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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

3 Wounded Syrian Children brought to Israel for Medical Treatment

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Three Syrian children wounded Saturday night in a lethal mortar shell attack in a courtyard where they were playing were brought to the Rebecca Sieff (Ziv) Hospital in Safed (Tsfat) for medical treatment.

A 7-year-old boy was in serious condition with chest wounds and a broken hand; a 10-year-old boy was also in serious condition with shrapnel wounds all over his body, including his head; and an 8-year-old girl with a leg wound was listed in moderate condition. The mortar shell that wounded the three children left the rest of their playmates dead.

Sieff Hospital reported Saturday that the children were being treated in the emergency room and will be operated on following exams and x-rays.

A total of 376 Syrians wounded as a result of their country’s civil war have received treatment at the Israeli hospital.

Civilian Casualties Mounting in US-led Air Strikes Against ISIS

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Perhaps Syrian lives are not as precious to the U.S. and its allies as those of Gaza Arabs. Or, maybe it’s just that the U.S. and its allies feel they don’t have to conduct themselves by the same standards they demand of others (read: Israel).

But late Sunday night, numerous Syrian civilians and a few militants were killed, and some wounded, as U.S.-led “precision” air strikes struck grain silos and other targets in territory controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror organization. No one said a word about it.

Aside from the fact that more civilians than militants were killed, the fact is that Syrians are in desperate need of food — and the U.S.-led forces have just deprived them of even more of it, with another harsh winter barely waiting in the wings.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it is believed the aircraft “may have mistaken the mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Minbej for an ISIS base.”

But that’s pretty hard to swallow, given the accuracy of satellite imagery these days. It’s certainly not an excuse the United Nations Human Rights Commission would have accepted from the Israel Defense Forces had it been offered about an attack on a Gaza target.

Which is why the IDF so carefully documented every single attack it carried out during this past summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge, launched to silence the incessant rocket fire from Gaza aimed at southern Israeli communities on a daily basis.

As a matter of fact, according to Observatory head Rami Abdulrahman, the strikes in Minbej appeared only to have killed civilians, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported Monday.

In eastern Syria, U.S.-led Allied forces also bombed a gas plant controlled by ISIS, outside Deir al-Zor. Several militants were wounded in the strike on the Kuniko gas plant, which feeds a power station in Homs, according to the Observatory. But the price for wounding a few militants was high: Several provinces were robbed of electricity and power for the generators that keep their oil fields going.

Of course, the news is not all bad – nothing ever is. The U.S.-led forces also hit areas of Hasaka city in the northeast, and struck the outskirts of Raqqa in the north. Raqqa is the “capital” of the ISIS territory.

But it’s important to weigh the cost against the gain.

The IDF worked hard to minimize civilian casualties ahead of every attack – making phone calls to homes in each targeted area, sending text messages to cell phones in Arabic, and dropping leaflets from aircraft into the targeted neighborhoods days in advance, warning residents to leave for their own safety.

Funny but this writer did not see any sign of such precautions being taken on behalf of civilian safety by the U.S. or its allies in the Syrian targeted areas. Or in Iraq, for that matter.

So where’s the outrage from the UNHRC? Why don’t we hear screams of empathy from the High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, declaring she will initiate an investigation into the aggressive actions of the U.S. and its allies?

I’ll tell you a little secret. You know why there’s no outrage about any of this and why everyone instead was raising Cain about Israel’s self-defense moves in Gaza?

Because the U.S. and its allies are paying Navi Pillay’s salary, and because all of them – especially together — are much bigger and wealthier than the tiny state of Israel. (Not to mention the rampant anti-Semitism that exists in the world body — and for that matter, among some in the Obama administration as well. Shhhhh….)

If the U.S. were to pull out of the United Nations, or withdraw its funding for any reason, how long could that entity continue to function?

Right. Not long at all.

Would it matter at all if Israel walked away?

I suspect much of the UN would probably throw a party – at least until they realized they would have to find their own intelligence information to deal with the threat of terror in their nations and governments. Then they might come running. But you never know.

