the strategy of Hezbollah and Hamas and provides basic needs of life, including water and electricity, for local residents.

“Let us be honest, they are doing massive institutional work. It is impressive,” one activist who fled from the areas told Reuters.

The news agency noted that even if President Barack Obama sends the U.S. Air Force to bomb ISIS terrorists, the Islamic State is too entrenched in daily to be eliminated.

That may help explain why Israel did try to eliminate Hamas in Gaza, just as it could not destroy Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the war in the summer of 2006.

Once terrorists are allowed to replace a government and has a base of social power, it is too late to use conventional force to destroy it.

Israel has been able to contain Hamas, but the European countries’ permissive immigration policies have left their leaders powerless to stop the racial Islamic movement’s takeover of daily life.

Ex-MK from Zoabi’s Party Jailed for Meeting Terrorist in Syria

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

An Israeli court Thursday sentenced former Arab Knesset Member Said Nafa to jail for one year for traveling to Syria, an enemy state, and meeting with Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist party official Talal Naji.

Nafa was placed in the Knesset as a replacement for Azmi Bishara, who not only left the legislature but also fled the country after being indicted for selling information to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. He visited Syria in 2007, the same year Bishara was indicted.

Nafa accused the Israeli government of conducting a witch hunt and said he really was serving the country faithfully by his diplomatic gesture as a liaison between Druze communities in Syria and Israel.

The former MK claimed he never met Nafa. He also has been accused of meeting with Hamas political commander-in-chief Khaled Mashaal, but the Nazareth District court said there was no evidence to prove the charge.

Next in line for jail could be Balad MK Haneen Zoabi, the high-profile fifth columnist who is under investigation for incitement. “Now it’s Zoabi’s turn,” said Likud MK Miri Regev after Nafa was sentenced.

Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman commented that the conviction sent an “important message that Israel will not allow subversion against the country by people sitting in the Knesset at the same time they are acting to destroy the country.”

The Balad’s party platform opposes Israel as a Jewish state.

Report: Islamic State Already in America

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

On the same day a second American journalist was beheaded by the Islamic State terror organization, a former CIA operative says sleeper cells from the group already exist in the USA.

Steve Sotloff, an American journalist with Israeli citizenship who hid both his Judaism and his second passport from the Islamic State terrorists who kidnapped him, nevertheless was beheaded on Tuesday as a “second message to America” to stop air strikes in Iraq.

Many Americans — and perhaps some American leaders as well — may believe the terrorists are contained in the Middle East. But CNN national security analyst Bob Baer, a former CIA operative, said “The Lead” Tuesday that nothing could be further from the truth.

The “people who collect tactical intelligence on the ground, day-to-day – and this isn’t Washington – but people collecting this stuff say they’re here, ISIS is here, they’re capable of striking,” Baer warned.

Intelligence agents are monitoring the activities of suspected Islamic State terrorists who cross into the U.S. through the southern border from Mexico.

But others, he warned, are American citizens who flew to Syria to fight with “the resistance,” and have already returned.

“They can’t prove it. They’re waiting to get enough intelligence to actually run them in. And then there’s the unknown, of how many people have come back they’re not even aware of,” Baer told CNN. “The people who do this for a living are very alarmed,” he said.

U.S. intelligence officials warned last month the Islamic State organization has been pushing to establish cells outside its strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

Among its targets have been cities in Europe, as well as countries in the Middle East.

“We have seen an expansion of its external terrorism ambitions,” a senior U.S. intelligence official told reporters at a Washington, DC briefing on August 14. It was estimated there are now more than 10,000 fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State.

In addition, since the group seized Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul in June, it has significantly swelled its coffers with cash due to also having conquered the nearby oil field and the electricity-generating Mosul Dam. The terror group currently holds five oil fields under its control which provide funding for its operations.

The Islamic State has proved extremely attractive to foreign fighters of every stripe, and thousands are streaming to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside its forces. Among them are many who hold Western passports – including those from the United States and Europe.

After rigorous training, some then return, with orders to start their own terrorist cells at home.

Jordan to Play Important NATO Role Against ISIS

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

This article first appeared in Jewish Business News

Jordan’s King Abdullah’s participation in the upcoming NATO summit will be of “immeasurable illumination” on the strategy of confronting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS), British Ambassador to Jordan Peter Millett told journalists on Tuesday, Jordan Times reported.

