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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Bashar al-Assad’

Killing of Senior Commander Starts Disputes Inside Hezbollah over Participation in Syrian War

Friday, October 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) Following the killing of senior Hezbollah leader Hussein al Hajj, who was among the founders of the military wing of the organization in Lebanon, and who in 1996 won an MP’s seat on the Hezbollah electoral list in the general election, internal sources in the organization are reporting high tension and recriminations due to recent losses in combat zones in Syria. Dissent in Hezbollah is growing as a result of the many losses of high ranking leaders, who have been dropping lately “like dominoes.”

Sources in the organization have told a Saudi newspaper that the most recent death of a senior Hezbollah commander culminated in a loud argument among members of the leadership, who held an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon, in which they discussed whether the organization should continue to fight alongside the Assad regime in Syria.

The same sources also say that in the meeting some of the leading Hezbollah members claimed that the war in Syria has only tarnished the image of Hezbollah, which until now used to be loved all over the world. Another reason cited in that emergency meeting for the need to retreat from Syria was the ever increasing number of Hezbollah casualties.

According to the Saudi paper’s sources, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah Secretary General and spiritual leader, was very surprised by the position of his top officers, stressing that the decision to support the Syria forces had been made after consultation with all of the organization’s leaders and after receiving their agreement on the move, reminding them that it was not his personal decision.

One of the leader’s opponents at the meeting rejected Nasrallah’s claim, causing great chaos in the meeting and the departure of several leaders. One Hezbollah leader argued at the meeting that due to the ever increasing number of fatalities in Syria, and the elimination of several organization leaders and senior field commanders, there was a serious concern that the number of deserters will increase significantly.

Meanwhile, Abu Mohamed al-Golani, leader of Syria’s Al-Qaida affiliate Al-Nusra, has issued bounties worth millions of dollars for the killing of Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad, Naharnet reported Thursday. Al-Golani issued a voice recording released late Monday, saying he would pay “three million euros ($3.4 million) to anyone who can kill Bashar Assad and end his story.”

“How long must Muslims delay their rights and shed their blood for a man who loves his power?” al-Golani asked.

NATO Warns Russia to Stay Out of Turkish Air Space

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Russia was warned Tuesday to keep out of Turkish air space by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) over its violations of Turkish Air Space.

“Russian combat aircraft have violated Turkish airspace,” NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement on the NATO website following the organization’s meeting Monday (Oct 5). “This is unacceptable.”

In a follow-up news conference, Stoltenberg went on to say, “It doesn’t look like an accident (as Moscow had claimed earlier), and we also have seen two of them, two violations of Turkish airspace. Intelligence that we have received provides me with reason to say it doesn’t look like an accident.”

The first incursion was reported on Saturday, and the second allegedly occurred on Sunday, officials said.

“I’m also concerned that Russia is not targeting ISIL (the group’s acronym for ISIS, or Da’esh), but instead attacking the Syrian opposition and civilians,” Stoltenberg continued.

“I discussed the situation in Syria with [Russia’s] Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov in New York last week. I urge Russia to play a constructive and cooperative role in the fight against ISIL, and to strive for a negotiated political solution to the conflict in Syria.”

Turkey has been an active member of NATO since 1952.

Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz told Galei Tzahal Radio last week that Israel does not want to see Russian troops on the Golan Heights and is concerned about the positioning of Iranian ground troops in the neighboring country, and the opening of a direct ground front with Iran.

Steinitz added, the world powers must “ensure the Iranian army stays in Iran. We should not see Iranian army divisions in Syria.”

Steinitz said Israel has no official position on the fate of Assad as it’s an internal Arab civil war, but added that “the war against Sunni terror [ISIS] can’t come together with support for Iranian Shiite terror.”

“Allies expressed their deep concern with regard to the Russian military build-up in Syria,” NATO said in its statement, “and especially the attacks by the Russian Air Force on Hama, Homs, and Idlib which led to civilian casualties and did not target Da’esh.

“Russian military actions have reached a more dangerous level with the recent violations of Turkish airspace on 3 October and 4 October by Russian Air Force SU-30 and SU-24 aircraft in the Hatay region. The aircraft in question entered Turkish airspace despite Turkish authorities’ clear, timely and repeated warnings,” the statement went on.

“Allies strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace, and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace. Allies also note the extreme danger of such irresponsible behaviour. They call on the Russian Federation to cease and desist, and immediately explain these violations.”

Russia is also moving in equipment in preparation for a rather more extended role in the region than its originally-stated claim, according to eyewitness reports in Syria.

Recently Moscow moved electronic jamming equipment into the country, including a truck-mounted system and a number of aircraft-mountable pods, according to local sources.

Several pieces of artillery were also moved into the country at Latakia port, including four highly accurate BM-30 multiple-launch rapid-fire rocket systems.

Instead of remaining at the port, however, the weapons were moved and currently are reported to be in position west of Idlib, towards Homs.

