The former head of the IDF Home Front Command warned Tuesday that in a future war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel could be pounded with over 1,000 rockets a day, far more than the country has endured in any past conflict.
“If in the Second Lebanon War the record was 160 rockets in a day [fired] at the northern region, we need to expect up to 1,200 rockets in a day — it will be a completely different scenario from anything we’ve known,” Major-General (res) Yitzhak Gershon, who was home front chief during the last major conflict with Hezbollah in 2006, said in an Army Radio interview published Tuesday.
Kurdish fighters allegedly backed by the US, have crossed the Euphrates River in Syria and have moved against fighters from the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) holding the city of Manbij. The city is about 20 miles from Jarabulus, another Syrian city located right on the Syrian-Turkish border. Jarabulus too is held by ISIS.
The initial push toward Manbij came from the Tishrin Dam in the south, however, another front was opened up and is hooking around the city’s north – successfully cutting off the city and its ISIS defenders from roads leading to the Turkish border – including Route 216 running between Manbij and Jarabulus.
Planning an assault on an urban center requires that an attacking force cut off city defenders from their logistical routes. Doing so prevents the enemy from fleeing and regrouping, but also diminishes the enemy’s fighting capacity during the assault. It is clear that the fighters moving in on ISIS in Manbij have determined that Jarabulus and Turkey just beyond the border, constitutes the source of ISIS’ fighting capacity.
Jarabulus is increasingly being referred to across the Western media as the “last ISIS border-crossing point into Turkey.” A 2015 article written by the Guardian’s Jonathan Steele titled, “The Syrian Kurds Are Winning!,” would explain that (emphasis added):
Idriss Nassan, the Kurdish spokesperson of the Kobanî canton, told me that the YPG now plans to liberate the last ISIS border-crossing point into Turkey at the town of Jarabulus.
Steeles’ article gives the impression that the US was actually trying to stop ISIS by helping the Kurds wage war inside of Syria. However Steele, for whatever reason, never addresses his own implications that ISIS is literally being reinforced from Turkey – a NATO-member since the 1950’s which hosts a US Air Force base at Incirlik, and who has allowed US, British, French, and Persian Gulf state intelligence agencies and special forces to operate along its border with Syria with impunity since the conflict began.
The Foreign Minister of Turkey admits that ISIS forces – fighters, weapons, and equipment – are pouring out of Turkey’s own territory “bound for Raqqa,” but never explains how the most notorious terrorist organization of the 21st century could move enough men and materiel through a NATO-member state to wage an entire war with, without being stopped before reaching Syria. Also not explained is where ISIS is procuring the weapons that it is moving through Turkey.
It is a reality that directly and damningly implicates Turkey and its allies as state sponsors of terrorism, and calls into question both the legitimacy and relevance of NATO itself. At the very least – NATO is exposed as a military alliance so impotent that it cannot even secure its own territory from being used as a springboard for full-scale ISIS military operations.
It should be noted that as a “collective act” by NATO, at one point in the conflict, the United States and Germany would even place Patriot missile systems along the Turkish-Syrian border to discourage Syrian aviation from approaching too close – a strategic reality that did not shift until Russia began its own direct military intervention in the conflict on Damascus’ behalf, as Defense News reported at the time.
In retrospect – it appears that both the US and Turkey were complicit in ensuring Syrian efforts to interdict terrorists including ISIS were ineffective – establishing what was essentially a defacto buffer zone inhabited by among other groups – Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front and ISIS itself.
Russia’s entry into the war and its subsequent operations directly along the Syrian-Turkish border disrupted ISIS’ logistical support from NATO-territory and has been the primary factor leading to ISIS’ weakening within Syria.
The Russian possession of the intercepts, however, was designed also to show that, apart from violating U.S. law in the fundamental handling of classified documents (which Sec. Clinton had alleged was no worse than the mishandling of a few documents by CIA Director David Petraeus or Clinton’s National Security Advisor Sandy Berger), the traffic included highly-classified materials which had their classification headers stripped. Russian (and other) sources had indicated frustration with the pace of the Justice Dept. probe, and its avoidance of the national security aspects of intelligence handling. This meant that the topic would be suppressed by the U.S. Barack Obama Administration so that it would not be a factor in the current U.S. Presidential election campaign, in which President Obama had endorsed Mrs Clinton.