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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.debka.com/article/20920/


    Cairo to move Meshaal's Hamas base to Gaza. Assad threatens Israel with war

    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2011, 12:30 PM (GMT+02:00)

    Egypt's military rulers promised Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaal to let him transfer his base, command center and residence from troubled Damascus to a new haven in the Gaza Strip as an inducement for signing the Palestinian unity agreement with Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah on May 4. This is disclosed for the first time by debkafile's intelligence sources. In Damascus, Bashar Assad's close confidante Rami Makhlouf threatened that Syria would go to war against Israel in reprisal for US and Europe backing for the uprising.

    Makhlouf, an international business tycoon, is on the US and EU sanctions lists. In an interview with the New York Times Wednesday, May 11, he said: "If there is no stability here, there's no way there will be stability in Israel. No way, and nobody can guarantee what will happen after, God forbid, anything happens to this regime."
    He advised the US and Europe not to "put a lot of pressure on the president, don't push Syria to do anything it is not happy to do."

    The Syrian president is examining two strategic options, he said: "Going to war against Israel, and/or sending weapons shipments to the West Bank and to Israeli Arabs for use in terrorist attacks against Israel.

    debkafile's military sources note that Makhlouf, who is a cousin of Bashar Assad, built up his fortune from smuggling Saddam Hussein's underground fighters, weapons and funds from their havens in Syria to Iraq, as well as al Qaeda combatants and leaders to fight Americans into the wartorn country. He therefore has excellent connections with terrorist networks and is very familiar with their requirements for pursuing suicide bombing campaigns.

    The tycoon would not have made his remarks to the NYT without the Syrian president's nod. So they may be safely interpreted as a declaration that the Assad regime is holding Israel hostage for its survival against the groundswell of popular disaffection shaking it for more than two months.

    Those remarks were also addressed to Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, the sources of weapons consignments to Syrian protesters which Damascus believes Saudi Arabia as well as the US and European nations are generating. If that influx is not stopped, therefore, the Syrian government threatens to respond in kind by secreting arms and money into the West Bank and Israeli Arab districts in order to foment an armed uprising against Israel. This step would also undermine another Western interest by menacing Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

    According to debkafile's intelligence sources, the transfer of Khaled Meshaal lock, stock and barrel, from Damascus to Gaza serves the diametrically opposite interests of the current Egyptian and Syrian rulers alike. It was agreed between them - out of totally different considerations - during several visits to the Syrian capital by the new Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Murad Muwafi from mid-March to late April:

    For Cairo, the relocation of the Hamas epicenter to Gaza is pivotal to Egypt's return to an active role in the Palestinian arena, whereas Damascus sees the strengthened Hamas presence in Gaza as a key instrument for implementing Makhlouf's threats.

    Our sources say that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded to these disruptions with two discreet steps:

    1. The defense ministry's political coordinator, Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, was removed from the Israeli-Egyptian military-cum-intelligence track. The formal reason given for his exclusion was the removal from power of Hosni Mubarak's intelligence minister, Gen. Omar Suleiman, with whom Gilad developed strong personal ties. He is now under investigation and partial house arrest in Egypt.

    The real reason is that his evaluations and forecasts which formed the basis of Israel's security policy in recent years proved erroneous. The Israeli government must now go back to square one to chart new courses in the face of radical changes around its borders.

    2. Gilad's place is taken by Prime Minister Netanyahu's personal political adviser, Yitzhak Molcho, who earlier this week was sent to Cairo for talks with the new intelligence minister, Gen. Muwafi, to explore the new ties between Egypt, Syria and Hamas and find out what Cairo was aiming for by the reshuffle of these relationships.

    Molcho returned to home just before Independence Day (Tuesday, May 10) with a very despondent report. The only ray of light he saw was the possibility of Syria and Egypt, each for its own reasons, leaning on Hamas to climb down on its price for setting the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit free nearly five years after he was kidnapped on the Israeli side of the Gaza border.

    While Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were putting their heads together on tactics for grappling with the explosive new situation Egypt is helping to put in place in the Gaza Strip, Makhlouf put a message from his masters up front: The real danger to Israel of a military flare-up lies in Damascus which continues to call the Palestinian shots.


    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  2. #42
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...560914206.html


    MIDDLE EAST NEWS
    MAY 14, 2011

    U.S. Presses Nuclear Case Against Damascus
    By JAY SOLOMON

    WASHINGTON—The U.S. and its European allies, seeking to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end his violent crackdown on protesters, are lobbying the United Nations nuclear watchdog to formally accuse Damascus of covertly building a nuclear reactor.

    Such a declaration by Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, could lead the U.N. Security Council to censure and perhaps penalize Syria in the coming months if it fails to provide information on its alleged nuclear activities, including at a suspected reactor site bombed by Israel in 2007, said U.S. and European officials.
    More on Syria


    Syrians Defy Week of Crackdown

    "It is our longstanding view that the Syrian facility...was a nuclear reactor configured for plutonium production," said a senior U.S. official involved in the discussions.

    The U.S. and European Union have been seeking ways to further isolate Damascus in the wake of a brutal offensive by Mr. Assad's security forces. Both Washington and Brussels have announced unilateral economic sanctions on senior Syrian officials in recent weeks, although not on Mr. Assad himself.

    But the Obama administration and its allies have so far been stymied in their attempts to pressure Mr. Assad through the Security Council, according to diplomats involved in the discussions. Russia, in particular, has resisted U.N. action to punish Syria, a decades-long ally of Moscow. The IAEA is viewed as a separate channel through which to put pressure on Damascus, said these officials.

    "We're looking to increasingly isolate Assad," said a European official briefed on the talks. "The IAEA is one of the routes."

    Syria's ally, Iran, has been hit with four rounds of U.N. economic sanctions since 2006 as a result of Tehran's own standoff with the IAEA.

    For more than three years, the IAEA has been seeking access to at least four Syrian sites the U.N. agency suspects of being part of a covert nuclear program. The facility in eastern Syria destroyed in late 2007 by Israeli fighter jets, Dair Alzour, was a nearly operational nuclear reactor built in collaboration with North Korea, U.S. intelligence agencies believe.

    Damascus has repeatedly denied the charges. It has refused to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the suspect sites after an initial mission went to Dair Alzour.

    Mr. Amano in recent months has publicly talked about the possibility of utilizing a special power of his office to demand immediate access to Syria. But IAEA officials worry privately that Syria could again refuse to comply, making Mr. Amano's office look weak.

    The U.S. and Europe, subsequently, have advised the IAEA to declare in its quarterly report on Syria, due out next month, that its inspectors have concluded that the bombed facility was a reactor. Such a move could lead the IAEA's 35-member board to issue a resolution declaring Damascus in noncompliance with its commitments to the agency. Syria's case could then be referred to the U.N. Security Council.
    Unrest in Syria

    Despite the rising death toll from weeks of unrest, people across Syria continue to protest the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Thousands of Syrians demonstrated after weekly prayers on Friday keeping up a two-month-old campaign of calls to end the autocratic rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Video courtesy of Reuters.

