Israel, who was not consulted on the ceasefire – which directly affected her security situation – and was basically told by both sides to smile and bear it. Prime Minister Netanyahu was not happy, and as has been the case with the pending Iran nuclear deal in 2015, he told anyone who would listen that those Russian “de-escalation zones” on his country’s border meant Iranian militia and Hezbollah on that border, and that, he stated emphatically, was unacceptable.
What followed were heated debates between Jerusalem and Moscow, inclosing a disappointing Netanyahu visit with Putin; and similar exchanges between Jerusalem and Washington. It all came down to whether Israel would retreat, realizing it was facing powers far bigger than her own – or do what it often does when it comes to challenges of its security.
On Thursday morning, Israel sent a clear message – presuming it was the IAF which bombed (or, according to the official Syrian announcement, rocketed) the Syrian chemical plant in Hama district in western Syria. Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yaakov Amidror wrote in Israel Hayom Friday that while until now Israel’s policy has focused on stopping the shipment of Iranian and Syrian weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, now Israel will be targeting sites belonging to the Syrian government, should she view them as posing a threat.
It seems that the decision-makers have understood that if Israel did not act, a threatening situation could arise in which new weapons systems would reach Hezbollah and significantly improve its capabilities, Amidror concluded.
Zvi Barel noted in Ha’aretz Friday the timing of the Israeli attack, shortly after Netanyahu’s meeting with Putin in Sochi on the Black Sea, where the latter apparently read the former the riot act regarding Israeli direct involvement in Syria.
Netanyahu knows that despite whatever assurances the Russians would give him that they would block Hezbollah from stretching their forces into the Syrian part of Israel’s northern border – they can’t live up to those assurances, by reason of their own doctrine.
And so, on Thursday morning, with the bombing deep inside Syria, and some 40 miles from a Russian military base in Ladakiya, Netanyahu signaled that Israel was prepared for direct conflict with the Russians in Syria, should it be necessary.
Tuesday’s drill was the third time the Chinese military has conducted an exercise in the Bohai Bay in the last month and a half. The first one took place back in July to celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army. That drill was a three-day naval exercise.
Although China’s position has not changed, it has found it increasingly difficult to maintain the status-quo amidst North Korea’s increasing provocations and the unpredictability of the Trump administration in the United States. The recent drills in Bohai Bay are part of China’s delicate balancing act in trying to maintain the status-quo in a fast changing world.
President Donald Trump has given military orders for U.S. forces to shoot down and destroy any missile launched from North Korea and moving toward the continental United States, Hawaii, and Guam.
Sources close to the president's national security team tell Newsmax the order was given to Pentagon brass in the wake of last month's threat by North Korea to fire a ballistic missile aimed at Guam, a U.S. territory.
"The threat provoked the president," one source familiar with the decision told Newsmax.
Last Sunday, North Korea detonated a thermonuclear weapon. The communist regime claims they can fit the new device on advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as ICBMs.
This week, South Korean intelligence sources said the North was moving an ICBM in an apparent preparation for another test launch over the northern Pacific and possibly Japan.
The president also is said to be considering a new "shoot down" order for any North Korean missile launched and moving toward Japan or South Korea, another national security source told Newsmax.
"This is a clear exercise of self-defense, and there's no question we should do it," former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Newsmax.
Bolton said U.S. allies South Korea and Japan "are in jeopardy" and said the United States must take steps to protect them under treaty obligations.
The presidential order came after a flurry of recent provocations from Pyongyang.
In August, President Trump ominously warned the North Koreans that continued threats "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
"We are close to the finish line," Bolton said, referring to Pyongyang's recent missile and nuclear developments. "It highlights how little time we have here."
Just days after North Korea's nuclear test detonation, Han Tae Song, the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told a disarmament conference the U.S. could expect more "more gift packages."