Thursday, August 29, 2013

Updates From The Epicenter: More Warnings From Iran, Hezbollah Mobilizes

Even a token response by the U.S. may be all it takes to ignite the power-keg. Even though the UK may pull out of this completely, the U.S. is giving signals that it will go into this alone. The threats of retaliation against Israel are escalating today even with the U.S. softening its stance:

An American attack on Syria will result in the destruction of Israel and have severe repercussions for the US and its allies, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards said.

A possible war in Syria “will result in the imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel,” General Mohammad Ali Jafari said late Wednesday, according to a report Thursday in the state-sponsored Iranian Tasnim News Agency.

The American “proxy war scenario” in Syria has failed, so Washington and the West have resorted to a “direct military threat,” which, if carried out, will have “severe consequences,” he added.

Military intervention in Syria by the US and its allies will “cost them dearly,” the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, said Wednesday evening. “If the US attacks, the Zionists will burn,” he said, according to Israel’s Channel 2 news. He added that Israel would be the “sole beneficiary” of military escalation in Syria, which would have “far-reaching, grave consequences.”

Refusing to be drawn into a public screaming match with Syria and Iran, Israel's leaders on Thursday ignored apocalyptic threats and repeated the mantra voiced continually since Sunday: Israel is not involved in the Syrian crisis but will respond fiercely if attacked.
Prior to holding another round of security consultations in Tel Aviv about the situation in Syria, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on camera and in his own voice what his office has been saying in his name throughout the week.
"At present there is no need to change daily routines," he said. "Despite the low assessment regarding Israel's involvement in what is going on in Syria, we decided to deploy Iron Dome batteries as well as our other intercept systems. We are not involved in the civil war in Syria. But I would like to reiterate, if anyone tries to harm Israel's citizens, the IDF will respond with great strength."

Netanyahu's remarks came a few hours after Mohammed Ali Jafari, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, said a US strike on Syria would lead to the "imminent destruction" of Israel.
The theme of Netanyahu's comments were expanded upon later in remarks IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz made at a ceremony for the fallen sailors of the Israeli navy.
Addressing the growing regional tensions, Gantz said, "The IDF is at the start of challenging days. We have no part in the events taking place nearby to us, but in the event that fire is directed in Israel's direction, it's clear to every leader in our region and in the whole world that the price [for the attacker] will be heavy and the losses of the enemy will be stinging and difficult." "We've analyzed the various implications from every possible development... and we are prepared for every scenario," he said. "Our capabilities to gather [intelligence] and to attack are most advanced, and our defenses - in the air, sea, and land - are ready and staffed by the best of our soldiers and commanders, conscripts and reserves."

The United States would provide its own justification for military intervention in Syria if necessary, but any response would be limited, the White House said on Thursday.

“When the president reaches a determination about the appropriate response … and a legal justification is required to substantiate or to back up that decision, we’ll produce one on our own,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday at a press briefing.

“What we’re talking about here is something very discrete and limited,” he added.
Meanwhile, a United Nations Security Council of the five permanent members ended Thursday evening with no real progress over an agreement.

The meeting Thursday afternoon started breaking up after less than an hour, with the ambassadors of China, France, Britain, Russia and the United States steadily walking out. The meeting was reportedly be held at the behest of Russia.
It was the second time in two days that the five Security Council powers came out of a meeting on Syria with no progress.

Russia will "over the next few days" be sending an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean as the West prepares for possible strikes against Syria, the Interfax news agencysaid on Thursday.
"The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterraneancalled for certain corrections to the make-up of the naval forces," a source in the Russian General Staff told Interfax.
"A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet will join them (the existing naval forces) over the next few days.
"Later it will be joined by the Moskva, a rocket cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet which is now wrapping up its tasks in the northern Atlantic and will soon begin a Transatlantic voyage towards the Strait of Gibraltar."
In addition, a rocket cruiser of the Pacific Fleet, the Varyag, will join the Russian naval forces in the Mediterranean this autumn by replacing a large anti-submarine ship.

British lawmakers on Thursday rejected a measure that would have given preliminary approval to military intervention in Syria, in a major setback for both British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Obama administration. 
Cameron, who had been pushing for military action in response to an alleged chemical weapons strike last week, indicated after the vote that he would abide by the outcome. The measure was narrowly defeated, by 285 votes to 272 votes. 
The outcome raises serious questions for President Obama, who has not yet made a decision on the way forward in Syria but had indicated his administration would need international support for any strike. After failing to win support for an anti-Assad resolution before the U.N. Security Council, U.S. officials were looking to allies like Britain and France to build a coalition for action in Syria. 