    Mr. Amano, in a speech earlier this month, suggested he might go this route. In Paris, he told a conference that "the facility that was ... destroyed by Israel was a nuclear reactor under construction," his most definitive comment to date on the nature of the Syrian facility. Mr. Amano's representative in Vienna, however, subsequently stated that the IAEA hadn't reached a firm conclusion on the Syria case and wouldn't comment on what action the agency might take.

    Syria is proving an increasingly complex diplomatic challenge for the Obama administration and its allies as Damascus continues its crackdown on protesters.

    Upon taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama sought to engage Mr. Assad in a bid to stabilize the Middle East and promote a broader Arab-Israeli peace process. The U.S. has taken a more cautious response to the Syrian political rebellion than it has to similar uprisings in Egypt and Libya, refusing so far to call for Mr. Assad to step down or to formally question his legitimacy.

    Human-rights groups and U.S. lawmakers have pressed the administration to call on Mr. Assad to step down. U.S. officials, in private, fear Mr. Assad's overthrow could lead to widescale sectarian violence similar to the bloodletting that consumed Iraq after Saddam Hussein's fall.

    Still, the scale of the violence inside Syria is forcing Washington to take an increasingly hard line. On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: "Absent significant change in the Syrian government's current approach, the U.S. and its international partners will take additional steps to make clear our strong opposition to the Syrian government's treatment of its people."

    Both U.S. and European officials have said Mr. Assad himself could be a target for future sanction measures. And some European officials have said it is possible their governments could change tack and formally announce that they think Mr. Assad should stand down in the coming weeks. One growing fear in Washington and Brussels is that Mr. Assad might survive, but so weakened that he could even further strengthen his military alliance with Iran.

    "We used to think we could break Syria's relationship with Iran through diplomacy," said a European official. "Now we'll need to do so through pressure."

    Write to Jay Solomon at jay.solomon@wsj.com

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20110515062756


    15 May 2011
    Lavrov Reiterates Warning against Meddling in Syria's Internal Affairs
    By R. Al Jazaeri

    ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN (SANA) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday reiterated warning against any foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs.

    In a statement during his visit to Kazakhstan reported by Russian news agencies, Lavrov expressed concern over the intentions of some of the participants in the latest events in Syria who seek to be supported by the foreign interference.

    He said that Russia hopes that the Libyan scenario with the interference of foreign parties will not be repeated in Syria including the resort to force.

    Interviewed by Moskovskie Novosti Newspaper on Thursday, Lavrov stressed Russia's support to Syria and its standing by it in the international forums, wondering about the opposition's striving for foreign intervention.

    © SANA (Syria Arab News Agency) 2011

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  4. #44
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=220791


    Tanks push deeper into restive Syrian area
    By REUTERS
    05/16/2011 15:12

    AMMAN - At least 15 Syrian tanks pushed overnight into a rural area near the Lebanese border, where security forces have concentrated their latest crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrations, human rights activists said.

    The activists, who were in contact with residents, said the tanks deployed around Arida, near the Jisr al-Qomar border crossing point with northern Lebanon. Witnesses on the Lebanese side of the border told Reuters they could hear the sound of gunfire throughout the night.

    Activists said Syrian troops and gunmen had entered the border town of Tel Kelakh on Saturday after protests erupted against President Bashar Assad's autocratic rule, prompting dozens of families to flee into Lebanon.

    An activists' protest group said at least seven Syrian civilians were killed on Sunday when troops shelled the town and sniper fire killed another civilian on Monday, raising the death toll in the army's assault since Saturday to 12.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  5. #45
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaN...74H1WJ20110518


    Russia will not back U.N. resolution on Syria-Medvedev
    Wed May 18, 2011 4:12pm GMT

    SKOLKOVO, Russia May 18 (Reuters) - President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia would not support a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria if it were simliar to the resolution authorising military intervention in Libya.

    "I will not support such a resolution, even if my friends and allies ask me," Medvedev said when asked whether Russia would back a Syria resolution "analogous" to the one that paved the way for air strikes to protect civilians in Libya.

    French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday that France and Britain were close to getting enough votes to adopt a resolution on Syria provided that it is not blocked by veto-wileding permanent members Russia and China.

    Medvedev did not say whether Russia would use its veto if a resolution on Syria comes to a vote.

    He reiterated allegations that the NATO-led coaltion has gone byond its mandate in Libya and said Moscow opposes foreign intervention in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad has used the army and police to try to crush pro-democracy protests.

    "President Assad has announced reforms, it is necessary to make these reforms effective and not try to pressure (Syria) with resolutions."

    "It's necessary to let states themselves choose their own path of development and give the Syrian leadership the opportunity to resolve the internal problems that exist there."

    Russia abstained from the vote on the March resolution authorising intervention in Libya.


    (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Steve Gutterman)

    © Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved



    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  6. #46
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/internat...sters-1.364713


    Report: Hezbollah forces helping Syria in crackdown on protesters
    Lebanese parliament member says Syrian forces have breached the border with Lebanon; notes fear that Syrian forces will kidnap refugees who fled the government crackdown in Syria.
    By Haaretz Service
    10:17 29.05.11

    Hezbollah forces are entering Syria and helping forces there suppress anti-government protests, Israel Radio quoted a Lebanese parliament member as saying on Sunday.

    The parliament member, speaking to a Lebanese radio station, said that the Lebanese army can not prevent this from happening. He noted that the Syrian army has, like the Hezbollah troops, breached the border with Lebanon.

    There is a fear that Syrian forces will attempt to kidnap refugees who fled to Lebanon to escape violence from the Syrian government, the parliament member said.

    On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that Iran had been sending trainers and advisers to assist Syrian President Bashar Assad's violent crackdown on protesters.

    Iran has sent members of its elite Quds force, whom the United States has recently sanctioned in response to the 10 weeks of brutal Syrian government quashing of protests, to help the Syrian government, Iran's most important ally in the region, the Washington Post reported.

    Manpower is only one of the forms of assistance Iran has sent to Syria, the report said, with the Islamist government sending weapons, riot gear and sophisticated surveillance equipment that allows Syrian authorities to trace and find opposition members through Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    In the most recent violence in Syria, a human rights group said security forces shot dead 12 demonstrators during protests against Baath Party rule on Friday.

    The Syrian National Organization for Human Rights said "the authorities are still pursuing the calculated course of using excessive violence and live ammunition to confront mass demonstrations.

    The group said the killings occurred in rural districts around Damascus, in southern Syria, the northwestern province of Idlib, the coast and the central city of Homs. Activists on Friday had put the death toll at eight.

