Putin doesn’t have to mull: US mulls hitting ISIS for EgyptAir bombing
A special team set up by ISIS in its Syrian capital Raqqa planned the downing of EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo, which took the lives of 66 passengers and crew, DEBKAfile’s intelligence and counterterrorism sources say in an exclusive report.
The information that an ISIS team ploting terrorist attacks has been operating in Raqqa for several weeks was known to American intelligence and counterterrorism services even before the downing of the Egyptian airliner, and warnings containing the information were sent to several Western European capitals, including Paris.
The warnings said ISIS is prepare a series of large-scale attacks in main European cities and airports with the start of the summer travel season.
That is the main reason why both Paris and Cairo said the plane was downed by an act of terror on May 19 as soon as it became clear that the airliner had crashed into the Mediterranean 288 kilometers north of Alexandria, even before the debris was found.
Our sources report that the US has decided to maintain its original plan, prepared before the downing of Flight 804, to impose a siege on Raqqa in an attempt to prevent terror cells from leaving the city and carrying out attacks.
On Saturday, May 21, US Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of American forces in the Middle East, made a secret visit to Syria, the first of its kind by a senior US officer since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. Votel, who recently assumed command, visited Kurdish YPG militia forces and the US special forces troops at Rmelan airbase located 288 kilometers northeast of Raqqa. The American force is equipped with AH-64 Apache attack helicopters capable of attacking Raqqa within a relatively short period of time.
The purpose of Gen. Votel’s visit was to look into the viability of a US-Kurdish strike in retaliation for the downing
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