The United States this week began transferring to Iraq and Gulf bases elite units of the US 82nd Airborne Division. debkafile’s military sources report that the first batch of 500 officers and men will be deployed in Baghdad and the Kurdish republic’s capital of Irbil, followed by another 500 in July and 250 in December. Altogether, by the end of 2015, the US will have posted another 1,250 officers and men to augment the American force already present at a base ner Habbaniya in the western Iraqi Anbar province. This force, roughly the same size as the incoming contingents, came from the US 3rd Division’s Combat Team which set up the base six months ago to train Iraqi troops to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIS. Continue reading
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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spoke, Egyptian spokesmen claimed the tanks, illegally deployed in breach of the peace treaty with Israel, were being withdrawn at the end of a “successful military offensive” to root out the terrorists.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)