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Thread: Syria

  1. #821
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    Default Re: Syria

    Syrian-Israeli war of words via Putin edges into Syrian-Hizballah war of attrition

    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 16, 2013, 10:58 AM (IDT)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu ended their three-hour meeting in Sochi Tuesday, May 14, at loggerheads on Syria. In fact, Putin warned his guest that Israel and its army, the IDF, were heading for war with Syria in which Russia might well be involved – and not just through the advanced S-300 anti-air missiles supplied to the Assad government. The case Netanyahu and Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi put before Putin and Russian foreign intelligence chief, SVR Director Mikhail Fradkov, fell on deaf ears.

    They found the Russian leader further infuriated by the docking that day at Israel’s Red Sea port of Eilat of the USS Kearsarge, carrying 1,800 marines and a consignment of 20 V-22 Osprey helicopters which US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had promised to supply to Israel during his April visit.

    Putin viewed the stationing of US forces in the Gulf of Aqaba just two hours away the Israeli-Syrian border for repelling Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah aggression against Israel or Jordan – signaled by the Kearsage’s arrival - as an act of bad faith by Washington. On the one hand, they want us to cooperate for an international conference to end the bloodshed in Syria, while on the other, they deploy military forces, he complained to Netanyahu.

    The Israeli prime minister countered with a warning that Israel would continue to strike advanced weapons in Syria that were destined for Hizballah. And if President Bashar Assad hit back for Israel’s May 5 bombardment of weapons stores on Mount Qassioun near Damascus, Israel would intensify its bombardments of Syrian military targets and weapons until Assad was left to fight off rebel assaults empty-handed.

    Putin rejected this threat as implausible.

    Neither Putin nor Netanyahu put all their cards on the table, but the conversation ended with the Russian leader fully confident that his capabilities for safeguarding Assad were greater than Israel’s ability to destroy him.

    In the end, Netanyahu and his party arrived home Tuesday evening with a bad feeling. They were certain that Moscow had given Assad the green light to go through with his threat to make the Syrian Golan and the Horan of southern Syria “a front for resistance” – i.e. the platforms for embarking on a war of attrition against northern Israel with the help of a flow of advanced weapons to Hizballah.

    The Syrian ruler is strongly encouraged to adopt this path by Tehran. Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah has embraced it. And the radical Palestinian leader, Ahmed Jibril, head of the Assad-satellite Popular Front-General Command, has eagerly offered his services.

    And indeed, Wednesday, the day after Netanyahu’s trip to Sochi, Jibril’s group let loose with mortar fire on the Israeli Mt. Hermon ski site, firing from a Syrian army position.

    Israeli military sources confirmed later that these were no stray shells from a Syrian-army-rebel battle as in former cases, but a deliberate attack. In Jerusalem, it was taken as a direct consequence of Moscow’s account to Assad of the conversation between the Russian and Israeli leaders. They concluded that Assad took it for granted that he was now at liberty to go on the offensive against Israel.

    Wednesday night, Netanyahu’s office reacted to this deterioration with a swift and strong warning.

    Israeli media were informed bluntly that if the Assad chose to retaliate for Israel’s air strikes, he would be removed from power.

    That same night, “a senior Israeli official” contacted The New York Times with a more detailed warning quoted by the paper: "If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies, he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate."

    Within hours, early Thursday morning, May 16, Jerusalem had its answer from Damascus.

    A Palestinian group calling itself “Martyrs of the Abdel Qader al-Husseini Brigades” (named for the commander of a Palestinian force fighting Israel in its 1948 War of Independence) claimed responsibility for the "rockets" aimed at an Israeli military observation post in the Golan Heights. They were fired in honor of Nakba Day, said the statement released in Damascus "We are not celebrating but avenging the blood of our martyrs."

    A video showing the launch was appended.

    Palestinian terrorist groups habitually use made-up names when claiming attacks, a practice often followed by al Qaeda, but this one was easily identified by Israel and taken to mean that Assad had begun using what the Israeli official referred to in The New York Times as "his terrorist proxies."

    Depending on the next move decided on by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, this incident could mark the tipping-point of a slide towards a war confrontation against Israel by Syria, Hizballah and other Assad proxies.

    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. #822
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    Default Re: Syria

    Russian Pacific Fleet Warships Enter Mediterranean First Time In Decades, Park in Cyprus

    Earlier we reported that the US has now officially landed a Marine force in Israel as well as an assault ship, in a visit that the US Navy promptly assured "is not associated with, nor a reaction to, any world events." It seems we were not the only ones who read this justification somewhat skeptically: so did Russia.

