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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah’

Hezbollah Not a Terror Group, Says Russia

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Russia does not consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, according to Moscow’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov.

The official was quoted Sunday by the Interfax news agency as he explained that Russia maintains ties with the group.

“Some say Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” Bogdanov said. “We maintain contacts and relations with them because we do not consider them a terrorist organization.

“They have never committed any terrorist acts on Russian soil. Hezbollah was elected by Lebanese citizens to the Lebanese parliament. There are cabinet members and ministers from Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is a legitimate sociopolitical force.”

The remarks emerged during discussions on Saturday between nations discussing which groups fighting the Syrian civil war should be defined as terrorists or not. The question arose and to which groups should be invited to negotiate for a political settlement, but differences remain between the views of Moscow and Washington.

Participants at the talks on Syria, held in Vienna, appointed Jordan as coordinator of efforts to compile a list of terrorist groups. Although both the United States and the European Union have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization — as has Israel — Russia does not.

The unwillingness of Russia to acknowledge Hezbollah’s terrorist status is likely to impact any international effort to address the group’s terrorist activities and attacks on Israel or anywhere else.

Hezbollah has also in the past been reportedly involved in drug sales operations that cross Israel’s northern border and elsewhere in the world as well.

Hezbollah Leaders Fears ‘Zionist Plot’ for Syria to Recognize Israel

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Hezbollah’s second-in-command, Sheikh Naim Qassem, has warned of a plot to form a new Syrian government that would recognize Israel, according to the Iranian Tasnim News.

He was quoted as telling the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought:

What is happening in Syria is damaging a government that supports the resistance in the face of the Zionist occupiers.

Tasnim reported, “Sheikh Qassem underlined that the crisis in Syria is part of a broader plot with the purpose of establishing a new government in Damascus that would recognize the Tel Aviv regime and give in to the US and Israeli demands.”

If Qassem is worried about the Obama administration’s recognizing the Golan Heights as being part of Israel, he can relax, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indirectly brought up the issue in his meeting this week with President Barack Obama, but the President ignored the hint.

Lebanon, which is dominated by Hezbollah, and Iran are fighting side by side to try to keep Bashar al-Assad in power. The intervention of Russia to support Assad has been parallel with secret Israeli-Russian cooperation on aerial and ground combat operations.

Israel reportedly attacked Syria yesterday in what appears to be another interception of advanced weapons from Syria to Hezbollah.

Explosion on Israel’s Golan Heights Border

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Security personnel were summoned to Israel’s northern border Thursday morning to verify reports of an explosion in the Golan Heights.

The cause of the explosion was not clear, according to the report broadcast on Israel Radio.

IDF officials said it was possible the explosion was caused by errant gunfire due to spillover from the civil war raging across the border in Syria.

However, as Israel’s Foreign Ministry noted in a tweet on Thursday, “#Hezbollah continues to build an army equipped with tens of thousands of missiles – more than the stockpiles of many NATO members.”

The terror group, which has deployed thousands of fighters in Syria to protect and defend the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has been the recipient of both Syrian and Iranian largesse in return for its loyalty.

Hezbollah also periodically announces its “readiness” to engage Israel in battle.

This past weekend, Syrian media reported that Israeli Air Force warplanes allegedly attacked military bases in the eastern Lebanon mountains near the border with Syria. According to local sources, the target was a military unit in the village of Ras al-Ayn, and a base on the outskirts of the village of Al-Qutayfah.

An historic citadel in the ancient archaeological ruins of Palmyra was badly damaged in multiple air strikes Monday by Russian war planes aimed at a nearby ISIS terror base.

Iran’s official FARS news agency claimed that additional Russian attacks aimed at rebel positions near the Golan Heights were actually aimed at Israel.

Israel Will Revoke Citizenship of Arab ‘Paraglider’ – If He Returns

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

The Israeli citizenship of the Arab who glided from the air into Syria Saturday night will be revoked, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the beginning of Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

The Arab, as reported here, set off a crisis after the IDF discovered that someone had paraglided from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights into Syria.

