web analytics
December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Cease Fire’

Another US-Russian Ceasefire Deal for Syria, Again

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov shook hands Friday on a deal to impose a new cease-fire in Syria after marathon talks in Geneva. More than half a million Syrians have died since the start of the savage civil war that has raged in the country since March 2011.

The truce is scheduled to begin Monday together with the start of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

But few have faith the deal will hold up for more than a few minutes.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA), itself little more than a name on paper for a collection of secular opposition groups backed by the West, quickly dismissed the possibility that this time the deal would bring peace.

Fares al-Bayoush, head of the FSA’s Northern Division group, pointed out that Russia and Syrian government troops had not complied with the previous cease-fire. Likewise, Captain Abdul Salam Abdul Razak, military spokesperson for the Nour al-Din al-Zinki Brigades opposition group said the agreement would only give government troops the opportunity to gather forces and reinforce troops in Aleppo with more Iranian-backed military forces.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also welcomed the agreement but reminded that “broken promises” had been heard before, The Guardian reported. “I call on all parties to the Syria conflict and all countries with influence upon them to do what is needed to end violence and lift sieges,” he said. “In particular, it’s vital that the regime in Damascus now delivers on its obligations, and I call on Russia to use all its influence to ensure this happens.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Kerry by phone on Saturday that Ankara welcomes the cease-fire. Two and a half weeks ago, Turkey launched its own invasion of Syria after dealing with an endless flood of Syrian refugees through its southeastern border, and numerous “overflow” attacks from the war. Now Ankara has said it will provide humanitarian aid to Aleppo, in northern Syria, in cooperation with the United Nations, following the cease-fire.

It’s not the first time such a cease-fire has been proposed the same two parties; just six months ago, a similar truce was made, and violated repeatedly by both sides almost immediately. Before that, the two sides worked out a cease-fire deal in 2013. That one didn’t happen, either.

Kerry told reporters at a joint news conference with Lavrov, “The United States is going the extra mile here because we believe Russia and my colleague have the capability to press the Assad regime to stop this conflict and come to the table and make peace.

“Out of complexity in Syria, there is emerging a simple choice between war and peace,” he said.

The plan is for the U.S. and Russia to establish a joint operation center to coordinate military efforts against the Da’esh (ISIS) and Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations.

Russia informed President Bashar al-Assad about the agreement and, according to Lavrov, the regime agreed to comply. Although the terms were documented and agreed to by both sides, they would not be made public, he told reporters, according to the UK-based newspaper, The Telegraph.

The deal rides on Russia’s ability and willingness to stop attacks by the Assad regime and its allies, and the same cooperation by the United States to halt attacks by “moderate” opposition forces who unite with Al Nusra and other radical Islamists when it suits their needs.

Other forces that have become involved in the Syrian conflict include Iran and Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and the Kurds.

It’s a coin toss whether anyone will actually pay more than five minutes’ attention to the terms of the deal in Damascus this time — and some bookie is probably making good money on the estimates of how long the quiet will last, or if it will even be quiet at all by Monday night.

Hana Levi Julian

New Military Watchtowers Dot Lebanese Side of Israel’s Northern Border

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Northern Israeli residents are worried about new observation posts built by the Lebanese Army which have sprung up along the border. In Lebanon, to speak of the Lebanese Army in many ways is also to speak of Iran’s proxy group, Hezbollah.

The group has grown from a terrorist organization into a powerful guerrilla military force trained, equipped and funded by Iran. It fields cabinet ministers and parliamentarians from a mammoth political machine that has prevented the country from electing a new president for more than a year.

Although built by the Lebanese Army it is clear the new watchtowers, situated on the Lebanese side of the border, can see into Israeli towns and kibbutzim as well as Israeli military bases on behalf of Hezbollah — if not with its own personnel.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 – the cease-fire agreement that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War – prohibits weaponry in this area, which is supposed to be a demilitarized zone.

The watchtowers provide a bird’s eye view of what is happening in Israel’s military and civilian fields and roads as well. But the Israeli army is monitoring the situation, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. “There is no change in the security situation,” said a military spokesperson on Monday (May 23).

It took barely a month to build the towers, according to a resident of Moshav Zar’it who spoke with Ynet and who said three such watchtowers are within sight of nearby Kibbutz Admit.

Another overlooks Kibbutz Hanita, according to security coordinator Erez Adar, who told Ynet the structure is less than a third of a mile away. “We are worried about getting shot at from the tower as it’s so close.

“While the Lebanese Army may be the ones in the tower for now, it’s clear that during the next war, these positions will be manned by Hezbollah.”

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Resumes Bombing in Syria, Ceasefire is Shaky

Monday, February 29th, 2016

The cease-fire in Syria that is just two days old may already be gradually grinding to a halt.

Russia has resumed its bombing operations and the regime has launched a new offensive against Homs. Other breaches have been reported as well.

Contrary to the general international perception, the arrangements worked out with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and “moderate” opposition leaders by the United States and Russia do not apply to the entire geographic area of the country.

Thus Russian warplanes were in the skies across Syria on Monday, particularly in northern Aleppo, an area not included in the cease-fire.

“Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reportedly continue to advance south of Shaddadi and toward the ISIS-held town of Markadah,” reported the Levantine Group think tank. The opposition forces were reported to be “clearing ISIS villages along both of the banks of the Khabour river,” the military analysis think tank reported.

Several breaches to the current cease-fire were reported and levels of violence correspondingly have increased.

Local sources reported on Twitter that Russian planes bombed six Syrian towns around Aleppo, and areas north of Homs. Thousands of Syrian refugees were reported to be stranded at the Turkish border after fleeing the northern commercial hub.

