Syrian rebels show united front
Feuding factions finally put aside differences to agree deal combining Syrian National Council with smaller groups
Guys this is the MOST important Video i have ever made: Israel has admitted to allowing the FSA terrorist insurgents to use the Golan heights as cover. Israel has exchanged fire with Syria at the border of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The NATO backed opposition (FSA and SNC) are puppets of Israel and Nato and want to ally with them if the Syrian government falls. The entire insurgency in Syria is part of a Zionist-NATO plot hatched years ago, to destroy Syria and break Syria/Iran ties. Please help spread this like wild fire!
New York Times
November 17, 2012
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has told the Obama administration that any military effort to seize Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons would require upward of 75,000 troops, amid increasing concern that the militant group Hezbollah has set up small training camps close to some of the chemical weapons depots, according to senior American officials.
The estimated size of the potential effort, provided to the White House by the military’s Central Command and Joint Staff, called into question whether the United States would have the resources to act quickly if it detected the movement of chemical weapons and forced President Obama, as he said in August, to “change my calculus” about inserting American forces into Syria.
So far Mr. Obama has avoided direct intervention into the most brutal civil conflict to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings, and the Pentagon assessment was seen as likely to reinforce that reluctance.
The White House on Thursday declined to comment on the Defense Department’s assessment.
The Pentagon has not yet been directed to draft detailed plans of how it could carry out such a mission, according to military officials.
There are also contingency plans, officials say, for securing a more limited number of the Syrian chemical weapons depots, requiring fewer troops.
PARIS (AP) — France raised the possibility Thursday of sending “defensive weapons” to Syria’s rebels, but Russia warned that such a move would violate international law.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country will ask the European Union to consider lifting the Syrian arms embargo, which prevents weapons from being sent to either side.
“We must not militarize the conflict … but it’s obviously unacceptable that there are liberated zones and they’re bombed” by President Bashar Assad’s regime, Fabius said in an interview with RTL radio. “We have to find a good balance.”
The civil war in Syria, which began as an uprising against Assad’s regime, has killed more than 36,000 Syrians since March 2011, according to anti-government activists. The fighting and flood of refugees seeking safety have also spilled over into several of Syria’s neighbors, including Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
The fighting has descended into a bloody stalemate, and rebels say they desperately need weapons to turn the tide.
“The question of defensive arms will be raised,” Fabius said, without providing details about what such arms would be. “This cannot be done without coordination between Europeans.”
The topic of Syria is sure to be on the agenda at the EU foreign ministers meeting Monday in Brussels.
France has taken a leading role among Western countries in supporting Syria’s rebels. On Tuesday, it became the first Western nation to formally recognize Syria’s newly formed opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
On Saturday, the president of the new opposition coalition, the 52-year-old preacher-turned activist Mouaz al-Khatib, is to visit Paris and meet with President Francois Hollande. Al-Khatib is scheduled to hold talks a day earlier in London with British officials, who have said they will urge the opposition to set out a strategy to halt the conflict.
European nations are discussing whether to overturn an arms embargo on Syria and seeking to press Arab countries and the United States for a new impetus to end the deadly 20-month conflict, Britain’s foreign policy chief said Friday.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague met in London with Mouaz al-Khatib, head of the new Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, and two vice presidents, but said that the U.K. would not yet join France in officially recognizing the opposition group as the representative of Syria’s people.
Officials from the U.S., France, Germany and other nations were attending meetings in London with the new opposition group, aimed at determining how better to support opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad and to stress the need for the opposition fighters to respect human rights.
“We cannot stand still, we cannot just say we will leave things as they are in Syria, because it is a gravely deteriorating situation,” Hague told reporters. “How we respond has to be well judged, well thought-through.”
Predictably, the Western arranged confab in Doha, Qatar has seen the selection and approval by the US and its allies of a “new opposition coalition” to serve as the face of militants fighting inside Syria.
This was in response to overwhelming international condemnation to what has become an open proxy war fought against Syria by Western interests and its regional allies.
