US President Barack Obama could have “wiped out Islamic State quickly” if he had acted earlier, but now that the group has spread and strengthened, it will be more difficult, said an Israeli Druse who is in frequent contact with the Syrian opposition.
Mendi Safadi, an Israeli Druse who served as former Likud deputy minister Ayoub Kara’s chief of staff, has independently met with members of the liberal and democratic Syrian opposition who oppose the Islamists and want friendly relations with Israel.
Safadi, who met with senior opposition officials last week, has traveled in the region, met with activists, and relayed messages from them to the Prime Minister’s Office. Continue reading
Saudi Arabia appears resolute: It wants Bashar Al-Assad out of Damascus. The Saudis view the fighting in Syria with the same intensity that they did the civil war in Yemen that raged in the 1960s—as a conflict with wide and serious repercussions that will shape the political trajectory of the Middle East for years to come.
The Syrian war presents the Saudis with a chance to hit three birds with one stone: Iran, its rival for regional dominance, Tehran’s ally Assad and his Hezbollah supporters. But Riyadh’s policy makers are wary. They know that once fully committed, it will be difficult to disengage. And so they are taking to heart the lessons of another regional war that flared on their border 50 years ago. Continue reading
Israeli air force jets bombed trucks carrying Syrian missiles bound for Hizbullah’s warehouses in Lebanon, according to Syrian opposition sources. The sources, were cited Sunday by Voice of Israel radio’s Arabic-language service, which was quoted by i24 News.
The Friday night bombing reportedly targeted a Syrian military base near the town of Quneitra, not far from the Golan Heights cease-fire line. Continue reading
AFP – Saudi Arabia plans to supply the Syrian opposition with anti-aircraft missiles to counter President Bashar al-Assad’s air force, German news weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday.
The article, citing a classified report received by the German foreign intelligence service and the German government last week, said Riyadh was looking at sending European-made Mistral-class MANPADS, or man-portable air-defence systems. Continue reading
It looks as if we’ve moved from “years away from war” to months away, or even weeks. As mentioned in previous submissions, the Assad regime is not going to give up easy and is going to bring down the entire Middle East with him should he realize he has only moments left of being in power. The entire region is at a critical boiling point.
President Barack Obama’s decision to send some light weapons to Syrian rebels may be too little and too late to thwart a regime offensive to retake Aleppo, the nation’s largest city and commercial capital.
Regime forces supported by fighters from the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah have moved north after defeating rebels in al-Qusair, a setback that triggered concern in Washington that Iran and its Lebanese ally are tipping the balance in favor of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
“Arming the Syrian rebels is unlikely to tip the balance in their favor,” said Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. “It might have made a difference a year ago, but, today, the Assad regime — particularly after re-taking Qusair — has the advantage.” Continue reading
DAMASCUS/ANKARA/BERLIN (Own report) – The German Bundeswehr is possibly on the verge of a deployment directly at the Syrian border. According to reports in the media, today, Turkey will officially request that NATO station “Patriot” surface-to-air missiles on its southwestern territory, supposedly as protection from Syrian combat jets and missiles. The German government has agreed to participate with up to 170 military personnel. As a matter of fact, the stationing is planned not only for the territory, where, for quite some time, conflicts with Kurdish separatists have been escalating. According to concrete plans drawn up by top-ranking Turkish and US officers and presented to the White House, they also lay the groundwork for establishing a no-fly zone over Syrian territory. The objective is to create conditions, over the next few weeks, allowing the recently – in Qatar – founded Syrian exile leadership to leave exile and become established in northern Syria, which requires security from aerial attacks. Continue reading
The Assad regime finds itself in a corner, and now without allies in the region. The only thing propping the leadership up is continued support from Russia and China, be it diplomatically or by weapons armaments. Sooner, rather than later, Assad will have to make a choice: Surrender or spark an all-out war. Surrendering is likely not an option as he has gone too far in killing his own citizens and probably wind up executed like Saddam Hussein, or it will end up being a repeat of what happened to Ghadaffi. An all-out war, as discussed in previous posts will mean most likely the use of WMDs and consequently the permanent leveling of Damascus, possibly by nuclear means as the useage of chemical or biological weapons means all bets are off.
Hundreds of Iranian soldiers have been withdrawn from Syria in a move that may indicate the beginning of the end of the Syrian-Iranian relationship.
Two hundred and seventy-five Revolutionary Guard forces from the elite “Unit 400″ traveled back to Iran last week after months of fighting alongside the Syrian Army against the armed rebel opposition. Continue reading
The escalations get higher one day after another. Sooner than later, there will be an all-out war. This was likely dry run to test Israel’s reaction. It’s unknown how many of these “mishaps” will be tolerated, but we will know when as the entire middle east will go up in flames with an all-out war on Israel.
