- Russia is conducting its heaviest air strikes in S. SyriaFebruary 20, 2017, 12:33 PM (IDT) DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the southern Syrian town of Daraa is suffering the heaviest Russian air strikes hitherto in that country. They are aimed at driving a pro-Jordanian Syrian rebel forces out of the Manshiya district, which dominates the town and commands the Syrian-Jordanian border passes. It is feared in Amman that the Russian bombardment may send a fresh wave of Syrian refugees to the border clamoring for entry.
- US Fifth Fleet chief: A remote-control boat attacked a Saudi frigate on Jan. 30
- Large Iranian Guards forces rushed to Ahwaz to quell riots
- Syrian army prepares to take Raqqa – Moscow sourcesFebruary 20, 2017, 12:07 PM (IDT) The Syrian army is getting set for a general offensive to capture Raqqa, ISIS’ main stronghold in the country, according to military sources in Moscow. Bashar Assad is in a race for his troops to get there before the Turkish military, which has occupied part of northern Syria, jumps in first. Those sources stress that its conquest of Raqqa would give Turkey control of large parts of northern and eastern Syria, virtually partitioning the country into segments.
- First ISIS rocket attack on Israel from N. SinaiFebruary 20, 2017, 12:00 PM (IDT) The Islamic State’s local arm fired two rockets into Israel for the first time from northern Sinai. They exploded Monday morning on open ground in the Eshkol District without causing harm. This followed an ISIS claim of an Israeli drone attack earlier on one of their vehicles near Egyptian Rafah in northern Sinai, killing at least five of their members. Previous Islamic State missile attacks targeted Eilat, Israel's southernmost town.