It is a repeat of the now catastrophically failed NATO intervention in Libya that has left the nation mired in genocidal sectarian and tribal violence, a weak, ineffectual client-regime, and human rights abuses dwarfing in reality, the now confirmed fabrications used by NATO ahead of military operations early in 2011.
France and the Arab League have already reapplied their stamp of approval on the “new” coalition, following their support for the same political front they have attempted to prop up for the last nearly 2 years.
Coalition is Smoke Screen for state Sponsorship of Terrorism.
Beginning at least as early as 2007, the West and its allies, primarily the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, began quietly organizing, funding, and arming a regional front of sectarian extremists across the Arab World to be used against Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.
Exposed in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s “The Redirection,” published that same year in the New Yorker, it was revealed that many of these sectarian extremists were in fact affiliated directly with Al Qaeda.
The article stated specifically (emphasis added):
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
In essence, the West would be intentionally and knowingly funding the very adversaries Western troops had just spent the better part of a decade allegedly fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and upon lesser known battlefields in Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen, as part of the “War on Terror.”
From the very beginning of the so-called “Arab Spring,” armed elements were active in Syria actively seeking to widen what was the final execution of 2007′s plans to undermine and overthrow first Syria, then Lebanon and finally Iran.
The so-called “Syrian National Council” (SNC), as well as street protests and online activism served as but a smokescreen for what was in reality an invasion of Syria by Western armed and backed foreign extremists sent to augment Muslim Brotherhood militants prevalent in the Dar’a, Idlib, and Dayr Al-Zawr regions of Syria – also coincidentally the “cradles” of the current so-called “revolution.”
The influx of foreign fighters spiked after NATO had finally succeeded in 2011 at overthrowing the government of Libya and placing into power militants from the eastern city of Benghazi.
It was from Benghazi that an overwhelming proportion of Al Qaeda fighters had be sent to fight in Iraq during the US occupation.
Like in Syria, the “cradle” for the so-called “Libyan revolution” was also coincidentally the epicenter for extremist activity. In Libya’s case, Benghazi served as the center for the the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed terror organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
This was documented extensively in the West Point Combating Terrorism Center reports, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” and “Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa’ida’s Road In and Out of Iraq.”
Both reports exposed Libya as a global epicenter for Al Qaeda training and recruitment, producing more fighters per capita than even Saudi Arabia, and producing more foreign fighters numerically than any other nation that sent militants to Iraq, except Saudi Arabia itself.
Image: Libya, despite its relatively small population, came in second overall, producing foreign fighters to wage sectarian war in Iraq. Libya exceeded all other nations per capita in producing foreign fighters, including Al Qaeda’s primary patrons, Saudi Arabia. These diagrams were produced by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, on pages 8 and 9 of its “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” report.
The reports specifically identify eastern Libya (Cyrenaica) as terrorist hotbeds, precisely where the so-called 2011 “pro-democracy revolution” also began, and where most of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s attention had been focused over the course of at least three decades, fighting militant extremists.
The cities of Darnah, Tobruk, and Benghazi in particular fielded the vast majority of foreign fighters sent to Iraq and also served as the very epicenter for the 2011 violent, NATO-backed uprising.
Image: (Left) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” indicates that the vast majority of Al Qaeda terrorists arriving in Iraq from Libya, originated from the country’s eastern region, and from the cities of Darnah and Benghazi in particular. (Right) A map indicating rebel held territory (red) during Libya’s 2011 conflict. The entire region near Benghazi, Darnah, and Tobruk served as the cradle for the so-called revolution. The US government is just now revealing the heavy Al Qaeda presence in the region, but clearly knew about it since at least as early as 2007, and as other reports indicate, decades before even that.
Clearly, the US military and the US government were both well aware of the heavy Al Qaeda presence in eastern Libya since as early as 2007. When violence flared up in 2011, it was clear to many geopolitical analysts that it was the result of Al Qaeda, not “pro-democracy protesters.”
