Monday, January 11, 2016

Russia Supplying Hezbollah With Weapons, Air Strikes Slowed Over Syria

Russia Supplying Hezbollah With Weapons


No conditions have been placed on how the weapons should be used. In return the Lebanon-based group has provided Moscow with intelligence and advice on where to launch airstrikes, according to the Daily Beast.

One Hezbollah commander, speaking on a condition of anonymity said they are training the Syrian army to use the Russian weapons.
Israel is concerned as it considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization that backs Iran.  Hezbollah reportedly has 150,000 missiles pointed at the Israelis.
Last week Hezbollah planted an explosive device on the Lebanon-Israel border, after the Samir Kuntar, an accused child killer and Hezbollah leader, was killed during Israeli airstrikes.

Russian air raids over Syria were seen to have tapered off in the first 10 days of the New Year to their lowest level since the onset of Moscow’s major intervention in Syria in late September, intelligence sources report. The slowdown was not officially reported or explained. But our sources point to three likely causes:

1.  The Russian Air Force conducted an exceptionally intensive series of aerial strikes over northern and southern Syria in the course of December. This may have caused too many technical problems for the overtaxed ground crews to keep up with the necessary maintenance work.

2.  Winter conditions in the region are subject to extreme and rapid change, often swinging between snow storms and warm air currents in the space of a few hours. Russian air and ground crews alike are finding it hard to adjust to Middle East weather.

3.  The first days of January are Russia’s traditional holiday season. The Eastern churches celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7. Air crews may have decided to take a break from combat missions.
In case the slowdown was misinterpreted in the West, the Russian high command published a set of statistics Monday, Jan. 11 that painted a picture of intense activity.

In the first ten days of 2016, the Russian Air Force was said to have conducted 311 air strikes against 1097 targets.
The communiqué also noted that the first Syrian Air Force MidG-23 fighter plane was able to land at Hama air base. This central Syrian facility had been inactive for months because it was under rebel artillery fire and was now restored to full operation, thanks to Russian air bombardments of rebel forces.

From Hama, the Syrian army is now back in command of the Rte 5 highway linking Aleppo to Damascus, opening up for Syrian, Hizballah and pro-Iranian militia armies their only road link and supply route between central and northern Syria.

The recovery of Hama also provides a shield for defending Latakia, President Bashar Assad’s main power base.

Western intelligence experts estimate that the air strike statistics offered by Moscow are exaggerated. They tie the operation for the relief of the Hama air base with a project about to be launched by the Russian command from its base outside Latakia, namely, the transfer of Russian air force and special operations officers and forces teams to the Palmyra area, in readiness for an offensive to seize all the Syrian air facilities to the west of the town from ISIS control.

Russian tacticians in Syria appear to be focusing now on pushing rebel and Islamic State forces out of all the airfields they have captured, in order to get the Syrian Air Force flying and bombing again, and so ease the burden on the Russian flight crews in Syria.

A little-known bacterial disease may be killing as many people worldwide as measles, scientists said on Monday, while a mosquito-borne virus known as Zika is also raising global alarm.
The spread of Ebola in West Africa last year shows how poorly-understood diseases can emerge and grow rapidly while researchers race to design and conduct the scientific studies needed to combat them.
Researchers in the journal Nature Microbiology called for a bacterial infection called meliodosis, which is resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, to be given a higher priority by international health organizations and policy makers.
At the same time, scientists at Britain's Oxford University warned that a virus known as Zika, which is carried by mosquitoes and has caused a major outbreak in Brazil, has "the potential of rapid spread to new areas".
Zika was first detected in Africa in the 1940s and was unknown in the Americas until last year, but has now been confirmed in Brazil, Panama, Venezuela, El Salvador, Mexico, Suriname, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Guatemala and Paraguay, according to public health officials.
It is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which thrives in tropical climates and can also carry other diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya.
Thousands of people in Brazil have been infected by Zika. While the virus is not thought to kill, health authorities there last year linked it to a surge in babies born with microcephaly, restricted head growth that seriously limits a child's mental and physical abilities.
Trudie Lang, professor of Global Health Research at Oxford University, said Zika - for which there are currently no known treatments - was a cause for concern.
"It's definitely becoming an issue, but there is so little research that we just don't know the size of the potential threat," she told Reuters.
She urged the international research community to act now to learn more about the virus, about how it is spread, and about how scientists might develop a treatment or vaccine against it.
"We need to learn from what happened with Ebola," Lang said, referring to the devastating epidemic of that viral fever that swept through three countries in West Africa last year and caused more than 28,600 cases globally. 
The study found that the highest melioidosis risk zones are in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, including all countries in Southeast Asia and tropical Australia, sub-Saharan Africa and South America. There are also risk zones of varying sizes in Central America, southern Africa and the Middle East.

1 comment:

GG2013 said...

He Careth for You

He that is mighty hath done to me great things – Luke 1:49

Is it not wonderful that the mighty God, so great, so holy, should ever think of a poor, lowly sinner on this earth?
But does He really? It scarcely seems possible. Only consider how many millions of people there are in this world.
Can it be that the glorious God ever gives a separate, special thought to any one person among so many? He may
give personal thought to a few great people, to kings and rulers, and to certain very good men and women; but surely
He does not think of anyone so small and obscure as I am. Ah yes! He does.

You remember that a child was once dying of thirst in a desert, and God heard its cries amid all the noise of the world,
and sent an angel to point out a spring of water and thus save its life. You remember, too, that story of the baby that the
mother could not herself longer shelter, and which she put into a little ark and laid among the sedge beside the river; and
you remember how God cared for that helpless infant and provided for it in a wonderful way. Then you remember that
Jesus said our heavenly Father cares even for a sparrow and feeds it, and that He even clothes each little flower in the field.

If there is not a bird or a flower that He does not think of and care for, surely He gives thought and care to us. We are better
than a sparrow, better than a flower. We have immortal souls We are God’s own children; and was there ever a true father
who did not think of, and love and care for his children? He calls each one of us by name. He hears our prayers. He knows
when anything is going wrong with us, or when we are in any trouble. He watches over us, and sends blessings to us every
day. What a wonderful thought that God thinks of each one of us, and does great things for us!