Israel planned the war on Syria years ago, and put pressure on Washington long before Washington’s announcement of “credible evidence of chemical weapons use" by Syrian forces, despite a dearth of actual hard evidence revealed...
November 2, 2010
In farewell meeting at the Knesset, Gen. Amos Yadlin says next conflict will hit Israel far harder than recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza – and hints for first the time at Israeli involvement in a 2007 strike on a nuclear plant in Syria…
In a final meeting at the Knesset, outgoing Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin warned on Tuesday that Israel’s next war would be fought on several fronts – causing far heavier damage and casualties than other recent conflicts. A new war would be far deadlier than Israel’s last two, relatively short, conflicts in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-9. Syria, particularly, posed a greated military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decades, Yadlin said, having amassed advanced Russian-built antiaircraft missiles that seriously limited the operational freedom of the Israel Air Force. Yadlin also hinted at Israel’s involvement in attacking a Syrian nuclear facility in September 2007. That strike has been widely attributed to Israel, but the government has never officially taken responsibility for the operation. The veteran soldier, who turns 60 next year, told the committee that during his position as MI chief he had contended with two enemy nuclear programs – apparently a reference to Iran and Syria. Yadlin also warned of a growing threat from the Iranian nuclear program, saying Iran now had enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb.
December 14, 2011
'Israeli officials say Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is doomed'
JERUSALEM —In a shift, Israeli officials are welcoming the prospect that Syria’s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, will be overthrown, an event Defense Minister Ehud Barak says could be weeks away.
The officials’ new tone contrasts with conventional thinking here in years past, when Assad was credited with maintaining calm along the frontier with the Israeli-held Golan Heights and considered a stable alternative to a possible takeover by Islamic fundamentalists.
As Assad has come under mounting pressure from a revolt at home and moves to isolate him abroad, initial wariness by Israeli officials of speaking publicly about the fate of his regime has given way to open speculation about how long he can hold on to power, who might replace him and the possible risks of a chaotic disintegration of his rule.
“Basically, it’s inevitable,” Barak said in a telephone interview before flying Wednesday to Washington for meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other administration officials. “The Assad family, through their own behavior, have lost their last drop of legitimacy and put themselves beyond the point of no return with their brutal slaughter of their own people. He has ceased to be something relevant.”
“It might take many weeks,” Barak added, “but it’s not a matter of months or years.”
In a separate interview, Moshe Yaalon, the minister of strategic affairs, said: “It’s a matter of time and bloodshed before we will witness Assad’s departure. That is our assessment.”
Obama administration officials have expressed equal certainty that Assad will eventually leave, but they and Arab countries that are trying to persuade him to stand down anticipate a far longer timeline extending well into next year.
“Our view is that this regime is the equivalent of [a] dead man walking,” Frederic Hof, the State Department’s point man for Syria, told a congressional subcommittee Wednesday. “But the real question is, how many steps remain?”
“I think it is very, very, very difficult to predict or project how much time this regime has,” Hof said.
Hof fended off calls by lawmakers to provide military support to the Syrian opposition, saying it is not yet unified and needs to gain the support of frightened minorities convinced by Assad that their rights won’t be respected in any new government. Promoting a violent response from heretofore peaceful demonstrators would play into Assad’s hands, he said.
A ‘major blow’ for Iran
Barak predicted that an eventual ouster of Assad would undermine an alliance of Israel’s enemies, including militant Islamist groups in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, backed by Iran and Syria, that have fought Israel across its northern and southern borders.
“When the Assad family falls, it will be a major blow to the radical axis led by Iran,” Barak said “It will weaken Iran, it will weaken Hezbollah and weaken the backing for Hamas, and it will deprive the Iranians of a real stronghold in the Arab world. It will strengthen Turkey, which is a natural rival to Iran’s hegemonic intentions. This is something positive for Israel.”
Photo: Jim Hollander/AP - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, second from left, now thinks it’s inevitable that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad will be deposed. He also predicts that Assad’s removal would undermine an alliance of Israel’s enemies.
28 April 2013
'Netanyahu tells Israeli ministers to stay silent on Syria'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his ministers to keep silent about Syria to avoid the impression Israel is pushing the international community into armed intervention, army radio said Sunday.
Netanyahu gave the instructions after Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin suggested the international community might react militarily to "take control of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal."
The radio station reported Netanyahu sought to avoid that Elkin's words be seen as an Israeli attempt to push the United States into launching a military operation in Syria.
Since 2001, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs and leader of Israel's far right party, Avigdor Lieberman, proposes to establish four townships in the occupied West Bank, hermetically sealed, which would be grouped the Palestinians. He sees it as a solution for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are more than one million, to move the vast majority of the group in tightly closed, self-administered areas.
Thus would arise a State ethnically homogeneous from the Mediterranean Sea until the Jordan, sheltering in its midst Palestinian “Bantustans”.
