U.S., Israel on Hair Trigger Over Syria

TruNews – July 6, 2018

According to a new report, U.S. and Israeli warplanes are flying “overlapping” 24/7 patrols over southwestern Syria, “ready to go into action if shared red lines are crossed.”

The independent security and intelligence journalists at DEBKA, citing its extensive sources within the Israel Defense Forces, reports that F-18 fighters are monitoring the fighting around the Syrian city of Daraa and the Israeli and Jordanian border regions. The report also notes the IDF has “prepared for three scenarios” in response to Russian-backed Syrian and Hezbollah activity in the area:

• A possible deal with the Daraa rebels being replicated for Quneitra on the Israeli border.

• Daraa’s possible conquest by Syrian-Hezballah forces, with the help of massive Russian air strikes—which increased on Thursday to 100 sorties—being repeated as the tactic for seizing Quneitra.

• A possible assault on Quneitra coming from the southeast of the Golan and starting in the town of Nawa.

The report notes the third scenario is the most likely, citing “U.S. CENTCOM and IDF strategists,” stating that after Daraa is taken, the Syrian-Hezbollah force would turn west toward Quneitra. The offensive to take the city on the Israeli border would eventually put the force directly on the Israeli border in the Golan

https://www.trunews.com

Five rockets launched from Gaza Strip, IDF struck Hamas targets

JPOST.COM STAFF – June 20, 2018

Red alert sirens were heard in Ashkelon, Gaza border communities and Kerem Shakom in southern Israel repeatedly on Tuesday night as thirteen attempts to fire rockets from the Gaza strip into Israel were noticed by Israeli security forces.

The attempts seemed to cause no damages in Israel and four were intercepted by Iron Dome, the rockets were fired both to the south and to the north of the Gaza Strip.

In response the IAF attacked eight Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Three IAF fighter jets struck three targets in a Hamas base located in the southern part of the Gaza Strip earlier on Tuesday night, IDF spokesperson unit reported.

The strikes were in retaliation to the ongoing launching of incendiary kites and balloons into Israeli territory.

The IDF warned that it is ready to use “a variety of tools and means” to respond in an increasing intensity to such acts of terror.

https://www.jpost.com

US official: Israel conducted air strike near Abu Kamal. DEBKAfile: Pro-Iranian Iraqi militia targeted

Debkafiles – June 19, 2018

A US official disclosed that the airstrike on Sunday, June 18, which killed dozens of fighters near the Syrian-Iraqi border town of Abu Kamal, was conducted by Israel. Syrians sources reported that between 40 and 50 Syrian army and Shiite Iraqi militia fighters were killed. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources disclose that the Israeli air strike, if the US official’s account is confirmed, was a major operation for stemming the influx of several brigades of the pro-Iranian Iraqi Kata’ib Hizballah militia as they crossed into Syria from Iraq. This militia is part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) umbrella organization, which takes its orders from Iran’s Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Our sources add that the Kata’ib Hizballah brigades were on their way to southwestern Syria to deploy along the Israeli and Jordanian borders. The air strike caused major havoc in their ranks and a larger number of casualties than reported. As a result, the Iraqi brigades withdrew from Syria and pulled back across the border to Iraq.

https://www.debka.com

Sudden IDF call-up of reserves after Syria announces Quneitra offensive this week

Debkafiles – June 10, 2018

Israel launched an unscheduled military exercise on the Golan Sunday, June 10. Thousands of army reservists were ordered to report for immediate duty with full gear and come directly from their homes and work places. That the sudden IDF announcement did not set a timeline for the exercise’s ending indicated that it was prompted by the Syrian military announcement on the same morning of a major army offensive impending this week in the Quneitra region opposite Israel’s Golan border. The announcement also referred to a twin offensive against the Daraa province on the Jordanian border. The units taking part were named as the Syrian army’s 4th armored division for Quneitra and the “Tiger Force,” backed by 4th division elements, for the Daraa operation.

Israel’s Golan exercise was announced in order to deter the Syrian offensive.

DEBKAfile reported earlier that Bashar Assad ordered his army to go forward this week in the light of the failure of the talks in Helsinki on Friday between the Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s General Staff, to reach agreement on the Syrian question.

https://www.debka.com

Israeli Air Force strikes Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip

Anna Ahronheim – June 3, 2018

Israeli Air Force jets carried out 10 airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip late Saturday night, reported IDF spokesperson.

The strikes were in retaliation to mortars fired towards southern Israeli communities earlier on Saturday evening, including attempts to damage the security border fence and use burning kites to set fields in flames within Israel, stated the IDF spokesperson.

At least four projectiles were fired from Gaza at Israel, the military said in a statement, adding that three were intercepted and one fell short.

