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Hezbollah: Qassem’s jail a ‘state crime’ by Bahrain regime

Press TV – May 22, 2017

Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has lambasted a suspended jail term given by a Bahraini regime court on Sunday to the country’s Shia majority leader Sheikh Isa Qassem.

The court convicted the spiritual leader of illegal collection of funds and money laundering and sentenced him to one year in jail suspended for three years. It also ordered him to pay $265,266 in fines.

“This sentence is a new crime added to a series of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the [Bahraini] regime,” a Hezbollah statement said.

The charges emanate from the collection of an Islamic donation called Khums, which in Shia Islam is collected and spent by a senior cleric in the interests of the needy.

Qassem also faces expulsion from the kingdom after authorities revoked his citizenship last year. His defense lawyers refused to attend the hearings, which they saw as an attack on the country’s Shia Muslims.

Since 2011, the kingdom has been the scene of peaceful anti-regime protests against the systematic abuse of the Shia population and discrimination against them.

The Bahraini regime has responded to the protests with excessive and lethal force, which has drawn international criticism.

​Bahrain’s perennial rulers are allies of the West, including the US which has its Fifth naval fleet based in the tiny Persian Gulf country.

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters marched in the capital Manama after the verdict was issued against Sheikh Qassem.

Qassem’s residence in his native village of Diraz is under siege by regime forces in the face of a sit-in held outside the building ever since the regime revoked his citizenship.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Preparing for War on Hizbullah

By Abdel Bari Atwan  | Raialyoum | May 20, 2017

The US-led war on the Islamic Sate group under the banner of fighting terrorism may be viewed by many, especially by Arab members of the coalition that is waging it, as legitimate. But in our view it increasingly looks like a cover or smokescreen aimed at paving the way, or bestowing legitimacy on, a different war: one aimed at eliminating resistance to Israel in the region, and specifically the Lebanese Hizbullah movement.

The US war for Kuwait in 1991 was fought for the same purpose. A trap was set, after careful planning and precise distribution of roles, for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Its aim was to drag him into Kuwait to provide a pretext for destroying Iraq, aborting its scientific progress and military ascendancy and undermining its regional role. It is no exaggeration to say that the proxy war on Syria war has a similar objective – not only to destroy and fragment Syria as an adversary of Israel, but to lure a reluctant Hizbullah into the conflict and thus diminish its enormous popularity and the place it gained in hearts of tens or hundreds of millions of Arabs after its two great victories against Israel: First, when it succeeded in liberating southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation in 2000 after years of persistent resistance, and again in July 2006 when it also fought valiantly and stood fast in epic resistance to an Israeli onslaught that sought to annihilate it.

Most of the regional moves currently being made by the US — including Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Riyadh and the Eager Lion military exercises in Jordan – have one ultimate objective: to declare all-out war on Hizbullah. This includes drying up its financial resources and criminalizing the organization, in the same way Saddam Hussein was criminalized and the Palestinian resistance movement prior to that: first during the days of the PLO and its factions, and then with the rise of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups that continue to fight Israel.

The West has a variety of problems with Iran, and the country’s nuclear ambitions are one of the most prominent. But it is possible to live with, and even contain, these ambitions by various means. However, Iran’s unforgivable sin in the West’s eyes was to support Hizbullah in Lebanon and transform it into a formidable military force that poses a real deterrent and threat to Israel at a time when the Arab states were surrendering to it. Many have stopped referring to it as the enemy and instead begun building bridges of cooperation and normalization with it and treating it as a strategic regional ally.

Hizbullah crossed all American and Israeli red lines by developing a vast missile capability (100,000 missiles according to some estimates) along with fighting skills that most of the region’s armies — including the Israeli army — lack, combining attributes of conventional armies with expertise in guerrilla warfare. Moreover, four years of fighting in Syria has further strengthened, developed, and modernized these skills.

There have been reports in recent days of an unpublicized closed-door meeting in Washington involving a number of Gulf and Arab states aimed at agreeing a strategy for confronting Hizbullah in the coming period. Participants included Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE. This was intended to prepare for the two multilateral summits (with Arab/Muslim leaders and Gulf rulers respectively) that Trump will attend in Riyadh.

