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August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘rebels’

Fierce Clashes between Rebels and Hizbullah at Lebanese Border

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Fierce clashes have broken out between Hizbullah’s terrorist army and Syrian rebels, increasing the threat that the civil war will spread as far south as Israel’s border with Lebanon, where the fragile government fell last week.

Syrian opposition sources told the London-based Arabic language Al Asharq Awsat that Hizbullah suffered heavy casualties and that dozens of wounded fighters were taken to a Beirut hospital.

Hizbullah reportedly has ringed the hospital and is asking for blood donations.

Meanwhile, the rebels attacked again in Damascus, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens more in a business district that houses government bank and finance ministry offices.

UN ‘Peacekeepers’ Afraid to Go Out After Dark

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

As Syria’s blood-soaked Assad regime approaches its demise, Israel’s northern border is getting greater focus in light of the growing scope of activity on the Syrian side by jihadist rebel forces.

A Ynet article today ["Fearing terror attacks, IDF boosts forces on Syrian border"] says the IDF is mainly concerned at this stage with the danger of shooting attacks from the Syrian side on the contract workers putting up a sophisticated border fence that includes sensitive new alarm systems incorporating a fiber that sounds an alarm at the slightest touch. But it’s clear that the far greater concern is with how dangerous the border is likely to become when a new Syrian jihadist regime is in place, which seems inevitable.

The Ynet report says Syrian rebels released a video clip yesterday (Saturday) showing their men firing weapons close to the Israeli-Syrian border and within sight of a U.N. sign indicating the area’s demilitarized status. Another scene captures verbal threats from one of the rebels:

“We are now in front of the occupied Golan, the blessed land sold by Hafez Assad… For 40 years, not a single gunshot has been fired on this land. For 40 years, not a single gunshot has been fired towards Israel…” [Ynet]

The U.N. has had a contingent of ‘peacekeepers’ in the area since 1971. But the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) that was established by Security Council resolution has seen prouder days. Twenty-one soldiers from the Filipino contingent of UNDOF peacekeepers were kidnapped by Syrian rebels earlier this week and were handed over to Jordan’s Foreign Minister yesterday.

Ensuring that such embarrassments are less likely to happen in the future, U.N. management in New York has changed the ground rules, as Times of Israel reports:

U.N. peacekeepers on Syrian border halt night patrols: International teams fear more kidnappings, violence; Israel beefs up border security | Times of Israel | March 9, 2013 | Peacekeepers from the UN’s UNDOF mission have ceased patrolling the Israel-Syria Golan Heights border area at night, for fear of being kidnapped or hurt in the violence in the area, Israeli TV reported on Friday night… The news came as the UN continued efforts to extricate 21 members of UNDOF from the Philippines who have been held captive since being kidnapped Wednesday by rebels from a group calling itself the Martyrs of the Yarmouk Brigades. Their convoy was stopped on the outskirts of Jamlah, a Golan village less than a mile from the Israeli border. Eight more UN peacekeepers fled to Israel Friday, abandoning their posts to escape the fighting between the rebel groups and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad… The IDF has urged the remaining three UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) member-nations — Austria, India and the Philippines — not to abandon the 40-year mission, after Japan and Canada withdrew their forces in recent months, and Croatia announced plans to do so, a Channel 2 report said.

The outcome?

The reduced patrols in the buffer zone, which extends for some 50 miles along the border, are already enabling al-Qaeda forces among the Syrian rebels to take greater control of the Syrian side of the Israeli border, and Israel has accelerated work to bolster security at the fence, Channel 10 reported Friday night. Israel has also deployed troops from the standing army to replace the reservists who usually guard the border, the report added. [Times of Israel]

In case anyone fears an outbreak of do-nothing-ness on the part of the UNDOF men, their website assures us differently:

March 5, 2013 – UNDOF assisted again after more than one year in Apple Crossing in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross. An eight-year-tradition continued when a range of ICRC trucks transferred apples again from A-Gate to B-Side… Within the next three months 18.000 tons of apples like Golden Delicious and Starking Delicious will be transferred. With assistance of UNDOF Military Police in coordination and traffic management, all apple boxes were carefully delivered to B-Side. The ICRC and UNDOF peacekeepers were well prepared to assist in this important procedure. The first apple crossing in UNDOF’s history took place in the year 2005, when 4.000 tons were transferred. It happened then after 31 years of no trading activities between Syria and Israel… [UNDOF website]

Visit This Ongoing War.

Syrian Rebels Kidnap 20 UN Observers from Golan Border (Video)

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Syrian rebels calling themselves “Martyrs of Yarmouk” kidnapped 20 United Nations observers stationed at the Golan Heights border and are demanding that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s soldiers withdraw from the nearby village of Jamla.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights posted a video , which said it received it from rebels, showing men standing next to vehicles with the letters UN written on them. The observers were accused of collaborating with Assad against the rebels.

One of the men was in civilian clothes and said, “If no withdrawal is made within 24 hours we will treat them as prisoners,”  he said.

The Jamla village and its surrounding areas have witnessed violent clashes in the past couple of days, and rebel fighters from several factions took hold of the rebels’ mortar division and several checkpoints in Jamla, according to the Observatory.

UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said the observers, who monitor the 1974  ceasefire between Israel and Syria, were on “a regular supply mission” when the armed men stopped them.

Heavy fighting in the area damaged the post last week  and the observers were evacuated to another location.

Last week, the United Nations admitted that one of its officials was kidnapped last month but gave no details, and it is not known where he was taken.

The United Nations condemned the kidnapping and demanded the release of the observers.

 

Syrian Rebels Threatened to Take On Hizbullah in Lebanon

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

The Syrian Free Army warned Hizbullah Wednesday it will open a new front in Lebanon in the ongoing war against the Syrian-Hizbullah alliance if the terrorist organization continues to fight for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“”We are announcing and warning that if Hizbullah will not stop shelling the Syrian lands, villages and civilians from inside the Lebanese territories within 48 hours of issuance of this statement, we will respond to the sources of fire by our hands and eliminate it from inside the Lebanese lands,” the opposition forces stated.

Syrian Rocket Hits Israel on Yom Kippur

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

A Syrian rocket, launched between the Syrian army and the Syrian rebels ended up hitting the Israeli side of the Golan Heights on Wednesday afternoon. There were no injuries or damage from the strike.

On Tuesday, a number of mortars hit the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, also from fighting between the Syrian army and the rebels. No injuries were reported then either.

Residents on the Golan Heights reported hearing heavy gunfire all throughout Yom Kippur,

Syria: Is the Proposed Cure Worse than the Status Quo?

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
Originally published at Rubin Reports
The Syrian civil war has crossed a red line. Some people may think this happened a few weeks or months ago but at any rate it is clearly true now. The prospects for an Islamist (Muslim Brotherhood, Salafist, and Jihadist) takeover have risen high enough that it is better to freeze Western intervention. In other words, the West should not do more to aid the rebellion and should consider stopping its current efforts in that direction.
Here is a fact so shocking that it should be the centerpiece of any discussion over Syria. It is so important I’m going to put it in bold:
The Obama Administration is backing (Islamist) Turkey as the distributor of weapons supplied by (opportunistically pro-Islamist) Qatar.  Turkey and Qatar want to give the Muslim Brotherhood a monopoly over receiving weapons even though most of the rebels are non- and even anti-Islamist. As this happens, the Obama Administration is thus working directly to install a revolutionary Islamist regime in Syria that will disrupt the region, help shred, U.S. interests, and battle with Israel for decades to come. A number of Republican senators see no problem with this strategy. Actually, it’s even worse.  Due to historical developments, the Syrian Brotherhood is more radical than its Egyptian counterpart. To maintain illegality under President Husni Mubarak, for decades the Egyptian Brotherhood had to restrain itself. Those who wanted violent revolution and faster action left to form separate Salafist groups. The Egyptian Brotherhood today sometimes cooperates with these groups–whose party finished second in the parliamentary elections–but they are also rivals.In Syria, however, the underground Brotherhood had no incentive to hold back. Consequently, while there are certainly a lot of non-Brotherhood Salafists, there are also a large proportion of really violent, impatient, open extremists in the Syrian Brotherhood. To do a simple analogy, the Syrian Brotherhood is more like Hamas than those slick Brotherhood leaders in Cairo who care to fool the West with their honeyed words. A Brotherhood-run Syria, with Salafists egging on the regime, would be an instant nightmare.
And so Western and especially American policy is doing tremendous harm: not by helping the “rebels” but by working with Turkey and Qatar to help the most anti-Western, anti-American, antisemitic, extremist rebels, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jihadists from smaller groups all the way up to al-Qaida. If you are interested in the details read this remarkable report by Ammar Abuhamid, the best-informed and very honest Syrian analyst on what’s going on.
In brief, there is a massive battle on the opposition side to see who emerges as the greater power–the Islamists or the anti-Islamists ( defected army officers who are nationalists; moderate Sunni Muslims from the urban middle class; conservative, traditionalist Sunni Muslims who hate the Brotherhood; Kurdish nationalists; and even local, non-ideological warlords. And the West is supporting the wrong side.
By the way, the Saudis have a slightly different perspective. On one hand, they want a Sunni-dominated regime in Syria that will be anti-Iran and friendly to Saudi Arabia. They wouldn’t mind if it was heavily Islamic and since the main priority is destroying Iran’s number-one Arab ally, the Saudis will help the Muslim Brotherhood and various smaller Jihadist groups. But they prefer a regime that isn’t going to subvert them and create regional instability. In Iraq the Saudis supported Sunni groups that were affiliated with al-Qaida to beat the hated Shia. In Lebanon, the Saudis support moderate Sunni forces against pro-Iran Hizballah.
If there was U.S. leadership, a U.S.-Saudi partnership could promote a combination of Syrian moderate Sunnis and defected officers plus some sleazy–but non-Islamist–warlords.  The American president would tell the Saudis–as well as Qatar and Turkey–that it regarded arming small Jihadist groups and the Brotherhood as an unfriendly act. That is not happening.What is happening is that the Turkish regime and Qatar want a radical Islamist Syria and are getting the Obama Administration’s help in bringing it about, an outcome supplemented by Saudi aid to America’s enemies.
Yet now there are clearly different groups in the opposition, as Abuhamid explains in detail. To give one example, the powerful Syria Martyrs’ Brigade is traditionalist but not Islamist, while the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Syria tells you its goal in its name. To compile a list of groups that will and will not get arms would be an easy task for the U.S. government.

Another issue that is being mishandled is that of Syria’s Kurds. The easiest thing the West could do would be to help Syria’s Kurds who just want autonomy, not to be subject to the current directorship, radical Arab nationalists, or Islamists. This would make the Kurds of Iraq, American allies, very happy. But Obama won’t do that because it would make Islamist-ruled Turkey, an enemy of America that President Barack Obama loves more than any other country in the region, very unhappy and so probably won’t happen.

I’m very sorry to write this article for two reasons:
–The Syrians have suffered so much it is understandable that one should help end this civil war as soon as possible and get rid of the current anti-American and pro-Iran dictatorship.
–It would be easy to have a good policy toward Syria: funneling help to the non- or anti-Islamist rebel forces. Yet the United States has not made this distinction under Obama and neither the mass media nor the politicians even seem to be aware of this issue. Its help often goes to radical anti-American who want to impose another dictatorship on Syria. The Turks want a Muslim Brotherhood government; the Qataris do, too. The Saudis want to get rid of the current regime and replace it with a Sunni, anti-Iran one. With proper U.S. leadership and coordination the Saudis might play a constructive role but given Obama’s policy they will mainly just support Sunni Islamists as they did in Iraq.As if to outdo America, the French government is actually supporting for Syria’s leader a loudmouth former regime insider of no proven talent who is a radical Arab nationalist and someone who the rebels loathe.

Israeli Vice PM: Syrian Assault is Genocide

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, is calling Syrian President Bashar Assad’s war against opposition a “genocide”, and said Israeli support is behind efforts to overthrow him.

“A crime against humanity, genocide, is being conducted in Syria today, and the silence of the world powers is contrary to all human logic,” Mofaz told Israel Army Radio on Sunday.

The comments come as a continually severe crackdown on a 15-month uprising brought the death toll to approximately 16,200, with 52 civilians killed across the country on Saturday, according to the Voice of America.

Mofaz also chastised Russia for selling arms to Syria, calling their involvement anything from “irresponsibility” to “partnership in the slaughter”, and called on the western world to assist rebels in overthrowing Assad’s regime.  “We need to enlist the West. We need our voice to be heard. This slaughter is being carried out not far from Israel’s border,” Mofaz said. “We cannot get involved, for understandable reasons. But I think that the West, led by the United States, has an interest in safeguarding the threshold (so) genocide does not take place.”

Mofaz is the chairman of the Kadima party and joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on March 27, as part of a new coalition maneuver which brought Kadima into the government.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israeli-vice-pm-syrian-assault-is-genocide/2012/06/10/

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