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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Assad’

Israel Allowing Russia to Fly Over Israeli Skies

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

Israeli-Russian understandings allow Russian jets to fly over Israeli air space and implicitly let the Israeli Air Force bomb weapons headed from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to Amos Gilad, senior IDF Reserve officer and director of the Defense Minister’s political-security department.

The JewishPress.com previously reported here last month that Russia and Israel have maintained highly secret weekly talks for cooperation that allow both countries air forces to take actions without interference from the other side.

Russia often crosses into Israeli air space while bombing Islamic State (ISIS) and Syrian rebel sites, and Israel last week reportedly bombed Syria to prevent the flow of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said last week that relations with Israel are “excellent.”

The coordination is aimed at preventing an incident such as Turkey’s downing a Russian jet earlier jet last week, an incident that has severely damaged relations between the two countries.

Gilad said on Saturday:

Russian pilots sometimes cross into Israeli air space. Thanks to excellent security coordination, which began with the meeting between Netanyahu and Putin, limits were drawn up.

The IDF and the Russia army agreed on security priorities. If there is an incident of infiltration, we know what to do and how to prevent incidents what would cause indecision.

Freedom of action is preserved for the Air Force to prevent Iranian weapons from getting into the hands of Hezbollah.

As for the Turkish downing of the Russian jet, Gilad said that President Recep Erdoğan “has every reason to be sorry” for the action.

Gilad also said that Syria is a “dead country” and that President Bashar al-Assad “collects his salary but does not control the country except for perhaps one-quarter of Syria.

ISIS Suspected of Using Mustard Gas

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

The Islamic State (ISIS), which has reached dangerously close to Israel’s Golan Heights border, appears to have obtained and used chemical weapons, according to a Reuters report quoting the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

ISIS was not directly accused of using mustard gas that killed two people, one of them a baby, but the gang of beheaders is the obvious suspect.

Reports of disappearing stockpiles of the Assad regime’s chemical and biologic weapons, banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention, surfaced before the government said it removed them.

Assad’s forces have deployed chemical weapons several times, but even more frightening is the ISIS getting its hands on them.

The OPCW report stated that mustard gas was used near Aleppo in August. A source told Reuters that either ISIS has been able to produce mustard gas or has captured part of Assad’s chemical weapons that the regime still holds.

Other reports also point to the probability that ISIS is using chemical warfare. It was accused by Kurdish officials of firing mortar shells with a mustard agent in clashes in northern Iraq.

The Obama administration on Friday expressed its concern over the possible use of chemical weapons.

A Rasmussen poll released Friday shows that the chaos in Syria has leaped into one of the major worries of Americans, spooked by ISIS beheadings and growing Islamic radical violence in the United States.

Iran Claims Russia Bombed Rebels Near Golan Heights

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

 

 

 

Russian warplanes bombed Islamic State (ISIS) and rebel positions near Golan Heights this week for the first time since Moscow directly sent its aircraft to defend the Assad regime, according to the Iranian regime-controlled Fars News Agency.

Fars, which is a propaganda tool, added:

The Russian fighter jets’ attacks have an important message for Israel while Tel Aviv is trying to pretend that it has reached an agreement with Moscow on Syria’s Southern skies.

That may or not be true.

Israeli and Russian defense officials have been meeting quietly on a weekly basis to coordinate aerial activities and prevent each air force from downing a plane from the other side. Israel has made it clear to Russia it will fly into Syrian air space if a mission is needed to bomb weapons being smuggled into Lebanon for Hezbollah.

Neither Moscow nor Jerusalem wants a conflict, and although no one will admit it, Russia’s attacks on Al Qaeda and ISIS positions near the Golan Heights Syria gives Israel a better sense of security, at least in the short-term.

Since the Russian Air Force began carrying out bombing attacks in Syria, gunfire and mortar shell attacks on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights have dropped sharply.

Assad Flies to Moscow to Thank Putin

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Dateline, Moscow, Syria – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew from Damascus to Russia Tuesday night to thank president Vladimir Putin for saving his life and keeping in power, for the time being.

Assad has not left Syria since the Arab Spring swept through the country in 2011. He rode out the storm for a couple of months, backed by the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who called him a “reformer,” before his heavy hand of suppression boomeranged into civil war.

So far, the alternative to Assad is a worse barbarian.

