web analytics
August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

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.

Civil War Spreads along Israel’s Northern Borders as Bombs Kill 12

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

A suicide bomb attack on a Hezbollah neighborhood in Beirut and more clashes between anti and pro-Assad forces in Tripoli have left 12 dead and scores wounded as Lebanon continues on the path to the resumption of the 15-year old civil war that ended in 1990 with Syrian domination.

The bomb blast in the Hezbollah neighborhood of Haret Herek killed at least five people and wounded more than 45 others. It was the second attack in almost the same spot in the past week, and one retired Lebanese general told Al Jazeera, “We have to expect more and more operations against the public. Why are the public a target? Because they want to put direct pressure on Hezbollah to withdraw from Lebanon.”

An Al Qaeda linked terrorist group took responsibility for the suicide car bomb blast shortly before noon Tuesday. Witnesses said they saw a man deriving his KIA vehicle, with a stolen license plate, at high speed and “honking his horn like a mad man” seconds before it blew up.

Hezbollah is getting a taste of its own poison, facing suicide attacks that have been one of its favorite methods of terrorizing Lebanon, such as the savage attack that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harari and 21 others. Syria has been blamed for involvement in the car bomb explosion

In Tripoli, one person died and several others were wounded in gunfire on Tuesday, bring to seven the death since the most recent eruption of violence on Friday. Alawites, who back Syrian President Bassar al-Assad, and anti-Assad Sunni Muslim gangs fired mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns in fighting that raged through the early morning hours. At least six have been killed and more than 55 others wounded since Friday.

The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly, commenting on the suicide bombing in Beirut, said  the explosion presents “a further deeply disturbing act of indiscriminate terror” and that “such acts cannot be justified and are contrary to the interests of all the Lebanese.”

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut, for what it’s worth, denounced the attack and offered its condolences to the victims and their families via Twitter.

It is nice that officials in the Obama administration know how to use social media, but they have been unaware of their failure to understand that the axis of evil has to be fought and not “engaged.”

The result now is the spread of civil war across Israel’s northern border, from the Golan Heights to the east and westward to the Mediterranean Sea.

The instability keeps the locals busy killing each other, which is fine as long as they don’t realize they could simply join forces and take out their anger on Israel.

19 Year Old Shot Near Syrian Border

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

A 19 year old resident of Migdal Shams is in light to medium condition after being shot at near the Syrian border with Israel.

The man was taken to Ziv hospital in Tzfat with a bullet wound in his leg.

The hospital said the bullet was shot was a long distance.

The IDF said it is unaware of the incident.

Three Wounded Syrians Brought to Nahariya Hospital

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Three seriously wounded Syrians have been brought to Nahariya hospital in northern Israel for treatment. The three were injured in the chest and body in the country’s civil war.

Nahariya hospital has treated 169 wounded Syrians, of which 21 are still in the hospital.

Four Wounded Syrians Brought to Israel

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Four Syrian civilians who were seriously injured in the Syrian civil war were brought to Israel on Friday night and treated at Ziv hospital in Tzfat.

America’s Impending Defeat in Syria

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

It’s really pretty simple. The American people understandably don’t want to go to war with Syria, not to mention Syria’s patron of Iran and especially not to put into power the Muslim Brotherhood and murderous Islamists. Going to war is a serious matter to say the least. There’s no assurance how long it will take, how many lives it will cost, and what turns it may take.

In fact the Middle East has just had several examples of these wars. Iraq and Afghanistan cost a lot of money and lives as they extended for a much longer time than had been expected. In addition they derailed the Bush Administration’s electoral fortunes and domestic programs. With the main emphasis of the Obama Administration being a fundamental transformation of America such distractions are not desired.

There is one other important consideration. The Obama Administration does not accept the traditional diplomatic and great power strategies. It believes that it can reconcile with Islamist states; it does not comprehend deterrents; it does not keep faith with allies; and it does not believe in credibility, which is the belief that only power exerted can convince a foe of seriousness.

Of course, that wouldn’t rule out a one -time targeted attack but even if that were to be done is America going to fight a full-scale war on the ground with the American allies (including al-Qaeda) never satisfied and eager to stab them in the back?

The administration has trapped itself with two problems. One is that the rebels who are being supported in Syria are extreme radicals who may set off blood baths and regional instability if they win. The other is that a challenge has been given to very reckless forces: Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. When the United States threatens these three players the response is “make my day!”

So this is the situation. The United States is bluffing, it does not want to exert force and probably won’t. In other words, Iran and Syria would be quite willing to fight a war but the United States and its government doesn’t have the will to do so.

