UPDATE 6 pm Israel time Tuesday:
At 1:44 pm this afternoon, Shin Bet announced that another cell of Palestinian terrorists attempting to kidnap Israelis has been broken up. Consisting of terrorists from Hevron and Gaza calling themselves “The Holy Warriors Brigades”, this cell was under the direct authority of Hamas and Fatah and was apparently being funded from Saudi Arabia. Headed by Assad Ibrahim abu Shariya, the so-called holy warriors are an offshoot of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and have recently been involved in IED attacks on IDF soldiers.
You may remember, dear reader, that there was supposed to have been the largest joint military exercise in history earlier this year between the United States and Israel. Those military exercises were put on “indefinite hold” by the Obama Administration–at least partly because another set of joint exercises have taken precedence.
Over the last three weeks, the United States has been engaged in “joint” military exercises in Jordan with the soldiers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The word “joint” is in quotation marks because the vast majority of the 12,000 soldiers involved are American. These exercises are ending tomorrow.
The exercises–code named “Eager Lion 2012”–apparently consist of two parts:
—a marine component that has emphasized landings on Aqaba beaches and the capture of “bases” in the Aqaba Mountains, with 3000 American, Jordanian, and Saudi special forces assaulting terrain similar to that of the three key islands in the Strait of Hormuz (all of these exercises were visible from Israel’s Red Sea port of Eilat)
–a land component that emphasized special forces’ assaults with close air and armored support in northern Jordan near the Syrian border.
Are these exercises a prelude to action against Iran or Syria (where Iranian Revolutionary Guards are keeping the Assad regime in power)? Your humble servant suspects not. You may remember that President Obama recently rejected General James Mattis’ request for a third aircraft carrier to be positioned in the Persian Gulf.
More likely, these joint exercises are merely designed to “prop up” the shaky “American-friendly” monarchies of Jordan and the Arabian peninsula in the face of the growing Iranian threat. Of course the Obama Administration support of these autocratic regimes is supremely ironic in light of how the Obama Administration threw the Mubarak regime under the bus last year.
*(Parts of today’s blog are based on information from Debka)
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