Friday, June 13, 2014

Syria Update June 13 , 2014 ( and also the regional implications touching upon Jordan , Lebanon , Turkey , Israel and Iraq ) ...... The height of irony is that the Western sponsored war against Assad has morphed into the rise of ISIS / ISIL - at risk is not just targeted Syria , but Iraq , Jordan , Lebanon and note Israel getting worried also !


ISIS poised to take Deir e-Zor
The Syrian army shelled the opposition-held neighborhood in Deir e-Zor city on Thursday, as the three-front battle between Jabhat a-Nusra-led rebels, the Syrian regime and the Islamic State of Iraq and a-Sham (ISIS) for the eastern, oil-rich province drags into its third month.
Pro-opposition news site Zaman al-Wasl cited rebel fears the group would be empowered inside Syria amidst the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham’s (ISIS) Tuesday capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul.
“There is fear Deir e-Zor could be the second [Syrian] city to fall under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham, which is gathering its ranks in the city,” the newspaper reported, while the opposition Syrian National Coalition recognized “ISIS is strengthening its grip on eastern Syria.”
Earlier this week, opposition activists launched a campaign titled “Deir e-Zor Needs Your Help,” citing a “crippling siege” on the city by ISIS and regime forces.  
Assad: Geneva process ‘finished’
In his first statements since winning the presidential election last week, Bashar Assad said that the Geneva Convention was “finished” and that the West has changed its position on Syria.
“We already are in dialogue with the worst of the fighters [in Syria],” Assad told the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar in an interview published Wednesday, “but what will come of discussions with the opposition abroad? Nothing, simply because they have no control over anything and do not have any connection to the people or the land.”
The Syrian National Coalition, which represented the Syrian opposition in the Geneva II Convention this January, has faced increasing scrutiny as the rebels in Syria have fractured into a number of autonomous groups. Many of the most prominent opposition groups are now jihadist.
“The West is belatedly adopting what I first said after the crisis,” Assad said. “It is America and the West that are beginning to show signs of change…because terrorism is happening in their homes.”
Rebels regain Mleiha supply road
Rebel troops were able regain control over the supply road into Mleiha Wednesday, Abu Odai, a spokesperson for the rebel battalion Feiliq a-Rahman told Syria Direct Thursday, four days after government media reported Syrian troops had been able to encircle rebels in the Damascus suburb.
“In three days of heavy fighting, we retook the road between Jisreen and Mleiha,” Abu Odai said, even as Syrian regime forces conducted four airstrikes and launched 12 surface-to-air missiles Wednesday on the town between Damascus and regime-controlled Damascus Airport.
Rebels have clung to Mleiha, which overlooks both the principal road to Damascus Airport and most of the rebel-held East Ghouta Damascus suburbs, since Syrian troops intensified fire on the suburb in late April.
Car bomb strikes regime-controlled Homs
A car bomb killed at least seven and injured dozens of others in the pro-regime Homs neighborhood of Wadi a-Dahab on Thursday, the pro-regime National Defense Forces militia reported, detonating near a regime checkpoint at the Mosakin a-Shorta Circle. No group has yet claimed responsibility.
In late April, Jabhat a-Nusra claimed responsibility for a series of car bombs in pro-regime neighborhoods of Homs, weeks before rebel groups blockaded inside the city’s 13 central neighborhoods surrendered to regime forces following two years of siege.
In other Homs province news, rebels announced Wednesday they had consolidated control over the northern village of Um Sharshouh in a statement posted online by the “Nusra al-Mustadifeen” Operations Room, which includes Jabhat a-Nusra, the Islamic Front and Brigade 313.
Rebels first stormed the village on June 3rd, gaining full control on Wednesday by detonating a “huge car bomb in the center of the regime’s remaining checkpoints,” opposition activist Yaref Abu al-Ez told Syria Direct Thursday.
The village, 10 kilometers north of the city of Homs, lies two kilometers west of the M5 National Highway, Syria’s main north-south highway.
10325678 772205676152830 5084472048171635104 nA car bomb in regime-held Homs reportedly killed seven on Thursday. Photo courtesy of National Defense.

