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May 29, 2016 / 21 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Bashar al-Assad’

Spokesman Says US Committed to Returning Golan Heights to Syrians — No Matter Which Syrians

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

One of the minor victories of Israeli rightwing pundits has been fueled by the gruesome holocaust taking place over the past five years in Israel’s northern neighbor, Syria. Back in April 2008, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agrees to fully withdraw from the Golan Heights in return for peace with Syria. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed Olmert’s remarks at the time that Jerusalem and Damascus were holding talks through a third-party in an attempt to resume the negotiations between the two countries.

“There are efforts exerted in this direction,” Assad told reporters. “This is nothing new, and we have discussed this in the past.” Assad added that “Syria takes every opportunity to express its willingness to establish just and comprehensive peace in accordance with the international decisions… The criterion for the acceptance of any negotiations is that they will be held seriously and that there will be a commitment to implement the UN resolutions, particularly as the Israeli side knows very well what is acceptable and unacceptable by the Syrian side.”

What was acceptable to the Syrian ruler back then was a complete return of every last inch of the Golan Heights to Syrian control, removal of every last Jew and Jewish property from the area, and a return to the 1967 borders, when Syrian snipers ruled the lives of Israeli farmers along the eastern shores of the Kinneret.

Imagine, a long string of Israeli columnists, bloggers, Facebookers and Tweeters have been saying, if Israel had indeed returned to the 1967 border just before the scum of the Middle East — Sunni rebels, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Syrian chemical warfare operators were to crowd the basalt hills overlooking Tiberias — where would we be today?

It’s a winning argument, open and shut, other than Gideon Levi and a couple other useful idiots there really is no Israeli who would ever entertain returning the Golan Heights.

But at Foggy Bottom, where life behaves according to more sublime rules than the Jewish aspiration to stay alive, no lessons have been learned regarding the wisdom of returning Syrian murderers of whatever ilk to the hills above the Kinneret.

It began during the State Dept. Monday press briefing this week. Spokesman John Kirby was asked about the official US recognition of Syria. Essentially, the reporter wanted to know, if the US is so invested in ousting President Bashar al-Assad as a prerequisite for ending the civil war in Syria, why does it still recognize him as the legitimate sovereign of that tortured land?

The reporter asked (redacted): “Legally and diplomatically you only recognize Syria, as you have in the past. In fact, you still issue press briefings in the name of the US Embassy in Syria and so on. From time to time I see that you recognize the government of the Arab Syrian Republic. You have not recognized anyone else as exercising any kind of authority or any kind of sovereignty over any territory of Syria.

Kirby: I’m not sure I understand your question.

Reporter: My question is very simple. Do you recognize any other entity in Syria to have sovereignty over that territory?

Kirby: We recognize that there is a Syrian Government in place. We also recognize that it’s led by a dictator who continues to barrel bomb and gas his people. And the government that’s in place right now, led by Bashar al-Assad, can’t be part of the long-term future of Syria, which is why we’re doing this entire political process to begin with. It’s why so many nations have come together to try to resolve the civil war and the conflict there so that people can have a government in place that they’ve actually had a voice in putting there and that is responsive and responsible for them.

David Israel

IDF Preparing for Conflicts Along Southern, Northern Borders

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Israel’s defense establishment appears to be preparing military forces and civilians for a possible outbreak of hostilities either in the north or the south sometime soon.

A major civil defense drill – the largest since the 2014 war with Hamas – was held this past Thursday in southern Israel at Kibbutz Erez, barely a mile from Gaza.

Civilian response teams, IDF soldiers, Magen David Adom emergency medical teams, police officers, firefighters and others participated in the drill, Channel 2 reported Friday.

The exercise simulated an attack by Hamas terrorists on an Israeli kibbutz which included abduction of Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers overpowering the terrorists in the kibbutz dining hall.

According to the report, recent IDF preparations to meet a possible conflict have included the infusion of additional forces along the Gaza border. In addition, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported Thursday that four IDF bulldozers leveled ground along the security fence a few meters inside Gaza, east of the city of Rafah, which straddles the enclave’s border with Egypt.

Nevertheless, defense officials continue to say that although Hamas is gathering its forces within Gaza, the terrorist group does not appear to be preparing for a direct war with Israel in the near future.