    Rights groups estimate at least 1,000 civilians have been killed by security forces, the army and gunmen loyal to President Assad over 10 weeks.

    They said 10,000 people have been arrested, with beatings and torture a common tactic.


    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/144576


    Iran Helps Syria Kill Protesters; Tanks Surround Two Cities
    by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
    05/29/11, 4:02 PM

    Iran has sent more security forces to help Syria’s war against the growing protest movement while tanks have surrounded two more cities this weekend and the death toll continues to rise.

    American officials have charged that Iran has sent more military “trainers” and advisers to teach Syrian troops methods that Iranian riot police and Revolutionary Guards used to suppress the protest movement following the allegedly fixed re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. Hundreds were killed and thousands “disappeared” or were jailed before the Islamic Republic silenced the demonstrations.

    Assad has used similar tactics in the continuing stand-off between determined demonstrators and the shoot-to-kill policy of Syrian soldiers, while foreign journalists have been banned from the country.

    The Iranians are part of the Revolutionary Guards' Al Quds unit, which is responsible for operations outside the country.

    Mona Yacoubian, a former Middle East expert with the State Department's intelligence division, was quoted in The Washington Post as saying that “Syria is Iran's most important inroad into the Arab world, and its perch on the front line with Israel.”

    Syrian secret police and soldiers killed at least nine more protesters Friday and Saturday, including three in a Damascus suburb as Assad desperately tries to keep the demonstrations from overrunning the capital.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  8. #48
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.debka.com/article/20997/


    Rekindled Syrian protests could revive Assad's threat to hit Israeli border
    DEBKAfile Special Report June 4, 2011, 5:55 PM (GMT+02:00)

    Two unforeseen events Friday, June 3 rekindled Syrian protests with full force - just as Syrian President Bashar Assad was preparing to celebrate his reassertion of authority after suppressing the uprising against his regime with active Iranian and Hizballah help: The leaders of the Syrian opposition-in-exile meeting in Antalya under Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's aegis struck a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood which brought 100,000 Brotherhood loyalists back on the streets in the northern town of Hama.

    Debkafile's military sources disclose: Just as the conference of major Syrian opposition party leaders approached a fruitless ending, the Muslim Brotherhood, consented to introducing a clause in the "National Unity Charter" providing for the separation of religion and state in the guidelines of the post-Assad regime.

    The MB made this concession after consulting with the group's leaders in Cairo and under heavy Turkish pressure.

    It means that, even if the Brotherhood, which is banned and persecuted under the Assad regime, does run for election, the regime taking over would not be religious in nature.

    This decision is of major significance not only for Syria but also for Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians where the Muslim Brotherhood has a strong presence.

    Word of the Antalya accord flashed through Hama, center of the Brotherhood's revolt against the Assad family since 1982, and brought half the population out on the streets.

    Syrian security forces were caught unawares. Someone on the spot or along the higher Syrian and Iranian chain of command in Damascus panicked. An order went out to shoot directly into the crowd and break up the demonstration with maximum casualties. The result of up to 150 dead and 350 injured ignited fresh outbreaks in neighboring Homs, a town of more than 1.2 million inhabitants.

    Northern Syria was aflame again after the uprising in the North and most other parts of Syria had largely subsided last week.

    Fresh disturbances also hit the southern province of Horan and its capital Deraa a month after unrest there had been suppressed by troops shooting dead more than 500 protesters and injuring thousands. Covert Saudi agents operating from Ramtha in neighboring Jordan managed to whip up fresh anti-Assad riots in Deraa and Deir a-Zur among the Shamar, a nomadic tribe which roams across the Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi borders and whose center is in northern Saudi Arabia.

    The new outbreaks confronted President Assad with a fresh challenge at the very moment that he was polishing his victory speech to celebrate the crushing of the revolt against him.

    He must now decide between carrying on with his iron-fist crackdown to douse persistent protests, or rely on the new bloodbath in Hama, Deraa and Deir a-Zur to act as a deterrent against the nationwide revival of mass demonstrations.

    The third option, which he threatened earlier in the three-month revolt, would be to re-channel the fury directed against his regime into aggression on the Syrian-Israeli border.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  9. #49
    Senior Member samizdat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Assad paid Golan demonstrators $1,000 apiece, but turnout scanty
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 5, 2011, 10:39 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Syria Golan Israel Bashar Assad border clash

    Only hundreds - not thousands this time
    Syrian President Bashar Assad's security machine is creaking judging by its failure to raise thousands of Palestinian and Syrian volunteers to brave the Israeli troops manning the Golan Sunday, June 5 - three weeks after his success in staging the first mass border incursion. DEBKAfile's intelligence sources reveal that even the few hundred willing to turn out demanded a fee: $1,000 for every demonstrator who managed to cut a piece of razor wire from the Israeli border fence – and exorbitant fee in Syrian terms - and $10,000 for the families of volunteers shot by Israeli troops before they reached their goal.
    Syrian state TV reported 20 killed and 277 injured in clashes with Israeli border troops - figures which are not reliably confirmed.
    Assad's home front is sinking fast, which was why he tried to stage a piece of nation-cementing drama on the Israeli border. He hoped the Golan dead would outnumber the many hundreds killed in his three-month crackdown on the protest movement against his regime and is therefore likely to keep on trying.
    Sunday alone, scores died in Syrian tank-backed attacks on protesters in northwest Syria who are now using live fire against his troops. DEBKAfile' sources report that Syrian security agents captured by protesters were hung in broad daylight from electricity poles on city high streets Sunday, June 5, causing troops and police to flee in panic.
    "We are deeply troubled by events that took place earlier today in the Golan Heights resulting in injuries and the loss of life," the State Department said in a statement.
    "We call for all sides to exercise restraint. Provocative actions like this should be avoided. Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself," the US statement added.

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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  10. #50
    Senior Member samizdat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Israeli Forces Fire on Syria-Organized Mob
    Posted by Matthew Avitabile On June - 5 - 2011
    The government of Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, is facing larger and alrger protests. Despite the fact that the government there has massacred over 1,000 civilians the protests do not appear to be relenting. To try and create an artificial crisis, it appears that Assad’s government is sending mobs to the Israeli border, seeking to spark a conflict to create a common enemy with the protesters.

    And the Syrians are hamming up the incident where Israeli forces fired on the violent crowd:

    State-run Syrian TV reported six dead, including a 12-year-old boy, and 15 wounded. There was no immediate confirmation of those reports.

    Mohammed Hasan, a 16-year old student, was wounded in both feet. “We want on this occasion to remind America and the whole world that we have a right to return to our country,” he said.

    Syria might just start a war if it thinks it will save their regime.

    http://www.worldthreats.com/?p=8566

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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  11. #51
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    Default Re: Syria

    Short and sweet statement from State....

    Syria "clearly" inciting Israel border protests: U.S.