Reports from this meeting indicate that the joint Western-Arab plan for confronting Hizbullah include imposing financial sanctions on the organization’s members, supporters and sympathizers around the world, especially Lebanese expatriates in Africa and Europe who provide financial support for the party or institutions affiliated or close to it. This will involve measures to monitor money transfers and dry up all the party’s external funding sources in order to create difficulties for its leadership in financing its political and military structures and its extensive social institutions and activities.

The war on the hardline jihadi groups such as the Nusra Front and IS is drawing towards a close. Nusra is besieged in Idlib, rural Damascus and a few enclaves in rural Aleppo. The recent Astana agreement delegated the task of liquidating it to the so-called moderate Syrian opposition factions backed by the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. As for IS, it has lost most of Mosul, and the war to liberate al-Raqqa by the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is now imminent, and will begin as soon as sufficient supplies of American tanks, armoured vehicles and missiles have been delivered to these forces.

In other words, the destruction of the ‘Islamist’ groups that are internationally designated as terrorist organizations will open the door wide to the more important war on Hizbullah, not only in Syria but in Lebanon too. It is to begin with an economic war and culminate in a military offensive — as, indeed, the wars on Iraq did.

Could this scenario which is being implemented in stages against Hizbullah (and by extension Iran) achieve the same success it did against Iraq – and prior to that against the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, which was ended with the 1982 Israeli invasion? It is hard to give a categorical answer to this hypothetical question. What can be said, however, is that circumstances have changed, and Israel has changed as well. Hizbullah is the pivot of a regional and confessional structure, and has the open and total support of Iran, and of Iraq to a lesser degree. Any war against it will not be easy. If the 1991 scenario succeeded in Iraq, that was due above all to Arab collusion and betrayal, as well as the demise of the Soviet Union which left the US as the world’s unchallenged hegemon.

The wars currently unfolding in the region and the conspiracies being hatched are all for the sake of enhancing Israel’s security and stability and maintaining its military power and supremacy. It is ironic that this is happening around the time of the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot agreements. For the task now being undertaken is aimed at consolidating the Zionist presence in Palestine and the region envisaged in that Declaration, while dismembering the states that emerged from the womb of those agreements.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel, Zionism | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel is Trying to Legitimize Airstrikes on Syria

By Firas Samuri | Inside Syria Media Center | April 27, 2017

According to Reuters, this morning Israeli jets carried out five strikes on depots belonging to Hezbollah close to Damascus International Airport. After the explosion, a fire broke out.

It should be mentioned, that it is not the first time that Israel has launched airstrikes on Syria. On April 21, Israeli aviation targeted Syrian Army positions in the area of Khan Arnabeh in the province of Quneitra. This attack was committed when the government forces were repulsing a large-scale militant offensive.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz has already commented on this airstrike, stating that it corresponds completely with Israel’s policy to act to prevent Iran’s smuggling of advanced weapons via Syria to Hezbollah in Iran.

Under the pretext of fighting the Lebanese Islamist militant group, Israel supports Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Moreover, according to Yournewswire.com, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that ISIS doesn’t pose any risk for Israel’s security.

In addition, the Defense Minister accused Bashar Assad of using chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun.

Israel also supported the recent U.S. missile strike on Al-Shayrat air base in Homs and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called on other states to follow the U.S. example.

Apparently, Israel seems to be justifying the U.S. and its own illegal interventions in Syria, which are not aimed at fighting terrorism. Furthermore, the Israeli official discredits and demonizes Assad’s policy, without weighty arguments. Such Israeli actions also reduce the effectiveness of the government troops in the fight against terrorism.

It’s obvious that the current Israeli authorities have chosen the escalation of the Syrian conflict instead of political settlement. Sending new jets to bomb Syria, Israel negates diplomatic initiatives that advocate for the rights of Syrians in Astana and Geneva.

The Israeli attack on Syria has already caused vehement reactions in the international community. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang stated that China opposes the use of military force. He also urged the world community to respect the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Syria.

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 5 Comments

Is Trump Enlisting in the War Party?

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • April 11, 2017

By firing off five dozen Tomahawk missiles at a military airfield, our “America First” president may have plunged us into another Middle East war that his countrymen do not want to fight.

Thus far Bashar Assad seems unintimidated. Brushing off the strikes, he has defiantly gone back to bombing the rebels from the same Shayrat air base that the U.S. missiles hit.

Trump “will not stop here,” warned U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday. “If he needs to do more, he will.”