According to the report, the U.S. believes Russia is “stepping up its ground activity” to attack Syrian opposition forces rather than ISIS.

Officials are reportedly questioning whether Russian forces are planning to jam the electronics of coalition aircraft as they fly over Syria.

Russia, meanwhile, contends it is indeed targeting ISIS. But it is clear that its forces are also clearly bolstering the flagging defenses of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria Urges Russia to Attack All Rebel Forces

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The Syrian ambassador to Russia said Wednesday he hopes that the Russian Armed Forces will attack all the terrorist organizations present in Syria, including the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra.”

Ambassador Riad Haddad told Moscow’s Sputnik news that the Russian Air Force headquarters would be determined by the military command.

It is inevitable that Russia will not limit its military operations in Syria to attacks on the ISIS, as President Vladimir Putin has assured President Barack Obama.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is totally dependent on Russia to save his neck, and Russia is so heavily invested in Syria and Iran that it cannot afford to see the ISIS, rebel forces or Al Qaeda carve up the country.

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.”

Breaking News: Russia Gives Green Light for Air Strikes in Syria

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015


The Russian Federation Council has approved a resolution that allows military force outside of the country, clearing the path for Russian air strikes in Syria.

The vote followed a request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for military help to help him survive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that Russian involvement in Syria is intended to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), and the Kremlin chief of staff insists that air strikes will be limited to hitting ISIS.

However, it can easily be claimed that ISIS is operating in areas controlled by other rebel groups fighting Assad and that military strikes will be widespread.

The presence of Russian warplanes in Syria gives Moscow a base to take over Syrian skies, where Israel occasionally has attacked Russian and Iranian weapons en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Hezbollah and Iran also have sent thousands of soldiers to Iran, allowing for a Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah alliance across from Israel’s border with Syria.

Fox News reported Wednesday that Russia has demanded that the United States remove all of its warplanes from Syrian airspace. A senior defense official told Fox:

We have had every indication in recent weeks that (the Russians) were going to do something given the build-up.

There is nothing to indicate that we are changing operations over Syria.

Obama, Putin Strongly Disagree over Syria, Ukraine at UN

Monday, September 28th, 2015

(JNi.media) US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday clashed at the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations over their contradictory views for the future of Syria. Obama was vehement about the need to replace Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, while Putin insisted removing him would be a wrong move. Obama suggested Putin’s engagements in both Syria and Ukraine has been damaging to global instability.

“… We see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law,” Obama said. “We see an erosion of the democratic principles and human rights that are fundamental to this institution’s mission.” He also said, referring to Syria: “We must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo,” Obama said.

Putin advised the world body to stick with Assad, if they wish to defeat the Islamic State. “We believe it’s a huge mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities, with the government forces, those who are bravely fighting terror face-to-face,” Putin said.

The Russian president was very critical in the role of the US in the world, lamenting that “after the end of the Cold War, the single center of domination has emerged in the world. Those who have found themselves on top of that pyramid were tempted to think that since they are so strong and singular, they know what to do better than others and it’s unnecessary to pay any attention to the UN.”

“I cannot help asking those who have forced this situation, do you realize now what you have done?” Putin said, clearly referring to the US, “Policies based on self-conceit and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.”

Obama was equally critical of Russian aggression in Ukraine, at a high cost to Russia’s economy. “We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated,” he said. He warned that “we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backward. … And if we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences.”

The AP reported that Obama and Putin “briefly shook hands” at the lunch following their speeches. However, they did not speak to one another, seated as they were on either side of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

AP cited US officials who said the crises in Syria and Ukraine call for an Obama-Putin meeting. Obama must discuss with his Russian counterpart his increasingly aggressive maneuvers in Syria, those officials said, as well as push Putin toward a peace deal with Ukraine, which should include not interfering with local elections next month.

IDF Attacks Syrian Military Targets

Monday, September 28th, 2015

IDF artillery soldiers hit at least two Syrian military targets Sunday night after the second straight day of fire on Israeli territory. A Syrian officer reportedly was wounded.

Lebanese media reported that Israel also launched three missiles on Syrian targets and that the Israeli Air Force circled over the area.

The retaliation comes at the same time Russia President Vladimir Putin has escalated Russian’s military presence in Syria, ostensibly because of the war against the Islamic State (ISIS). Russian force are actively involved in doing whatever is possible to keep Bashar al-Assad in power, and drawing Israel into military action would work to his political advantage by taking attention away from the civil war.

The IDF issued a statement reminding Syria and the world that Israel will not tolerate fire from the Syrian side of the border, whether intentional or not, and stated:

The IDF holds the Syrian military responsible for all events stemming from its territory and will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israel’s sovereignty and the safety of its residents.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that soldiers fighting for the Assad regime violated Israeli sovereignty by firing into Israel, even if it was stray fire.

The Syrian fire on the Golan Heights did not cause any injuries or serious property damage,

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-attacks-syrian-military-targets/2015/09/28/

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