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May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

Turkey Warns Lebanon to Free Kidnapped Pilots

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Turkey has warned Lebanon, that if the two Turkish Airline pilots kidnapped last week aren’t released, it will damage the ties between the two countries, according to a report in the Lebanese Daily Star.

The Turkish pilot and copilot were kidnapped near the Rafik Hariri International Airport from the bus they were riding in from the airport. The group that kidnapped them are demanding the release of 9 Lebanese citizens kidnapped by the Syrian rebels. Turkey is a backer of the Syrian rebels.

The nine Lebanese citizens are Shiites who went through Syria on their way back from Iran. The Syrian kidnappers claim the nine are Hezbollah fighters.

Turkey has also asked for Iran’s assistance in getting the pilots released.

Lebanese authorities have one person is custody who they claim is involved in the kidnapping, and they say he has given up the names of his accomplices. The man is the son of one of the Lebanese men kidnapped in Syria.

The Syrian rebels kidnapped the nine men in an attempt to get Assad to release a woman he kidnapped.

Hezbollah has denied they are involved in the kidnapping, but say they are watching the situation very carefully.

El-Sisi Slams US for Abandoning the Egyptian People

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Egypt’s armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi lashed out at the U.S., urging the Administration to pressure the Muslim Brothers to end their resistance to the new rule.

In an interview with the Washington Post, El Sisi—who led the military coup that ousted President Mohamed Morsi on july 3—is warning of police action that would put an end to the protests.

Despite the $1.3 billion in military aid the U.S. gives Egypt every year, El-Sisi accused President Barack Obama of abandoning Egypt.

“You left the Egyptians, you turned your back on the Egyptians and they won’t forget that. Now you want to continue turning your backs on Egyptians?” El-Sisi asked.

“The U.S. administration has a lot (of) leverage and influence with the Muslim Brotherhood and I’d really like the US administration to use this leverage with them to resolve the conflict,” he said, echoing accessions from the right in America, that Obama is still committed to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, despite their loss of popularity.

According to El-Sisi, the task of “removing” the Brotherhood protesters would not be assigned to the army.

“Whoever will clean these squares or resolve these sit-ins will not be the military,” he said, alluding to recorded massacres of unarmed Muslim Brothers by military units shooting into civilian crowds. “There is a civil police and they are assigned to these duties,” he clarified, shutting the doors a tad after the horses have all left the barn.

“On the 26th of [July], more than 30 million people went out onto the streets to give me support. These people are waiting for me to do something.”

According to Al Ahram, more than 250 Egyptian civilians have been killed since Morsi’s overthrow.

When asked whether he would seek the presidency, El-Sisi was vague:

“I want to say that the most important achievement in my life is to overcome this circumstance, [to ensure] that we live peacefully, to go on with our road map and to be able to conduct the coming elections without shedding one drop of Egyptian blood,” he said.

When he was pressed on his presidential ambitions, he responded that he is not the type who “aspire for authority.”

If ever there was a man with self-awareness issues… How does someone without aspirations for authority depose a legally elected president and impose a military junta in his place? Somebody hand that man a mirror…

In response to the obvious authority aspirations thing, El-Sisi defended his decision to overthrow Morsi, saying: “I expected if we didn’t intervene, it would have turned into a civil war. Four months before he left, I told Morsi the same thing.”

Except that now he has a real civil war on his hands – and it’s all the fault of the Muslim Brothers-loving Obama Administration.

“What I want you to know and I want the American reader also to know is that this is a free people who rebelled against an unjust political rule, and this free people needs your support,” urged the junta leader who shuns authority.

If you have access to Woody Allen’s last truly funny movie, “Bananas,” now would be a good time to watch it again…

Gigantic Explosion at Syrian Ammo Depot Kills Dozens (Video)

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Syrian rebels carried out a massive rocket attack on a Syrian army ammunition depot in Homs Thursday, killing more than 40 people and wounding more than 100.

The blast stopped, for the time being, slowed down a relentless Syrian army offensive to take back control of Homs, a key commercial center and a stronghold of rebel forces in the civil war.

The ammunition depot is located in a pro-government area of the city, and the casualty count is expected to rise.

The Syrian official news agency SANA denied there was a blast and said that “terrorists” struck at the entrance of Homs, wounding dozens of civilians, four of whom “were later martyred.”

“Those reports broadcast by channels, which are partners in the Syrian bloodshed, are categorically untrue and aim at raising the morale of the armed terrorist groups after the big losses they inflicted in many regions of Homs, particularly in al-Khaldiye,” it reported from “a source.”

“The source added that this coward [sic] act will not affect the army courageous soldiers, but it will increase their determination to rescue Syria from the dirtiness of terrorists,” the news agency stated.

Meanwhile, the United Nations continues to talk and set up teams to investigate the use of chemical weapons in the war, which officially has killed 100,000 people while unofficial estimates warn of twice as many deaths.

Millions of people have fled their homes, many of them to neighboring countries.

