DEBKAFile (152)

First Russian base for SE Syria - near US garrison

June 23, 2017, 7:52 AM A new Russian base is under construction in southeastern Syria at a small village called Khirbet Ras Al-Wa’r in the Bir al-Qasab district . It brings the Russian foothold to its most easterly point in Syria with a handle for controlling the volatile region, where ...

Mistrust Deepens as US and Russia Spar at Ever Closer Quarters in SE Syria

June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM They are struggling to control their allies in rival bids to dominate S. Syria.

Syrian-Hizballah Push for SE Syria Slowed at Daraa by US-backed SDF

June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM The Syrian-Hizballah push for the Jordanian and Israeli border districts is slowed by the Daraa setback.

Iran’s Big Flop: Own Ballistic Missiles Go Wildly Astray

June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM Hizballah’s boast of Iranian missiles able to reach every Israeli target fades.

ISIS’ Global Terror Is Resistant to Losses in Syria, Iraq

June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM Even the possible death of its “caliph” Baghdadi will not stop ISIS global terror.

Al Qaeda’s Leader Offers Muslim Brothers Partnership-in-Terror

June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM Ayman Zawahiri tempts the Brotherhood with a chance to save itself by cooperation in Syria.

May: Over 600 British high-rises have flammable panels like doomed tower

June 22, 2017, 4:52 PM British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday that there are at least 600 tower blocks throughout the country with combustible cladding that could cause an inferno similar to the one that engulfed London's Grenfell Tower last week. During her comments at the House of ...

About 30 dead in Taliban bomb attack on bank in Afghan province

June 22, 2017, 12:22 PM At least 29 people were killed and 60 others were injured in a car bomb attack on a bank in southern Afghanistan on Thursday. The bombing targeted policemen and soldiers waiting to receive their pay in Lashkar Gah, the capital of restive Helmand province. However, the ...

Russian sources: High degree of certainty that ISIS chief is dead

June 22, 2017, 3:42 PM Sources in the Russian foreign ministry said Thursday: “We can say with a high degree of certainty that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.” Only two days ago, on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov was a lot more qualified about the ...

Israel to overhaul security at Damascus Gate to foil attacks

June 22, 2017, 1:38 PM In the aftermath of last week's attack on Israeli security forces at Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Thursday that Israel will conduct an 'unprecedented' overhaul of the area's entire security system. He said during a ...

Bomb attack on bank in southern Afghanistan leaves at least 20 dead

June 22, 2017, 12:22 PM At least 20 people were killed and 50 others were injured in a car bomb attack on a bank in southern Afghanistan on Thursday. Many of the casualties were policemen and soldiers waiting to receive their pay in Lashkar Gah, the capital of restive Helmand province. Bank staff ...

Pal. leader seeks to force Hamas into war over Gaza crisis: Defense minister

June 22, 2017, 10:45 AM In a speech on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the internal Palestinian conflict over the supply of electricity to Gaza is not going to end anytime soon. He predicted that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is going to halt the ...

Canadian citizen Ftouhi identified as Michigan airport terror suspect

June 22, 2017, 9:05 AM The man who stabbed a policeman at a Michigan airport in a suspected terrorist attack on Wednesday has been identified as 49-year-old Canadian Amor Ftouhi. Witnesses said he shouted 'allahu akbar' before stabbing the officer. Ftouhi, who entered the US on June 16, was ...

FBI probes police stabbing at Michigan airport as possible terror

June 21, 2017, 8:26 PM A police officer was stabbed in the neck at Bishop international airport in Flint, Michigan Tuesday. He is in stable condition. The assailant is in custody. The airport was closed and evacuated. The FBI was brought into the investigation of what appears to be a possible terror ...

Netanyahu, three Trump envoys discuss restarting peace talks

June 21, 2017, 8:05 PM Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Wednesday afternoon in Jerusalem with Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser of US President Donald Trump; Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special envoy to the Middle East; and David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, to ...

Russia's deputy FM scraps meeting with senior US diplomat

June 21, 2017, 6:29 PM Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabakov announced Wednesday he had called off a meeting with a senior US State Department official this week, saying the current situation between the two countries is 'not conducive' for the dialogue. The cancellation was the latest ...

Brussels central station bomber identified as Moroccan known to police

June 21, 2017, 4:09 PM Belgian officials said Wednesday that the man who detonated a bomb in an underground concourse of the Brussels central train station before being shot and killed on Tuesday night was a 36-year-old Moroccan. The man was reportedly known to police but not previously considered a ...

Naming Bin Salman Saudi heir impacts US, Israel

June 21, 2017, 4:05 PM The Saudi king’s decision to elevate his son Mohammed bin Salman, 31, to crown prince and heir to the throne, in place of his cousin Mohammed bin Nayef as part of a broad reshuffle, is not merely the internal affair of the royal hierarchy, but a game-changing ...