Moments ago the UK House of Commons, in a razor thin vote, rejected the Cameron proposal for military action in Syria with a vote 285 to 272. Cameron promptly said he would respect the will of the House of Commons and UK Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond confirmed there would be no UK military intervention in Syria. Incidentally, this may have been the best outcome for an already humiliated British premier who will avoid being dragged into an unpopular war having both sided with his greatest ally, the US, and also relented and listened to the voice of the people. 

More importantly, the "people" in the UK actually had a voice, which is more than can so far be said about developments in the US. And speaking of the US, theNYT reports that even as the Syrian war "option" is slowly being shut out for staunch US allies (except for France of course), that Obama is "willing to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria even while allies like Britain are debating whether to join the effort [ZH: and have now voted against it]and without an endorsement from the United Nations Security Council" citing senior administration officials.
The ETA for a unilateral move by Obama may be as soon as Saturday:

Although the officials cautioned that Mr. Obama had not made a final decision, all indications suggest that the strike could occur as soon as United Nations inspectors, who are investigating the Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds of Syrians, leave the country. They are scheduled to depart Damascus, the capital, on Saturday.

It remains to be seen whether Congress will back such a decision, or whether in addition to getting the cold shoulder from his allies, Obama will also be forced to use the War Powers Act to once more stomp out popular dissent for a conflict that as previously reported, only has the support of just 9% of the US population.

The White House is to present its case for military action against Syria to Congressional leaders on Thursday night. Administration officials assert that the intelligence will show that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad carried out the chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus.

The intelligence does not tie Mr. Assad directly to the attack, officials briefed on the presentation said, but the administration believes that it has enough evidence to carry out a limited strike that would deter the Syrian government from using these weapons again.

Either way, the just concluded UK vote is not only a huge blow to David Cameron, and a shocking success for democracy, but leaves Obama in a truly no win position: he will be humiliated if he backs off now after having escalate the war drums to a frenzy, and will be blasted by all sides of the political spectrum if he proceeds to engage in a widely unpopular military conflict.

Hezbollah was reported to be mobilizing its forces in southern Lebanon on Thursday night in preparation for a possible US-led strike on Syria, and was said to be considering various retaliatory options against Israel should such an attack take place.

The top leadership of the Shiite terror group, which is closely aligned with the Bashar Assad government in Syria, was holding intensive discussions about the possible consequences of an attack on Syria and the appropriate response against Israel, Channel 10 reported, citing reports in the Lebanese media.

Hezbollah has raised its alert level and has begun deploying forces in south Lebanon in response to the current international debate over a possible attack on Syria in response to last week’s alleged chemical weapons use by Syrian forces, the report said.
Hezbollah is unlikely to attack Israel unless a Western assault on Syria aims to topple Assad or seriously damage the Syrian army’s capabilities,a senior source with ties to Hezbollah told the Daily Star on Wednesday.


Stephen said...

Stocks are UP again tonite. Bulls still REFUSE to sell....

It would appear that this market

canceled = CLX

we will see....

EWI shows different options going forward.

on wave counts....

limited strike ??


as stated before, even ONE cruise
missile launched is ONE TOO MANY.

I doubt VERY MUCH that the article
seen here re Hezballoh means
anything at all.

why would HEZ only react if the
strike is serious ??

that is stupid.

they will react like Syria and Iran
to even ONE Tomahawk....

remember that IRAN is PRIMED for
the Madhi, so they are WAITING
for the excuse...(to go to war)

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

bottom line >>>> no one really
knows what Obama will decide.

Stephen said...

Internal market numbers SEEM to
indicate that OBAMA WILL NOT
strike Syria at all.....

bulls seem especially agressive on
the nasdaq.....

It could HAPPEN, but I would say
based on stocks the odds are VERY
LOW.....(of a strike)

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

Stephen said...

more news on Syria >>>>

and yet bulls believe they have the
upper hand ??

stocks UP AGAIN tonite, up over
20 on the dow....they behave as
if Obama will back out...

HE HAS NOT decided yet, flip a coin
if you want.

I am against BULLS, for many many
reasons I will not say here.

but I believe bulls are about to
be MAULED by the Grizzly Bear

one way or another, this market
is due for a crash.....

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

Stephen said...

from BBC >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"One of the Syrian officials overheard seemed to suggest the chemical weapons attack was more devastating than was intended, officials were quoted as saying by the New York Times."

so they did do it....the damning
evidence is there for ALL to see.

ASSAD guilty of this >>>>>>

we will see what happens next.

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

Stephen said...

Scott, here is an update >>>>

very informative one at that >>>>>

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