Sunday, July 14, 2013

Middle-East Powder Keg Closer To Igniting

The situation between Israel and Syria and the airstrikes/explosions story is getting more and more intriguing. As usual Israel remains quiet. The U.S. accused Israel of having taken this action. Now Syria denies that Israel was involved. 

A few quick thoughts. If Israel did take such action, why would Syria deny such? Why would the U.S. make it public? If Israel did not take such action, why would the U.S. make the accusation? 

Additionally, if this is true (if Israel did take this action) - it involves Russian arms (see second article below), a fact that adds enormous complexity to this situation. 

There is clearly more to this situation than meets the eye:

Syrian officials on Saturday denied reports that Israel had been behind an attack on an arms depot in Latakia a week ago.
The denial followed the weekend confirmation by three unidentified US officials that Israeli warplanes had targeted advanced Russian-made anti-ship missiles in the coastal area on July 5. The comments to CNN seemingly confirmed similar reports in the Arab press.
Early Sunday, The New York Times also reported that Israeli planes had targeted the facility, citing unnamed American officials.

On Saturday, Iranian Arab-language news outlet Al-Alamreported that Damascus was denying Israeli involvement in the attack, citing Syrian officials.

Damascus had blamed a technical error for the blasts, which left several soldiers dead.
Britain’s Sunday Times, citing unnamed “Middle East intelligence sources” reported that the attack was carried out by an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine, with coordination from Washington.
Before and after satellite photos of the area published by the Israel Defense website over the weekend appear to show several arms sites damaged by airstrikes, with a warehouse also appearing to have taken a direct hit.
The Free Syrian Army’s spokesman Qassem Saadeddine told Reuters on Tuesday that the rebel army’s intelligence network had identified newly supplied, Russian Yakhont missiles being stored at the Syrian naval base at Safira, and that the strike, which was not carried out by his men, was of a military scale.
“It was not the FSA that targeted this,” Saadeddine said. The attack, he elaborated, was carried out “either by air raid or long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean.”
Israel has declined to comment on the strike. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon brushed aside a reporter’s question about the attack in the port city with this statement: “There is an attack here, an explosion there, various versions; in any event, in the Middle East it is usually we who are blamed.”

Israeli Dolphin-class submarines carried out a July 5 attack on an arms depot in the Syrian port city of Latakia, according to a report in the British Sunday Times, which contradicted a previous CNN report that the attack was the work of the Israel Air Force.
The alleged Israeli naval strike was closely coordinated with the United States and targeted a contingent of 50 Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles that had arrived earlier in the year for Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, the Times cited Middle East intelligence sources as stating.

According to the report, the Israeli fleet of German-built submarines launched a cruise missile at the weapons cache after which Syrian rebels reportedly attested to hearing early-morning explosions at a Syrian port-side naval barracks.

Three unnamed US officials told CNN the IAF had targeted Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles that could pose a threat to Israel.
Qassem Saadeddine, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council, said the pre-dawn attack hit Syrian Navy barracks at Safira, near the port of Latakia. The rebel forces’ intelligence network had identified newly supplied Yakhont missiles being stored there, he said.

In addition to this news - as turmoil brews to Israel's north, we turn to the south and Egypt:

Military attack helicopters rattle over the impoverished desert towns of northern Sinai and the sound of gunfire erupts nightly, raising fears among residents of a looming confrontation between Egypt’s military and Islamic militants who have intensified attacks since the ouster of president Mohammed Morsi.

Militant groups have grown bolder, striking security forces almost daily and also turning on local Christians. Some are now openly vowing to drive the military out of the peninsula on the borders with Israel and Gaza and establish an “Islamic emirate.” Further fueling the turmoil is the longtime resentment among many in the Bedouin population over decades of neglect and harsh security crackdowns by the state.

Israeli security officials say their military has not taken any special precautions, but it is watching the situation carefully. They say they remain in close contact with their Egyptian counterparts, and that Egypt has coordinated its security moves in Sinai with Israel, as required by their 1979 peace treaty.

Egypt's interim prime minister was assembling his cabinet on Sunday to lead the country under an army-backed "road map" to restore civil rule, with peace having returned to the streets after the military removed President Mohamed Morsi.
Hazem el-Beblawi, a 76-year-old liberal economist appointed interim prime minister last week, is tapping technocrats and liberals for a government to run the country under a temporary constitution until parliamentary elections in about six months.