However, other news services such as Al Arabiya continued to report the truce “seems to be largely holding, though rebels report what they describe as occasional government violations.”

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu: Israel Cautiously Welcomes Ceasefire in Syria

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautiously welcomed on Sunday, February 28 the ceasefire that began in Syria on Saturday, February 27 between the Syrian government and a number of rebel groups.

“We welcome the efforts to achieve a stable ceasefire in Syria that is long-term and substantive,” Netanyahu said after the weekly cabinet meeting. “First and foremost, from a human vantage point, anything to stop the horrific killing there is important.”

Netanyahu, however, expressed the need to be prepared for any aggression against Israel from Iran.

“At the same time, it is important to be clear that any settlement in Syria must include an end to Iranian aggression against Israel from Syrian territory,” stressed Netanyahu.

Through Syria, Iran has supplied weaponry and support to Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist organization that has captured Israeli soldiers in the past and launched rocket attacks on Israeli territory. In that light, any Iranian transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah poses a national security threat to Israel. Israel also has concerns that Hezbollah is building up a base of operations in Syria.

“We will not agree to the supply of advanced weapons to Hezbollah from Syria and Lebanon,” added Netanyahu. “We will not tolerate the creation of a second terrorist front in the Golan.”

Israel’s absolute rejection of an additional terror front in Syria or Lebanon has been demonstrated by the number of alleged recent Israeli strikes on weapons transfers to Hezbollah, according to foreign reports.

“These have been the red lines and will continue to be the red lines of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Truce Signed in Syria by Assad Regime, Rebel Forces – Excludes ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

As the gunshots and sounds of mortarfire grow closer to Israeli communities in the Golan Heights, the Syrian regime has signed a truce with representatives of the rebel forces.

The truce, however, excludes Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda and the Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organizations, according to a statement released Tuesday afternoon by the state-run SANA news agency, which raises the issue of how long it will actually last, and how relevant it really is.

“The Syrian Arab Republic accepts the cessation of fighting actions on the basis of continuing the military efforts for combating terrorism against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organizations according to the Russian-U.S. agreement,” said an official source at the Syrian Expatriates and Foreign Ministry.

The military picture in Syria is far from simple.

Both Russia and the U.S.-led coalition are still claiming to be bombing ISIS terror targets in Syria, but one can hardly separate those out from the general population, let alone from other combatants.

The Syrian regime forces include the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist guerrilla fighters and Russian military personnel on the ground and in the air.

The U.S.-led coalition forces in the air have been bombing targets on behalf of the more moderate Syrian opposition forces. But there have been overlaps and on more than one occasion the “moderate” rebels have united with radical Islamists when they deemed necessary to overcome an enemy target. In this way, weapons, ammunition and other foreign ordnance changes hands, and Da’esh (ISIS) and/or Al Qaeda-linked terrorists end up possessing American arms and military technology.

Moreover, Ankara — also a member of NATO along with the United States — has been bombing Kurdish sites in northern Syria, claiming the PYD and YPG groups are related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group. Turkey alleges the PKK perpetrated last week’s horrific suicide car bombing in the capital city, Ankara, together with a PYD-linked Syrian national.

Regardless of who is dropping the bombs, after five years of one of the most savage civil wars in the Middle East very little is left of the “Syrian Arab Republic” that the world — or President Bashar al-Assad himself — once knew. At present, even the outlying districts of Damascus have been bombed into rubble in many areas, as seen in the video below, filmed by RussiaWorks.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry source noted that the cease-fire is set to begin on Saturday Feb. 27. In order to ensure the success of the cease-fire, “the Syrian government affirms readiness to continue to coordinate with the Russian side for identifying the areas and the armed groups that are to be included in the cessation along the period it is in effect,” the source said.

“The Syrian government stresses the importance of border curbing, halting support provided by some countries to the armed groups, and preventing these organizations from boosting their capabilities or changing their positions so as to avoid anything that may undermine this agreement,” the source warned.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that he and U.S. President Barack Obama had agreed on a joint statement announcing their plans to stop military operations in Syria. The U.S. State Department announced the agreement, which it said includes “plans to stop the military operations in Syria, [but] which exclude the Islamic State (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations.”

Hana Levi Julian

Putin Agrees to Cease-Fire in Ukraine

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday morning he has agreed to a cease-fire brokered by France and Germany to end the 10-month stand-off in Ukraine.

The deal is amends the cease-fire agreement last September that failed. Each side has agreed to retract heavy weapons, release all prisoners and allow more autonomy to separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The agreement does not settle all issues, and Germany’s foreign minister said it was not a “comprehensive solution”

The cease-fire is to begin on February 15.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Hamas ‘Fishing’ for Cease-Fire Violations’

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The Israeli Navy has toughened up on Gaza fishermen who continue to sail past the limits that Israel r ally expanded as part of the last cease-fire agreement, and maritime soldiers arrested seven fishermen, according to the federation of Gaza fishermen.

IDF spokesmen confirmed that “two vessels sailed beyond the permitted fishing zone” even though the Navy fired warning shots for them to turn around when the boats traveled 1.8 nautical miles past the limit.

Soldiers fired rubber bullets, injuring one Gaza man lightly.

The problem is not with fisherman, most of whom are not involved in terrorism. The problem is that if they can freely sail past the limits, terrorists used the fishing boats as cover.

The recent escalation in the need for the Israel Navy to fire warning shots to heed off Gaza vessels comes on weeks after Israel agreed to double to six nautical miles the waters where Gaza fishermen are allowed to operate.

 

 

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-fishing-for-cease-fire-violations/2014/10/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: