Saudi Arabia wants missiles for Syrian rebels: report

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

Assad Prepares Offensive as Obama Promises Rebels Arms

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

Iran begins vote to choose Ahmadinejad’s successor

Iranians began voting on Friday in a presidential election unlikely to result in seismic shifts in its troubled relations with the West and Gulf Arab neighbours, but which could bring a softening of the confrontational style personified by outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran’s Gulf Arab neighbours are also wary of Iran’s influence in Iraq next door and its backing for President Bashar al-Assad and his Lebanese allies Hezbollah in the Syrian civil war. The Sunni Arab kingdoms are backing the rebels in Syria. Continue reading

France’s Le Monde says chemical weapons used in Syria

Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have repeatedly used chemical weapons against rebel fighters in Damascus, according to first-hand accounts in France’s Le Monde newspaper.

The newspaper, in a report issued on its website on Monday, said one of its photographers had suffered blurred vision and respiratory difficulties for four days after an attack on April 13 on the Jobar front, just inside central Damascus. Continue reading

Syria: Assad regime is making gains and ‘planning a major push’

Recent military victories have severed rebel supply and retreat routes, allowing the regime to plan a major push to to crush divided opposition forces, a senior British security source told The Daily Telegraph.

“The Syrian opposition is doing badly and there is a risk of [further] defeats, although Assad cannot ultimately win,” the source said. Continue reading

Russia Not to Tolerate Further Israeli Attacks on Damascus

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while in Shanghai, was given a sharp dressing-down by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a warning that Russia would not tolerate further Israeli attacks on Damascus and would respond.

Putin did not say how, but he did announce he had ordered the acceleration of highly advanced Russian weapons supplies to Syria. Continue reading

Russian official says U.S. now directing ‘Libyan scenario’ in Syria

A leading Russian official provided details of purported U.S. support of the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said Washington was directing and organizing supplies of weapons and other equipment to Sunni rebels.

“The political maneuver phase has come to an end, and the West is
starting to implement a modified Libyan scenario in Syria, which is to ouster Assad by supporting rebels and providing them with weapons,” Pushkov said. Continue reading

Israel fires into Syria after Golan attack on troops

(Reuters) – Israel said it fired into Syria on Sunday and destroyed a machine gun position in the Golan Heights from where shots had been fired at Israeli soldiers in a further spillover of the Syrian civil war along a tense front.

It was not immediately clear whether Israel held Syrian troops or rebels responsible for what a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had been a deliberate attack on Israeli patrols in the occupied territory.

Israeli forces “destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest that fired twice in the last 24 hours on Israeli patrols operating to safeguard the border,” the spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said on his Twitter page.

Shells have fallen several times inside Israeli-controlled territory during Syria’s civil war. Some of the incidents have drawn Israeli return fire. Continue reading

Chemical attack in north Syria: ‘People fell dead to the floor’

It’s been said that chemical weapons being used by Syria is the ‘red line’ and there’s no question now that they have been used. The next issue is to find out who used them. Should it be Syria in this case, we know where that road leads as it has been discussed here for some time before the media picked up on the possibility of usage. Such is the scenario when Assad realizes his last grip on power is about to be lost.

Israeli security officials believe chemical agents were in fact used near Aleppo by rebels or Assad forces. Young girl: My chest closed up. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t breathe

Syria’s state television said rebels fired a rocket carrying chemical agents that killed 25 people and wounded dozens. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, said 16 soldiers were among the dead.

Israeli security officials believe chemical agents were used near Aleppo, but on a relatively small scale. However, the officials could not say who was behind the chemical attack – the rebels or Assad’s regime. Continue reading

Intelligence chief: Assad ready to use chemical weapons

Israel’s military intelligence chief on Thursday said Syria’s embattled president, Bashar Assad, is preparing to use chemical weapons.

Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi told a security conference in the coastal town of Herzliya that Assad is stepping up his offensive against rebels trying to oust him.

He claimed Assad is making advanced preparations to use chemical weapons, but has not yet given the order to deploy them. He did not disclose information about why he thinks Assad is preparing to use them. Continue reading

Joint US-Israel-Turkish-Jordanian HQ to operate in Syria in chemical war

A new US-led contingency headquarters for joint US, IsraelU [sic], Jordanian and Turkish operations will go into action inside Syria if any or all these allies should come under chemical or biological attack. Agreement to establish this headquarters was finalized at the talks US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel held with visiting Israeli defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Pentagon Tuesday, March 5. Continue reading

Iranian-Hizballah convoy blown up on Syrian Golan. Border tensions shoot up

In the view of a Jordanian military source, this attack by an unknown hand has delayed Bashar Assad’s advanced preparations for an all-out armored offensive to finally crush the revolt against his regime. His first targets were to have been the rebel-held villages along the Israeli and Jordanian borders.

The Syrian ruler was working to a plan of operations his generals had drawn up with Iranian Al Qods Brigades strategists.

Saturday, Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned that Iran would consider any attack on Syria an attack on itself: “Syria has a very basic and key role in the region for promoting firm policies of resistance [against Israel]… For this reason an attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran and Iran’s allies.” Continue reading

Assad: ‘I will win, even if Damascus is destroyed’

Quoting French sources, A-Sharq Al-Awsat quotes an exchange between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the international envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

According to the daily, Brahimi told Assad that he could not remain in power and that the opposition could defeat him, but the cost may be the complete destruction of Damascus. To that, Assad reportedly answered “I will win the war, even if Damascus is destroyed.” Continue reading

Syrian Rebels Claim Ability to Manufacture Chemical Arms (

Whether it’s Syrian rebels, the Assad regime or a response from Israel, day by day Isaiah 17:1 looks to be coming closer to fruition.

Syrian rebels possess the ability to produce chemical weapons that would be used as a last resort should they face chemical strikes from the Bashar Assad regime, a political counselor to the Free Syrian Army claimed in an interview with Turkey’s official Anatolia news agency last week. Continue reading

‘First we take Damascus, then Tel Aviv’

Salafist leader warns that once rebels topple Assad’s regime they will set their sights on Israel; says ‘We won’t rest until Palestine is liberated’

The leader of the radical Salafist movement in Jordan, whose organization actively supports the Syrian rebels’ efforts to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime warned Sunday that once the Damascus opposition achieves its primary goal, it will set its sights on Israel.

The group’s leader, Abed Shihadeh, who is also known as Abu Muhammad al-Tahawi, spoke at the funeral of a Jihadist who committed a suicide attack in Amman last week.

“We tell Benjamin Netanyahu, the (Israeli) prime minister, get ready. The army of the Prophet Mohammad is coming your way.Continue reading