If Trump fails to back up Haley’s threat, the hawks now cheering him on will begin deriding him as “Donald Obama.”

But if he throbs to the war drums of John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio and orders Syria’s air force destroyed, we could be at war not only with ISIS and al-Qaida, but with Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

A Syrian war would consume Trump’s presidency.

Are we ready for that? How would we win such a war without raising a large army and sending it back into the Middle East?

Another problem: Trump’s missile attack was unconstitutional. Assad had not attacked or threatened us, and Congress, which alone has the power to authorize war on Syria, has never done so.

Indeed, Congress denied President Obama that specific authority in 2013.

What was Trump thinking? Here was his strategic rational:

“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies — babies, little babies — with a chemical gas … that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. … And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me … my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.”

Two days later, Trump was still emoting: “Beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”

Now, that gas attack was an atrocity, a war crime, and pictures of its tiny victims are heart-rending. But 400,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war, among them thousands of children and infants.

Have they been killed by Assad’s forces? Surely, but also by U.S., Russian, Israeli and Turkish planes and drones — and by Kurds, Iranians, Hezbollah, al-Qaida, ISIS, U.S.-backed rebels and Shiite militia.

Assad is battling insurgents and jihadists who would slaughter his Alawite brethren and the Christians in Syria just as those Copts were massacred in Egypt on Palm Sunday. Why is Assad more responsible for all the deaths in Syria than those fighting to overthrow and kill him?

Are we certain Assad personally ordered a gas attack on civilians?

For it makes no sense. Why would Assad, who is winning the war and had been told America was no longer demanding his removal, order a nerve gas attack on children, certain to ignite America’s rage, for no military gain?

Like the gas attack in 2013, this has the marks of a false flag operation to stampede America into Syria’s civil war.

And as in most wars, the first shots fired receive the loudest cheers. But if the president has thrown in with the neocons and War Party, and we are plunging back into the Mideast maelstrom, Trump should know that many of those who helped to nominate and elect him — to keep us out of unnecessary wars — may not be standing by him.

We have no vital national interest in Syria’s civil war. It is those doing the fighting who have causes they deem worth dying for.

For ISIS, it is the dream of a caliphate. For al-Qaida, it is about driving the Crusaders out of the Dar al Islam. For the Turks, it is, as always, about the Kurds.

For Assad, this war is about his survival and that of his regime. For Putin, it is about Russia remaining a great power and not losing its last naval base in the Med. For Iran, this is about preserving a land bridge to its Shiite ally Hezbollah. For Hezbollah it is about not being cut off from the Shiite world and isolated in Lebanon.

Because all have vital interests in Syria, all have invested more blood in this conflict than have we. And they are not going to give up their gains or goals in Syria and yield to the Americans without a fight.

And if we go to war in Syria, what would we be fighting for?

A New World Order? Democracy? Separation of mosque and state? Diversity? Free speech for Muslim heretics? LGBT rights?

In 2013, a great national coalition came together to compel Congress to deny Barack Obama authority to take us to war in Syria.

We are back at that barricade. An after-Easter battle is shaping up in Congress on the same issue: Is the president authorized to take us into war against Assad and his allies inside Syria?

If, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, we do not want America in yet another Mideast war, the time to stop it is before the War Party has us already in it. That time is now.

Copyright 2017 Creators.com.

April 11, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Hezbollah Denounces Egypt Bombings, Warns against Conspiracy to Displace Christians

Al-Manar | April 10, 2017

Hezbollah on Sunday has condemned the awful crimes committed by terrorist ISIL group which targeted churches in Egypt’s Tanta and Alexandria, killing and injuring dozens of innocent civilians.

In a statement released by the party’s Media Relations office, Hezbollah offered condolences to victims’ families, calling for uniting efforts to confront terrorism in the region.

“This continuous and escalating killing carried out by criminal gangs in the name of religion is one of the greatest catastrophes our Ummah (nation) has been witnessing,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah pointed out that such crimes were planned for by major powers and regional countries which have been offering different kinds of support to terrorists, in a bid to sow discord between the region’s peoples who have lived together for centuries.

Furthermore, the Lebanese resistance party stressed that targeting faithful people in churches during Palm Sunday is a savage act which indicates that these groups have no humanity.

