The New Middle East: Exit America Enter Russia

Is the genie finally out of the bottle?

A myriad of seemingly unrelated events and loose ends are converging in a manner that points in the direction of a huge win for Russian diplomacy in the Middle East, and we only need to connect the dots to see this scenario unfolding.

What dots, one might ask? Continue reading

Jordanian Bedouin hoist Al Qaeda flag in Ma’an – 104 km from Eilat. US, Israeli forces on the ready

“Ma’an is the Falluja of Jordan!” shouted thousands of Bedouin Saturday, June 28, in the southern Jordanian town of Ma’an. This legend was inscribed on the placards and flags they bore aloft with one hand in the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). In the other, they waved automatic rifles.

Ma’an (pop: 50,000) is in a sensitive location:  218 km south of Amman, it also lies 104 km from the Israeli port town of Eilat and some 60 km from the main artery cutting south from northern Israel to the south.

But although pro-Al Qaeda riots have been going on for days in Ma’an, capital of the southern province of the Kingdom of Jordan, military and security personnel have not been seen in its vicinity. Continue reading

Israel-China Alliance Moves Forward With $2 Billion ‘Red-Med’ Freight Rail Link Alternative to Suez Canal

The growing economic alliance between Israel and China is moving forward with a $2 billion, 300 kilometer freight rail link connecting Eilat, on the Red Sea, with Ashdod Port, on the Mediterranean, Germany’s Deutsche Welle news magazine reported on Monday.

The project, nicknamed the ‘Red-Med,’ was greenlit by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, and construction, which is expected to take five years, will begin within the year.

Continue reading

At least 50 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel – pro-Iranian Jihad Islami payback for missile ship seizure

The pro-Iranian Palestinian Jihad Islami terror group rained Wednesday, March 12 a heavy, continuous missile barrage against Israel, just two days after the Israeli presentation in Eilat of the illicit cargo of Iranian arms destined for terrorists aboard the Klos C, which Israeli commandos captured on the Red Sea last week. The presentation included 60 M302 short-range missiles made in Syria and flown to Iran for shipment to Gaza and Sinai via Sudan.

Iron Dome missile interceptors were activated against the barrage. No casualties or damage have been so far reported. Red alert signals sent hundreds of thousands of citizens running for shelter. Continue reading

First US-Israeli intelligence collaboration in four years against an Iranian military target: Iranian missile ship

In an unusually frank disclosure, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday night, March 5, that US intelligence services and military had worked with Israel to track the Iranian Panama-flagged ship KLOS C, which was apprehended by Israeli naval commandos on the Red Sea earlier that day carrying missiles for Gaza via Sudan. The ship was boarded by the Israeli elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) and found to be carrying dozens of 302mm rockets made in Syria with a range of 150 km made in Syria. It is now on its way to Eilat.

The White House spokesman said that Washington worked with Israeli through intelligence and military channels, and at the national security adviser level, as soon as it knew the shipment was on the move. He said that President Barack Obama also directed the US military to work out contingencies in case it became necessary to intercept the vessel (thereby sanctioning military action). Continue reading

China’s New Silk Road Must Pass Through Middle East

JERUSALEM — Three hundred kilometers by high-speed rail between the cities of Eilat and Ashdod, connecting the Red Sea coast to the Mediterranean: They call it the “Red-Med” Project.

Financed by Beijing and launched from Jerusalem, China has revealed its strategy for “West Asia” — the term that the China Shipping Container Lines company uses to delineate the area of operations between Hormuz, Suez and Haifa.

The use of the term West Asia rather than Middle East is no accident — this gives precedence to the size of the economic link with China rather than the ever troublesome geopolitics of the region. Continue reading

South Israel on alert for multiple al Qaeda strike. Iron Dome posted

Incoming intelligence of Al Qaeda groups in the Sinai Peninsula winding up preparations for a multiple attack on an Israeli location, such as Eilat, and a US military target in the Negev, has put southern Israel and US forces posted there on high terror alert. This is reported by debkafile’s military sources.

The Israeli high command decided to treat the five Qassam rockets fired at Shear Hanegev Wednesday, April 3, which were claimed by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Salafist “Jihad Brigades in Jerusalem.” as the opening salvo for this coordinated attack. An Iron Dome battery was accordingly moved Thursday to the Israeli-Egyptian border north of the southern port of Eilat and additional IDF strength directed to the South.

Heavy sandstorms in the region have sharply reduced visibility for troop movements and provided excellent cover for terrorist infiltration. Continue reading

Egypt confronts Israel with 6,000 Sinai Islamists as an approved militia

The uprooting of 30 years of stability in the Arab region has now brought about its first fruition. Meet your newly created Egyptian regime:

To keep the truce with the Islamist terrorist networks in Sinai in place, while avoiding a large-scale military operation to suppress them, Egypt is now releasing dozens of jailed Salafist gunmen in batches every few days, so feeding the Islamists a steady supply of reinforcements. Cairo is also in negotiation with Bedouin tribal elders to grant a body of 6,000 Al-Qaeda-linked Salafi gunmen the status of an approved, independent militia. Armed with up-to-date Egyptian weapons, this militia is to be charged with responsibility for maintaining security in the peninsula.

Israeli security circles on the southern front familiar with the Sinai security situation explain that the Egyptian army’s claim Monday, Sept. 3 that it pulled “another 20 tanks” out of the peninsula, marking the tail end of its putative counter-terror military offensive, was therefore the reverse of welcome news for Israel.

Thursday, Aug. 30 Defense Minister Ehud Barak said: ”The Egyptians must combat terror and if they need to bring extra military strength into Sinai [for this purpose], we should let them.”

As he spoke, Egyptian spokesmen claimed the tanks, illegally deployed in breach of the peace treaty with Israel, were being withdrawn at the end of a “successful military offensive” to root out the terrorists.

This statement, say debkafile’s counter-terror sources, contains at least two untruths: The tanks were falsely presented as backing a fictitious Egyptian operation, just as the Cairo communiqué pretended that large numbers of terrorists were killed and wounded “in action” or detained.

There were no terrorist casualties because the entire operation was made of whole cloth, a Sinai desert mirage.

That the Netanyahu government and defense chiefs went along with this fiction is the real issue.

Our military sources report this strip has been dubbed “The American Highway” of Sinai, because its 260 kilometers were paved in secret by US military engineers. It runs from the MFO peacekeepers’ Mediterranean base at Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai down to Taba, providing a safe route for the peacekeepers, most of them members of the US 82nd Airborne Division, between their northern base and their headquarters at Sharm el-Sheikh.
Large sections of the American Highway run parallel to Israel’s Route 12 from Nitzana to Eilat, Israel’s southernmost town.

Full article: Egypt confronts Israel with 6,000 Sinai Islamists as an approved militia (DEBKAfile)