    And in a historic event, the Russian Pacific fleet, for the first time in decades, crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean, direction Cyprus' port of Limasol (hi Cyprus - Russia will be arriving shortly) in what is now the loudest implied warning to the US and Israel amassing military units across Syria's border that Russia will not stand idly by as Syria is used by the Israeli "Defense" Forces for target practice. “The task force has successfully passed through the Suez Channel and entered the Mediterranean. It is the first time in decades that Pacific Fleet warships enter this region,” Capt. First Rank Roman Martov said. This is what is also known as dropping hints, loud and clear.

    The group, including the destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, the amphibious warfare ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi, the tanker Pechenga and the salvage/rescue tug Fotiy Krylov left the port of Vladivostok on March 19 to join Russia’s Mediterranean task force.


    Admiral Panteleyev destroyer


    Admiral Nevelskoi

    The task force currently includes the large anti-submarine ship Severomorsk, the frigate Yaroslav Mudry, the salvage/rescue tugs Altai and SB-921 and the tanker Lena from the Northern and Baltic Fleets, as well as the Ropucha-II Class landing ship Azov from the Black Sea Fleet. The task force may be enlarged to include nuclear submarines, Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said last Sunday.

    Shore leave for a whole lot of submarines just a few hundred kilometers from Syria? Surely. From Rian.

    The task force has successfully passed through the Suez Channel and entered the Mediterranean. It is the first time in decades that Pacific Fleet warships enter this region,” Capt. First Rank Roman Martov said.

    The Defense Ministry said in April Russia has begun setting up a naval task force in the Mediterranean, sending several warships from the Pacific Fleet to the region. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in March a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean was needed to defend Russia’s interests in the region.

    A senior Defense Ministry official said the Mediterranean task force's command and control agencies will be based either in Novorossiysk, Russia, or in Sevastopol, Ukraine.

    Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, head of the parliamentary defense committee, previously told RIA Novosti that the Mediterranean task force should be comprised of 10 warships and support vessels as part of several tactical groups tasked with attack, antisubmarine warfare and minesweeping.

    The Soviet Union maintained its 5th Mediterranean Squadron from 1967 until 1992. It was formed to counter the US Navy's 6th Fleet during the Cold War, and consisted of 30-50 warships and auxiliary vessels.

    It appears that the squadron is being reincarnated and quite rapidly at that.

    It also appears that the two key naval forces in the Mediterranean are finally starting to position themselves for what may soon be a face off.

    Hopefully Europe's "anti-manipulation" task force can spook enough majors to push the price of Brent much lower before the moment such an escalation becomes reality.

    P.S. Got oil?

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    添ou Americans are so gullible.
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Oh holy crap.

    I'm going home. I don't want to be in this building the next few days....
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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
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    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We値l so weaken your
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    until you値l
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Syria

    Are we truly backing the side that eats its opponents and endorses further savagery? What does that make us?

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    Default Re: Syria


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    Default Re: Syria

    Russia just gave a shit load of cruise missiles to Syria......
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    Default Re: Syria

    Report: Russia sends Assad 'ship killing missile'

    By JPOST.COM STAFF
    LAST UPDATED: 05/17/2013 14:22


    Yakhont delivered to Assad; Russia sends warships to Syria.




    Russian Yakhont anti-cruise ship missile. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


    Russia sold advanced Yakhont antiship cruise missiles to Syrian President Bashar Assad, outfitted with an advanced guidance system that makes them more effective than the older version of the missile Russia sold to Syria, The New York Times cited two American officials as saying on Thursday.


    These missiles will allow Syria to thwart any attempt by international forces to reinforce Syrian rebels by imposing a naval embargo or no fly zone, Nick Brown the editor in chief of IHS Jane's International Defense Review told The New York Times.






    “It enables the regime to deter foreign forces looking to supply the opposition from the sea, or from undertaking a more active role if a no-fly zone or shipping embargo were to be declared at some point,” Brown said, “It’s a real ship killer,” he added.


    According to the Times report, Syria ordered the coastal defense version of the Yakhont system from Russia in 2007 and received the first units in early 2011.


    Jeffrey White, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former senior American intelligence official, told the Times that by strengthening Syria's arsenal Russia was signalling its "commitment to the Syrian government."


