Israel could face a large-scale conflict in the aftermath of an attack against Syria’s chemical weapons, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Tuesday, while stressing that the weapons were still under President Bashar Assad’s control.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman backed up Gantz’s assessment, saying Tuesday that the transfer of chemical weapons from Syria to Hezbollah was a clear justification for war, and in such a case Israel will act “decisively and without hesitation or restraint.”
Gantz was understood to be referring to two options – either to use force to prevent a specific transfer or to destroy all of the known chemical weapons facilities before such a transfer takes place.
Speaking at a press conference at the EU-Israel Association Council meeting in Brussels, Liberman said it was no secret that chemical weapons leakage to Hezbollah is Israel’s “biggest concern today.”
A Syrian transfer of chemical and biological weapons to Hezbollah is a “red line for Israel,” Liberman said, adding that Israel has “enough information” about “their desire and attempt” to gain chemical and biological arms.While both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have warned in recent days that Israel would not tolerate the transfer of chemical weapons to Hezbollah, Liberman’s remarks were the bluntest indication to date that Jerusalem would view such a move as a reason to go to war.
Over 400,000 people reside in Tel Aviv, and hundreds of thousands enter it each day, but does the city offer them sufficient protection from a possible ballistic missile strike? A review of security measures conducted in light of the looming threat of a confrontation with Syria and Iran has yielded disconcerting findings.
While an Iron Dome battery has recently been installed in centralIsrael for training purposes, the missile defense system does not offer protection against ballistic missiles. Moreover, shelters in Tel Aviv can only house 40,000 people – a tenth of the population, Ynet has learned.
Syrian President Bashar Assad knows Israel will attack Hizbullah if it obtains his chemical weapons, said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
“The minute we confirm that Hizbullah has non-conventional weapons, that is chemical and biological weapons, we will act immediately,” he said in an interview on radio in Israel.
Russian, Western and Arab forces were piling up on Syrian borders Wednesday, July 25, bringing closer a war confrontation which could spur the Assad regime into making good on its threat to use chemical weapons against “external aggression.”
Moscow added its voice Tuesday to that of US President Obama and warned Bashar Assad against using chemical weapons in view of “its commitments under the international convention it ratified prohibiting the use of poisonous gases as a method of warfare.”
With operational intelligence deployment and electronic stations positioned inside Syria, the Russians are better placed than any other outsiders to know what is happening on Syria’s battlefields. Their warning must therefore be tied to solid information confirming Washington’s assessment that Assad is dangerously close to deciding to use his chemical and biological weapons in a way that would precipitate a regional conflict.
Israel, Turkey and Jordan would be the first targets on his list.
The immediacy of the peril, has speeded the arrival of Russian warships to Syria to counter a potential Western, Arab or Israeli assault on the embattled country.
The Russian Ministry of Defense, which rarely discloses Russian military movements outside its borders, announced early Wednesday morning, July 25 that a fleet of Russian warships had passed through the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean.
Below we see an even more ominous development:
The fleet is headed by the anti-submarine and anti-aircraft Admiral Chabanenko warship and consists of another three vessels carrying a large number of Russian marines. This fleet will rendezvous with a Russian flotilla standing by in the Mediterranean since July 21, detached from Russian Black Fleet and composed of the Smetlivy figate and two large landing craft loaded with Russian marines. This group awaited the main force before approaching Syria.
The fact that Russia is massing large numbers of marines off the Syrian coast looks as though a landing on Syrian soil is on Moscow’s cards.
A Phoenix, Ariz., Christian who has held Bible studies in his house for years, often in the face of city threats not to do so, will remain in jail for having those studies, after the state Supreme Court today refused to intervene.
Officials with the Rutherford Institute today announced the court had denied a petition for a writ of habeas corpus that had been filed.
A statement from the Rutherford Institute said attorneys were “are undeterred and will continue their legal efforts to challenge Michael Salman’s detention in Tents City Jail in Maricopa County as a violation of his First Amendment rights to religious freedom and assembly.”
“Since the time of this nation’s birth, the right of habeas corpus has been the basis of American freedoms,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Each day of Michael Salman’s imprisonment is one more day in which the civil liberties of all Americans are being trampled by overzealous government agents. However, we are resolved to continue to challenge his detention in and out of the courts.”
The euro has completely broken down as a workable system and faces collapse with “incalculable economic losses and human suffering” unless there is a drastic change of course, according to a group of leading economists.
“The sense of a neverending crisis, with one domino falling after another, must be reversed. The last domino, Spain, is days away from a liquidity crisis,” said the economists. They include two members of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts and leading euro specialists at the London of School of Economics, all euro supporters.
The warning came as contagion from Spain pushed Italy’s borrowing costs to danger levels, with two-year yields rocketing 40 basis points to more than 5pc.