web analytics
February 26, 2015 / 7 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘chemical weapons’

Israel Prepares for Terrorists on Golan Border

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

With a farcical “election” scheduled in Syria for June 3, Israel’s defense establishment will have to decide how to respond to Syria’s ongoing refusal to dismantle the country’s chemical and biological weapons arsenal. 

Bashar al-Assad has moved slowly to remove the chemical weapons in his possession, despite an agreement late last year to do so by June 30 of this year. Some observers have said this indicates the Syrian leader’s plan to retain a large parts of the non-conventional arsenal for use “some time in future.”

For Israel, “some time in future” could be sooner rather than later.  While there are growing signs that Assad has gained the upper hand in Syria’s civil war and is now in the process of re-solidifying his rule over most of the country, there is at least one area of the country that is largely held by radical Islamic rebel forces, including al-Qaeda:  The Golan Heights.

On the whole, the Heights have remained Israel’s quietist border since the Yom Kippur War in 1973. After suffering heavy losses during the initial round of fighting, IDF tank and infantry  battalions annihilated Syrian troops in what became a stinging loss for the regime of Hafez al-Assad, father of the current leader. 

As a result, Damascus has taken care to prevent cross-border incidents into Israel for fear of Israeli retribution.

But with the possibility of an al-Qaeda and Salafi presence on the Golan border, Israel will once again need to consider the possibility not only that the north-eastern border could soon become a theatre of operations, but also that Assad could use his  non-conventional arsenal against rebel forces camped on the Israeli border. Those attacks would likely not be aimed at Israel, but the poison would likely affect Israeli border towns just a few kilometres from Syrian towns like Kunetra.

According to Ben Caspit, a veteran Israeli defense correspondent, the IDF recently pulled the 36th Armored Division off the Heights and replaced the force with a division that specializes in what is known in Israel as “low-intensity security operations.” Caspit also  said the situation in Syria could create a difficult dilemma for IDF officers.

“If the insurgents do end up taking the Golan Heights,” Caspit wrote on the al-Monitor website, “Israel will have to decide how to respond to acts of provocation. For example, in the event that Assad loses his grip on the Golan Heights and Israel receives intel about a terrorist attack or a plan to unleash fire against Israel or Israeli locations from the Golan Heights, will Israel find it appropriate to operate there militarily? 

“These are the weighty issues with which Israel’s defense and political establishments are presently contending. In the end, as always, what happens on the ground will also determine the reaction,” Caspit wrote.

US Has Proof Syrian Gov’t Poisoned Civilians

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The United States has announced it possesses evidence the Syrian government is using chemical weapons against its own civilians.

In a statement released Monday at a State Department briefing in Washington, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “We have evidence of toxic chemical use in the area” of Kfar Zeita, near the city of Hama.

Opposition activists reported last week that Syrian Air Force helicopters dropped barrels of chlorine gas on the area. Video footage of the aftermath, posted by the CNN news network, showed unconscious civilians receiving medical treatment with oxygen masks.

“We are examining the accusations according to which the Syrian government is responsible for [the use of toxic chemicals,],” Psaki went on to say. “It is clear that there is a need to open an investigation into exactly what happened there. We take the reports very seriously and will work to make sure there is no breach of the agreement here.”

The spokesperson told reporters that chlorine gas had not been included among poisons on the list assembled by U.S. and Russian negotiator who last summer identified the chemical weapons to be neutralized.

Death Toll of Children in Syria Crosses 11,000 Mark

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

More than 11,000 children have been killed in the Syrian civil war, any of them starved to death and shot and tortured, according to a new report by the Oxford research Group.

Male victims outnumber female victims by two-to-one, and most of the boys have been between 13 and 17 years of age.

“The data we analyzed indicates that bombs and bullets alone ended the lives of ten thousand Syrian children in 30 months of war,” said co-author Hamit Dardagan.

More than 120 children were killed by chemical weapons, in the attack on Ghouta last August.

“What is most disturbing about the findings of this report is not only the sheer numbers of children killed in this conflict, but the way they are being killed,” added the report’s other co-author, Hana Salama.

