Gantz: IDF gets set to target 50,000 Al Qaeda fighters piling up around Israel in Syria and Iraq

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.

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.” Continue reading

Mali-based Islamists pledge attacks on French soil

Islamist fighters in northern Mali have pledged to strike “at the heart” of France, after a joint Malian-French offensive — which has entered its fourth day — began pushing back al Qaeda linked rebels controlling the region.

“France has attacked Islam. We will strike at the heart of France,” Abou Dardar, a leader of Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), one of the Mali-based groups with ties to al Qaeda, told the AFP news agency. Continue reading