This crime “comes as a part of a big scheme to displace Christians from Sinai and other areas across Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, paving the way for sectarian and ethnic federalization in favor of the Zionist enemy,” Hezbollah warned.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah voiced support for Egypt and its people, urging all sides to realize the seriousness of the “great conspiracy targeting our Ummah,” and to unite efforts in confronting terrorists along with their regional and international sponsors.

April 10, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Fake news story in mainstream AND alt-media slanders Russia and Iran

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | April 9, 2017

A fake news story has been circulating on both mainstream media and alt-media saying that Russia and Iran have issued a joint threat to ‘use force’ in the event of the US targeting Syrian forces again. It was also reported that the issue was quoted as being a ‘red line’, a term generally used by the United States.

This blatantly false story was picked up by the following media outlets

The Independent

–Haaretz

–Sunday Express

–Zero Hedge 

The Sunday Express and Zero Hedge both cite something called Ilam al Harbi media as the source of information for the story.

A quick English language Google search for ‘Ilam al Harbi’ comes up with several articles from Yemen Press, none of which lead to a story about the Putin/Rouhani phone call or anything else concerning Russia/Iranian responses to the US attack on Syria.

Additionally there is a Saudi based telecom company called al-Harbi whose website can be found here. It is not a news website in any way shape or form.

A report from the usually reliable Al-Masdar news has produced an Arabic language document purportedly from a joint military command centre used by Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. Although, Iran, Russia and Syria do share intelligence and cooperate in the Syrian war against terrorism, the existence of the specific ‘joint command centre’ in question, seems to be inaccurate if not entirely fabricated in this context.

In all likelihood, the document is a forgery produced by those who seek to spread false stories about the strategy of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. The second most likely scenario is that the document was produced by middle or low ranking military personnel who do not speak for any of the aforementioned parties.

Because the document is in Arabic, it is unlikely to have originated in either Russia or Iran.

The actual content of the well documented phone call between the Russian and Iranian Presidents entirely contradicts the dubious document and is totally in line with official and de-facto Russian and Iranian policy.

Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani pledged to continue support for the Syrian government in its war against terrorism. The two leaders additionally pledged to cooperate further on issues of regional stability.

They also called for an investigation into the chemical attack which America used as the proximate cause of the missile strike on Syria.

Further information on the phone conversation can be found in the original report from The Duran.

Whoever has spread this fake news clearly wants to paint Russia and Iran as violent, unhinged and destabilising as the United States.

The reality is in fact almost the complete opposite of what is being reported.

Fake news is being used to try to increase tensions, this is not only irresponsible but it is dangerous, as dangerous as the lies upon which the US attack was based.

April 9, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel seeks buffer zone on borders with Syria

MEMO | April 8, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a buffer zone against Syria, Iran and Hezbollah on the borders with Syria to be part of any future deal to end the Syrian crisis, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Friday.

According to the Israeli newspaper, Netanyahu proposed this issue during meetings with American and other coalition countries.

Netanyahu wants to prevent Iran and Hezbollah from establishing a foothold and he intends to undermine future attacks against Israel, noting that he had suggested international forces to supervise his proposed buffer zone.

Last Friday, the Israeli Maariv revealed that Netanyahu sent messages to the international parties involved in the talks about Syria’s future.

These messages, according to the Egyptian news website Moheet, suggested Israel’s desire to decrease its reliance on military attacks on Syria in exchange for reaching a silent agreement that Iran and Hezbollah do not approach the Armistice Line in the occupied Golan Heights.

Maariv said that Israel would accept the return of the Syrian army to the border area connected with the occupied Palestinian territories based on a 1974 deal between the two.

Meanwhile, the Israeli newspaper reported fears from the Israeli political and military leadership from reaching a deal which kept Bashar Al-Assad as president and this would give Iran the chance to deploy forces loyal to it in areas close to the Golan Heights.

Over the past year, the Israeli military has carried out several airstrikes deep inside Syria, targeting Hezbollah’s personnel and weapons.

April 8, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

PM Hariri: Israel wants new war against Lebanon

Press TV – April 3, 2017

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri says recent Israeli actions have indicated a desire for a new conflict after Tel Aviv unveiled the latest addition to its missile system.

In an interview with France24 TV station after arriving in Paris on Sunday, Hariri also dismissed concerns that Hezbollah might provoke a conflict with Israel.

“I think that Israel is the one that wants to launch a war against Lebanon, and not Hezbollah,” he said.