The IDF began a search for the man, but once it was clear that the paraglider had crossed into Syria to join the enemy, either the Islamic State (ISIS) or the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front, the search was called off.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Cabinet:

We are constantly fighting Daish, Jabhat – Al Nusra and other terrorist organizations.

Yesterday an Israeli civilian crossed our border in the Golan Heights into Syria to join the ranks of the enemy. We will act to nullify his citizenship. That is what is done in any such case.

Whoever joins the ranks of the enemy to fight against Israel, will not be an Israeli citizen.

Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria and Hamas officially are enemies or illegal in Israel. Does that mean that the citizenship of any Israeli who joins Hamas, or Islamic Jihad, will be revoked?

Don’t bet on it.

And how about Mahmoud Abbas’ “resistance” terrorists working for his Fatah party?

No chance. Israel has not declared Fatah an illegal terrorist organization.

It is headed by Israel’s “peace partner.”

Worse for Wear in Syria, Hezbollah’s Nasrallah Sets Sights on ‘Liberating Al-Aqsa’

Monday, October 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) Weary from several frustrating years of an endless war against the Sunni rebels in Syria, and recovering from the recent loss of some of his top military leaders, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah obviously found comfort on Sunday in the carnage that had erupted in Israel this month.

Speaking from the safety of his south Beirut bunker Sunday, following the death of the death of leading Hezbollah commander in Syria Hassan Hussein al-Hajj, Nasrallah said, “Our people feel safe because of [al-Hajj] and the Resistance together with the Lebanese army. I would like to assure everyone that the Resistance has had great leaders for many years.”

Al-Hajj was killed on October 10, fighting in northwest Syria where Hezbollah fighters have been supporting the beleaguered regime of Bashar Assad. Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Hezbollah has lost well over a thousand fighters in Syria, and thousands of wounded fighters have returned to their families in Lebanon, unavailable for service for the time being. The international Arabic newspaper headquartered in London reported the growing casualties and the expansion of Hezbollah’s involvement in the fighting have led to a crisis in the organization, whose ranks have been dropping.

On Sunday, Lebanese Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi declared that Hezbollah had been dealt a “major blow” in the latest political confrontation over promotions and appointments in the Lebanese army, which had been paralyzing the Lebanese cabinet for months. It appears that Nasrallah’s once feared group is losing its clout everywhere.

Aware of these thorny problems, Nasrallah on Sunday shifted his focus from the grim news in Syria and at home, to the “exciting” news from south of the border. He pointed out that two enemies of his Shiite group, the Zionists and the radical Sunni rebels in Syria, want to destroy “our peoples and our societies.”

“We will continue to battle the Zionist project in the region and we will continue to fight alongside the Palestinians,” Nasrallah vowed. “There will be no future for the Zionist entity in the presence of the axis of the Resistance.

Apparently rejoicing in the “martyrdom” of a growing number of Arabs in Israel and the PA, Nasrallah hailed what he sees as “an opportunity through a new generation in Palestine to liberate Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

“Whoever has talked of a Palestinian weariness, and said that the Palestinians are tired, now got a new generation, armed with a knife,” he continued. “Hezbollah will continue to stand by the Palestinian people and support the Intifada as best we can.”

Emphasis on “as best we can.”

Killing of Senior Commander Starts Disputes Inside Hezbollah over Participation in Syrian War

Friday, October 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) Following the killing of senior Hezbollah leader Hussein al Hajj, who was among the founders of the military wing of the organization in Lebanon, and who in 1996 won an MP’s seat on the Hezbollah electoral list in the general election, internal sources in the organization are reporting high tension and recriminations due to recent losses in combat zones in Syria. Dissent in Hezbollah is growing as a result of the many losses of high ranking leaders, who have been dropping lately “like dominoes.”

Sources in the organization have told a Saudi newspaper that the most recent death of a senior Hezbollah commander culminated in a loud argument among members of the leadership, who held an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon, in which they discussed whether the organization should continue to fight alongside the Assad regime in Syria.

The same sources also say that in the meeting some of the leading Hezbollah members claimed that the war in Syria has only tarnished the image of Hezbollah, which until now used to be loved all over the world. Another reason cited in that emergency meeting for the need to retreat from Syria was the ever increasing number of Hezbollah casualties.

