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February 12, 2016 / 3 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Bashar al-Assad’

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,

Israel and Russia Create Joint Military Working Group on Syria

Friday, September 25th, 2015

The Russians have arrived in Syria. Because the United States has taken a pass on the unraveling of the world as we used to know it, Israel is making the best of it. Sometimes it is better to join them (to some extent) than to fight them, as the saying goes.

Over the past few weeks Russia has begun moving personnel and weaponry into Syria in an effort to prop up its ally, besieged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia is amassing a military presence, including deploying aircraft to a base in Latakia province. It has also sent fighter-bombers and ground attack aircraft, and is erecting a building large enough to house as many as 2,000 advisers in Syria.

The presence of Russians and the buildup of Russian weaponry has added to the complex and easily combustible situation on Israel’s border with Syria. Something Israel does not want to add into the mix is accidentally starting a conflict with Russia should Russian equipment or personnel become collateral damage from a mission to prevent the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to Moscow on Monday, Sept. 21 to talk about Syria. Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he wanted to “clarify our policies” and to make sure there were “no misunderstandings between our forces.”

Netanyahu said that “Iran and Syria have been arming the extremist Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah with advanced weapons, aimed at us, and over the years thousands of rockets and missiles have been fired against our cities. At the same time, Iran, under the auspices of the Syrian army, is attempting to build a second terrorist front against us from the Golan Heights.”

The result of that diplomatic effort by Netanyahu was the establishment of a joint military working group to ensure there were “no misunderstandings between [Russian and Israeli] forces.”

The effort will coordinate information regarding military activity in Syria, including aerial, naval and electromagnetic activity.

A U.S. official told Reuters that U.S.-Israeli coordination allowed the allies to share classified technologies for identifying Russian aircraft over Syria: “We know how to spot them clearly and quickly,” the official said.

Iran is in the region in order to assist Syria, which is no friend to Israel, and Syria is the main supplier of deadly weapons to Hezbollah, Israel’s enemy from the north. Also friend to Syria is Iran, which is Israel’s greatest threat.

This dangerous region continues to grow more volatile by the day. Everyone is improvising to fill the gap created by the absentee player – the United States.

Netanyahu Adds Russia to Regional Discussions on Syria

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is including Russia in the circle of nations involved in talks over how to deal with the regional issues created by the Syrian crisis.

Next week Netanyahu plans to travel to Moscow to discuss those issues facing Israel and other nations in the area with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The prime minister will present the threats to Israel emanating from the increased flow of advanced weaponry to the Syrian arena and from the transfer of lethal weaponry to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups,” an Israeli official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Russia has been expanding its military deployment in Syria, with hundreds of new prefab barracks and a new mobile air traffic control center delivered last week to Latakia.

Support by the Kremlin for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is nothing new, however; Russia has maintained a steady supply of weaponry to Israel’s northern neighbor since the start of the civil war in 2011.

Prior to the war, Russia was a strong sponsor of Syria’s military and economic enterprise, as well as an active partner in the country’s development of its oil and other natural energy resources.

Major Airbase Falls to Rebels, Syrian Troops Driven from Idlib Province

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Syrian government troops have lost control over a major military airbase in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The troops pulled out of the Abu al-Duhur base after a two-year siege by Islamist-led rebels, according to a news flash broadcast Wednesday on Syrian state television.

The rebels have now secured control over nearly all of Idlib province – but it is still not entirely clear which faction controls the province.

It is believed the fighters who seized the base are members of the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) group.

A number of cities in the province are already under the control of the opposition forces, including Idlib and Jisr al-Shughour, according to the BBC.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the airbase has fallen and the Syrian military has been entirely driven from Idlib province, except for the primarily Shi’ite villages of Foua and Kfariya.

Hezbollah guerrillas and the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, who both are also Shi’ite, may be defending that territory.

US Warns Russia Over Military Buildup in Syria

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

The U.S. warned Russia over the weekend that its military buildup in Syria could further escalate the conflict in the region.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “to discuss Syria, including U.S. concerns about reports suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military buildup there,” the State Department said in a statement. “The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL Coalition operating in Syria,” the statement continued.

ISIL is the Obama administration acronym for ISIS, or Da’esh. The two men agreed to continue their conversation at the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month.