    In a separate report on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal cited US and European officials as saying that Russia sent at least a dozen warships to its Tartus naval base in Syria, in a move partly meant to send a message to Israel and the West not to intervene militarily in the country.


    "It is a show of force. It's muscle flexing," the Journal quoted a senior US defense official as saying. "It is about demonstrating their commitment to their interests."


    Facing international criticism for his country's decision to sell the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday contended that the arms deal would not alter the balance of power in the region.


    During a meeting in Sochi, Russia with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Lavrov was quoted by AFP as saying "this does not in any way alter the balance of forces in this region or give any advantage in the fight against the opposition."


    Lavrov claimed that Russia's arms deals with Syria do not violate international agreements. "I do not understand why the media is trying to create a sensation out of this," AFP quoted him as saying.


    "We have not hidden that we supply weapons to Syria under signed contracts, without violating any international agreements, or our own legislation," he added.
    Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday criticized Russia for sending arms to the Syrian regime, stating that "the transfer of arms to Syria is clearly not positive and does not contribute to the stability of the region," according to AFP.


    "Israel has the right to defend itself," AFP quoted Livni as saying.


    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a summit in Sochi on Tuesday not to sell the state-of-the-art S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.


    Israeli officials declined to comment on Lavrov’s latest interview, which appeared to contradict a statement he made last week that Russia would not sell the S-300 advanced air defense system to Syria.
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  9. #829
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    Default Re: Syria

    Four Russian S-300 batteries shipped to Syria
    DEBKAfile May 17, 2013, 9:00 AM (GMT+02:00)

    Moscow reports that four batteries of S-300 systems with 100-150 simultaneously deployable, guided anti-aircraft missiles have already been shipped to Syria complete with Russian military “adviser” crews. DEBKAfile: An Israeli strike to smash this weapon in Syria could not avoid hitting its Russian crews.

    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

    Wow, they are really up-arming Syria...

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    Default Re: Syria

    I wonder why?


    /grin
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    Default Re: Syria

    Russia boosts fleet off Syria

    • by: Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes
    • From: The Wall Street Journal
    • May 18, 2013 12:00AM





    US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walk to the Rose Garden at the White House for a media conference yesterday. Picture: AFP Source: AFP





    RUSSIA has sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria, a build-up that US and European officials see as a new, aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to intervene in Syria's bloody civil war.



    Russia's expanded presence in the eastern Mediterranean, which began attracting US officials' notice three months ago, is one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War. While Western officials say they don't fear an impending conflict with Russia's aged fleet, the presence adds a new potential source of dangerous miscalculation in an increasingly combustible region.


    "It is a show of force. It's muscle flexing," a senior US defence official said.


    "It is about demonstrating their commitment to their interests."


    The build-up is seen as Moscow's way of trying to strengthen its hand in any talks over Syria's future and buttress its influence in the Middle East. It also provides options for evacuating tens of thousands of Russians still in Syria.









    Russian navy and foreign ministry officials did not respond to requests for comment.


    Moscow and Washington have worked publicly in recent days to assemble an international conference involving Damascus. But expectations are low that the meeting could lead to a political transition, with tension high across the region, and with the US and Russia backing opposing camps.


    Russian President Vladimir Putin signalled this week that he will proceed with the sale of an advanced air-defence system to Syria, according to US intelligence reports, over Israeli and US objections.


    Hezbollah and its chief sponsor, Iran, also have rallied around President Bashar al-Assad, sharing Russia's interest in keeping the regime in place. Recent Israeli airstrikes inside Syria have targeted missiles believed to be from Tehran and bound for Hezbollah.


    US officials said yesterday that another round of Israeli airstrikes could target a new transfer of advanced missiles in the near future. Israeli and Western intelligence services believe the missiles could be transferred to Hezbollah within days. Russia has strongly protested previous Israeli strikes in Syria.


    Western defence officials say Russia appears to be trying to project power to deter a Libya-style intervention in Syria. The port of Tartus is Russia's only remaining military outpost outside the former Soviet Union.


    Consisting of a pair of piers staffed by about 50 people, according to Russian data, the base provides a toehold in the region that has grown in strategic and symbolic importance for Moscow.


    "It's not really a base," said Andrei Frolov, an analyst at CAST, a Moscow military think tank. "It's more like a service station."


    US officials believe Russia has plans to expand the base, which it negotiated with Assad.


    Mr Obama yesterday held out some hope that the coming conference with Russia would help achieve a consensus.