Sometimes might does indeed outweigh right, at least when backed by the dollar.

Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra Joins ISIS In Syria

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terror group in Syria is reconciling with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The two groups have been at odds for most of the past year. However, last week’s U.S.-led air strikes in northern and eastern Syria have prompted Jabhat al-Nusra to renew its ties with ISIS, declaring the strikes a “war on Islam” in an audio statement released this past weekend.

Scores of al-Nusra members were killed in the first wave of U.S.-led air strikes, leading the group to vow retaliation for the attacks. The two terror groups are now holding war councils together, according to a senior source quoted by Britain’s London-based newspaper, The Guardian.

A spokesperson for the group told the paper that 73 members had defected to ISIS on Friday alone. More are planning to do the same this week. “We are in a long war,” al-Nusra spokesperson Abu Firas al-Suri said in a statement posted on social networking sites. “This war will not end in months or years; this war could last for decades.”

U.S. President Barack Obama admitted the intelligence community had underestimated the situation in both Iraq and Syria.

In an interview on “60 Minutes” broadcast on the CBS network, Obama said, “Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves. And so this became ground zero for jihadists around the world.”

That ‘ground zero’ is barely a fired mortar shell away from Israel’s northern border with Syria. “Spillover” from the Syrian civil war raging between government troops and rebel forces has resulted in shell fire landing not only in Israeli territory but also in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey.

Of more concern is the fact that Jabhat al-Nusra controls the Quneitra border crossing — the sole crossing between Israel and Syria — and that ISIS now controls the border crosssings between Iraq and Syria, and the Iraqi side of the crossing with Jordan.

Israeli military officials are monitoring the situation closely.

We Stand Behind US Actions in Syria

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The U.S.-led attack on the “Islamic State” (or ISIL, as President Obama prefers to call them) deserves our full support in light of the brave and just decision to attack infrastructure targets under “Islamic State” control, despite the unavoidable ensuing collateral damage.

The U.S. is fighting a war against a dangerous and barbaric enemy, like Israel recently fought against Hamas.

It’s impossible to win a fight with one arm tied behind your back, and President Obama has shown courageous leadership with his decision to take the gloves off and attack the “Islamic State” properly, despite the potentially high cost.

We are sure that the United States Armed Forces are taking all necessary precautions to reduce civilian casualties and infrastructure damage where possible.

In fact, we believe Israel should take a page right out of President Obama’s playbook the next time it needs to fight a war against Hamas or Hezbollah.

4 Mortars Strike Turkey

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Four mortars launched by ISIS landed in Turkey on Saturday, injuring 2 people, according to a Reuters report.

The mortars appears to have been spillover from fighting between ISIS and Kurdish troops. The Kurds are defending the Syrian town of Kobane near the Turkish border.

An Alternate 4-point Strategy For The President

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The words ricocheted worldwide a few weeks ago: asked about his plans for dealing with ISIS, the president of the United States admitted that “We don’t have a strategy.”

And then last week the president announced to the world a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies who would presumably participate in the fight against ISIS.

Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies. The key is (borrowing Apple Inc.’s famous slogan) to “Think Different.”

Strategy 1: The Hippie Crusade: Airlift a jet full of hippies into the central square of Mosul, Iraq, singing “All we are saying, is give peace a chance” while waving antiwar posters. Mass sit-ins will be organized, and thousands of flowers will be handed out to all ISIS boys and inserted inside their gun barrels for photogenic effect.

Staying on message is a priority: it’s all about the power of love and peace.

The underlying assumption is that ISIS militants are simply misunderstood, that they are just people like you and me. For beneath the hard veneer lurks a tired warrior merely looking for the delicate hand of friendship.

Pivot to Strategy 2: The Salaam Aleykum Sequel. President Obama follows up on his sensationally effective 2009 masterpiece of a speech to the Muslim world with an even bigger blockbuster.

Delivered live via all media outlets worldwide, the president speaks in front of a black background (designed to provide subliminal comfort to the Islamist audience.) Obama forcefully reiterates his deep respect for Shariah law and his admiration for the rigorous methods employed by ISIS to defend the modesty of women.