1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.
2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted anynew construction. The United States vetoed it.
3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.
4) Oktober 2011: Israeli jets bomb Gaza Strip - Israeli jetfighters engage in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.
June 28, 2013
Units of the armed forces carried out a series of operations against terrorists' gatherings in al-Ziabieh, al-Hussainieh, Hijjera towns and the area surrounding al-Bahdalieh in Damascus southern countryside, killing and injuring a number of terrorists, in addition to destroying their weapons and equipment.
An official source told SANA that the army units discovered a field hospital in al-Ziabieh town full of medical equipment and medicine which were stolen by terrorists from the public and private hospitals in the area.
The source added that an army unit killed and injured all members of an armed terrorist group in Hijjera town. Among the dead terrorists were Gassan Atia and Abdullah al-Mo'ajl.
The source pointed out that another army unit destroyed a mortar and a heavy machinegun in al-Hussainieh town, killing and injuring a number of terrorists, including Mohammad al-Kurdi and Iman al-Sheikh.
In the area surrounding al-Bahdalieh town, the army units destroyed a terrorists' den along with the weapon and ammunition inside it, in addition to killing several terrorists, including Nayf Kaaki.
Tunnel for storing weapons discovered in Joubar
Units of the armed forces carried out operations against terrorists' dens and gatherings in al-Shaifounia, Ein Tarma valley, Kafr Batna, Zamalka, Erbein, al-Baharia and Deir Salman in Damascus Countryside, killing and injuring scores of terrorists, in addition to discovering a tunnel in Joubar neighborhood which was used by terrorists to store weapons and ammunition.
An official source told SANA that the army units killed all members of an armed terrorist groups in al-Shaifounia farms, including their leader Mustafa Dybo and Abdurrahman al-Ajoua, in addition to destroying a terrorists' den in Kafr Batna and killing all terrorists inside it, including Kasem Mouhsen and Hussein Darwish.
The source added that another army unit killed terrorists in Zamalka and Erbein, including Khaldon Bakhdonis, Hamza Jouma and Bilal al-Ashi, while another army unit destroyed a terrorists' den along with the weapons and ammunition inside it in Ein Tarma valley, in addition to killing a number of terrorists, including Fadi Hasno and Firas al- Jandali.
In the eastern Ghouta, the army units pursued terrorists in the farms surrounding al-Baharia and Deir Salman towns, destroying a terrorists' den along with the weapons and ammunition inside it, in addition to killing several terrorists, including Abdurrahman Shahin and Khalid al-Khatib.
In Joubar, other army units discovered a tunnel to the east of al-Manasher roundabout which was used by terrorists to hide and store weapons.
Army units target terrorists in Aleppo and its countryside
Units of the armed forces carried out operations against terrorists' dens and gatherings in Aleppo and its countryside, tightening control over several building in al-Rashiden neighborhood, in addition to killing and injuring scores of terrorists.
An official source told SANA that the army units killed all members of an armed terrorist group to the north of Blaka and Somar restaurants and in the farms located to the east of the Central Prison of Aleppo.
The source added that other army units destroyed terrorists' heavy machineguns and ammunition in Babis and al-Mansoura towns.
The source pointed out that other army units killed scores of terrorists who were perpetrating acts of terrorism on Andan-Hayan road, in addition to destroying a number of cars loaded with weapons and ammunition in al-Castillo area, causing large fire and dense smoke in the area.
Other army units destroyed terrorists' gatherings near the Gas Station in Minnegh village, al-Alqamiah, al-Zira'a and Kafr Antoun and destroyed weapons and ammunition for terrorists who were attempting to attack Noubl village and Minnegh Airport from Tall Rifaat, Hritan and Mayer villages.
In Aleppo city, the army units tightened control over a number of buildings in the area surrounding al-Rashiden neighborhood, after killing scores of terrorists who were positioning inside them and using these buildings to store weapons and target the citizens in the neighboring areas.
Army units destroy terrorists' gatherings in Idleb countryside
Units of the armed forces destroyed Jabhat al-Nusra gatherings in several villages and towns in Idleb countryside, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
An official source told SANA reporter that the army units killed scores of terrorists who were perpetrating acts of terrorism in al-Janoudia, Mshmshan and Bashlamoun in Jisr al-Shogour countryside, in addition to destroying terrorists' weapons and equipment in Jabal al-Arbaain, Ram Hamdan, Matram and Saraqeb.
The source added that other army units pursued terrorists in Abu Dhour town and destroyed their weaons and ammunition, while another army unit killed and injured scores of terrorists in Maaret al-Nouman, Kafranbel, Kfar Roma and Hisho.
A military source said that the army targeted an armed terrorist group in Qatroun town in Jisr al-Shoghour, adding that scores of terrorists were killed and injured in the operation.
