Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is The Syrian Civil War Now Spreading Into Israel And Lebanon?

Today's articles suggest we may be seeing escalation of the Syrian civil war as the use of chemical weapons is linked to U.S. supported jihadists and the IDF fires missiles after receiving fire from Syria. Spread of this war now includes Lebanon as well. 

Things are definitely heating up in the region.

A Syrian Army source gives the first account of what is believed to have been a chemical attack - and it could mean that one of the West's biggest fears is about to come true. 

The Syrian military is said to believe that a home-made locally-manufactured rocket was fired, containing a form of chlorine known as CL17, easily available as a swimming pool cleaner. They claim that the warhead contained a quantity of the gas, dissolved in saline solution.

The military's version of events is that the home-made rocket was fired at a military checkpoint situated at the entrance to the town. The immediate effects were to induce vomiting, fainting , suffocation and seizures among those in the immediate area.
A second source - a medic at the local civilian hospital - said that he personally witnessed Syrian army helping those wounded and dealing with fatalities at the scene. That Syrian soldiers were among the reported 26 deaths has not been disputed by either side.
The military source who spoke to Channel 4 News confirmed that artillery reports from the Syrian Army suggest a small rocket was fired from the vicinity of Al-Bab, a district close to Aleppo that is controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra - a jihadist group said to be linked with al-Qaeda and deemed a "terrorist organisation" by the US.

IDF soldiers on Sunday morning fired a Tammuz missile at a Syrian army position in Tel Fares, from which shots were fired both that day and the previous day across the border into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The missile destroyed the Syrian post and reportedly wounded two gunmen there.
A military spokesman said the soldiers responded with “accurate fire toward the Syrian post from which they were fired upon.” He could not say whether regular Syrian forces or rebels fired. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

On Saturday, an IDF patrol convoy in the Golan Heights came under rifle fire from the same Syrian army post as fighting continued along Israel’s borders with Israel and Jordan. No one was hurt, but the rounds caused damage to several IDF patrol vehicles.
It was unclear, in that incident too, whether the rifle fire was deliberately aimed at the IDF vehicles.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israeli was implementing a no-tolerance policy in response to any Syrian fire.
“We deplore the shooting attack on IDF forces inside Israeli territory,” Ya’alon said in a statement. “In response, the IDF retaliated according to the policy instated by the government: Any breach of Israeli sovereignty from the Syrian side will immediately precipitate the suppression of the sources of fire.”
The defense minister added that Israel held the Syrian government responsible.

The rebel effort to overrun the Quneitra region along the ceasefire line separating Syria and Israel has heightened worries that Islamic extremists among those fighting Assad could take over the frontline with Israeli troops and gain a potential staging ground for attacks on the Jewish state.

“We are seeing terror organizations gaining footholds increasingly in the territory,” said Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Israel’s military chief at a conference in Israel last week. “For now, they are fighting Assad. Guess what? We’re next in line.”
Israel says it is trying to stay out of Syria’s civil war, but it retaliated for sporadic Syrian fire that spilled into Israeli communities on the Golan Heights on several occasions over the past few months.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said that the cross-border exchange of fire between Syrian army forces and Israeli soldiers on Sunday morning emphasized the "volatile situation" prevalent on the Syrian border.
"The shooting at IDF soldiers this morning endangered the lives of our forces, and therefore we were forced to attack and destroy the position from which the fire came," Gantz said.
Gunfire from Syria was directed at IDF soldiers who were patrolling the border on Sunday morning. The IDF returned fire using a surface-to-surface Tamuz guided missile on a Syrian army position from which the soldiers were attacked. The Syrian position, a machine gun nest, was destroyed by the return fire.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Sunday that he took a severe view of the two shooting incidents from Syria in recent hours.
He added that the IDF responded in line with government policy, which holds that "every violation of Israeli sovereignty and firing from the Syrian side will be answered immediately through the silencing of the source of fire when it is identified. We see the Syrian regime as being responsible for all violations of sovereignty. We won't allow the Syrian army or any other element to violate Israeli sovereignty by opening fire at our territory."
Syrian infighting has raged near the border with Israel, which is increasingly concerned Islamist rebels may be emboldened to end the quiet on the Golan front maintained by Assad and his father before him during their four decade rule of Syria.
Rebels on Wednesday overran at least three towns near the Israeli-Syrian disengagement line but appeared to lose ground after militias loyal to Assad pushed them back in a fierce battle.

Fighters armed with automatic weapons, mortars and rocket propelled grenades clashed in the Lebanese city of Tripoli Saturday, as the army readied to quash spillover violence from neighboring Syria.
The fierce fighting in the city came a day after Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati stepped down over political infighting.

