Saturday, April 17, 2010

Israel warns Syria

The Sunday Times has a very interesting article which reveals how close to war the situation in Israel has become:

"Israel warns Syria over Hezbollah attacks"

Israel has delivered a secret warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad that it will respond to missile attacks from Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese-based Islamist group, by launching immediate retaliation against Syria itself.

In a message, sent earlier this month, Israel made it clear that it now regards Hezbollah as a division of the Syrian army and that reprisals against Syria will be fast and devastating.

It follows the discovery by Israeli intelligence that Syria has recently supplied long-range ballistic missiles and advanced anti-aircraft systems to Hezbollah.

We’ll return Syria to the Stone Age by crippling its power stations, ports, fuel storage and every bit of strategic infrastructure if Hezbollah dare to launch ballistic missiles against us,” said an Israeli minister, who who was speaking off-the-record, last week.

The warning, which was conveyed to Damascus by a third party, was sent to reinforce an earlier signal by Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister. “If a war breaks out the Assad dynasty will lose its power and will cease to reign in Syria,” he said earlier this year.

Reports that Syria has supplied Hezbollah with Russian-made Scud ballistic missiles have alarmed Israeli ministers. The missiles have the potential to reach the entire country and could carry chemical warheads. New gas masks are being supplied to Israel’s entire population...

The supply of Scud missiles to Hezbollah is seen as a serious threat by the Israelis. “This is the first time that an internationally known terror organisation has been equipped with ballistic missiles,” said the minister.

Meanwhile, the other signs that we watch are also experiencing "birth pain contractions" as expected:

"China earthquake: death toll could reach 10,000"

The death toll from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that hit western China's remote Tibetan plateau will rise dramatically and could reach 10,000, locals said on Friday.

...monks at Jiegu monastery said at least 1,000 corpses had arrived at their temple alone, and that four other monasteries had each collected a similar number.

"The government is downplaying the number," said Ge Laidanzeng, a 20- year-old monk. He said that when all the bodies were retrieved from the wreckage of the town there would "definitely be more than 10,000 dead".

Now we see another large quake which just hit New Guinea:

"Strong earthquake strikes near Papua New Guinea's second-largest city"

The 6.3-magnitude earthquake at 9.15 a.m. local time (23.15 GMT Saturday) was centered about 29 kilometers (18 miles) east of Lae, a city with a population of about 120,000. It struck about 66.2 kilometers (41.1 miles) deep, making it an earthquake with an intermediate depth. Earthquakes that strike closer to the surface are more likely to cause serious damage.

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