Jordanian Special Forces Operating Against ISIS in Iraq - Theodore Karasik (Al Arabiya)
Jordanian tribes are loyal to King Abdullah II. Indeed there are sleepers in Zarqa and Maan, but these individuals are being watched and monitored.
The Jordanian military and special operation forces were able to repel ISIS by entering Iraq and attacking the terrorist group's forward advance.
Over the past week, over 100 Jordanian special operators were in Iraq and in the Ajoun and Northern Jordan Hills watching ISIS' forward advance.
Jordanian SOF interrupted ISIS' advances with pinpoint strikes, according to a Jordanian official.
Importantly, Israel is providing overhead imagery to Jordan to use in its fight against ISIS on its borders.
The writer is Director of Research and Consultancy at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) in Dubai, UAE.
See also Jordan Fears Homegrown ISIS More than Invasion from Iraq - William Booth and Taylor Luck (Washington Post)
At two rallies in Maan, Jordan, this week, scores of young men waved banners bearing the logo and inscriptions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and shouted, "Down, down with Abdullah," the king of Jordan.
Abdullah's government has put the country's border guard on alert, reinforced troops along its 125-mile frontier with Iraq and added tanks and armor to thwart any move into Jordan by the ISIS militants.
But more troubling to the Amman government are signs that homegrown recruits could take action in Jordan. Security analysts estimate that about 2,000 Jordanians are fighting in Syria and Iraq today, at least half of them with ISIS.
ISIS Weapons Windfall May Alter Balance in Iraq, Syria Conflicts - Nabih Bulos, Patrick J. McDonnell, and Raja Abdulrahim (Los Angeles Times)
Rival Syrian rebel factions already report seeing U.S.-built, ISIS-commandeered Humvees almost as far west as the vicinity of Aleppo, some 250 miles from Iraq.
Iraqi government forces left behind a military hardware bonanza, including the armored Humvees as well as trucks, rockets, artillery pieces, rifles, ammunition, even a helicopter.
ISIS "took the weapons stores of the 2nd and 3rd [Iraqi army] divisions in Mosul, the 4th division in Salah al Din, the 12th division in the areas near Kirkuk, and another division in Diyala," said Jabbar Yawa of the Kurdistan Regional Government. "We're talking about armaments for 200,000 soldiers, all from the Americans."
Israeli Field May Supply Gas to Egypt (Reuters)
The partners in Israel's Leviathan giant natural gas field said on Sunday they signed a non-binding letter of intent with the British Gas Group to export gas to BG's liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Egypt.
Leviathan would supply 7 billion cubic meters annually for 15 years via an underwater pipeline, in a deal worth $30 billion.
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- Three Kidnapped Israeli Teens Found Murdered - Michele Chabin and Oren Dorell
The bodies of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped more than two weeks ago on their way home from school were found shot to death Monday, Israeli officials said. In Washington, President Obama said, "As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth."
Israel has named two Palestinian Hamas operatives as responsible for the abductions: Marwan Kawasma and Amer Abu Aysha.
See also Netanyahu: "Hamas Is Responsible - and Hamas Will Pay"
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Security Cabinet on Monday:
"Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel...were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals. On behalf of the entire Jewish People, I would like to tell the dear families...the entire nation weeps with you....Hamas is responsible - and Hamas will pay." (Prime Minister's Office)
- UN Experts Trace Recent Seized Arms to Iran, Violating Embargo - Louis Charbonneau
The UN Security Council's Panel of Experts on Iran has concluded that a shipment of rockets and other weapons that was seized by Israel came from Iran and represents a violation of the UN arms embargo on Tehran, according to a confidential report obtained by Reuters on Friday.
The experts said the weapons were being sent to Sudan, a country which Western diplomatic and intelligence sources say has in the past been a conduit for Iranian arms shipments to Gaza. The Panamanian-flagged vessel Klos C was seized by the Israeli navy in March in the Red Sea before it reached Sudan.
Despite Iranian denials, the experts said official seals from Iranian customs authorities on containers that held some of the arms "substantiates the Iranian origin of those containers." Further evidence on the Iranian origin came from the Iranian bill of lading, cargo manifest and the container stowage plan.
See also Israel: Seized Arms Were Gaza-Bound - Gili Cohen
An Israeli defense official said Saturday the evidence "left no room for doubt" that the mid-range missiles and other weapons on the Klos C ship that Israel seized in March were destined for Islamic Jihad in Gaza on a route through Sudan and Egypt.
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- Hamas Behind Rocket Barrage on Israel - Elior Levy
Hamas is behind the latest wave of rocket strikes on Israel. Rocket attacks overnight Sunday and Monday emanated from central Gaza refugee camps completely under Hamas control. Its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades have been launching rockets from the Dir al Balach, Bureij and Muasi refugee camps.
