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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

3 Accused ‘Israeli Spies’ Caught in Lebanon

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Three people arrested in Lebanon on Sunday have been accused of spying for Israel.

A Syrian national, his Lebanese wife and a second man, also a Lebanese citizen, allegedly confessed to recording “sensitive” locations in southern Lebanon and sending the footage to their “employers to be used in later attacks,” according to the charges. They also allegedly admitted to gathering information on military and government targets for Israeli intelligence, AFP reported.

“In the framework of pursuing operations to combat terrorism and espionage… the directorate of General Security arrested a spy network working for the Israeli enemy in the south [of Lebanon],” said the Lebanese security service in a statement released to media on Sunday.

It is not clear exactly where the alleged “spies” were arrested or what their ethnic and/or religious affiliations are.

There is a massive internecine conflict taking place in Lebanon — and elsewhere in the Middle East — centered largely but not entirely on the civil war that is raging in Syria. It involves the deep rift between the Sunni and Shi’ite streams of Islam as well as the political divide that has been created by the horrific human rights abuses originally carried out by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Those in the Syrian opposition forces have also become equally abusive in their battle to overcome their enemies; and the opposition itself has since divided many times over, fragmenting into radical Islamist forces and those which are less extremist but which are still perfectly willing to exert unbelievable cruelty in order to win their greater battle.

In Lebanon itself, there is also a separate battle taking place between those who are for and against the Syrian regime, and those who support and oppose Da’esh (ISIS), which also has begun to encroach upon what until now has been primarily territory ruled by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Among those fighting for the Syrian regime are fighters from Russia and Iran, as well as the Hezbollah guerrilla forces which today also comprise a large part of Lebanon’s military strength. Lebanon and Syria never made peace with Israel, and Hezbollah has broken its own “ceasefire” agreement with the Israeli armed forces countless times since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

Over the past six years, more than 100 people have been accused of spying for the Jewish State in Lebanon. There has been no response from the Israeli government, which does not comment on such matters.

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.”

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.

4 Russian Cruise Missiles Accidentally Hit Iran (No Kidding)

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

At least four Russian cruise missiles are reported to have accidentally hit the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to two U.S. officials quoted on Thursday by CNN.

The missiles allegedly crashed Wednesday (Oct. 7) as they flew over Iran after being launched from Russian ships in the south Caspian Sea. They were headed for targets in Syria, via the Kurdistani skies of Iran and Iraq, where the missiles were seen flying low in the air.

(video footage courtesy of the UK’s Daily Mail)

Russian officials said they coordinated the attack with Syria, Iran, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrilla fighters using air, land and sea forces. The launch involved 26 cruise missiles fired from naval vessels about 900 miles away from their intended targets.

Most of the attack was allegedly focused on Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists, but it was clear that Russia was intent on pushing back Syrian opposition forces who had recently gained ground near the coast as well.

There have also been reports of Russian jets intimidating coalition forces as they fight to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S.-led coalition is fighting Assad’s forces and is backing the self-described “moderate” rebel faction.

Huge Oil Discovery on the Golan Heights

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Syrian rebels, the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Assad regime, and today that means Russia, now have another reason to capture the Golan Heights – oil.

Drilling that began more than a year ago has exposed a huge find of billions of barrels of oil, but it is too early to know if the black gold can be extracted at a price that would make the oil commercially viable.

Afek Oil and Gas chief geologist Dr. Yuval Bartov was quoted by Globes as saying:

We are talking about a strata which is 350 meters thick, and what is important is the thickness and the porosity. On average in the world strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is ten times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities. The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that’s what we now know.

The drilling is in the southern Golan Heights, far away from the northern border but several miles from the eastern border. Syria has claimed the entire Golan since it lost the strategic and water-rich area in the Six-Day War in 1967.

If oil can be extracted, it will be a huge bonanza for Israel and an enormous reason for whoever rules in Syria, or for Hezbollah that is fighting with Assad’s forces and is based in Lebanon, to launch a war on Israel. Israel uses approximately 270,000 barrels a day. Billions of barrels of oil would satisfy the country’s need for a long time.

If the oil can be produced at today’s prices, which are the lowest in years, it would generate a huge employment boom. It also would infuriate environmentalists, who have fought oil drilling the Golan Heights and virtually anywhere else in Israel because of damage to the pristine landscape.

Drilling in the Golan Heights was delayed by environmentalists and was resumed last February when the court dismissed their appeal to stop the work.

The read area marks the eastern border with Syria, The black area is the approximate location of the oil drills.

The read area marks the eastern border with Syria, The black area is the approximate location of the oil drills.

Breaking News: Russia Gives Green Light for Air Strikes in Syria

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015


The Russian Federation Council has approved a resolution that allows military force outside of the country, clearing the path for Russian air strikes in Syria.

The vote followed a request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for military help to help him survive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that Russian involvement in Syria is intended to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), and the Kremlin chief of staff insists that air strikes will be limited to hitting ISIS.

However, it can easily be claimed that ISIS is operating in areas controlled by other rebel groups fighting Assad and that military strikes will be widespread.

The presence of Russian warplanes in Syria gives Moscow a base to take over Syrian skies, where Israel occasionally has attacked Russian and Iranian weapons en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Hezbollah and Iran also have sent thousands of soldiers to Iran, allowing for a Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah alliance across from Israel’s border with Syria.

Fox News reported Wednesday that Russia has demanded that the United States remove all of its warplanes from Syrian airspace. A senior defense official told Fox:

We have had every indication in recent weeks that (the Russians) were going to do something given the build-up.

There is nothing to indicate that we are changing operations over Syria.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/breaking-news-russia-gives-green-light-for-air-strikes-in-syria/2015/09/30/

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