Friday, October 20, 2017

IDF Tanks Strike Syrian Army Post After Mortar Fire, Hamas Chief: We Won't Discuss Recognizing Israel, Only Wiping It Out



IDF tanks strike Syrian army post after errant mortar fire



Israeli tanks struck a Syrian army mortar position near the city of Quneitra on Thursday, hours after a shell from Syria landed in the northern Golan Heights, the Israel Defense Forces said.
On Thursday afternoon, the mortar shell landed in an open field on the Golan Heights in an apparent case of spillover fire from the fighting in Syria, the army said.
In response to the shelling, Israeli tanks stationed near the border fired back at the Syrian military position on Thursday evening. The IDF said the mortar position it attacked was the same one that fired the shell earlier in the day.
“The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for any aggression from within its territory, and will not tolerate any attacks threatening the Israeli sovereignty and the safety of its civilians,” the army said.
No siren was sounded as the warning system detected the projectile would land in an uninhabited area.

On Wednesday afternoon, rocket sirens rang out in IDF bases in the Golan Heights, set off by internal fighting across the border.








Israel responded with tank fire into Syria on Thursday after a Syrian mortar shell landed in the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan Heights, the army said.
"In response to the projectile that hit Israel earlier today, the Israel Defence Forces targeted the sources of fire in the Syrian Golan Heights," it said in an English-language statement.
It did not identify the sources of the Syrian fire nor say whether it considered it to be a deliberate attack or unintentional spillover from the Syrian civil war, as in several previous incidents.
It said the mortar shell fell on open ground and caused no injuries.

Speaking shortly afterwards in the Jordan Valley, part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implied that the Syrian shell was a stray but said it was nevertheless unacceptable.

"We do not accept spillovers and if they hit us we return fire -- and it doesn't take much time," his office quoted him as saying in Hebrew.

On Monday, Israel carried out an air strike on an anti-aircraft battery in Syria after the battery fired on its planes during surveillance flights over neighbouring Lebanon.








The Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip on Thursday dismissed US and Israeli demands that it lay down its arms and recognize the Jewish state, saying the terror organization is instead debating “when to wipe out Israel.”
The remarks came during a closed roundtable discussion between Yahya Sinwar and Gazan youth about the ongoing reconciliation negotiations with rival Palestinian faction Fatah, to which some media outlets were invited to attend.

“Over is the time Hamas spent discussing recognizing Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel,” Sinwar said, according to the Hamas-linked news agency Shehab.
A Hamas spokesperson released a few official quotes from the meeting. The Sinwar comment about discussing “when we will wipe out Israel” was not included in the transcript, which featured the Hamas leader again rejecting disarmament and Israel recognition.
“No one in the universe can disarm us. On the contrary, we will continue to have the power to protect our citizens,” Sinwar said, according to the official statement. “No one has the ability to extract from us recognition of the occupation.”
Since its inception nearly three decades ago, Hamas has sought to destroy the State of Israel.






The Iran nuclear deal failed to permanently cut off Iran's path to a nuclear weapon, as well as thwart its Middle East terror activities, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said at a conference Thursday.

US President Donald Trump had concluded the deal had only delayed Iran’s nuclear program, and that “the notion that entry” into the deal “would curtail Iranian adventurism, the terror threat, proved to be fundamentally false.”

Pompeo was being interviewed on stage by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance chairman Juan Zarate, just days after Trump decertified Iran’s compliance with the deal in a major speech.

Though he evaded a question about whether Iran had violated the nuclear deal on a technical level, Pompeo focused on the Islamic Republic's continued testing of ballistic missiles, prompting of Hezbollah to threaten Israel and being “at the center of so much turmoil in the Middle East.”








Nobody puts little Rocket Man in a corner.
As we've noted time and time again, tensions between the US and North Korea have only intensified since Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed last month that the two countries were on the verge of a nuclear conflict, a warning that the North’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN echoed on Monday, but has so far done little to dent the rally in global stock markets. 
But with Russia at least ostensibly reining in support for Kim Jong Un’s increasingly isolated regime, Putin warned that foreign powers should avoid "backing North Korea into a corner." Doing so would risk provoking a desperate, violent response, he said.

Putin added that the North is a “sovereign state” and reiterated his call that the standoff between the US and its regional allies and the Kim regime could only be resolved with dialogue - a solution that Russia and China - the North’s primary benefactor - have been pushing for months, NBC reported.
"Whether one likes the North Korean regime or not – it should not be forgotten that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a sovereign state. Any contradictions must be resolved in a civilized manner. Russia has always been calling for such approach," he said.

Since early August, the UN Security Council has passed two rounds of painful economic sanctions against the North - decisions that both China and Russia signed off on. Yet so far, there appears to be scant evidence that the sanctions are harming the North’s economy or its missile program as the North’s economy has long relied on arms sales and other illegal activities to generate badly needed foreign capital.






















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