We're most definitely in the midst of another birth pain. Below are news that have come in during the course of a single afternoon.
Let's start in the north and work our way around Israel in a clockwise manner:
Four rockets fired from southern Lebanon targeted northern Israel on Thursday afternoon, setting off air-raid sirens in Acre, Nahariya and additional areas in the Western Galilee and sending frightened local residents fleeing for cover.
Two of the Katyushas crossed the border and landed in Israel, causing no casualties but some damage.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai announced that the Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted a third rocket between Acre and Nahariya.
One missile hit Kibbutz Gesher Haziv, damaging a road and vehicles parked on it. Another projectile landed in a built-up community in the Western Galilee. There were no injuries in the attack, Magen David Adom paramedics said. Local residents reported that one rocket fell close to a home in which dozens of Holocaust survivors reside.
Two residents suffered shock and were taken to Nahariya’s Western Galilee Hospital.
“I heard a weak explosion, and then in parallel to the siren, I heard a stronger boom,” Keinan Engel, a resident of Nahariya, told Army Radio. “I went to take cover in a reinforced room.”
No group claimed responsibility, but according to the army’s initial assessments, global jihad elements in Lebanon, not Hezbollah, fired the rockets. The IDF did not return fire.
Lebanese media reported that the IDF promptly retaliated, attacking targets in south Lebanon, but the army denied those reports.
Lebanese media reported that two volleys of rockets had been fired from a Palestinian refugee camp near
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to Thursday's rocket attack from Lebanon by saying Israel was working on all fronts – both with defensive and active preventive measures – to protect Israeli citizens.
"We are deploying a wide range of means," he said in a statement, "both defensive and preventative. We are acting responsibly. Anyone who attacks us, or tries to attack us, should know that we will get him."
MK Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi), meanwhile called for the government to retaliate to rocket fire in the north Thursday.
According to Yogev, the government cannot leave the attack without a response, "because this is the reality that the other side understands." "The response must be very strong so that the other side has no desire to continue the escalation," Yogev added.
The Bayit Yehudi MK, a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, pointed out that Hezbollah stockpiled weapons in the seven years since the Second Lebbanon War and has tens of thousands of missiles, which, he said, could lead to a confrontation to ensure the safety of residents of the north.
We have yet to see secondary confirmation of the following breaking news from the second largest French newspaper, Le Figaro, but if accurate, it means the Nobel Peace Prize winning president has just engaged in yet another unsanctioned by Congress war.
According to our information, the regime's opponents, supervised by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos moving towards Damascus since mid-August. This attack could explain the possible use of the Syrian president to chemical weapons.According to information obtained by Le Figaro , the first trained in guerrilla warfare by the Americans in Jordan Syrian troops reportedly entered into action since mid-August in southern Syria, in the region of Deraa. A first group of 300 men, probably supported by Israeli and Jordanian commandos, as well as men of the CIA, had crossed the border on August 17. A second would have joined the 19. According to military sources, the Americans, who do not want to put troops on the Syrian soil or arming rebels in part controlled by radical Islamists form quietly for several months in a training camp set up at the border Jordanian- Syrian fighters ASL, the Free Syrian Army, handpicked.
According to this expert on the region, the idea proposed by Washington would be the possible establishment of a buffer zone from the south of Syria, or even a no-fly zone, which would cause opponents safely until the balance of power changes. This is the reason why the United States has deployed Patriot batteries and F16 in late June Jordan.
In brief: to allow the Untaper once the Taper ends, the US needs to find much more deficit funding needs, and as always there is no place better to achieve this than to spike the contracting spending budget by engaging in war.
And now, the ball is in Putin's court.
Earlier today, Al Arabiya made waves in the energy market following reports that a Russian ship carrying special forces had arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus, previously demonstrated here to be a key strategic asset in the Mediterranean. This news was promptly denied by RIA, which said that "there were no Russian military ships off Syria coast" and that the Iman ship is a tanker which is merely conducting resource support functions. Furthermore, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the crew of Iman consists solely of "civilian personnel, which is being guarded." That may or may not be the case, but has not stopped ABC from blasting, minutes ago, a headline that "Russian anti-terror troops arrive in Syria" a development that a "United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was "a bomb" certain to have serious repercussions." Which begs the question: is everyone now dead set on having war in Syria, and by proxy, Iran?
Russia, one of President Bashar al-Assad's strongest allies despite international condemnation of the government's violent crackdown on the country's uprising, has repeatedly blocked the United Nations Security Council's attempts to halt the violence, accusing the U.S. and its allies of trying to start another war.Now the Russian Black Sea fleet's Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency. The Assad government has insisted it is fighting a terrorist insurgency.The Iman replaced another Russian ship "which had been sent to Syria for demonstrating (sic) the Russian presence in the turbulent region and possible evacuation of Russian citizens," the Black Sea Fleet told Interfax.
"The Secretary-General believes that the incidents reported yesterday need to be investigated without delay," Ban's press office said in a statement. "A formal request is being sent by the United Nations to the government of Syria in this regard. He expects to receive a positive response without delay." Syria's government offered no immediate public response to calls on Thursday for the UN team to inspect the site.
Assad opponents gave death tolls from the attack ranging from 500 to well over 1,000 and said on Thursday that more bodies were still being found. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons.
The UN team, led by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, is already looking into three claims of chemical use in Syria's conflict. The United Nations has received a total of 14 reports of possible chemical attacks - one from Syria's government and the rest from Britain, France and the United States.
Ban said on Monday that if the experts found that chemical weapons had been used then it would be up to "the international community to determine what course of action should be taken to prove ... accountability and what needs to be done." "Use of chemical weapons is a violation of international law and international human rights law," Ban told a news conference.