KAHLILI: Iran admits giving WMDs to terrorists

Should one rocket or missile take flight towards Tel Aviv loaded with any chemical or biological weapons, look for Isaiah 17:1 to come to fruition. Whatever side anyone is on in this conflict doesn’t matter at this point, as all bets are off the table if WMDs are used.

Israel will be obliterated by chemical, microbial and nuclear bombs, Iran is warning, but those weapons of mass destruction will be used first on Tel Aviv by Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad at the start of a decades-old Muslim dream of destroying the Jewish state.

An alarming commentary last week in Mashregh, the media outlet of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, confirmed that the Islamic regime not only has WMDs but has armed its terrorist proxies with them. Mashregh speaks for the regime.

It warned Israel that if the fighting in Syria does not stop, an all-out attack on the Jewish state will be launched and that at zero hour, Tel Aviv will be the first city to be destroyed.

A strategic look at the situation in Syria, it said, shows that in order to safeguard Damascus and Bashar Assad’s regime, it is necessary to destroy “the center responsible for these destructions, which will force the enemy to retreat.” To that end, Iran will break “the security of Israel by targeting Tel Aviv.”

Should Israel and its allies succeed in unraveling Syria so the legitimate Assad regime loses control, the commentary said, there are but two scenarios:

“Groups armed with weapons of mass destruction (chemical, microbial and nuclear bombs), which have been obtained on the black market, will surely target Tel Aviv.

“Other countries with different motivations from revenge to a change in the balance of power in the region looking for the elimination of Israel from the world’s map will use the chaos created without accepting any responsibility.” (Right below this point, Mashregh put up a picture of an atomic blast.)

Full article: KAHLILI: Iran admits giving WMDs to terrorists (Washington Times)

By securing Assad and its alliance, Iran gains upper hand for nuclear talks

Bashar Assad’s victory over the 12-month uprising to unseat him is unquestioned. With massive Iranian and Russian intelligence and military support, the Syrian army was able to push the rebels out of the cities – barring isolated pockets in Homs and Idlib – and drive them to the rural periphery, where they can’t hold up for long.

One observer, describing their situation as “undergunned and overwhelmed,” reported that Syria’s rebels have to negotiate for hours for every box of bullets they haul across the border for their war against Assad. “And their frustration is starting to show.”

Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are crowing over their success in derailing the Obama administration’s two-pronged policy for halting a nuclear Iran. It hinged on Tehran’s isolation by unraveling its alliance with Damascus and Hizballah and economic pressure through tough financial sanctions and an oil embargo.

Iran has come out of the woods firmly in position at the head of its bloc, now cemented by Assad’s defeat of his foes. Tehran’s hand is much strengthened for the coming nuclear talks between Iran and the Six Powers due to start in two weeks. Washington will have to pay for any Iranian concessions by starting the process of unwinding sanctions.

Full article: By securing Assad and its alliance, Iran gains upper hand for nuclear talks (DEBKAfile)

Iran threatens N. Israel with bombardment from Lebanon

Tehran is capitalizing on its allies’ two perceived victories: Bashar Assad’s success in seizing Idlib from rebel hands and the Palestinian Jihad Islami’s triumphal missile assault from Gaza on southern Israel. The Iranians are moving forward with plans to match that assault with a Hizballah offensive on northern Israel from Lebanon. This was the object of a rendezvous opposite Metulah Wednesday, March 14, between a high-ranking Iranian delegation headed by Ahmadinejad’s spokesman Ali Akbar Javanfekr and Hizballah intelligence officers.

Full article: Iran threatens N. Israel with bombardment from Lebanon (DEBKAFile)

Syria’s Assad holding most of his military assets in reserve

The regime of President Bashar Assad, despite nearly a year
of fighting, has been using only a fraction of its military might against
the Sunni rebel movement.

Regime sources said Assad, despite the massive assault on Homs, has
reserved most of his military assets. They said the president did not want a
bloodbath while Army commanders feared the breakup of their units.

“The assessment is that Assad and his advisers have prepared for a long
haul, and they would rather tire out the rebels than risk a rupture in the
military through massive assaults,” the regime source said.

Full article: Syria’s Assad holding most of his military assets in reserve (World Tribune)

The Syrian Dictatorship Prepares for Chemical Warfare

The civil war in Syria escalates almost every week as rebel forces grow stronger and Bashar Assad and his Iranian-backed thugs grow in ruthlessness. And now, chemical weapons have been reportedly delivered near the rebel stronghold of Homs and the regime’s forces in the area are putting on gas masks.