    "There's no magic formula for dealing with an extraordinarily violent and difficult situation like Syria's," Mr Obama said at a news conference in Washington with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


    "I do think that the prospect of talks in Geneva involving the Russians may yield results."


    Moscow's diplomacy notwithstanding, US officials believe that in addition to the naval deployments, Russia is moving more quickly than previously thought to deliver S-300 surface-to-air defence systems to Syria.


    US officials say the S-300 system, which is capable of shooting down guided missiles and could make it more risky for any warplanes to enter Syrian airspace, could leave Russia for the port of Tartus by the end of the month.


    Russian officials first announced the navy was deploying ships to the eastern Mediterranean near Syria starting late last year. In January, the Russian navy used these and other ships to conduct what it billed as some of the largest exercises in recent years in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea.


    Before the start of the Syrian civil war, Russian ships stopped at the port only irregularly. But in the past three months, 10 to 15 ships have been near the Syrian port at all times.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Muddled Israeli-US policies on Assad set stage for Golan offensive against Israel

    DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis May 18, 2013, 2:30 PM (IDT)


    Fox News: Israeli commandos returning from Syria


    Four days after a “senior Israeli official” warned Assad through The New York Times of Wednesday, May 15 that he risks forfeiting power if he retaliates for Israeli attacks on weapons supplies to terrorists, “Israeli officials” were telling the London Times of Saturday, May 18 something quite different: “An intact, but weakened, Assad regime would be preferable,” they said. “Better the devil we know than the demons we can only imagine if… extremists from across the Arab world gain a foothold there.”

    The night before this report, Fox News aired footage appearing to show Israeli commandos inside Syria racing back on foot to Israeli territory.

    Without going into whether the two sets of “Israeli officials” were one and the same, their utterances are clearly making Israel’s policy-makers and defense leaders look muddled and uncertain – or, worse, unable to think clearly – about how to cope with the menace building up on the Syrian Golan. This could take the form of a Syrian war of attrition and/or a Hizballah offensive against Upper and Western Galilee.

    At all events, the Syrian civil conflict appears poised ready to spill over to one or more of its neighbors, starting with Israel as a result of six factors:

    1. President Barack Obama’s inability to make up his mind on whether the US should intervene militarily in Syria – even in a limited way, such as the imposition of no-fly zones or finding a way to supply non-Islamist Syrian rebel groups with sorely needed weapons.


    2. The US president’s refusal to recognize that chemical weapons have already been used in Syria. His reaction to the file put before him in the White House Friday, May 17, by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan - with evidence from physicians treating wounded Syrians - remained dismissive. “The US has seen evidence of chemical weapons being used in Syria,” he said, adding however, “it is important to get more specific details about alleged chemical attacks.”

    This comment was interpreted as the US president’s acceptance of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian war so long as it was on a limited scale. Obama, like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has therefore waved away another red line for military intervention in the Syria conflict, by closing his eyes to the evidence.

    Former Israeli defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was more realistic last week when he brusquely brushed aside a radio interviewer’s query by saying: Of course, Assad has used chemical weapons and isn't it obvious that he has already transferred to Hizballah both chemical substances and other advanced weapons?


    3. Following again in American footsteps, Israel failed to prevent Russia sending advanced S-300 anti-air and Yakhont anti-ship missiles to the Assad regime – both improved versions which were outfitted with sophisticated radar to improve their range and precision.

    When Netanyahu was challenged with failing in this mission in his May 14 trip to buttonhole Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, he said only that he would “travel wherever is needed and talk to whoever is needed to keep Israel safe and secure.”

    This was the closest he came to admitting that he had fallen down on his efforts for keeping advanced Russian weaponry out of Syrian hands.


    4. Strategic errors, which may turn out to be irreversible, because they emanated from faulty assessments shared by Israel and the Obama administration of the strengths on the Syrian battlefield. To this day, the US, Israel and Turkey cling to the belief that Assad’s days are numbered and refuse to recognize the steady advances made by the Syrian army in its counter-offensive for dislodging the rebels from land they captured in more than two years of combat.


    5. This misreading of the Syrian ruler’s survivability is part and parcel of the omission by Obama, Netanyahu and Erdogan to appreciate and counter two major strategic changes overtaking the region:

    a) They stood aside as Moscow, Tehran and Hizballah deepened their military commitments to Assad’s fight for survival – starting with the arrival of Russian military personnel in Syria to man the sophisticated missiles supplied by Moscow until Syrian crews were instructed in their use.