Turkey 'did not allow weapons to be supplied' to rebel groups in Syria


A file picture taken from a video released on January 4, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)'s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIL fighters marching at an undisclosed location. AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA
A file picture taken from a video released on January 4, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)'s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIL fighters marching at an undisclosed location. AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has dismissed claims that Turkey has supported the arming of fighters in Syria and Iraq.

“Turkey has not allowed arms support and border crossings to armed fighters in Syria, including the Free Syrian Army [FSA]. It has only allowed humanitarian aid,” Arınç told reporters on June 13. 

He said Turkey had had in “no contact” with the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is currently spreading across northern Iraq. “Definitely, we were not in connection with these groups anyway. We obey all measures taken by United Nations Security Council decisions on the fight against terror and its financing. We have adopted these measures with our Cabinet decisions,” Arınç said.

The deputy prime minister added that “according to government records,” Turkey had not 
“deliberatively” allowed any weapons, financial aid or fighters into Syria or Iraq.

“Our Western friends also say that Turkey acts responsibly on this issue,” he said, noting that the government had taken measures on its borders, while not ruling out the possibility of a “small number of Turkish citizens” have joined the rebels in Syria. 

Arınç also stated that neither the captured Turkish diplomats nor truck drivers had been freed in Mosul. He said the Turkish government had made contact by telephone with the hostages and they had “not been exposed to any bad treatment.” 

“I hope we will get good news today, but the situation is still fragile,” he said, adding that Ankara was demanding that the groups release the truck drivers “as soon as possible.”

Responding to claims that the truck drivers had already been released, Arınç said there was a “vacuum” in the region and a number of armed groups, tribes were in efforts to take political or financial advantage of it. 

He said the attack on the Turkish consulate and the kidnappings of Turkish staff did not necessarily mean that Turkey has become a target. 

Turkey received prior warning of the attack on its consulate in Mosul, but had decided not to evacuate its staff from the compound.

Arınç backed the decision to stay at the consulate. “We were more or less informed that ISIL was going to target our consulate while advancing [through Iraq] … But what would Turkey turn into if we decided to evacuate the consulate, bring down our flag and run away just because militants had started to march 100 kilometers away? We had to observe where they would stop and what the military would do. I think we made the best decision by following the incidents until the last moment, with worries about the lives of the people inside,” he said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry held a coordination meeting on June 13 on developments with the Turkish hostages in Mosul and the ongoing evacuation of Turkish nationals in the country, with the participation of the ministers of economy, energy, transportation and the national intelligence chief.

Syria Islamist militants pause and reinforce from Iraq

Fighters from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) hold their weapons as they stand on confiscated cigarettes before setting them on fire in the city of Raqqa. (File photo: Reuters)
The Syria branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has put fighting on hold in Syria while it brings in weapons seized inside neighboring Iraq, a monitoring group that tracks the violence said on Friday.

ISIS, a Sunni Islamist splinter of al-Qaeda, has battled rival rebel groups in Syria for months and clashed occasionally with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

But its fighters appear to hold back in Syria this week, especially in their eastern stronghold near the Iraqi border, while their Iraqi wing was making rapid military gains.

Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that ISIS may have negotiated a truce with rival rebel brigades in Syria, although it was still laying siege to parts of the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, where Assad’s forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front rebels are also dug in.

“(ISIS) has not being fighting for four days. We don’t know why exactly. There is only some fighting northeast of Aleppo,” Abdulrahman told Reuters by telephone.

Clashes between other rebel groups and government forces continued across Syria’s civil war fronts, he said.

He said that ISIS, Sunni Islamists who have surged out of north Iraq to menace Baghdad and want to establish their own medieval-style state spanning Iraq and Syria, have moved weapons into eastern Syria.

“Our people saw weapons on the road in Syria,” he said.

Photos posted on social media by ISIS supporters also appear to show military equipment, including American Humvee patrol cars, being moved.

