Syrian rebels said Friday that newly arrived shipments of heavy weaponry could swing the momentum on the battlefield in their favor, after a shift in U.S. policy opened the door for others to send them arms.
Weapons from the United States have not materialized since the White House announced last week that it had authorized direct military support for the opposition, but the U.S. decision appears to have prompted other nations to increase their assistance, with new deliveries including highly prized antitank and antiaircraft weaponry, according to Khalid Saleh, a spokesman for the main Syrian Opposition Coalition.Sponsored Ads
US and Israeli intelligence watchers see the Syrian crisis entering seven ominous phases:
2. Neither side has enough manpower or game-changing weaponry for winning the war outright.
That is, unless Presidents Obama or Putin steps in to retilt the balance.
3. The US and Russia are poised for more military intervention in the conflict up until a point just short of a military clash on Syrian soil – or elsewhere in the Middle East. US intelligence analysts have judged Putin ready to go all the way on Syria against the US – no holds barred.
4. Iran, Hizballah and Iraq will likewise ratchet up their battlefield presence.
7. So long as the diplomatic remains stuck in the mud, the prospects of a regional war spreading out of the Syrian conflict are rising. Iran, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon may be dragged in at any moment – if they have not already, like Lebanon.
A small mistake by one of the Syrian warring parties in Syria could, for example, touch off Israeli retaliation and a wholesale spillover of violence.
If Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are turning this thing around, then why is Russia fleeing? Does that make any kind of sense? No, unless Russia knows something that we don’t know. Could Syria, Iran and Hezbollah be planning a little surprise for someone (Israel) and perhaps things could get ugly? The Russians are getting out before everything blows up. Stay tuned.
Reports suggest that Syria’s embattled dictator, Bashar al-Assad, is shortly set to declare war on Israel after interventions against the regime
Rumours are surfacing online that following the latest volley of attacks on the Syrian regime, President Bashar al-Assad will soon officially declare war on Israel, with speculators pointing to 5am local time for official confirmation. This information continues to persist despite the technical state of war that currently exists between the two states.
Many however, have been quick to dismiss these reports as strictly rumour, with various commentators claiming that such a move would be sure to end Assad’s reign of terror in Syria “within a week”.
The news of an Israeli intervention in Syria has caught the Obama administration on the back foot, with the US president refusing to comment at length about the strike. Obama said, “The Israelis, justifiably, have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah.”
Extensive preparations by Syrian army units for launching chemical weapons against rebel forces have been sighted in the northern town of Homs, Western intelligence agencies told debkafile’s military sources Tuesday, March 19.
Damascus paved the way for resorting to unconventional weaponry with an accusation run by the state news agency SANA Tuesday that Syrian rebels had fired a rocket containing chemical substances in the Khan al-Assad area of rural Aleppo, allegedly killing 15 people, mostly civilians.
This claim was not verified by any independent source.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that Iran has no intention of developing nuclear weapons, but if it wanted to, the United States could not thwart it.
“We believe nuclear weapons must be abolished and we have no intention of building” such weaponry, Khamenei said in remarks posted on his website leader.ir.
But, Khamenei said, “if Iran had such intentions, the US could in no way prevent it” from making an atomic bomb.
Dictator’s own father said to have used hydrogen cyanide against Muslim Brotherhood activists when killing 20,000 in Hama in 1982
“I see the developments as a card he’s holding against a slaughter at the hands of the Sunnis,” said Ely Karmon, a senior researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terror at the IDC Herzliya, who teaches a masters course on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism. “He could be trying to keep [the weaponry] away from the jihadist opposition and he could be preparing for a retreat.”
Karmon believes that Assad has a “plan in the drawer” in case he needs to flee the capital: relocating to the largely Alawite area along the coast between Latakia and Tartus and the banks of the Orontes River.
The unveiling of these advanced weapons and missiles is believed to be a warning to America and Israel against conducting a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.
“Too often, the White House and Pentagon look at these Iranian exercises and conclude they have more time, especially when something the Iranians try goes wrong,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “This policy of procrastination is no substitute for strategy, however—after all, the Iranians can learn just as much from their mistakes as they can from their successes.”
The use of new missile systems indicates that Iran continues to have success building weaponry domestically despite Western economic sanctions.
“At the very least, the exercises show the trajectory in which the Iranian military would like to go,” Rubin said. “The exercises also should underline the notion that Iran’s indigenous arms industry is formidable and that sanctions alone will not be able to stop the regime.”
A major Israeli attack on Gaza would not curb growing extremism in the Palestinian enclave, with the ruling Islamist group Hamas itself struggling to quell radicalism, a senior Israeli official said on Wednesday.
Voicing concern about a recent influx of increasingly potent weaponry into the Gaza Strip, the director of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs told reporters that international pressure was needed to try to put an end to militancy.
But patience with Russia is running out. This week Mrs Clinton accused the Russians of sending attack helicopters to Syria and said that Russian claims that its weaponry had nothing to do with the fighting in Syria were “patently untrue”. Mr Obama is likely to warn Mr Putin that the Russian position on Syria is no longer credible and that, if Russia does not shift soon, it could be sidelined, perhaps by some foreign military intervention.
Among American officials there is growing disappointment and irritation with Mr Putin, both for his standoffish attitude (they were flabbergasted when he failed to attend the G8 summit and a bilateral meeting with Mr Obama last month) and for his apparent unwillingness—or inability—to deliver. He may be waiting to see who wins America’s presidential election in November. But many in Washington think he is “full of bluster, and would like to be a big player at the table”, says Stephen Sestanovich of the Council on Foreign Relations, but that “he isn’t really up to it.” He could begin to prove otherwise—or not—in Mexico.
China is increasingly suspicious of what it views as stepped-up spying by American planes and ships along its coast, and the United States is disquieted by China’s growing array of weaponry, analysts on both sides say.
The two nations have been unable to agree on a serious agenda for military talks despite an escalation of tensions as China presses territorial claims in the East and South China Seas and the United States fortifies longstanding alliances from Australia to the Philippines.