“Israel does not want the Arabs to rest. Look at the daily Israeli violations of our airspace, land and territorial waters,” Hariri added.

Hariri’s comments came after Israel unveiled the “David’s Sling” missile system at Hatzor air force base in central occupied Palestinian territories.

The system became operational amid heightened tensions along northern borders with Lebanon and Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the missile system was meant against the “existence” of those who allegedly sought to destroy Israel.

Last month, Israeli warplanes struck several targets in Syria, drawing retaliatory missile fire from Syrian forces, in the most serious incident between the two sides since the start of war in Syria in 2011.

After the retaliation, Israeli minister of military affairs Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria’s air defense systems “without the slightest hesitation” if such an incident were to happen again.

Israel has carried out strikes within Syrian borders to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weapons to Hezbollah which is fighting Takfiri terrorists in the Arab country. The Israeli assaults, however, have often followed Syrian army advances, raising suspicions of Israeli attempts to change the tide in favor of militants.

Last month, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Netanyahu had recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to express his deep concern over the likely collapse of Daesh in Syria.

Tel Aviv has also escalated its aggressive rhetoric and military incursions into southern Lebanon, prompting President Michel Aoun to warn that any Israeli attempt to violate his country’s sovereignty would be met with an “appropriate response.”

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said last month “life in Lebanon today is not bad” compared to Syria, adding Tel Aviv should target civilians in a future war with the country and send it “back to the Middle Ages.”

Israeli threats forced the Lebanese government to task Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil with preparing a report for the UN Security Council regarding a potential conflict.

Bassil was asked to prepare a “list of Israeli stances in media and a detailed letter to the Security Council to press the international community to uphold its responsibilities in the face of the intentional and public escalation [of the threat] to the region’s stability.”

April 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 5 Comments

US charges Lebanese businessman with evading sanctions

Press TV – March 24, 2017

US authorities have charged a Lebanese businessman with dodging sanctions imposed against him over his alleged financial support to the Hezbollah resistance movement, the Department of Justice has announced.

The Justice Department said in a statement that Kassim Tajideen pleaded not guilty in a federal court in Washington, DC, on Friday.

The 62-year-old billionaire businessman will remain in prison until his next hearing, which is scheduled to be held in the coming week, according to the statement.

He was arrested on March 12 in Morocco after an international warrant was issued by Interpol’s office in Washington, Reuters reported earlier this week.

American authorities claimed Tajideen operated a big company that did business in commodities across the Middle East and Africa. The United States Treasury Department sanctioned Tajideen in 2009, accusing him of having contributed “tens of millions of dollars” to Hezbollah, leaving him shut out from banks with no legal redress.

Tajideen had rejected the accusation and said the news of sanctions in 2009 was a shock.

“I was surprised, as I’d thought America was democratic,” Tajideen said. “A friend called me at midnight to tell me, and woke me up. The next day I saw my lawyer [in Belgium], although he didn’t know exactly what it would mean.”

America’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with the help of US Customs and Border Protection led a two-year investigation that resulted in Tajideen’s arrest and indictment, according to the Justice Department.

Raymond Donovan, a DEA special agent, accused Tajideen of acting as a key financier of Hezbollah.

American authorities said Tajideen evaded the Treasury sanctions by restructuring his company and using a complex web of trade names, which allowed him to continue doing business with US companies.

Last year, the US Treasury added two Lebanese men — Mohamad Noureddine and Hamdi Zaher El Dine — to its sanctions blacklist accusing them of laundering money for Hezbollah.

The Treasury claimed that the men had used a network across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to help Hezbollah.

In 2015, the Barack Obama administration approved a bill which imposed sanctions against banks that do business with Hezbollah.

Washington accuses the resistance movement of condoning terrorism. However, Hezbollah has been involved in fierce fighting against Daesh terrorists in Syria.

Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s following the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon.

The movement waged a long resistance campaign against Zionist troops and pushed them out of southern Lebanon in May 2000.

Since then, the group has grown into a powerful military force and has successfully defeated the Zionist regime several times.

Hezbollah has also supported the Syrian army in its fight against the foreign-sponsored terrorists who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since March 2011.

