After the al Qusayr victory, Syria and Hizballah plan war on Israel

Syria and Hizballah, flushed with the success of breaking the rebel hold on the strategic town of al Qusayr, Sunday, May 19, are making no secret of their plans for the “great confrontation,” i.e. military confrontaiton with  Israel after they win the Syrian civil war.  Israel’s military leaders are taking with the utmost seriousness the words of Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the Hizballah organ Al Akhbar, and a close buddy of Syrian president Bashar Assad, who wrote Monday:

“The rope is taut. It is taut to the limit. Anyone at either end [Israel at one end, Syrian and Hizballah, at the other] need only flex a finger and it will break, and the great confrontation will take place. This is neither a threat, nor an exaggeration or interpretation. This is the situation on the enemy’s northern front. Now means today; it means this hour,” al-Amin wrote. Continue reading

Assad to Beirut: Sack Lebanese army chief or more air raids. Jordan feared next

The Syrian conflict spread in earnest to Lebanon Monday, March 18, when the Syria Air Force carried out bombing runs over Syrian rebel jumping-off bases inside Lebanon that are used for their attacks on government forces.

debkafile can disclose exclusively that Saturday, March 16, Syrian ruler Bashar Assad sent an ultimatum to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman through intelligence channels consisting of three stipulations: Continue reading

Russian warships head to Syria in show of power

Russia has been a close ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and has strategic and economic interests in the country.

The Defense Ministry said the landing ships Kaliningrad and Alexander Shabalin are en route to the region from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Two other big landing ships, the Saratov and the Azov, are scheduled to join them by the end of February. Continue reading

Russia says Assad made ‘grave, perhaps fatal error’

He knows exactly what happened to Gaddafi and Mubarak, as well as Saddam Hussein. When his last grip on power starts to give way, he will likely choose to set the entire Middle East on fire rather than retire and spend the rest of his life in a secluded beach house.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has committed ‘grave, perhaps fatal error’ and that chances of him retaining power are getting “smaller and smaller” every day.

Medvedev made the statements in an interview with CNN. His remarks were the most vocal Russian statement that Assad’s days could be numbered. But he reiterated calls for talks between the government and its foes and repeated Moscow’s position that Assad must not be pushed out by external forces. Continue reading

Israel threatens Syria strike if rebels get chemical arms

Any sign that Syria’s grip on its chemical weapons is slipping as it battles an armed uprising could trigger Israeli military strikes, Israel’s vice premier said on Sunday.

Silvan Shalom confirmed a media report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had last week convened a meeting of security chiefs to discuss the civil war in Syria and the state of its suspected chemical arsenal.

Should Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas or rebels battling forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad obtain Syria’s chemical weapons, Shalom told Israel’s Army Radio: “It would dramatically change the capabilities of those organizations.” Continue reading

Al Saud Media: Assad and His Family Stay on a Russian Navy Ship

Translated from Arabic to English by using Google, we now know why he hasn’t been caught just yet:

“Al-Watan” from intelligence sources that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he lives with his family and close associates limited him aboard a warship in the Mediterranean sea, guarded by Russian. The informed sources “home” with information, stating that “Assad travels to and from the warship by helicopter afford to a site inside Syria, and transmits its transnational dimension cars common to the People’s Palace under heavy guard, in case he had a date for the formal reception or protocols,” but Most residence be in the ship, according to sources, who attributed it for two reasons: first, to provide a safe environment for the President who has lost confidence, one way or another, in the security cordon near him, and that it was worried that penetrate the ring is easy, according to the sources. In this context published “home” two weeks ago, citing intelligence sources, news recruit and Ministry of Intelligence and Security of Iran’s Dean Hafez Makhlouf – a cousin of President Assad – without the knowledge of Assad and leaders of military and intelligence Syrian, which has become a major concern to the lion of breakthroughs, According to the sources. Continue reading

Stop war in Syria before it becomes ‘field of ruins’: pope

Although he didn’t mention Damascus by name, the reference is difficult to ignore. Isaiah 17:1, anyone?

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict on Monday urged the international community to end what he called the endless slaughter in Syria before the entire country became a “a field of ruins.

He made the appeal in particularly strong terms during a yearly “state of the world” address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican.

He said Syria, where the United Nations estimates that 60,000 people have been killed, was “torn apart by endless slaughter and (is) the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population”. Continue reading

Russia Docks Warships in Syria as NATO Arms Turkey

Russian warships docked at a naval base in Syria, according to reports on Wednesday, further separating Moscow from Western actions in the war-torn country.

The two ships made a rare call at the port in Tartus, Russia’s only remaining international military base since the Soviet Union collapsed, according to AFP and Interfax reports. Russian authorities claim the stop was only to load fuel and water and make “minor repairs.” This is the second time the Russian Navy has raised eyebrows in recent weeks, following reports that it docked warships off the coast of Gaza in late November, during the height of the fighting there with Israel. Continue reading

Assad’s chemical weapons units head out of Damascus toward Aleppo

As NATO in Brussels gave the go-ahead Tuesday night, Dec. 4, for the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to protect Turkey against Syrian missiles, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported that convoys of the Syrian army’s chemical weapons units headed out of Damascus under cover of dark and turned north up the road to Aleppo. Their destination is not yet known.

The convoys were ferrying self-propelled cannons for firing shells loaded with poisonous sarin gas.

Our sources report that the Syrian ruler is aparently gambling dangerously on the Americans holding back from attacking the convoys as long as they deploy unconventional weapons, and would only react when they are used.

He is also taking advantage of the heavy winds, rain and cloud over this part of the eastern Mediterranean and counting on the weather to obstruct military operations against his chemical weapons units.

By the time the weather clears some time Thursday, the units will be in place in battle formation. Meanwhile, bombing the convoys in windy weather could cause the deadly gas to spread out of control in unpredictable directions. Continue reading

Report: New signs of activity at Syria’s chemical weapons sites

The intention of using WMDs should not be a surprise or a secret. Bashar al-Assad is not the type of person to lay down his arms, sign a peace treaty and retire on a piece of beachfront property. Combine this with the persistent undermining of his regime and we get the end result: War. This will likely cause a region-wide war in the Middle East as Syria has a mutual defence pact with Iran. Both Iran and Syria control terrorist proxies (Hamas, etc…) in neighboring countries of Israel, which will bring those countries into the fold as Israel will have no choice but to defend itself against tens of thousands of rockets pouring into the tiny Jewish state. When the chemical weapons get broke out and used, that’s when Damascus will very likely be razed.

U.S. intelligence official tells the New York Times that Assad forces are ‘doing some things that suggest they intend to use the weapons.’

The officials said they were not sure whether the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad were preparing to employ the chemical weapons, or rather use them to deter the West from aiding the rebels.

“It’s in some ways similar to what they’ve done before,” a senior U.S. intelligence official told the New York Times. “But they’re doing some things that suggest they intend to use the weapons. It’s not just moving stuff around. These are different kind[s] of activities.”  Continue reading

Iran warns Turkey not to deploy Patriot missiles

“The installation of such systems in the region has negative effects and will intensify problems in the region,” Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on returning from a trip to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey on Saturday evening, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA.

Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, told the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) on Sunday that deploying the Patriot system “will not only not help solve the situation in Syria, it will actually make the situation more difficult and complicated as well”. Continue reading

Obama warns Syria’s Assad: Use of chemical weapons a ‘red line’ for U.S.

President Barack Obama on Monday warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that the use or deployment of chemical or biological weapons in his country’s conflict would be a “red line” for the United States as it views Damascus’s suppression of the uprising.

“A red line for us is (if) we see a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around, or being utilized. That would change my calculus,” Obama said.

“It doesn’t just include Syria. It would concern allies in the region, including Israel, and it would concern us,” Obama said.

Full article: Obama warns Syria’s Assad: Use of chemical weapons a ‘red line’ for U.S. (Haaretz)