A former ambassador to the United States, Nabil Fahmy, accepted the post of foreign minister, a sign of the importance the government places in its relationship with the superpower that provides $1.3 billion a year in military aid.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a former senior UN diplomat, was sworn in as vice president, a job he was offered last week.

We also see PM Netanyahu attempting to regain the focus on Iran as that clock continues to wind down:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly to launch a new, last-ditch effort in the next few days to persuade the United States to credibly revive the military option against Iran.
If this proves unsuccessful, Channel 2 reported, Netanyahu will have to decide whether to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities by this winter at latest, because after that, the report indicated, the assessment is that Israel’s window for military intervention will close.
Israel desperately wants to see the Obama Administration harden its position on Iran immediately — to convey to Iran that if it does not halt its nuclear program, its regime will not survive. Instead, however, Jerusalem sees what it considers an overly tolerant and patient attitude by Washington DC to Tehran, the Channel 2 report said.

[Note the bolded statements. One can clearly see things lining up precisely as biblical prophecy would dictate - the enemies of Israel are preparing for the last wars with Israel - either by intent or not]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly to launch a new, last-ditch effort in the next few days to persuade the United States to credibly revive the military option against Iran.

Israel desperately wants to see the Obama Administration harden its position on Iran immediately — to convey to Iran that if it does not halt its nuclear program, its regime will not survive. Instead, however, Jerusalem sees what it considers an overly tolerant and patient attitude by Washington DC to Tehran, the Channel 2 report said

Next week, the P5+1 powers — the five UN Security Council members, plus Germany — are set to meet to coordinate positions ahead of possible talks with incoming Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s leadership. The fear in Jerusalem, the TV report said, is that Iran will prove capable of buying more time in such talks, while its centrifuges spin, its other nuclear facilities move forward, and it becomes too late for effective military intervention.

Netanyahu is about to begin a new effort at “public diplomacy,” aimed at securing “increased pressure on Iran,” led by the US, notably including the revival of “a real military threat” if the Iranians don’t halt their nuclear drive, the TV report said.
If the prime minister’s effort fails, “Netanyahu will have to make a decision in the next few months” over “whether to attack Iran by the winter.” The report stressed considerable support for a resort to military force within the cabinet, and concluded: “This could happen.”
Some scenarios relating to a possible Israeli attack, the report said, include a possible response led by Hezbollah, firing missiles into Israel, which would require the use of Israeli ground forces in Lebanon, possibly “including the invasion of Lebanon by the IDF.” Other, milder assessments suggest an Israeli strike and Iranian response might not lead to regional war, the report said.

The TV report noted that the departing Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren, in an interview Thursday with Haaretz, compared Netanyahu to prime minister Levi Eshkol, who preempted a concerted Arab attack on Israel by launching the 1967 war, and said the invoking of Eshkol was not coincidental.
On Iran today, said Oren, the question Netanyahu faces “is similar to the question that faced [first prime minister David] Ben-Gurion in May 1948 and the question that Levi Eshkol faced in May 1967… As prime minister of a sovereign state, Netanyahu has the responsibility to defend the country. When the country is a Jewish state with a painful and tragic history – the responsibility is even greater and heavier… Defending Israel is not an option – it’s a duty.”
Was Netanyahu emotionally capable of going to war? “I think so,” said Oren. “He doesn’t sleep at night. He bears a tremendous responsibility on his shoulders. And he has restraint; he isn’t dragged into unnecessary wars. But this restraint is actually a sign of strength – as it was with Eshkol.”


Caver said...

speechless. Russia has vowed retaliation if Israel attacked again. Syria has vowed to widen the conflict to include Israel if attacked again. The US Military (apparently) comes out and says that Israel carried out the attack.

Now, both Russia and Syria are in a position of losing creditibility and "face" if they don't follow through. Syria has probably bought themselves a little time by saying it wasn't Israel.

It certainly seems this administration is determined to either destroy Israel and the peace table (translated "land & defensible give away table".

There can only be one reason that I see.

Scott said...

My thoughts exactly Caver

Stephen said...

Stocks AGAIN are going up tonite.
Market REFUSES to drop....even a
one day drop.


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

David said...

The real story here is "still" Iran. Full speed ahead while Syria takes the worlds focus. The time is very for the troop surge....

David p.