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

Failed Israeli-Russian deal opens SW Syria to Syrian bombardment, Iranian/Hizballah presence

Debkafiles – June 22, 2018

Syria’s moves in the southwest this week followed Russia’s failure to persuade Israel to stand aside and allow Assad’s army to take charge of the Quneitra and Daraa regions on the Israeli and Jordanian borders. Moscow hoped that the Syrian rebel forces defending the two areas would lay down their arms and go over to Bashar Assad’s army. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Netanyahu government spurned Russia’s plan – not least for lack of trust, suspecting that the Syrians would cheat and let Hizballah reach its border. Last month, an attempt was made to trick Israel, after its consent to a previous Russian plan to hand the Beit Jinn enclave on Mt Hermon to Syria, by providing Hizballah troops with Syrian Army 4th Division uniforms.

The same deception is being practiced at present in the southwest regions of Daraa and Quneitra. Russian and Syrian propaganda machines claim that Hizballah and pro-Iranian Shiite militiamen are being withdrawn from the Israeli and Jordanian borderlands,  when in fact they are not moving after being disguised in Syrian army uniforms. The Russians don’t mention an Iranian withdrawal because Moscow pretends they don’t exist, when in fact an Iranian command center is fully operational in that part of Syria.

https://www.debka.com

Syrian army steps up attacks in southwest, Jordan concerned

REUTERS – June 20, 2018

AMMAN – The Syrian army stepped up shelling of opposition-held parts of the southwest as it mobilizes for a campaign to regain the area bordering Jordan and the Israeli Golan Heights, opposition sources said.

Violence erupted at the frontline town of Kafr Shams, near the Syrian-held Golan Heights, and further east in the town of Busra al Harir, which was struck by dozens of mortars from nearby army positions, the sources said.

Syrian state media said militants had escalated attacks on civilians in the area which is part of a “de-escalation” zone agreed by the United States and Russia last year with the aim of containing the conflict in the southwest.

An offensive in the southwest would risk a major escalation of the seven-year-old war. The area is of strategic importance to Israel, which is deeply alarmed by Iranian influence in Syria. Washington has warned it will take “firm and appropriate measures” in response to violations of the “de-escalation” deal.

https://www.jpost.com

U.S. says will ‘take firm measures’ against Syria violations near Israel border

REUTERS – June 15, 2018

The US will “take firm and appropriate measures” in response to Syrian government violations in a so-called de-escalation zone in the southwest of the country, the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The southwest of Syria, bordering Jordan and the Israeli Golan Heights, is one of the remaining parts of the country still outside the control of the state after seven years of conflict.

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have recovered swathes of territory from rebels with the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, and he has repeatedly pledged to take back “every inch” of the country.

Experts have investigated reported use of chemical weapons by Assad’s government. More than 500,000 people have been killed in the fighting, which has drawn in global powers and neighboring states.

https://www.jpost.com

US Promises “Firm” Measures if Damascus Breaks Ceasefire in Daraa

Sputnik News – May 26, 2018

The region of Daraa is enjoying a ceasefire negotiated after a meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in July 2017. The region, known as the “cradle of the revolution” during the Arab Spring in 2011, is now mostly controlled by numerous anti-government organizations.

The US State Department issued a statement late Friday saying it was “concerned” by leaflets, which were reportedly dropped by government aircraft in the province of Daraa. According to reports circulating among pro-opposition monitors, the leaflets called on the militants to stop fighting and reconcile with the Syrian government, otherwise they would allegedly “gamble their lives” and head to “inevitable death.”

“We also caution the Syrian regime against any actions that risk broadening the conflict or jeopardize the ceasefire,” said spokeswoman Heather Nauert, noting that the ceasefire had been reaffirmed by Washington and Moscow last November. “As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations,” she added.

https://sputniknews.com

‘The United States Is with Israel in This Fight’: Pompeo Joins Netanyahu Against Iran

Julie Stahl Chris Mitchell – April 30, 2018

JERUSALEM, Israel – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Jordan Sunday evening on the last leg of his trip to the Middle East, which included stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel, where he’ll meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II.

It was Pompeo’s first trip abroad in his new position. His theme throughout the region has been stopping Iran.

Pompeo’s message on Iran was clear.

“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation, threats to Israel and the region, and Iran’s position to dominate the Middle East remains,” he said. “The United States is with Israel in this fight and we strongly support Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself,” he said.

http://www1.cbn.com

Jordan Blasts Israel for Letting Jews Pray at Temple Mount

by JNS.org – April 5, 2018

JNS.org – The government of King Abdullah Hussein of Jordan has filed an official complaint with Israel’s Foreign Ministry for allowing members of the Jewish faith to utter Jewish prayers outside the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

According to a report by Israel’s Channel 10 news, Jordan went through official channels to express its grievance that “Israel is violating the status quo in the area and is carrying out extreme provocations that harm relations between our two countries.”

The charge is that when Jews speak the words of any Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount — regardless of whether they are Israeli, in groups or even saying the words coherently so that those around them can hear — the act is contrary to a longstanding agreement between Israel and Jordan that allows Jews to walk on the Temple Mount but not to utter prayers of any kind.

https://www.algemeiner.com

Drone Images Expose Major US, Jordan Military Build-up On Syrian Border

Tyler Durden – May 19, 2017

The US and Jordanian military forces may be prepping a massive invasion of Syria, if intelligence reports gathered from surveillance drones suggest.

Following reports today that President Trump confirmed US will provide arms directly to The Kurds to fight ISIS, AlMasdarNews.com reports, Damascus is reportedly on high alert after some 400 American and Jordanian military vehicles were located at a Jordanian military base near the Syrian desert border earlier today.

The tanks are supposedly Jordanian M60 types.

The photos validate previous reports by an Al-Masdar News military source suggesting a major Jordanian and US buildup at the Syrian border. The military base is located east of Az-Zarqa, 43 km away from the Syrian border.

https://www.zerohedge.com

Jordan Endorses Abbas’s Unity Deal with Hamas Terrorists

Breitbart Jerusalem – October 23, 2017

The Times of Israel reports: AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan’s king has endorsed a fledgling Palestinian reconciliation agreement that is meant to end a decade-old political and ideological split between rivals Hamas and Fatah.

King Abdullah II expressed support for the Egyptian-brokered deal after meeting Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah. The Hamas terrorist group seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 in a bloody coup, leaving Abbas with autonomous enclaves in the West Bank.

The palace said that the king “affirmed Jordan’s full support for this agreement,” which it said would strengthen Palestinian unity. Jordan, which considers itself a key Mideast mediator, was not directly involved in reconciliation efforts.

http://www.breitbart.com

Abdullah in Ramallah will strike anti-Israel stance

DEBKAfile – August 5, 2017

Jordanian King Abdullah’s forfhcoming visit to Ramallah Monday, Aug. 7, for talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, bodes ill for Jordanian-Israeli relations at an especially jarring moment.

The Israeli embassy security officer Ziv Moyal, who on July 24 shot dead two Jordanians in the embassy compound when he was attacked with a screwdriver, left a trail of Jordanian ill will in his wake, especially since the incident occurred in the middle of the Temple House crisis in Jerusalem.

King Abdullah proposes to turn this unfortunate incident into a springboard for persuading the Palestinian leader to work with Jordan in the framework of the peace initiative US President Donald Trump is trying to resuscitate between Israel and the Palestinians.

Abdullah also plans to tale advantage of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a moment of political and personal weakness. He is under a barrage of reported police investigations into allegations of corruption. Netanyahu has brushed the reports aside as “background noise.”

http://www.debka.com