Reuters cannot confirm they were taken into Syria but the supporters say they were driven across the frontier.

Matthew Henman, Head of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, said in a report that ISIS’s capture of Iraqi territory along the Syrian border will give the group greater freedom of movement of men and materiel across the two countries.

“Light and heavy weaponry, military vehicles, and money seized by ISIL during the capture of (Iraq’s) Mosul will be moved into desert areas of eastern Syria, which ISIS has been using as a staging ground for attacks,” he said.

ISIS gained more ground in Iraq overnight, moving into two towns in the eastern province of Diyala, while U.S. President Barack Obama considered military strikes to halt their lightning advance.

Syria’s civil war started with pro-democracy street rallies in 2011 but turned into an armed insurgency after a military crackdown on civilian protesters. Hardline factions like ISIS have gathered strength in the conflict, which has killed 160,000 people and displaced millions of people.
Last Update: Friday, 13 June 2014 KSA 15:24 - GMT 12:24

ISIS gains shatter U.S. foreign policy logic on Syria

The major strategic gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group in the recent term - including the seizure of large swathes of Iraqi territory and massive amounts of weaponry - shatters the logic surrounding the United States’ refusal to provide a sufficient amount of advanced arms to the Syrian opposition. The U.S. has long feared that arming the Free Syrian Army (FSA) could lead to the weaponry falling into extremists’ hands. Now, it is even clearer that U.S. inertia has contributed to the creation of a far worse reality.
The ongoing ISIS assault on Mosul and into Tikrit has seen the seizure of several oil fields in the Salahadin province as well as the looting of at least $420 million from a Mosul Bank, and the release of upwards of 3,000 prisoners from the Badousha prison. Meanwhile, at least half a million Iraqi civilians were forced to flee their residences. U.S. trained Iraqi security forces abandoned their positions, apparently outnumbered and easily overpowered by the masked militants. And at time of writing, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-‘Adnani urged militants to “continue your march as the battle is not yet raging,” vowing to capture Baghdad next.

Supplying the FSA

The notion that the current situation was not an inevitable consequence of the ongoing Syrian conflict and continued U.S. inaction, seems to be an assertion shared only by a minority; nonetheless, the fear of radical jihadists obtaining sophisticated weaponry has remained one of the primary justifications for not supplying the FSA with advanced, lethal arms. Now, with the al-Qaeda offshoot in possession of - ironically - massive amounts of American supplied weapons seized from multiple Iraqi military positions, Washington must immediately reconsider supplying the FSA with the weapons needed to combat ISIS and prevent the rise of a de facto jihadist controlled state spanning from Syria to Iraq. As terrorism expert Charles Lister indicated, “militarily, territorially, financially & practically-speaking, ISIS’ Islamic State is very much nearing genuine realization.”
Notably, if the Iraqi military attempts to recapture Fallujah from ISIS - seized in January of this year - are any indication of their ability to take back comprehensive control of Mosul - the future looks grim.
With newly captured weaponry now flooding into Syria, the long held hands-off U.S. approach to the conflict just became even more difficult to justify
Brooklyn Middleton
With newly captured weaponry now flooding into Syria, the long held hands-off U.S. approach to the conflict just became even more difficult to justify. Meanwhile, ISIS’ major gains highlight Washington’s failure to address the inevitable reality of radical Syrian factions capitalizing on neighboring Iraq’s destabilization and unsecured weaponry - which was only a matter of time. Meanwhile, with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki demanding continued U.S. military arm shipments while also aiding Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the likelihood of an ISIS offensive targeting key Iraqi security positions has consistently increased yet continued to remain unaddressed. As the U.S. mulls sending more military aid to Iraq, solid reassurance must be guaranteed that Iraq will prevent Iran from using Iraqi airspace to ship weapons to the Syrian regime - an unlikely agreement.
Meanwhile, as ISIS continues proving effective at capturing territories and implementing social services for populations - such as in Raqqah, where journalist Liz Sly notes the group recently authorized a new program to maintain the standard of food - domestic support is likely to grow, creating a new quagmire for both the Iraqi military and the FSA in Syria.
Ultimately, the U.S. decision to reject FSA requests for sufficient lethal weaponry in conjunction with Washington’s failure to address the plethora of unsecured weapons and overwhelmed security forces cultivated an environment where entire Iraqi cities were able to be overrun with ISIS militants in just a matter of days. And despite assertions that the ISIS’ grip on territories is tenuous and unsustainable in the long term, the swift weapon transfers from Iraq to Syria still bring forth major security issues - the latest disaster to result from U.S. short-sited foreign policy decisions.

