Monday, March 25, 2013

Al Qaeda Captures Key Syrian-Israeli-Jordanian Border Junction

This developing story is highly significant and may reveal the near term future as radical Islamic groups move closer and closer to Israel. In this instance, the land taken by these groups are highly stragetic areas which will hold vital interest in the approaching wars:

The highly strategic intersection of the Syrian, Israeli and Jordan borders, just east of the Golan, was captured by the Al Musanna Brigade of al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, Jabhat al-Nusra on Passover Eve, Monday, March 25

This put the jihadists directly opposite 14 Israeli southern Golan villages and at a distance of 5-6 kilometers from one of Israel’s earliest kibbutzim, Ein Gev, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Control of this village has opened the way for the jihadists to reach the Syrian Golan sector from the south and for direct access to the Syrian-Israeli-Jordanian borders.

On a second front, al Qaeda fighters have seized control of Wadi ar-Ruqqad, a 70-kilometer long waterway which forms the Golan’s eastern boundary.

This wadi rises at a point north of Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan, flows south through a shallow gulch to become a waterfall which drops south west into a 20-kilometer basalt tunnel of which 6 kilometers run through Israeli territory. Ar Ruqqad waters then flow into the Yarmuk River up to the point where the Syrian, Israeli and Jordanian borders connect.
It is not the first time that the jihadists fighting with Syrian rebels have occupied positions abutting on Israeli soil, but this time they have gained control of one of its precious sources of water.

While most media attention in the West and Israel has been drawn to the threat posed by Syria’s chemical arsenal, al Qaeda’s descent on new, highly strategic ground affecting three nations has been ignored.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry discussed at length in their talks in Jerusalem, Amman and Ankara the danger of chemical weapons falling into Islamist terrorist hands fighting with the rebels in Syria. Until a few hours ago, the two American visitors, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah were not fully apprised of al the Jabhat al Nusra’s rapid advance.
Before he left Amman for home Saturday, Obama received information that the Iraqi Al Qaeda front had begun preparing Chlorine gas-CI trucks ready to push across the border into Syria for the use of its Jabhat al Nusra partners.

This poisonous gas was used more than once for jihadist terrorist attacks inside Iraq. And this peril brought John Kerry hurrying over to Baghdad Sunday, March 24. He was not able to persuade Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to discontinue the Iranian airlift of weapons and troops to Assad through Iraqi skies, but he left al-Malilki with a grave warning that Washington would hold Baghdad responsible if any of the chorine gas trucks reached Syria.

Also developing:

With US Secretary of State John Kerry trying to push Jerusalem and Ramallah back to the negotiating table, US officials have reportedly proposed convening a four-way summit to jump start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in May.
Kerry met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday night and into Sunday morning, several hours after holding talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Amman. He is reportedly pushing a US-devised package of arrangements to pave the way for new negotiations.
US officials have suggested the US and Jordan host four-way talks with the Palestinians and Israel in early May, Saudi paper Asharq al-Awsat reported late Saturday, citing unnamed sources. The Jordanians welcomed the idea and Kerry is following up with the Israeli and Palestinians sides, according to the paper.

The US has been instrumental in facilitating indirect talks between the sides, with Jordan in the past playing the role of host.

The focus of the talks was to develop new ideas for enabling a resumption of direct negotiations. Netanyahu has reportedly been considering a package of goodwill gestures – including approval of building requests, and a release of prisoners — designed to encourage Abbas to come back to the peace table.

Flush with his success in arranging Friday’s Israel-Turkey reconciliation, Kerry is hoping to be able to get Israel and the Palestinians to agreewithin days to new talks, Channel 10 reported Saturday night. The components: Israel will agree to release a number of Palestinian prisoners and to transfer certain West Bank areas from partial (Area B) to full (Area A) Palestinian control; the Palestinians will agree not to seek to take Israel to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes relating to its control and policies in the West Bank.

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