Debka News

An Israeli covert force killed an armed terrorist near Hebron - June 28, 2017, 10:33 PM (IDT)

A covert IDF force WEdnesday night combing a Palestinian village outside Hebron for illegal weapons encountered an armed Palestinian band. In the ensuing firefight, one Palestinian was killed.

IDF struck a Syrian mortar position, after another shell exploded on Golan - June 28, 2017, 10:17 PM (IDT)

A shell from Syrian battles around Quneitra landed on the Golan and exploded Wednesday night for the fourth day in a row. There were no injuries. The IDF hit back and destroyed the Syrian mortar position. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was attending an anniversary celebration at the Golan town of Katzrin at the time. He said Israel would not put up with the continuous trickle of shells from Syrian battles or an Iranian presence near its border. 

Lavrov: Russia would respond “proportionately" to US attack on Syria - June 28, 2017, 10:10 PM (IDT)

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow would respond to a US "provocation" in Syria "proportionally and with dignity." He warned the US against launching a preemptive strike in Syria based on intelligence assessments that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is planning a new chemical attack. (DEBKAfile was first to suggest that a preemptive US strike was possible.)

"They should not create excuses for more attacks against the Syrian army that is fighting terrorists," Lavrov added, saying terrorist groups could try to draw the U.S. into a strike against Syria by pinning responsibility for attacks against civilians on the Assad regime.

Close friend of Syrian president killed in battle: DEBKAfile sources - June 28, 2017, 7:20 PM (IDT)

DEBKAfile's military sources report Wednesday evening that Col. Tareq Hamoud, former head of the country's intelligence service, was killed Monday in the area of Quneitra on the Syrian Golan. He was said to have died in a direct hit by a shell fired by rebels. Hamoud was deployed on the Golan front because President Bashar Assad, Hamoud's close friend and confidant, wanted an officer he could trust in the area. When Assad served in the Syrian military, he and Hamoud served in the same units and took the same courses. 

Tehran marks ballistic missile target area with large Star of David - June 28, 2017, 6:58 PM (IDT)

Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Wednesday released a satelite image showing that Iran used a large Star of David as the target for a ballistic missile test it conducted in December. The image shows the symbol painted on the ground along with the crater left by the impact of the intermediate-range Qiam missile. In a letter sent to the Security Council, Danon said “This use of the Star of David as target practice is hateful and unacceptable,” adding that the launch was not only a direct violation of council resolution 2231 but also "clear evidence of Iran’s continued intention to harm the State of Israel."

US prevented imminent Syrian chemical weapon attack: Mattis - June 28, 2017, 5:59 PM (IDT)

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad halted preparations for its latest chemical weapon attack after Washington warned Damascus that it would pay a heavy price for such a strike, American Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters on Wednesday. Mattis did not elaborate on the actions taken by Syria at its Shayrat airbase, which was attacked by the US in April in retaliation for a Syrian chemical attack on civilians.   

Assad shown around Russian Latakia air base - June 28, 2017, 4:49 PM (IDT)

Shortly after Washington warned Damascus against any more chemical attacks and stressed that Russia and Iran would also be held to account, Syrian ruler Bashar Assad’s visit to the Russian Hmeimim Air Base in Latakia on Tuesday, June 27, bears striking symbolic, if not provocative, significance. 

Stabbing attack by Palestinian woman thwarted near Jerusalem - June 28, 2017, 4:22 PM (IDT)

Members of the Israeli Border Police at a checkpoint south of Jerusalem foiled a stabbing attack on Wednesday when they conducted a search of a Palestinian woman and found that she was carrying a concealed knife. During initial questioning by border policemen at the Rachel Crossing, it was discovered that the 36-year-old planned to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem. The terror suspect was arrested and handed over to the security forces for an investigation.

Six terror suspects from Spain-based ISIS network nabbed - June 28, 2017, 2:08 PM (IDT)

Spain's Interior Ministry said that six members of ISIS were arrested Wednesday in Germany, Britain and Spain as part of an ongoing operation against a group of jihadists based on the island of Majorca. The group's leader, a 44-year-old imam, was arrested in Britain. In a statement, the ministry said that the group was ready to carry out violent jihad. Searches for other members of the group by police and intelligence services were continuing.

Knesset speaker, ex-refusenik, makes historic speech to Russian parliament - June 28, 2017, 1:08 PM (IDT)

The speaker of Israel's parliament, Yuli Edelstein, gave a speech at the upper house of the Russian Parliament on Wednesday, about 33 years after he was arrested in Moscow for teaching Hebrew. Edelstein first said in Hebrew that he was thrown in jail by the Soviet authorities for teaching the language that "told the world of the rejection of tyranny and the rise of just rule, love of humanity and the hope for freedom." Later, after switching to Russian, he described the growing ties between Israel and Russia as well as the threats posed by Hamas, Hizballah and Iran. He also said there is no difference between terrorist attacks in Israel and those that take place elsewhere in the world, and that the two countries should fight terrorism together.  
Edelstein was only allowed to immigrate to Israel from the then-Soviet Union after nine years as a refusenik including three years of hard labor.

Russia carries out airstrike near Israeli border: reports - June 28, 2017, 12:34 PM (IDT)

The Russian air force carried out an airstrike on Wednesday on rebel positions in the area of the town of Quneitra on the Syrian Golan, reports said. At least three people were said to have been killed.

US may preempt an Assad chemical strike in Syria - June 27, 2017, 9:35 AM (IDT)

Signs were gathering in Washington and the Middle East Tuesday, June 26 that the Trump administration was preparing a substantial military operation against the Syrian army and Bashar Assad’s allies, such as the foreign pro-Iranian Shiite militias and Hizballah. Some US military sources suggested that an American preemptive strike was on the way.

Updated: 6/28/2017 9:56:58 PM EST -5:00