What is the optimum option for the Obama Administration ? To try to negotiate – as unlikely as it is – a deal in which some kind of interim or coalition arrangement would be arranged with Russia and Iran to make a transition from the current regime. And that mainly means stalling for time.

That could work, though, if the regime does not actually win in the war. Aid to rebels and some gimmicks, perhaps but no decisive action. Remember. though, that Iran cannot be said to have won as long as the civil war is continuing. The Administration can simply depend on denial, which should be sufficient for domestic purposes.

There is, however. a problem. The two sides Syrian sides want to wipe each other out. Why should the Russians and Iranians make a deal if they have a winning hand? No diplomatic arrangement is possible. In fact the diplomatic option is fictional or, to put it flatly, there is no alternative.

It is not inconceivable that the White House would consider easing sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program to have a chance on making a deal on Syria.

What is likely then is stalling, with the probability that the civil war will settle into stagnation for several years and thus a de facto partition of Syria. The United States simply can’t win given what it is willing to do. And in a great power standoff that’s a very dangerous situation.

Remember. though, that Iran cannot be said to have won as long as the civil war is continuing. The Administration can simply depend on denial, which should be sufficient for domestic purposes.

Finally, ask yourself one question: Will the United States under Obama dare a confrontation with Iran, Syria, and Russia to keep up American credibility, deterrence, and confidence of allies who it is already opposing on Egypt?

Of course not. This is already a president who could barely decide to kill Osama bin Laden.

Al Qaeda Blames Hezbollah for Tripoli Blasts

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Al Qaeda North Africa issued a statement accusing Hezbollah of responsibility for the blast yesterday in Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, Kol Israel reported.

“We are convinced that the hands of the despicable organization supporting the president of Syria have done this loathsome deed,” said the Al Qaeda statement. The organization promised revenge against Hezbollah, in the name of the Sunnis.

At least 45 people were killed and about 500 others wounded in the two blasts that rocked the northern city of Tripoli. Reports say a car packed with an estimated 400 lbs. of explosives hit the al-Salam mosque.

According to An Nahar, the car used in the blast near al-Salam mosque was a Ford jeep rigged. Military experts are still identifying the car used in the second explosion, which targeted the Taqwa mosque in Tripoli.

A Reuters reporter at the scene said the blast left a huge crater and the floors of the mosque were covered in blood. A 160-foot stretch of the road was charred black and the twisted remains of cars littered the area.

“We were just bowing down to pray for the second time and the bomb went off. The air cleared, and I looked around me and saw bodies,” an eyewitness told Reuters.

Witnesses told the newspaper As Safir that they saw a person parking a Honda Civic near al-Salam mosque and leaving the car to take another, minutes before the blast took place.

The two explosions caused extensive material damage in the two areas.

Both blasts hit at the hour of weekly Muslim prayers, in a city where Sunni supporters of Syria’s rebels engage in frequent, often deadly, clashes with Alawites, who back President Bashar Assad regime.

The Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported that the preliminary investigation at al-Salam blast scene showed that the bomb contained TNT and nitrate.

According to the newspaper, the two booby-trapped cars were probably rigged with timers and were detonated from a distance while worshipers were engaged in their Friday prayers.

Security agencies weren’t able to thoroughly examine the scene of the second blast that took place near the Taqwa mosque due to the angry residents that prevented them from carrying out their tasks.

The state-run news agency reported that the death toll in the two explosions has reached 45 and that 160 are in critical condition.

It was the highest toll in an attack since Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, and it brought condemnation from Western powers, the United Nations and Syria.

Coming a week after a bombing in the Beirut bastion of Hezbollah, a close ally of President Bashar Assad, the Tripoli explosions are likely to help spread the Syrian civil war into Lebanon.

Lebanon’s president Michel Suleiman called on the people to stay united and to cooperate with the security bodies, and to report any suspicious activities that might threaten public safety.

The U.S. State Dept. issued the following statement following the blasts:

The United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist bombings at the al-Taqwa and al-Danawi mosques in Tripoli, as we do all violence in Lebanon. We extend our deepest sympathies for those killed and concern for those wounded in today’s attack.

The United States urge all parties to exercise calm and restraint and to desist from actions that could contribute to an escalating cycle of retribution and violence. We reaffirm our firm commitment to a stable, sovereign, and independent Lebanon and support the Lebanese government’s efforts to restore stability and security in the country.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/al-qaeda-blames-hezbollah-for-tripoli-blast/2013/08/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: