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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Damascus’

Hezbollah Backs Away from Blaming Israel For Death of Senior Commander

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

The Hezbollah terrorist organization has backed away from blaming Israel for the assassination last week of its senior commander — possibly its Number Two — Mustafa Badreddine in Damascus.

His death was announced Friday on the group’s Al Manar channel by Hezbollah, although it is believed he may have been killed as early as last Tuesday. It is not clear who killed Badreddine.

Hezbollah said in an announcement Saturday on Al Manar the explosion “which targeted one of our positions near the Damascus International Airport and led to the martyrdom of Sayyed Zulfikar, the marty leader’s nom de guerre, was caused by an artillery bombardment carried out by Takfiri groups stationed in the region. The group had said in a statement early Friday that a huge blast hit one of the “resistance centers” near Damascus airport.

Badreddine — also known as Badr A-Din — had replaced his brother-in-law Imad Mughniyeh (Moughniyah), who was killed in Damascus in 2008 by a car bomb, for which the Mossad was blamed. Badreddine, 55, was in charge of all Hezbollah military operations inside Syria, and before that was involved in planning attacks against Israel. He was also blamed by the United Nations for the murder of Lebanon’s former prime minister, Rafik al-Hariri, in 2005.

““The outcome of the investigation will only increase our determination and will to continue the fight against these criminal gangs and deal them a mighty blow so that we fulfil the martyr’s wishes and advices to his Mujahideen brothers,” the statement by Nasrallah continued.

“In all cases, it is a single battle against the American-Zionist project in the region, which terrorist Takfiris represent its spearhead thus practicing its aggression over the Ummah (nation) and its resistance, Mujahideen, sanctuaries and its free, honest peoples.”

Iran has been taking great pains to console its proxy terror group Hezbollah over the loss of its senior commander.

Likewise, Hezbollah is working hard to minimize attention to the forces behind the assassination. Despite the initial hue and cry that pointed the finger of blame at Israel, the follow up in Hezbollah-linked media clearly toned down the speculation and accusations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a message of condolence Friday to Nasrallah over the assassination. In the message, he wrote that Badreddine’s martyrdom would “further strengthen resistance forces against the Zionist enemy and terrorism.”

The Speaker of Iran’s Majlis (parliament), Ali Larijani, also sent condolences, saying Badreddine’s martyrdom would “further inspire resistance against the Zionist regime.” Larijani added in his message to Nasrallah that it would “strengthen the will of the Jihadi forces against the Zionist regime.”

The head of Lebanon’s ‘Free Patriotic Movement,’ General Michel Aoun also phoned Nasrallah with condolences over the loss of his senior commander.

Hana Levi Julian

Very Senior Hezbollah Terrorist Killed in Alleged Israeli Air Strike

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Mustafa Badr A-Din (Mustafa Badreddine), age 55, a very senior military leader in the military wing of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and possibly even the number two man under Hassan Nasrallah, was assassinated in Syria.

He had replaced his brother-in-law Imad Mughniyeh (Moughniyah) who was killed in Damascus in 2008 by a car bomb, for which the Mossad was blamed.

Badr A-Din was in charge of all Hezbollah military operations inside Syria, and before that was involved in planning attacks against Israel.

Badreddine was also blamed by the UN for the murder of Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005.

One Hezbollah website and some Lebanese TV stations has blamed Israel for the death of Mustafa Badr A-Din, claiming he was assassinated in an Israeli air strike. But other Hezbollah social media sources say they are still investigating the cause of death.

He apparently killed on Tuesday, May 10th, but Hezbollah only announced it on Friday.

Mustafa Badr A-Din’s assassination is a major blow to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is a terrorist group funded by Iran and operating in Lebanon.

They have a political stranglehold over Lebanon from which they launch attacks against Israel. They are also heavily embedded in the war in Syria, acting on behalf of their Iranian patron. They’ve lost an estimated 1400 fighters in the Syrian civil war, which may be as much as a third of their fighting force.

Shalom Bear

Three Israeli Arabs Indicted for Planning Terror Attack at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Haifa (TPS) – Three Israeli-Arabs are charged with planning stabbing attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem, according to two separate indictments filed on Wednesday in the Haifa District Court.

The three defendants are Ali Subh, Ibrahim Shami, and Mehdi Basal from the village of Jadeidi-Makr in the Galilee. Subh and Shami are charged with attempted murder, conspiring to commit a murder, and arms dealing offenses. The second indictment charges Basal with arms dealing as well as illegally purchasing and possessing a weapon.

According to the first indictment, Subh and Shami made their way to Jerusalem with knives, inspired by the wave of terror attacks in Israel. They intended to commit a stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate of the Old City, where many previous attacks took place. They did not carry out the attack, choosing instead to seek out firearms in order to cause greater damage.

On another occasion, Shami drove to Jerusalem with a knife given to him by Subh, who encouraged him to stab Israelis. The attack was stopped in circumstances not detailed in the indictment.

The two also planned several shooting attacks, and Shami even tried to find out the cost of weapons needed to carry out an attack.

The case was investigated by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), and the indictments were filed by the Haifa district attorney along with requests to detain all three until the end of court proceedings against them.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

IDF Preparing for Conflicts Along Southern, Northern Borders

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Israel’s defense establishment appears to be preparing military forces and civilians for a possible outbreak of hostilities either in the north or the south sometime soon.

A major civil defense drill – the largest since the 2014 war with Hamas – was held this past Thursday in southern Israel at Kibbutz Erez, barely a mile from Gaza.

Civilian response teams, IDF soldiers, Magen David Adom emergency medical teams, police officers, firefighters and others participated in the drill, Channel 2 reported Friday.

The exercise simulated an attack by Hamas terrorists on an Israeli kibbutz which included abduction of Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers overpowering the terrorists in the kibbutz dining hall.

According to the report, recent IDF preparations to meet a possible conflict have included the infusion of additional forces along the Gaza border. In addition, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported Thursday that four IDF bulldozers leveled ground along the security fence a few meters inside Gaza, east of the city of Rafah, which straddles the enclave’s border with Egypt.

Nevertheless, defense officials continue to say that although Hamas is gathering its forces within Gaza, the terrorist group does not appear to be preparing for a direct war with Israel in the near future.

While the IDF is preparing to meet whatever threat may present itself in the south, forces are also making preparations in the north for much the same reason.

The IDF has beefed up its forces in northern Israel along the border with Lebanon and in the Golan Heights, near Syria. A major military drill began in the north on Wednesday and continued through the end of the week.

IDF Northern Command alerted civilians from the western Galilee all the way east to the Golan Heights not to be alarmed at the sounds of artillery and other ordnance.

The latest round of peace talks between opposition forces and the Syrian government started Wednesday (April 13) in Geneva but by the weekend had achieved nothing.

The Syrian regime has escalated the fighting near Aleppo, and local residents who had not yet fled are now making an effort to flee while they can. Opposition forces are accusing Syrian government chief mediator Bashar Ja’afari of not being serious about seeking a solution to the five-year civil war.

United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura is trying to keep the talks focused on political transition but with intensified battles continuing, the opposition is losing its resolve.

In addition, Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Army of Islam and Jabhat Al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) radical Islamist terror organizations are not at the table. Since they control at least half of the territory in Syria, even if negotiations succeed in resolving the issue of who governs Syria, the question still remains whether there is anything geographically, territorially left to govern.

Al Nusra controls the territory closest to the sole border crossing between Israel and Syria, at Quneitra. Last Tuesday (April 12) Syrian sources told international media that Da’esh (ISIS) now controls 90 percent of the Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus. The community is home to Arabs from the Palestinian Authority and is also a stronghold for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.

So far, the capital, Damascus is still in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Begins Military Drills in Northern Israel

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Residents in northern Israel may hear explosions or see military vehicles passing by in the next few days.

The IDF Northern Command is conducting military drills in the Galilee and Golan Heights, beginning Wednesday and continuing through the rest of this week.

The sound of artillery and other ordnance is to be expected.

