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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Lebanese Army Soldiers Defect to Syrian Rebels

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

While Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorists are busy in Syria, fighting for Iran and Assad, Lebanese Army soldiers are going the other way, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.

Lebanon is concerned with what may be turning into a trend after three Lebanese Army soldiers defected this week and joined ISIS and the Syrian rebels, ostensibly to fight Assad and Hezbollah.

ISIS released a video about the defections which received a lot of publicity.

All three soldiers are Sunnis, and Sunnis make up 50% of the Lebanese army.

There is a lot of sectarian friction in Lebanon. Hezbollah, which is part of the Lebanese government, has been preventing the appointment of a new Maronite president for the country.

Breaking down allegiances, 40% of Lebanon is Christian, 54% are Muslims, evenly split between Shiite and Sunnis. The rest are mostly Druze.

To help make the picture a little more clear:

Hezbollah are Shiites.

ISIS is Sunni.

Saudi Arabians are mostly Sunni.

Hamas are Sunnis.

Iran is mostly Shiite.

Assad’s Syria is Allawite. The rest of Syria is mostly Sunni.

In the new Middle East, it seems the traditional religious lines are invisible when it comes to who is fighting whom.

Israel’s Northern Border is Heating Up – IDF Officers

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Israel northern border is heating up, and the trend is expected to continue, senior IDF officer from the Northern Command warned, according to a Nana10 report.

The officers said there is an increase in the number of incidents along the border, including Hezbollah surveillance as well as openly armed terrorists walking around freely, in direct contravention of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701.

Yesterday’s attack that wounded two IDF soldiers was the first time that Hezbollah openly took credit for an attack in a long time.

Hezbollah, an Iranian client, is trying to send a message of deterrence to Israel, that Hezbollah can freely act along Lebanon’s borders against Israel, even as it is busy fighting ISIS in Syria.

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General, Sheikh Naim Qassem said “Israel knows that the opposition [Hezbollah] is alert and will respond to any action at the appropriate time.”

Hezbollah knows that Israel doesn’t want to have a war so soon after Operation Protective Edge, and is taking advantage of that.

Hezbollah may have up to 100,000 missiles in Lebanon, and has been spending the past few years amassing as many as it can.

The open violations, the attacks and the attitude are indications that any deterrence Israel created in the last war with Hezbollah is quickly wearing off, and UN Security Council Resolution 1701, that Tzipi Livni touted as her great success at the time, has effectively collapsed.

Defense Minister Yaalon said that he is reexamining the civilian security budgets for northern towns. Their budgets were just cut a few days ago, and that may have been premature.

Despite the warning signs, Israel’s defense department is telling Israelis it’s still safe to travel up north during the Sukkot vacation. Tens of thousands of Israelis will be heading north for the holiday vacation.

Hezbollah Takes Credit, IDF Hits Two Hezbollah Positions

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Apparently Hezbollah isn’t busy enough fighting for Iran in Syria, trying to keep Assad’s regime for falling; they also decided to take credit for the attack along the Lebanon border that injured two IDF soldiers this afternoon.

Following the attack, the IDF fired back into Lebanon, hitting two Hezbollah positions.

Defense Minister Yaalon said that while Hezbollah are the ones that planted and set off the bombs, ultimately it is the Lebanese government which is responsible for what happens within their borders, despite Hezbollah’s state within a state.

IDF Sends Infiltrators Racing Back Across Israel’s Northern Border into Lebanon

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Unidentified infiltrators crossed into northern Israel from Lebanon early Sunday, according to a report from the IDF.

Soldiers spotted the suspects and sent them racing back across the border, an IDF spokesperson said.

The incident occurred Sunday morning “during a routine activity along the Israel-Lebanon border,” the IDF spokesperson said.

“The force responded by opening fire towards the suspects, who escaped north, returning to Lebanon. The incident is currently being reviewed,” the IDF spokesperson added.

Meanwhile two Turkish residents were wounded today (Sunday, Oct. 5) when a Syrian mortar shell scored a direct hit on a home in the Turkish border town of Suruc, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

A second Syrian shell struck a house in the nearby town of Buyukkendirli. No one was wounded in that attack.

Iran, US Equip & Finance Lebanese Army to Fight ISIS

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Wartime makes the strangest bedfellows. Iran and the United States are both equipping the Lebanese army so its soldiers can protect the nation from encroaching cross-border attacks by terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Iran announced Tuesday that it has decided to boost Beirut’s coffers with an extra gift of cash for the Lebanese Army, which will also strengthen Tehran’s ties with the country as well.

Ali Shamkhani, director of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, made the announcement during a visit to meet with Lebanese officials in Beirut.

“The Islamic Republic has decided to give a military grant to the Lebanese Army,” Shamkhani told reporters at a news conference, Associated Press reported. This is the first time Iran has announced an offer of military assistance to Lebanon, although it has generously supported the country’s Hezbollah terrorist organization for many years.