See also Responding to Palestinian Rocket Fire, Israel Air Force Strikes 34 Targets in Gaza - Ilana Curiel, Yoav Zitun and Elior Levy
The Israeli Air Force carried out 34 attacks on terrorist targets in Gaza on Monday night "to prevent the continuation of rocket fire at Israel," an IDF source said.
- Israel Still Searching for Hamas Kidnappers
Israel believes the killers of three Israeli teenagers are still in the Hebron area, military sources said Tuesday. The head of the IDF Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, said: "For us, the mission is not over. The troops, together with Israel Security Agency and police forces, continue to do all that is necessary to locate the kidnappers - terrorists of the Hamas organization. We will not rest until it is complete." (Times of Israel)
- Hamas Still Believes in the Effectiveness of Kidnapping - Haviv Rettig Gur
For Hamas, the collapse of this kidnapping has not changed the fundamental strategy. The "success" of the Shalit operation - which led to the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners - has assured Hamas that the effectiveness of kidnapping has not abated. Palestinian politics has yet to reach the point where critics of Hamas can safely point out that its belligerency has spelled a decade of ruin for Gaza's economy and society.
(Times of Israel)
See also Hamas on Kidnapping: "Better Luck Next Time" - Elhanan Miller
Some Hamas officials expressed their disappointment that the three teenagers were found dead, rather than left alive to be used as a bargaining chip for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri wrote on his Facebook page: "Better luck next time, God willing." (Times of Israel)
- A Culture that Celebrates Kidnapping Is Not Fit for Statehood - Bret Stephens
The mother of Amer Abu Aysha, one of the accused kidnappers of the Israeli teens, told Israel's Channel 10 news: "If he did the kidnapping, I'll be proud of him."
What kind of society produces such mothers who cheer on their boys to blow themselves up or murder the children of their neighbors?
I'm not the only Western journalist to encounter the unsettling reality of a society sunk into a culture of hate.
I have yet to meet the Israeli mother who wants to raise her boys to become kidnappers and murderers.
As for the Palestinians and their inveterate sympathizers in the West, perhaps they should note that a culture that too often openly celebrates martyrdom and murder is not fit for statehood, and that making excuses for that culture only makes it more unfit.
Postwar Germany put itself through a process of moral rehabilitation that began with a recognition of what it had done. Palestinians who want a state should do the same.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Moral Equivalence No Answer to Terror - Jonathan S. Tobin
The New York Times contrasted the grief felt by Naftali Fraenkel's mother Rachel and that of Aida Dudeen, whose son Muhammad was killed while confronting Israeli soldiers searching for the boys. But there is no real basis of comparison between these two families. In one case, you have a boy who was murdered by terrorists because he was a Jew. In the other, a boy actively chooses to join the ranks of those attempting to obstruct the forces attempting to find the kidnapping victims and attacks them with rocks, seeking to provoke the Israelis into firing to protect their own lives.
While Fraenkel expressed sympathy for any Palestinians who have been hurt, Aida Dudeen proclaimed her boy to be a "martyr" who "died for his homeland." There is a clear sense on the part of the Arabs that any Jew who suffers in the conflict had it coming.
- What Does an "Islamic Caliphate" in Iraq Mean? - Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi
The newly declared "Islamic State" is trying to reinforce its battlefield achievements in Syria and Iraq by creating a new Sunni Muslim religious entity to overturn the prevailing regional political order rooted in the Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916). The military capability of the "Islamic State" in Iraq to expand the territories under its rule is limited. Therefore, its leaders are directly appealing to Muslims all over the world to support the caliphate and to rebel against existing governments.
The declaration of the caliphate escalates the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites and is likely to impact the Muslim communities in the West as well.
As a new regional reality emerges in the Middle East, Israel faces new and more complex security challenges than in the past. These threats, once again, sharply focus the issue of defensible borders west of the Jordan River.
The writer is a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Iranian Nuclear Deal Still Is Possible, But Time Is Running Out - Secretary of State John Kerry (Washington Post)
- July 20, the deadline to negotiate a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program, is fast approaching. Substantial gaps still exist between what Iran's negotiators say they are willing to do and what they must do to achieve a comprehensive agreement. Their public optimism about the potential outcome of these negotiations has not been matched, to date, by the positions they have articulated behind closed doors.
- Iran's claim that the world should simply trust its words ignores the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported since 2002 on dozens of violations by Iran of its international nonproliferation obligations, starting in the early 1980s.
- There may be pressure to put more time on the clock. But no extension is possible unless all sides agree, and the United States and our partners will not consent to an extension merely to drag out negotiations. Iran must show a genuine willingness to respond to the international community's legitimate concerns in the time that remains.
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