Millett briefed the press on the agenda of the summit, which will be held from September 4-5 in Newport, Wales.

According to Millett, three topics will dominate the upcoming meeting: the Ukraine, Afghanistan, and the threat ISIS poses to Middle East security and stability.

Millett said King Abdullah’s “participation is of prime importance because there will be a lot of discussions, ideas and proposals on the role that NATO can play in confronting ISIS’ threat. How can we cooperate and coordinate, and work with Jordan to achieve the security of Jordan and the region and NATO’s allies.”

The ambassador emphasized that the rise of ISIS and the spread of its radical ideology is now a major concern to the West, adding that “the big debate in the UK at the moment is about the British Jihadists returning home one day”.

Millett noted that Jordan has been a strategic partner to NATO since 1994, and the Kingdom’s stability and security is a top priority to all the 28 members of the alliance.

The ambassador refused to elaborate about the precise nature of Jordan’s role in any NATO action against ISIS, but cited the important role Jordan has been playing in assisting the alliance’s military and humanitarian operations in Afghanistan and Libya.

“NATO has constantly been adapting and changing, and the alliance now needs to adapt to the danger we are all facing from extremists and terrorists in Syria and Iraq,” Millett said.

Jihadist Threat Rising on Israel’s Northern Border

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Events on the other side of Israel’s northern border are heating up, and the government is watching closely. The IDF is beefing up its force along the border to ensure that citizens in the region are protected.

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist faction issued three demands early Tuesday (Sept. 2) for the return of 44 Fiji UN peacekeepers abducted by the group last Wednesday. The group is demanding to be removed from the UN terrorist list, it wants humanitarian aid delivered to parts of Damascus, and money — financial compensation for three of its fighters that it claims were killed in a shootout with UN peacekeepers. (In other words, shot by the UN peacekeepers in self-defense when the terrorists attacked the UN Disengagement Observer Force. It’s a known fact this force never fires first.)

Al Nusra is also engaged in a fierce struggle with Syria government forces fighting to retake control over the strategic town of Quneitra, where the sole crossing into Israel lies. The terror group has already seized control of the crossing; heavy battles before and since have sent mortar shells and other artillery flying into Israel’s side of the Golan Heights.

Last week Kiryat Shmona and several other communities were forced into high alert due to the situation. In three separate attacks, at least two people were wounded, including a soldier and a kosher supervisor, and two vehicles were damaged. IDF troops returned fire to the Syrian side of the border, aiming at the source of the attacks.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned visiting U.S. Congress members on Monday that the United Nations would be far better served to focus its energies on dealing with the growing jihadist threat, rather than repeatedly investigating Israel’s efforts to counter terror attacks against its civilians. (A new UN Human Rights Commission probe committee a la Goldstone, headed by anti-Israel Canadian law professor William Schabas, is expected to begin shortly.)

“We’re closely following the events on the Golan Heights where al Nusra terrorists have kidnapped UN peacekeepers,” Netanyahu told U.S. Representatives Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) on Monday. “What we see is that al Nusra, Hamas, Hezbollah – backed by Iran, Al Qaeda and these other terrorist groups are basically defying all international norms, breaking them whether in Lebanon, in Syria or in Gaza. I think the UN would do itself a great favor if, instead of the automatic Israel bashing, they actually turn their attention and their investigative committees against these terrorists who trample every norm on which the UN was founded.”

Rohrbacher concurred, saying that Israel was the sole force for a “long-term peace for this region.” He added that the rest of the Middle East is “awash in tyranny and injustice and gangsterism and terrorism that’s coming from the top, from these people that are running the various organizations, radical Islamic organizations.”

But while Israel and at least most U.S. lawmakers agree on the jihadi threat to the region – and much of the Western world – France and Saudi Arabia seem to be in the process of exacerbating the problem.

The two are close to signing a $3 billion arms deal that would provide new military equipment and weapons to the Lebanese army. This, while the White House has thrown every possible obstacle in the path of normal processing for military-to-military supplies from the U.S. to Israel.