Lebanese media reported several people injured Saturday night in the fierce fighting between pro- and anti-Bashar Assad partisans in the country’s second largest city, as sectarian tensions threatened to plunge the country into further chaos.
The army said Saturday night it would enter the Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen to restore order, after the worst fighting the city has seen since the latest round of violence erupted on Thursday.

On Friday, gunmen who support and oppose Assad clashed in Tripoli, leaving six people dead and more than 20 wounded, according to the National News Agency. Clashes between the Sunni neighborhood of Bab Tabbaneh, which supports Syria’s rebels, and Jabal Mohsen, which supports Assad, have broken out repeatedly in recent months. Assad is Alawite, a Shiite offshoot sect.

Underpinning the political crisis are Lebanon’s hugely sectarian politics and the fact that the country’s two largest political blocs support opposite sides in Syria’s civil war. Lebanon and Syria share a complex network of political and sectarian ties, and many fear that violence in Syria will spread to Lebanon.

British Foreign Minister William Hague expressed concern about the violence in Tripoli and urged all parties to work for “a more consensual government” as the challenges from Syria grow.
“It is critical that all parties in Lebanon prioritize national interests and … reach a broad consensus to enable parliamentary elections to take place within the legal and constitutional framework,” he said in a statement.

Another telling development from the trip is Obama’s repeated assessment that Iran is at least a year away from a nuclear bomb. Bolton says the message behind that estimate is crystal clear.
“Don’t take any military action because it would be precipitous and don’t look for us to be helping you out with it,” said Bolton in parsing the Obama administration position. The former ambassador says Netanyahu estimates Iran to have a nuclear weapon by summer or even later this spring. He says it’s clear the Obama administration is trying to undermine the case for military action by dragging out the estimated timetable.
“Personally, I think that’s a complete misreading of what’s going on in Iran. They’re not in a hurry to build that first nuclear weapon because they’re not intimidated by the United States. Iran is building a very broad and deep nuclear weapons program that, as time goes on, will put them in a position to build many, many nuclear weapons – dozens and dozens in a relatively brief period of time. That’s capacity they want to have, not one or two nuclear weapons but a whole arsenal of them.”


Robin said...

There's a rumor circulating that Assad was killed by his own bodyguard.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are calling for more aid and training of Syrian opposition forces, just one day after we learn it was likely those same forces who unleashed WMDs last week.

Are there ANY sane people left in Washington? I mean seriously . . .with both Democrats and Republicans on the same side as al Qaeda . . .who's left to hold them accountable?

News is absolutely insane these days . . .how I pray its over for us soon. Maranatha . . .

Waterer said...

Robin, Did you get my email? It says it went to a JG...

Unknown said...

Robin- You are so right. If we don't agree with Obama on abortion, gay marriage, Israel, spending, taxes.... Why are so many Christians so eager to agree with him on who needs to be killed?

Stephen said...

Cyprus is in big trouble. indications are that EVEN IF THERE
IS a deal......Germany is demanding
that pension funds are NOT used as

THAT MEANS that a levy or wealth tax will be involved in ANY deal.

leading to BANK RUNS that are HUGE
when banks re-open, and NOT JUST
in Cyprus, but EU wide.

This will really make Putin mad...
the levy business...

Looks like bulls are WALKING on
eggs for sure this time....

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Stephen said...

when i said we are running out of bears, i really MEANT that...

18.6 percent is very low for the
II reading.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Caver said...

So true Stephen. The EU is trying to get the deposits classified as "investments" or "loans" to the bank. That legally means the owners of those funds have assumed the same risk as the bank and face liability.

Depositors are saying no, they put the money in the bank for safe keeping, and the bank acts as a fiduciary. That means everybody can loose everything EXCEPT the depositor. His money is absolutely safe. That is the traditional role of the banks.

If the EU gets their way, nobody's money is going to be safe in any bank anywhere unless its financially solvent on its own. A few banks in the US are.

Come Lord Jesus, Your bride awaits. Things are getting kind of uncomfortable down here and we want to go Home.

Unknown said...

Wow.....any word on if Assad is dead? I am so ready to go home.....Maranatha!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Caver- I totally agree

Scott said...

Amen Caver, Amen

Stephen said...

Well, here's the deal >>>>

and it involves a 40 percent haircut above 100,000 EU...

on all deposits.....

what a joke....

Bulls may be happy now...


I think Cyprus will collapse anyway. the EU and bulls are
playing the "kick the can down
the road" WAY too many times.

it's getting boring, and old.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

ChristineInCleveland said...

I was just thinking tonight on my way to work how incredibly READY I am to vacate this world & rush into the arms of Jesus... and then I checked these comments & find so much of the same sentiments from my brothers & sisters in the Lord! I can hardly get thru each day, I wanna go home to my Savior so badly.... The evil down here is getting unbearable.