    WASHINGTON | Mon Jun 6, 2011 1:11pm EDT



    (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday that Syria was "clearly" behind lethal confrontations between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters along the once-quiet ceasefire line between the two countries and that Israel has a right to defend itself.


    "This is clearly an attempt by Syria to incite these kinds of protests," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, saying Damascus hoped to divert attention from its own internal problems. "Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself."


    (Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Will Dunham)
    Libertatem Prius!


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  12. #52
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011...demonstrations


    Syrian protesters remain on border after deadly demonstrations
    June 6, 2011

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Syrian protesters spent the night on the border with Israel on the Golan Heights following a day in which up to 23 Arabs were reported killed.

    More protesters began gathering near the border again on Monday, but did not show signs of repeating Sunday's attempts to breach the border. Meanwhile, Syrian police reportedly began preventing pro-Palestinian marchers from approaching the border, after setting up checkpoints and sending many protesters away.

    Syrian reports claim that 23 protesters were killed, including a woman and a child, and 350 injured Sunday on what the Arabs call Naksa Day, commemorating the anniversary of the "setback" of the 1967 Six-Day War. The protests appeared to be a repeat attempt at the border breaches of May 15 that left more than a dozen dead, Israel Defense Forces officials reject the Syrian reports of the number dead as inflated.

    Israeli soldiers and border police used tear gas and fired their weapons in the air and then at protesters' feet to break up the crowds threatening to breach the border in the Golan Heights at the Druze town of Majdal Shams and the Kuneitra crossing. Dozens of Druze youths from Majdal Shams in Israel threw large rocks and bricks at police on the border.

    On Monday, Majdal Shams remained a closed military zone.

    The opposition Reform Party of Syria asserted late Sunday that President Bashar Assad's regime offered to pay demonstrators in the border protests $1,000 for participating, and $10,000 to the families of protesters killed during the demonstrations. A windfall of $1,000 extra dollars could keep a struggling Syrian family afloat for up to six months, according to a statement from the Reform Party.

    The party accused Assad of using the border clashes to divert attention from his government's attacks on his own citizens. About 70 Syrian anti-government protesters reportedly were killed over the weekend, according to opposition reports.

    Meanwhile, Israel's Foreign Ministry said Monday that it will complain to the United Nations over the protests, which in some cases because violent.

    The IDF has begun an investigation into Sunday's events. The IDF says that up to ten Syrian protesters were killed when Molotov cocktails that they were throwing set off an anti-tank missile buried in a nearby minefield. The IDF reiterated that its troops fired "precisely" at the feet and legs of the protesters.

    "To my regret, today, there are extremist elements around us that are trying to break through our borders and threaten our communities and our citizens," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at his weekly Cabinet meeting. "We will not allow them to do so. I have instructed the security forces to act with determination, with maximum restraint, but with determination to maintain our sovereignty, our borders, our communities and our citizens."

    The U.S. State Department backed up Israel's right to self-defense.

    "We call for all sides to exercise restraint. Provocative actions like this should be avoided. Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself," the State Dept. said in a statement. "We are deeply troubled by events that took place earlier today in the Golan Heights resulting in injuries and the loss of life."


    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/mideast-...-town-1.366324


    Syria reports 120 security forces killed by 'gangs' in northern town

    Report of ambush follows weekend of dozens of civilian casualties in military operation to crush opposition to Assad government.
    By Reuters and The Associated Press
    Published 18:43 06.06.11
    Latest update 18:43 06.06.11

    Syria's government claimed 120 policemen were killed in an ambush and gunbattle with armed men in the tense northern town of Jisr al-Shughour where the army has carried out deadly operations against protesters. The attack follows deadly clashes over the weekend in which dozens were killed.

    "Martyrs from security (forces) and police were killed in an ambush by armed gangs in Jisr al-Shughour. They were on their way to answer a call for aid from civilians terrorized in Jisr al-Shughour," the television said.

    State TV first said twenty security forces were dead, then later said a further eight were killed when gunmen blew up the town's post office. The figure was soon updated to forty, then eighty, then a hundred-twenty casualties.

    "The armed groups are using weapons and grenades ... the people in Jisr al-Shughour are urging the army to intervene speedily," said the Syrian state television report. It said earlier that security forces had clashed with hundreds of gunmen who had set up blockades in the town.

    The government promised a decisive response, setting the stage for an even stronger government crackdown against a popular uprising that began in mid-March and poses the most potent threat in years to the 40-year regime of the Assad family.

    The state television report said armed groups in the area carried out a massacre. It said the groups ambushed police and security forces, blew up the post office, torched government buildings and mutilated bodies. Thirty-seven were killed at a security post, the report said.

    There was no independent confirmation of the claims. Human rights activist Mustafa Osso cast doubt on the government accounts. "The protesters have so far been peaceful and unarmed," he said.

    Osso said there were unconfirmed reports of a few army deserters who switched sides and were fighting security forces. These reports stated that the security forces were killed by other government forces when they refused to fire upon demonstrators and tried to desert their posts and escape to Turkey.

    Activists said Sunday that at least 37 residents of the town have been killed since Saturday during a military operation to crush opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year rule.

    One Syrian rights group said Sunday that the death toll up until that point had gone up to at least 45. The figure included 35 civilians and 10 soldiers and police. The operation was part of a crackdown that began Saturday and continued on Sunday.

    Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, said "armed criminal groups" attacked several police stations in Jisr al-Shughour, killing two policeman. It said the attackers captured weapons from the stations. The Syrian government blames armed gangs and religious extremists for the violence.

    The Local Coordination Committees says at least 1,270 people have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested across the country since the uprising began in March.



    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  14. #54
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Ana...#axzz1OhhaB3UA


    Syria's crisis begins to go international
    June 08, 2011 03:31 PM
    By Samia Nakhoul Reuters

    DUBAI: The increasingly bloody crisis engulfing Syria has started to go international.

    A French initiative in the U.N. Security Council to secure condemnation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s repression of protesters is just one symptom of growing world alarm.

    On Wednesday, Turkey reported that 122 Syrians had fled across the border to escape an expected military crackdown in a northwestern Syrian town where the government has accused “armed gangs” of killing more than 120 security personnel.

    Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan declared that his country would not “close its doors” to Syrian refugees and urged Assad’s government to be more tolerant toward civilians.

    Small groups of refugees fled earlier to Lebanon when Syrian security forces were suppressing protests in a border town.

    Israel and the United States accuse Damascus of promoting Palestinian rallies at the fence dividing Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to divert attention from the challenge to four decades of Assad family rule.

    The United States and Britain, unlike France, have stopped just short of proclaiming that Assad has lost all legitimacy. But his ability to control Syria is also in question.

    “Assad is finished, but we have to see how this regime will crumble,” said Burhan Ghalyoun, a Syrian opposition and academic at the Sorbonne in Paris. “Is it going to crumble from inside, through growing demonstrations, or will the world unite, demand that the killing ends and threaten intervention?”