The Assad regime is not deterred by international condemnation resulting from the bloody images out of Syria, where over 7,000 citizens have been murdered. This is a regime that deliberately targets children, systematically tortures prisoners in ways fit for a horror movie and returns the battered corpses of 13-year old boys with missing fingernails and genitals.

It is worth remembering that Bashar Assad’s father, Hafez, put down an uprising in Hama in 1982 by destroying the city and much of its population. It will never be known how many were massacred, but the number ranges between 10 and 40,000. There are unconfirmed but credible reports that cyanide gas, a chemical weapon, was used. The Assad regime is not one that has any moral qualms about the use of weapons of mass destruction and undertaking wholesale slaughter.

Full article: The Syrian Dictatorship Prepares for Chemical Warfare (Family Security Matters)

Hizbullah for first time announces Iran as sole source of funding, arms

Hizbullah has asserted that its only means of financial and military support stem from Iran.

Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah said Iran marked the sole supplier of the Shi’ite militia in Lebanon. Nasrallah said Hizbullah was not engaged in illicit financial activity, including drug trafficking and money-laundering.

We have been receiving since 1982 all kinds of moral, political and material backing from the Islamic republic of Iran,” Nasrallah said.

In a television address on Feb. 7, Nasrallah issued the first claim that Iran was the sole backer of Hizbullah. The Shi’ite militia chief did not explain why Hizbullah was announcing Iranian sponsorship.

“In the past we alluded partially to this truth,” Nasrallah said. “We used to speak of a moral and political support while keeping silent when questioned about our military backing so as not to embarrass Iran. But today, we have decided to speak out.”

Full article: Hizbullah for first time announces Iran as sole source of funding, arms (World Tribune)

Assad sends hit squads after top Lebanese officials

Syrian President Bashar Assad has hired hit squads to kill top Lebanese government, intelligence and security officials whom he suspects of helping insurrectionists and Saudi and Qatari agents smuggle fighters and weapons into the country to fight his regime. One Lebanese hit squad is reported by debkafile’s counter-terror sources as having been captured in the third week of January by Lebanese security police. Its members confessed to receiving, cash, arms, explosives and a list of targets from Syrian Military intelligence, with precise instructions on the method of assassination for two targets, Director General of Lebanese Internal Security Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi and his deputy, Col. Wissam al-Hassan, head of its Information Branch.

The team was instructed to rig two bomb cars, each loaded with one ton of explosives to be detonated remotely. They were told which cars would be driving by different routes to a secret meeting of all Lebanese intelligence arms at Internal Security headquarters in the Christian Ashrafieh district of Beirut. Two narrow side streets would bring them close to their destination and it was there that the bomb cars would be planted.

This was exactly the same method used to assassinate the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Harirri in February 2005.

However, shortly before they set out for the staff meeting, a foreign clandestine agency warned the two Lebanese officers of the death trap awaiting them. The information, according to our sources, also covered the location of the bomb cars and the whereabouts of the hit team.

Saturday, Jan. 28, Gen. Rifi and Col. Al-Hassan attended a news conference at which Rifi revealed a plot to murder his deputy, without disclosing the identity of its instigator or that he himself had been targeted.

Full article: Assad sends hit squads after top Lebanese officials (DEBKAfile)

Americans talk about an Israeli strike on Iran, but prepare own offensive

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has been outspoken about a possible Israeli offensive against Iran taking place as of April and one American TV channel theorized simplistically Friday, Feb. 3, about Israel’s tactics. At the same time, no US source is leveling on the far more extensive American, Saudi, British, French and Gulf states’ preparations going forward for an offensive against the Islamic Republic.

Tehran too is gearing up for conflict: The Iranian Guards Ground Forces chief Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour Saturday, Feb. 4 announced the start of a three-week exercise in southern Iran and the Strait of Hormuz under conditions of war. debkafile: The “exercise” is in fact an Iranian military buildup ahead of a possible American or Israel attack.

debkafile’s military sources report a steady flow of many thousands of US troops for some weeks to two strategic islands within reach of Iran, Oman’s Masirah just south of the Strait of Hormuz and Socotra, between Yemen and the Horn of Africa. (DEBKA-Net-Weekly 526 of Jan. 27 was the first world publication to reveal the massive concentration of American might on the two islands.)