Authorities arrest two terrorists in Homs
The authorities arrested two wanted terrorists in Homs eastern countryside.
A military source told SANA that terrorists Abdul-Elah Ahmad Saad Eddin and Adnan Rashed al-Mansour were arrested in the area of Terma'la in Homs countryside.
Authorities seize car loaded with weapons in Homs
Authorities seized a car loaded with weapons and ammunition in al-Wa'ar neighborhood in Homs city.
An official source at the province told SANA that the seized weapons included 19 automatic rifle, RPG launcher, 38 RPG rounds, 4 anti-tanks missiles, 4 shoulder-mounted rockets and 32 communication devices.
U.S. military base in Qatar
June 27, 2013
Algerian Foreign Minister, Mourad Medelci reiterated the necessity for solving the crisis in Syria by the Syrians themselves, asserting that nobody can replace the Syrians regarding what they will decide whether it is good or bad.
"Dialogue is the only outlet for the crisis in Syria," Medelci told Russian Kommersant newspaper on Thursday.
He said that his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow dealt with the issues connected with the preparations for holding the upcoming international conference on Syria.
Medelci didn't rule out not holding the conference, considering that this will be the worst development of the events as all the crisis always end with dialogue.
Lavrov and Medelci stressed, in a press conference on Tuesday, that Russia and Algeria agree on the necessity of the peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.
Lavrov pointed out that "solving the crisis in the region can be achieved through dialogue, halting violence, stopping the infiltration of terrorists and gunmen and smuggling weapons across the borders."
H/ Zain / Ghossoun
March 12, 2013 - Bradley Manning Speaks: In Leaked Court Recording, Army Whistleblower Tells His Story for First Time:
June 25, 2013 - Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that US whistleblower Edward Snowden remains in the transit zone of a Moscow airport. Putin denied allegations that Russian intelligence agencies had worked with Snowden:
June 26, 2013 13:41 - Snowden may have got transit Russian visa - Voice of Russia:
June 26, 2013 - Germany Criticizes U.K. 'Project Tempora' Cyber Spy Program:
June 26, 2013 - PRISM: Tim Berners-Lee urges web freedom in wake of spying scandal:
There was a £500m arms deal between Qatar and BAE Systems...
Qatari investment fund pays £400m for Park Lane hotel
InterContinental is latest London asset for emirate investing oil and gas cash in European real estate
28 March 2013
The gas and oil wealth of Qatar has been used to snap up another UK asset after the emirate bought the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel in a £400m deal.
Constellation Hotels, part of the Qatar Holding investment vehicle that has invested in Sainsbury's and Barclays, has paid £301.5m for InterContinental Hotel Group's 57-year lease on the 447-bedroom property close to Hyde Park, the company announced on Thursday.
In a separate £100m deal it also acquired the freehold from the Crown Estate, the property company that controls the assets of the Queen. The Qataris beat six other bidders to the deal, thought to include other sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and Asia. The level of competition meant the £301.5m price tag gave IHG a 62% premium to the hotel's book value.
One IHG source said: "We are pretty pleased." The move comes after it emerged last year that the Qataris had backed indebted Irish property investor Patrick McKillen, who was seeking £70m to buy a controlling stake in Maybourne Hotel Group – which includes Claridges – from billionaire brothers David and Frederick Barclay.
The increasingly bitter saga between McKillen and the twins ended up with the two sides fighting for control of the hotels in London's high court.
The latest announcement comes after a run of deals that are thought to have resulted in Qatar investing £3bn in European real estate in the 12 months to mid-August 2012, the equivalent to six weeks' revenue from the country's liquefied natural gas exports, according to Reuters.
It is also Qatar's latest asset in London, after investments in the Shard skyscraper, Harrods department store and the athlete's village in the Olympic Park.
However, despite these high profile moves, the Qatari companies remain opaque. A spokesman for Qatar Holding declined to comment on the deal, as he had been given no details by the sovereign wealth fund.
Those who have worked with Qatar Holding say it is the personal investment vehicle of the emir – Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani – and it prefers to buy overseas assets in order to diversify its vast natural resource wealth into investments that guarantee future prosperity.
The chairman of Qatar Holding is Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor al-Thani, Qatar's prime minister, cousin of the emir and known to City bankers as HBJ.
HBJ paid the Jersey authorities £6m as a "voluntary reparation" as "the structures put in place by his advisers may have contributed to the cost and complexity of the inquiry" and the case was dropped while all parties denied any wrongdoing.
There have been other brief controversies too, and most recently Barclays has been dealing with allegations about its relationship with Qatar at the peak of the 2008 financial crisis, when the emirate was the main contributor to a £7.3bn lifeline that allowed the bank to avoid a taxpayer bailout.