According to the Saudi paper’s sources, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah Secretary General and spiritual leader, was very surprised by the position of his top officers, stressing that the decision to support the Syria forces had been made after consultation with all of the organization’s leaders and after receiving their agreement on the move, reminding them that it was not his personal decision.

One of the leader’s opponents at the meeting rejected Nasrallah’s claim, causing great chaos in the meeting and the departure of several leaders. One Hezbollah leader argued at the meeting that due to the ever increasing number of fatalities in Syria, and the elimination of several organization leaders and senior field commanders, there was a serious concern that the number of deserters will increase significantly.

Meanwhile, Abu Mohamed al-Golani, leader of Syria’s Al-Qaida affiliate Al-Nusra, has issued bounties worth millions of dollars for the killing of Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad, Naharnet reported Thursday. Al-Golani issued a voice recording released late Monday, saying he would pay “three million euros ($3.4 million) to anyone who can kill Bashar Assad and end his story.”

“How long must Muslims delay their rights and shed their blood for a man who loves his power?” al-Golani asked.

Russia and Israel Quietly Collaborating on Attacks in Syria

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Defense officials from both countries met Wednesday in Tel Aviv to prevent “incidents” but are keeping quiet about the meeting.

While the Obama administration flounders in public distrust of Moscow, the Russian Armed Forces have met with Israel officials for the first round of talks towards establishing “a joint mechanism for preventing misunderstandings” around fighting in Syria.

Wednesday’s meeting involved the Russian Alarmed Forces deputy chief and IDF Major-General Yair Golan, but further talks will involve lower echelon officials in order to take the spotlight off the meetings, Defense News reported.

Unlike Russian talks with Turkey, which officials in Moscow reported this week were continuing in order “to elaborate the mechanism for prevention of incidents on the Syrian-Turkish border,” no statement was made after the task with the Israelis

An IDF officer spoke with Defense News about future sessions and said:

It could be done by lower-echelon officers. We don’t want to make too much of it. We want to prevent conflict, but we don’t yet know how to do it.

In the end, we’ll agree on a mechanism and how it will be done. But it requires defining areas where one operates and making sure the other side won’t interfere or harm you, and vice versa.

We have two problems in Syria, both of which have nothing to do with Russia: One is the terror that is directed against us at our border, and for that we’re operating all the time. The other is the smuggling of high-value arms to Hezbollah, and needless to say we’re following this very closely.

Russia and Israel may not be the best of friends publicly, but they have developed a healthy respect for each other, without all of the emotions and hype by the Obama’s “unbreakable bond” with Israel. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Vladimir Putin are much closer in their understanding of the Middle East than either of them is with President Barack Obama.

Russia is in Syria to save the Assad regime and is not interested in attacking Israel. Its presence might actually make Israel safer in light of the rocket fire and mortar shells that have exploded on the Israel side of the Golan Heights border.

Many of the explosions were “stray fire, but some have been intentional, and Russia is in a good position to keep the firing inside Syria.

The most problematic situation is one whereby Syrian or Iranian forces try to ship weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel has pre-empted several smuggling attempts by bombing weapons convoys in Syria, a maneuver that would be extremely dangerous with Russia patrolling Syrian air space.

An Israeli official told Defense News:

It’s essential to avoid confliction, but until that happens, our Air Force will know how to take care of itself in problematic situations.

Everyone is shouting ‘Russians, Russians, Russians,’ but what about the Americans and dozens of others who have already been there for a year? At any given moment, there are hundreds of coalition planes in the air … The sky is vast.

Dima Adamsky, an associate professor at Israel’s Inter-Disciplinary Center’s Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, wrote in a recent Foreign Affairs article published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations:

Israel has routinely been conducting strikes exactly where the Russians are now expanding their foothold… Israel has signaled its neutrality toward the conflict, but it is unclear how the Israel Air Force will tolerate potential jamming, cyber strikes and limits of its space for maneuvering or if Moscow decides to establish an electromagnetic cordon sanitaire and anti access-area denial sphere around the pro-Assad coalition’s operational theater.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-and-israel-quietly-collaborating-on-attacks-in-syria/2015/10/09/

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