Full article: Americans talk about an Israeli strike on Iran, but prepare own offensive (DEBKAfile)

Russia vows to continue arms deliveries to Syria: ‘no restrictions’

MOSCOW — Russia said it intends to complete additional weapons deliveries to the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Kremlin said Moscow would fulfill several unidentified defense contracts with Syria in 2012. Officials said Russian weapons exports to Damascus have not been banned by the United Nations.

“As of today there are no restrictions on the delivery of weapons, and we must fulfill our obligations,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said. “And this is what we are doing.”

Full article: Russia vows to continue arms deliveries to Syria: ‘no restrictions’ (World Tribune)

U.S. intel: Syrian regime could survive 2012 with backing from China, Russia, Iran

The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that a fragmented opposition and powerful foreign support could sustain the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout 2012.

Officials said the assessment took into account the strong military, intelligence and financial support the Damascus regime has received from China, Iran and Russia.

The U.S. intelligence assessment has determined that Assad faced increasing resistance to his regime by Sunni fighters and thousands of deserters. But the assessment concluded that Assad’s military and security forces were sufficiently powerful to ensure regime survival for at least the next year.

“It could be a long time,” National Intelligence Director James Clapper said. “The opposition appears fragmented.”

The intelligence assessment, issued at a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Jan. 31, marked the first high-level assertion by Washington that the Assad regime remained resilient.

Continue reading article: U.S. intel: Syrian regime could survive 2012 with backing from China, Russia, Iran (World Tribune)

Hezbollah, Iran preparing for ‘day after’ Assad

The IDF also believes Hezbollah has obtained SA-8 Russian-made advanced surface-to-air missile systems from Syria.

Hezbollah and Iran are preparing for the “day after” Syria’s downfall with plans for how to continue supporting the Lebanon-based guerrilla group in the event that President Bashar Assad’s regime is toppled.

In recent years, a significant portion of Hezbollah’s weaponry has come directly from Syria.

Last week, for example, The Jerusalem Post revealed that Syria had recently transferred dozens of additional M600 long-range missiles to Hezbollah as well as additional 302 mm rockets.

The IDF also believes Hezbollah has obtained SA-8 Russian-made advanced surface-to-air missile systems from Syria.

Continue reading article: Hezbollah, Iran preparing for ‘day after’ Assad (Jerusalem Post)

Turkey intercepts Iranian missiles, chemical weapons at Syrian border

ANKARA — Turkey has determined that Iran was relaying chemical weapons and missiles to Syria.

Officials said Turkish authorities have seized components and material for the manufacturing of chemical weapons as well as ballistic missiles headed for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. They said some of these components were found in an Iranian truck convoy that arrived at the Syrian border with Turkey on Jan. 10.

“The four trucks were confiscated by customs,” Kilis Gov. Yusef Odabas said.

Continue reading article: Turkey intercepts Iranian missiles, chemical weapons at Syrian border (World Tribune)

Syria on the brink? Russia upgrades major port at Tartous to accommodate aircraft carriers

MOSCOW — Russia, defying a revolt against the regime of President
Bashar Assad, plans to modernize a major naval facility in Syria.

Officials said the Russian Navy has deployed hundreds of personnel to
upgrade the Syrian port of Tartous. They said the project was meant to
ensure that Tartous could accommodate all Russian Navy vessels, including
aircraft carriers.

Continue reading article: Syria on the brink? Russia upgrades major port at Tartous to accommodate aircraft carriers (World Tribune)

Obama to redouble efforts on removal of al-Assad

DAMASCUS- (AFP) – US President Barack Obama vowed to redouble efforts to force a change of regime in Syria as the UN Security Council struggled to agree on a resolution on Damascus’s crackdown on dissent.

Obama said concerns about the crackdown on demonstrators by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had been “uppermost” in talks with visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday.

“We continue to see unacceptable levels of violence inside that country,” Obama said.

“We will continue to consult very closely with Jordan to create the kind of international pressure and environment that encourage the current Syrian regime to step aside so that a more democratic process and transition can take place inside of Syria.”

The US president thanked King Abdullah for being the first Arab leader to call publicly for Assad to go and for taking part in Arab League efforts to mitigate the crisis.

Continue reading article: Obama to redouble efforts on removal of al-Assad (Vanguard)