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February 6, 2016 / 27 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Lebanon-al Nusra Prisoner Exchange Has Begun

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

A prisoner exchange between Lebanon and the Jabath Al-Nusra Syrian rebels has finally begun after numerous false starts this past week.

The Red Cross also received the body of one of the Lebanese soldiers killed last year.

The Syrian rebel prisoners are on their way back to Syria.

ISIS and Iran: A New Era Ignites in Israel, America and the World

Monday, November 30th, 2015

This month’s massacre in Paris was horrific — it stole the lives of 130 people and wounded more than 350 others — but may be only the beginning of a new era.

Da’esh (ISIS) has from the start made no secret of its intent to build a worldwide caliphate through brutality, violence and genocide. The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is also clear about the organization’s perfect willingness to simply eliminate those standing in its way.

If al-Baghdadi is neutralized, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the organization will disband. In fact, it is highly likely that it will not: Al Qaeda has simply mushroomed and metastasized since the death of Osama bin Laden, probably as he intended and designed it to do.

The battle begun by Da’esh was likewise never intended to be limited to the Middle East, nor has it been: Da’esh attacks have been recorded throughout the Middle East – in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Israel, and Iraq, but also in Africa, southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.

More than a third of Iraqi territory now belongs to Da’esh, stitched to the swathe of what formerly was known as Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has barely hung on to the province around the capital, Damascus — and even that only with the assistance of Russia, and Iran with its elite Revolutionary Guard troops and its Lebanese proxy, the Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist fighters.

Likewise, Da’esh has been clear from the outset that Israel is far from being an exception to the targets: it dreams of seizing the Holy Land for the crown jewel among its territorial conquests.

To that end, the terror group recently launched a cyber jihad fundraising campaign to provide arms to help Palestinian Authority Arabs in their attacks on Israeli Jews in this latest wave of terror.

Plus, in recent video threats Da’esh promised a Paris-style massacre “coming soon” to Washington DC, along with renewed attacks on Paris for good measure.

As all this Sunni-based radical Islamist activity takes place, however, Shi’a Iran is now becoming eligible to receive new uranium enrichment hardware from Russia, and economic sanctions that were slowing down its nuclear technology race towards an atomic weapon are now being relaxed as well.

But the Islamic Republic of Iran has yet to keep up its end of the nuclear deal agreed upon by the six world powers in Vienna this summer. The uranium enrichment centrifuges already in its possession have not been powered down in the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran, according to international inspectors who monitor the plant. And there are other issues as well.

So it would seem that while Sunni extremists are on a rampage, Shi’a scientists are hard at work making sure their own proxies will have the proper equipment to finish the job.

The Iranians so far have fought Da’esh on behalf of Assad, and frankly, in fear that their own country would be swallowed.

Israel has fought them both.

But in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the Iranian-backed Hamas terror group — spawned by the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood — has strongly supported Da’esh, providing arms and technical support. This has taken place even though the two are bitter enemies in Gaza, where the Shi’ite Iranians still generously support Hamas against the increasing strength of the radical Islamist Da’esh, which insists that Hamas does not represent “true Islam.”

And it is here — in this dichotomy — that the seeds of a new Axis of Evil are beginning to sprout.

Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim terror factions normally at war with each other are perfectly willing to set aside their differences when presented with a common enemy. In Egypt, in the Sinai Peninsula, they are fighting together to rout what they perceive as “secular” government forces from the region, who ousted former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi from office.

Under the same banner, they are already beginning to unite in Judea, Samaria and elsewhere in Israel to share resources toward a common goal: annihilating Israel.

In the future, they will eventually do the same when aiming at America.

How will Europe, Russia and the United States respond on the day that Da’esh and Iran formally put aside their differences and unite their forces to attack?

After Surprise Visit to Jordan, Ben Carson Wants No Refugees in America

Monday, November 30th, 2015

(JNi.media) A seemingly compassionate statement posted on Facebook by Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson after his visit, along with his wife, Candy, to a refugee camp in Jordan where Syrian civilians have sought shelter, reiterated the broad Republican position against letting any of them into the US.

“Amman, Jordan – Just over two months ago I began planning a trip over the Thanksgiving Weekend to visit with Syrian Refugees, Jordanian Government Officials, and NGO’s. I wanted to come to see with my own eyes this great human tragedy.

“Today I listened to the life struggles of many Syrians who were forced to flee their own homes. I met with medical professionals, humanitarian workers, and government officials. I saw pain on the faces of mothers and children.

“They came to Jordan for safety. Jordan is doing an amazing job opening its doors and extending a hand in relief. The rest of the world could be doing so much more.

“These brave people want nothing more than an end to the war in Syria. They want to go back to their lives. We must find a political end to this conflict.