President Barack Obama says there will be no peace in Syria so long as Assad is in power. Fortunately, what he says means less and less in the world, especially in the Middle East and particularly in Syria, where Putin has outfoxed and out-smarted President Obama to fill the vacuum of power.

Putin’s massive military support for Assad, ostensibly to attack the Islamic State (ISIS) but in reality to protect the Assad regime from revel groups, Al Qaeda and a host of other enemies, has erased the overdone predictions that Assad is about to disappear, one way or the other.

Everyone has been saying that for four years, including Israel’s then Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who public stated that he would be toppled within six months. That was three years ago.

News of Assad’s visit was kept secret until Wednesday morning, when the Kremlin released a transcript of the Putin-Assad meeting. The Syrian president may have returned to Syria already.

Moscow is just about the only place on earth he could have visited without fearing that he might never return to Syria, unless in a coffin, if he were lucky.

The world’s “most dangerous man,” as Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Joel Brinkley once described Assad, was given a royal welcome by Putin, for whom Assad is a pawn.

Assad said during the visit:

First of all I wanted to express my huge gratitude to the whole leadership of the Russian Federation for the help they are giving Syria.

If it was not for your actions and your decisions the terrorism which is spreading in the region would have swallowed up a much greater area and spread over an even greater territory.

Putin stated:

We are ready to make our contribution not only in the course of military actions in the fight against terrorism, but during the political process

The United States is the big loser in the Middle East chess game. It lost credibility long ago with the make-believe “peace process” that has left Kerry somewhere on another planet.

It remains to be seen whether Russia one day will be sorry for trying to be in charge of the Syrian-Iranian axis if the eternal Muslim hatred of outsiders trying to tell them what to do explodes in Moscow’s face.

For the time being, strange as it seems, Israel is a winner, despite the constant threat of Iran’s nuclear development that Russia has helped fund.

Assad is a butcher, dictator, a despot and corrupt, just like almost every other Middle East ruler. However, it was clear from the fall of Hosni Mubarak that the alternative of anarchy is even worse.

If Assad can remain in power, especially if Putin calls the shots, Israel can feel more secure that the Syrian his hatred of Israel and his threats to capture the Golan Heights will remain rhetoric.

Another bonus is that with Russia in charge, the United States will make less trouble.

Russia Takes over Syrian Civil War, Hits Rebels with Missiles

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Moscow is becoming the de facto capital of Syria, if not Iran.

Russian cruise missiles bombarded positions of rebels fighting the Assad regime, which is totally dependent on Russia and is virtually owned by it.

Iran also might find itself under the thumb of Russia. USA Today reported Thursday that Tehran pressed President Vladimir Putin to become directly involved in the Syrian civil war, which has left the country disintegrated.

Basher al-Assad has held on to power only through the generous supply of weapons from Russia. Now he has the Russian Air Force pummeling rebel positions.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Tehran-backed Hezbollah terrorist army has been fighting alongside Assad’s soldiers but have suffered a huge number of casualties.

The Associated Press reported that the commander of Iran’s special elite forces travelled to Russia in August to convince Putin to join the fray, and the counties now operate an intelligence center in Baghdad.

Russia is the only major power that has had the guts to move into Syria. President Barack Obama backed off his threat earlier this year to intervene after there was proof that Assad was using chemical weapons.

Russia intervened and worked out a sleight-of-hand act by which Assad handed over his chemical and biological stockpile to international inspectors. The Obama administration easily swallowed the tale that Assad handed over all of the weapons, many of which were in Syria courtesy of none other than Russia.

Iraq has been disappointed with the American-led strike force’s inability to pulverize the Islamic State (ISIS), and Russia has used ISIS as the perfect excuse to move into Syria, set up an air force base and stake its presence as the power broker in the region.

Whether or not President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry really believed Putin’s promise that Russian forces are in Syria only in order to wage war on ISIS, their illusion that their words speaker louder than action has left them too paralyzed to do anything about it. It was clear from day one that Moscow’s real objective is to save Assad.

Four Russian warships launched 26 missiles against rebel forces as wells ISIS on Wednesday in addition to aerial attacks that have allowed Assad’s foot soldiers to try to take over more territory.

NATO Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia’s military actions are “troubling escalation” and added:

My concern is that the Russians are not mainly targeting ISIS but they are targeting other opposition groups and they are supporting the (Assad) regime.