The US government, its allies, and a the Western press willfully lied to the public, misrepresented its case to the United Nations and intervened in Libya on behalf of international terrorists, overthrowing a sovereign government, and granting an entire nation as a base of operations for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
A similar scenario is now playing out in Syria, where the West, despite acknowledging the existence of Al Qaeda in Benghazi, Libya, is using these militants, and the exact same networks used to send fighters to Iraq, to flood into and overrun Syria.
This, after these very same Libyan militants were implicated in an attack that left a US ambassador dead on September 11, 2012.
LIFG terrorists are documented to be flooding into Syria from Libya. In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:
Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”
Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit
Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.
“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”
Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and have been flooding into the country ever since.
Image: (Left) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” also indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria’s southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right) A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called “pro-democracy fighters.”
In Syria, the southeastern region near Dayr Al-Zawr on the Iraqi-Syrian border, the northwestern region of Idlib near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border, produced the majority of fighters found crossing over into Iraq, according to the 2007 West Point study.
These regions now serve as the epicenter for a similar Libyan-style uprising, with fighters disingenuously portrayed as “pro-democracy” “freedom fighters.”
These are also the locations receiving the majority of foreign fighters flowing in from other areas described in the 2007 report, mainly from Saudi Arabia via Jordan, and from Libya, either directly, through Turkey, or through Egypt and/or Jordan.
The CIA is confirmed to be operating in these areas, allegedly “to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups,” according to the New York Times in their article, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition.”
Image: The most prominent routes into Syria for foreign fighters is depicted, with the inset graph describing the most widely used routes by foreign fighters on their way to Iraq, as determined by West Point’s 2007 Combating Terrorism Center report “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” (page 20). These same networks are now being used, with the addition of a more prominent role for Turkey, to target Syria directly. (Click to enlarge)
Posturing and Threats meant to Weaken/Splinter Syria’s Unity.
Even as the West postures as if only now weapons will begin flowing to the “new opposition coalition,” militants in Syria have been receiving Western backing, funding, and arms through a variety of networks, years before the so-called “Arab Spring” had even begun, and certainly well before this current juncture in the conflict.
However thus far, clearly to no avail.
The West, primarily the US, UK, and France, its NATO ally Turkey, and the Persian Gulf monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are intentionally assisting known terrorists in the overthrow of the sovereign, secular government of Syria – a repeat of the now clearly failed, and already backfiring NATO intervention in Libya.
In fact, the exact same terrorists the US claims it is “hunting” in the deserts of Libya for having killed its ambassador, now stand poised in Syria to receive expanded political recognition and military support from the West after this latest round of window dressing in Doha, Qatar.
International support has waned significantly for the West and its narrative. The tepid support the West garnered for its military operations in Libya seem now a long-lost luxury.
The SNC itself is politically, tactically, socially, culturally, and above all ideologically disconnected with both the fighters in Syria, as well as any legitimate opposition that may exist.
While the SNC consists of Syrians, many of the fighters in Syria are in fact foreign militants who hold an allegiance to Saudi Wahhabism, opposed by even many of the current Syrian government’s critics – critics who also denounce the SNC and their calls for foreign intervention.
In coordination with this political charade, Israel and Turkey have been pressing the borders of Syria. Turkey, led by the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has allowed its territory along the border with Syria to be used as a sanctuary and staging ground for foreign terrorists entering into and fighting against the government and people of Syria.
Israel has recently been firing at Syrian forces conducting security operations against militants in the Golan Heights.
The two-pronged encroachment by Turkey and Israel is not the spontaneous response by both nations to an escalating conflict on the ground.
Rather it was prescribed, verbatim, by corporate-financier funded policy think-tank, the Brookings Institution, in their report, “”Assessing Options for Regime Change“ as a means of increasing psychological pressure on Syria.
The report states specifically:
In addition, Israel’s intelligence services have a strong knowledge of Syria, as well as assets within the Syrian regime that could be used to subvert the regime’s power base and press for Asad’s removal. Israel could posture forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing, might divert regime forces from suppressing the opposition.
This posture may conjure fears in the Asad regime of a multi-front war, particularly if Turkey is willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and training.
Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade Syria’s military leadership to oust Asad in order to preserve itself. Advocates argue this additional pressure could tip the balance against Asad inside Syria, if other forces were aligned properly.