With ISIS advancements, nearby Jordan must be concerned, analysts say

Some 2,400 Jordanians are currently serving alongside Islamist militants in Syria- over half of whom have gone to the ranks of the ISIS, Luck says, quoting estimates from Jordanian salafist leaders. (AP)
With Iraq's major cities falling like dominoes to militants under the black banners of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and with al-Qaeda's affiliate turning from a "virtual" to a "real" state, nearby Jordan has to be concerned, analysts argued, citing primarily the considerable number of Jordanians fighting alongside the Islamist militia which also has its supporters in the security-concerned kingdom.
On the nature of threat the ISIS is posing to Jordan, analysts and experts in Islamist groups explained that Jordan is geographically and historically part of the Levant, the region over which ISIS aspires to establish its envisioned Islamic state.
In anticipation of a widespread of radical groups in neighboring countries as witnessed in Iraq now and before that in Syria, analysts added that Jordan has adopted a set of measures, both legally and militarily, to counter any security spillover from the northern and eastern terrorism-fertile Syria and Iraq.

Infographic: More Iraq territory falls to ISIS

(Design by Farwa Rizwan/ Al Arabiya News)
In remarks to Al Arabiya News, Taylor Luck, Amman-based political analyst specialized in jihadist movements, said, “Jordan's greatest national security threat currently is neither the Syrian regime or the potential use of chemical weapons- it is the spread of the Islamic State’s ideology and the spillover of the jihadist civil war into Jordan."
According to Luck, Jordan has been eyeing wearily the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra gains in southern Syria in recent weeks, and has tightened security measures along the country’s 370-kilometer shared borders with Syria.
"Since late April, Jordanian authorities have imposed a new security campaign along its borders – no longer allowing unidentified persons to cross through its borders for fear that ISIL supporters-even Jordanians- may enter the country- actively engaging militarily with suspected jihadists attempting to enter the country, having estimated to have killed 12 jihadists and injured 40 others in spate clashes over the past two months," he said.
Luck expected Jordan to adopt a similar approach to its eastern borders with Iraq in the wake of the ISIS's siege of Mosul, Takrit and other cities.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a well-informed Jordanian security source told Al Arabiya News that Jordan has recently deployed around 40,000 army personnel on the eastern and northeastern borders with Iraq and Syria to blockade any entry of ISIS and Al Nusra fighters to its territories.
As part of its new security approach, Luck said Jordan has launched a new crackdown on the country’s hard-line Salafist movement - said to be the country’s largest recruiter of jihadist fighters – arresting over 100 and referring over 40 members to the country’s state security court since the beginning of the year.
“Jordan is taking a two-track approach in its response to the ISIL threat- arrest supporters before they can reach Iraq and Syria, and prevent those already fighting from returning back home.”
Some 2,400 Jordanians are currently serving alongside Islamist militants in Syria- over half of whom have gone to the ranks of the ISIS, Luck says, quoting estimates from Jordanian salafist leaders.
Some days following the endorsement of a new anti-terrorism law by Jordan’s Lower House of Parliament in April, Jordan has embarked on a security campaign in southern city of Maan, believed to be the stronghold of Salafists recruiting people to fight along side Al Nusra and ISIL in Syria.
A key article in the amended law broadens the definition of “terrorist acts” to include “joining or attempting to join”, the “direct and indirect funding” of and “attempting to recruit” for “any armed group or terrorist organization in the Kingdom and abroad”.
For Majed al-Leftawi, lawyer for the convicted Salafi Jihadist Abu Mohammad Al Magdesi and expert in Salafist groups, Jordan for ISIS is part of the Levant which is the militia's ultimate region of an Islamic state.
Asked how the ISIS's advancement in Iraq's cities would threaten Jordan, al-Leftawi said, "the issue is developing hour-by-hour in Iraq with ISIS advancing over a city after a city there. Jordan's concern over ISIS advancements is stemmed from the considerable number of supporters the group enjoys in the kingdom, be those prison or at homes."
Giving priority to a new wave of Iraqi refugee influx to Jordan over security concerns, a high-ranking Jordanian official, who preferred to remain unnamed, said that "all in place to prevent a security spillover from Iraq but the expectation of a large numbers of Iraqis feeling violence westward to Jordan is Amman's major concern now."
Andrew Harper, UNHCR's Representative to Jordan was quoted on local press Thursday as expressing the UN refugee agency's readiness to deal with any refugee influx from Iraq, affirming that no increase in the number of Iraqis coming to Jordan has been witnessed recently.
"Once we receive Iraqi refugees fleeing violence in their country to Jordan, we are ready to receive them the way of course decided by the Jordanian government."
Jordan, which is home now to more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, had received around 500,000 Iraqis after the 2003 invasion, thousands of them are still residing in Amman.
Last Update: Thursday, 12 June 2014 KSA 17:58 - GMT 14:58

