DEBKAFile (153)

Russia's 'Liman' spy ship collides with freighter, sinks near Bosphorus Strait

April 27, 2017, 3:53 PM A Russian reconnaissance ship, the Liman, collided with a Togo-flagged freighter in the Black Sea, north of the Bosphorus Strait, and sank on Thursday afternoon. However, the entire crew of the Russian vessel was rescued by the Turkish coast guard and a number of ships that ...

Terrorist shoots two intervention force members on Indian Ocean island

April 27, 2017, 2:10 PM A terrorist described as a radical Islamist by the French security services shot two police officers who came to arrest him Thursday morning on Reunion island in the Indian Ocean. The officers from a French police intervention force were moderately wounded but the terrorist ...

Syrian military source: Israel carried out Thursday's attack at int'l airport

April 27, 2017, 12:31 PM A Syrian military source confirmed Thursday that Israel carried out the attack earlier in the day that caused major damage to buildings within Damascus international airport, Syria's SANA news agency said. According to the report, a number of air-to-ground missiles struck ...

Hamas opens fire on IDF force near Gaza border; no casualties

April 27, 2017, 11:44 AM A force of IDF troops operating along the border fence across from southern Gaza was targeted by gunfire on Thursday morning. The shooting did not cause any Israeli casualties or damage. The IDF spokesman's office said IDF tanks returned fire. According to Palestinian media ...

Houthi rebels attempt boat bomb attack on Saudi oil terminal

April 27, 2017, 11:00 AM Yemen's Houthi rebels on Wednesday attempted to bomb a Saudi oil distribution terminal near the Yemeni border by remote control using an unmanned boat packed with explosives. According to a statement by the Saudi Interior Ministry, the country's coast guard sighted the boat, ...

Latest Damascus airport incident was in line with Israeli policy: intel minister

April 27, 2017, 10:05 AM Yisrael Katz, Israel's minister for intelligence affairs, said Thursday during a radio interview that the incident several hours earlier at Damascus international airport was completely in line with his country's policy of preventing the transfer of advanced weapons to ...

Golan tension: Pro-Iran troops move on Quneitra

April 27, 2017, 9:14 AM Early Thursday, April 26, a mixed Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah force embarked on a general offensive in southern Syria ready for a leap on Israel’s Golan border. They moved forward in the face of Israeli warnings that were relayed from Moscow to Tehran and Hizballah.

US to press NKorea to return to talks, senators told at closed-door briefing

April 27, 2017, 8:39 AM At a classified briefing on Wednesday for all 100 US senators, the Trump administration said that Washington seeks to pressure North Korea to return to the negotiating table in order to peacefully end Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but at the same time ...

Series of large explosions at Damascus international airport

April 27, 2017, 8:16 AM A number of strong explosions were heard early Thursday morning near the military section of the Syrian capital's international airport. According to reports on Syrian social networks, witnesses said there was a large mushroom cloud over the area.

Israel will not let Iranian, Hizballah buildup on Syrian border

April 26, 2017, 10:28 PM Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman arrived in Moscow Tuesday for a two-day international conference on Security. After meeting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Lieberman said that Israel would not stand for Iranian or Hizballah concentrating military forces on ...

US test-fires ICBM traveling 4,000 miles to South Pacific

April 26, 2017, 10:00 PM Amid high tension with North Korea, the US Air Force Wednesday test-fired an intercontinental Minuteman III ballistic missile which traveled over 4,000 miles before splashing down in the South Pacific. It was fired from Vandenberg Air Force base in California. The ...

Officials laying groundwork for Trump visit to Israel in late May: sources

April 26, 2017, 8:20 PM DEBKAfile sources said Wednesday that there are discussions underway between US and Israeli officials to lay the groundwork for a visit to Israel by President Donald Trump in the second half of May after his visit to Brussels for a NATO conference. It is already clear that ...

Ex-Marine general takes helm of US Secret Service

April 26, 2017, 5:38 PM Retired US Marine Gen. Randolph 'Tex' Alles was sworn in on Tuesday as the new director of the Secret Service. He previously served as the deputy head of the US Customs and Border Protection agency. In 2011, he retired from the marines as a major general after a ...

Two security-related officials chosen for senior Pentagon posts

April 26, 2017, 2:23 PM The Trump administration nominated two security-related officials for senior Defense Department jobs on Tuesday. Kari Bingen was tapped as principal undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, the Pentagon's second-most-important intelligence position. Bingen, who served as ...

Stabbing attack by Palestinian knifeman thwarted near Nablus

April 26, 2017, 2:01 PM A Palestinian wielding a knife tried to stab two Israelis Wednesday afternoon at a square adjacent to the headquarters of the IDF's Samaria Regional Brigade, about five kilometers south of Nablus. The terrorist was shot and subdued. No Israelis were wounded.

China calls on US to remove missile interception system from SKorean soil

April 26, 2017, 11:34 AM The Chinese government on Wednesday told the US and South Korea that it is concerned about the overnight deployment of the American-made THAAD anti-missile system in South Korean territory. During a daily press briefing in Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman called ...