The prospect of foreign military intervention, or NATO’s already depleted terrorist forces succeeding even with increased weapon shipments from the West, is still unlikely.
As Brookings indicates, much of what is being done is aimed at psychologically undermining the stalwart defense thus far put up by the Syrian government and its people.
The “fear” of possible military intervention and/or the increase in terrorist capabilities is meant to splinter the Syrian population’s overwhelming support and unity against what is now clearly foreign aggression, not rebellion.
Likewise, the seemingly unstoppable advance of Western aggression against Syria is meant to undermine the support of Syria’s allies.
Western aggression however has already reached its limits – and while it could embark upon a wider military confrontation with Syria, should both the Syrian people and Syria’s allies remain committed to the defense of the nation’s sovereignty, not only will this aggression fail, it will create momentum that will roll the West and its extraterritorial interests back significantly, if not entirely.
DEBKAfile November 14, 2012, 3:32 PM (GMT+02:00)
The brittle situation on Israel’s Golan border with Syria brought Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and members of the IDF high command to the Northern Command Wednesday to weigh Israel’s next steps in consultation with the OC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Yair Golan and district brigade chiefs.
November 13, 2012
France on Tuesday became the first European country to recognize the newly formed Syrian rebel coalition and raised the possibility of arming the group as it begins taking charge of the opposition’s role in the civil war.
The French announcement, conveyed by President François Hollande at his first news conference in office, went beyond other Western pledges of support for the new Syrian rebel group, which was officially created on Sunday and calls itself the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.
Though the United States and Britain have welcomed the rebel group’s formation, they have nonetheless held back on whether to recognize it as the legitimate government of Syria for now and have expressed reluctance to provide it with lethal military aid. That is in part because of uncertainties over how weaponry would be used and fears it would fall into the hands of the radical jihadists in Syria who are also fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Syria pulled both Turkey and Israel closer to military entanglements in its civil war on Monday, bombing a rebel-held Syrian village a few yards from the Turkish border in a deadly aerial assault and provoking Israeli tank commanders in the disputed Golan Heights into blasting a mobile Syrian artillery unit across their own armistice line.
The escalations, which threatened once again to draw in two of Syria’s most powerful neighbors, came hours after the fractious Syrian opposition announced a broad new unity pact that elicited praise from the big foreign powers backing its effort to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
“It is a big day for the Syrian opposition,” wrote Joshua Landis, an expert on Syrian political history and the author of the widely followed Syria Comment blog. Professor Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, wrote that the “Assad regime must be worried, as it has survived for 42 years thanks to Syria’s fragmentation.”
November 12, 2012
NATO will defend alliance member Turkey, which struck back after mortar rounds fired from Syria landed inside its border, the alliance’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a meeting in Prague on Monday.
“NATO as an organization will do what it takes to protect and defend Turkey, our ally. We have all plans in place to make sure that we can protect and defend Turkey and hopefully that way also deter so that attacks on Turkey will not take place,” he said.
Rasmussen also welcomed a weekend agreement by Syrian opposition groups to put aside differences and form a new coalition.
November 12, 2012 – SYRIA – NATO will defend alliance member Turkey, which struck back after mortar rounds fired from Syria landed inside its border, the alliance’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a meeting in Prague on Monday. “NATO as an organization will do what it takes to protect and defend Turkey, our ally. We have more plans in place to make sure that we can protect and defend Turkey and hopefully that way also deter so that attacks on Turkey will not take place,” he said. Rasmussen also welcomed a weekend agreement by Syrian opposition groups to put aside differences and form a new coalition. A Syrian fighter jet on Monday bombed an area near the Turkish border, causing several casualties, officials and witnesses said. An Associated Press video journalist saw the plane bomb an area around the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, some 10 meters (yards) from the Turkish border. Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army, the main armed opposition group, downed a regime helicopter flying above the al-Hamdan airport in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor on Monday, Al Arabiya reported. Last week the rebels overran three security compounds in the town, located in the predominantly Kurdish oil-producing northeastern province of al-Hasaka, wresting control from the regime forces. An official at the local mayor’s office said Turkish ambulances were carrying several injured Syrians to a hospital, across the border in the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. The force of the blast shattered shop windows in Ceylanpinar, in southeastern Turkey, the official said. It was not clear if anyone in Ceylanpinar was injured in the bombing. The fighting in Ras al-Ayn touched off a massive flow of refugees two days ago, and more refugees were seen coming after the blast. Earlier, a Syrian helicopter bombed rebel positions in an area further south of Ras al-Ayn and the rebels could be heard responding with machine guns, the official said.