TEL AVIV — A top Syrian government official speaking to Klein Online denied that a rocket launched from Syria that landed in northern Israeli territory today was misplaced Syrian army firing, as has been widely reported.
The official further claimed that mortars launched from Syria landing in Israel yesterday were unrelated to any fighting between the rebels and the Syrian army.
The official refused to respond when asked whether he believed yesterday’s mortars or today’s rocket were fired at Israel deliberately either by Syrian forces or by jihad groups.
As Israelis celebrated Yom Kippur today, one rocket landed in an open area of the Golan Heights near the Syrian border while several mortars landed yesterday near Kibbutz Elrom in the northern Golan Heights.
Yesterday’s projectiles were widely reported as mortars apparently fired by the Syrian army at the Syrian village of Jubata Al Khashab in response to rebel activity in the area. Today’s rocket was also blamed on misplaced Syrian fire in Israeli media accounts.
Western intelligence officials told the British Telegraph on Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has personally sanctioned the dispatch of the experienced officers to ensure that the Assad regime survives the threat to its survival.
According to the report, Iran has also shipped hundreds of tons of military equipment, including guns, rockets, and shells to Syria through the regular air corridor that has been established between Damascus and Tehran.
The Iranian operation to support Assad is being masterminded by Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Guards’ Quds force which is responsible for overseeing Iran’s overseas operations. The decision to increase Iran’s support for Syria was taken after the Syrian defense minister and Assad’s brother-in-law were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Syria’s national security headquarters in July, together with a number of other senior defense officials.
The Revolutionary Guards officers were flown to Damascus in chartered Iranian aircraft which were given permission to fly through Iraqi air space, said the report. Iranian military equipment is said to have been shipped to Syria by the same route.
A spokesman for the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) told the Telegraph that some of the Iranians being held by Syrian opposition groups included several brigadier-generals and a number of colonels who had many years of experience serving in the Revolutionary Guards.
Full article: Ahmadinejad Personally Ordered Officers to Syria, Say Sources (Arutz Sheva 7)
What has been kept in the dark is the exact same plan was used on Lybia, Egypt and a few other countries. They were portrayed as random events with innocents looking for freedom, when in fact undermining forces were planned and created for some while — roughly three years in the making since Obama took office. Respective governments were caught in a catch-22. They either have to quell the uprisings that continue in escalation and won’t cease by killing their own, or cave in and give way to the new ruling class.
The current US administration is overturning the entire Middle East, and as you see now, consequently has traded in regional stability for chaos with more extreme terrorist organizations taking over, all in order to whittle away at Iran’s growing hegemony. In the larger scheme of things, these countries are all pawns of Russia and China as a proxy/economic weapon against the West. Therefore, it’s also an attempt on their influence.
“We are not ‘king-making’ in Syria. The UK and the US are moving cautiously to help what has been developing within Syria to improve the capabilities of the opposition,” said a British consultant overseeing the programme. “What’s going to come next? Who is going to control territory across Syria. We want to give civilians the skills to assert leadership.”
Foreign intervention in civil wars has proven to be a perilous undertaking since the end of the Cold War but in Syria where an invasion has proven unfeasible, diplomats have had to resort to creative thinking.
“This has been a generational coming of age,” said the consultant, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The Foreign Secretary started this as a way to make sure that people who committed crimes in Syria would be held to account. Those of us with experience of the Balkans have taken the lessons of that conflict very much as a formative experience.”
“There are groups inside and outside Syria beginning to plan for that day-after and beginning to plan for how they might quickly stand up at least that first stage of transition so that we could move on when Assad goes, because he will go.”
Full article: Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul (The Telegraph)
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)
The Syrian opposition has identified senior Iranian and Russian officers
assigned to help the Assad regime. The Free Syrian Army said Iran and Russia
were helping the Syrian Army and security forces with tactics, technology
and operational planning.
“We warn all the snakes to go back to their dens whether it is Russia,
Iran and Iraq or Lebanon,” FSA said in a statement on Aug. 9.
The United States has asserted that Moscow was sending senior officers and other personnel to advise the Assad regime. U.S. officials said Russian advisers were maintaining Syria’s air defense network, which in June shot down a Turkish Air Force F-4 fighter-jet.
FSA has also abducted scores of Iranians later identified as members of
the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. On Aug. 8, Iranian Foreign
Minister Ali Akbar Salehi acknowledged that former IRGC officers had been
captured by Sunni rebels.
Full article: Russian, Iranian advisors spotted in Syria by opposition (World Tribune)
NICOSIA — Iran was said to have poured thousands of elite troops
The Syrian opposition said thousands of members of Iran’s Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps have arrived in Syria. Opposition sources said the Iranian troops came from special operations units, with many of them skilled in sniper and explosives.