If Hamas “chooses to follow a path of terrorism and not solve the difficulties of the people of Gaza it will continue to pay a heavy price that will only become steeper, as much as needed”, said the IDF spokesperson.

https://www.jpost.com

Senior IDF official: Israel at closest point to war since 2014

Anna Ahronheim – May 31, 2018

Despite relative calm returning to southern Israel after more than 100 mortars and rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, Israel is at its closest point to war since Operation Protective Edge four years ago, a senior IDF officer in the Southern Command said on Thursday.

According to the senior officer, the Iranian-funded Islamic Jihad did not show all its strength and, under the guidance of Tehran, might still be able to act against Israel from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.”

This week, Islamic Jihad operated with Iranian consent and Iran has an interest in escalating the situation in Gaza in light of what is happening in Syria and other areas,” he told reporters.

The Southern Command, he said, operated with a “very clear” directive on Tuesday to make sure the latest round of violence didn’t escalate into a full-blown war so that Israel “could focus” on confronting larger threats like Iran and Syria.

https://www.jpost.com

On The Brink: Israel Warns That The “Threshold Of War” Will Be Crossed If Hamas Doesn’t Stop Firing Rockets

– May 29, 2018

Over the past 24 hours, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired approximately 70 rockets and mortars into Israel, and the IDF has responded by conducting at least 60 airstrikes in Gaza.  Even as I write this article, there are reports that the fighting has continued all through the night.  If the hostilities continue, we could very well see a full blown war erupt, and such a war could ultimately draw in the Palestinians in the West Bank, Hezbollah and more of Israel’s neighbors as well.  To say that things are tense in the region would be a major understatement.  On Tuesday, it was reported that there was a full moon over Jerusalem that was “almost red”, and some are taking that as an ominous sign.  This is also the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and that certainly adds an extra dimension to the events that are unfolding right in front of our eyes.  This is the worst violence that we have seen between the Israelis and Hamas since 2014, and many are extremely concerned about what we may see next.

Randomly firing rockets and mortar shells toward civilian population centers is a great act of cowardice, and these recent attacks by the Palestinians are being condemned all over the world.

http://endoftheamericandream.com

Israeli jets & helicopters strike 25 ‘Hamas military targets’ in Gaza

RT – May 29, 2018

The Israeli Air Force has struck at least 25 more targets in Gaza strip in retaliation to the cross-border fire and shelling by Hamas which targeted Israeli border communities throughout the day.

“IDF forces attacked 25 terrorist targets of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip,” Israeli military said in a statement on Tuesday evening. The list of targets included alleged facilities manufacturing rocket launchers, rocket engines and advanced naval weapons, the IDF said. In addition, the Israeli forces targeted military compounds and training camps.

Israeli actions came in response to an increased wave of attacks blamed on Hamas, “which bears responsibility for all events in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said. The military noted that they will continue to decisively respond with a “wide range of tools” against Hamas actions that threaten Israeli citizens.

https://www.rt.com

100 injured: March of Return protests resume at Gaza-Israel border (VIDEO)

RT – May 25, 2018

More than 100 Palestinian protesters have been injured after gathering at the Israel-Gaza border to continue the March of Return protests, which have been marred by violence for over a month.

As of May 21, a total of 112 people have been killed, including 13 children and two journalists, and more than 13,000 people have been injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

On Friday, violence erupted again near Khan Younis, when Israeli troops fired tear gas and live rounds to ward off protesters who had gathered and burned tires about 800 meters from a security fence. Around 1,600 protesters descended on the area, with the Israel Defence Forces stating that rocks and burning tires were hurled at troops.

The violence follows the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to back the IDF in using live ammunition against protesters in Gaza. According to Reuters, the IDF also shot at burning projectiles such as kites sent towards Israeli territory.

https://www.rt.com

Russian heavy Golan-1000 rocket launchers for Assad, Kalibr cruise missiles off shore

Debkafiles – May 16, 2018

Light was shed on Wednesday, May 16, on Russia’s mysterious intentions after its puzzling non-interference in the Israeli-Iranian clashes in Syria.

President Vladimir Putin informed the Russian high command meeting in Sochi of two decisions: “Our ships carrying Kalbr cruise missiles will be permanently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea,” he reported. They will take up position opposite the shores of Syria, Lebanon and Israel. DEBKAfile’s military sources take this step to mean that the Russian army command believes the military confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria is not over and more clashes are still to come.

It was also revealed by military sources in Moscow that the Assad regime’s 4th Armored Division had received from Russia heavy rocket launchers deliberately dubbed Golan-1000, of 500mm caliber, which can deliver three rockets loaded with 500kg of high-explosive fragmentation ammunition. They have a range of up to 6km and are powerful enough to knock over IDF fortifications on the Golan.  Those fortified bases remained unscathed by the Iranian Al Qods 20-missile barrage on May 9.

https://www.debka.com