British troops to be deployed on Syrian border: British troops could be deployed around Syria’s borders in the event of a worsening humanitarian crisis, the head of the armed forces warned yesterday. General Sir David Richards, the Chief of General Staff, said that contingency plans for military intervention are being “continually brushed over” as Syria’s civil war continues. He stressed that any troop involvement would be limited and conditional on the support of people in the affected area, but his remarks raise the spectre of the UK being involved in another conflict at a time when the West is trying to extract itself from the 11-year war in Afghanistan. General Richards told BBC1′s Andrew Marr programme that the UK’s main concern is preventing the Syrian civil war from spilling across borders into Jordan, Lebanon, or especially Turkey, a NATO ally. But with the humanitarian situation likely to worsen over the winter, he anticipated that political pressure for the Army to intervene would increase, though they would have to be “very cautious” about embarking on what would be a “huge effort.”
Israel fires on Syrian positions: IDF tanks fired into Syria on Monday for the second time in as many days, after a Syrian mortar shell landed in the Golan Heights. The events played out in a similar sequence to those on Sunday, when an errant Syrian shell elicited an Israeli warning shot at the Syrian military for the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. On Monday, however, the IDF said it shot “at the source of the fire in Syria,” and scored a “direct hit,” taking out two mortar launchers. The Syrian shell landed near an IDF outpost in Hazeka on the Golan. Army Radio reported that there were no injuries or damage from the shell, which hit as Israel suffered a barrage of missiles from Gaza, putting the IDF in the position of monitoring enemy fire along both the northern and southern borders. After Sunday’s mortar shell exploded, Israel sent a warning message to the UN, saying that any further firing into Israel will result “in a real response.” On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for restraint on behalf of Israel and Syria. Ban’s office said “the Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the potential for escalation. He calls for the utmost restraint and urges Syria and Israel to uphold the Disengagement Agreement, respect their mutual obligations, and halt firing of any kind across the ceasefire line.” The IDF limited its return fire to a single missile, since its policy is to only fire intensively in response to coming under major Syrian fire. Syria has been in the midst of a brutal civil war for over a year, and the IDF has been instructed to prevent the battles from spilling over into our territory. At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel was closely following events along the Syrian border, and was prepared for all possibilities on that front.
Iran conducts largest air-defense drills ever: A joint air defense exercise of the Armed Forces and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) began in eastern Iran on Monday. The four-day military drill, entitled the Defenders of the Sky of Velayat 4, is being conducted in an area covering 850,000 square kilometers with the participation of 8000 Iranian military forces. The maneuvers are being carried out to enhance military capabilities of Iranian forces and provide them with an opportunity to practice modern military tactics to counter new military threats against the country. During the first stage of the exercise on Monday, air defense, radar, missile, surveillance, artillery, and lookout systems were deployed across the theater of operation. Surveillance planes took photographs of and gathered information about the theatre of operation and transmitted them to ground control centers in the quickest time possible. Lookouts were quickly stationed in their positions and established multi-layer and safe communications to transfer information about the theater of operation to the country’s integrated air defense network. According to military officials, the mobility of troops, the movement of defense systems, and the coordination between armed forces were assessed during the first stage of the exercise. Brigadier General Shahrokh Shahram, the spokesman for the maneuvers, said on Sunday that new domestically designed defense systems would be unveiled during the war games. Iran’s vice president said Monday that Tehran will break the ‘grasping hands’ of newly re-elected President Barack Obama, the official IRNA news agency reported.
