December, 2016 Military

 Turkish army ISIS pushback


DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 

Wednesday, Dec. 28, hours before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due to deliver a major speech on his vision for the Middle East, Turkey and Russia announced a ceasefire plan going into effect the same night for the whole of Syria, and in all regions, where fighting between pro-government forces and opposition groups were taking place - excepting for terrorist organizations.
Moscow and Ankara assumed the role of guarantors of the process.

Iran’s Ascendancy

By Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 388

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Widespread moral revulsion at the horrors of the battle for Aleppo, and the aftershocks of the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey, should not blind us to the dark strategic implications of the recent turn of events in Syria. 

Battle for Mosul


Daniel L. Davis
Since the battle to retake Mosul began in mid-October, Iraqi and coalition spokesmen have touted the significant number of villages retaken around the periphery of Mosul by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and the fact that they reportedly recaptured Mosul’s al-Salam hospital, barely a mile from the Tigris. Yet an examination of the battlefield reveals that from the perspective of ISIS, it could be argued that the fight is going better than expected. Such a belief is not without substance.

Next ISIS?


We learned with Al Qaeda and ISIS that localized jihadist movements are not local.
Seth J. Frantzman

When Islamic State overran Mosul more than two years ago media and observers mistook it for an “insurgent” force fighting the Iraqi army. Amnesty International, on June 11, 2014 described it as an “armed opposition group” and called on it to protect civilians. 

Russia commandos


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

Moscow started to deploy Chechen special operations forces units to Syria this week, DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal. The troops come from elite units of the Chechen military with extensive field experience in urban warfare. Some of the units fought in eastern Ukraine in the past two years and, before that. in Chechnya for suppressing radical Islamic terror organizations linked to Al Qaeda and the Salafi movement.

Conflict in Syria


By Giancarlo Elia Valori
 "Information Clearing House" - "Modern Diplomacy" - While we are writing this article, much of South Aleppo has now been liberated by Bashar al-Assad’ Syrian Arab Army. Jaish Al Fatah, which cooperates with the Al Nusra Front, namely the "Syrian section" of Al Qaeda, has now been ousted from the Southern districts of Aleppo and from most of the city suburbs. But it still keeps Idlib.

 Mosul offensive


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

The failue of the US-backed Iraqi army offensive to liberate Mosul - nine weeks after it began - could no longer be denied when a delegation of ISIS chiefs arrived there Sunday, Dec. 4, traveling unhindered from Raqqa, Syria.