NATO warplane said to intercept jet carrying Russian defense minister

June 21, 2017, 1:14 PM In the latest sign of growing tensions between Washington and Moscow, the Russian media reported that a NATO F-16 warplane approached a jet carrying Russia's defense minister that was flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea on Wednesday. The F-16 was said to have ...

Work underway at NKorean nuclear test facility: US officials

June 21, 2017, 12:37 PM Unidentified US officials were quoted as saying Tuesday that American spy satellites have detected a resumption of activity at an underground nuclear test site in North Korea, apparently at one of the facility's tunnels. The officials said it was not clear whether the ...

IAF chief: We can do in under 3 days what IAF did during entire 2006 war

June 21, 2017, 11:41 AM The commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, said in a speech on Wednesday that the IAF now needs no more than 60 hours, and possibly only 48 hours, to achieve as much as it did during all 34 days of the 2nd Lebanon War in 2006. If another war with Hizballah ...

Republican wins closely-watched Georgia election, boosting Trump

June 21, 2017, 9:12 AM US President Donald Trump gained an important boost early Wednesday morning when it became clear that Republican candidate Karen Hendel won a key run-off election in Georgia's sixth congressional district by a significant margin. She defeated the young Democratic candidate Jon ...

In dramatic move, Saudi King Salman elevates son to crown prince

June 21, 2017, 8:45 AM In a dramatic but expected gesture, Saudi Arabia's 82-year-old King Salman on Wednesday named his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince. The new crown prince's predecessor, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, was removed from all his posts including interior minister, ...

ISIS Ramadan offensive hits Europe

June 21, 2017, 7:49 AM Tuesday night, June 20, a terrorist detonated a bomb belt at the Brussels central train station, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” Police shot him dead. The explosion was small and there were no victims this time, but it was the second Islamic State attack in West Europe in ...

A terrorist explosion at Brussels central station. No victims

June 20, 2017, 10:55 PM A man exploded an explosive device at the Brussels central train station Tuesday night when he attracted the notice of armed soldiers guarding the station. They shot him on the spot before there were any victims. He was found wearing a bomb vest. He is described as heavily ...

Israel’s top soldier: Hizballah menaces us from 200 S. Lebanon villages

June 20, 2017, 9:36 PM IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott said Tuesday that the two primary perils facing Israel come from Hizballah and the Iranian military industry. In a lecture on Israel’s security situation at the Herzliya meeting, he described Hizballah as armed with tens of ...

US jet downs Iranian drone near Al-Tanf crossing in S. Syria

June 20, 2017, 6:00 PM A US F-16 jet shot down Monday an Iranian-made Shahed 129 drone flying in southern Syria near the Al-Tanf Syrian-Iraqi crossing which is held by US special forces and Syrian allies, a US official confirmed. The drone was armed and posed a threat to the US forces stationed at ...

Fierce battles in Daraa after 48-hour ceasefire ends

June 20, 2017, 4:52 PM Large-scale Syrian army and Hizballah forces resumed their onslaught in the southern Syrian town of Daraa Tuesday as a 48-hour ceasefire drew to a close. They are fighting to dislodge the rebel forces that are backed by the US and Jordan. The battles are taking place just one ...

Former PM Olmert taken to hospital

June 20, 2017, 4:47 PM Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was taken from his prison cell to hospital Tuesday when he complained of feeling ill. He was attended by his personal physician. Olmert is serving a 27-month jail sentence after being convicted of corruption. His petition for early release is ...

Israel’s LORA long-range missile system successfully tested

June 20, 2017, 11:12 AM Israel’s Aerospace Industries recently tested its LORA long-range weapon system. The 1,600 kilogram surface-to-surface missile successfully struck its preset target out at sea. The system has a range of 400km and can be launched from land or sea with a 10-meter range of ...

Kushner, Greenblatt visit Israel and Ramallah

June 20, 2017, 10:24 AM During their visits this week, President Donald Trump’s special aide and so-in-law Jared Kushener and international envoy Jason Greenblatt will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and other senior officials. ...

US deports 199 Iraqi immigrants after Baghdad agrees to accept them

June 20, 2017, 10:01 AM US immigration authorities have arrested and moved to deport 199 Iraqi immigrants, mostly from the Detroit area, in the last three weeks, after Iraq agreed to accept deportees as part of a deal removing it from President Donald Trump's travel ban, officials said on Wednesday. ...

Australia suspends air strikes in Syria over Russian threat

June 20, 2017, 9:56 AM Australia said on Tuesday it was suspending air strikes into Syria following the US downing of a Syrian military jet on Sunday and Russia's subsequent threat against U.S.-led coalition aircraft. 'As a precautionary measure, Australian Defense Force strike operations into Syria ...

London mosque attacker is father of four from Cardiff

June 19, 2017, 10:21 PM The man held for the terror attack near Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, killing one person and injuring 10, was identified Monday as 47-yar old Daren Osborne, father of four from Cardiff, Wales. He is under arrest for the commission, preparation or instigation of ...

