DEBKAFile (151)

US helicopters drop Kurdish, Arab fighters west of Raqqa

March 25, 2017, 11:23 AM Kurdish and Arab fighters dropped by American helicopters over a region west of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa quickly captured at least five villages and so cut jihadist concentrations in the northwestern Syria from their Raqqa stronghold. DEBKAfile: This operation was the ...

ISIS U-Turns West to Lebanon as Next Target

March 25, 2017, 11:12 AM Kurdish and Arab fighters dropped by American helicopters over a region west of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa quickly captured at least five villages and so cut jihadist concentrations in the northwestern Syria from their Raqqa stronghold. debkafile: This operation was the ...

New tactics for Mosul after offensive stalls for two weeks

March 25, 2017, 9:40 AM US and Iraqi commanders of the Mosul offensive, now in its sixth month, are planning a change of tactics, after being held back for two weeks from completing their capture of the western district. They were thwarted by ISIS snipers, car bombs and mortars fired from crowded ...

Trump pulls his health care act when House Republicans fail to rally

March 25, 2017, 9:21 AM US President Donald Trump pulled the bill to replace Obamacare with an improved Affordable Care Act after House Speaker Paul Ryan told him that not enough Republican members would vote for its passage to survive Democratic opposition. Trump advised letting Obamacare ...

Westminster ‘explosion’ after cops find ‘suspicious package’

March 23, 2017, 11:14 PM London police have been called to a “suspicious package” yards from scene of Westminster terror attack. Witnesses reported hearing loud bangs and “explosions” near Parliament Square Thursday evening. Police confirmed they had found a package near ...

Trump pick Friedman clears final hurdle, confirmed as amb. to Israel

March 23, 2017, 9:15 PM By a majority of 52 to 46, the US Senate confirmed David Friedman as ambassador to Israel on Thursday afternoon . He was previously approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a slim margin, with 12 in favor and 9 opposed. The 58-year-old Friedman has been one of ...

UK Parliament terror tied to Antwerp attack

March 23, 2017, 8:32 PM The Westminster attacker, 52-year old British-born Khalid Masoud, was claimed as “a soldier of the Islamic State” Thursday, March 23, after he murdered three people and injured more than forty. The London Metropolitan Police do not now believe he was acting alone. ...

Trump Starts Working Secretly with Russia in Syria – Ahead of FBI Probe

March 23, 2017, 7:03 PM US and Russia set up new Syrian bases in synchronized moves.

Putin Hands a Yellow Card to Israel and Its Air Force. What Comes Next?

March 23, 2017, 7:03 PM Russia and Israel fight another round in their long electronic air contest.

Iran’s Gen. Soleimani Blows Holes in Putin’s Syria Strategy

March 23, 2017, 7:03 PM Hizballah, his sharp weapon against Russia in Syria, moves in on the South.

Syrian Rebels Spring out of Tunnels on Damascus

March 23, 2017, 7:03 PM Syrian rebels sprang out of tunnels to catch the Assad regime napping.

Iran Heads for Presidential Vote in May without Contenders. Khamenei Eyes Soleimani

March 23, 2017, 7:03 PM Tehran is waiting for Khamenei to decide whether Rouhani should be re-elected.

Perpetrator of London terror attack: Khalid Masood

March 23, 2017, 5:43 PM The London Police on Thursday announced that UK-born Khalid Masood carried out the deadly terror attack that left three people dead and about 40 others wounded in the British capital. Born in the city of Kent, the 52-year-old was a resident of central England with a series of ...

Vehicular attack targets shopping street in N. Belgium

March 23, 2017, 4:08 PM A terrorist behind the wheel of a vehicle with French license plates attempted to run down pedestrians on a main shopping street in the Belgian city of Antwerp on Thursday afternoon. Nobody was injured and the driver was arrested by police. The Belgian press identified him as ...

Israel Police cyber unit cracks US bomb threat case; suspect arrested

March 23, 2017, 3:28 PM It was revealed on Thursday afternoon that the Israel Police had arrested a 19-year-old Israeli who is suspected of sending fake bomb threats to Jewish community centers and schools in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe using advanced technology to conceal ...

Israel Police cyber unit cracks US bomb threat case; suspect nabbed

March 23, 2017, 3:28 PM It was revealed on Thursday afternoon that the Israel Police has arrested a 19-year-old Israeli who is suspected of sending fake bomb threats to Jewish institutions in many countries, including the US, using advanced technology to conceal his identity. The police's cyber unit ...

ISIS says it carried out Westminster terror attack

March 23, 2017, 2:38 PM Islamic State on Thursday claimed responsibility for the attack on the British parliament, saying a 'soldier' of the terrorist organization carried out the assault that left four dead and more than 40 others wounded.

London terrorist was British citizen investigated by MI5, PM May reveals

March 23, 2017, 1:20 PM British Prime Minister Theresa May revealed Thursday what appears to be a blunder by her country's intelligence services. She said the terrorist who perpetrated the attack in London the previous day was a British national who had been investigated by MI5, the country's ...