It’s a bit late for his concern.

Syrian rebels are firing anti-tank missiles at Assad’s soldiers who have Russian aerial support.

Syrian activist Raed Fares was quoted by AP as saying:

Russia is targeting civilians and the Free Syrian Army brigades that are supported by America. They are not targeting the Islamic State as they claimed. Russia is here to keep Assad in power, so they will strike what Assad strikes.

The rebels, and even ISIS, don’t have much of a chance against the superior Russian firepower.

Regardless of its ulterior motives, Russia is the only country in the world that has taken the initiative to directly confront ISIS.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter thinks that Russia is on the wrong track, despite the failure of 7,000 strikes by the U.S.-led force to seriously damage ISIS.

He said in Rome:

We believe Russia has the wrong strategy. They continue to hit targets that are not ISIL. This is a fundamental mistake.

If he is wrong and Russia succeeds, it will decide the future of Syria, if not Iran.

Huge Oil Discovery on the Golan Heights

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Syrian rebels, the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Assad regime, and today that means Russia, now have another reason to capture the Golan Heights – oil.

Drilling that began more than a year ago has exposed a huge find of billions of barrels of oil, but it is too early to know if the black gold can be extracted at a price that would make the oil commercially viable.

Afek Oil and Gas chief geologist Dr. Yuval Bartov was quoted by Globes as saying:

We are talking about a strata which is 350 meters thick, and what is important is the thickness and the porosity. On average in the world strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is ten times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities. The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that’s what we now know.

The drilling is in the southern Golan Heights, far away from the northern border but several miles from the eastern border. Syria has claimed the entire Golan since it lost the strategic and water-rich area in the Six-Day War in 1967.

If oil can be extracted, it will be a huge bonanza for Israel and an enormous reason for whoever rules in Syria, or for Hezbollah that is fighting with Assad’s forces and is based in Lebanon, to launch a war on Israel. Israel uses approximately 270,000 barrels a day. Billions of barrels of oil would satisfy the country’s need for a long time.

If the oil can be produced at today’s prices, which are the lowest in years, it would generate a huge employment boom. It also would infuriate environmentalists, who have fought oil drilling the Golan Heights and virtually anywhere else in Israel because of damage to the pristine landscape.

Drilling in the Golan Heights was delayed by environmentalists and was resumed last February when the court dismissed their appeal to stop the work.

The read area marks the eastern border with Syria, The black area is the approximate location of the oil drills.

The read area marks the eastern border with Syria, The black area is the approximate location of the oil drills.

Russia, Israel’s New Northern Neighbor, Bombs Targets in Syria [video]

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Russian war planes bombed the Syrian city of Homs Wednesday morning, shortly after an announcement from the Russian Federation Council that it approved “military force abroad” that supposedly is to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).

Sky News Arabic quoted Syrian opposition forces as charging that Russian war planes led the strike on rebel-held areas in the city.

A video on Facebook, seen below, shows the aftermath of the bombing, in which at least 30 people reportedly were killed. Several of the dead were children.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that Russian force in Syria will be limited to fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).

Israel has put Putin on notice that it will not tolerate any stray fire on Israel, but Russian control of Syrian airspace places both Israeli and American air forces in immediate danger.

An American defense official told Fox News Wednesday that the Obama administration has rejected a Russian demand that the U.S. Air Force withdraw from Syrian airspace.

Israel in the past several years has carried out several aerial attacks on Syrian and Iranian weapons headed for Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

The bold move by Russia to enter the Syrian civil war fills a vacuum that the Obama administration refused to fill, even when President Barack Obama promised he would bomb Syria after it was proven that Assad was using chemical weapons.

He backed down from the threat, explaining that there was no need to carry out operations because Assad had supposedly turned over his chemical and biological weapons after coaxing from Russia.

The Obama administration is playing with an amputated hand in Syria. After repeatedly stating the Assad must go, Kerry now is accepting his remaining in power for a “transitional period.”

The London Telegraph reported Tuesday that the “United States is considering a possible deal whereby Russia and Iran would stop Syria’s regime dropping barrel bombs on civilians in return for concessions from Washington.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-israels-new-northern-neighbor-bombs-targets-in-syria-video/2015/09/30/

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