Posted tagged ‘Jordan’

EXCLUSIVE – Arab Intel Official Warns Israel, Jordan, Syria Borders at Risk of Becoming an Iranian Stronghold

February 18, 2017

EXCLUSIVE – Arab Intel Official Warns Israel, Jordan, Syria Borders at Risk of Becoming an Iranian Stronghold, BreitbartAaron Klein and Ali Waked, February 18, 2017

(Please see also, Can Trump rescue his Syria deal with Putin?. — DM)

jordan-border-640x480AP Raad Adayleh

TEL AVIV — There is fear that further advances by the Syrian army, assisted by the Iran-backed Hezbollah and elite Iranian troops, may turn the Israel-Jordan-Syria border area into an Iranian proxy base, an Arab intelligence officer said.

“It’s not so much the possibility that it happens, but the prospects of an Israeli retaliation if Iranian forces come near its border,” he said. “Israel made it clear, publicly and behind the scenes, that it would not tolerate Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guards’ presence along its border.”

“Iran has exploited the campaign against Nusra Front and the Islamic State to take root in the border area,” he said. “Jordan and Israel too would like to see these organizations out, but not to the point that Hezbollah and Iran fill the void.”

Lately, Israel and Jordan have cooperated closely on the matter, he stated. “Israel knows that Jordan needs to act against extremist elements but both want to prevent Iran from taking advantage of it.”

“It is also in [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s best interest to keep the Iranians out,” the official contended. “True, he has stated that the Golan Heights would be liberated by force, and he relies heavily on Hezbollah and Iran. But at some point he’d wish to rule over his own border areas, which is something Jordan can live with. But not Iran.”

He added that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards tried several times in the past to gain a foothold in Jordan. “But these cells were unveiled and dismantled before they became operational.”

He added that the joint operation room of the Syrian opposition groups has become almost completely inactive.

“Its activity has been dramatically reduced,” he said of the operation room. “There are no more operational and tactical plans and directives. The world wants first and foremost to remove the jihadist threat, but the elements in the region believe that the jihadi threat will be replaced by an Iranian one.”

He said that Jordan has rebuffed Iranian proposals to increase economic cooperation despite the financial dire straits in which the Kingdom finds itself. “They want to prevent Iran from having any kind of foothold in the kingdom.”

Propping up US-Iraqi Mosul flop exposed Baghdad

December 31, 2016

Propping up US-Iraqi Mosul flop exposed Baghdad, DEBKAfile, December 31, 2016

(I receive frequent daily Google alerts on Iraq. Most deal with terrorist attacks in and near Baghdad, sometimes resulting in a few deaths and sometimes resulting in many.  —  DM)

mosul_iraq_destroyed_tank_12-16Iraqi tank blown up by ISIS bomber in Mosul battle

This week, another 1,700 US special operations forces and 4,000 members of the Iraqi federal police and counter-terrorism service (CTS) were urgently sent out to reinforce the crumbling front lines. Their deployment was officially characterized as marking the launch of “the second phase of the operation to retake Mosul.”


The US-backed Iraqi campaign launched in October to liberate Mosul from the clutches of the Islamic State is on its last legs, although the Obama administration and Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi are making every effort to disguise the debacle.

AS DEBKAfile has been reporting for three weeks, the Iraqi army’s Mosul operation has run aground, despite solid US military backing, giving the advantage to Islamic State fighters occupying Iraq’s biggest city since the summer of 2015.

This development has major security ramifications – not only for Iraq, but also for Syria, Jordan, Israel and the West at large.

The jihadists staunched the Iraqi army’s advance by releasing in its path hundreds of suicide killers in waves on foot and in bomb cars. This tactic has inflicted crippling losses on the two elite Iraqi divisions leading the offensive, the Golden Division, which is the backbone of Iraq’s Special Operations forces, and the 9th Armored Division. Devastating losses forced both to pull back from the battlefield.

This week, another 1,700 US special operations forces and 4,000 members of the Iraqi federal police and counter-terrorism service (CTS) were urgently sent out to reinforce the crumbling front lines. Their deployment was officially characterized as marking the launch of “the second phase of the operation to retake Mosul.”

Their real function was to prop up the few positions Iraqi forces have captured so far and save the Mosul offensive from crashing.

Western military observers noted Saturday, Dec. 31, that more and more American troops are to be seen on the embattled city’s front lines. US combatants are therefore fighting face to face with ISIS jihadists, a development the Obama administration is loath to admit, never having released the number of American lives lost in the Mosul offensive.

Our military sources add that the Iraqi counter-terrorism force sent to Mosul was previously posted in Baghdad to secure the capital against Islamist terrorist operations and ISIS attempts to seize the center and Iraqi’s national government centers. Its transfer to Mosul, 356km to the north, exposed central Baghdad to terror.

And, inevitably, on Saturday, two suicide bombers blew themselves up on a main street of the capital, killing 28 people and injuring 40 in their first major attack there in three months since the onset of the Mosul offensive..