The Serious Fraud Office and Financial Services Authority are reportedly investigating whether Barclays lent Qatar funds to buy shares in the bank.
Photo: Constellation Hotels' acquisition of the InterContinental on Park Lane is the latest in a string of high-profile London property deals by the Qataris.
Note: BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom and with operations worldwide and with approximately 100,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and support services. In 2010 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 34.6 billion).
Combat Systems, Aeronautics Products, Land and Armaments, Ship Repair, Avionics and Navigation, Information Technology, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Space Electronics, Transformational Communications, Cyber and Intelligence, Aircraft manufacture, and Engineering are its specialties.
Qatar is backing the so called 'Free Syrian Army' and the terrorists groups in Syria with money and weapons...
The expression 'civil war' proves that the BBC is now a third-rate news channel that focuses to people of the same level...
On the Fall of Qusair
13 June 2013
We discuss the latest fighting in Syria.
'Britain joins chorus of concerns over Syria's chemical weapons'
December 8th, 2012
British Foreign Secretary William Hague cited evidence that the Syrian regime could use its stockpile of chemical weapons against rebels battling government forces.
"We are extremely concerned," Hague told reporters on the sidelines of a regional security conference Saturday.
Hague said that there was no simple "red line" which could trigger international military action, but that Britain and its allies had "contingency plans concerning chemical weapons" which he declined to disclose.
He noted several "dangerous scenarios" for the use of chemical weapons. One would be terror groups obtaining such munitions.
Recent U.S. intelligence suggests the Syrian government has started mixing chemical weapons compounds and loading them into bombs, though the bombs are not being moved to any delivery devices, CNN's Barbara Starr reported.
The U.S. military continues to revise its plans for a potential strike against Syria over chemical weapons.
President Barack Obama said this summer that any effort to move or use chemical weapons was a red line.
"A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of weapons moving around or being utilized," Obama said. He prefaced that remark by saying the concern was the weapons falling into the hands of others.
With the new intelligence, administration warnings have focused not on moving, but on using the weapons.
As diplomats continue to seek a more peaceful resolution, international powers are weighing their military options.
The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on Friday warned the Obama administration it must act more urgently to prevent Syria's government from using chemical weapons.
Rep. Mike Rogers told attendees at the IISS Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain that the United States has a moral obligation to use military intervention if there is concrete proof chemical weapons are loaded and being readied for launch.
"I don't see any other way of making sure those weapons aren't used," he said. "As a coalition, we will have the moral obligation (to intervene) if we can say with even a moderate degree of certainty that these weapons have been prepared and are put in an arsenal for use."
On Friday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said any use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's regime against the rebels would be an "outrageous crime."
Although Hague said the option of international military intervention had not been ruled out, Britain was working along with the United States and others to support a peaceful transition.
Hague acknowledged that rebel fighters were "receiving arms and making progress on the ground," but said Britain's policy was not to send arms to the Middle East.
"We will continue to give them strong practical assistance; communication equipment and humanitarian assistance," he said, adding that he hoped the international community would increase its support to the new Syrian opposition coalition during the Friends of Syria meeting in Marrakesh next week.
Photo: (L to R) NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and British Prime Minister David Cameron talk the opening meeting of the Libya Conference. A meeting of international allies to discuss the next steps for Libya on March 29, 2011 in London, England. A summit consisting of 40 governments and international bodies is being held in London to improve ties with the Libyan National Council, the umbrella group representing rebel Libyan forces, and in preparation for the intended aim of ending of the reign of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
War on Syria: So called 'use of chemical weapons' as a pretext
November 2, 2010 - Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin: 'A new war would be far deadlier than Israel’s last two, relatively short, conflicts in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-9. Syria, particularly, posed a greated military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decades, Yadlin said, having amassed advanced Russian-built antiaircraft missiles that seriously limited the operational freedom of the Israel Air Force.'
‘When Luxury and Lust’s exhausted stores
No more can rouse the appetites of kings;
When the low flattery of their reptile lords
Falls flat and heavy on the accustomed ear;
When eunuchs sing, and fools buffoonery make,
And dancers writhe their harlot-limbs in vain;
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts;
Its hopes, its fears, its victories, its defeats,
Insipid Royalty’s keen condiment!
Therefore, uninjured and unprofited
(Victims at once and executioners),
The congregated Husbandmen lay waste
The vineyard and the harvest. As along
The Bothnic coast, or southward of the Line,
Though hushed the winds and cloudless the high noon,
Yet if Leviathan, weary of ease,
In sports unwieldy toss his island-bulk,
Ocean behind him billows, and before
A storm of waves breaks foamy on the strand.
And hence, for times and seasons bloody and dark,
Short Peace shall skin the wounds of causeless War,
And War, his strainéd sinews knit anew,
Still violate the unfinished works of Peace.’
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
From The Destiny of Nations (1817)