Roadside bomb blasts in Sinai kill 10 Egyptian soldiers

March 23, 2017, 12:32 PM An Egyptian military spokesman said Thursday morning that ten soldiers were killed when two roadside bombs exploded in the Sinai. He did not provide any other details regarding the incident. Reports said the soldiers were part of an operation in which several dozen fighters ...

Elite British police storm six locations, seeking network behind London attack

March 23, 2017, 10:45 AM British counterterror police raided six locations nationwide early Thursday morning in an attempt to arrest the members of the network behind the previous day's attack in the British capital. Some of the raids took place in the city of Birmingham's neighborhood of Egbaston ...

IDF officer given 11-year sentence for endangering national security

March 23, 2017, 9:07 AM An officer serving in the IDF's Civil Administration was sentenced on Wednesday to 11 years in prison for serious crimes including sexual offenses, accepting bribes and deviating from his authority in a manner that endangered national security. The military court in Jaffa ...

Trump's team was under 'incidental' surveillance: House intel chairman

March 23, 2017, 8:42 AM The chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, said Wednesday that a number of members of US President Donald Trump's campaign team, and possibly Trump himself, had been subjected to 'incidental' electronic surveillance and their communications were ...

UK Parliament under terror attack

March 23, 2017, 8:42 AM The terrorist attack that hit London Wednesday, March 22, was all the more shocking in that it came closer than ever before to assaulting a Western government center since Al Qaeda 16 years ago crashed a plane onto the Pentagon in Washington, not far from the White House. ...

Casualty toll from London attack rises to four dead, over 40 wounded

March 23, 2017, 8:10 AM The number of casualties from Wednesday's terrorist attack in front of the parliament in London has climbed to four dead and more than 40 wounded. Among those killed was a local police officer, 48-year-old Constable Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death at the gate of the ...

UK Parliament under terror attack

March 22, 2017, 8:19 PM The UK parliament is in lockdown after a multiple terror attack with at least three dead and 20 injured outside the building. Several people were struck by a vehicle on Westminster Bridge. The vehicle carried on driving towards Parliament and crashed through the railings into ...

Three confirmed dead, 20 injured, in UK Parliament terror attack

March 22, 2017, 8:13 PM Mark Rowly, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, confirmed that three people were killed in the attack at the British Parliament at Westminster Palace, including one police officer. The terrorist who was shot while stabbing police guarding the entrance to the ...

A British police officer dies from terrorist stabbing

March 22, 2017, 7:47 PM Three British police officers were injured while grappling with the terrorist at the door to Parliament building to prevent his entry. One has died, raising the number of fatalities from the terrorist attack to three, two of whom were run down by the vehicle driven by the ...

At least three dead, 20 injured in terror attack near UK parliament

March 22, 2017, 7:12 PM The UK parliament is in lockdown after a terror attack outside the House during question time and on Westminster Bridge, where a car plowed into pedestrians injuring a dozen people. Three have died. Three of the injured are police officers. The vehicle carried on driving ...

British counterterror police comb parliament area following attack

March 22, 2017, 6:29 PM Police counterterror forces were searching the area of the British parliament on Wednesday due to concern that the attack that took place earlier in the afternoon was carried out by more than one person. British Prime Minister Theresa May was said to be in a secure location ...

British parliament under possible terror attack. Ten injured

March 22, 2017, 5:46 PM The UK parliament is in lockdown after an apparent multiple terror attack with at least ten injuries. Several people were struck by a vehicle on Westminster Bridge. The vehicle carried on driving towards Parliament and crashed through the railings into the yard. At the same ...

Gunfire, explosions heard at British parliament in London

March 22, 2017, 4:57 PM According to initial reports on Wednesday afternoon, an armed terrorist wounded a number of people at the British parliament before being shot by local security forces. The area was placed on lockdown and large numbers of police were deployed to prevent people from ...

Netanyahu: Israel, US have reached understandings on settlements

March 22, 2017, 4:45 PM Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that his government's talks with the Trump administration on the issue of building settlements had made substantial progress. Speaking in Beijing before flying home to Israel following a trip to China that included ...

Electronic device ban in flight cabins is futile

March 22, 2017, 4:43 PM For Islamic terrorist groups, blowing up a passenger plane and causing hundreds of deaths is their peak achievement. Therefore, it makes sense for American and British security authorities to focus on preventative measures. But the ban on electronic devices larger than a cell ...

One year after ISIS assault, Brussels remains under terror alert

March 22, 2017, 12:40 PM A ceremony was held Wednesday at the international airport in Brussels in memory of those who died in a coordinated terrorist attack by ISIS a year earlier. Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, as well as other public figures and the ...

Hamas still digging terror tunnels but IDF can deal with them: chief of staff

March 22, 2017, 10:56 AM The IDF chief of staff said Wednesday morning that Hamas continues to dig tunnels in Gaza for attacks against Israel, and that the tunnels pose a very serious threat but do not threaten Israel's existence. Lieut. Gen. Gady Eisenkot was speaking a meeting of a Knesset ...

