March, 2017 Security-Intelligence

Fethullah Gulen

Author Semih Idiz

Fethullah Gulen, the self-exiled Islamic cleric residing in Pennsylvania who Ankara accuses of masterminding July’s failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has become one of the main obstacles to improving Turkey’s ties with the United States and Europe.

 Arab summit

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

If the Arab summit opening in Amman Wednesday, March 9 meets the expectations of Washington and Jerusalem, the session will ratify a pivotal initiative for promoting an historic peace process between the Arab world and Israel. This effort, which matured through five months of mostly secret diplomacy, was launched by Donald Trump in November, shortly after he was elected US President.

Assad

 By NEVILLE TELLER 
Back in the glory days of the so-called “Arab Spring”, when Middle Eastern dictators were falling like ninepins, it seemed that the overthrow of Ben Ali of Tunisia, Mubarak of Egypt, Gaddafi of Libya and Saleh of Yemen would inevitably be followed by the downfall of President Bashar Assad of Syria.

 ISIS Lebanon as Next Target

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 
American helicopters Thursday and Friday, March 23-24, dropped Kurdish and Arab fighters over a region west of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. Those forces quickly captured at least five villages and so cut jihadist concentrations in the northwestern Syria off from their Raqqa stronghold. DEBKAfile’s military sourcesreport this operation was the opening shot of the US-led campaign to isolate the Islamic State’s Syrian capital before storming it.

Kadyrov

 


By Emil Souleimanov
At the turn of 2016 and 2017, events took place in parts of Chechnya that again challenged the triumphant statements of local pro-Moscow and federal authorities that the jihadist-inspired insurgency in this North Caucasian republic was eradicated.

 Final Raqqa assault


AUTHOR Fehim Taştekin TRANSLATOR Timur Göksel

It sounded dramatic: The leaders of 50 Syrian Arab tribes met in Sanliurfa, Turkey, and announced they would set up the Army of Al-Jazirah and Euphrates Tribes to end Russian and Iranian occupation of Syria and cleanse the Euphrates and Al Jazeera areas of the Islamic State (IS), the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party/Kurdistan Workers Party (PYD/PKK), Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

House Intelligence Committee Hearing

Rep. Schiff and many other Democrats apparently want to broaden and deepen the existing confrontation between the United States and Russia without giving any thought to its possible consequences.

Syria Iran

Author: Ali Hashem, Al Monitor

 

Six years into the crisis in Syria, Iran sees the outcome of the conflict as shaping the new Middle East. It was Iran’s first overt foreign intervention in decades, one that some Iranian ideologues have called a war for existence. Iranian officials say it spared the Islamic Republic from having to fight a similar war within its own borders. 

 ISIS  Al Qaeda

 By: Jim Sharp
First things first; and I want to make myself very clear on this point: ISIS and Al Qaeda (as well as all their off-shoots and affiliate groups) are lethal. All have the capability to carry out attacks across the globe, and they will continue to do so as long as they have the means available to them. They will never voluntarily give up on their idea of jihad, and there is no economic, diplomatic or humanitarian leverage that can be exerted to make them do so.

CHINA MILITARY POWER

China revealed plans to increase its marine force by 400 percent, focusing on strategic intercontinental trade routes.
BY TOM O’CONNOR

US Defence Secretary sees no need for US military action in South China Sea
The world's biggest military is about to grow. Beijing announced last week it would increase military spending by about 7 percent, totaling about $147 billion. Beijing also plans to increase its marine corps by 400 percent in a bid to expand the nation's economic and military influence across Asia and into Africa, according to News Corp. Australian Network. With 2,3 million soldiers, Chinese leaders already command the largest standing army on the planet.

General Khalifa Haftar

By Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Lin Noueihed | WASHINGTON/CAIRO

Russia appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya in recent days, U.S., Egyptian and diplomatic sources say, a move that would add to U.S. concerns about Moscow's deepening role in Libya.