    They didn’t raise a finger to interfere with the almost daily Russian and Iranian air lifts to Syrian air bases of complete brigades of elite Hizballah fighters and thousands of Iranian Bassij militiamen who now control key war sectors.

    Washington Jerusalem and even Jordan sat on their hands when 3,000 Iraqi members of the Asai’b al-Haq (League of the Righteous) and Kataib Hizballah poured across the border into Syria to support Assad’s war on the Syrian rebellion.

    b) Because they kept their distance from all these strategic game-changers in and around Syria, the US and Israel lost their chance to break up the Tehran-Damascus-Hizballah alliance. This objective the Obama administration once offered as his priority and the pretext for avoiding military action against a nuclear Iran.

    What Washington achieved by its hands-off stance on Syria was the very opposite: Instead of weakening the triple alliance, Obama has allowed it to be bolstered by Russian and Iraqi increments.

    It is no wonder, therefore, that Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are behaving like winners and gearing up for the next stage of the Syrian war, which, if Tehran and Hizballah have their way, will evolve into a war of attrition against Israel waged from the Syrian Golan.

    The opening shot was fired Wednesday, May 15 by a Palestinian terrorist front under Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah tutelage, which shelled an Israeli military observation post on Mt. Hermon. This attack drew no direct Israeli response - par for the course.


    6. A war of attrition against Israel from the Golan would not be a new experience either for Damascus or Moscow. In 1974, from March to May, Syrian forces, refusing to accept the defeat of their 1973 offensive against Israel, launched a harsh war of attrition from the same enclave, on the advice of their Soviet patron. In what became know as “the little war,” Syrian forces kept Israeli Golan under heavy shelling barrages and tried repeatedly to capture Mt Hermon.

    The big secret of that short-lived conflict was the deployment by the Soviet Union of two Cuban armored brigades on the Golan front against Israel, airlifted in from Angola. All the same, Damascus was forced to accept a ceasefire on Golan which was observed from that day on until the present.

    This time, the big difference is that Moscow can leave the heavy-lifting for a limited war on Israel to Tehran and Hizballah.

    Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah in one of his fiery speeches expressed eagerness to make the Golan his new front for war on Israel. And Friday, May 17, it was reported in Tehran that Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had entrusted Al Qods Brigades commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani with the task of sending troops to the Golan to embark on hostilities against Israel.

    Once they begin, it will be hard to stop the violence from spreading to Israel’s borders with Lebanon, from Syria into Turkey and from Jordan into Syria and Iraq.
    Last edited by BRVoice; May 18th, 2013 at 13:48.

    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

    Syrian-Hizballah’s capture of Qusayr opens direct weapons route to Lebanon

    DEBKAfile Special Report May 19, 2013, 10:08 PM (IDT)

    Shortly after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged Sunday, May 19, to maintain Israeli operations in Syria against the passage of advanced Iranian weapons to the Lebanese Hizballah, Syrian troops and their Hizballah comrades stormed Al-Qasayr, the northwestern town which commands the high road from Syrian Homs to Lebanon’s Hermel Mountains.

    This was a major victory: Iranian arms for Hizballah can now go through from Syria to destination unobstructed.

    In more than two years of battling the Assad regime, this was one of the rebels’ most devastating losses after three weeks of bitter fighting and the last of a whole row of recent setbacks.

    Bashar Assad in contrast has gained huge advantages from his al Qusayr victory, as debkafile’s military sources report:


    1. It cuts off the Syrian rebels’ main supply and communications route via Lebanon through which their Arab backers Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE to send them fighters, arms and funds.


    2. Rebel positions in the nearby town of Homs become increasingly vulnerable, as the Syrian army regains control of the main highway links between Damascus, Homs and Aleppo.


    3. After the rebels were pushed out of Al-Qasayr, Turkey remains their only accessible source of supplies.

    However, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has made a sudden U-turn. He had promised publicly to lobby for no-fly zones in his meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House Friday, May 17, to shield rebel forces in different parts of the country from Syrian air strikes. Instead, Edrogan threw his support between the international conference sponsored by Washington and Moscow for resolving the Syrian conflict.

    This told the rebels that the supportive Turkish channel was closing down.

    It is obvious to them that the conference can only succeed if Washington comes over to the Russian-Iranian-Hizballah side and agrees to the perpetuation of the Assad party’s role in any future government.

