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June 29, 2016 12:31 pm

US Official in Testimony to Senate Committee: Facing Territorial Losses, Weakened Morale, ISIS Setting Sights on Israel

avatar by Lea Speyer

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An ISIS terrorist. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

An ISIS terrorist. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

With the Islamic State (ISIS) incurring territorial losses in Syria and Iraq — and suffering weakened morale as a result — the jihadist terror group is now setting its sights on Israel, a US official said on Tuesday.

In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about global efforts to defeat ISIS, Brett McGurk — US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (the acronym used by the White House) — warned that as coalition forces “root out an ISIL presence in the SW tri-border region of Syria adjacent to Jordan and the Golan Heights…[ISIL has] focused on Israel as a target.”

McGurk said this change in strategy — which is partially driven by heavy “losses on the battlefield” — is a result of the terror group’s “hop[e] to generate international headlines to compensate for its defeats.”

McGurk said, the US must not allow ISIS to try to bolster its position and put Israel in its crosshairs.

“Last week, I stood at the border, where ISIL positions and training facilities were visible in the distance…We cannot permit ISIL to re-establish a presence anywhere in Syria, let alone on the borders of our closest friends,” he told the committee.

Along Israel’s southern border with Egypt, McGurk said, the ISIS branch operating in the Sinai — which has close ties to Hamas in the Gaza Strip — is a cause for “concern.” ISIS’ Egyptian affiliate is believed to be responsible for the October 2015 downing of a Russian jet that had 224 people on board.

“The Sinai branch is comprised from a pre-existing violent extremist group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. We estimate its manpower to be from several hundred up to 1,000,” he said.

McGurk added that the US “strongly supports” Egypt’s efforts to cut off resources to ISIS in the Sinai — efforts which include “increased combat operations” by its army and a directive that “closed almost all the tunnels that facilitated arms smuggling along the Gaza border.”

However, at the annual Institute for National Security Studies conference in January, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned, “The Islamic State is already here; that is no longer a secret. I am not speaking about territories bordering the state of Israel, but within the state itself.” 

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  • Paul Freund

    Obama crafter this? If he was that clever, the economy would not be where it is. This is Hillary “Rob’em” Clinton’s legacy. Obama is a clown in a suit. The White House is a floundering circus. The clown’s and Hillary’s ineptitude created this mess. Hillary has been a failure and scandal ridden past since her husband was President. It even goes back when she was the only one fired by the Watergte Commission. She has gone from one failure (Healthcare for her husband) to scandal after scandal, to failure after failure. Hillary and Obama are crooks (she more than him) because they cannot succeed being straight. The bottom line, we have to wait for the next President, assuming it is not Ms Rob’em Clinton, otherwise it will be up to Israel. Israel needs to be on the sideline as long as possible. Remember, Obama took the oath over the Quran, so that oath is meaningless. In six months, hopefully the nightmare ends.

  • nat cheiman

    Isis is ready for a good spanking from IDF.

  • R.W. Glenn

    isis attacking Israel will be the last folks they attack. Israel doesn’t operate based on political correctness but on what destroys the enemy, permanently.
    Go get’m isis!

  • Jonah

    Israel was their target from the get go. All the ancillary wars are just a smoke screen to mask what the American administration is up to..elimination of Israel and the U.S. What else would you expect when an Iranian and a Muslim sympathizer are at the helm off the most powerful military on this earth. Let me save the U.S. A buillion dollars in Benghazi investigations. This is the truth. Those four individuals that were told to stand down and refused those orders prevented a slaughter that this administration had carefully crafted. They needed to eradicate any witnesses that could testify to the arms dealings with Isis. Obama was supplying his anointed army and the Clinton foundation was being paid for it with lecture fees and contributions to their foundation….that’s why everyone needed to die… witnesses. Obama before the bodies were cold was at the U.N. Calling for Islamic hate crime legislation attempting to make them a protected class world wide based supposedly on a utbube video. Our investigating congress knows what went down….the survivors of Benghazi are hidden and cannot be questioned for fear of death. The moral of this article is that this present administration is putting all the players in place to take down Israel no matter what the contrived narrative of the generals are. You will get nothing out of this White House but a lie or a deceptive narrative. The generals know full well that bombs , when attacking Isis,are suppose to hit frivolous targets or sand dunes. Everyone is on to Obama but they cannot stop him. War with Russia will be his only escape.

  • The time has come to stop dealing ISIS with SILK gloves, everyone in the free world that condemns ISIS has to commit a ground force large enough to make it a once and for all ground/air campaign and defeat and uproot ISIS once and for all, as we all have to recognize the real ROOT of the PROBLEM and that is the Muslim Extremists that are working towards the execution and completion of a very well laid out plan for the Muslim religion to one day be the only and dominant religion. Unless this is dealt with harshly right now their plan will succeed!!!

  • Homey

    time to bring out the napalm?

  • Mario D.

    Jordan created ISIS,and began planning it in 1995. The UK and their US secret service lapdogs trained them. The Arabists throughout the US estebelishment, State Dept. and the Brits controls them.

    This is a commend to them to start attackin Jews, as Jimmy Carter and Hillary Clinton’s Hezbollah was commanded by the evil antisemite Christians, to attack random Jewish children in Bulgaria, Cyprus, India, and Argentina.

  • iwillikers

    Obama must be pleased, his strategy is working.