    Despite belated enthusiasm for pro-democracy movements that have unseated leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, no Western leaders – let alone their autocratic Arab partners – have shown any appetite to intervene in Syria, an Iranian ally with a volatile ethnic and religious mix lying in a web of regional conflicts.

    Syria’s old Cold War ally Moscow, unhappy about how NATO powers have interpreted a U.N. resolution authorizing military action to protect civilians in Libya, has said it may veto a possible Security Council resolution condemning Damascus.

    Turkey, which had sunk huge efforts to foster a new relationship with Syria over the past decade, has publicly chided Assad for failing to heed its urgings that he respond to unrest by leading reform, rather than risk being swept away.

    Qatar, a wealthy Gulf state friendly to Syria – as well as to the United States – has also been involved in attempts to persuade Assad to change course, diplomatic sources say.

    After contacts between Washington, Ankara and Doha, the Qatari prime minister met Assad twice in Syria last month, the sources say, adding that Qatar offered Assad funds and political support if he embraced reform, but he backed away from the idea.

    Despite some vague promises of dialogue and selective prisoner releases, Assad seems locked onto a course of repression to ensure the survival of his 11-year rule.

    Bloody events in Jisr al-Shughour, near Turkey, suggest cracks in the loyalty of elements in his security forces or the beginnings of armed opposition, or some combination of the two.

    Activists and residents say at least part of the bloodshed in the Sunni town followed a military deployment to crush a mutiny among other army units. Some sources say several mid-ranking officers in turn disobeyed orders to fire on mutineers and were themselves shot by loyalist security forces.

    The government says gunmen roaming the town killed more than 120 men from various security forces in ambushes and attacks.

    The death toll was far higher than in similar reported instances of security personnel being shot after defecting to the demonstrators. There have also been previous reports of some dissidents taking up weapons and attacking security forces.

    With most independent media barred from Syria, it is hard to piece together a reliable and coherent account.

    But threats by the authorities to send the army to restore order in Jisr al-Shughour have stirred memories of a fierce crackdown there in 1980, when the president’s father, the late Hafez al-Assad, put down a Muslim Brotherhood uprising.

    That was the prelude to the much bloodier 1982 episode in the city of Hama where many thousands were killed and the old town was razed by troops sent to wipe out Brotherhood rebels.

    Wael Merza, a Syrian academic and opponent of the Assad administration, said: “Bashar is trying to recreate the 2011 version of his father’s Hama massacre in 1982. He is opting for a city-by-city massacre rather than one mass killing.

    “Bashar doesn’t want to respond to people’s demands. The basis of his policy is a calibrated bloodbath.”

    Erdogan’s Justice and Development party, with its roots in Islamism, is sensitive to the plight of Syrian Sunnis – the majority in a population ruled by an elite that is dominated by Assad’s minority Alawite sect. The Turkish premier warned last month that Turkey would “not tolerate another Hama.”

    Lebanese analyst Jamil Mroue predicted that Erdogan would toughen his line on Assad after Turkey’s election Sunday.

    Last weekend, Turkish President Abdullah Gul told visiting Egyptian pro-democracy activists that rulers in the region must respect their own people and accept their legitimate demands.

    “I would like to remind rulers in Muslim Arab countries of the necessity of being realistic, of perceiving the world better and of seeing that there is already no place for authoritarian regimes in the Islamic world,” Gul said.

    “Everyone is aware that I am speaking about countries such as Syria and Libya,” he added.

    Despite its friendship with Syria, with which it has had a visa-free border since 2009, Turkey has accepted a trickle of Syrian asylum-seekers and hosted a conference of Syrian opposition figures last week. Turkish officials say Ankara has made preparations for a further influx of Syrian refugees.

    Turkey, Syria’s main trade partner, has so far had little influence on events in its neighbor, but it has the means to hurt Assad’s government, which has transferred substantial funds to Turkish banks since Syria withdrew from Lebanon in 2005.

    Turkey’s demographic make-up – a Sunni majority with big Kurdish and Alawite minorities – is not dissimilar to Syria’s, except that in Syria the Alawite minority has been in power for four decades, behind the facade of one-party Baathist rule.

    Mroue said it was not clear if Assad was really in charge or complicit in the harsh measures against protesters – a question that has been recurrent since he inherited power in 2000.

    “We never got really to know if he is blocked from doing what he has promised to do,” said Mroue. “Either he is part of the set-up and we believed the lie for 10 years that Bashar is a reformist. Or he is just a PR man with the rank of a president.”

    Syrian opposition groups are also trying to give their struggle an international dimension, sending a delegation on Tuesday to present what they said was evidence of crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court, which could ultimately lead to a referral of Syria to the Security Council.

    The delegation said 1,168 people had been killed, 3,000 wounded and 11,000 detained since the uprising in Syria began on March 18. It also reported 893 forced disappearances.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  15. #55
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Mid...#axzz1OhhaB3UA


    Syrian mutiny, loss of town shows cracks in regime
    June 08, 2011 12:37 PM
    By Zeina Karam Associated Press

    BEIRUT: A deadly mutiny of Syrian soldiers and loss of control over a tense northern town appeared to show extraordinary cracks in an autocratic regime that has long prided itself on its iron control.

    Details about the events in Jisr al-Shughour remained murky on Tuesday. The government said 120 forces were dead, without explaining the enormous loss of life, and acknowledged losing "intermittent" control of the area.

    But the reports Tuesday from residents and activists -- and the television appearance of a soldier who says he switched sides after his hometown was bombarded -- were the clearest sign yet that the weekly protests of thousands of Syrians are eroding President Bashar Assad's grip.

    Foreign Minister Alain Juppe of France, Syria's former colonial ruler with whom Assad maintained good relations, said the president had lost his legitimacy to rule. British foreign secretary William Hague said Assad must "reform or step aside." France, Britain, Germany and Portugal have circulated a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would condemn Syria for its killing and torture of peaceful protesters and demand an immediate end to the violence. But veto-wielding Russia has voiced opposition.

    Juppe told reporters after a council meeting Tuesday on HIV/AIDS that it's "inconceivable" that the Security Council is remaining silent when repression in Syria is getting worse and massacres are increasing.

    Juppe said the resolution's supporters are waiting for as large a majority as possible in the 15-member council before bringing the resolution to a vote, "and I think it's a question of days, maybe hours." Unlike the early days of the rebellion in Libya, Assad has managed to keep his government together. On Tuesday, the network France 24 aired audio it said was of the Syrian ambassador to France issuing a stinging resignation; less than an hour later Syrian state television broadcast different audio of a woman's voice denying she had quit and threatening to sue the French network.

    It was not possible to reconcile the two accounts or contact Ambassador Lamia Shakkour.