Tehran will supply the country with military equipment to be used in fighting radical Islamist factions, according to Shamkhani. “The state of Lebanon welcomed this grant,” he told reporters, but did not reveal which equipment Iran was planning to supply.

At least 20 Lebanese soldiers and a police officer were kidnapped by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization in a cross-border raid from Syria in early August. ISIS has since beheaded two of the soldiers, and another was murdered separately, also while in captivity. Of the group, eighteen are still being held hostage in Syria.

Lebanon’s military and other security forces are also supported by funding from the United States and Saudi Arabia, and have been for some time.

Recently the United States also sent several shipments of arms to the country’s army in order to help Israel’s northern neighbor protect itself from ISIS, which has just formed a new alliance with the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization.

Jabhat al-Nusra currently controls the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing — the sole border crossing between Israel and Syria. ISIS controls the Iraqi side of two border crossings between Iraq and Syria, and that belonging to the sole crossing between Iraq and Jordan.

Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra Joins ISIS In Syria

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terror group in Syria is reconciling with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The two groups have been at odds for most of the past year. However, last week’s U.S.-led air strikes in northern and eastern Syria have prompted Jabhat al-Nusra to renew its ties with ISIS, declaring the strikes a “war on Islam” in an audio statement released this past weekend.

Scores of al-Nusra members were killed in the first wave of U.S.-led air strikes, leading the group to vow retaliation for the attacks. The two terror groups are now holding war councils together, according to a senior source quoted by Britain’s London-based newspaper, The Guardian.

A spokesperson for the group told the paper that 73 members had defected to ISIS on Friday alone. More are planning to do the same this week. “We are in a long war,” al-Nusra spokesperson Abu Firas al-Suri said in a statement posted on social networking sites. “This war will not end in months or years; this war could last for decades.”

U.S. President Barack Obama admitted the intelligence community had underestimated the situation in both Iraq and Syria.

In an interview on “60 Minutes” broadcast on the CBS network, Obama said, “Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves. And so this became ground zero for jihadists around the world.”

That ‘ground zero’ is barely a fired mortar shell away from Israel’s northern border with Syria. “Spillover” from the Syrian civil war raging between government troops and rebel forces has resulted in shell fire landing not only in Israeli territory but also in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey.

Of more concern is the fact that Jabhat al-Nusra controls the Quneitra border crossing — the sole crossing between Israel and Syria — and that ISIS now controls the border crosssings between Iraq and Syria, and the Iraqi side of the crossing with Jordan.

Israeli military officials are monitoring the situation closely.

Report: US Sending Indirect Military Aid to Hezbollah

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The United States has reportedly sent indirect military aid to the Hezbollah terrorist organization, according to information released in a New York Times interview with Hezbollah public relations liaison Mohammed Afif.

The aid, which came in the form of new weapons, was channeled via the Lebanese Army, which closely coordinates with the Hezbollah terrorist group, according to Afif. In addition, U.S. intelligence is being channeled to Hezbollah as well, according to Lebanese sources. This would explain how the terrorist organization was able to pinpoint its first UAV bombing so precisely against the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group, which is not associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group and which in fact currently is fighting against the organization. Al Qaeda has denounced ISIS as “too brutal.”

The assistance to Hezbollah, which appears on America’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, comes in stark contrast to the block placed by the Obama White House on a needed transfer to Israel of Hellfire missiles during this summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Shield in Gaza. The transfer of any weapons and other military hardware to Israel, even routine munitions requests, was temporarily blocked by the State Department and the White House, which required a double signature on any delivery. The hold was released following an intense protest against the action by Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. However, any form of American military aid – once a ‘given’ by Israel’s “closest friend and ally” – continues to be scrutinized by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry; an unprecedented situation in relations between the two countries.

“We need to open up a new page with world media, with the Arabs and internationally,” Afif told NYT. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has referred to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a “monster.” He equated the battle with ISIS as “a battle of life and death no less important than fighting the Israeli enemy, as [its] actions and objectives only serve Israel.”

Afif, meanwhile, has blamed the United States for creating ISIS in the first place by supporting opposition forces in their fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Hezbollah supports with guerrilla fighters. “This beast you which you raised up, as in past cases, you find it’s dangerous for you,” he commented in the report.

While U.S. President Barack Obama has talked about starting air strikes against ISIS in Syria as well as in Iraq – where American attacks have been taking place for several weeks – he has yet to carry out the threat. Both Russia and Iran, which generously supports both Syria and Hezbollah, have warned the U.S. not to venture into Syrian air space without permission from Assad. Since the U.S. has been arming rebels to oppose him, such authorization is unlikely.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-us-sending-indirect-military-aid-to-hezbollah/2014/09/22/

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