This happened the day after the Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook released an unwelcome report that US security agencies “do think [Abu Bakr al] Baghdadi is alive and is still leading” the Islamic group and the battle for Mosul.

ISIS for its part issued a menacing new communiqué that jacked up its threat against neighboring Jordan’s King Abdullah II and his security forces, in the wake of its terrorist-cum-hostage assault earlier this month on the southern town of Karak, in which 10 people were killed and 29 injured.

The communiqué reads:“All Jordanian soldiers, police, mosque preachers, information activists and regime supporters are legitimate targets for the muhahideen’s bullets and knives. All of Jordan is an open battlefield!”

ISIS is informing the world of its coming targets, say DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources, which are:

1. The overthrow of the Hashemite king and his rule, and

2. The seizure of southern Jordan.

If Baghdadi succeeds in this scheme, he will gain control of a large stretch of land adjacent to Israel and Egyptian Sinai to the west and Saudi Arabia to the south, thereby bringing both under threat and placing itself close enough to block the port of Aqaba, Jordan’s only outlet to the sea.

From the desert region of southern Jordan, ISIS will also achieve proximity to the Sinai desert – through Israeli and Egyptian Bedouin – and be able to control the main Middle East arms-smuggling route and the Sinai center of operations of this illicit and enormously profitable trade

Manhunt in Jordan for killers of 3 US servicemen

November 5, 2016

Manhunt in Jordan for killers of 3 US servicemen, DEBKAfile, November 5, 2016


Jordanian forces, along with US special forces and helicopters, are engaged in a massive manhunt for the Islamist gunmen who murdered three US military trainers and seriously injured others Friday, Nov. 4 at the Prince Faisal Air Base near the southern Jordanian town of Al-Jafr.

Although Jordanian officials first reported the American servicemen were shot in their car while trying to enter the air base, the attack is being treated as a well-planned ISIS or Al Qaeda terrorist ambush that is thought to have been perpetrated by three to five gunmen.

Both the US and Jordanian authorities prefer to keep the identity of the perpetrators dark, DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources report. It is therefore hard to determine whether the killers were Jordanian servicemen on the base or outsiders.

The presentation of the shootout as caused by a misunderstanding that arose when the American trainers failed to halt at the gate of the base is certainly far from the truth. The gunfire on the US vehicle came from directions – one from inside the gate and two from the outside.

This was the most serious Islamist terrorist attack on the 2,000 US soldiers serving in Jordan, largely on training missions and in support of operations in neighboring Iraq and Syria. The base lies 288km south of Amman in a remote desert location near the Saudi border.

The precise timing of the attack indicated that the terrorists had precise intelligence about the movements of the US servicemen. A joint Jordanian-US inquiry is taking place to find how this sensitive information reached the gunmen.

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that Israel’s army and police also reinforced patrols on the Jordanian border Saturday in case the gunmen on the run from Jordanian and US search parties tried to slip across into the Israeli Negev and cut through to Egyptian Sinai. They could call on local Bedouin smugglers to help them reach the northern regions of the peninsula which are swarming with ISIS networks.

The attack on the US trainers in Jordan occurred just 24 hours after ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a rare audio tape appearance to urge suicide bombers” all over the world to destroy the cities of the unbelievers.”

Our Islamist terror experts interpreted this as a coded message to ISIS sleeper cells in Western cities and the Middle East to go into action.

It also coincided with the anniversary of the Nov. 9, 2015 terrorist attack at the Jordanian Police Academy outside Amman. Then, a Jordanian officer opened fire on a group of Western military trainers killing two Americans and a South African.

Abbas to Arab Leaders: Go to Hell!

September 27, 2016

Abbas to Arab Leaders: Go to Hell!

by Khaled Abu Toameh

September 26, 2016 at 5:00 am

Source: Abbas to Arab Leaders: Go to Hell!


  • Abbas and Fatah leaders in Ramallah claim that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (the “Arab Quartet”) are using and promoting Abbas’s rival, Mohamed Dahlan, in order to facilitate their mission of rapprochement with Israel.
  • Many Palestinians were surprised to see veteran Palestinian official Ahmed Qurei, a former Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister and one of the architects of the Oslo Accord, come out in favor of the Arab plan, which basically envisions ousting Abbas from power.
  • This, and not Israeli policy, is Abbas’s true nightmare. After all, he knows that without Israel’s presence in the West Bank, his regime would have long fallen into the hands of Hamas or even his political rivals in Fatah.
  • The “Arab Quartet” plan shows that some Arab countries are indeed fed up with Abbas’s failure to lead his people towards a better life. These states, which have long been politically and financially supportive of the Palestinians, have had enough of Abbas’s efforts to secure unending power — at the direct cost of the well-being of his people.

In his speech last week before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas trotted out his usual charges against Israel, citing “collective punishment,” “house demolitions,” “extrajudicial executions” and “ethnic cleansing.” However, Abbas’s thoughts seem to be elsewhere these days. He is facing a new challenge from unexpected parties, namely several Arab countries that have come together to demand that he reform his ruling Fatah faction and pave the way for the emergence of a new Palestinian leadership.