November 12, 2012
The Israeli military has fired tanks shells into Syria for the second consecutive day after a stray mortar round landed in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The IDF fired “towards the source of the fire” and confirmed “direct hits.”
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) tanks fired on two Syrian mortar shell batteries in response to the errant mortar shell that landed near an IDF outpost in Hazeka on Monday. The retaliatory strike comes a day after a similar incident compelled the Israeli military to fire a single Tamuz anti-tank missile into Syria.
An Israeli security source told Haaretz daily the IDF had once again fired a Tamuz anti-tank missile with a range of 25 kilometers in the direction of the Syrian army mortar crew that had launched a shell which overshot the Golan disengagement fence. The IDF reported “direct hits,” though no causalities have been reported.
Israel says Monday’s shelling was the sixth incident in a week’s time that the Syrian conflict had spilled over into Israeli territory.
“The IDF has filed a complaint with the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity,” the Israeli military said in a statement on Monday.
Sunday’s warning shot was the first time Israel had fired on Syrian territory since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
The government of Israel does not believe that Syria is intentionally targeting Israeli territory, but holds Damascus for any attacks originating from its territory.
Just hours before Sunday’s strike, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Syria that Israel would “respond” if stray shells landed inside the Golan.
On the same day Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was“closely monitoring what is happening on our border with Syria and there too we are ready for any development.”
Israel recently filed a complaint with the United Nations Security Council after three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone in the Golan earlier this month.
The tanks were reportedly engaged in a battle with Syrian rebels in the village of Beer Ajam, which is located in the Syrian-controlled portion of the Golan Heights.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967. The country agreed to return the land to Syria in return for a peace agreement. The Arab World rejected the overture following the 1967 Arab League Summit which famously concluded: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.”
During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Syrian forces crossed the ceasefire line into the Golan Heights in an attempt to retake the territory. Syria’s troops were repelled by Israeli forces.
Israel annexed the Golan in 1981, a move that was rejected by the international community. Israel returned a narrow demilitarized zone to Syrian control, which is currently patrolled by UN peacekeeping forces.
November 12, 2012
General Sir David Richards said plans were being drawn up in case winter made conditions on the ground worse.
Any intervention would be ‘limited’ and needed the support of people inside Syria, he said.
But it would be seen as a potential step towards a full-scale military intervention bringing British forces directly into conflict with the regime of president Bashar al-Assad.
‘It would be a huge effort. We would be very cautious about it,’ the chief of the defence staff told the BBC.
7:50PM EST November 11. 2012 –
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel was drawn into the fighting in neighboring Syria for the first time Sunday, firing warning shots across the border after an errant mortar shell landed near an Israeli military installation in the Golan Heights.
While Israel appeared eager to calm the situation, its response was a potent reminder of how easily the Syrian civil war — already spilling across borders with Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan — could explode into a wider regional conflagration.
Israeli officials threatened even tougher retaliation if attacks persist.
They have feared that the instability in Syria over the past 19 months could spill across the border into Israel, particularly as President Bashar Assad’s grip on power grows increasingly precarious.
Israel has little love for Assad, who has provided refuge and support to Israel’s bitterest enemies through the years. But the Syrian leader — and his father before him — have kept the frontier quiet for nearly four decades, providing a rare source of stability in the volatile region.
The Israeli military said the mortar fire caused no injuries or damage at the post in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and then annexed.
In recent weeks, incidents of errant fire from Syria have multiplied, leading Israel to warn that it holds Syria responsible. Israeli officials believe most of the fire has come from Syrian government forces, although they think it has been inadvertent and not been aimed at Israel.
After responding to Sunday’s mortar strike, the Israeli military moved quickly to defuse tensions.
“We understand this was a mistake and was not meant to target Israel, and then that is why we fired a warning shot in retaliation,” said Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, a military spokeswoman. Defense officials said an anti-tank missile was fired, and there were no reports of casualties in Syria.
Feuding factions finally put aside differences to agree deal combining Syrian National Council with smaller groups
Qatar and Turkey, two of the Syrian opposition’s biggest international backers, have called for other states to endorse an umbrella deal signed on Sunday night that unites feuding anti-Assad groups and paves a way for funding to resume.
