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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

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.

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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/four-wounded-syrians-brought-to-israel/2013/11/09/

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