Yet this was not included in the UN speech. Indeed, why would Abbas share with world leaders that his Arab brothers are pressuring him to introduce major reforms in Fatah and end a decade-long power struggle with Hamas that has resulted in the creation of two separate Palestinian entities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Abbas, his aides admit, is today more worried about the “Arab meddling” in the internal affairs of the Palestinians than he is about “collective punishment” or “settlement activities.” In fact, he is so worried that he recently lashed out at those Arab countries that have launched an initiative to “re-arrange the Palestinian home from within” and bring about changes in the Palestinian political scene.

The Arab countries behind the initiative — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates — are being referred to by many Palestinians as the “Arab Quartet.”

In an unprecedented critique of these countries, Abbas recently declared:

“The decision is ours and we are the only ones who make decisions. No one has authority over us. No one can dictate to us what to do. I don’t care about the discomfort of Washington or Moscow or other capitals. I don’t want to hear about these capitals. I don’t want the money of these capitals. Let’s free ourselves from the ‘influence’ of these capitals.”

Although he did not mention the four Arab countries by name, it was clear that Abbas was referring to the “Arab Quartet” when he was talking about “capitals” and their influence and money. Abbas’s message: “How dare any Arab country tell me what to do, no matter how wealthy and influential it may be.” Abbas sees the demand by these Arab countries for new Palestinian leadership, unity and reforms in Fatah as “unacceptable meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians.”

So what exactly is it in the new Arab initiative that has so enraged Abbas, to the point that he is prepared to place at risk his relations with four of the Arab world’s preeminent states?

According to reports in Arab media outlets, the “Arab Quartet” has drafted a plan to “activate the Palestinian portfolio” by ending the dispute between Abbas’s Fatah and Hamas. The plan also calls for ending the schism within Fatah by allowing some of its expelled leaders, including Mohamed Dahlan, to return to the faction. The overall aim of the plan is to unite the West Bank and Gaza Strip under one authority and end the state of political anarchy in the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The “Arab Quartet” has even formed a committee to oversee the implementation of any “reconciliation” agreements reached between Fatah and Hamas and Abbas and his adversaries in Fatah. According to the plan, if such an agreement is not reached, the Arab League will intervene to “enforce reconciliation” between the rival Palestinian parties.

When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the UN General Assembly on Sept. 22, 2016, he did not share with world leaders that his Arab brothers are pressuring him to introduce major reforms in his Fatah faction, and allow some of its expelled leaders, including Abbas’s rival Mohamed Dahlan (inset), to return.

Abbas’s main concern is not a “reconciliation” with Hamas. In fact, he has repeatedly expressed his readiness to form a unity government with Hamas and end the dispute with the Islamist movement. In recent weeks, there has even been renewed talk of Fatah-Hamas talks in Qatar to achieve “unity” and “reconciliation” between the two rival parties. Rather, it is the attempt to coerce Abbas into reconciling with Dahlan that is really getting to the PA president. In the view of a source close to Abbas, he (Abbas) would rather make peace with Hamas than “swallow the cup of poison” of patching things up with Dahlan.

Abbas harbors a very particular dislike for Dahlan. Until five years ago, Dahlan was a senior Fatah official who had long been closely associated with Abbas. Once, Abbas and Dahlan, a former security commander in the Gaza Strip, formed an alliance against Yasser Arafat, the former president of the PA. But the honeymoon between Abbas and Dahlan came to an end a few tears ago after the Abbas and his lieutenants in Ramallah began suspecting that Dahlan has ambitions to replace or succeed Abbas. At the request of Abbas, Dahlan was expelled from Fatah and accused of murder, financial corruption and conspiring to overthrow Abbas’s regime. From his exile in the United Arab Emirates, Dahlan has since been waging a campaign against the 81-year-old Abbas, accusing him and his two wealthy sons of running the PA as if it were their private fiefdom.

Such is Abbas’s contempt for Dahlan that last week he reportedly instructed the PA authorities to ban Dahlan’s wife, Jalilah, from entering the Gaza Strip. Jalilah runs and funds a number of charities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Her activities are seen by Abbas as an attempt to build power bases for her husband and pave the way for his return to the political scene. Abbas’s decision to ban her from entering the Gaza Strip came following reports that she and her husband were planning to organize and fund a collective wedding for dozens of impoverished Palestinian couples. The funding, of course, comes from the United Arab Emirates, whose rulers have been providing the Dahlan couple with shelter and money for several years.

When Abbas says that he “does not want the money” of certain Arab capitals, then, he is referring to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He strongly suspects that these two wealthy countries are investing funds in Dahlan as part of a scheme to replace him and pave the way for the emergence of a new Palestinian leadership. For Abbas, who has refused to name a deputy or promote a potential successor, this is a very serious threat to his autocratic rule and a “conspiracy” by outside parties against him and his Palestinian Authority leadership.

Abbas and Fatah leaders in Ramallah are convinced that the “Arab Quartet” members are actually planning to pave the way for promoting “normalization” between the Arab world and Israel — all at the expense of the Palestinians. They claim that the four Arab countries are using and promoting Dahlan in order to facilitate their mission of rapprochement with Israel. These countries have reached the conclusion that as long as Abbas and the current PA leadership are around, it would be very difficult to initiate any form of “normalization” or peace treaties between Arab countries and Israel. The PA leadership’s position has always been that peace between the Arab countries and Israel should come only after, and not before, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.

According to Palestinian political analyst Mustafa Ibrahim:

“The plan of the Arab Quartet prepares for the transitional post-Abbas era and negotiations for peace between Arab countries and Israel. The plan is designed to serve the interests of Arab regimes more than ending divisions among the Palestinians. The goal is to eliminate the Palestinian cause and find an alternative to President Abbas.”

This analysis reflects the views of Abbas and his veteran Palestinian Authority leaders in Ramallah, who continue to be extremely wary of any talk about succession in the PA leadership.

Interestingly, the “Arab Quartet” initiative for now seems to have divided Palestinian officials, with some welcoming it, and others rejecting it.

Criticizing Abbas and the Fatah leadership for coming out against the plan, Hassan Asfour, a senior Fatah official and former PA minister of state, urged Abbas to reconsider his “impractical, irrational and hasty” decision to dismiss the initiative of the four Arab countries. Asfour pointed out that Abbas’s recent criticism of these countries was “harmful” and “unjustified.” Abbas’s close aides have retorted by claiming that Asfour was a political ally of Dahlan and therefore has a clear agenda.

Many Palestinians were surprised to see veteran Palestinian official Ahmed Qurei, a former PA prime minister and one of the architects of the Oslo Accord, come out in favor of the “Arab Quartet” plan, which basically envisions ousting Abbas from power. Abbas’s close advisors claim that Qurei has joined Dahlan in his effort to bring about regime change in Ramallah.

Dahlan, for his part, has launched his own initiative by calling for an “expanded” gathering of Palestinian factions in Cairo, to discuss ways of bringing about real change in the Palestinian political arena. Thus, Dahlan has moved from behind-the-scenes activities to topple Abbas to public moves. And in this he enjoys the political and financial backing of at least four important Arab countries that would also like to see an end to the Abbas era. This is the first time that a senior Palestinian official has openly challenged the PA leadership with the support of Arab countries. It is predicted that at least 600 people will attend the Dahlan-sponsored conference in the Egyptian capital. The PA leadership is now threatening to retaliate against anyone who attends the conference by cutting off their salaries. This will only deepen the crisis in Abbas’s Fatah and yield yet more infighting.

Abbas undoubtedly had these thoughts in mind when he addressed the UN General Assembly — the new Arab “conspiracy” to replace him with Dahlan, or someone else. This, and not Israeli policy, is Abbas’s true nightmare. After all, he knows that without Israel’s presence in the West Bank, his regime would have long fallen into the hands of Hamas or even his political rivals in Fatah.

The “Arab Quartet” plan shows that some Arab countries are indeed fed up with Abbas’s failure to lead his people towards a better life. These states, which have long been politically and financially supportive of the Palestinians, have had enough of Abbas’s efforts to secure unending power — at the direct cost of the well-being of his people. It will not take long before we see whether these Arab countries, now mocked by Abbas, will succeed in ridding the Palestinians of leaders who lead them toward nothing but ruin.

Russia: Dissolve US-Arab-Israeli Syria war room

September 12, 2016

Russia: Dissolve US-Arab-Israeli Syria war room, DEBKAfile, September 12, 2016


In another move to grab control of the Syrian arena, the Kremlin marked the start of the US-Russian brokered ceasefire in Syria on Sept 12 with a push for the United States to dissolve the war room that has been running anti-Assad operations from a venue north of the Jordanian capital Amman. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that the demand was handed down from the Russian presidential office and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The US Central Command Forward Command in Jordan has for three years run the command and communications functions of select rebel ground operations against Bashar Assad, especially insofar as US special operations units and air force were involved.

Jordanian, Saudi, Israeli, Qatari and United Arab Emirates officers serve alongside American commanders.

This forward command has evolved, according to our sources, into the nerve center of the military campaigns waged by this coalition against the Syrian army and its allies in southern Syria and also against the Islamic State in southeastern Syria and parts of western Iraq.

In January 2016, President Vladimir Putin had the Saudis talk King Abdullah into establishing a Russian-Jordanian forward command outside Amman alongside the American war room. His pretext was the necessity to avert accidental collisions between the Russian and Jordanian warplanes operating in Syrian air space.

But over the past months, the Russian-led command center has gradually nudged the US war room into an inferior role in the control of ongoing operations.

Last week, in the course of the marathon talks on a Syrian truce held by US Secretary of State John Kelly and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, the American delegation was suddenly confronted with a demand to shut down the Centcom forward command in Jordan and reassign the US officers staffing it to the Russian-Jordanian command center.

