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May 22, 2015 / 4 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Two Mortar Shells Explode at Golan Heights Fence, UN Peacekeepers Injured

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Two rockets landed at the Golan Heights security fence along the border with Syria late Monday morning, injuring two United Nations soldiers.

The initial estimate is that the incident was not intentional and was “spillover”  from clashes between warring factions in the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Foreign media reported last week that the IDF recently has beefed up forces  and moved more tanks in the Golan Heights and at Har Dov, on the Hermon mountain and overlooking Syria and Lebanon.

The military declined to comment.

The Islamic State (ISIS) reportedly has deployed forces near the border.

In an unrelated event Monday, three IDF Reservists were injured when their vehicle overturned during a training exercise on the Golan Heights.

US Soldiers Arrive in Turkey to Train ‘Moderate’ Rebels against ISIS

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Approximately 120 U.S. Army soldiers have landed in Turkey to train “moderate” Syrian rebels at a Turkish air force base, Hurriyet News reported Friday.

The Obama administration previously has announced a grandiose program to train and equip rebels fighting the Assad regime, which has been joined by the Iranian-back Hezbollah terrorist  organization.

Implementation of the program has been delayed because of disagreement over which fighters will be trained. The United States wants to vet fighters so that the weapons don’t end up in the hands of Al Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, but that could mean that the best fighters won’t be trained.

American governments and their State Dept, gurus have a long and bloody history of ignorance of the Middle East, as well as Vietnam for those who recall the groups of “advisors” that ballooned into a full force of soldiers, 58,000 of whom were killed in the war in the 1960s and 70s.

A senior opposition commander in eastern Syria told Reuters, “When the Americans see anyone shout ‘Allahu Akbar! they think they’re Islamists.”

The Syrian rebels being trained by the American soldiers will return to Syria to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) and will take along machine guns and anti-tank weapons.

President Obama has been extremely reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria, and one wonders whether he simply is going through the motion to show that he is doing something, without actually doing much at all.

One rebel commander told Reuters that Syrians are most motivated to defeat Assad, whose regime he described to Reuters as the “biggest killer.”

Syria is geographically divided, with the ISIS controlling areas in eastern Syria.

The State Dept., in response to questioning from Sen. John McCain in March, wrote him, “Even when considered as a whole, U.S. government assistance to the moderate armed opposition will not be decisive in defeating regime forces.

“Nor will the fighters who receive this assistance, on their own, force Assad to change his calculus about trying to hold on to power.”

Latest EU Brilliance: Have Iran Star in Syrian Civil War Negotiations

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Federica Mogherini, foreign policy chief of the European Union, expressed hope that Iran would play an important but constructive role in a renewed United Nations effort to restart negotiations towards ending the years-long Syrian civil war.

Mogherini met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on Tuesday, April 28. Prior to her meeting, Mogherini said that she sees her role as ensuring that “negotiations proceed in a speedy and good way.”

What she meant by “good,” she explained to reporters in New York, is that the negotiations should result in Iran being prevented from developing nuclear weapons, but that it be allowed the “right to deploy a peaceful program as everybody else.”

Mogherini told Zarif it is crucial that the P5+1 powers successfully conclude nuclear negotiations with Iran. She said that doing so could boost Iran’s regional role in a positive manner, Reuters reported.

The EU foreign policy chief said she understands the concerns of many countries regarding Iran, but said it would be “naive to imagine that a country like Iran could simply disappear from the map.”

Mogherini said it was important “for Iran to play a major, major but positive, role on Syria in particular, to encourage the regime to … (support) a Syrian-led transition,” she said, referring to a 2012 U.N. plan for a political transition in Syria.

The deadline for a final nuclear deal with Iran is June 30. Iran and the six major global powers – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – reached a tentative framework agreement on April 2.

The U.N. envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said he will begin meeting in May with the various players both within and outside Syria, in order to assess whether there is any hope of brokering an end to the war.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked de Mistura earlier this month to “focus much more to re-launch a political process” after his attempt to broker a local truce in Aleppo failed.

Many Arab countries in the region, Israel and the United States have resisted the inclusion of Iran in Syrian peace talks. That is because they, understandably, consider Tehran to be the problem, not the solution.

Iran has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a staunch ally. It was the widespread belief of many inside the country, and certainly of the current U.S. administration, that Assad had to step down. His refusal to do so, and the regime’s resort to extreme violence including the use of gas to murder citizens of his own nation, ignited the conflagration that has consumed entire cities and killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians over the past four years.

Mogherini is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Wednesday.

US: UNRWA Gets Add’l $6M for Yarmouk ‘Palestinians,’ Only $10M for Nepal

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The U.S. State Department issued a quiet little bombshell with an unheralded press release dated April 27, which revealed that on April 24, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced that an additional $6 million of U.S. taxpayer money is being provided to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “in response to the devastating crisis in Yarmouk.”

This latest $6 million comes in response to the Yarmouk Emergency Call for Funds, which seeks funding for a 90 day rapid response effort.

This tranche brings the total U.S. contributions to UNRWA in response to the crisis in Syria to more than $57 million in 2015 alone. Keep in mind that UNRWA only serves those designated by the U.N. as “Palestinian refugees,” and not ordinary Syrian citizens.

What has happened in Yarmouk, Syria, has indeed led to a grave humanitarian crisis. Still, the context matters.

When the barbarian ISIS members entered the “Palestinian refugee” camp of Yarmouk, on the edge of Damascus, earlier this month, it had already been the site of two years of deadly clashes.

Those clashes were largely between the members of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, which supports the Assad regime, and the Palestinian Arab camp residents who oppose the Baathist regime of Assad. Yarmouk was also the site of several bombing raids by Syrian Army jets.

So for years, as the civil war in Syria has raged on, the civilian population throughout Syria has suffered appallingly. The recent murders and brief takeover of Yarmouk by ISIS has further led to “severe restrictions on food, medicine, clean water and electricity.” This is tragic, beyond a doubt.

But is the answer to the problem to just keep funneling in money to UNRWA, an agency that would not exist were these particular people living in Syria not labeled “Palestinian refugees”? The fallout from the latest tragedies would exist, of course, because of the Syrian civil war and the ISIS barbarism, but it is exponentially larger because the people in this “refugee camp” have never been absorbed into the general population of Syria (or Lebanon or Jordan, for that matter).

Why is it that the U.S. government believes taxpayer funds must be used to sustain a “Palestinian refugee” population indefinitely, putting aside the question of why they are considered refugees at all. That civilians caught in a brutal civil war should be the recipients of humanitarian aid is beyond dispute, but the duplications, to say nothing of the cost of maintaining a separate humanitarian agency just to serve one separate, designated afflicted group cannot be efficient, to say the least.

According to UNRWA (which exists solely to support these “refugees”), “there are 480,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria,” a full 95 percent of whom rely on UNRWA for their basic needs.

Not only that, but 470,000 of those “refugees” rely on small grants to sustain them: in other words, UNRWA is supplying the goods and services for their basic needs in addition to a cash supplement. If this special population were absorbed by their Muslim brethren anytime over the preceding half-century, it is impossible to believe they would not be vastly better off and better able to withstand the current onslaught.

To put it in context, the devastating series of earthquakes that struck in and around Nepal this month has already claimed thousands of lives. The number dead is expected to increase to 10,000. At least eight million people have been affected, nearly one quarter the country’s population, with over two million living in the most severely affected districts.

Vast swathes of the Nepalese infrastructure have been destroyed; the damage is inestimable.

Update: Syrian Shells Hit Israel, IDF Says Strikes Unintentional

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

12:46 PM: Now this is interesting:
A Syrian army source told the Lebanon news outlet, Elnashra: A number of rockets were launched at IDF positions near the border. Syrian rebel forces then launched mortars at the source of the Syrian rocket fire. The Syrian army is on high alert in readiness for an Israeli assault.

12:39 PM IDF believes that the shelling was not intentional, and the misdirected fire came from the currently ongoing fighting on the Syrian side of the border between the Syrian rebels and Assad’s army.

12:35 PM: Israeli farmers near Quneitra being evacuated from the fields.

12:29 PM: Update: It appears that 2 to 4 rockets or shells fell near Ein Zivan and Qunaitra, not just one. All landed in open areas. No injuries reported.

12:25 PM: IDF shooting back at the source of fire. (Update: IDF says it did not open fire. It is possible, the secondary fire may have come from within Syria).

12:24 PM: The shell landed in an apple orchard. No injuries reported.

12:18 PM: One mortar shell landed in Israel from Syria. It is not yet known if it accidentally went off course or if it was purposely targeting Israel.

12:11 PM: Confirmed: Something hit in an open area near Ein Zivan, which is just south-west of Quneitra where there is often fighting between the Syrian groups.

Ein Zivan map

12:04 PM: A rocket alert just went off on the Golan Heights, in the Katzrin and Majdal Shams areas.

Sources: Al Qaeda Bombed Hezbollah and Framed Israel

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Israeli media have quoted “reliable sources.” probably Israeli officials, that Al Qaeda-linked rebels and not the Israel Air Force bombed Hezbollah targets early this morning.

Several Hezbollah fighters in Syria were killed in the attack near the Lebanese border, according to the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera, which said the IAF was behind the attack.

A Syrian army base, where long-range missiles are kept, reportedly was bombed.

The Israeli sources said that the Al Nusra front, affiliated with Al Qaeda, was behind Monday morning’s attack and took advantage of Israel’s killing four Hezbollah terrorists last night as they were planting a bomb along the border with Israel at the Golan Heights. A Hareidi unit spotted the terrorists.

Arab media quickly picked up the thread Monday morning, connected the dots and concluded that the bombing was a continuation of Israel’s reported strikes on Friday and last Wednesday  deep inside Syria.

Sources said Al Nusra is trying to force Hezbollah back into Lebanon. Hezbollah is fighting with forces loyal to the Assad regime and against rebels and a host of terrorist organizations that include Al Nusra. The elephant on the war front is the Islamic State (ISIS), which controls a large part of the war-torn country.

Israel consistently does not confirm or deny reports of strikes in Lebanon, Syria and other terror-based countries. The possibility remains that the Israeli Air Force indeed bombed Hezbollah again but wants to avoid appearing too offensive in the eyes of Iran and Russia, which has agreed to ship to Iran the advanced S-300 anti-missile system.

 

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/reports-iaf-strikes-syrianhezbollah-targets-overnight/2015/04/27/

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