    Activists and residents of Jisr al-Shughour told The Associated Press that a number of soldiers joined forces with protesters after days of crackdowns in the region, leading to fighting with officers and security guards in which dozens were killed.

    The Jisr al-Shughour resident said people were fleeing the area for the Turkish border about 12 miles (20 kilometers) away, fearing retaliation from a regime known for ruthlessly crushing dissent. The government vowed Monday to respond "decisively" to the violence there.

    "People were struck by fear and panic after the government statements last night, it's clear they are preparing for a major massacre," he said.

    Radwan Ziadeh, a Syrian dissident and a visiting scholar at the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, said the scale of the mutiny was unknown.

    Ziadeh said the Syrian army was a strong institution "but in the end, the army is from the people. The outrage over the killings is growing and the longer it goes on the more deserters we're going to see," he said.

    An alleged army deserter identifying himself as Lt. Abdul-Razzaq Tlass appeared on the Al-Jazeera television network Tuesday, saying he was deserting because of the regime's "crimes" all over the country. He called on other officers to protect protesters against the regime.

    "Remember your duties," added Tlass, who shares a last name with a former defense minister and said he was from the town of Rastan in central Syria. The name Tlass is common among Syrian officers from Rastan -- which has also come under deadly government bombardment in recent days.

    Jisr al-Shughour drew the most recent assault by Syria's military, whose nationwide crackdown on the revolt against Assad has left more than 1,300 Syrians dead, activists say.

    A resident said tensions began last week with snipers and security forces firing repeatedly on peaceful protests and then funerals, killing around 30 people.

    A resident said tensions began last week with snipers and security forces firing repeatedly on peaceful protests and then funerals, killing around 30 people.

    The resident said a number of soldiers ultimately defected, angered by the thuggish behavior of pro-government gunmen known as "Shabiha," a fearsome name that some believe has roots in the Arabic word for "ghost." The resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals, said the gunmen were terrorizing residents and trying to stir up sectarian tensions.

    Jisr al-Shughour is predominantly Sunni but there are Alawite and Christian villages in the area. The Alawite minority rules over Sunni majority in Syria.

    "There was heavy gunfire and very loud explosions from across the river on Saturday and Sunday," he said, adding he could not see what was happening from where he lives.

    "We heard there were massacres, bodies thrown in the river." There have been sporadic reports since the uprising began of troops defecting and even reports of military units fighting each other, but if the government's toll is confirmed, this would by far be the deadliest mutiny.

    Assad's army has always been the regime's fiercest defender.

    In many ways, Syrians say, the Shabiha are more terrifying than the army and security forces, whose tactics include firing on protesters. Most Shabiha fighters belong to the minority Alawite sect, as do the Assad family and the ruling elite. This ensures the gunmen's loyalty, built on fears they will be persecuted if the Sunni majority gains the upper hand.

    A prominent activist outside Syria with connections to the area said many Syrians had taken to carrying weapons in response to the killings of protesters. But he said clashes over the past few days were mainly between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Syrian security forces.

    He said the weapons were smuggled from Turkey.

    "The area is effectively outside the control of Syrian security forces now," he said.

    Jisr al-Shughour was a stronghold of the country's banned Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s. Human rights groups said at least 42 civilians have been killed there since Saturday.

    Some activists also told of a mutiny, with a few soldiers switching sides and defending themselves against attacking security forces. Other reports said many Syrians also took up arms to defend themselves.

    A resident of Jisr al-Shughour who spoke from a nearby village where he fled days ago scoffed at reports of armed resistance.

    "Since the 80s, residents of Jisr al-Shughour are banned from possessing any kind of weapons, even a hunting rifle," he said. "So how can there be armed resistance?" Ammar Qurabi, head of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, said it was unclear how such a large number of officers were killed.

    He said the likely cause was army infighting but added there may be cases of individual residents rising up against troops to defend themselves.

    He blamed the government for not explaining: "The statements by officials are full of threats, rather than explanations." Turkish authorities said 35 Syrians wounded in the clashes were being treated Tuesday at Turkish hospitals after crossing the border from Jisr al-Shughour.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry said 224 Syrians were sheltering at a camp near the border and authorities were taking measures in case of an influx of refugees.

    Syria's government has a history of violent retaliation against dissent, including a three-week bombing campaign against the city of Hama that crushed an uprising there in 1982. Jisr al-Shughour itself came under government shelling in 1980, with a reported 70 people killed.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  16. #56
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=224377


    Could Assad vent his wrath on Israel?
    By YAAKOV KATZ
    06/10/2011 17:43

    In the event of foreign military intervention in Syria, the IDF is concerned that the Syrian president might decide to attack the Jewish state.

    Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

    President Barack Obama made this statement on March 28 in an address to the National Defense University, during which he explained America’s rationale for approving a military campaign to stop Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s violent crackdown on protesters.

    The war in Libya is almost three months old and seems to be continuing, but one question that remains unanswered is why the above policy of not turning a blind eye to atrocities doesn’t apply to other countries in the Middle East – like Syria, for example.

    By Thursday, the death toll in Syria was believed to have already reached over 1,500 people, but the international community, led by the US, could not even find itself in agreement over the language of a resolution censuring Syria that some countries in Europe wanted to push through the Security Council.

    So why the difference? In a word: Israel.

    Israel does not share a border with Libya, but it does share one with Syria, and there are fears in the IDF that in the event of foreign military intervention there, Israel would feel the brunt of Bashar Assad’s retaliation.

    While Assad is already believed to be trying to divert attention from his lethal crackdown on protesters by encouraging Palestinians to raid the Israeli border, as occurred this past Sunday, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what Syria can do.

    One intelligence assessment speaks of the possibility that, under extreme pressure – caused politically or militarily – Assad might decide to attack Israel with more than just angry Palestinians from the Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus.

    Instead, he would have available the thousands of ballistic missiles Syria has manufactured over the years, as well as an extensive chemical arsenal, bolstered as a replacement for the nuclear reactor Israel destroyed in 2007.

    For this reason, Jerusalem is quietly warning about the potential consequences of Western military action aimed at toppling Assad. This does not mean, of course, that Israel wants Assad to remain in power; in reality, the opposite is true. But the concern cannot be ignored; what will happen the day after Assad falls, and into whose hands will the ballistic missiles and chemical weapons fall?

    At the same time, senior IDF officers believe that there is no turning back for Assad and that after killing some 1,500 of his own people, he will not be able to rule again as he once did. What this means practically is still unclear, but the hope is that it will ultimately lead to a larger break in the Iranian axis that connects Tehran, Damascus and Beirut, and will further isolate Iran and cut off supplies to Hezbollah.

    Syria’s close allies – Hezbollah and Iran – are also extremely concerned with the ongoing demonstrations in Syria and the potential impact on them.

    Western intelligence agencies have raised the possibility that Hezbollah is trying to transfer advanced weaponry it reportedly maintains on Syrian soil to Lebanon due to the ongoing turmoil in the country.

