Israeli Satellite Imagery Aids Anti-ISIS Alliance

Israeli intelligence and satellite imagery is helping the United States and its allies build their campaign against ISIS, the Reuters news agency reported on September 8, citing an unnamed Western diplomat.

The Western diplomat said Israeli spy satellites, overflying Iraq at angles and frequencies unavailable from U.S. satellites, had provided images that allowed the Pentagon to “fill out its information and get a better battle damage assessments” after strikes on Islamic State targets.

Israel had also shared information gleaned from international travel databases about Western citizens suspected of joining the insurgents, who could be potential recruits for future attacks in their native countries.

Israel declined to comment on the report.

Being the closest to ISIS, at some 25 miles from ISIS strongholds at the southern end of the Golan Heights, Israel has as much cause to fear ISIS as other Western states. “Next stop is Israel,” Israeli counter-terrorism expert Jonathan Fine told CBN TV, suggesting that after Syria and Iraq, ISIS will look to target Jordan and Israel one after the other.

Israel is also carefully monitoring other Islamist groups operating closer to the Golan Heights, among them the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, which is firmly positioned on the Syrian side of the border. Earlier this month, Israel is said to have saved U.N. troops who came under fire from Islamists across the border.

[Photo: Steve Jurvetson / NASA / flickr]