Sunday, January 26, 2014

Global SITREP B7:14: Al Qaeda in Syria Suddenly an Israeli Strategic Concern

 Al Qaeda foot soldiers looting ammunition after
the capture of Syria's Taftanaz Air Base in January 2013
(photo credit: AP Photo)

26 January 2014: This SITREP is adjunct and supplemental to the information contained in Global SITREP B11-13: Psalm 83 and AQ in IraqThe sheer numbers of Sunni jihadist foot soldiers, their combat capabilities and the objectives of Al Qaeda commanded forces in Syria has become a major and sudden strategic concern for Israel, to the effect of compromising the neutrality of Israel in the Syrian civil war. This change of status was made clear in a briefing to the Associated Press by an anonymous "senior Israeli intelligence official" on Friday, 24 January. This briefing has been reported in both Israeli and British media in the past 24 hours.

The IDF intelligence official numbered the Al Qaeda jihadist forces in Syria at 30,000. This figure amounts to a real number increase of well over 25,000 combatants from previous Western intelligence estimates. The IDF intelligence official made no bones about what is already well known about the future objective of these Islamic jihadists: after the military defeat in Syria of Assad's forces, the IRGC and Hezbollah forces these jihadists will immediately embark upon a war with Israel. 

Recent rocket attacks from these same Sunni jihadists against Israel would suggest that their war aims are far more advanced than they are being given credit for. Question: What is the difference between AQ Sunni jihadists in Lebanon, Syria or Iraq? Answer: There is none. 

Therefore, I make the assessment that it is merely a matter of time before the chemical weapons used against Bashar al-Assad's forces on several occasions last year are fired against Israeli civilian targets in order to provoke a very serious and game-changing response from Israel. This, in all actuality, is Al Qaeda's ultimate strategic objective, and it was the unspoken benchmark basis for the IDF intelligence officer's briefing to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. 

Just a half year ago when Al Qaeda jihadists used its crude chemical weapons in Syria, like the example in the image above clearly shows, Bashar al-Assad took the blame for it in the UN and world media as accused by the Obama Administration in August 2013. The Obama Administration was threatening war against Bashar al-Assad, because, pursuant to their pro-rebel agenda, the Al Qaeda jihadists (i.e. the Syrian rebels) did not possess such chemical weapons. Hopefully, now we now better. I would guarantee that Israel does for sure. And what we have here is yet another potential spark for the fulfillment of Isaiah 17.

Addendum 31 January 2014:  The above image appeared in yesterday's edition of the Turkish Hurriet Daily News which published an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. This image was uploaded to an Al Qaeda website on 7 January 2014, and shows an Al Qaeda Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) convoy of at least sixteen new Toyota Hilux twin-cab pick-up trucks mustered for a photo-op in Anbar Province, Iraq, the scene of recent Al Qaeda combat victories in Falluja and Ramadi against the Iraqi Army. 

The Toyota Hilux (similar to the Toyota Tacoma sold in the US) vehicles are virtually indestructible, easily out-perform Humvees and other assorted light utility combat vehicles and are the overwhelming jihadist/insurgent favorite for rapid transit of their fighting forces for well over a decade now. This convoy, at least as much as can be seen in this image, is the equivalent of a 112-man high-mobility cavalry troop or infantry company. One vehicle appears to have a large caliber anti-aircraft cannon, possibly a ZU-23-2 "Sergei," mounted to its cargo bed.

This Hurriet Daily News reported that a column similar to this one approached the Çobanbey, Kilis, Turkey border post between Syria and Turkey and engaged a Turkish Army unit on Tuesday, 28 January. The Turkish unit is deployed at Çobanbey to defend the large rail yard located less than 100 feet from the actual border. The Al Qaeda forces initiated the attack but were repulsed according to Hurriet, and broke contact after losing three vehicles. This is the first instance of Al Qaeda (ISIL) engaging Turkish military forces from Syrian soil.

Al Qaeda has now engaged in significant combat with Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish forces.

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