Putin Declares Egypt on Brink of Civil War

Monday, July 8th, 2013

“Syria is already in the grips of the civil war … and Egypt is moving in the same direction,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on Sunday.

Hours after he spoke,  the  Egyptian daily Al Ahram reported that a new compromise choice has been picked as Egypt’s next prime minister after the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists rejected the idea that Mohammed ElBaradei be named for the post.

Ziad Bahaa El-Din, a lawyer and member of Egyptian Social Democratic Party,  would be accepted by the Salafist Nour party, Al Ahram said.

Syrian Girl (13) Treated in Nahariya Hospital

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

An IDF medical team sent a 13 year old Syrian girl to the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya (northern Israel) for treatment. She suffered serious facial and body injuries, according to a report in Walla.

The girl had an fracture in her leg that required surgery, as well as shrapnel damage to her face that entered near her eye and cheek, as well as shrapnel in her hand.

She is the youngest Syrian citizen transferred to Israel so far for treatment as a result of the Syrian civil war.

Russia-US Brinkmanship Clashes with Israel’s Security

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Russia is aggressively squaring off with an indecisive and rather meek West about Syria, and in the process, is also threatening to undermine Israeli efforts to ensure that Iran and Syria do not ship strategic weapons to Hizballah.

The Syrian civil war has become a dangerous and complex battle of multiple actors and their proxies: Sunni versus Shi’ite, Iran versus the Gulf states, al Qaeda versus Hizballah, and on a global scale, the United States versus Russia.

Moscow is trying to deter a potential U.S. or NATO-led initiative to set up a no-fly zone over areas of Syria, and is seeking to stop Western-led air strikes against chemical weapons sites.

Russia also seems concerned that recent air strikes in Damascus targeting Hizballah-bound guided Iranian missiles — strikes attributed by the foreign media to Israel — will pave the way to such an intervention.

Israel has no interest in getting involved in the Syrian civil war. Rather, it is looking out for the safety of millions of citizens, who already live in the shadow of some 80,000 Hizballah rockets, and would be threatened further by the transfer of precise, powerful missiles to Hizballah in Lebanon.

In recent days, Russia unleashed a flurry of moves to establish its support of Syria.

The Russian moves include: Declaring that it will proceed with deliveries of the advanced S-300 air defense system to Assad, mobilizing war ships to the eastern Mediterranean, and selling sophisticated surface-to-sea Yakhont missiles to Assad.

Moscow’s recent maneuvers might be more bluster than real — the S-300 has yet to be delivered, and Russia was in 2010 talked out of selling the formidable air defense system to Iran.

The threat, however, was serious enough for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make an unscheduled trip last week to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin. The two later held a press conference, repeating their public positions, but it is doubtful that those statements were a complete reflection of their private exchange.

Israel is opposed to Assad receiving the S-300 missile for several reasons: With its sophisticated radars and range of 200 kilometers, the S-300 can hamper Israel Air Force aircraft seeking to monitor Hezbollah in Lebanon. The system can also disrupt future Israeli efforts to intercept the transit of Iranian weapons to Hizbollah through Syria. Finally, Assad can choose to smuggle S-300 batteries to Hizbollah or Iran.

Should the S-300 fall into Iranian hands, the future potential mission of launching a military strike on Iran’s developing nuclear program would be more even more complex than it already is. Knowing that the S-300 was in Hizballah’s hands, and could target Israeli aircraft sent to stop it, would only boost the Shi’ite terror organization’s confidence to launch cross-border attacks on Israel. For these reasons, Jerusalem will find Russia’s delivery of such a system to Syria to be an intolerable development; it is safe to assume that Israel will act to prevent this from happening.

Similarly, the Russian Yakhont missiles already delivered to Syria threaten Israel Navy ships carrying out vital missions in the Mediterranean.

Behind closed-doors, intense diplomacy — including the sudden visit by CIA Director John Brennan to Israel — is underway to try and contain these developments, and prevent them from triggering further regional security deterioration.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Support the Syrian Rebels?

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Washington Post article today, “Assad forces gaining ground in Syria” by Liz Sly, argues that recent events suggest that the Assad regime is not just surviving but has gone on the offensive. Drawing on local analysts, she finds that in the civil war, “there is little doubt that the pendulum is now swinging in favor of Assad … bolstered by a new strategy, the support of Iran and Russia and the assistance of fighters with Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.”

If this in fact be the case, then, Western governments should respond by helping the rebels to prevent Assad from crushing them.

This advice is consistent with my argument (in an article titled “Support Assad” published just a month ago, when Assad appeared to be going down) that the West should prevent either side in the civil war from emerging victorious by “helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong their conflict.”

This policy recommendation of “helping whichever side is losing” sounds odd, I admit, but it is strategic.

Originally published at DanielPipes.org and The National Review, Online, May 11, 2013.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-lions-den-daniel-pipes/support-the-syrian-rebels/2013/05/12/

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