If the Lebanese army were entirely independent boosting its supplies would be a great idea, especially given the current jihadi threat on its border with Syria. But unfortunately a third of Lebanon’s governing cabinet is comprised of ministers from the Hezbollah terrorist organization, which has gone to fight with the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Ditto for the parliament, which also is packed with Hezbollah lawmakers. How unlikely is it, therefore, that at least some – if not most – of these weapons will end up in terrorist hands?

Monday Review: Intense Fighting Causes More Spillover Along Israel’s Border

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Spillover from some of the most intense fighting of the war in Syria is finding its way across the border into Israel, with loud explosions heard and a mortar falling this morning (Monday, September 1) in the Golan Heights. As Syrian government forces continue to battle with insurgents over control of the Kuneitra border crossing, UN forces evacuated the area under fire on Saturday, leaving Israel to secure the border by itself.

The fighting today centered around the town of Hamidiyeh, north of Kuneitra, where Al-Nusra rebel troops aligned with Al Qaida have taken control over the border crossing. A Syrian news outlet loyal to Assad claims that government forces are preparing to recapture the crossing, while the IDF said that last week’s mortar fire that wounded two Israelis most likely spilled over from the fighting in that area.

In response to the heightened security risk, at 9:00 am the IDF issued instructions to farmers in the area to keep away from the border fence. The apple harvest is currently underway in the Golan Heights, with a number of trees adjacent to the fence.

By Monday afternoon reports came in of heavy casualties in the Kuneitra area, including a claim by opposition fighters that they killed a senior commander in Assad’s army. Government forces, meanwhile, claimed that they killed a number of rebel troops.

Yesterday the IDF shot down a drone from Syria that crossed into Israeli airspace near Kuneitra, and 44 Fijian soldiers remain captive after being seized by the rebels.

UN Commander Says ‘Raise the White Flag’ as Syrian Rebels Take UN Peacekeepers Hostage, Attack Others

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The chief of Philippine armed forces says it will ask for an investigation of the commander of United Nations peacekeeping troops in the Golan Heights who asked his troops to lay down their arms and ‘raise the white flag’ under fire. Two groups of United Nations peacekeepers — both of them Filipino — managed to elude capture by Syrian rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during the past 24 hours.

The head of the Philippine armed forces, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, told journalists in Manila that a group of 32 kidnapped Philippine peacekeepers trapped by the rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights had been rescued.

“We may call it the greatest escape,” he said.

“Everyone is in a safe position,” UNDOF Philippine commander Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, said, according to the BBC. “We left our [former] position but we brought all our arms.” In addition, a second group of 40 UNDOF peacekeepers – apparently also from Philippines – managed to escape a seven-hour siege by the rebels after returning fire in self-defense.

The Philippine government has announced it will recall its force of 331 troops in October due to the deterioration of security in the Golan Heights.

A third group of 44 Fijian UN peacekeepers was kidnapped last Wednesday near Quneitra by the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra terror group (Al Nusra Front). The terror organization said in a statement posted on the internet that the captives were “in a safe place, and they are in good health, and that we have given them what they need of food and treatment.”

Jabhat al Nusra seized control of the Quneitra crossing with Israel — the only border crossing with Syria — last week. The group claimed it had carried out the abductions because the UN ignored “the daily shedding of the Muslims’ blood in Syria.”

The Philippine military is planning to demand a probe of the commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on allegations of endangering the safety of Filipino peacekeepers on active duty. (UNDOF was established May 31 1974, the day Syria and Israel signed a disengagement agreement to end the 1973 Yom Kippur War.)

Gen. Catapang told the BBC that Lt. Gen. Iqbal Singh Singha, of India, ordered Philippine UN peacekeepers to lay down their arms to ensure the safety of the Fijian peacekeepers abducted by the Syrian rebels. In addition to laying down their firearms, the general said the Filipino troops were also ordered by Singha to ‘raise the white flag,’ according to the BBC.

“He (Singha) said that if we were attacked we should raise the white flag. I said no way. That means our soldiers will also be held hostage,” said Catapang. The troops defied Singha and informed AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center chief Col. Roberto Ancan instead.

UNDOF is comprised of 1,223 peacekeeper troops from six nations — but it is not clear who will replace the Philippine troops in October.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-commander-says-raise-the-white-flag-as-syrian-rebels-take-un-peacekeepers-hostage-attack-others/2014/09/01/

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