US officials said that Syria has started to move part of its chemical
weaponsarsenal out of storage facilities, the WallStreet Journal reported on Friday.
The country's undeclared stockpiles of sarin nerve agent, mustard
gasand cyanide have long worried US officials and their allies in the region, the report said.
American officials are divided on the meaning of the moves of the arsenal. Some fear Assad may want to use the weapons against rebels or civilians, while others said perhaps he is trying to safeguard them from his opponents, the Journal reported.
As part of its ongoing war maneuver, Syria Thursday, July 12, this week drilled the firing of advanced Scud D ballistic missiles capable of carrying chemical weapons and nerve gas – a clear message from Bashar Assad that weapons of mass destruction are now in play to save his regime.
American officials, alarmed by the movement out of storage of parts of his vast arsenal of sarin nerve agent, mustard gas and cyanide, warned it could escalate the Syrian conflict and expand it to other parts of the region. "This could set the precedent of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] being used under our watch," one U.S. official said. "This is incredibly dangerous to our national security." The Obama administration has begun to hold classified briefings about the new intelligence.
In the course of its war exercise, the Syrians fired a selection of ground-to-ground missiles which they described as capable of “hitting targets deep within enemy territory.” Our military sources say all the Scuds, the M-600, Fateh-110 and Zelzal can reach any point in Israel. They also tested upgraded C-802 shore-to-ship rockets.
“Syria has begun moving parts of its vast arsenal of chemical weapons out of storage facilities.” They didn’t say to where they were moved.
This article is important and worth reading as the Iranian conflict probably represents the most significant tipping point in the region:
Israeli and American officials met in Jerusalem on Thursday for one of their semi-annual “strategic dialogue” meetings, which concluded with a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry noting that Iran’s nuclear program was high on the agenda. Behind the bland public comments, however, one well-placed Israeli source spoke of friction in US-Israeli ties over the struggle to thwart Iran, with the US urging Israel to allow more time for sanctions to bite, and Israel expressing concern that its window of opportunity for military action is starting to close.
Privately, said the well-placed Israeli source, speaking on condition of anonymity, the issue is causing profound friction between Israel and the US, with Washington urging Israeli patience and Jerusalem responding that time is running out.
The source sketched out four possibilities unfolding on the diplomatic front over the coming months:
The first, a negotiated agreement with Iran that resolves Israeli and American concerns, he said, was out of reach.
The second, an unsatisfactory negotiated agreement that does not fully address those concerns, was also highly unlikely, he said. In its latest interactions with the P5+1 powers (the permanent members of the Security Council and Germany), Iran rejected proposals to negotiate the safeguards and restrictions that would prevent it attaining a nuclear weapons capability, and referred to plans to build a new enrichment facility and four new research reactors, according to a document obtained by The Times of Israel.
A third possibility, the Israeli source said, was that the international community would declare that the diplomatic track had failed. This, too, was highly unlikely, he stressed, given that a declared failure could be read in Israel as a signal to strike
The fourth and most realistic possibility, the source said, was that the diplomatic engagement would be maintained, however unsuccessfully. Since the US administration is anxious to avoid a dramatic conflict on the Iranian front ahead of the presidential elections in November, since Europe has no desire to be harsher than the Americans, and since the Iranians are primarily interested in buying time while they make further nuclear headway, there is an unfortunate case of common interests at play.
In early May, when Israel appeared to be destined for early elections,Channel 2 commentator Amnon Abramovich made headlines by asserting that Netanyahu was heading to the polls so that he would safely reelected, at the head of a transition government, and free to strike at Iran in September-October,
Heightened tension was noted in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Thursday amid reports that Israeli, British and Turkish naval forces were conducting simultaneous maneuvers near Cyprus.
IDF sources could not confirm reports but the navy announced earlier this week that it was increasing its patrols in the eastern Mediterranean, to protect gas fields where Israel is planning to begin extraction within the coming year.
There are dramatic changes in the security picture on Israel's southern border, but you would not know it by reading, listening to, or watching most of the American press or listening to press briefings at the White House or the State Department.
Arab terrorists have escalated attacks from Gaza and Sinai, hitting a shopping center in southern Israel in a rocket attack Tuesday.
This was part of a tenfold jump in attacks on Israel's southern border last month -- from ten to 99 rocket barrages -- leaving two Israelis dead and four wounded.But much of the Western media, such as the Associated Press and Fox News, have been reporting that Israel's borders have been quiet.
Bulletin to AP and Fox: About 200 rockets fell on Israel from Gaza and Sinai in June, along with several bloody cross-border raids -- coming against the backdrop of the rise to power in Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose leader has been invited to talk with President Barack Obama.
Egypt's new president, Muhammad Morsi, supports Arab terror attacks -- which he calls "martyrdom operations" -- and he has publicly called for establishing an Islamic caliphate in Jerusalem, which happens to be Israel's capital.More than half a dozen different terror groups -- some affiliated with al-Qaeda -- are operating in the Sinai Desert, which is supposedly controlled by Egypt, and in the Gaza Strip that is controlled by Hamas, an organization that is essentially a child of the Muslim Brotherhood that now rules Egypt.Egyptian officials and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have warned Israel of dire consequences if it tries to intervene in a major way in either Gaza or Sinai, but Israel is increasingly concerned about the huge stockpiles of rockets and the growing willingness of terrorists to use them.
In Phoenix, Arizona, this week, a pastor was thrown in jail for 60 days by the local government. His crime is hosting a weekly, private Bible study in his own home. The government argues the man has a church on his property and must therefore correct 67 zoning violations. And right at this very moment a father of six kids sits in a Phoenix prison for teaching the Bible on his own property.All over the world, especially in countries where there is Christian persecution, churches begin in homes. In China, for example, every church must register with the government so they can be controlled or face persecution. As a result, countless home churches try to avoid being found out by the government. When discovered, they are disbanded and the pastor is imprisoned. Sound familiar?
The key question is, even if this is a house church, does the government have the right to hold it to the same code and zoning laws as big-building churches? Following such rules would force untold small-house churches to close down all over the country. And if government has this right, why do only religious gatherings receive such government oversight and not other secular gatherings like game nights or home-based business gatherings?
The amoeba in question is large, mostly mindless, and utterly impersonal. It is also ravenously hungry. Most of us call it by another name: the government.
The idea that the federal government, and the presidency in particular, has metamorphosed from a limited, unintrusive executive into something akin to a European monarchy of old... a colossal amoeba twitching mindlessly in response to tiny pinpricks of pain from an endless army of micro-brained interest groups. The point is not to teach the amoeba nor to guide it, but simply to stay away from the lethal stupidity of its pseudopods.
The amoeba does not get smarter but it does get hungrier and bigger. On the other hand, we get smarter. More and more of our life takes place outside of the amoeba’s reach: in the privacy of our own homes, or in capital accounts in other nations, or in the fastest growing amoeba avoidance zone ever created, cyberspace. We revolt decision by decision, transaction by transaction, because we believe deep down that most of what government tells us to do is at bottom illegitimate.