Sunday, May 5, 2013

Israel Intervenes in Syria's Civil War

Very busy news day this morning. When I went to bed a few hours ago early reports were being passed along of an Israeli strike at South Damascus, replete with videos. I put together a little collection of messages  and now "Israeli" is trending on Twitter.
Here is what is coming in how....


Israel strikes Syria again, rocking Damascus
(Reuters) - Israel carried out its second air strike in days on Syria early on Sunday, a Western intelligence source said, in an attack that shook Damascus with a series of powerful blasts and drove columns of fire into the night sky. 
Israel declined comment but Syria accused the Jewish state of striking a military facility just north of the capital - one which its jets had first targeted three months ago. Iran, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and an arch-enemy for Israel, urged states in the region to resist the Israeli attack. 
People living near the Jamraya base spoke of explosions over several hours in various places near Damascus, including a town housing senior officials: "Night turned into day," one man said.
The Western intelligence source told Reuters the operation hit Iranian-supplied missiles headed for Lebanon's Hezbollah, a similar target to the two previous strikes this year, which have been defended as justifiable by Israel's ally the United States: 
"In last night's attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah," the intelligence source said.
An Israeli official had confirmed a similar raid on Friday. In Lebanon, Hezbollah declined immediate comment.

Video footage uploaded onto the Internet by activists showed a series of explosions. One lit up the skyline of Damascus while another sent up a tower of flames and secondary blasts.
Syrian state media accused Israel of attacking in response to Assad's forces' recent successes against rebels who, with Western approval, have been trying to topple him for two years. 
In 40 years since a war with a Syria then ruled by Assad's father, Israel has been locked in a cold standoff with Damascus, fought Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 and is threatening to attack Iran, accusing Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. 
But it is wary of instability in Syria, has long viewed Hezbollah as the more immediate threat and has shown little enthusiasm for U.S. and European calls for Assad's overthrow.
The raid follows intense debate in the United States over whether the use of chemical weapons by Syrian troops might push President Barack Obama to intervene more forcefully on the rebel side, but Western powers remain concerned at the presence of anti-Western Islamist fighters among Assad's opponents. 
It was unclear whether Israel sought U.S. approval for the action; in the past, officials have indicated that Israel sees a need only to inform Washington once a mission was under way.
At a routine public appearance, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no direct reference to the strikes but spoke pointedly of his responsibility to ensure Israel's future. 
He maintained a plan to fly to China later in the day, suggesting a confidence that, as with the raid in January, Assad - and Hezbollah - would limit any reprisal. However, an Israeli military source said the army had deployed more anti-missile defense systems near the northern borders in recent days 
.[More at the link.]
That awkward moment when ... Israel launches airstrikes in SyriaPosted By Blake Hounshell  Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 9:47 PM 
Syrian Facebook pages are reporting a series of massive explosions in Damascus, as are the Syrian regime's media outlets. A video claiming to be of these explosions can be seen here:
[See yesterday's post or go to the link.]


Israel wages war against Hezbollah inside Syria 
Lebanese diplomatic source says strike destroyed surface-to-air missiles recently delivered by Russia. 
Middle East Online
 Israeli rockets struck a military facility outside Damascus overnight, Syrian state media said Sunday, as Israel moves to stop weapons from the conflict reaching Hezbollah with its second reported attack in three days. 
The official SANA news agency accused Israel of carrying out the attack on the Jamraya military research centre in the Eastern Ghouta region. It did not say if there were any dead or wounded. 
"This new Israeli aggression is a clear attempt to alleviate the pressure on the armed terrorist groups after our army beat them back in several regions and after the army's victories on the road to recovering security and stability in Syria," said SANA. 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog said residents in the area reported seeing aircraft when powerful blasts rocked the area, adding the raid had caused casualties. There was no immediate comment from Israel or the United States.

Arabs join Israel in ‘defence crescent’
Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv, Sunday Times (London)
Published: 5 May 2013
ISRAEL is preparing to agree a defence co-operation deal with Turkey and three Arab states aimed at setting up an early warning system to detect Iranian ballistic missiles. 
The proposal, referred to by the diplomats involved as “4+1”, may eventually lead to technicians from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan working alongside Israelis in joint command-and-control centres. 
The American-brokered plan is to build a “moderate crescent” of allied states that share a powerful vested interest in countering Iran’s nuclear ambitions. 
“The plan is to start with information-sharing about Iran’s ballistic missiles,” said an Israeli official. 
Israel, he said, believes President Barack Obama has no appetite for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “That’s why the Americans are working on a regional alliance to deter and contain Tehran.”
Today is the Orthodox Easter. 
I am informed that Isaiah 17 prophesies the destruction of Damascus -- not damage but total destruction -- as in "Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins."
One wonders if all those faithful Christians now in Damascus, brothers and sisters of their cousins in the West now expecting this to be the onset of the End Times, will be destroyed at the same time. From the looks of this video they don't appear to be packing their bags.


Added later -- Best Twitter comment --

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