The formation of the group had been a key demand of the US and the Gulf states, which have sidelined the original political body, the Syrian National Council, and urged that a broader and more representative group be established.
After a week of wrangling in the Qatari capital, Doha, the chance of such a group being enshrined had nearly evaporated. However, an agreement was finally reached that absorbed the SNC and nominated a new leadership.
A former imam at the Umayyad mosque in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, was named leader. Riad Seif, who proposed the new initiative, and Suhair Atassi, a female activist, will be his deputies.
Qatar, which had invested much regional capital in an accord being struck on its soil, said the international community no longer had an excuse to ignore the Syrian opposition. Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, adopted a similar tone. Qatar later called for the new body to be considered the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
“Trust us that we will strive from now on to have this new body recognised completely by all parties … as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” said Qatar’s prime minister, Hamid bin Jassem.
The SNC, which has been lambasted as nepotistic exiles detached from realities inside Syria, will no longer be the dominant voice in the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad. The new group – the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces – will attempt to represent political, military and civil groups under a united banner.
The SNC remained reluctant to the end to lend its weight to the agreement, but faced a prosect of being sidelined altogether. It had already lost the confidence of the US and Arab League members as the Syrian civil war steadily worsened.
The new group is understood to be waiting for the recognition of the broader international community before announcing a provisional government.
The United States and its allies have maintained that their commitment to supporting militants operating inside of Syria is based on “humanitarian concerns” and in helping “oust a dictator.” The US has recently handpicked the Syrian opposition, and has pledged funds and logistical support to help arm militants who have, since 2007, been identified as sectarian extremists affiliated with Al Qaeda, not secular “pro-democracy” “freedom fighters.”
This was first exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker report titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?”
In the report it specifically stated:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
The link between extremist groups and Saudi funding was also mentioned in the report, and reflects evidence regarding the origin and backers of similar extremists who flooded Iraq during the US occupation, sowing sectarian strife and killing Western troops alike:
…[Saudi Arabia’s] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that ‘they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.’ –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
The US attempts to bury this reality and instead highlight its alleged humanitarian agenda with publicized donations to refugee camps created by the very violence they have created and fully plan to perpetuate. The US has just recently claimed it has pumped another 34 million USD for “humanitarian aid” according to Sky News.
US Claims to Fight Dictatorship, Yet Coddles a Menagerie of Mass Murdering Despots.
Yet despite this window dressing, the fact that the US is supporting sectarian terrorists is not the full extent of Western hypocrisy. It was covered recently that deposed dictator and accused mass-murderer Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand was allowed to travel to the United States and engage in political activity. Shinawatra had overseen a “War on Drugs” that saw nearly 3,000 people extra-judicially executed over the course of 90 days, most of whom were later found to have had nothing to do with illicit drugs – Human Rights Watch (HRW) would confirm this in their 2008 report titled, “Thailand’s ‘war on drugs’,” a follow up to the much more extensive 2004 report, “Not Enough Graves.”
DEBKAfile November 8, 2012, 12:20 PM (GMT+02:00)
One of the three Syrian mortar shells landing on the Israeli side of the Golan Thursday, Nov. 8, dropped onto open ground at Alonei Bashan without exploding. Sappers are trying to defuse it.
DEBKAfile reported exclusively Tuesday that Israel had sent Damascus a final warning before military action that cross-border landings of Syrian ordnance from battles with the rebels would not be tolerated. The warning was conveyed to the Syrian government by UNDOF.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 6, 2012, 8:54 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel has given Damascus a final warning that a military response would be forthcoming if its fighter aircraft infringed the airspace over the Golan demilitarized zones, debkafile’s military sources report.. The warning was relayed through the UN Disengagement Observer Force in an effort to contain any spillover of the Syrian civil war across Israel’s border. Ratcheting up border tensions, Damascus was warned to desist from the following actions:
1. Ordnance of any kind must not be allowed to fly across the border, including shells and bullets.
2. Syrian forces entering the demilitarized zones straddling the Israel-Syrian Golan border would get the same treatment as infiltrators crossing into Israel proper. Israel cited the three Syrian tanks which Saturday, Nov. 3, approached the no-go zone in the course of a battle with rebels around the Circassian village of Beer Ajam. This must not be repeated, Damascus was warned.
3. Syrian fighter-bombers and combat helicopters may not infringe the airspace over those zones, and certainly not Israel’s Golan and Galilee skies.
debkafile has covered four days of evolving tension on Israel’s Golan border with Syria in detail.
On Monday, Nov. 5, we reported that Syrian small-arms fire from 1 kilometer over the Golan border hit the jeep of the Golani Brigade’s Patrol Battalion commander on a routine border patrol. There were no injuries. The jeep was badly damaged. debkafile’s military sources: The incident occurred after a gunfight between Syrian troops and rebels over the Golan town of Quneitra ended in the town falling to the rebels.
Israeli air force planes are patrolling the Golan and Galilee skies of northern Israel after the Syrians were observed preparing aircraft and helicopters to fly to the aid of their defeated ground forces in Quneitra.
After the Syrian army’s 90th Brigade was forced to retreat, Damascus is reported by Western sources about to send reinforcements over to the Golan to recover Quneitra. IDF contingents on the Golan and the Israeli-Lebanese border are high alert in case the Syrian combat spills over the border.
On Sunday, Nov. 4, we reported Israeli warplanes flew over the divided Golan in a show of strength and as a deterrent against the Syrian civil war seeping across the border, debkafile’s military and Western intelligence sources report. In Paris, President Francois Hollande vowed Sunday that “France would oppose with all its strength any bid to destabilize Lebanon. Lebanon must be protected.”
He spoke regardless of the 5,000 Lebanese Shiite Hizballah fighters who have poured into Syria from their Beqaa Valley stronghold of al-Harmel to fight Bashar Assad’s war. Our sources reveal that these Lebanese fighters have now advanced 50-60 kilometers deep into southwestern Syria, up to the outskirts of the embattled town of Homs.
On the Golan, further to the east, Israel’s chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz visited the IDF contingent stationed there to reinforce the message broadcast by the IAF.
Hizballah is now openly flaunting the presence of its regular troops in Syria. They are armed with heavy artillery and Chinese WS-1 multiple-launch rocket systems made in Iran. These “Katyushas,” shoot 302mm rockets at targets up to 100 kilometers away and can operate in the rugged mountain terrain of Lebanon, Syria and Israel and in harsh weather conditions, including snow.
Hizballah fighters are reported by our sources to have already used this weapon with deadly effect in a battle with Syrian rebels over the town of Quseir opposite the Lebanese Beqaa Valley. It ended in Hizbalah’s capture of the town.
Coordination is tight: Hizballah forces on the ground get in touch with Iranian command headquarters in Beirut and Damascus to call up Syrian helicopters for air cover.
The Hizballah commander in Syria is Ibrahim Aqil, a veteran of the Hizballah militia and one of the most trusted by Hassan Nasrallah and Tehran.
Aqil took part in the 1983 assault on US Marines Beirut headquarters in which 241 American troops were killed, the highest death toll in a single event after World War II. In the year 2000, Aqil, then commander of the southern Lebanese front against Israel, orchestrated the kidnap from Israeli territory and murder of three Israeli soldiers, Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Sawad.
Hizballah’s expeditionary force in Syria has been assigned three missions:
1. To seal off the routes used by the rebels to smuggle fighters and arms from Lebanon into Syria, most of which run through the Beqaa Valley. This mission is near completion.
2. To defend the clusters of Syrian Alawite and Shiite villages in the area of Hizballah control.
3. To provide a strategic reserve force for the Syrian units defending the main hubs of Syrian highways running west to east from the Mediterranean coast to the Syrian-Iraqi border and crisscrossed from north to south by the route running from the Turkish border up to Damascus. Control of these hubs makes it possible for the Syrian army to move military forces between the different warfronts at high speed.
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