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Yesterday Stand for Israel discussed the reported Israeli airstrikes in Syria – strikes that took out weapons bound for the terrorist group Hezbollah. Writing at Israel Hayom, Professor Eyal Zisser explains that Hezbollah, Iran, and what is left of Syria make up an axis of evil whose priority is the destruction of Israel:
There is little left of Syria as we knew it, with the exception of one thing — the strategic alliance between Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah, which has only grown stronger over the past few years. The deeper Assad has become embroiled in the quagmire of civil war, the more dependent he has become on his Iranian ally and its proxy, Hezbollah.
It is doubtful that Assad could have survived this long without the financial aid Iran has afforded Syria, but the assistance lent to him by Hezbollah has also been crucial to his ability to maintain his grip on the regime. The thousands of Hezbollah fighters sent to battle the rebels may not have been able to defeat them, but it is Hezbollah’s hundreds of wounded and dead that have been keeping Assad in power.
Iran and Hezbollah have made it their mission to save Assad, because Syria is pivotal to the Shiite axis they seek to install between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. Syria is Iran’s gateway to the Mediterranean, as well as a crucial supply route through which Iran continues to arm Hezbollah with tens of thousands of missiles.
Assad, for his part, feels obligated to do his Shiite allies’ bidding. After all, for years emissaries from Washington and Jerusalem whispered in his ear that he should sever his ties with the axis of evil, strike a peace deal with Israel and restore diplomatic relations with the U.S., but at the moment of truth, the U.S. became his adversary while Iran rallied to his side.
Syria’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah is so strong that Assad has not thought twice…Read More » Comments (4) »
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday we reported on Israel’s alleged airstrikes on Syria – strikes against Hezbollah weapons caches. Today at World Affairs Journal, Michael J. Totten looks at the international responses to Israel’s actions – ridiculous responses by Syria, Iran, and Russia that are none too surprising:
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Israel is not bombing Syria randomly. It’s targeting weapons shipments bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The rest of us are focused on ISIS and ignoring what the Assad regime and Hezbollah are up to, but the Israelis have to live in that neighborhood. The main reason Hezbollah is fighting Sunni jihadists in Syria is because it desperately needs the Assad regime as backup in its relentless war against Israel. If ISIS defeats Assad, Hezbollah loses.
The Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers are claiming Israel is “in the same trench” as ISIS since it’s attacking those who are fighting against ISIS. There’s a certain logic there, but it’s circular. The United States is “in the same trench” as Israel, which according to these characters puts us “in the same trench” as ISIS. Yet the United States is also “in the same trench” as Assad and Hezbollah since we’re bombing ISIS. That’s a heck of a trench! It’s a circular trench, or perhaps even a three dimensional möbius trench. But that’s the Middle East for you.
Russia is furious about all this, of course, but that’s no surprise. There’s nothing complicated about which trench Vladimir Putin is in.
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 at 8:23 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday, reports came in of airstrikes within Syria. The Jerusalem Post reports that the strikes were allegedly carried out by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and targeted weapons caches of the terror group, Hezbollah:
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Syrian opposition sources told Arab media on Monday that the airstrikes near Damascus that were alleged to have been carried out by Israeli warplanes destroyed a storage facility housing anti-aircraft missiles as well as drones belonging to Hezbollah.
While the Lebanese Shi’ite group has yet to officially comment on the attack, Channel 2 is citing a report in the Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar which said that “the Israeli action was intended to preserve the rules of the game.”
The newspaper claimed that the IAF struck weapons caches “that belonged to Hezbollah.” These arms are considered to be “capable of tilting the strategic balance,” namely threaten Israel’s ability to act freely in the skies above Lebanon.
The IAF has struck Syria several times since the start of the three-year conflict, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for their longtime foe Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon …
An IDF spokesman said he would not comment on “foreign reports.”
At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was following developments in the Middle East with great interest, because “a great deal is happening.”
“We will remain constantly with our hand on the pulse, and we will deal with these threats and challenges because they do not take a time-out,” Netanyahu said.
“We will deal with them with the same degree of responsibility that we have done up until now.”
Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Stand For Israel
As we report in today’s Daily Dispatch, an alleged IAF airstrike in Syria destroyed drones and missiles in a weapons cache belonging to Hezbollah. While Israel has neither confirmed or denied the attack, Israel Hayom’s Yoav Limor writes that while the attacks were on Syrian soil – which theoretically means the terror organization needn’t respond – extra vigilance will be needed in the coming days:
As usual in such cases, Israel on Sunday maintained an ambiguous stance on the airstrikes in Syria. It neither issued a denial nor claimed responsibility. “We aren’t addressing it,” was the official, unified, line expressed by all the relevant parties.
This Israeli evasion of claiming responsibility coincides with all military operations attributed to Israel by foreign reports since the 2007 attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor until today.
The rationale is clear: As long as Israel is not responsible, the side that was attacked (Syria, Sudan) can swallow the insult. But Israel’s flaunting of an alleged strike would obligate a response, as an act of redemption.
Under this umbrella of ambiguity, in the past three years Israel has carried out — according to foreign reports — a series of airstrikes in Syria, mostly targeting advanced weapons earmarked for transfer to Hezbollah in Lebanon. These attacks adhere to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s declared “Three Noes” policy: no to the transfer of chemical weapons; no to the transfer of weapons that can alter the strategic balance (long-range, accurate rockets, anti-aircraft systems, and land-to-sea missiles); and no to violating Israeli sovereignty.
It can be assumed this was the case leading to the attack on Sunday — the planned transfer of quality weapons to Hezbollah’s hands …
A retaliation can come in the form of a direct attack (very unlikely) or indirectly, via terrorist organizations on the Golan Heights or Hezbollah along the border with Lebanon. In February this year, Hezbollah responded to an alleged Israeli attack on a weapons convoy…Read More » Comments (4) »
Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 8:40 AM | Stand For Israel
Operation Protective Edge saw the IDF put a dent in Hamas’ terrorist capabilities. But Israel is all too aware that it has other enemies who wish to do her harm. One of these threats is the terrorist group Hezbollah, though The Washington Post’s Hugh Naylor reports that the Lebanese terror group is not as mighty as it once was:
Hezbollah has won grudging respect, even from some foes, for its tenacious guerrilla campaigns against Israel. But now Lebanon’s most powerful military organization is losing its aura of invincibility.
Tactics that the Shiite group has used against Israeli soldiers are being inflicted on its own forces by militants from the Islamic State and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, which have carved out footholds in Lebanon along the porous Syria border.
The growing number of attacks and kidnappings by the Sunni militants represent the opening of yet another military front for Hezbollah. It already has thousands of troops deployed in Syria to bolster President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while still more are facing Israel in southern Lebanon.
“Hezbollah is spread thin. They are waging so many battles and are positioned on so many fronts,” said Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Beirut-based Lebanese American University.
Classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, Hezbollah was created in the turmoil following Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The militant group forced Israel to end its occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000 and inflicted a heavy blow on Israel during a 34-day war in 2006. Hezbollah’s forces are better armed than Lebanon’s army, which plays a subordinate role.
Hezbollah also developed expansive charitable networks and a political movement that exerts considerable influence over the country’s parliament.
The group owes its power, in part, to an ample supply of weapons from the Iranian and Syrian governments, which form an anti-Western axis that allows Tehran to project influence to the Mediterranean and Israel’s borders. The weapons are largely funneled through Syria.
So when Assad’s forces started sustaining serious defeats…Read More » Comments (1) »
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 3:14 PM | Stand For Israel
Between the civil war that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and the threat of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), life in Syria is brutal. This is especially so for the few Jews remaining in the ravaged nation. The Times of Israel brings us this uplifting story of a Syrian Jewish family who was smuggled into Israel by a network of caring people, so that they might find a better life:
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The family, one of the few remaining Jewish families in Syria, arrived in Israel “with nothing,” according to a Netanya businessman who helped them immigrate, Army Radio reported.
“In the first stage, the mother and daughter arrived, then the whole family came,” the businessman, identified only as David, told the station. The family arrived with no possessions, so “we donated to help them with everything they needed… we did our best to help them in their acclimation to Israel,” David added.
The businessman is part of a network of Israelis of Syrian origin who helped the family. MK Yisrael Hason of Kadima, who was born in Damascus and came to Israel at age seven, is part of the group. MK Shaul Mofaz of Kadima, who was born in Iran, hosted the Syrian family in his sukkah on Sunday.
The Jewish community in Syria is one of the most ancient in the Diaspora and was once concentrated mainly in Aleppo and Damascus. After World War I the community saw mass emigration to the US, the land of Israel and Latin America. After the creation of Israel in 1948, most of the remaining Jews left Syria, while only a few thousand remained, many of whom were slowly smuggled out of the country.
Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Stand For Israel
Israel security officials maintain that the Syrian army still possesses “significant” stockpiles of ready-for-use arms primed with chemical toxins, in contravention of the regime’s commitment to dismantle or give up its entire chemical weapons arsenal, according to information released Thursday:
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“There is, to my mind, still in the hands of Syria a significant residual capability… that could be used in certain circumstances and could be potentially very serious,” the official was quoted as saying.
According to the official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, the stockpiles, which were hidden by the Syrian army in secret locations across the war-torn country, included missile warheads, bombs, and rocket propelled grenades. The official added, however, that Israeli intelligence had been able to discover the whereabouts of the hidden arms.
The official told Reuters that Israel had a “high degree of confidence” that its information regarding the weapons was accurate, adding that the IDF had decided not to disclose its estimates until now in order not to harm international efforts to rid Syria of unconventional arms.
The official added that Israel was not particularly concerned that it would be attacked by Syria, since the regime knew that if it were to target the Jewish State with chemical weapons, it “wouldn’t be a game-changer, it would be a game-ender,” for Syria.
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 2:30 PM | Stand for Israel
The Syrian government’s war with Islamist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels continues to reach across Syria’s border with Israel. Yediot Achronot is reporting that an IDF soldier stationed on the Golan Heights was wounded by stray fire that crossed the border into Israel:
An IDF soldier was wounded Monday evening in light condition from a bullet fired from Syria, north of kibbutz Ein Zivan. He was evacuated to a hospital in northern Israel.
In recent weeks, while the fighting has raged on the other side of the border fence, stray mortar rounds and artillery shells have exploded in Israeli territory. The most recent incident occurred last Thursday – when the air raid siren was sounded in the northern Golan Heights …
The IDF has said that it sees the Syrian Army as the authority responsible for all cross-border fire into Israel.
We pray for the soldier’s recovery, and that God will give His protection to the brave men and women of the IDF who are protecting protecting Israel from threats on all fronts.Comments (3) »
Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 11:33 AM | Stand for Israel
In this morning’s Daily Dispatch, we reported on the IDF officer wounded by mortar fire at the Syrian-Israeli border – from fighting between Syrian military forces and Islamist rebels. Now Arutz Sheva reports that a second Israeli has been wounded by an errant tank round from Syria:
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The shell was fired from the Quneitra region of Syria, where intense fighting between the Syrian army and rebel forces has been raging all day.
The wounded man, aged 52, was able to go seek medical treatment, and is currently being looked after. Magen David Adom forces evacuated him to the Ziv Hospital in Tzefat (Safed).
Aside from the wounded, the tank shell also inflicted damage on a local wine vineyard, as well as a gas pipe in the area.
The opposition forces in Quneitra, including the Al Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front, captured the Syrian side of the Quneitra Crossing to Israel according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported AFP.
“Al-Nusra Front and other rebel groups took the Quneitra crossing, and heavy fighting with the Syrian army is continuing in the surrounding area,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the British group. He added that at least 20 Syrian soldiers and four rebels were killed in the fighting.
Earlier on Wednesday morning reportedly six mortar shells careened into Israeli territory from the Quneitra area, lightly-to-moderately wounding an IDF officer and causing damage to several vehicles.
In response to the mortar shells, IDF artillery fired at a Syrian military position.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Stand for Israel
Over the weekend, a missile from Syria hit a truck on the Israeli-Syrian border, killing a 13-year-old Israeli boy. The boy’s father was driving the water truck for a construction project, and was also wounded, Yediot Achronot reports, though losing his son was the far greater tragedy:
The boy was a high-school student who decided to join his father for work only a day after summer recess began.
Speaking to Ynet from his hospital bed at the Rivkah Ziv Medical Center at Safed, the father said “he was very happy when I agreed to take him with me today, and now this joy has turned into a tragedy.”
The father spoke with great pride of his son: “He was gifted child who also spoke about wanting to be a doctor.
“I don’t want to go back to work. I don’t know how I will deal with this loss. I can only hope that something like this will never happen to any family, because no one can deal with this type of death,” he said.
Let us remember the boy’s family in our prayers, as well as all of the men and women who patrol or work along all of Israel’s borders.Comments (3) »
Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Stand For Israel