She added that they have been “bombed in their homes, in their communities, during day-to-day activities such as waiting in bread lines or attending school; shot by bullets in crossfire, targeted by snipers, summarily executed, even gassed and tortured.”

Syrian Rebels Kill 17 Hezbollah Fighters in Direct Hit (Video)

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Syrian opposition media have posted a video that shows a direct rebel strike on a Hezbollah building near Damascus, killing a large but unknown number of the terrorist organization’s fighters.

Hezbollah has been losing popularity in Lebanon following reports of hundreds of casualties since the terrorist group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah sent them to fight along soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

Hezbollah initially claimed its fighters were in Syria to protect Shi’ite religious sites against attacks by Sunni Muslims.

In what appears to have been a separate clash in Damascus on Saturday, at least 15 Hezbollah fighters were killed, and a separate video showed dead soldiers with Hezbollah label patches on their uniforms.

Media  coverage of the destruction of Assad’s chemical weapons has neglected the ongoing civil war that could tear Syria into several warring regions.

Al Qaeda, which has become a major force in the war against the Assad regime, lost control of a major border crossing with Iraq on Saturday when Syrian Kurds captured it after a three-day battle.

In the south, rebels took over the town of Tafas after weeks of heavy  fighting that killed dozens of people, according to, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Netanyahu and Kerry Agree: No Deal with Iran Better than Bad Deal

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry agreed in a meeting in Rome Wednesday that “no deal [with Iran] is better than a bad deal.”

Iran “shouldn’t have a plutonium heavy water plant, which is used only for nuclear weapons,” the Prime Minister said. “They should get rid of the advanced fissile material, and they shouldn’t have underground nuclear facilities, underground for one reason – for military purposes.”

He illustrated his argument against a partial deal by using Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s chemical weapons as an analogy.

“If Assad had said, you know, ‘I am ready to dismantle 90%, 50% or 80% of my chemical weapons capability,’ you would have refused and correctly so, and I think in the case of Iran, it is essential that it be made to live up to Security Council resolutions that demand an end to enrichment and enrichment capability and an end to plutonium heavy water capability toward fissile material for nuclear weapons,” Prime Minister Netanyahu added.

Regarding talks with the Palestinian Authority, he revealed that he is in touch Kerry “more or less every day,” and he reiterated his case that “peace is premised on mutual recognition, of two states for two peoples, of the Palestinian state for the Palestinian people mirrored by the Jewish state for the Jewish people.”

Anti-Hezbollah Legislator Says It Has Chemical Weapons

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

An anti-Hezbollah Lebanese legislator said Sunday that the terrorist organization has chemical weapons and missiles buried underground in bunkers that were built under the supervision of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

Khaled Daher told the Saudi Arabia newspaper al-Watan Saturday that the existence of chemical weapons is behind Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s threat two months ago that Israel “will face what you have not seen before.”

“There are restricted areas no one can approach or enter, this indicates the seriousness of the contents of those sites , which are certain to be long-range missile bases,” he said.

Assad’s Forces Starve Village that Was Gassed

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Assad’s army has surrounded a village near Damascus that the regime gassed with chemical weapons last month, and it is not letting basic food supplies into the town, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

One of the newspaper’s reporters managed to overcome the government ban on foreign journalists and visited the village of Moadhamiya, home to 12,000 people but also where rebel fighters are located.

“We won’t allow them to be nourished in order to kill us,” said a 24-year-old loyalist fighter, referring to rebels and their supporters on the other side of town. “Let them starve for a bit, surrender and then be put on trial.”

The poison gas attack on Moadhamiya on August 26 killed approximately 80 people, according to activists.

The Journal’s reporter wrote that according to an activist, “Residents finished all grains and provisions that people traditionally store in their homes in Syria for winter. Electricity and most telephone lines have been cut off for months and the water retrieved from deep wells is scarce.”

“People are going to starve to death,” said a resident of a nearby town.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/assads-forces-starve-village-that-was-gassed/2013/10/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: