According to reports from the Free Syria Army, the Syrian military has moved forces stationed in the southern part of the Syrian Golan Heights closer to Israel...armored forces that were stationed along the Syria-Jordan border, which were recently reinforced, were moved and are now closer to Israel, according to the report.Israel has been concerned that Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, whose regime is on the verge of collapse, may try to defuse the uprising against him by starting a conflict with Israel.A Lebanese newspaper, The People's Army, claimed Thursday in its news website that the IDF has been making an extra effort in the past few days to place landmines all along its border with Syria.
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers are reportedly working at lining the border with mines. Israel had already placed mines along some stretches of the border with Syria after the Nakba Day events last year, in which hundreds of Syrians broke into Israel virtually unimpeded. The action had been orchestrated by the Syrian government, later reports showed.
Syria's military has begun stockpiling chemical weapons and equipping its soldiers with gas masks near the city of Homs, opposition sources reported on Thursday.Opposition activists said they had received reports that the Syrian army had transferred a significant quantity of grenades and mortars containing chemical agents to a school building in Homs.The opposition also reported that gas masks were being distributed to soldiers at roadblocks.Opposition sources said the ferocity of attacks by government forces against the cities of Homs, Idlib and Daraa had reached unprecedented levels of intensity over the past two days, with hospitals and clinics bombed and doctors arrested.
The tantalizing videos that Syrian citizens have been uploading to the internet, the reports of bombings on crowded living quarters in the city of Homs, the attack on the southern city of Dar’a, the large numbers of dead civilians, currently over sixty (twenty of whom died after the Syrian army disconnected the electricity to the quarter where the local hospital happens to be), are a testimony to Assad’s strategy that comes less than a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Damascus.If there is one thing Assad learned from the Russians, it is the way in which they fought their war in Chechnya. A full-on campaign against rebels, bombing cities, indiscriminate massacres, population expulsions and finally gaining control of territory.
This is the kind of warfare Assad is now deploying against the city of Homs, a key city and the third largest in Syria. A victory for Assad there, according to the Syrian regime, will bring about a turnaround they have been looking for.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Thursday that sophisticated weapons could be transferred from Syria to Lebanon and to the Hizbullah terror organization“You have to be alert to the possibility, so that during the fall of the regime there will not be the transfer of sophisticated Syrian weapons to Hizbullah and Lebanon,” Barak toldArmy radio.Israeli officials have expressed concern that Assad's fall would have regional consequences that could affect Israel.
Officials have also warned that Syria’s weapons, including alleged chemical and biological ones, could fall into the hands of terrorists, including Hizbullah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006.
Last month, incoming IAF chief Major General Amir Eshel, said Syria possessed “huge stockpiles” of such weapons.
In recent months, Israeli leaders have stepped up their rhetoric about Iran’s nuclear capabilities and increasingly are warning that Israel might attack Iranian nuclear installations to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon. Lately they are warning that such an attack could come this year. This is sparking widespread debate in Israel, where memories are still vivid of missile attacks on the country two decades ago during the Iraq war.