ISIS-Syria Al Qaeda


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 
The main thrust of the campaign against the Islamic State in Syria ordered by the Trump administration is still ahead, but ISIS forces did not wait in their Raqqa stronghold for the axe to fall. They moved southeast into the Deir ez-Zour region, where they are beating back Hizballah’s elite Radwan Battalion, which has just been deployed there.

Gwadar


By: PTI | Beijing

China is constructing a naval base in Djibouti to provide logistical support in one of the world's busiest waterways in the Indian Ocean.
China is set to increase the number of its marine corps from 20,000 to one lakh (100.000) as part of plans to deploy them overseas for the first time, including at the strategic Gwadar port in Pakistan and military logistics base in Djibouti in the Indian Ocean. The expansion is planned to protect China’s maritime lifelines and its growing interests overseas, Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

Don't travel to Turkey this summer

TEMPTING prices, sunshine beaches and alluring exchange rates will see Britons booking in their thousands to travel to Turkey this summer - something terror experts are claiming would be a MASSIVE mistake.

WikiTrump

Nothing so trivial as the technical proof we’re all being spied upon can be allowed to threaten or add nuance to established narrative

By Pepe Escobar
 "Information Clearing House" - "Asia Times" - The massive WikiLeaks Vault 7 release is an extremely important public service. It’s hard to find anyone not concerned by a secret CIA hacking program targeting virtually the whole planet – using malware capable of bypassing encryption protection on any device from iOS to Android, and from Windows to Samsung TVs.

Military summit on Syria

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

EXCLUSIVE: For the first time ever, the top soldiers of the United States, Russia and Turkey are holding a secret meeting in the Turkish town of Antalya for an urgent two-day effort to avert a clash between their three armies, which stand ominously face to face in northern Syria.
(See DEBKAfile’s exclusive disclosure on March 6)

EASTERN MOSUL


by Jonathan Spyer, The Jerusalem Report
EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ "So I'm a sniper, right, and I see four IS guys approaching. I'm on a roof. I take down two of them. Then the rifle jams. And they're coming forward. So I make it down the stairs, and I throw a grenade as theyre in the courtyard of the house. One of them's killed outright. 

John McCain in Syria

By Whitney Webb

Just a matter of days after John McCain’s “unusual” trip to Syria and Turkey, the Turkish government has cut off water supplies from the Euphrates River into northern Syria, violating international conventions on water rights.

Elimination of terror

Author : Salman Rafi

A massive anti-terror operation called “Radd-ul-Fassad” (Elimination of terror) has been launched in Pakistan’s most populated province, Punjab, as part of the country’s latest bid to wipe out the so-called “urban terrorism” and terror groups that, according to the official narrative, continue to receive “foreign support” both in terms of financial funding and territorial sanctuaries. 

President Erdogan


by Erik Kindel
Eight months after Turkey's government weathered a potentially destabilizing coup, allegations continue to swirl concerning who was actually behind the surprising increase in violence. In an unsubstantiated leak to Aldrimer.no, "Senior NATO sources" currently believe the coup was staged by President Erdogan himself.

Turkish Army in Syria

If Russia and the Syrian army have anything to say about it

by PAUL IDDON
Fresh from its victory over Islamic State militants in Al Bab in northwest Syria, Turkey is reiterating its longstanding threat to attack the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in Manbij to the east.

Turkey’s misstep in Manbij


Turkish move blocked by Syrian forces

SUMMARY
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest threat complicates Pentagon planning to oust the Islamic State from its so-called capital; United States provides intelligence for Iraqi strike in Syria.

Mc Master Trump

In Moscow, the appointment of Mc Master as National Security Advisor of President Trump was taken as an unmistakable signal. “McMaster is…a 100 percent threat to Russia from the US, and it’s not getting weaker or smaller. Defense and intelligence wing of Washington will carry out a Russophobic policy,” the first deputy chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Franz Klintsevich told Sputnik on Tuesday.