Since its inception in 1985, the Islamic resistance movement has been a thorn in the flesh of Israel and its foreign backers, such as the United States.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 3 Comments

Israel precipitates new tensions in Syria

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | March 20, 2017

The Israeli air attacks on Friday near Palmyra in Syria targeting what Tel Aviv claims to be a convoy ferrying weapons for Hezbollah in Lebanon – and what Damascus alleges was a calculated act directed against the positions of the government forces fighting the Islamic State active in the region – cannot be regarded as a ‘stand-alone’ event.

On the face of it, the Israeli claim lacks credibility since Palmyra is twice removed from the Syrian-Lebanon border in terms of geographical proximity. Possibly, the Syrian government has a point that the Israelis were deliberately targeting its forces. This explains why the Russian Foreign Ministry called in the Israeli ambassador in Moscow on the same day and sought explanation.

Evidently, some ‘ground rule’ as per the unwritten Russian-Israeli understanding over Syrian frontlines has been breached and Moscow took note. In previous instances when Israel attacked Hezbollah – even assassinating its top commanders fighting on Syrian frontlines – Moscow had looked away. But this time around, it promptly signalled displeasure. It stands to reason that Israel crossed some ‘red line’.

At first, Moscow did not publicise its demarche. But then, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman flew off the handle on Sunday with a belligerent remark that Israel “will not hesitate” to destroy Syria’s air defence systems if that country ever again targeted attacking Israeli jets. It was an illogical statement insofar as Israel insists it can violate Syrian air space but Damascus has no right to defend. Liberman also held a veiled threat saying, “We do not want to clash with the Russians.”

Whereupon, on Monday, Moscow disclosed that it had made a demarche. Curiously, the Israeli ambassador had presented his credentials at the Kremlin only the day before he received the summons. As far as diplomatic practices go – and Russians are seasoned practitioners – Moscow made a strong point.

Interestingly, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Moscow recently with a focused mission to get Russia to dump its alliance with Iran in Syria. From Russian commentaries, it appears he got a short shrift in the Kremlin. (Read a hilarious piece, here, by Israel Shamir.) One likelihood is that Netanyahu showed irritation over the snub. By the way, Liberman is an ethnic Russian Jew.

By making the demarche, Russia inserted itself into what Israel pretended to be a standoff with Damascus, and has warned Israel not to escalate. On the contrary, Israel may have much to be gained through escalation. Consider the following.

Israel is watching with growing despair that Iran has emerged as the ‘winner’ in the Syrian conflict. Israel’s proxies – al-Qaeda affiliates and other extremist groups – are facing defeat. Its plans to create a ‘buffer zone’ in Syrian territory straddling the Golan Heights are in shambles. Israel’s illegal occupation of Golan Heights may come under challenge if Iranian/Hezbollah militia resort to the politics of ‘resistance’.

Israel anticipates that Iran will establish a permanent presence in Syria. There are reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given go-ahead for an Iranian naval base in Latakia, close to the Russian airbase at Hmeymim. If that happens, Iran will be in an even stronger position than before to build up Hezbollah (and Syria and Lebanon) as the bulwark of ‘resistance’ against Israel.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah is also emerging as a more capable fighting force after the baptism under fire in Syria. Hezbollah has a massive stockpile of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles – some estimates put the number as 100,000 – targeting Israel, which deterred an Israeli attack on Lebanon for the past ten years. Israel has no answer to the missile threat from Hezbollah. As an Israeli commentator put it,

  • Sending special infantry units to search for rocket and missile launch sites on the ground is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. Israel tried to do this in the second Lebanon war (2006) with no real results. What this means is that the only option left to Israel is an immediate, dramatic and aggressive attack against all of Lebanon’s vital infrastructure, or as Israeli officers and senior Israeli officials have been describing for the past decade, “sending Lebanon back to the Stone Age.”

The catch here is that Hezbollah is not spoiling for a fight with Israel, but it will hit back if attacked. Israel tried repeatedly to provoke Hezbollah, but the latter kept cool, given the overriding priorities of the Syrian conflict where it plays a major role in the ground fighting. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah listed recently that targets in Israel include the ammonia plant in Haifa, the nuclear reactors in Dimona and Nahal Sorek, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems weapons development facilities and so on.

The short point is, Israel is desperately keen to somehow get the US directly involved. Israel will not hesitate to precipitate a US-Iranian confrontation. How far President Donald Trump would play ball with Netanyahu is a moot point. Israel may simply create a new fact on the ground whereby US intervention becomes unavoidable. Russia probably senses that.

