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May 7, 2016 / 29 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

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.

Hana Levi Julian

UN Security Council Passes Resolution on Peace Plan for Syria

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Monday calling for a political solution to end the savage civil war in Syria.

It was the first time in two years the UN Security Council has agreed on any statement regarding Syria, where at least 240,000 people have died since the start of the 4-year-old war.

At least 12 million Syrians have become homeless, the Council noted, expressing “grave alarm that the Syria crisis has become the largest humanitarian emergency crisis in the world today.”

Although the future of President Bashar al-Assad was not specifically mentioned in the statement, it was clear that any “transition” would involve his exit at some point.

Venezuela dissociated itself from parts of the statement due to its strong ties with Syria.

The 16-point peace plan drafted by France was been under discussion since last month, when it was presented to the Council by UN envoy Staffan de Mistura. The statement came a day after Assad government troops attacked a town near Damascus, killing nearly 100 people in one of the most brutal assaults of the war.

The plan calls for a “Syrian-led political process leading to a political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.”

It includes “the establishment of an inclusive transitional governing body with full executive powers which shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent while ensuring continuity of governmental institutions.”

French Deputy Ambassador Alexis Lamek pointed out that progress on creating a new government for Syria would also strengthen the campaign against Da’esh (ISIS).

“We will not defeat Da’esh without an organized transition in Syria,” Lamek said.

As with everything else at the United Nations, the gap between discussion and action is wide: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to report back to the Council on the next phase of consultations led by his envoy within 90 days.

Hana Levi Julian

No One Killed in Syria Yesterday

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Yesterday, on Wednesday, for the first time in three years, not a single person was killed in Syria in their civil war.

Due to the snow and the stormy, freezing cold weather it is apparently too cold to kill one another.

In the month of December, on average of 150 people were killed every single day.

 

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Syrian Groups Respond to Israel’s Downing of Jet

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Syrians on both sides of the civil war responded to Israel’s downing of a Syrian Sukhoi-24 fighter jet that had infiltrated into Israeli airspace on Tuesday morning.

A senior member of the Syrian opposition told the Hebrew-language NRG website, “We thank Israel for knocking down the plane, and we hope it is the start of a new situation, where the airspace in Syria, and in particular, the Golan Heights are clear of any of Bashar al-Assad’s jets.”

The opposition member added that the plane was on its way to attack Syrian rebel positions.

Syrians supporting Assad’s side of the civil war blamed Israel for taking sides and cooperating with the rebels, and specifically Da’ash (ISIS) and the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organizations.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Kurds Block ISIS Advance on Syrian Town

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Kurdish fighters in Syria say they have blocked an advance by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) towards the town of Kobani near the border of Turkey.

“Fierce clashes are still underway but the ISIS advance to the east of Kobani has been halted since last night,” said Redur Xelil, spokesman for YPG, the main Syrian Kurdish group.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that ISIS fighters have made no significant advance in the past 24 hours. The Observatory tracks violence in the Syrian civil war.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Iranian President Rouhani Arrives in Turkey for Talks

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani began a state visit to Turkey today (Monday), the first by an Iranian head of state since 2008.

Rouhani was received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul at the presidential palace in Ankara with a special welcoming ceremony. He and Gul are meeting with other Turkish leaders at the palace for bilateral talks.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined the gathering, which preceeded the start of direct talks in Geneva between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s galloping nuclear development program.

On the agenda is the expansion of trade and other ways to establish closer economic and political ties, according to the Turkish Al Hurriyet news agency. Officials from the two nations are also discussing the raging civil war in Syria, which borders both countries and which has affected the relations between the two.

Iran has armed and backed President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have periodically shelled villages in Turkey. In addition, Syrian military forces have often fired at civilians as they crossed the border into Turkey to escape the violence in their homeland.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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.

Meir Halevi Siegel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-prepares-for-terrorists-on-golan-border/2014/05/22/

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