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February 9, 2016 / 30 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Bashar al-Assad’

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.”

‘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?

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/breaking-news-russia-gives-green-light-for-air-strikes-in-syria/2015/09/30/

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