Obama’s Muslim “street cred” will be fortified with amusing childhood anecdotes from his time in Indonesia and repeated mention of his affection for Malik Obama, his Islamist half-brother from Kenya.

The speech ends with a powerful fist-to-lectern vow that the U.S. intends to lead the Western World in overcoming the scourge of Islamophobia and seeks nothing less than a “dialogue of civilizations” with ISIS.

Time to move to Strategy 3: The Marshallah Plan; modeled on the U.S. Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe after World War II, this is a multi-billion dollar U.S. and EU cash infusion into any area controlled by ISIS.

Here’s the thinking: rather than alienating a new and emergent polity being established by what are clearly spiritually ambitious souls, we ought to – in non-judgmental fashion of course – enthusiastically join them in developing their dynamic and exciting new country, Islamic State.

Under the Marshallah Plan, the U.S. and EU will devote their enormous resources to building mosques, madrasas, Shariah courts, and harem centers. Wielding counterintuitive thinking, weaponry will be promptly shipped to Islamic State in order to demonstrate goodwill and trust.

So with the hippies dispatched, the Salam Aleykum speech delivered, and a massive EU-U.S. investment in the nascent state underway, it’s time for Strategy 4: Levantribute.

This strategy borrows heavily from both the wisdom of antiquity and the Realist school of international relations, and can politely be described as a regular stipend.

Some historical background: the Late Roman and Byzantine Empires paid a so-called subsidy to Barbarian tribes, securing their agreement to desist from attacking imperial territory. True, this could be seen as protection money, but it actually seemed to work – at least until the inevitable assassination of this or that emperor or chieftain.

The Levantribute strategy, then, is a monthly fee to be paid by the U.S. and EU to the ISIS provisional government. In exchange, ISIS solemnly promises not to behead any more Americans or Europeans. European governments have already exhibited interest in this particular strategy, though the jury is still out as to its efficacy.

Israel Shoots Down Syrian Sukhoi-24 Fighter Jet In Israeli Airspace

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The IDF downed a Syrian fighter jet, a Russian-made Sukhoi-24, near Quneitra, along the Syrian-Israel border. The plane, which flew into Israeli air space near Tzfat, was initially misidentified as a MiG-21.

At about 9:30 am Tuesday morning, according to the IDF, “A Syrian aircraft infiltrated into Israeli air space. The IDF intercepted the aircraft in mid-flight, using the Patriot air defense system. The circumstances of the incident are being reviewed.”

The Syrian crew parachuted to safety, and landed on the Syrian side of the border.

READ: Both sides in Syria respond to Israeli downing of Syrian fighter jet.

“The fighter jet crossed into Israeli territory in a very threatening manner,” said Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. He added, “We can’t allow any source to violate our sovereignty and we’ll respond aggressively to any such attempt, whether it’s a mistake or a purposeful act.”

The IDF followed standard operating procedure when it shot down the invading plane, which had reached 800 meters in Israeli territory before the decision was made to shoot it down. From that moment to impact, one minute and 20 seconds passed before the surface-to-air Patriot missile struck and destroyed the plane.

Civilians in Israel captured the fighter plane’s interception on camera.

Photo by: Pirch / Rotter.net

Photo by: Pirch / Rotter.net

The last time Israel shot down a Syrian warplane was in 1985. At that time, Israeli pilots were on a surveillance mission over Lebanon when they became involved in a dogfight with two Syrian MiG-23s.

In this case, the Sukhoi-24 was shot down over the Golan Heights while flying at an elevation of 10-14,000 feet — a comfortable height for an air strike, a military source noted.

“A fighter jet can reach the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) in less than a minute from the position that jet was in, and anywhere else in five,” the IDF senior military official said.

“The discovery, identification and interception of the jet was quickly and professionally executed and the Israeli Air Force stood its guard,” the source added.

The broken parts of the plane landed near Quneitra in Syria. Initial findings indicate the plane was en route to attack rebel forces around the Quneitra crossing, where the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra terror group is currently in control.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-shoots-down-syrian-fighter-plane/2014/09/23/

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