Iran's defense chief, in Moscow, expected to meet Russian counterpart

April 26, 2017, 10:23 AM Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan arrived Tuesday in the Russian capital to attend the Moscow Conference on International Security, which is being held in the city for the sixth consecutive year. Dehqan is expected to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu as well ...

Court rejects request for extradition of Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece

April 26, 2017, 9:59 AM An appeals court in Athens on Tuesday turned down a request for the extradition of three Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece and received political asylum following last year's attempted military coup in Turkey. The three are part of a group of eight Turkish soldiers who ...

As tension over NKorea rises, US deploys THAAD ahead of schedule

April 26, 2017, 9:25 AM The US military started deploying its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in South Korea on Wednesday. The step came about two months ahead of schedule in light of soaring tensions with North Korea. The advanced THAAD system defends against short-to-medium range ...

US THAADs to South Korea. China launches carrier

April 26, 2017, 9:00 AM The US early Wednesday, April 26, began moving THAAD missile defense systems to central South Korea opposite the border with the North months ahead of schedule. Tuesday, the USS Michigan nuclear submarine docked in South Korea, after the North began a large-scale, long-range ...

Iranian ship charges US destroyer in Persian Gulf

April 26, 2017, 8:22 AM In an incident in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard ship sped toward a US destroyer, the USS Mahan, and reached within 1,000 yards of it before changing direction and sailing away. The Iranians were manning the weapons on the deck of their ship at ...

North Sinai Bedouin take multiple casualties from ISIS car bombs

April 25, 2017, 8:34 PM Two car bombs exploded Tuesday evening in northern Sinai south of the divided town of Rafah, inflicting heavy casualties on members of the Tarabin Bedouin tribe. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State which is in feud with the tribe after a section broke away from its ...

Senior IDF officer: North Korean crisis may affect Israeli security

April 25, 2017, 8:27 PM An Israeli military spokesman referred for the first time to the North Korea crisis Tuesday when a senior IDF officer, wh9 withheld his identity, spoke at a briefing to reporters about Israel's concerns lest a confrontation with North Korea divert the United States from its ...

US President Trump vows to confront anti-Semitism

April 25, 2017, 8:16 PM In an address for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s annual Days of Remembrance event on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said, 'The State of Israel is an eternal monument to the undying strength of the Jewish people. We are here today to make sure than humanity never ...

Netanyahu refuses to receive visiting German foreign minister

April 25, 2017, 7:54 PM Visiting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s scheduled Tuesday meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was called off after the minister declared he would not give up on seeing the two radical anti-government B’Tselem and Breaking Silence groups in the ...

French police defuse a suspicious vehicle outside Metz synagogue

April 25, 2017, 6:19 PM A suspicious vehicle parked outside the synagogue in the northeastern French town of Metz was de-activated by a large police contingent deployed at the scene Tuesday afternoon. The police said the explosions reported by witnesses were linked to this operation. They cleared ...

Turkish warplanes strike Kurds in Iraq and Syria

April 25, 2017, 5:18 PM The Turkish military early Tuesday carried out air strikes against Kurdish Workers Party fighters near Iraq's Sinjar Mountains and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in the northeastern Syria province of Hasakeh.The two regions have become 'terror hubs', the Turkish army said, ...

Austrian Chancellor visits Jerusalem, meets Netanyahu

April 25, 2017, 4:22 PM Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern warmly congratulated Israel as a “start-up nation regarded by the world as a model for emulation” at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem after their talks. Netanyahu praised the chancellor, ...

Spain rounds up 8 Moroccans in anti-terror raids

April 25, 2017, 4:14 PM The Spanish police Tuesday arrested eight people and raided 12 properties in Barcelona, in an operation against suspected Islamist terrorists, some of which were linked to the Belgian airport-metro suicide bombings last March which left 31 dead. Spain cooperated with Belgian ...

Japanese PM hopes to implement peace treaty in Moscow visit

April 25, 2017, 12:12 PM Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia Thursday for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said Tuesday. While the North Korean crisis will no doubt be discussed, as well as political, trade, humanitarian and economic cooperation, Abe hopes to implement a ...

Netanyahu will not see visiting German FM if he meets radical groups

April 25, 2017, 10:05 AM Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s scheduling meeting Tuesday with visiting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel was not listed on his day’s agenda after the visitor did not cancel his plans to meet representatives of the radical anti-government B’Tselem ...

Turkish warplanes strike Kurdish PKK targets in Iraq

April 25, 2017, 9:34 AM The Turkish military carried out air strikes early Tuesday against Kurdish Workers Party fighters near Iraq's Sinjar Mountains and in northeastern Syria. The two regions have become 'terror hubs', the Turkish army said, for the PKK to channel militants, weapons, bombs and ...

North Korea stages massive artillery drill. US nuclear sub docks in South

April 25, 2017, 9:28 AM Tensions around Korea shot up further Tuesday when the North began a large-scale, long-range artillery fire drill in Wonsan on the east coast, and the USS Michigan nuclear submarine docked in South Korea. Kim Jon-un is said to be supervising the drill which marks another ...

