Art Moore – July 9, 2018
As Iran faces ongoing protests from a growing movement aiming to bring down the mullah-led regime, its top general is threatening to send an “Islamic army” across the border into Israel from Syria to wipe out the “evil Zionist regime.”
Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said there are forces in Lebanon as well as Syria awaiting orders while the Tehran-backed Hezbollah terror group aims 100,000 missiles at Israel, the Times of Israel reported.
“We are creating might in Lebanon because we want to fight our enemy from there with all our strength,” he stated. “Hezbollah today has tremendous might on the ground that can on its own break the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime has no strategic-defensive depth.”
Salami said Israel faces dangers greater than at any time in its history, according to a translation of his speech by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI.
“Today an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan,” he said. “Orders are awaited, so that … the eradication of the evil regime [Israel] will land and the life of this regime will be ended for good. The life of the Zionist regime was never in danger as it is now.”
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
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.
TruNews – June 21, 2018
With Syrian government officials reportedly ignoring U.S. and Israeli calls to exclude Iranian proxies, like Hezbollah, from the battle for Daraa in the southwest of the country, the likelihood both countries could launch a “military intervention” is growing.
That battle is now under way after Syria’s elite “Tiger” forces launched an assault Tuesday night (local time) on an air base under the control of the U.S.-backed jihadist Southern Front and the allied Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, an arm of al-Qaeda. This particular area has been a hotbed for al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorist “insurgency” since the beginning of the seven-year civil war.
Israel has also been well aware of the presence of al-Qaeda and ISIS in the region that borders the Golan Heights and has even provided direct aid to members of both groups when they have come under Syrian government fire.
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.
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.
Sputnik News – June 17, 2018
Syrian SANA news agency reported, citing a military source that one of US-led coalition aircraft had made an airstrike on the positions of the Syrian troops in al-Harra settlement, which is southeast of Al Bukamal, killing several servicemen and injuring others.
The Syrian city of Al Bukamal is apart of Deir ez-Zor Governorate and is situated near the border with Iraq.
US Department of Defense spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik later that neither Washington nor the US-led coalition was behind a reported attack on the Syrian troops.
“Not a US or Coalition strike,” Rankine-Galloway said Sunday speaking about the reported attack.
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.
Sputnik News – June 15, 2018
Leaked video from a meeting between Israel’s head of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman, and a number of foreign security ministers shows him warning them that Iran’s presence in Syria isn’t meant to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s battle against terrorists, but instead to threaten Israel.
Hyman showed the crowd of foreign security officials a map of suspected Iranian bases in Syria. The leaked video wasn’t of a high-enough quality to pick it up, but it “showed them spread throughout the country,” according to the Times of Israel. The video was shot apparently in secret at a homeland security conference held in Jerusalem by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan during the week of June 11.
“You probably think it’s because they are trying to help the Assad regime fight extremists, fight terror. Well, get ready for a surprise: In all these places on the map there has been no fighting going on for half a month,” Hyman said while showcasing the map.
He said Iran is “trying to increase that effort… of ability and capability to launch rockets from there and to establish cells of their own that can penetrate Israel and harm the villages in the Golan Heights.”
Simon Kent – July 10, 2018
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked Austria’s impending closure of mosques and consequent expulsion of Turkish-funded imams, saying the move is anti-Islamic while promising a response.
“These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul covered by AFP.
Austria’s populist government made the announcement on Friday morning at a press conference as part of the governing coalition’s campaign against radical Islamic ideology and the influence of countries like Turkey in the Austrian Islamic community, Kronen Zeitung reports.
Media reports that between 40 and 60 imams, including their families, could be expelled in total. The imams all stand accused of receiving funding from abroad. Official investigations have been launched in 11 cases. Two of the imams had already been denied extensions to their residency permits.