Lebanon scrambles to avert Iraq falloutJune 14, 2014 12:38 AMBy Hussein Dakroub
File - Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.(The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
File - Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.(The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
BEIRUT: Lebanese leaders struggled Friday to stave off any adverse repercussions of the fast-moving developments in Iraq on the security situation in Lebanon, calling for national unity and the swift election of a new president.
The major military gains made by militants from the Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) have sent shockwaves across the political landscape in Lebanon, which is already suffering from a bloody spillover of Syria’s civil war.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Wael Abu Faour, a close aide to MP Walid Jumblatt, met former Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Morocco.
During the meeting, Hariri spoke by telephone with Jumblatt and it was agreed that the two leaders would meet in Paris at a later date, according to a statement released by Hariri’s office.
Abu Faour also carried “ideas” on how to break the presidential election deadlock that he had discussed with Speaker Nabih Berri before flying to Morocco, a political source told The Daily Star.
Earlier this week, Jumblatt told Al-Arabiya TV he would inform Hariri that he would vote for neither Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea nor Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun.
Lebanese concerns over the events in Iraq stem from the fact that ISIS and other Al-Qaeda-linked groups claimed responsibility for the deadly car bombings and suicide attacks earlier this year that targeted areas where Hezbollah enjoys broad support, in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the Bekaa region, in response to the party’s military intervention in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad.
Berri warned of the grave developments in Iraq, calling for measures to shield Lebanon against any negative fallout.
“I hope that what is happening there will constitute an incentive for us as Lebanese of all [political] trends to close ranks in order to protect Lebanon and shield it against the region’s storms,” Berri told As-Safir newspaper.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam also voiced concerns over ISIS’ military advances, saying the Cabinet reviewed the situation during its Thursday meeting, but did not discuss taking any specific measures.
“Everyone knows that any regional development will reflect on Lebanon. If it is positive, it will reflect positively on Lebanon. If it is negative, it will reflect negatively on us,” Salam said in remarks published by As-Safir.
Jumblatt called for facing the repercussions of what he termed ISIS’ “horrible invasion” by quickly electing a successor to former President Michel Sleiman, whose six-year term ended on May 25.
“We need to protect our internal situation by swiftly electing a president,” Jumblatt said in remarks published by As-Safir. “And also by quickly trying to limit the damage and reverberations ... because definitely there will be repercussions on Lebanon following this suspicious and horrible invasion by the ISIS.”
Separately, Aoun telephoned Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai to discuss the presidential election stalemate, as media reported that Rai was planning to hold an inter-Maronite reconciliation beginning with a meeting between Aoun and Geagea.
Aoun telephoned Geagea Friday to extend his condolences over the death of the LF leader’s father.

