Turkish officers take command of Syrian rebel brigades. N. Israel on alert

Turkish army officers have assumed direct command of the first two Syrian rebel brigades fighting Bashar Assad’s government forces, according to debkafile’s exclusive sources. This step has sent military tensions rocketing on Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon in case of a backlash.

The rebel North Liberators Brigade in the Idlib region of northern Syria and the Tawhid Brigade fighting in the Al-Bab area northeast of Aleppo are now taking their operational orders from Turkish officers, who exercise their authority from headquarters outside Syria in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep. Nonetheless, Turkey is considered to have stepped directly into the Syrian conflict marking the onset of foreign intervention.

Western and Arab military circles in the Middle East expect Turkey to extend its command to additional rebel units – not all of them part of the Free Syrian Army.

This first step has already caused waves.

4.  Later that day, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan commented: “The regime in Syria has now become a terrorist state.”

Only a few of Erdogan’s listeners understood he was laying international legal grounding for expanding Turkish military intervention in Syria.

Full article: Turkish officers take command of Syrian rebel brigades. N. Israel on alert (DEBKAfile)

Israel Advised to Brace for Syrian Missile Attack

As previously discussed what could happen:

As the already unthinkable pace of slaughter in Syria accelerates further, Western military sources warned Saturday, July 14, that not only Israel, but additional strategic targets in Middle East lands deemed enemies by Bashar Assad should prepare for him to launch surface-to-surface missile attacks. The assaults would start out with conventional warheads, but as the regime continued to be hammered, the beleaguered ruler might well arm the next round of missiles from his huge stockpile of mustard gas – not to mention sarin nerve poison and cyanide.

Western intelligence sources say Assad has a list of targets ready to go. Analyzing the Syrian war game taking place last week, they calculated that Wednesday and Thursday, July 11 and 12, the Syrian army practiced shooting missiles at strategic centers in Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

That is one game-changing predicament facing the West. It would quickly assume a regional dimension if Turkey, Israel and Jordan were to come under Syrian missile assault. Air and missile reprisals against Syrian military or regime centers would carry the danger of Hizballah retaliation from Lebanon leading to direct attacks from Iran. Before going down that road, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan – who are not on speaking terms – would certainly confer with US President Barack Obama.

Full article: Israel Advised to Brace for Syrian Missile Attack  (Virtual Jerusalem)