    As yet, neither of the contestants has agreed to attend the conference for which no date has been set. However, Turkish backing and arms supplies through its territory are expected to shrink progressively to squeeze the rebels into accepting a formula which would be tantamount to bowing to the defeat of their uprising.


    4. For Israel, the fall of al Qusayr means that while rebel supply routes are shut down, supply routes open up for the free movement of Iranian weapons from Syria straight to HIzballah strongholds in Lebanon. This would be Hizballah’s reward for its military aid to Assad’s army.


    If Prime Minister Netanyahu was serious about his promise Sunday to cut off Hizballah’s weapon routes from Syria, he has three primary options to choose from – none of them easy, to say the least.


    a) Military intervention in al Qusayr before the Syrian army and Hizballah clinch their takeover of this strategic byway town. This would catapult Israel into full-blown war with Syria and Hizballah and is therefore a non-starter.


    b) Bombardment of the convoys carrying arms from Syria to Lebanon.

    This won’t do much good. Having learned its lesson from the three Israeli air strikes against arms convoys and depots this year, Syria has now transferred the hardware disassembled into component parts and passed them out among smuggling rings ato move them under cover of dark into Lebanon.


    c) Attacks on the destination of those weapons – Hizballah depots in the Hermel – after their delivery. This would almost certainly trigger Hizballah war action against Israel.
    Last edited by BRVoice; May 20th, 2013 at 01:31.

    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

    Israel has warned Russia about supplying missiles to Syria.

    Israel "reserves the right to strike" Russian supply chain.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Syria

    Israel has warned Russia about supplying missiles to Syria.

    Israel "reserves the right to strike" Russian supply chain.

    And this will lead to the World War Three.

    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

    Russia will fight.

    Israel can attack these shipments of S-300 and destroy it but if russian soldiers die in this attack - what I strongly believe will happen - then a big war will be on.

    As Samuel L. Jackson would say:

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    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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    Israel isn't too keen on making "surgical strikes" either. More like "take out that thing and everything and everyone within a 100 meter radius!"

    lol
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    Default Re: Syria

    Russia faults U.S. over 'odious' Syria rights resolution


    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris, May 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

    By Steve Gutterman

    MOSCOW | Wed May 29, 2013 8:38am EDT

    (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced as "odious" a U.S.-backed draft resolution condemning the Syrian government before a debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday and said it would undermine peace efforts.

    Lavrov said U.S. support for the draft resolution, which would condemn "widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights" by Syrian authorities and affiliated militias, ran counter to U.S.-Russian efforts to convene a peace conference.

    "The U.S. delegation (at the council in Geneva) is very actively promoting this extremely unwholesome initiative," Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Latin American counterparts in Moscow.

    He said the draft was "unilateral and odious" and likened it to a U.N. General Assembly resolution adopted earlier this month that he said was aimed at creating obstacles to U.S.-Russian efforts to foster a peaceful solution.

    Lavrov said it was unacceptable to support the conference, which he and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are trying to organize, while at the same time "taking steps that are in essence aimed at undermining this proposal".

    Lavrov reiterated Russian insistence that Iran be invited to the conference, an idea opposed by France, and said opponents of President Bashar al-Assad should be persuaded to enter negotiations "without preconditions" such as his exit.

    Russia has been Assad's most powerful protector during the conflict that has killed more than 80,000 people, opposing U.N. sanctions and, along with China, blocking three Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolutions it said were one-sided.

    Iran is the main regional ally of Assad.

    Speaking in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said any decision to include Iran in the Geneva talks would be "extremely dangerous" as it would harm prospects of reaching a deal with Tehran on its disputed nuclear program.

    "We fear that if they are part of the Syrian conference they will try to drag things on to such an extent that they will blackmail us saying that the Syrian crisis can only be resolved on condition that they have the nuclear bomb," Fabius told France Inter radio. Iran denies seeking nuclear bomb capability.

    Fabius said that with Iran having sent instructors and officers to Syria and encouraged Hezbollah to fight anti-Assad rebels, it would be a mistake to "ask people to attend a conference whose objective is to prevent a positive solution".

    Russia joined the United States and other powers last June in calling for the creation of a transitional governing body in Syria and says it is not trying to prop Assad up but that his departure cannot be imposed as a precondition for talks.

    Lavrov also said the European Union's decision on Thursday to let an arms embargo on Syria lapse, allowing members to supply rebels on their own initiative, "at a minimum creates serious hurdles" to plans for the peace conference.