According to American intelligence reports, Russia has delivered prefab housing for hundreds of people and a portable air traffic station to an airfield near Latakia.

The U.S. government warned that Russian air strikes could interfere with current operations being conducted by the United States-led coalition against Da’esh (ISIS) in Syria.

It is also possible that Russian operations could strike opposition forces the Americans support.

The United States and Russia have very different ideas about how to solve the crisis in Syria; on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for “early elections” in Syria and suggested bringing “healthy” elements of the opposition to a new coalition government.

But Putin, who had first cleared his plan with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, did not specify which opposition elements would be acceptable.

British FM Says Iran Sanctions Could Be Lifted Next Spring

Monday, August 24th, 2015

On Monday morning, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani posted a photograph of his meeting with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on his official Twitter account.

“First #British Foreign Secretary to visit Iran since 2003.” Rouhani tweeted.

Unimpressed, one apparent UK writer replied, “Yes well I still think it was incredibly rude of you to leave that graffiti in the embassy for them to see when they returned.”

Hammond allegedly said during his meeting with the Iranian president that the UK is “ready to improve its relations with Iran to the ambassador level,” British sources said.

Hammond told Reuters on Monday, “We could be talking as early as next spring to start to see sanctions lifting off.” He added that an endorsement of the nuclear deal by the U.S. Congress could come as early as mid-October.

Nevertheless, he told the BBC in an interview that there are still points of disagreement on important issues.

“We should tread carefully,” Hammond said. “There’s a deep legacy of distrust on both sides and we have major areas where we have very substantial policy differences.”

Hammond said both countries see “eye to eye” on the need to go after Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists. But when it comes to dealing with its own human rights issues, Iran has not come close to the British point of view.

In addition, he said, there is still a gap in the viewpoints of the two countries on how to address the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Britain maintains that Assad cannot be part of a future Syrian government.

Iran, however, is a firm ally of the besieged president, who is responsible for the torture and slaughter of hundreds of thousands of his own people, including women and children.

Iranian “consultants” – political, economic and military – still remain in Damascus, as well as thousands of elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps troops.

Iran has also generously funded the presence of supplementary Hezbollah terrorist guerrilla troops to support the Syrian government forces, and continues to send Assad a steady supply of funds and arms.

Kerry ‘Knows’ ObamaDeal Will Make the Middle East a Safer Place

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Anyone who is sure about anything in the Middle East is talking through his hat, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sports the most porous hat in the world.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has reassured the Gulf States he “knows” that the nuclear agreement with Iran will make the world a better place, and the Obama administration is being pressed to “prove” it on the terms of the Sunni oil-rich kingdoms.

They want billions of dollars in weapons, and Qatar dedicated much of Kerry’s visit to insist that the United States force Israel out of half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

He began his Middle East tour, sans Israel, with talks in Egypt before moving on to Qatar. Despite White House spins to the contrary, the Gulf States are miserably unhappy with the agreement and are keeping their opposition under the surface while exploiting the opportunity to feed the military-industrial complex and shrink Israel.

Kerry said in Egypt:

There can be absolutely no question that if the Vienna plan is fully implemented, it will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer than they otherwise would be or were.

The United States and Egypt recognize that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities in the region — and that is why it is so important to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains wholly peaceful.

How does the man know that the deal will make the Middle East safer?

Because he says so, and that’s that.

There have been few people who ever have been able to predict what will happen in the Middle East. Condoleezza Rice, who was Secretary of State in the Bush administration, was “sure” that her move to force democratic elections on the Palestinian Authority would result in a resounding victory for Mahmoud Abbas.

She was one of the few who were shocked that Hamas won the elections.

Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, who might prove that President Barack Obama really is not the worst president possible, cheered Bashar al-Assad as a “reformer” weeks after the Arab Spring protests broke out in Syria.

President Obama was sure that getting rid of Hosni Mubarak, whose autocratic and undemocratic rule kept Egypt stable, would usher in a new wave of democracy.

He was so sure that he endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist party, which won the elections. One year later, President Obama enthusiastically backed the removal of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi for a more “democratic regime” headed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is Mubarak Number 3.

And now Mr. Kerry is sure that the ObamaDeal the best thing for the Middle East ever since Islam.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-knows-obamadeal-will-make-the-middle-east-a-safer-place/2015/08/03/

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