US carrier George H.W. Bush will dock in Haifa on July 1.

June 19, 2017, 8:43 PM The US Navy’s aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush is due to visit the Israeli port of Haifa on July 1. A Navy official reported that the Super Hornet which downed a Syrian jet Sunday was from the air wing of the carrier which is operating in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Netanyahu: I have one message for Iran: Don’t threaten us!

June 19, 2017, 8:37 PM Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu advised Iran Monday not to threaten Israel, in response to Iran's Revolutionary Guard statement that it had fired six missiles from western Iran into northeastern Syria on Sunday. They described the attack as retaliation for June 7 attacks in ...

Saudi navy nabs three Iranian Rev Guards members

June 19, 2017, 7:13 PM The three Revolutionary Guards members were detained from a boat seized by the Saudi navy on Friday as it neared the kingdom’s offshore Marjan oilfield, a Saudi Information Ministry statement said on Monday. Another two vessels escaped. The captured Iranians are being ...

Terror attack cut short in Paris

June 19, 2017, 6:33 PM French police have identified as a terrorist attack a car that crashed into a police van near the Champs Elysees Monday before bursting into flames. The drive was killed in the attack. There were no other casualties. Gas canisters, a Kalashnikov gun and hand guns were found in ...

A car crashes a French police van near Champs Elysees

June 19, 2017, 5:47 PM French officials have just reported a security operation is under way in Paris around the Champs Elysees area, after a car crashed into a police van before bursting into flames. The driver is 'on the ground... unconscious,' a police source said. It was not immediately clear if ...

Russian warning: US planes in W. Syria are targets

June 19, 2017, 4:53 PM Moscow Monday, June 19, issued a sharp warning to the United States over its operations in Syria: 'Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates River will be targeted.' This ramped up Russian-US military ...

Russian warning: US planes in Syria will be targeted

June 19, 2017, 4:09 PM After the US-led coalition downed a Syrian jet Sunday, Russia has warned: 'Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates river, will be tracked by Russian anti-aircraft forces in the sky and on the ground and ...

May: “Brave” public detained the attacker before police

June 19, 2017, 2:02 PM UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday after the attack on the London Mosque: “Extremism, terrorism and hatred take many forms and we condemn and pledge to stamp out extremism and hateful ideology whoever it harms, and that includes Islamophobia.” Speaking after ...

Macron’s party wins clear majority in National Assembly

June 19, 2017, 12:57 PM The French President Emmanuel Macron's new party Le Republique en Marche has won a clear parliamentary majority of 300 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly in Sunday’s vote. The winning margin was less than expected due to a low voter turnout. The result has ...

London police: 79 dead or presumed dead in Grenfell Tower fire

June 19, 2017, 12:49 PM Scotland Yard announced Monday that 79 people are confirmed dead or still missing and presumed dead in the London Tower inferno last Wednesday. Thirty were earlier confirmed dead. After four days of exhaustive searches, five people who had been reported missing were ...

Van hits London mosque. One dead, 10 injured.

June 19, 2017, 12:35 PM Police arrested one person after a van ran over worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early Monday. Police report one dead, 10 people injured.. Witnesses said that three men were in the van and one jumped out armed with a knife and stabbed people. Many of ...

Brexit negotiations begin in Brussels

June 19, 2017, 12:24 PM The UK government’s Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels Monday to start negotiations with the EU for Britain’s exit from the bloc. He said he was determined to build a 'strong and special partnership' with the EU. Subjects for the negotiations include ...

One dead, 10 injured in attack on London Mosque

June 19, 2017, 7:03 AM At least one person was killed and 10 injured when a van struck a crowd of Muslim worshippers coming out of the Finsbury Road Mosque in north London early Monday. One of the three men in the van jumped out with a knife and stabbed people in the crowd which had just left ...

Van hits London mosque. One dead, 10 injured.

June 19, 2017, 6:46 AM Police arrested one person after a van ran over worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early Monday. Police report one dead, 10 people injured.. Witnesses said that three men were in the van and one jumped out armed with a knife and stabbed people. Many of ...

US-led coalition downs Syrian army jet - Damascus

June 18, 2017, 11:41 PM The Syrian army said that the US-led coalition had shot down a Syrian army plane in the southern Raqqa countryside during a Syrian sortie against ISIS. State TV reported that the plane crashed and the pilot was missing. DEBKAfile reports that Syrian warplanes were in fact ...

Iran says it launched missile strikes against ISIS in Syria

June 18, 2017, 11:08 PM The Iranian Revolutionary Guards report the firing of medium-range missile attacks from Kermansha, Iran, across Iraq Sunday night at ISIS targets in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria. The attack was in revenge for the Islamist attacks on the Iranian parliament and Khomeini tomb ...