Tens of thousands of Israeli troops in surprise Golan drill. Khamenei: No bending to the West

Reservists drafted at no notice, Air Force, Central Command and other IDF units were flown to Israel’s northern Golan border early Wednesday, Sept. 19, for a surprise exercise called by Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz under the codename “National Asset.”

The official IDF announcement tried to downplay its importance, describing it as a “planned, routine event.” However, debkafile’s military sources say the war game is the biggest the IDF has conducted in the eight years since the second Lebanon war on Hizballah in 2006, with tens of thousands of soldiers and senior officers, including the artillery and the air force taking part.

Another sign of an impending conflict was provided by US diplomats who Monday began destroying classified documents and sensitive equipment at the Beirut embassy. As Islamist anti-US violence raged across Arab and Muslim countries, the State Department said this was a precautionary measure, without naming any specific threat. The trashing of embassy documents usually signifies preparations to evacuate an US embassy at short notice. It would be imperative in a war situation to keep them out of Hizballah hands.

As the exhibition of colossal Western might got underway opposite Iranian shores, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted on his official website as saying: Iran will never bend to Western pressure The Islamic Republic, he told a military audience, “makes its decisions solely based on the interests of its people and the country, even if all of the world’s powers get angry at its decisions.”

It “does not accept the demands of any superpower,” he added.

Full article: Tens of thousands of Israeli troops in surprise Golan drill. Khamenei: No bending to the West (DEBKAfile)

Anti-Israel attacks to mount in sync with Syrian war, looming strike on Iran

The tactics Iran, Syria and Hizballah have set out for escalating their terrorist attacks on Israel differentiate between “local” and high-value “strategic” targets. They have now decided to up the assaults on the latter to keep pace with the worsening war situation in Syria and the approach of an attack on Iran’s nuclear program. This is reported by debkafile’s intelligence and counter-terror sources.

Iranian terror planners classify the blowing up of the Bulgarian bus Wednesday, July 18 as “local” notwithstanding its “success” in killing at least seven Israelis and wounding more than thirty.

Israelis have learned in the three years of Netanyahu’s tenure as prime minister that expressions like “strong,” “forceful,” “determined” “we cannot tolerate” etc. mean just the opposite. Israel’s enemies also understand him to mean that he will sit tight and do nothing.

However, an escalation of attacks on Israeli “strategic targets” predicted by intelligence experts in the coming days may make this do-nothing policy untenable. After all, talking to Obama won’t deflect Iran, Syria and Hizballah from their resolve to vent their urge for revenge on Israel.

Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has often managed to stay a step or two ahead of US and Israeli thinking – especially in his propaganda campaigns – ever since he surprised Israel by launching the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

A few hours after the attacks in Bulgaria and Damascus, Nasrallah had found his tongue and was crowing:

“We know what your [Israel’s] first strike will be and we promise you a big surprise.”

His words were a warning to Israel and a message to Washington that anyone trying to reach the bunker in which he has been hiding since 2006 was in for a big surprise.

Israel was painfully reminded of the Iranian C-802 shore-to-ship missile fired from the Lebanese coast which surprised and crippled the unready INS Hanit missile ship exactly six years ago.

Full article: Anti-Israel attacks to mount in sync with Syrian war, looming strike on Iran (DEBKAfile)