“Millions of refugees have now been waiting years for the end of the war to come in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Some are giving up hope that they will ever be able to return to their country. We must keep their hope alive. Until it is safe for them to return home, Jordan is a safe place for them to wait. The kingdom has welcomed them with open arms. But Jordan is a small country. They need the world’s help to feed, educate, and care for these refugees until the war ends.

“The United States must do more. We can do our part to help this crisis without bringing 10-25,000 refugees to the United States. Jordan already houses 1.4 million refugees. Jordan needs and deserves our logistical help and financial support.

“In the coming days I will offer what I believe are real solutions to the problems created in part by the Obama-Clinton Administration’s failed policies.”

The Carson approach, acknowledging the refugees’ suffering, respecting their human dignity and refusing them entry may end up being a potent tool for Republican governors as well, as they attempt to resist the White House’s efforts to distribute several thousand asylum seekers around their states. Judging by his statements, the GOP plans to demand that Jordan’s wealthy Arab neighbors lend a hand and a few shoulders, rather than send the suffering overseas.

According to reports, Carson told reporters the Syrians have a reputation as very hardworking, determined people, which should only enhance the overall economic health of the neighboring Arab countries that accept and integrate them into the general population.”

Ya’alon Confirms: Russian Pilots Do Breach Israeli Airspace, But Are Not Shot Down

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

Russian pilots do sometimes violate Israeli airspace, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon confirmed in an interview with Israel Radio on Sunday, but IAF pilots never shoot them down.

The lone instance of a breach that occurred recently was rectified immediately when a Russian aircraft ventured one mile into Israeli air space. The Russians were “immediately contacted” and the plane returned “immediately to Syrian territory,” Ya’alon said.

“I remind you that about a year ago we shot down a Syrian Sukhoi-24 plane that penetrated into our territory, and we also shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle,” Ya’alon said.

“When we understood that the Russians were planning to act inside Syria we immediately met – also the prime minister — with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, including the [IDF] chief of staff and the assistant chief of staff. We created an open channel for coordination so as to prevent misunderstandings, because Russian planes are not trying to attack us and therefore it is not necessary to automatically to shoot them down even if there is a mistake.”

Ya’alon was confirming a similar statement made Saturday at an event in Be’er Sheva by Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry’s political-security bureau.

“Russian air force pilots at times cross into Israeli air space, [but] thanks to the excellent security coordination which started right after the meeting between Netanyahu and Putin (two months ago), and in which defined areas of operation were set, the Israel Defense Forces and the Russian military worked out security agreements,” Gilad said.

“If there is a violation, we know what to do and how to prevent an escalation,” he added.

Ex-Adviser to Palestinian Authority says ‘Accept ISIS as Ugly Reality’

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

An American lawyer who previously advised the Palestinian Authority on negotiations with Israel now says that the West cannot defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and should accept it as an “ugly reality.”

John V. Whitbeck, who previously has written that the 9/11 attacks probably were an “inside job,” wrote his latest thesis Saturday in the Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an News Agency, which noted that it does not necessarily represent the views of the website that is frequently quoted by foreign news sources.

He wrote that the ISIS massacres in France earlier this month “have not changed the priorities of the other states that might be concerned.”

The United States and Britain’s top priority is Syria, where Whitbeck asserts that the United States and Britain are primarily interested in “keeping Russia down, and keeping the Sunni Gulf states happy.”

He also thinks that many Sunni Muslims under the “harsh, austere and often savagely brutal rule” of ISIS actually prefer it to being under the aegis of “what are widely perceived by Iraqi and Syrian Sunnis to be Shiite-dominated or even Iranian-dominated governments.”

As for defeating the ISIS, Whitbeck says that the West has no chance. He wrote that bombing the terrorists is not successful and that sending “boots on the ground would be an avidly sought boon to the Islamic State…since the Sunni states of the region… currently show no interest whatsoever in deploying their own ground forces against fellow Sunnis.”

Here is his advice to President Barack Obama and other Western leaders:

Relax, accept that the Islamic State is an ugly reality that is here to stay (at least for some considerable time).

They should accept that containment is the best that can hoped for and achieved in the near term, and that containment can best be achieved by the Iraqi and Syrian governments and their own military forces.

They should sit back and wait for the Islamic State’s aura of excitement to wear off, for it to become a failed state like so many other regional states in which the West has previously intervened and for the peoples of the region to sort out their own problems in their own way.

He admits that it would be “desirable” for ISIS to disappear but that it cannot be done by force without Sunni Muslim countries sending in soldiers and that it won’t happen so long as the West claims “ownership” of the war.

An Angry Russia Moves S-400 Antiaircraft Missile Systems into Syria

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

(JNi.media) Russia has moved the S-400 (Growler) air defense missile systems to its airbase near Latakia in Syria after Turkey had shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber, the official Russian news agency TASS reported. The S-400 systems “will ensure the safety of the Russian air group’s flights and will destroy any targets posing a threat to it,” according to TASS. Also, as of this week, Russian aircraft and helicopters on combat missions will be accompanied by fighter jets and covered by aerial electronic warfare systems.

The Pentagon is concerned that the Russian missile systems may complicate the situation in the sky over Syria, stating that the US expects these systems will not be aimed at aircraft belonging to the US-led coalition. The statement was met with a sarcastic response from Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov, who said, “We were confident until Tuesday that our planes destroying Islamic State facilities were guaranteed against attacks from the so-called US-led anti-IS coalition.” He was referring to the fact that Turkey is a bona fide member of NATO.

“Now all the northern provinces in Syria bordering on Turkey, as well as the north-eastern provinces bordering on Iraq are tracked by our [S-400] system and targets can be hit at a depth of up to [200 miles],” military expert and editor-in-chief of the Arsenal of the Fatherland journal Viktor Murakhovsky told TASS, adding with a tone reminiscent of what a sleeping bear must sound like after being poked with a stick: “Therefore, as it turns out, with the deployment of the S-400 at the Khmeimim airbase, the territory of Turkey is visible within the distance of about [220-250 miles] while fire can be delivered at a distance of about [125-155 miles] in depth.”

“Turkey has itself to blame for creating such a situation when now its plane may be shot down if they enter Syrian airspace even for a second. Now the [S-400] system will track all Turkish warplanes approaching the border. The S-400 is a sword of Damocles that will hang over the heads of potential intruders,” the expert added.

Damocles, a courtier under Dionysius II, a 4th-century BCE tyrant in Syracuse, Sicily, was pandering to his king, saying he was truly fortunate as a great man of power and authority. Dionysius then offered to switch places with Damocles so that the latter could taste that fortune firsthand. Damocles eagerly accepted the king’s proposal and sat down in the king’s throne surrounded by every luxury, but Dionysius had arranged that a giant sword hang above the throne, held by a single hair of a horse’s tail. Damocles finally begged the king that he be allowed to depart because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate. The tale conveys the sense of constant fear in which a great man lives.

Last Thursday, the Israeli Air Force concluded its second annual exercise, which stressed that when it comes to Russia, Israel will try its best to avoid friction, despite the increasing Russian military presence in neighboring Syria. According to a senior officer, the IDF has forged a clear policy of never downing a Russian plane, even if it has entered Israeli territory.

There are new reports that say Russian planes have entered Israeli airspace.

Both the Pentagon and Israel are afraid of the Syrian civil war potentially developing into a global conflict. But Regional Security Sector Head at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies Igor Nikolaichuk believes that the S-400 will be a deterrence, signaling to NATO members: “Don’t step in and don’t try to shoot down our planes.” In his view, “The Americans’ fears are completely unfounded and are only an element of political pressure. Modern technical capabilities and specialists’ qualification give a possibility actually to exclude an incidental downing of planes.”

Turkey Backpedals as Tensions Rise With Moscow, Says ‘Didn’t Know Downed Plane Was Russian’

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Turkey is starting to dial down its defensive stance in the face of Russian rage over the death of one of its pilots, and says it is ready for “all kinds of cooperation” with Moscow officials after shooting down a Russian Sukhoi-24M fighter jet on Tuesday over what it said was Turkish airspace.

At the time, Turkish military officials said its air force radar controllers repeatedly warned the jet it was violating its airspace and to redirect its flight path, but received no response. On Wednesday, Turkey released a recording of those warnings; a second clip was also published by media that was picked up from an entirely independent source as well.

“The nationality of the plane was not known…and the rules of engagement were automatically used,” the Turkish military said in a statement released early Thursday. Russian defense and military attaches were invited to Ankara headquarters for an explanation of the incident, Turkish officials added.

Moreover, Turkish military leaders said their troops had set out on a search and rescue mission to try and find the pilots after the Sukhoi-24M was shot down.

However, Russia has escalated the issue, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claiming on Russian TV on Wednesday that Moscow had “serious doubts” the incident was “an unpremeditated act. It looks very much like a planned provocation,” he said.

The Russian defense ministry announced late Wednesday it would deploy S-400 anti-aircraft missiles in Syria at its Hmeymim air base near Latakia, less than 30 miles from the Turkish border. The missiles have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) according to the Missile Threat website.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/turkey-backpedals-as-tensions-rise-with-moscow-says-didnt-know-downed-plane-was-russian/2015/11/26/

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