Iran Pours More Troops Into Syria Ready To Target Israel From Syria And Lebanon


The Syrian Internal Military Conflict Goes International

The Winds of the Coming War Clearly Intensify

Iran Wants to Preempt Israel’s Attack

.

Iran continues to fly military personnel and quantities of weapons into Syria by civilian aircraft which cut through Iraqi airspace, American intelligence sources disclosed early Thursday, Sept. 20. UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon also said that, “Unfortunately, both [Syrian] sides, government and opposition forces, seem to be determined to see the end by military means.”

Clearly, Iran is augmenting its military involvement in the constantly escalating Syrian civil war, broadening it into a multinational conflict which threatens to drag Lebanon in, by means of the Iranian-Syrian ally, Hizballah.

The UN Secretary General’s statement implying that the two Syrian sides are determined to fight to the bitter end is echoed in Iran’s resolve to fight to the bitter end for Assad, on Syrian soil.

Tehran is not hiding its actions. Sunday, Sept. 16, Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Commander Gen. Ali Jafari said openly that Al Qods Brigades units were present and operational in both Syria and Lebanon.

No comment on this revelation has come from the US, Israel or Israel’s military (IDF) chiefs — notwithstanding its menacing import, namely, that Tehran is no longer hanging about and waiting for its nuclear program to be attacked in order to punish Israel, but is getting ready for a pre-emptive operation.

Still, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have chosen silence in the face of what any other nation would regard as a casus belli: the open deployment of enemy forces on its northern and eastern borders. This must have been the catalyst for the IDF’s surprise two-division strength drill Wednesday on Israel’s Golan border with Syria. But the IDF spokesman sounded almost apologetic when he explained that the exercise had nothing to do with the events in Syria or with Hizballah, and that it was no more than a routine drill for testing preparedness.

debkafile’s military sources say that, in the current climate, no military operation by any army on the Syrian border – especially one of this magnitude – may be regarded as “routine.” Only a week ago, the Golani Brigade concluded a large military exercise in northern Israel including the Golan. That sort of frequency must have operational connotations: The IDF is evidently keeping the army on the move and in a constant state of readiness to fight a real war without delay on terrain made familiar by repeated war games. IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz has a penchant for expressing himself through symbols, his method of overcoming the restrictions placed on his tongue by military and other constraints.

On New Year’s Eve last week, the general handed military correspondents a small gift: The Hebrew edition of the American writer Richard David Bach‘s “There’s No Such Place as Far Away.”

For the Golan drill Wednesday, he decided to attach Maj. Gen. (res.) Nati Sharoni, chief artillery officer in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, to his party of advisers and observers. The book was a clear message to Tehran and doubting Thomases at home that the IDF is fully capable of an operation against Iran’s nuclear program and of successfully accomplishing any mission far from its shores.

Gen. Sharoni’s presence at the Golan exercise, and the exercise itself, was a warning to Iran, Hizballah and Syria that they will be disappointed if they hope to catch Israel unready, as it was by the surprise attack which almost overcame the IDF 39 years ago on Yom Kippur before the tide of war was turned back against Egypt.

.

Source: Debka

Chemical War Threat Is Back in the Middle East


.

The Threats of War Continue to Grow

Hizballah And Israel Are Close To Clash

.

Syrian CB Weapons

The first US-Turkish backed steps for creating “safe havens” in Syria and possible strategic bombardment of the Syrian army have brought the Middle East close to two dangerous junctures:  The Syrian army’s use of chemical weapons, and an outbreak of hostilities between Hizballah and Israel, debkafile’s military sources report.

The creeping Western involvement in the Syrian conflict was not previously acknowledged and the Lebanese Shi’ite Hizballah rarely figured publicly as a fighting prop of the Assad regime. That is until the dam burst Friday and Saturday, Sept 7-8. The United States then admitted that US officials and intelligence agents were training and aiding Syrian rebels [ who belong or have connections with Al Quaida ] from positions on the Turkish border – and therefore are directly intervening in their operations.  This admission came on the heels of the debkafile disclosure of Sept. 6 that Turkish officers backed by US agents had taken command of two Syrian rebel brigades. Britain and France came next to report they were sending aid directly to the Syrian opposition, a more cautious admission than the American reference to officials and agents, but clearly on the same track, which adds up to their direct intervention in Syria for the creation of “safe havens.”

French and British foreign ministers attending a European Union meeting in Cyprus called Friday night for sanctions against Hizballah, meaning that mounting Western pressure on Assad has been extended to his Lebanese ally. But the big event thus portended is still to come.  It will now be up to the Syrian rebels, backed and steered by a US-led Arab-Western-European-Turkish coalition, to fight for the “safe haven,” purge it of forces and militias loyal to Assad and expand it for control of large tracts of territory in eastern and western Syria.

Despite fairly large-scale defections, the bulk of the Syrian army still maintains its allegiance to the Syrian ruler and doesn’t appear ready to turn against him. The rebels therefore face a long, arduous and hazardous haul before they can secure a substantial “safe haven” – unless it can be shortened by a step now under consideration in Washington, London, Paris, Ankara and at least two Arab capitals: aerial bombardment of the Syrian army’s toughest backbone, the 9th Division commanded by the Syrian ruler’s brother, Gen. Maher Assad.  The same treatment could be meted out to smash Hizballah bases and strategic centers.

The thinking in some circles in Washington is that Russia’s disengagement from its support of the Assad regime and cutoff of essential weapons, have opened the way to severing the military bonds tying Assad, Hizballah and Tehran together. As long as those bonds are viable, it will be that much harder to bring Assad to heel and subjugate his armed forces.

The revelation by British military sources Friday, Sept. 7 that 150 elite officers and troops of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards had flown into Syria was intended as a warning to Tehran that the time had come to pull its hand  out of the Syrian fire.

This rush of events may bring closer to reality the action feared most by Western powers, Israel, Turkey and Jordan that, as his enemies close in, Assad will bring out his chemical and biological weapons.  Consciousness of this approaching threat led Washington sources to disclose Friday that Syria’s chemical arsenal was bigger and more widely scattered than suspected hitherto. It was also an admission that Washington was no longer fully apprised of the scale of this arsenal or its locations.

Last week, Israeli media were too preoccupied with the likelihood of war with Iran to notice that Israel and Hizbollah had moved up to the brink of a major clash.  The war alert declared by the Israeli armed forces in mid-week had only partly eased by Saturday.

.

Source: DEBKAfile