Pyongyang conducts another ballistic missile test

March 22, 2017, 8:33 AM South Korea's Defense Ministry announced Wednesday morning that North Korea had carried out its latest test of a ballistic missile. The ministry said the launch was unsuccessful but it did not provide any other details such as the type of missile, the location or the reason ...

Israeli reserve officer collapses, dies during IDF road race

March 22, 2017, 8:06 AM Capt. Elhanan Brazner, an IDF reserve officer, collapsed and died while running an IDF road race in the Jordan Valley on Tuesday. The 36-year-old from Katzir in northern Israel is survived by a wife and two children. Brazner is to be buried at the military cemetery in Haifa.

IDF foils Palestinian infiltration attempt from southern Gaza

March 22, 2017, 7:45 AM In an incident before dawn on Wednesday morning, an IDF tank force spotted a number of Palestinians trying to cut through the Gaza border fence in an area east of the city of Rafah. The force fired several rounds at the group, killing one and wounding two others.

Britain follows US in banning certain electronic devices on flights

March 21, 2017, 6:54 PM Britain Tuesday followed America’s lead in banning laptops and other electronic devices on UK-bound flights from six nations, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Passengers on British Airways, EasyJet, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson, will not be ...

Netanyahu holds talks with Chinese President in Beijing

March 21, 2017, 5:51 PM Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu voiced appreciation to Chinese President Xi Jinping when they met Tuesday for the welcome he received during his four-day visit to China and its fruitful outcome in a string of mutually profitable trade accords signed Monday with Chinese ...

EXCLUSIVE: Trump told Iraqi premier to get rid of Shiite militias

March 21, 2017, 1:47 PM DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources disclose the five high points US President Donald Trump raised in his first face-to-face with Iraqi prime minister Haidar Al-Abadi at the White House Monday. They concerned Iraq’s future after ISIS is driven out. 1. Baghdad must fire ...

IDF will not let sophisticated weapons reach the wrong hands

March 21, 2017, 1:22 PM Without naming Hizballah, IDF Chief of Staft Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott pledged Tuesday that Israel’s armed forces would continue to stand guard over the national interests and make sure that “sophisticated weaponry would not reach the wrong hands.” He said ...

Fifty months jail for Israeli Arab woman who joined ISIS

March 21, 2017, 1:10 PM Sabrin Zabidath from the Israeli Arab town of Sakhnin confessed to having joined the Islamic State in Iraq along with her husband and children. She was sentenced by the Haifa district court Tuesday to 50 months in prison. Her husband is awaiting sentence. Zabidathj was found ...

RPG, submachine gun found hidden in Palestinian village

March 21, 2017, 10:28 AM In a raid Tuesday of a Palestinian village, Taysar in Samaria, west of Jenin, the Shin Bet and the IDF Bik’ah Brigade discovered a large cache of war materiel, including an RPG, a Negev submachine gun, a large quantity of ammunition and crates of IDF issue smoke ...

Greece stops postage of 8 explosive packages to UN addresses

March 21, 2017, 9:53 AM The Greek police Tuesday removed from the mail eight packages addressed to UN institutions and affiliates at various European addresses after detecting explosives. They were sent from fictionious academic institutions in Greece and disarmed before causing harm. Last week, a ...

US bans some electronic devices for travelers from 13 Arab countries

March 21, 2017, 9:47 AM US Homeland Secretary John Kelly has informed congress of a new order banning air travelers from 13 Middle East countries, including Jordan and Saudi Arabia, from carrying electronic devices aboard flights to the United States. It applies to devices larger than cell phones ...

Israeli drone crashes near Quneitra

March 21, 2017, 8:40 AM After Hizballah claimed that the Syrian army had shot down an Israeli drone over the Golan, the Israeli army spokesman Tuesday confirmed that a miniature Skyrider UAV, in the use mainly of the IDF artillery units for the purpose of surveillance, had crashed on the Golan due ...

Israeli drone crashes. Russia fails to de-escalate

March 21, 2017, 8:27 AM The IDF Tuesday confirmed that an Israeli miniature Skylark drone had crashed over a technical fault Sunday, March 19, in the same Quneitra area of the Golan as the attack which killed a Syrian soldier. Hizballah claimed earlier that the drone was shot down by the Syrian army ...

Syria downs an Israeli mini-drone over Quneitra

March 21, 2017, 7:35 AM The IDF confirmed Hizballah claims Monday night that Syrian air defenses had shot down an Israeli drone. It was identified as a miniature Skylark UAV, in the use mainly of the IDF artillery units for the purpose of surveillance. It was emphasized that no security data had ...

Russian forces move into Kurdish Syrian Afrin

March 20, 2017, 9:37 PM The Russian presence in the Kurdish Syrian enclave of Afrin near the Turkish border “ ... comes in agreement between and the Russian forces operating in Syria, in the framework of cooperation against terrorism,' YPG spokesman Redur Xelil announced Monday. 'It is the ...