Although taken aback, the US delegation in Geneva did not immediately reject the demand, but agreed to give it due consideration provided that the 10-day truce in Syria holds up and can be extended.

If President Barack Obama submits to Moscow’s demand, our sources point out, it would mean curtains for Israeli, Saudi, Qatar and Emirate officers participation in the Amman command. They would be sent home and their governments would find themselves out in the cold in relation to coordinated Russia-US and Jordanian operations in Syria.

According to DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources, Israel and Gulf Arab military chiefs have concluded that Moscow’s move has the opposite goal of a ceasefire, and is in fact designed to clear the way for a major Russian-Syrian operation to seize Daraa, the main town of southern Syria, and drive all anti–Assad forces out of this region.

Since most of the rebel groups in control of the South are backed by Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Emirates, their expulsion would eliminate those nations’ influence and involvement in that part of Syria and sever their operational links with the United States.

This theory gained substance from the Syria ruler’s declaration Monday at the Daraya mosque:

“The Syrian state is determined to recover every area from the terrorists,” Assad said in an interview broadcast by state media. He made no mention of the ceasefire agreement going into effect that day, but said the army would continue its work “without hesitation, regardless of any internal or external circumstances”.

Archaeologists Restore Second Temple Tiles Desecrated by Waqf

September 7, 2016

Archaeologists Restore Second Temple Tiles Desecrated by Waqf, Clarion Project, Elliot Friedland, September 7, 2016


It is motivated by the same contempt for the non-Islamic past that led the Islamic State to destroy so many of Syria and Iraq’s irreplaceable ancient ruins.


A team of Israeli archaeologists have reconstructed the floor tiles used in the biblical Temple of Herod the Great. The find marks a breakthrough in biblical archaeology, but also shows how the Jordanian Waqf, which controls the site, has been careless at best with the site’s Jewish heritage.

In 1999, the Waqf which controls the Temple Mount (known as the Haram al-Sharif to Muslims), created a new entrance using bulldozers.

“Approximately 400 truckloads saturated with the history of Jerusalem were illicitly removed – barbarically removed – from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Waqf in November 1999 to promote a political agenda,” said Dr. Gabriel Barkay, co-founder of the Temple Mount Sifting Project and professor emeritus of the Hebrew University, speaking to the Jerusalem Post.

“All of that was dug up with bulldozers in a place where even a toothbrush is too large a tool to carry out excavations.”

At the time, Israeli archaeologists charged that the process of building the entrance should have been documented carefully and all debris sorted through during the construction process.

Instead they removed thousands of tons of debris full of archaeological treasures and dumped them at a nearby landfill. A team of Israeli archaeologists has been sifting through the dirt for the last 10 years. They have found thousands of antiquities.

Now the project has been vindicated as it has been able to piece together the floor tiling used by King Herod in his renovations of the Temple, proof that the Waqf’s excavations damaged antiquities from the site. Herod ruled at the time of Jesus of Nazareth, and it is at Herod’s temple that many episodes recorded in the gospels took place.

“This represents the first time that archaeologists have been able to successfully restore an element from the Herodian Second Temple complex,” Zachi Dvira, co-founder and co-director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project announced at an unveiling of the restored tiles. “It enables us to get an idea of the Temple’s incredible splendor.”

Islamist supremacists have long sought to deny Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and to secure it as a site only for Muslims. This is symptomatic of the extremist ideology that brooks no dissent or pluralism and which seeks to eliminate all culture it does not control.

It is motivated by the same contempt for the non-Islamic past that led the Islamic State to destroy so many of Syria and Iraq’s irreplaceable ancient ruins.

And, it is the same drive which leads to attempts to use bodies like UNESCO to erase Jewish history on the Temple Mount and formally declare it a Muslim shrine.

This discovery proves both the non-Islamic connections to the site as well as the damage done to antiquities by the actions of the Jordanian authorities.

Donald Trump’s Outreach to Moderate Muslim Leaders Highlights Clinton Failure in Egypt

August 17, 2016

Donald Trump’s Outreach to Moderate Muslim Leaders Highlights Clinton Failure in Egypt, BreitbartTera Dahl, August 17, 2016

al sisi(1)AFP

In his foreign policy speech on Monday, Donald Trump stated that he would “amplify the voice” of moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, saying, “Our Administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices.”

He also said that he would work with Egypt, Jordan and Israel in combating radical Islam, saying, “As President, I will call for an international conference focused on this goal. We will work side-by-side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally, Israel. We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.”

He said that, as President, he would establish a “Commission on Radical Islam,” saying, “That is why one of my first acts as President will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam – which will include reformist voices in the Muslim community who will hopefully work with us. We want to build bridges and erase divisions.”

His comments about cooperating with Egypt, Israel and Jordan were highlighted in the Arab world’s media, with headlines reading “Donald Trump Announces Plan to Cooperate with Egypt, Jordan, Israel to Combat Radical Islam” and “Trump vows to work with Egypt’s Sisi to ‘stop radical Islam’ if elected.”