While the IDF is preparing to meet whatever threat may present itself in the south, forces are also making preparations in the north for much the same reason.

The IDF has beefed up its forces in northern Israel along the border with Lebanon and in the Golan Heights, near Syria. A major military drill began in the north on Wednesday and continued through the end of the week.

IDF Northern Command alerted civilians from the western Galilee all the way east to the Golan Heights not to be alarmed at the sounds of artillery and other ordnance.

The latest round of peace talks between opposition forces and the Syrian government started Wednesday (April 13) in Geneva but by the weekend had achieved nothing.

The Syrian regime has escalated the fighting near Aleppo, and local residents who had not yet fled are now making an effort to flee while they can. Opposition forces are accusing Syrian government chief mediator Bashar Ja’afari of not being serious about seeking a solution to the five-year civil war.

United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura is trying to keep the talks focused on political transition but with intensified battles continuing, the opposition is losing its resolve.

In addition, Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Army of Islam and Jabhat Al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) radical Islamist terror organizations are not at the table. Since they control at least half of the territory in Syria, even if negotiations succeed in resolving the issue of who governs Syria, the question still remains whether there is anything geographically, territorially left to govern.

Al Nusra controls the territory closest to the sole border crossing between Israel and Syria, at Quneitra. Last Tuesday (April 12) Syrian sources told international media that Da’esh (ISIS) now controls 90 percent of the Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus. The community is home to Arabs from the Palestinian Authority and is also a stronghold for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.

So far, the capital, Damascus is still in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Hana Levi Julian

US, Russia Agree: Syria’s President Assad Must Go

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Citing unnamed sources, the UK-based Al-Hayat publication reported Thursday that the United States and Russia have come to an agreement over the thorny issue of what to do about Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

According to the report, the two world leaders have agreed on a way to end the years-long civil war with a political solution that allows Assad to find refuge in another country.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has allegedly already informed his Arab counterparts about the deal, which was welcomed by members of the UN Security Council.

However, the source stressed, “the timing of the move and its political context are still not clear.”

The news follows by one day a statement by the embattled Syrian president in which he opined that it would not be difficult to agree on a new Syrian government with opposition figures. That was a statement roundly denounced by the said opposition figures, who responded bluntly that no administration would be legitimate while Assad remained in office.

“What Bashar al-Assad is talking about has no relation to the political process,” said George Sabra of the UN High Negotiations Committee.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest also rejected the idea. “I don’t know whether he envisioned himself being a part of that national unity government. Obviously that would be a nonstarter for us,” Earnest told media.

At a conference in Geneva, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries Wednesday to increase global solidarity and resettle nearly half a million refugees in the next three years. Only three countries responded to the appeal: Italy, Sweden and the United States.

Physical damage to infrastructure in Syria has been estimated by the UN at $90 billion, with an additional $169 billion in accumulated losses due to a collapse in the GDP, reaching less than half of its level in 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

Bashar al-Assad’s Mother Anissa Makhlouf Assad Dies at 86

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Syrian state media reported Saturday night the mother of President Bashar al-Assad, Anissa Makhlouf Assad, 86, died in a hospital in Damascus. The widow of the late president Hafez al-Assad and former first lady was ill for many years, according to the official SANA news agency.

No cause of death was reported. Until 2012, she traveled often to Germany for treatment, but the trips ended after she and other Syrian figures were included on a European Union list of those whose assets were frozen and for whom travel was banned. Born in Latakia in 1930, married in 1957, Anissa gave birth to five children, two of whom have died. In addition to Bashar, Anissa Assad is survived by her son Maher and her daughter Bushra.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Russia Directly Arming Hezbollah Fighters in Syria

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Russia has begun to directly arm Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists in Syria, according to a report this week by The Daily Beast.

Hezbollah field commanders serving in Syria told the news outlet they are receiving “heavy weapons” for their troops “with no strings attached.” Among the arms they reportedly have received were long-range tactical missiles, laser-guided rockets and anti-tank weapons.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin so far has not denied the report.

“We support both Assad’s army and the armed opposition,” Putin said in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper. “Some of them have publicly declared this, others prefer to remain silent, but the work is ongoing.

Putin claimed Russia’s actions are directed towards the destruction of the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization.

