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July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Dozens Killed in Strategic Syrian Qalamoun Battles

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Arab sources report that dozens of combatants from both Hezbollah and Free Syrian Army/Jabhat al-Nusra (the Syrian Rebels) have been killed in ongoing fierce fighting in the Qalamoun region. The battle has been dubbed “The Spring Battle” by Arab media.

The area, along the Syrian-Lebanon border is strategically critical. It controls the Lebanon-Damascus supply pipelines and is how Hezbollah supports Bashar Assad’s army and regime in Damascus.

If Assad/Hezbollah loses control of the area, Damascus is more likely to fall to the Syrian Rebels. It will also cut off Assad’s Alawite region in northwest Syria from from Damascus too.

Hezbollah believes that if Assad falls, so will they.

Assad is unable to send significant, if any, forces to assist in this battle, and his army is stretched thin in other areas, in particular around Damascus, which is a primary target for the Syrian Rebels.

At the moment, it is believed that the Syrian Rebel forces are winning in the Qalamoun region.

A source close to Hezbollah told Reuters that Nasrallah has deployed 85% of his combat forces to fight in Syria, leaving only 5% of his forces on the border with Israel.

A Lebanese paper claims that 1500 Hezbollah terrorists have been killed since they joined in the fighting in Syrian’s civil war.

The number of senior Hezbollah commanders killed in Qalmoun fighting has risen to six.

5 Senior Hezbollah Field Commanders Killed in Qalamoun Battle

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

The Battle of Qalamoun began yesterday, leaving dozens killed on both sides, in fighting between Hezbollah vs. Jabhat al-Nusra forces and the Syrian Free Army, according to Arab sources.

Hezbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah, talked about this upcoming, strategically important battle at the beginning of the year.

Qalamoun is located along the Syrian-Lebanon border.

During the battle between Hezbollah terrorists and Syrian Jabhat al-Nusra forces on Tuesday, 5 senior Hezbollah field commanders were killed.

5 senior Hezbollah field commanders killed in the Qalamoun battle. IsraelDefense/Rotter.net

5 senior Hezbollah field commanders killed in the Qalamoun battle.
IsraelDefense/Rotter.net

The Qalamoun Battle

The Qalamoun Battle

Al-Nusra has been avoiding fighting in Qalamoun until now, in part, because snow on the ground made it battle conditions difficult, though Al-Nusra’s major concern is that the Qalamoun battles against Hezbollah will draw away resources from their ongoing and nearby battles against Islamic State, which they consider a higher priority at the moment.

Last week, Hassan Nasrallah said that the survival of Bashar Assad’s regime is critical for Hezbollah’s own continued existence.

But Nasrallah also said that Assad will never regain full control over Syria.

Jabhat al-Nusra is part of Al-Quida, while Hezbollah are Iranian proxies who support the Assad regime.

UN Peacekeepers Wounded by Syrian Shelling — Will UN Probe This One?

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Two members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were hit by mortar fire Monday in the Golan Heights in Israel in what was allegedly a “spillover” attack on their base from Syria.

One of the two was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition. The second, a female soldier, was treated at the scene. She is in good condition, the Hebrew-language Ynet site reported. Both were stationed in their base on the Israeli side of the border with Syria at the time of the attack. There has been no confirmation of the above information from the IDF Spokesperson, who issued a terse statement saying only that two UNDOF soldiers were slightly wounded in a “spillover” attack on their base from the Syrian civil war across the border in the Golan Heights.

(Ed. Note: The UNDOF force is comprised of some 800 soldiers from the Republic of Ireland, Fiji, India, Nepal and the Netherlands. It has been monitoring the cease-fire line that separates Syria and Israel on the Golan Heights since 1974. Israel won the territory after a defensive battle with Syria in 1967, and was forced to defend in again in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It was subsequently annexed by Israel.)

According to military sources, the mortar fire was launched from Syria. But it is not clear who fired the two shells.

They could have been launched by a number of terror organizations or the Free Syrian Army which whom the revolt began. It is also possible they were fired by the government troops fighting to keep President Bashar al-Assad in power.

Likewise, it is possible the mortar fire came from Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps troops, who have been fighting alongside Assad’s troops for years, together with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror guerrillas from Lebanon.

The undisputed fact is that this is not the first time mortars have been fired across the border on the Golan Heights. This time IDF designated the area a “closed military zone” following the attack – even though the IDF again determined it to be another “spillover” from the four-year-long Syrian civil war.

UNDOF transferred its Golan Heights base last year across the border from Syria to Israel due safety concerns. Irish soldiers serving in the force say “It’s a unique mission; danger lurks around every bend,” according to a report posted Monday in the Irish Times.

In that, UNDOF soldiers are facing circumstances similar to those of their colleagues in UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) and the former European Union monitors at the Rafa border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

That is, when things get a little too hot, they acknowledge the danger and back down – fast.

In this case, they were allowed to move their base to the Israeli side of the border, but today’s attack on the base — “errant mortar fire” — proves such a move is no sinecure.

This past January – just a couple of weeks after the Paris terrorist massacres, in fact – a UNIFIL unit got caught in the crossfire when Hezbollah terrorists attacked an Israeli civilian convoy with a military escort traveling along a road a few kilometers from the northern border.

Hezbollah fired six missiles at the convoy from a position three kilometers deep into southern Lebanese territory in the cross-border attack. The convoy was traveling on a road also deep into Israeli territory.

Two IDF soldiers and a civilian died; several others were wounded. A home in an Israeli Druze village took a direct hit and went up in flames; it was completely destroyed and most of the residents were badly traumatized.

Reports: IAF Strikes Syrian/Hezbollah Targets Overnight

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Please see this article for an update on who bombed the sites.

Arab sources are reporting that the Israeli Air Force struck Assad’s and Hezbollah positions in Qalamoun, Syria around 2 AM Monday morning.

The Arab sources claim that Israel hit a Scud missile storage site and injured a number of soldiers from the 155 Syrian division in three sorties. Al-Arabiya claims that 30 Syrian soldiers were killed. There is no official response from Syria or Hezbollah.

The attack came hours after Israel killed four Syrians who were planting a bomb on the Golan Heights along the Israeli side of the Israel-Syrian border.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims the four planting the bomb on Sunday evening were Syrian soldiers.

Israel has launched a number of airstrikes in Syria lately, as Syria, though primarily Hezbollah and Iran, attempt to use the chaos and civil war in Syria to establish a new front against Israel on top of the Golan Heights. This would be the third Israeli IAF attack in two days.

In part, Israel is sending a message to Russia and Iran that they will destroy any missile systems, and in particular, the S300 missile system, that are transferred into Syria or Lebanon.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Sunday night that Iran is trying to transfer sophisticated weapon systems to Hezbollah, and Israel will not let that happen, anywhere or anytime. He said Hezbollah is trying to establish a terror infrastructure along Israel’s border with Syria.

On Israel’s Independence Day, one of the Free Syrian Army groups sent a letter to Israel wishing Israel a happy Independence Day. The letter stated they look forward to peace with Israel and the opening of the Israeli Embassy in Damascus.

Russia Backs Down and Says Iran Won’t Get S300 System in ‘Near Future’

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Russia has backed down on delivering the advanced S-300 advanced anti-missile system to Iran in the “near future,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Russian media on Thursday

Moscow announced two weeks ago that it was lifting the bean of selling Iran the S-300, causing “concern” in Washington and fierce anger in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Russian president Vladimir Putin last week that Israel would bomb the S-300 systems if Iran were to ship them to Syria or the Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Tass News agency quoted Ryabkov on Thursday as saying:

I do not think that it is a matter of near future. It is far more important that a political and legal decision has been taken to open up such an opportunity

Before the ban, Iran had paid nearly $170 million in advance for five of the anti-missile systems that would make it more difficult for Israel or any other country to attack Iran.

Russia’s retreat will somewhat calm down a storm in Congress, where support is growing to cripple the emerging deal with Iran after President Barack Obama and the other P5+1 countries agreed to a temporary framework arrangement.

Israel Quietly Acknowledges Accidental Death of Spanish UNIFIL Soldier

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

An Israeli investigator has confirmed that it was Israeli fire that accidentally killed a Spanish peacekeeper with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in January during a shootout with Hezbollah.

Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledano died after being hit in a barrage aimed at Hezbollah by Israel. The force missed and struck the UNIFIL soldier instead.

The gunfire followed an unprovoked cross-border attack with anti-tank missiles fired by Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon at Israeli military personnel and civilians about seven kilometers from the border, inside Israel. Two Israeli soldiers were killed instantly and several other people were seriously wounded. A civilian home in a nearby Druze village was destroyed in the multi-pronged attack as well.

Nevertheless, Spain’s UN ambassador blamed Israel, and the United Nations Security Council was persuaded to condemn the killing of the UNIFIL soldier, implying his death was caused by Israel alone even though that was obviously not the case.

It was the most serious exchange of gunfire between Israel and Hezbollah since the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a point of warning Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah on public media to “look at Gaza” before he considered his next step and decided whether to proceed with more violence or to cease the attacks.

According to a UN diplomat, Israel has submitted an apology privately to Spain, but there has been no public admission of responsibility. Jerusalem has made it clear the death was accidental, resulting from the deliberate attack on Israel by Hezbollah.

Lebanon to Ban Colored Chicks

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

It’s very common to buy colored chicks as part of the Easter holiday celebration in Lebanon.

To make the colored birds, vendors throw baby chicks in dye and color them. They’re then sold by street vendors.

Lebanese animal rights activists have been complaining for years about the practice, as the dyes are often poisonous, the conditions the birds are kept in are horrendous, and more often than not the chicks are mistreated, killed or abandoned by their owners once the dye wears off or the chicken begins to grow up.

Beirut’s governor has forbidden the sale of the colored chicks, and the Lebanese government is working to make it illegal in Lebanon, according to a report in the Lebanon Daily Star.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lebanon-to-ban-colored-chicks/2015/04/04/

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