Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Israeli Warplanes Hit Hezbollah Targets In Syria, Damascus Condemns Turkish Incursion Into Syria, U.S. Destroyer Intercepted By Iranian Vessels

Israeli warplanes said to hit Hezbollah targets in Syria

Syrian opposition figures said Israeli warplanes struck targets belonging to the Shiite terror group Hezbollah in the Qalamoun Mountains along the Syria-Lebanon border, on Wednesday, according to Hebrew news sites citing Arab media.

The reports gave few details, saying only that the targets had been hit from the sky three times.
The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday night it “will not comment” on the reports of a strike in Syria.
A Twitter account linked to Hezbollah denied that there had been any attack on its headquarters in Qalamoun.
The Qalamoun range is considered a key stronghold for Hezbollah, linking Damascus to eastern Lebanon, and is suspected to be used as a supply route for arms transfers between the regime and Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces.
Hezbollah has thousands of fighters in Syria, providing military might to help Assad’s regime put down the insurgency.
In May, Hezbollah said its top commander in Syria, Mustafa Badreddine, was killed in a suspected Israeli airstrike.
In April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Israel had carried out dozens of strikes against Hezbollah to prevent the group from obtaining advanced weapons — a rare Israeli admission of involvement in air attacks in Syria.

Damascus denounced Turkey’s joint military operation with the Syrian rebels aimed at re-taking the Syrian border town of Jarablus from Islamic State militants (IS, former ISIS/ISIL). Damascus said it considers Turkish troops’ incursion into Syria a violation of its sovereignty.
Damascus condemned Turkish incursion into the Syrian territory after Turkey’s tanks and Special Forces supported by the Turkish and US aircraft and Syrian rebels launched an offensive on the Syrian northern border town of Jarablus, calling it “a national security issue.”
Syrian government officials said that any side willing to fight terrorism on the Syrian territory should cooperate with the authorities and the Syrian Army, “which has been fighting terrorism for over five years,”as reported by SANA news agency.
Syrian government called the Turkish operation a “blatant violation of the sovereignty” of Syria, adding that “replacing” Islamic State with “other terrorist organizations backed directly by Turkey” cannot be regarded as a fight against terrorism.

“What is happening in Jarablus now isn’t fighting terrorism as Turkey claims - rather it is replacing one type of terrorism with another,” a Syrian government official told SANA and once again called on the UN to “put an end to this aggression” and to make Turkey and the US-led coalition fulfill the UN resolutions related to closing the borders and preventing the terrorists from receiving funding and support from abroad.

Meanwhile, Russia also expressed its concern over the Turkish actions in Syria. Moscow is “deeply worried” by the developments on the Syrian-Turkish border, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that “a possibility of the further deterioration of the situation in the conflict zone” as well as “potential losses among the civilian population and the aggravation of … antagonism between Kurds and Arabs” is a “source of primary concern.”
The ministry also once again stressed that the Syrian crisis could be resolved only through peaceful means, including a broad interethnic dialog that should particularly involve Kurds.
Turkey managed to successfully hit the previously identified IS targets during its operation in the town of Jarablus, Turkish envoy to the UN said in a statement. He also said that the operation was aimed at liberating the Syrian territory bordering Turkey from terrorists and strengthening Turkish border security.
Earlier, Syrian rebel groups supported by Turkish tanks and special forces, as well as US airpower, said they had entered Jarablus and now control about 50 percent of the town that had been held by Islamic State since 2013, according to Reuters. Rebel sources told the agency that most IS fighters had fled the town, while some had surrendered.

A spokesman for the YPG Kurdish militia, Redur Xelil, denounced Turkey’s move as “blatant aggression in Syrian internal affairs.” Aldar Xelil, another influential Kurdish politician, accused Turkey of initiating an occupation of Syria, saying the operation amounted to “a declaration of war” on the autonomous administration set up by Kurdish groups in northern Syria in 2011.
In the meantime, the Kurdish Firat news agency (ANFNews) reported that 29 civilians have been killed by the advancing Turkish and allied troops so far.
Turkey launched a ground operation in northern Syria at 4 am local time (02:00 GMT), which involved tanks and Special Forces, after its artillery shelled targets across the Syrian border. The operation, called Euphrates Shield, was also supported by Turkish air forces, as well as A-10S and F-16 warplanes from the US-led coalition.

According to US defense officials, the guided missile destroyer USS Nitze was intercepted by four Iranian vessels near the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday.

The American destroyer was operating in international waters alongside the USS Mason when officials say four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels performed a "high-speed intercept" of the Nitze.
"These sorts of unsafe and unprofessional actions can lead to escalation and miscalculation, which may necessitate additional defensive measures," said Cmdr. Bill Urban, public affairs officer for US Naval Forces Central Command, according to Stars and Stripes.

The US destroyer allegedly attempted to make radio contact with the vessels, but received no response. Crewmembers then sounded the Nitze’s ship whistle, a naval signal meant to express that the ship is unclear about another vessel’s intentions. The destroyer then fired ten flares toward the Revolution Guard vessels, still without response.
According to the statement, the Revolutionary Guard forced the Nitze to change course in order to avoid a potential collision.
After coming within 300 yards of the Nitze, the Iranian vessels left.
The incident is under investigation, and is reminiscent of the instance in January in which two US Navy patrol vessels drifted into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. Crewmembers were apprehended by the Revolutionary Guard and nearly sparked an international incident in the midst of the Iran nuclear negotiations.


foretastes said...

Comments today? Some days we're just left speechless.

Scott said...

Honestly, there is so much going on right now with the quakes, ukraine, turkey and china's involvement in syria, our threatening both in syria, ukraine and s china sea, the threats of nuclear war, the media lies on almost every issue, the staging for gog-magog, the ever present rumors of martial law in the US, upcoming elections, internet censorship, and on and on. It was almost a relief this morning to have a semi-slow news day. Its really crazy right now almost to the point of becoming desensitized

Caver said...

Hummmm, not to mention about 4 international banks announcing going to a bit-chain type of payment that would bypass the US banking system and use of dollars.

Guys....some days I just read and shake my head. Ain't gonna figure it out but we know Who's still on the throne has it all under control. Ain't nothing gonna happen till He's ready for it to happen.

Sometimes I think this is the only cause I have for even trying to maintain a wee bit of sanity.....if, indeed, I have. :)

foretastes said...

Amen, Caver. The Lord continues to rule. The Restrainer continues to restrain. And Jesus continues loves us more than we'll ever understand.

Scott said...

Indeed Dave - All true