Lebanon Army arrests five Syrian terror suspects
An aerial view shows Syrian refugee tent camp in Arsal, Friday, June 13, 2014. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)
An aerial view shows Syrian refugee tent camp in Arsal, Friday, June 13, 2014. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)
BAALBEK, Lebanon: The Lebanese Army Friday arrested five Syrians suspected of having ties to terrorist groups in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal, amid a crackdown following a series of violent incidents over drug disputes or rivalry between pro- and anti-Assad men.
In a statement, the military said it detained a Syrian identified as Zaher Abed-Aziz for allegedly belonging to the Al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades. He was residing in a Syrian refugee site.
Soldiers also detained four Syrians identified as Nour Shamseddie, Haytham Nader Ghannoum, Adel Sleiman Ghannoum and Mohammad Nazih Ghannoum on suspicion of training with terrorist groups.
The Army confiscated computers, CDs and cameras that were in the possession of the suspects.
Investigation is underway with the suspects and they will be referred to the judiciary, the Army said.
Security sources in the Bekaa Valley said the arrests were made during a raid at a Syrian refugee site near Arsal. They identified the detainees as being members of the Syrian opposition who had taken part in the war in Syria's Qalamoun region before fleeing into Arsal.
Meanwhile, Lebanese troops, backed by two helicopter gunships, intensified patrols near the border with Syria.
A security source in Beirut told The Daily Star earlier that the patrols were centered around the outskirts of Arsal and nearby ravines as well as the edges of Ras Baalbek.
The Army has also fortified its checkpoints in the Bekaa Valley, according to the source.
The source said the Army measures came after reports of repeated shootings and kidnappings, the latest of which was when unidentified assailants opened fire at a Syrian refugee center bordering Arsal, killing a man and wounding another.
Two other men were kidnapped in the shooting late Wednesday evening.
The Army action also came as authorities warned of the repercussions of the Iraq crisis on Lebanon.
Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said Thursday that the Cabinet would summon military and security chiefs to discuss the possible impact of the fast-moving developments in Iraq on the security situation in Lebanon.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz’s cryptic remark Monday, June 6, that “The Israeli Air Force will next month dramatically change its mode of operation,” meant that a decision has been taken to start directing the IAF’s fire power against military and terrorist targets in the Syrian and Iraqi arenas – in particular the al Qaeda forces foregathering ever closer to Israel’s borders with Syria, Iraq and Jordan. By aerial fire power, the general meant not just warplanes but also Israel’s long-range unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters.
He was lecturing to the Herzliya meeting of the Interdisciplinary Center’s policy and strategy institute.
On May 28, foreign sources were quoted as reporting that the Israeli Air force had shut down its last AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters squadron, which had served manly for strikes against armored and ground targets. Instead, lighter and cheaper drones have been commissioned for use against those targets.
Asked what he meant by “a dramatic change in the IAF’s mode of operations,” Gen. Gantz replied: A different kind of enemy is at our door. It is “more mobile, better at concealment and comes from farther away.”
If we count the jihadists present in the northern part of the map (.i.e., north of Israel) and add them to those scattered in the south and east (Iraq, Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula), we come to a total of 50,000 armed Islamist fighters, he said..
So how do we handle them? Two divisions? That may work for the Gaza Strip. But this enemy is widely scattered and not susceptible to our usual military tools. Still, we are obliged to deal with this menace and “we also have the opportunity to do so.”
That was all the chief of staff was ready to say on the subject.
He made it clear that conventional military divisions are obviously no use for combating Al Qaeda’s 50,000 terrorists because they are not a standing, regular army deployed on fixed front lines. They move around stealthily in deeply remote desert regions and wadis, which are often unmarked even on military maps.
But they do have command centers, some of them mobile, and are beginning to take over strategic points in Syria and Iraq, including main road hubs, bridges, small towns and oil fields and pipelines.
The intelligence to support aerial combat against these targets is also different from the kind which supported the IDF hitherto.
Gen. Gantz touched on this when he said: “We understand that we must turn to a method of warfare that hinges on intelligence, which means bringing our intelligence into those places.”
In other words, before Israeli aerial vehicles approach jihadist targets, Military Intelligence Corps combat field units must be on hand, operating over broader stretches of terrain than ever before.
All this adds up to the IDF and IAF undergoing a process of radical change in its military-air-intelligence strategy, which, say DEBKAfile's military sources, brings them close to the American methods of operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan to be introduced after the US troop withdrawal at the end of the year.
It is safe to assume that the two armies will work together in close rapport in the war on Al Qaeda.
The Gantz doctrine has not been accepted by all of Israel’s generals and commanders. On May 21, former Navy Chief, Brig. (Res.) Elie Merom made bluntly critical remarks on what he referred to as the “monopoly on firepower in depth” which Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon proposed to award the IAF. He said this imbalance was unhealthy, that the air force has many limitations and putting all one’s eggs in one basket is asking for glitches and uncertain consequences.
Merom added: “These days, automatic fire can be initiated from any platform just as well and accurately as from airplanes. It’s also cheaper.”
A kind of competitive dispute has sprung up among the IDF’s top generals and commanders over whether it is the task of the armed forces to define and locate targets for the air force to strike, or whether other combat units can manage to provide firepower of the same quality, efficacy and precision as the air force.