    The group is believed to have stored advanced arms in Syria – including longrange Scud missiles- as part of its logistical deployment along Israel’s northern border.

    Iran is also not waiting for Assad, and just this week – in the midst of the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East – announced that it was implementing plans to triple its production of uranium. It also said that the secret nuclear facility it was caught covertly building near the city of Qom in 2009 would no longer remain empty and would be equipped with advanced centrifuges for the enrichment of higher-grade uranium.

    The Iranian announcement came just two days after International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano said the nuclear watchdog had obtained information that “seems to point to the existence” of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.

    Amano’s announcement came just a few weeks after the IAEA released its latest report on Iran’s nuclear program, pointing to a significant increase in the enrichment of uranium – up from 133 kilograms per month to 156 kg. – with a total of just over 4 tons of low-enriched uranium (LEU), enough for at least two nuclear weapons if enriched again to higher military-grade levels.

    While Iran is still encountering some technological difficulties, overall it seems to have overcome the setback caused last year by Stuxnet, the virus that attacked its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and is believed to have destroyed over 1,000 centrifuges.

    In simpler terms, Iran is taking advantage of the current shift in the world’s focus from its illicit nuclear activities to the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East, and is moving forward with enriching uranium. The decision on Tuesday to send submarines to the Red Sea is another indication of Iran’s growing confidence and its belief that it will not pay a price for any of these provocations.

    There are a number of reasons for the confidence. While the current sanctions in place against Iran have had some effect, they are overshadowed and undermined by the increase in the price of oil. In addition, while other tyrants in the Middle East are battling for survival, in Iran the protests have waned and almost disappeared.

    According to Israeli intelligence assessments, Iran wants to wait until it has enough fissionable material to produce an arsenal of nuclear weapons, which means it will need several more tons of low-enriched uranium. From the stage when it decides to break out and begin enriching uranium at military levels, until the point that it has a testable nuclear device, it will likely be a year.

    Iran’s confidence also appears to have received a boost from the recent media mayhem in Israel over former Mossad chief Meir Dagan’s comments about Jerusalem’s military option vis-à-vis the Iranian nuclear issue. Dagan said it was a “stupid idea” to attack Iran, and pointed out the “impossible” regional challenge Israel would face following such an attack.

    For Tehran, these comments fell on welcoming ears. For years, the Iranians have questioned Israel’s military capabilities. Now here comes Dagan – their archnemesis – and gives them a reason to. Dagan’s justification for doing this – his concern with Israel’s current political leadership – might be genuine, even though it was done with the awareness that it would eat away at the deterrence Jerusalem has tried for years to create in the face of the Iranian threat.

    Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon has long spoken about the importance of creating a “credible military option” for Iran’s nuclear program. According to Ya’alon, it is not enough to speak about the option; it is also necessary to show the Iranians that it is real, viable and effective.

    “They need to fear that the military option is real and can be used,” Ya’alon has said in the past.

    To back up this argument, Ya’alon has referred to Tehran’s 2003 decision to suspend its enrichment of uranium and weapons program. That move was based on fear that after the US invasion of Iraq, it was next in line. President George W. Bush had already listed Iran has part of the “Axis of Evil” mentioned in his 2002 State of the Union address.

    Judging by its recent decisions, Iran no longer feels threatened. As it continues to provoke the world without paying a price, there is unfortunately no reason it should.


    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



  17. #57
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.debka.com/article/21008/


    Moscow opposes Western anti-Syrian motions because of Tripoli bombing
    DEBKAfile Special Report June 9, 2011, 5:56 PM (GMT+02:00)

    Russia is opposed to any UN Security Council resolution on Syria," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told journalists at a briefing in Moscow Thursday, June 29, after the UK, France, Germany and Portugal moved to condemn Syria's violent crackdown on anti-government protesters and demand humanitarian access to the situation there.

    The new resolution demands that President Bashar Assad end the violence and lifts the siege of protest cities. It also calls for an arms embargo on Syria.US Ambassador Susan Rice, who did not co-sponsor the draft, dismissed the comparison between Syria and Libya.

    Wednesday, June 8, the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels failed to agree on the expansion of operations against Muammar Qaddafi or persuade more alliance members to join.

    debkafile's military sources add:

    The cost of the war in Libya is constantly rising and beginning to weigh heavily on the defense outlay and state budgets of the US, Britain and France, all of which are battling deep economic crises. Our sources learn that the three governments are contemplating dipping into the frozen funds of Muammar Qaddafi's regime estimated at over $45 billion - possibly $34 billion in American banks alone – to defray some of the costs.

    The relentless air strikes over Tripoli alone cost about $25 million per day.

    The use of those funds will be presented as necessary to relieve the hardships of the Libyan population living under rebel rule and suffering attacks from Qaddafi's forces.

    In a statement issued on Thursday morning, June 9 (Wednesday night in the US), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Tim Johnson said, "The ongoing violence in Libya has disrupted the economy and left far too many innocent Libyan citizens struggling to simply put food on the table."

    debkafile's military and intelligence sources say the coalition ran into financial difficulties because they missed realistically evaluating Qaddafi's financial, military and political strength before launching operations against him in March. They are therefore running out of steam after four months without removing him from power. Some Western capitals and NATO circles are talking about prolonging the war until the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.

    In March, we reported that the Libyan ruler had stashed most of his financial assets in cash, estimated at nearly $1 trillion, in underground hiding-places in the Libyan desert. The war's planners, especially in London and Paris, declined to take this into account because they were sure they could topple him in days or, at most, weeks. His private fortune would then have been invested in building the New Libya.

    This plan has faded from view.

    Even now, under the continuous pressure of NATO bombardments, Qaddafi has a plentiful cash flow to fund his operations. The tribal chiefs in areas where his money is hidden remain loyal to the Libyan ruler and take good care of his money because it keeps them in funds and buttresses their own tribal power.

    The West, in contrast, is struggling against a shortage of funds which has become one of the main obstacles to sustaining the war effort against him.

    Wednesday, June 8, NATO tried ratcheting up the war effort in two ways:

    Air assaults on the government compound in Bab Al Aziziya, Tripoli, were intensified to some 80 strikes in two days, a pitch unprecedented so far. Its object was to trigger a mutiny in the army units still loyal to Qaddafi and an uprising among the capital's more than 3 million inhabitants.

    This did not happen: The rockets landed mainly on empty buildings and bunkers, long evacuated after the first bombardments. The people who paid with their lives, therefore, were a few guards and passersby.

    The thunderous assault on Tripoli formed the background to the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels Wednesday.

    The twenty member-governments which have stayed out of the military action so far refused to be drawn in, in the face of the strong pitch made by NATO Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Sweden, a non-NATO participant, announced it was scaling down its involvement.