Last week the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization abducted 300 cement workers and contractors from the Al-Badia company in Dumeir, about 28 miles from Damascus, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A new round of peace talks between opposition forces and the Syrian government were scheduled to start Wednesday (April 13), but were not to include Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Army of Islam or any other radical Islamist group such as the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat Al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) group.

Da’esh and related terror groups are largely in control of Syrian territory close to the border with Israel.

Syrian sources said Tuesday that Da’esh now controls 90 percent of the Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, home to Arabs from the Palestinian Authority.

The camp is also a major base for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, which has ties to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Hana Levi Julian

Truce Signed in Syria by Assad Regime, Rebel Forces – Excludes ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

As the gunshots and sounds of mortarfire grow closer to Israeli communities in the Golan Heights, the Syrian regime has signed a truce with representatives of the rebel forces.

The truce, however, excludes Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda and the Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organizations, according to a statement released Tuesday afternoon by the state-run SANA news agency, which raises the issue of how long it will actually last, and how relevant it really is.

“The Syrian Arab Republic accepts the cessation of fighting actions on the basis of continuing the military efforts for combating terrorism against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organizations according to the Russian-U.S. agreement,” said an official source at the Syrian Expatriates and Foreign Ministry.

The military picture in Syria is far from simple.

Both Russia and the U.S.-led coalition are still claiming to be bombing ISIS terror targets in Syria, but one can hardly separate those out from the general population, let alone from other combatants.

The Syrian regime forces include the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist guerrilla fighters and Russian military personnel on the ground and in the air.

The U.S.-led coalition forces in the air have been bombing targets on behalf of the more moderate Syrian opposition forces. But there have been overlaps and on more than one occasion the “moderate” rebels have united with radical Islamists when they deemed necessary to overcome an enemy target. In this way, weapons, ammunition and other foreign ordnance changes hands, and Da’esh (ISIS) and/or Al Qaeda-linked terrorists end up possessing American arms and military technology.

Moreover, Ankara — also a member of NATO along with the United States — has been bombing Kurdish sites in northern Syria, claiming the PYD and YPG groups are related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group. Turkey alleges the PKK perpetrated last week’s horrific suicide car bombing in the capital city, Ankara, together with a PYD-linked Syrian national.

Regardless of who is dropping the bombs, after five years of one of the most savage civil wars in the Middle East very little is left of the “Syrian Arab Republic” that the world — or President Bashar al-Assad himself — once knew. At present, even the outlying districts of Damascus have been bombed into rubble in many areas, as seen in the video below, filmed by RussiaWorks.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry source noted that the cease-fire is set to begin on Saturday Feb. 27. In order to ensure the success of the cease-fire, “the Syrian government affirms readiness to continue to coordinate with the Russian side for identifying the areas and the armed groups that are to be included in the cessation along the period it is in effect,” the source said.

“The Syrian government stresses the importance of border curbing, halting support provided by some countries to the armed groups, and preventing these organizations from boosting their capabilities or changing their positions so as to avoid anything that may undermine this agreement,” the source warned.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that he and U.S. President Barack Obama had agreed on a joint statement announcing their plans to stop military operations in Syria. The U.S. State Department announced the agreement, which it said includes “plans to stop the military operations in Syria, [but] which exclude the Islamic State (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations.”

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Israeli Air Strike on Syrian Regime Forces

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Israel reportedly bombarded a Syrian regime stronghold south of Damascus on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

All reports thus far of strikes by the Israeli Air Force on the Syrian regime outpost can be traced to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The SOHR, a British-based non-governmental organization, reported that Israel bombarded a location south of the Syrian capital of Damascus, at Mount Mana, near roads leading to the city of Daraa. This area is controlled by the Assad regime.

That location was struck by three missiles, leading to physical damage. There were no reports about the extent of the physical damage or about human losses.

Given Israel’s heretofore reluctance to become involved in the Syrian civil war, it is likely that if the strike forces were Israeli, the bombardment took place either because Hezbollah operatives were believed to be present or because supplies intended for Hezbollah were located there.

Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group, has been assisting the Syrian regime throughout the ongoing civil war. Both Hezbollah and Syria are terrorist proxies controlled by Iran.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-israeli-air-strike-on-syrian-regime-forces/2016/02/18/

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