World View: Jordan on Alert as ISIS Captures More Iraq Border Towns

World View: Jordan on Alert as ISIS Captures More Iraq Border Towns

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Israeli troops kill two Palestinians during hunt for kidnapped teens
  • Israeli air strikes hit Syria after cross-border attack
  • Pakistanis fear nationwide blowback from military offensive against Taliban
  • Jordan on alert as ISIS captures more Iraq border towns

Israeli troops kill two Palestinians during hunt for kidnapped teens

Israeli troops on Sunday killed two Palestinians in the West Bank asthey conducted a hunt for three Israeli teenagers who disappeared andwere allegedly kidnapped ten days earlier on June 10. Their deathsraise to four the number of Palestinians killed in Israel’s largestmilitary operation in years. The operation is being conducted acrossboth the West Bank and Gaza.

While condemning the killing of the Palestinians, the PalestinianAuthority (PA) security forces are cooperating in the manhunt. PApresident Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the kidnapping, and this hascaused a rift between PA/Fatah and Hamas, shortly after the two groupsformed a “unity government.”

Abbas on Sunday reiterated his commitment to help Israel find thekidnapped teens, but warned that the actions of Israel’s militarycould ignite the Palestinian street:

Israel’s continued destructive actions, includingshooting innocent Palestinians in cold blood, while Ramadan isaround the corner and the situation on the Palestinian street isexplosive, can only serve to ignite the West Bank and take thingsout of control.”

Israel has been bitterly opposed to the unity government, and is usingthe kidnapping as an opportunity to crush the Hamas organization inthe West Bank by arresting 340 Palestinians, about two-thirds of themmembers of Hamas. Hamas claims that it had nothing to do with thekidnapping, but Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he hasmade public soon.

Part of the “game” being played on both sides is the potential fortrading prisoners for hostages. In 2011, Israel release 1,027Palestinians held in Israeli prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit,and Israeli soldier who had been held hostage by Hamas for five years.More Palestinians were released from prison during the “peace process”that collapsed a few months ago. Many of the Palestinians beingarrested by the Israeli forces had been previously released. Somereports indicate that Palestinians are in favor of efforts to kidnapIsraeli teens, because they can be exchanged for prisoners, as in thecase of Shalit. If that’s Hamas’s strategy, then we can assume thatIsrael’s strategy is to arrest as many Palestinians as possible, sothat they can be freed in exchange for the teen hostages.

Israel’s massive reaction to the kidnapping reminds me of 2006, when Israel panicked and launched the Lebanon war with Hezbollah within four hours, with no plan and noobjectives. The result was a disaster for Israel and for Lebanon.That isn’t the case so far this time, but it may begin to approachthat point. Jerusalem Post and AP and International Middle East Media Center (Gaza)

Israeli air strikes hit Syria after cross-border attack

Israel says that it’s carried out air strikes on nine military targetswithin Syria. The air strikes were in response to mortar fire orshelling from Syria that killed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the GolanHeights. In March, Israel conducted air strikes against severalSyrian military targets after a bombing that injured four of itssoldiers in the Golan Heights. BBC

Pakistanis fear nationwide blowback from military offensive against Taliban

Some 350,000 people (known as “internally displaced people” or IDPs)from the North Waziristan agency in Pakistan’s tribal area are nowrefugees, fleeing the military action that’s clearing out militants,bases, communications centers, safehouses and weapons stores in theagency. (The different regions in the tribal area are called

Some are fleeing to Afghanistan, as we described yesterday, but most, including tens of thousands ofchildren, are waiting in long lines in extremely hot weather to getsecurity clearance to enter the town of Bannu, where they hope to besafe. They’re escaping from the violence of the military action byPakistan’s army against Taliban hideouts and weapons stores in NorthWaziristan in Pakistan’s tribal area. There are fears of ahumanitarian disaster, or that the IDPs could spread polio, as many ofthe displaced children have not been vaccinated.

The Pakistani Taliban have been bombing schools, mosques and marketsacross Pakistan for years, and there have been repeated calls for thearmy to go into North Waziristan, where most of the Taliban bases arelocated. The government and the army resisted those calls for years,fearing blowback, but now military action was triggered by the terrorist attack on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi earlier this month.Investigations showed that the airport attackers were not onlyPakistanis, but were also Tajiks and Uzbeks from the Islamic Movementof Uzbekistan (IMU) and the East Turkestan Independence Movement(ETI).

However, once the airport attack occurred, it was clear to everyonethat the military action would begin soon, and so the Pakistani,Uzbek, and Tajik terrorists have all fled, leaving behind sevenmillion civilians and a possible humanitarian disaster.

Now the concern is rising quickly that the predicted blowback is aboutto occur. Targets in the capital city Islamabad are already beingthreatened, and concerns are rising of a new, more dangerous wave ofterrorist attacks across the country. BBC and Daily Times (Pakistan) and Asian Tribune (Sri Lanka)

Jordan on alert as ISIS captures more Iraq border towns

Jordan is increasing its border defenses and putting some militaryunits on alert after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)captured three more Iraqi border towns, including one on the borderwith Jordan, only 200 miles from Amman. ISIS now has uncheckedcontrol of hundreds of miles along the Iraq-Syria border, allowingeasy travel of people and weapons between the two countries, andputting ISIS in easy reach of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Washington Post and Reuters

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