    US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in his last appearance at an alliance meeting, pointed to five countries that Washington would like to see play a greater part in the war: Germany, Poland, Turkey, Holland and Spain. But their defense ministers turned him down too.

    Diplomats who took part in the meeting said that some of the participants openly admitted a "certain fatigue" beginning to set in among the eight NATO states committed to the war. Yet the Brussels meeting left those eight governments, led by Britain, France and Italy, to soldier on unaided in the drive to overthrow Qaddafi.

    Despite US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's confident assertion that Qaddafi's days were numbered, the downbeat atmosphere in Brussels infected the meeting in Abu Dhabi Thursday, June 10, when coalition foreign ministers committed to the Libyan operation met to discuss the fate of post-Qaddafi Libya.

    While the participants were voluble in their support for the rebel cause, very little financial aid was put on the table.

    Egypt was invited to join the group but declined:

    Cairo has its hands too full with grave domestic difficulties to be available for any role in the war on Qaddafi.

    All the same, debkafile's military sources report that this week saw a noticeable decline in Qaddafi's military and political situation. Heavy NATO bombardments are managing to knock out some of his armies' military and logistical supplies, while Russia and the countries of the African Union which backed him until now are now saying openly that it is time for him to go. They have embarked on diplomacy for ending the conflict and removing him from power.

    Moscow has its own fish to fry: it is in the process of teaching the West a lesson that it will not be allowed to go off on its own and bomb an Arab capital like Tripoli without a UN Security Council mandate, which Russia says NATO has long overstepped. As holder of a Security Council veto, Russia has cited NATO's "inclusive bombing of Tripoli" as grounds for blocking the new Western draft resolution condemning another Arab government, Syria, and any Western intervention against the Assad regime – even through the International Atomic Energy Agency which Thursday referred the dossier on the plutonium plant Israel bombed four years ago before it was finished.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Turkey to send troops into Syria. Syrian helicopters machine-gun protesters

    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 10, 2011, 11:26 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Syria Turkey Bashar Assad Erdogan

    Syrian soldiers are now dying in battle

    A new and dramatic turn in the Syrian crisis;: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday night, June 10, ordered his army to move into northern Syria where battles were blazing in Idlib, Maarat al-Numaan and Jisr al-Shuhour. debkafile's exclusive sources report that the prime minister's office and high command in Ankara are still working out how to define the Turkish military mission in Syria. One proposal is to evoke UN Security Council's 1973 resolution which mandated the NATO operation in Libya to protect civilian lives against Col. Qaddafi.

    Turkey would be acting to defend Syrian civilians against a crackdown which Erdogan called barbaric.

    Ankara decided on military intervention Friday night, two days before Turkey's general election, after learning about the latest turn in the showdown between the Syrian government and the opposition.
    Most of the day's reporting focused on the small northern town of Jisr al-Shughour near the Turkish border, where tanks blasted residential areas Friday night and killed an estimated 28 civilians to punish its residents for the 120 officers and soldiers killed in clashes with protesters Monday, June 6.

    Away from the limelight, heavy fighting also raged in Idlib, west of Syria's second largest town Aleppo, and Maarat al-Numaan, a small western market city located on the highway between Aleppo and Hama.

    In these places, the Syrian army encountered the guns of a Muslim Brotherhood militia fighting alongside a group of defecting soldiers, according to our military sources.

    In the late afternoon, Assad sent tanks and attack helicopters armed with heavy machine guns to strike rebel positions. The casualty toll in this northern battleground is believed to be the highest of any day since the start of the uprising in early April.

    The Turkish expeditionary force in Syria will have three missions:

    1. To stem the swelling stream of Syrian refugees fleeing massacre at the hands of government forces. Ankara has accepted over 3,000 refugees from Jisr al-Shughour who are desperate to escape certain slaughter; it is not prepared to take on tens or possible hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing from larger towns like Idlib, Maarat al-Numaana and the Kurdish regions abutting the Turkish border.

    2. To mark out a military zone on the Syrian side of the border where the Red Crescent will set up camps for Syrian refugees to shelter under Turkish army protection;

    3. Next week, the Turkish army will establish a military buffer zone in the Kurdish region of northern Syria near its main town, Qamishli.

    The Erdogan government will be taking the chance of Assad deciding that the Turkish military incursion is an act of war. Fighting would then break out between the two armies.

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    11-Jun-11 World View — Turkey May Send Troops Into Syria

    Turkey’s PM Erdogan reverses position on Syria


    Map of Jisr al-Shughour in Syria and Yayladagi in Turkey

    Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has now condemned, in the harshest terms, the man he used to call “a good friend of mine.” Referring to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, as well as his younger brother Maher, he said, “Sadly, their actions are inhumane. The savagery right now… think about it, the images they are playing in the heads of the women they kill is so ugly, these images are hard to eat, hard to swallow.” He indicated that he now supports a UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria — a reversal of his previous position. Zaman and Al-Jazeera
    Turkey may send troops into Syria

    Nearly 3,000 Syrians have fled into southern Turkey, into the refugee camp at Yayladagi, fearing a military assault by regime armed forces, but Turkey now fears that thousands may turn into hundreds of thousands of refugees. Turkish officials have neither confirmed nor denied a report that they have drawn up plans for an operation that would send several battalions of Turkish troops into Syria itself to carve out a “safe area” or “buffer area” for Syrian refugees inside Assad’s “caliphate.” From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Syria is in a generational Awakening era, and can’t have a crisis civil war at this time. However, there’s nothing stopping Syria from becoming the theatre of a proxy war between other countries which, like Turkey, are in generational Crisis eras. Zaman
    U.S. condemns Syrian crackdown

    Syrian security forces dealt brutally with demonstrations in cities across Syria on Friday. Thousands of residents of Jisr al-Shughour have been fleeing, many into Turkey. A military siege is unfolding in the town. Military forces moved into the town after the government said “armed gangs” in the region had killed 120 security personnel. VOA

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    Default Re: Syria

    Sen. Graham: Military intervention in Syria should be ‘on the table’

    By Ben Geman - 06/12/11 12:04 PM ET

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that it’s time to consider international intervention in Syria to avoid the further “slaughter” of people there by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

    “If it made sense to protect the Libyan people against Gadhafi, and it did because they were going to get slaughtered if we hadn’t sent NATO in when he was on the outskirts of Benghazi, the question for the world [is], have we gotten to that point in Syria,” Graham said on the CBS' "Face the Nation."

    “We may not be there yet, but we are getting very close, so if you really care about protecting the Syrian people from slaughter, now is the time to let Assad know that all options are on the table,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.Over 1,000 civilians have been killed in recent months in a crackdown against the uprising there, according to human rights groups.

    “It has gotten to the point where Gadhafi’s behavior and Assad’s behavior are indistinguishable,” Graham said, and noted “You need to put on the table all options, including a model like we have in Libya.

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