Under the Obama Administration, US policy has not been friendly towards our Muslim allies such as Egypt. Hillary Clinton recently said in a primary debate with Bernie Sanders that, in Egypt, you basically have an “army dictatorship”.

Egypt is one of the most catastrophic foreign policy failures of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton’s State Department. President Obama started his outreach to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood when he delivered his 2009 Cairo speech. The US Embassy invited 10 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to attend the speech, undermining US ally Mubarak – who had rejected to previous U.S. efforts to reach out to the Brotherhood.

The Obama Administration, and Clinton’s State Department, again undermined President Mubarak in 2011 when they urged him to step down and pressured Egypt to hold elections “immediately” after the 2011 revolution. This policy favored the Muslim Brotherhood to win elections since they were the most organized at the time.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo offering “strong support” for the Islamist President, saying, “I have come to Cairo to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and their democratic transition… We want to be a good partner and we want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people.”

The Obama Administration embraced the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, but when millions of Egyptians took to the streets one year later, calling for early elections against the Muslim Brotherhood government, the Obama Administration did all they could to undermine their efforts.

Over 30 million Egyptians took to the streets on June 30, 2013 calling for the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power. After one year of being in power, the Brotherhood was taking Egypt towards an Iranian theocracy and the Egyptian people stood against political Islam. The 2011 Egyptian Constitution had no impeachment mechanism included, so the only democratic way to remove the Brotherhood was signing a petition and taking to the streets in the masses. Millions of Egyptians took to the streets again in July, supporting then Defense Minister General el-Sisi and the Egyptian military in their efforts to fight terrorism.

The Obama Administration condemned the Egyptian military and police after the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood and punished Egypt by freezing military and economic aid to Egypt. This was done while the Egyptian military had launched a major offensive to “crush terrorist activity” in the Sinai that had built up during the Muslim Brotherhood government. Egypt had to fight terrorism alone – not only without support from the US – but with pressure to succumb to the requests from the US Administration to release the Muslim Brotherhood members from prison and reconcile.

The pressure from the Obama Administration against the removal of the Morsi regime emboldened the Muslim Brotherhood and they waged an Islamist insurgency, not only in the Sinai but on the streets of Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood specifically targeted theChristian community and burned down over 65 Christian Churches and hundreds of Christian shops.

The Obama Administration sent U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to Egypt for “U.S. mediation efforts” and met with Khairat el-Shater, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was in jail at the time and sentenced for life in prison. Our State Department, under John Kerry, sent a representative to Egypt pressuring the Egyptian government to release terrorists from jail.

The Obama Administration also sent Senators McCain and Graham to Egypt to ask the Egyptian government and military to find an agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood. They asked the Egyptian government to “sit down and talk” to the Muslim Brotherhood, who had waged war on the Egyptian people.

Since being democratically elected in 2014, winning with 97% of the vote, Egyptian President al-Sisi has made history speaking out for equality between Muslims and Christians. He was the first President in Egyptian history to visit the Coptic Christian Christmas mass service in January 2015. During his speech at the Christmas mass, he emphasized the need to look at each other as “Egyptians” and not as Muslim or Christian. He said, “We will love each other for real, so that people may see.” President Sisi again visited the Coptic Christmas mass in January 2016 where he vowed to rebuild the Christian churches that were destroyed by Islamists in 2013 after the Muslim Brotherhood were removed from power.

President Sisi has called for “Islamic reform” within Islam numerous times. During a speech to Islamic scholars in 2015, marking the anniversary of Muhammad’s birth, President Sisi urged reform of Islamic discourse and called on Islamic scholars to send Christmas greetings to Christians. In the televised speech to Islamic scholars, President Sisi stated, “We talk a lot about the importance of religious discourse… In our schools, institutes and universities, do we teach and practice respect for the others? We neither teach or practice it.”

The Egyptian government has also addressed the ideology by banning thousands of radical clerics from preaching in the mosques that are not licensed.

Recently, the government of President al-Sisi introduced a textbook for Egyptian public schools that requires Egyptian pupils to memorize the provisions of the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty and delineate the “advantages of peace for Egypt and the Arab states”. This is a major reform taken from the Egyptian government in normalizing and strengthening relations between Israel and Egypt.

President Sisi should be considered a key ally of America as he is leading Egypt towards democracy and also is leading the fight against global jihad, both militarily and politically, in countering radical Islamic ideology. Instead, he has yet to be invited to the United States from President Obama.

Hillary Clinton has been critical of Trump’s position towards Russia, but policies implemented under the Obama Administration have pushed Egypt towards Russia and have alienated our strongest Arab ally for over 40 years. Egypt and Russia signed a$2billion arms deal after the United States abandoned them during their fight against terrorism. Russia also is providing Egypt with $25 billion to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant.

Donald Trump in his speech recognized the need to support our Muslim allies in the global war on terrorism. This is critical in defeating global jihad. We cannot afford another four years of a policy of alienating our allies and emboldening our enemies as we have seen under the Obama Administration.