Al Oqueidi, chairman of the rebel military council in Aleppo, said the
Iranians were meant to replace the tens of thousands of Sunni who deserted the Syrian Army. He said at least 3,000 of the IRGC troops were trained in sniper missions.
The Iranians were said to have been participating in Assad military
campaigns in both Aleppo and Damascus. In Aleppo, an estimated 20,000 Syrian Army troops were awaiting orders to invade the nation’s business capital and largest city.
The military has reported that it regained control over the Damascus
area. In an unusual move, the Army led a tour for journalists of former
rebel positions on Aug. 3.
“We have cleansed all the districts of Damascus, from Al Midan to Mazeh,
from Al Hajar Al Aswad to Qadam to Tadamun,” a Syrian Army officer said.
The Free Syrian Army said many of the IRGC personnel in Syria were in
civilian clothes. FSA said it captured 48 IRGC officers outside Damascus
International Airport disguised as pilgrims and part of a 150-man
“During the investigation, we found that some of them were officers of
IRGC,” an FSA officer said in a video statement. “They were on a
reconnaissance mission in Damascus.”
Full article: Iran to the rescue: Thousands of special ops troops said arriving in Syria (World Tribune)
President allays injury suspicions with TV appearance to swear in Defence Minister
Rumours about the location of the royal couple were rife yesterday with unverified reports claiming that President Bashar al-Assad had fled to safety in the coastal province of Latakia while his glamorous British-born wife left for Russia.
Although the president made a brief appearance on state television yesterday to swear in his new Defence Minister, Fahad Jassim al-Freij, whose predecessor was killed in the Damascus blast that took out several top regime officials, state television did not say where or when the footage was filmed.
The president’s first public appearance since the attack will, however, allay suspicions that the president was himself injured.
Opposition sources and a Western diplomat told Reuters that the president was directing the official response to the assassinations from Latakia, the heartland for the Alawite sect to which the ruling family belongs. The Assad clan hails from the provincial town of Qardaha which perches on a hill above Latakia city.
Assad’s mother Anisa Makhlouf and his newly widowed sister Bushra travelled with the body of his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat to Latakia last night on a private jet, according to a Free Syrian Army source who said the group had “insiders” informing them of the ruling family’s movements.
The same source said that Assad had been injured – but in an attack earlier on Wednesday and not the blast at the national security centre.
“The president was in Al Shaab Palace in Damascus and there was a warning at 3.30am and they decided to move him,” the source said. “As they moved, the Free Syrian Army was striking the area with mortars and one hit the cars. He only had small injuries.”
The Syrian ambassador to Moscow, Riyad Haddad, told Russian news agency Interfax that reports that the First Lady Asma al-Assad, had fled there were “completely false”.
Full article: Hunt for Assad is on amid claims of wife Asma’s exit to Russia (The Independant)
Syria has the biggest chemical weapons stocks in the world and missiles and rockets that can reach any point in Israel, the Jewish state’s deputy military chief warned.
Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh said if Syria had the chance, it would “treat us the same way it treats its own people.”
Naveh’s remarks, made at a ceremony in Jerusalem commemorating fallen soldiers on Sunday night, were reported on Monday by Israeli radio stations, according to The Associated Press.
Syrian activists estimate more than 14,000 people have died since the uprising in Syria erupted 15 months ago.
Israel has been watching the carnage in neighboring Syria with increasing concern.
Israel has concerns that such weapons might fall into the hands of the Lebanese armed group of Hezbollah or terror organizations.
Two weeks ago, Israel’s daily Haaretz cited a top Syrian opposition figure, who was a former senior officer in the Syrian Army — on conditions of anonymity — as saying that once the regime of Assad collapses, the Syrian opposition plans to take control of the regime’s chemical weapons depots and secure them.
He told the Israeli daily that the large arsenal of chemical weapons held by the regime “is one of the matters the security committee has discussed.”
“We have divided the aftermath [of Assad’s fall] into four periods with different priorities for each day. The first period is the first day, the first hours after Assad’s control breaks down, and one of the priorities during those hours is taking control of the chemical weapons so they won’t fall into the hands of terrorists,” the former officer – now a top member of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) — was quoted by Haaretz as saying.
Comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday suggested that concerns about Iran may be starting to predominate in Israel’s calculations.
“This is a slaughter carried out not only by the Syrian government. It is being helped by Iran and Hezbollah,” he said in broadcast remarks to his cabinet. “The world should understand what kind of environment we live in.”
Netanyahu has steered clear of explicitly calling for military intervention in Syria, telling Bild newspaper last week: “That’s a decision for the leading powers who are now talking about it. The less I say as prime minister of Israel, the better.”
Full article: Syria stocks world’s biggest chemical weapons; can strike anywhere in Israel: army (Al Arabiya News)