UN Security Council members lunch at White House

April 24, 2017, 11:44 PM US President Donald Trump said on Monday the UN Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea as concerns mount that it may test a sixth nuclear bomb as early as Tuesday. He had invited the 15 UN Security Council ambassadors to lunch at the White ...

WHouse calls all US Senators for NKorea briefing

April 24, 2017, 10:47 PM In view of escalating threats from North Korea, all 100 US senators were invited to the White House Wednesday for a rare classified briefing on the crisis from the administration’s top security chiefs: President Donald Trump, who spoke Sunday with Chinese President Xi ...

Trump calls all 100 US senators for North Korea briefing

April 24, 2017, 9:39 PM In view of escalating North Korean threats, President Donald Trump has invited all US senators to the White House for an urgent rare briefing on North Korea Wednesday to be given by Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Chairman of US ...

The US imposes 271 new sanctions on Syrians for chemical attack

April 24, 2017, 9:01 PM The Trump administration Monday announced new sanctions on 271 individuals involved in Syria’s chemical weapons program. This is the largest issue of sanctions on record. The new measures freeze assets and prevent US entities from doing business with 271 employees of a ...

Mattis on unannounced visit to Kabul. Afghan defense and army chiefs resign

April 24, 2017, 5:52 PM US Secretary of Defense James Mattis arrived in Kabul Monday on an unannounced visit on the day that Afghan’s defense minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down after the deadliest Taliban attack on a military base on Friday. The ...

Trump on Yom Hashoah pledges “Never again!

April 24, 2017, 8:10 AM In a recorded speech to the World Jewish Congress marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Donald Trump said: “On Yom HaShoah, we look back at the darkest chapter of human history. and we pledge: Never again. I say it, never again. The mind cannot fathom the pain, ...

Israel commemorates the six million victims of the Nazi Holocaust

April 24, 2017, 7:57 AM Across the country, Israelis pause for two minutes silence at 10 a.m. Monday in memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust. In the Knesset, members read out victims’ names. In Poland, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott leads the March of ...

Macron and Le Pen go to French runoff in two weeks

April 24, 2017, 7:43 AM In final voting figures, centrist Emmanuel Macron led in the first round of France’s presidential election Sunday, with 23.75 percent of the vote. He and far-right Martine Le Pen, who won 21.53 percent, face each other in the runoff on May 7. Fillon with 19.91 percent ...

A girl soldier injured in stabbing attack by female terrorist

April 24, 2017, 7:16 AM In an terrorist attack at the Kalandia checkpoint outside Jerusalem early Monday, a Palestinian woman stabbed in the back - and moderately injured - a female soldier on guard there, before she was shot herself.Sunday, a Palestinian from Nablus was detained after knifing four ...

Mattis in Djibouti amid high Red Sea stakes

April 23, 2017, 10:16 PM US Defense Secretary James Mattis arrival in Djibouti Sunday, April 23 coincided with Egyptian President Abdul-Fatteh El-Sisi’s landing in Riyadh. Both capitals are pivotal for the Arab face-off with Iran over control of the strategic Red Sea. Djibouti is both key to ...

US drone strike kills 5 Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen, three civilians

April 23, 2017, 8:05 PM A presumed US drone strike Sunday killed five suspected members of Al-Qaeda and three civilians in the Al-Said area of the southern Shabwa province. They were not identified. Three civilians who went to their aid were killed when a second missile struck, the official said. ...

Palestinian stabs four people in Tel Aviv hotel

April 23, 2017, 6:07 PM A Palestinian, aged 18, from Nablus stabbed four people in the lobby of the Herods Hotel on Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv Sunday. One was a member of the staff. They were taken to hospital with light injuries. The terrorist was apprehended. Police are investigating whether he ...

Egyptian president on two-day trip to Saudi Arabia

April 23, 2017, 4:38 PM President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi arrived in Riyadh Sunday for two days of talks with Saudi leaders. He came with a large party of ministers and high military officers. The object of his visit is to bridge the differences between Riyadh and Cairo over the wars in Syria and Libya ...

Mattis lands in Djibouti from Qatar

April 23, 2017, 4:27 PM US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Djibouti on Sunday to visit an important military base at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, which is used as a launch pad for operations in Yemen and Somalia. This base,which has 4,000 US military personnel, was recently given ...

French vote for president on edge after Champs Elysees terror attack

April 22, 2017, 8:08 PM The 50,000 armed police and troops called up to secure France’s presidential election were much in evidence as some 47 million eligible voters headed for polling stations Sunday, two days after an Islamist terrorist murdered a police officer and injured two on Champs ...

Israel marks annual Holocaust Remembrance Day

April 23, 2017, 12:46 PM National events marking the annual Holocaust Martyrs 'and Heroes' Remembrance Day begins Sunday evening with a state ceremony at the Warsaw Ghetto Square in the Yad Vashem compound, addressed by President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Along with other ...

France votes for president on edge after Champs Elysees terror attack

April 22, 2017, 8:08 PM The 50,000 armed police and troops called up to secure France’s presidential election were much in evidence as some 47 million eligible voters headed for polling stations Sunday, two days after an Islamist terrorist murdered a police officer and injured two on Champs ...