Iranians and Walid suicide units on Golan border

July 8, 2016

Iranians & Walid suicide units on Golan border, DEBKAfile, July 8, 2016


A flurry of false Hizballah claims amid rising military tension this week was designed to cover up a direct Israeli hit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards HQ in South Syria, DEBKAfile military and intelligence sources disclose.

Whereas Hizballah reported on July 5 that Israeli helicopters had attacked Syrian army positions near the Golan town of Quneitra, in fact, one of the two Israeli “Tamuz” IDF rockets fired on July 4, in response to stray cross-border Syrian army mortar shells, struck the Syrian Ministry of Finance building near Quneitra, which housed Iranian Guards and Hizballah regional headquarters. An unknown number of Iranian officers were killed as a result.

On July 6, Hizballah sources reported a high level of tension at its east Lebanese outposts in Hasbaya, al-Qarqoub and Mount Hermon, indicating possible preparations to retaliate for the Iranian casualties.

The mortar shells that occasionally stray into Israel are aimed by the Syrian forces in Quneitra at Syrian rebel engineering units, which are digging an anti-tank trench on the town’s southern edge to prevent Syrian tanks from mounting an all-out assault against them (See attached map).

These skirmishes are put in the shade by the dangerous gains by Islamist terrorists in southern Syria.

Both ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front have overrun the entire Syrian strip bordering on Israel and Jordan – a distance of 106km from Daraa up to the Druze villages of Mount Hermon.

The Islamists have seized control of this strategic borderland by taking advantage of the fighting between Syrian army and Syrian rebel forces in southern Syria.

Israel and Jordan were also remiss. The IDF and the Jordanian Army were so busy trying to prevent the Syrian army, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah from encroaching on their northern defense lines in northern Jordan and the Golan that they failed to notice the Islamic terrorists creeping up on their borders.

The terrorist presence which Israel finds most alarming is that of the “Khaled Bin Al-Walid Army” – a militia linked to both ISIS and al-Qaeda, which now controls a 36km band bordering on central and southern Golan from south Quneitra to the Jordan-Israel-Syria tri-border area – opposite Hamat Gader and Shaar HaGolan (See map).

The Khaled Bin Al-Walid Army was spawned by a union between the Islamist Liwa Shouada Yarmouk and Mouthana Islamic Movement militias. Its commander is Abu Abdullah al-Madani,  a Palestinian from Damascus, who is one of al-Qaeda’s veteran fighters. Close to Osama Bin-Laden, he fought with hhimagainst the Americans when they invaded Afghanistan 15 years ago. Ten years ago, he moved to Iraq, still fighting Americans, now alongside the al-Qaeda commander Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

When al-Qaeda was defeated in Iraq, al-Madani moved to Syria.

DEBKAfile counter terror sources report that this veteran of Islamist terrorism, who is believed to be in touch wit Bin Laden’s successor Ayman al Zawahri, is active in three areas:

1. He is purchasing and stockpiling chemical weapons – a high priced commodity frequently traded among various Syrian rebel organizations.

2. Abu Abdullah al-Madani is recruiting from his militia suicide units for which he is personally training for operations inside Israel. DEBKAfile sources say that his plan is being taken very seriously by Israel security chiefs.

3. He is maintaining operational ties with Al Nusra commanders in the border region, possibly seeking access to the Israeli border through their turf for his chemical weapons and suicide units.

Israeli-Turkish accord: core of new lineup vs Iran

June 28, 2016

Israeli-Turkish accord: core of new lineup vs Iran, DEBKAfile, June 27, 2016

(Please see also, Israel and Turkey restore relations – peace in our time? — DM)


The reconciliation agreement announced Monday, June 27 for restoring full normalization between Israel and Turkey after six years of animosity will restart intelligence and security cooperation between the two countries and entail joint military exercises, and investments in energy and defense.

DEBKAfile’s security experts evaluate the deal as offering a valuable and timely increment for Israeli’s national interests on eight scores:

1. It fits neatly into the current joint Saudi-Egyptian bid for Israel to bolster their emerging alliance with Turkey that is designed for drawing a Sunni line against Iran’s expansionist moves in the Horn of Africa, the Red Sea, the Straits of Aqaba and in uncomfortable proximity to the Mediterranean shores of Israel and Egypt.

2. It is designed as the forerunner of a series of interlocking deals. DEBKAfile can disclose that the next bilateral accord expected to be concluded is a reconciliation agreement between Turkey and Egypt for Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi to bury the hatchet. In at least one respect, this ont will be modeled on the Turkish deal with Israel: Turkey is committed not to let Hamas act against Israel from its soil and, by the same token, not to permit Hamas’s parent and El-Sisi’s archenemy, the Muslim Brotherhood, operate from Turkey.

3. In this regard, Egypt and Turkey will maintain intelligence cooperation.

4. The bilateral intelligence mechanisms to be set up between Turkey and Israel and Turkey and Egypt will pool their input on Iran.