“This is hundreds, thousands of armed people fighting Islamic State (Da’esh). We are coordinating our joint operations with them and support their offensives by air strikes in various sections of the front line,” Putin said.

The Hezbollah commanders deployed in Syria confirmed in speaking with The Daily Beast that there is a relationship of “complete coordination” between Russia, Hezbollah and its patron, Iran, and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

Direct inter-dependence between Hezbollah and Russia is increasing as well, as time goes on, according to that report.

“I can tell you precisely what we do not want to happen,” Putin told Bild. “We do not want the Libyan or Iraqi scenario to be repeated in Syria.”

But it is also true that Russia does not consider the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group to be a terror organization. Last November, Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying, “We maintain contacts and relations with them because we do not consider them a terrorist organization.

“They have never committed any terrorist acts on Russian soil. Hezbollah was elected by Lebanese citizens to the Lebanese parliament. There are cabinet members and ministers from Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is a legitimate sociopolitical force.”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Unify Syria, Divide Israel’ Says Kerry in Major Middle East Policy Address

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about U.S. Policy Towards the Middle East on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Kerry touched on many topics during his hour-long talk, including the Nuclear Iran Deal, ISIS, the war in Syria and, of course, the Arab-Israeli conflict.

GENESIS OF ISIS

Kerry claimed that ISIS – which is apparently now to be known in U.S. Diplo-talk as Daesh – arose out of the chaos during the early days of the Syrian Revolution, when poor, disillusioned Syrians were protesting in the streets because they just wanted jobs and a future.

But Bassar al-Assad’s thugs, Kerry explained, beat up those young people. Then the parents of the young people went out in the streets to clash with Assad’s thugs, who in turn used bullets and bombs on the protesting parents.

“Having made peaceful change impossible, Assad made war inevitable,” Kerry said. And then Assad turned to Hezbollah for help, and then to Iran and Russia, and this exacerbated tensions between Sunni and Shiite communities, and this paved the way for Daesh.

Kerry made clear the U.S. is not pleased with Russia’s role so far in the conflict, because instead of fighting ISIS, Russian airstrikes have been targeting Assad’s enemies.

But Kerry is committed to a political solution to the crisis – he apparently sees ISIS and the Syrian conflict as the same battle – and believes there must and will be a political transition that sidelines Assad.

Kerry claims that all the participants in the conflict agree that “the status quo is untenable.” Sound familiar?

We all agree that we need to find a way to have a political solution, we all agree that a victory by Daesh or any other terrorist group absolutely has to be prevented. We all agree that it’s imperative to save the state of Syria, and the institutions on which it is built and to preserve a united and secular Syria.

Kerry called on the Russians to get with the program and allow a transition “that will unite the country and will enable this beleaguered country to rehabilitate itself, bring back its citizens, and live in peace.”

That’s all. Not asking much. Just stop the fighting, unite the country, have free and fair elections, and all will be good.

SYRIA MUST BE UNITED; ISRAEL MUST BE DIVIDED

In contrast to Kerry’s insistence that Syria – a factionalized country with various warring ethnic groups none of which want to be controlled by the other – be united, Kerry’s diktat for Israel is the opposite.

Although Israel has gained territory repeatedly as the result of wars waged against it by belligerent outsiders, and which since the fall of the Ottoman Empire has never been ruled by any other nations, the U.S. demands that Israel must be divided.

STATUS QUO ON TEMPLE MOUNT GOOD; STATUS QUO IN ISRAEL BAD

And Kerry continued to insist that the status quo must be maintained on the Temple Mount – a status quo which prevents Jews from moving their lips lest they be deemed praying – but the status quo in which Israel does its best to defend its citizens must be terminated.

When not pointedly referring to Har Habayit, Kerry insisted that “the current situation is simply not sustainable. President Obama has said it publicly many times, I’ve said it publicly and it is absolutely vital for Israel to take steps that empower Palestinian leaders to improve economic opportunities and the quality of life for their people on a day to day basis.”

Really? Israel has to empower the leaders of the terrorists so that economic opportunities and their quality of life is improved? The PA, one of the single largest recipients of international aid ever?

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

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.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/killing-of-senior-commander-starts-disputes-inside-hezbollah-over-participation-in-syrian-war/2015/10/16/

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