Friday, June 27, 2014

Updates From The Middle East: ISIS Oil Fields, Trouble On Israel's Borders

Israel is having more and more trouble on the Gaza border, and now the Golan Heights Syrian Border are of great concern. Israel's surrounding enemies are closing in:

Israel planes struck Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip early Saturday morning in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian territory hours before.

Residents of the coastal enclave reported multiple explosions, and the IDF said in a statement that it targeted “two terror activity sites and a weapon manufacturing facility in the central Gaza Strip, and a weapon storage facility in the southern Gaza Strip.” The Israeli military confirmed direct hits. 

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the airstrikes.

Saturday’s pre-dawn Israeli Air Force hits on the Gaza Strip came amid an escalation of hostilities along Israel’s southern border with the Palestinian enclave as IDF troops scour the West Bank for three missing Israeli teenagers. Israel has accused Hamas of carrying out the June 12 abduction of the teens.

Earlier on Friday evening, Israel’s Iron Dome system intercepted two rockets launched at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip following the targeted assassination by Israel of two Gaza operatives the Israel Defense Forces said were responsible for recent rocket fire and attacks on civilians.

A total of six rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip Friday, with the remaining four landing in open territory. No damage or injuries were reported in the attacks.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Friday that Hamas was responsible for every attack emanating from the Gaza Strip and warned the terror group not to test Israel’s patience or determination. His warning came after a spate of rocket attacks on Israel’s southern cities and several incidents on the border with Gaza over the past week.

“We will not allow rocket fire on Israel or attempted attacks on our civilians or troops. We will hunt down those who carry out or plan [these attacks], like we did today,” said Ya’alon.
The defense chief’s statement came after Israeli jets struck a car in the Gaza Strip earlier Friday, killing two Palestinian terrorists in the Shati refugee camp.
The Israel Air Force confirmed a direct hit on the car carrying O​sama Has​sumi, 29, and Mohammad Fatzih, 24, from the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of armed groups in Gaza.

The IDF said the two terror operatives were involved in a cell responsible for repeated rocket fire on Israel’s southern cities over the past several weeks and were planning terror attacks on Israeli civilians.
“​Militants, like Hassumi and Fatzih, attacking Israel from Gaza, are not safe, do not have immunity, and will not be free to plan, plot and operate. We will continue to strike the instigators and agitators with patience, determination and precision. Gaza rocket terrorism does not pay,” said IDF spokesperson ​Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is targeting Iraq’s oil fields as part of its plan to raise revenue and build its caliphate infrastructure.

The move makes it unlikely the ISIS would destroy the fields, unless the Iraqi military regroups and attempts to recapture them.
In addition to the oil and natural gas field in the Sunni-controlled region of Iraq, ISIS is about to capture the Balad Air Base just north of Baghdad where U.S. F-16s were slated to be based. ISIS is advancing on the Haditha Dam, which produces power and controls the flow of water to the south into the Shiite-controlled region of Iraq.
As a result of its blitzkrieg moves from Syria into Iraq in recent weeks, ISIS has virtual control over Iraq’s largest oil refinery, the Bayji facility in Salahaddin province. In Syria, the jihadist group has taken control of the Al Omar oil field in Deir al Zour province near the town of Al Mayadin.

The gains are in addition to its takeover of the Ajeel oil wells east of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit. Along with the oil wells, ISIS has captured a natural gas field called Ajeel.
All of this has sources convinced ISIS is targeting Iraq’s oil infrastructure. If ISIS proceeds south, it then would be in a position to capture the oil fields in that region of the country as well as in Kuwait, both of which provide oil for the world economy.
For ISIS, these oil fields are revenue generators. In addition, control over the flow of water into the south puts additional pressure on the Shiite government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

ISIS sees all of the facilities as part of its grand plan not only to raise revenue but help in building a caliphate subject to strict Islamic, or Shariah, law.
The vision by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is to create an Islamic caliphate. It would stretch from the Mediterranean through Mesopotamia, or modern-day Iraq, which also includes the countries of Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and even Israel, an area once referred to as Greater Syria.
As ISIS takes control of the region, it can help ensure a following by using oil revenue to finance social programs and restore public services.
Today, however, it is ISIS that controls the oil fields and could head into southern Iraq to take the country’s other oil and natural gas fields and threaten Saudi Arabia.
The prospect raises concern over who would control world oil production and its price – the markets, or ISIS.

Almost the entire Syrian side of the Golan Heights is now under the control of rebel forces, including radical Islamist groups, a senior Israeli military commander in the area said Friday.

Only the Quneitra border area is still in the hands of forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, Lt.-Col. Anan Abbas, deputy commander of the Golan Brigade, told Israel’s Channel 10. About 95 percent of the Syrian side of the Golan is in the hands of anti-Assad rebels, including radical Islamic groups such as the Al-Nusra Front, affiliated with al-Qaeda, a rival of the burgeoning Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, better known as ISIL or ISIS.

One of two Syrian army brigades that used to control the area has completely disappeared, the officer said.

At present, the Islamist groups in the area are focused on the war against Assad, he said, “but we know their goal is to harm Israel; we’ve seen their propaganda material.”

The Golan Heights is a strategic plateau on the Israeli-Syrian border. Israel captured the territory in the 1967 war, having been attacked from the Golan over the previous 20 years, and extended Israeli law to the area in 1981. Unsuccessful peace efforts over the years have seen Israel ready to trade most of the Golan for a permanent accord with Damascus, but the notion of Israeli-Syrian peace has all but disappeared as Syria collapsed into anarchy over the past three years of civil war.

1 comment:

Mrs.C said...

Dont know if the post I just made, went through, so Ill post it again...

This says it all...regarding the coward-in-chief aka ac wannabe...
This was the headline earlier this morning on JP. The analysis is spot on...

"FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Obama’s Mideast - An autopsy"
"Five years after its much-heralded presentation, Obama’s Middle East vision comes into focus in all its ignorance, arrogance and naivete."