5.  This key aspect of the renewed cooperation between Ankara and Jerusalem lends it a military-intelligence dimension rather than that of a diplomatic protocol. This dimension finds expression in the decision to devolve its implementation not on the holders of political office but the heads of the military-intelligence services of the two countries.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot, to whom the head of military intelligence defers, will in fact be in charge of these exchanges, as well as the joint military exercises which are in the active planning stage.

Realizing he had been passed over for this important facet of cooperation with Turkey, Israel’s new defense minister Avigdor Lieberman announced he was opposed to the deal. This was treated as no more than a token protest that will not impede it.

6.  Jordan has been slated as another member of the new alliance. King Abdullah is currently in the process of quietly dismantling the Muslim Brotherhood networks in his kingdom. Many of is members belong to the Palestinian Hamas.

7.  Under the agreement, Israel and Turkey will begin formal talks to build a gas pipeline between the two countries, through which Israel might sell its natural gas, with Turkish assistance, to Europe.

DEBKAfile rates this provision as fundamental to the entire process and of cardinal importance to both their interests. Israel is in need of a major client to boost the development of its offshore gas fields, whereas Turkey wants to be that client and, at the same time, Russia is after a piece of the energy bonanza and most of all a contract to build the pipeline to Europe.

Up until recently, Israel put up a keep out sign for Moscow, mainly under pressure from Washington. But in recent months the conversations between Binyamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin have progressed into an inclusive strategic dialogue on Middle East issues, especially on Syria. This opened the door to a Russian role being broached in the export of Israeli gas.

8. This role took another step forward Monday. On the table now is Israeli-Turkish-Russian military and intelligence collaboration for securing the Israeli offshore gas in the Mediterranean – a prospect that brought the Turkish president to finally apologize for his air force downing a Russian Su-24M bomber over the Syrian-Turkish border on Nov. 24, 2015.

For the sake of these promising relations, Turkey was ready to offer compensation in the case of the dead pilot, just as Israel agreed to pay compensation for the nine Turks killed in a clash with Israeli troops during an illicit attempt too breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli-Turkish-Russian cooperation and goodwill for their mutual benefit on the gas issue may also generate joint efforts in other spheres too.

Jordan’s enemy within defies US anti ISIS wall

June 22, 2016

Jordan’s enemy within defies US anti ISIS wall, DEBKAfile, June 22, 2016


The terrorist attack that ISIS carried out on the Jordan-Syria border on Tuesday, June 21, in which a suicide bomber blew up the vehicle he was driving against a Jordanian border patrol, seriously alarmed Amman, Washington and Jerusalem on five counts:

1. The terrorist, who killed six Jordanian soldiers, came from inside Jordan, not across the border from Syria, meaning that ISIS had succeeded in setting up a terror network or networks inside the kingdom.

Suspicion was first raised after the June 6 attack on Jordanian intelligence headquarters in Ain el-Basha near Amman, in which five intelligence officers were killed, by the absence of any claim of responsibility. It now transpires that the ISIS commanders in Jordan had decided to leave no traces for the national security and intelligence services to follow in their investigation.

2. The jihadists’ success in pulling off two attacks in two weeks in Jordan – one in the center and the other in the north near the Syrian border, attests to several networks in play across a widely spaced-out region.

3. The attack on Tuesday took place tellingly at Ruqban, where a large exercise by a new brigade of the Jordanian military established to fight ISIS has been taking place for the last few days. The brigade, the first of its kind among Middle Eastern armies, is armed and trained by US counterterrorism advisors, and its structure modeled on that of the ISIS military. The entire brigade travels in new Toyota minivans atop which heavy guns are fixed.

The exercise is therefore preparing for both Jordanian and ISIS forces to fight by means of fast-moving armed convoys when they engage in their next battle in the desert areas between Jordan, Iraq and Syria.

But the Jordanians will have the advantage of air cover by attack helicopters.

That ISIS penetrated the site of a joint Jordanian-US military drill with a truck bomb attests to the upgrading of ISIS operational capabilities in the kingdom.

4. DEBKAfile’s intelligence and counterterrorism sources estimate that about 3,000 Jordanians have now joined ISIS and are fighting in its ranks. These homegrown terrorists have the family connections and local knowledge that enable them to move easily around the country. Most ISIS religious leaders and mentors are likewise locals, another advantage for drawing new recruits.

5. The Jordanian military, in cooperation with the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, is currently completing a $500-million project to build a 442-kilometer defensive fence on the country’s borders with Syria and Iraq as well as around its bases including those hosting American forces (see map). Its purpose is not only to protect the Hashemite throne, but also to transform the 89,000-square-kilometer kingdom into one of the most important US military outposts in the Middle East in the war against ISIS. The fence will also serve as a barrier between Israel and the forces of ISIS, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Tuesday’s attack, however, raises questions about the entire fence project. Washington and Amman are investing huge sums to keep ISIS out of Jordan when the terrorist peril is creeping up dangerously from within.