West declaring ISIS villainous in attempt to intervene directly in northern Iraq and eastern Syria
America's Covert Re-Invasion of Iraq

ISIS clearly did not materialize spontaneously within Iraq, it has clearly redeployed from its NATO-sponsored destruction of Syria to northern Iraq, perhaps in an attempt to justify a NATO incursion and the creation of a buffer zone straddling Syrian, Iraqi, and even possibly Iranian territory with the goal of targeting Iran directly with ISIS.

Heavily armed, well funded, and organized as a professional, standing army, the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) swept southward into Iraqfrom Turkey and northeastern Syria, taking the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, and now threaten the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad itself. The United States was sure to prop up two unfounded narratives – the first being that US intelligence agencies, despite assets in Iraq and above it in the form of surveillance drones, failed to give warning of the invasion, and that ISIS is some sort of self-sustaining terror organization carving out a “state” by “robbing banks” and collecting “donations” on Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal in its report, “Iraqi Drama Catches U.S. Off Guard,” stated:
The quickly unfolding drama prompted a White House meeting Wednesday of top policy makers and military leaders who were caught off guard by the swift collapse of Iraqi security forces, officials acknowledged.
In another WSJ post, “U.S. Secretly Flying Drones Over Iraq,” it claimed:
A senior U.S. official said the intelligence collected under the small [secret US drone] program was shared with Iraqi forces, but added: “It’s not like it did any good.” The rapid territorial gains by the Islamist forces loyal to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot, caught the U.S. by surprise, the officials said.
ISIS has convoys of brand new matching Toyota’s the same vehicles seen among admittedly NATO-armed terrorists operating everywhere from Libya to Syria, and now Iraq. It is a synthetic, state- sponsored regional mercenary expeditionary force.
Despite drone flights collecting intelligence, and a 3-year ongoing CIA program (herehere, and here) all along the Turkish-Syrian border to “monitor” and “arm” “moderate” militants fighting the Syrian government, the US claims it was caught “by surprise.” If drones and CIA operatives operating in ISIS territory weren’t enough to detect the impending invasion, perhaps the CIA should have just picked up a newspaper.
Indeed, the Lebanon Daily Start in March 2014 reported that ISIS openly withdrew its forces from Latakia and Idlib provinces in western Syria, and redeployed them in Syria’s east – along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The article titled, “Al-Qaeda splinter group in Syria leaves two provinces: activists,” stated explicitly that:
On Friday, ISIS – which alienated many rebels by seizing territory and killing rival commanders – finished withdrawing from the Idlib and Latakia provinces and moved its forces toward the eastern Raqqa province and the eastern outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo, activists said.
The question remains, if a Lebanese newspaper knew ISIS was on the move eastward, why didn’t the CIA? The obvious answer is the CIA did know, and is simply feigning ignorance at the expense of their reputation to bait its enemies into suspecting the agency of  incompetency rather than complicity in the horrific terroristic swath ISIS is now carving through northern Iraq.
Described extensively in the full New Eastern Outlook Journal (NEO) report, “NATO’s Terror Hordes in Iraq a Pretext for Syria Invasion,” the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, have funded and armed terrorists operating in Syria for the past 3 years to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars – coincidentally the same amount that ISIS would require to gain primacy among militant groups fighting in Syria and to mobilize forces capable of crossing into Iraq and overwhelming Baghdad’s national defenses.