    Russia says the weapons it supplies Assad's government are meant for defense against external attacks. Moscow has declared it will not yield to pressure to scrap a contract to deliver S-300 ground-to-air missile systems to Syria.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Israeli defense chief indicates if Russia ships advanced missiles to Syria, they could be hit

    By Associated Press, Published: May 28


    JERUSALEM — Israel’s defense chief said Tuesday a Russian plan to supply sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Syria was a “threat” and signaled that Israel is prepared to use force to stop the delivery.

    The warning by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon ratcheted up tensions with Moscow over the planned sale of S-300 air-defense missiles to Syria. Earlier in the day, a top Russian official said his government remained committed to the deal.

    Israel has been lobbying Moscow to halt the sale, fearing the missiles would upset the balance of power in the region and could slip into the hands of hostile groups, including the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, a close ally of the Syrian regime.

    Israel has carried out several airstrikes in Syria in recent months that are believed to have destroyed weapons shipments bound for Hezbollah.

    Israel has not confirmed carrying out the attacks.

    The delivery of the Russian missiles to Syria could limit the Israeli air force’s ability to act. It is not clear whether Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace in these attacks.

    Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Russia to discuss the Syrian situation with President Vladimir Putin. The sides have said little about the talks, but the S-300s were believed to have been on the agenda.

    “Clearly this move is a threat to us,” Yaalon told reporters Tuesday when asked about the planned Russian sale.

    “At this stage I can’t say there is an escalation. The shipments have not been sent on their way yet. And I hope that they will not be sent,” he said. But “if God forbid they do reach Syria, we will know what to do.”

    Since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011, Israel repeatedly has voiced concerns that Syria’s sophisticated arsenal, including chemical weapons, could either be transferred to Hezbollah, a bitter enemy of Israel, or fall into the hands of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar Assad. The rebels include al-Qaida-affiliated groups that Israel believes could turn their attention toward Israel if they topple Assad.

    Syria already possesses Russian-made air defenses, and Israel is believed to have used long-distance bombs fired from Israeli or Lebanese airspace. The S-300s would expand Syria’s capabilities, allowing it to counter airstrikes launched from foreign airspace as well.

    In Moscow, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, wouldn’t say whether Russia has shipped any of the S-300s, which have a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and the capability to track and strike multiple targets simultaneously. But he insisted that Moscow isn’t going to abandon the deal despite strong Western and Israeli criticism.

    “We understand the concerns and signals sent to us from different capitals. We realize that many of our partners are concerned about the issue,” Ryabkov said. “We have no reason to revise our stance.”

    He said the missiles could be a deterrent against foreign intervention in Syria and would not be used against Syrian rebels, who do not have an air force.

    “We believe that such steps to a large extent help restrain some ‘hotheads’ considering a scenario to give an international dimension to this conflict,” he said.

    Russia has been the key ally of the Syrian regime, protecting it from United Nations sanctions and providing it with weapons despite the civil war there that has claimed over 70,000 lives.

    In any case, an open confrontation between Israel and Russia would seem to be months away. Russian military analysts say it would take at least one year for Syrian crews to learn how to operate the S-300s, and the training will involve a live drill with real ammunition at a Russian shooting range. There has been no evidence that any such training has begun.

    If Russia were to deliver the missiles to Syria, Israeli and Western intelligence would likely detect the shipment, and Israel would have ample time to strike before the system is deployed.

    Ryabkov’s statement came a day after European Union’s decision to lift an arms embargo against Syrian rebels. He criticized the EU decision, saying it would help fuel the conflict.

    Israel’s defense chief spoke at an annual civil defense drill to prepare for missile attacks on Israel. This year’s exercise comes at a time of heightened concerns that Israel could be dragged into the Syrian civil war.

    A number of mortar shells from the fighting in Syria have landed in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. While Israel believes most of the fire has been errant, it has accused Syria of firing intentionally at Israeli targets on several occasions, and last week the sides briefly exchanged fire.

    Israel’s civil defense chief, Home Front Minister Gilad Erdan, said this week’s drill was not specifically connected to the tensions with Syria.

    “But of course we must take into consideration that something like that might happen in the near future because of what we see in Syria, and because we know that chemical weapons exist in Syria and might fall to the hands of radical Muslim terror groups,” he said.

    ___

    Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Last edited by BRVoice; May 29th, 2013 at 13:04.

    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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