The US and Iran took the first steps for their military cooperation in Iraq on June 16, at the same time as Israel declared war on Tehran’s Palestinian ally, Hamas, in the wake of a fruitless four-day sweep of the West Bank Hebron region for the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped on June 12, and the detention of hundreds of Hamas activists – which Israel leaders said was just the beginning.
Overnight, President Obama informed Congress that up to 275 troops could be sent to Iraq to provide support and security for US personnel and the American Embassy in Baghdad,which with a staff of 5,000 is the largest in the world. About 170 of those forces are already in Iraq.
debkafile: That is only the first step, to be followed by more. US naval, air and Marine forces are assembling in the Persian Gulf ready to go in. Continue reading
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
Tehran has ballistic missiles able to pound targets over twice as distant as previously thought, and can reach the American mid-ocean strategic base at Diego Garcia, a senior Iranian official has explicitly warned.
“In the event of a mistake on the part of the United States, their bases in Bahrain and (Diego) Garcia will not be safe from Iranian missiles,” said an Iranian Revolutionary Guard adviser to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Majatba Dhualnuri. Continue reading
Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, flew out of Israel Wednesday, April 2, from three days of talks with Israeli leaders, asserting: “I think they are satisfied we have the capability [to use a military option against Iran]. I think they believe we will use it.”
debkafile sources tracking his talks did not receive that impression from Israeli officials. They did not subscribe to his statement that “Israel and the United States are in broad agreement about the threat that Iran poses to the region and how to deal with it.” Continue reading
Damascus warns ‘mass of flames will ignite Middle East’ if regime attacked; Assad’s chemical weapons use reportedly discussed in call between US and Israeli army chiefs
Israel believes that the United States will respond militarily to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, according to unnamed military sources quoted by the Hebrew website Ynet on Saturday night.
When proof surfaces that the Assad regime used chemical weapons last Wednesday, “the US will act even in the event that the UN Security Council does not take a decision to that effect,” the report claimed, citing estimations by Israeli officials. Continue reading
In the view of a Jordanian military source, this attack by an unknown hand has delayed Bashar Assad’s advanced preparations for an all-out armored offensive to finally crush the revolt against his regime. His first targets were to have been the rebel-held villages along the Israeli and Jordanian borders.
The Syrian ruler was working to a plan of operations his generals had drawn up with Iranian Al Qods Brigades strategists.
Saturday, Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned that Iran would consider any attack on Syria an attack on itself: “Syria has a very basic and key role in the region for promoting firm policies of resistance [against Israel]… For this reason an attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran and Iran’s allies.” Continue reading