The most prominent routes into Syria for foreign fighters is depicted, with the inset graph describing the most widely used routes by foreign fighters on their way to Iraq, as determined by West Point’s 2007 Combating Terrorism Center report “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” (page 20). These same networks were then used to invade and attempt to overthrow the Syrian government itself in 2011, with the addition of a more prominent role for Turkey, and today in 2014, to re-invade Iraq once again.
The NEO report includes links to the US Army’s West Point Countering Terrorism Center reports, “Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa’ida’s Road In and Out of Iraq,” and “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq,” which detail extensively the terror network used to flood Iraq with foreign terrorists, weapons, and cash to fuel an artificial “sectarian war” during the US occupation, and then turned over to flood Syria with terrorists in the West’s bid to overthrow the government in Damascus.
What’s ISIS Doing in Iraq? 
The NEO report would also post Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection,” documenting over the course of 9 pages US, Saudi, and Israeli intentions to create and deploy sectarian extremists region-wide to confront Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hersh would note that these “sectarian extremists” were either tied to Al Qaeda, or Al Qaeda itself. The ISIS army moving toward Baghdad is the final manifestation of this conspiracy, a standing army operating with impunity, threatening to topple the Syrian government, purge pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, and even threatening Iran itself by building a bridge from Al Qaeda’s NATO safe havens in Turkey, across northern Iraq, and up to Iran’s borders directly. Labeled “terrorists” by the West, grants the West plausible deniability in its creation, deployment, and across the broad spectrum of atrocities it is now carrying out.
ISIS’s alleged territory spans across both Iraqi and Syrian territory. If it is able to establish a NATO-backed buffer zone, it will be able to launch attacks with impunity into Syria, Iraq, and Iran – in a region-wide sectarian war the West has been engineering for years.
It is a defacto re-invasion of Iraq by Western interests – but this time without Western forces directly participating – rather a proxy force the West is desperately attempting to disavow any knowledge of or any connection to. However, no other explanation can account for the size and prowess of ISIS beyond state sponsorship. And since ISIS is the clear benefactor of state sponsorship, the question is, which states are sponsoring it? With Iraq, Syria, and Iran along with Lebanese-based Hezbollah locked in armed struggle with ISIS and other Al Qaeda franchises across the region, the only blocs left are NATO and the GCC (Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular).
With the West declaring ISIS fully villainous in an attempt to intervene more directly in northern Iraq and eastern Syria, creating a long desired “buffer zone” within which to harbor, arm, and fund an even larger terrorist expeditionary force, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and others are offered an opportunity to preempt Western involvement and to crush the ISIS – cornering and eliminating NATO-GCC’s expeditionary force while scoring geopolitical points of vanquishing Washington’s latest “villain.” Joint Iraq-Iranian operations in the north and south of ISIS’s locations, and just along Turkey’s borders could envelop and trap ISIS to then be whittled down and destroyed – just as Syria has been doing to NATO’s proxy terrorist forces within its own borders.
Whatever the regional outcome may be, the fact is the West has re-invaded Iraq, with a force as brutal, if not worse than the “shock and awe” doctrine of 2003. Iraq faces another difficult occupation if it cannot summon a response from within, and among its allies abroad, to counter and crush this threat with utmost expediency.