March 21, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Netanyahu levels possible threat at Putin; Moscow summons Israeli ambassador

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | March 18, 2017

Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu has emerged after an illegal Israeli air strike on Syrian troops in Palmyra. In his statement, he predictably disregarded international law, but he also made what can only be described as a thinly veiled threat against Russia.

The Israeli leader claimed he was targeting Syrian allied Hezbollah fighters but in reality, it is almost certain the strike hit Syrian Arab Army regulars.

He went on to say,

That’s how we’ve acted and how we will continue to act… and everyone needs to take this into account. Everyone!

Just who could ‘everyone’ imply. Could the Israeli leader be threatening Russia?

It seems that he is.

Russia has been a consistent ally of the Syrian Arab Republic in her war against terrorism. Israel, which has been an enemy of Syria since the 1940s, is deeply desirous for regime change in one of the few Arab states left, which still pursues an independent foreign policy, one which is openly pro-Palestine.

As a result of Netanyahu’s provocative remarks, Moscow summoned the Israeli Ambassador to Russia to clarify the remarks. Russia is in a unique position as a power that is an ally of Syria, a traditional friend of Palestine, but also a power that Israel listens to and does not want to overtly upset.

Indeed, Netanyahu was in Moscow just over a week ago. If Israel thinks it is in a position to provoke Russia and threaten Russia into changing its established policy in Syria, they really ought to think again.

One must remain hopeful that the Israeli Ambassador got a stern warning from Russia, something along the lines of, ‘stay out of Syria and stay out of our business in Syria as a legal partner of Damascus’.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel says will continue hitting Hezbollah in Syria

Press TV – March 18, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said in brazen remarks that his regime will continue to conduct military attacks against Hezbollah targets inside Syria, a day after Tel Aviv had to admit airstrikes inside Syrian territory.

Israeli warplanes intruded Syrian airspace on Friday, striking several targets near the ancient city of Palmyra in the central part of the Arab country. The Syrian government said it had fired anti-aircraft missiles at the intruding Israeli jets. It said one warplane had been shot down and another damaged.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the incursion on Saturday, claiming that the strikes targeted weapons shipments to Hezbollah.

“When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it,” he alleged. “That’s how it was yesterday and that’s how we shall continue to act.”

Hezbollah defended Lebanon against Israeli wars in 2000 and 2006. It has helped both prevent and contain the spillover into Lebanon of a terrorist campaign going on in Syria. The resistance movement has also been aiding the Syrian government in its own battle against extremist militants inside Syria.

The Syrian army has called the latest Israeli airstrikes “a desperate attempt” to help the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh.

Israel, on the other hand, has been contributing to the terrorist campaign in Syria with the strikes against Hezbollah and the Syrian military and by offering medial treatment for the anti-Damascus militants in the Israeli-occupied Syrian territory of Golan Heights.

Last September, an Israeli lawmaker said Tel Aviv was directly aiding the terrorist group formerly known as al-Nusra Front in the Golan Heights.

In a message posted on his Facebook page and quoted by the daily Haaretz, Knesset member Akram Hasoon said Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, as the group is currently known, was bombing the Druze village of Khadr in non-occupied Golan with Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman’s support and protection.

The Israeli regime every now and then hits targets inside Syrian territory in strikes that typically go unclaimed. While Netanyahu admitted for the first time in April 2016 that Israel had attacked dozens of convoys transporting weapons for Hezbollah in Syria, the Tel Aviv regime refuses to claim individual attacks.

It was forced to admit the Friday airstrikes, though, because its jets had been attacked by the Syrian military in that incursion.

Aiming for a state on the resistance front

Speaking to Press TV, Richard Becker, an expert with the ANSWER Coalition anti-war group, and London-based journalist and political commentator Richard Millet offered their takes on the Israeli attacks in Syria.

Millet claimed that the air raids had been “an act of self-defense” stopping Hezbollah from using those weapons against Israel. He also alleged that the strikes were “against… the takeover of Syria by Iran.”

Becker, however, said that Tel Aviv sought “to destroy Syria,” which has served as “a frontline state against the practices and policies of Israel, [i.e.] suppressing the Palestinian people and waging war on the Arab people and other people throughout the region.”

“Israel has long wanted to bring about regime change in Syria; and, if they can break up the Syrian state, that’s… seen by them [as being] in their interest,” he said.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment