“Syria’s Retaliation against Tel Aviv Airport Non-negotiable of Self-Defense”and Return of Golan Firm, Non-negotiable Right

“Syria’s Retaliation against Tel Aviv Airport Legitimate Right of Self-Defense”

January 23, 2019Bashar Jaafari

Syria’s envoy to the United Nations warned Tuesday that if the world body did not halt Israeli aggression on his country, Syria would retaliate with an attack on Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

Speaking at the UN Security Council after a series of Israeli airstrikes on Sunday and Monday, Bashar Jaafari said the Zionist entity was only able to act freely in Syria because it had the backing of the US, UK and France in the Security Council.

“Syria would practice its legitimate right of self-defense and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv airport” if the UN Security Council didn’t adopt measures stop the Zionist entity, SANA news agency quoted Jaafari as saying.

“Isn’t time now for the UN Security council to stop the Israeli repeated aggression on the Syrian Arab republic territories,” Jaafari said.

The Syrian diplomat said meanwhile, that France, Britain and US’ stance that prevents Security Council from assuming its responsibilities will not affect Syria’s right to defend itself and work to restore the occupied Syrian Golan.

He stressed that the restoration of the Syrian Golan is a firm right for Syria which can’t be negotiable or abolished through prescription.

Jaafari noted that the Israeli occupation full withdrawal from Golan into the line of June 4th, 1967 is an issue that should be applied based on the international law principles and legitimacy resolutions including Security Council relevant resolutions No. 242, 338 and 497.

SourceAgencies

Al-Jaafari: Return of Golan to Syria’s Sovereignty Is Firm, Non-negotiable Right

 

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ISIS Needs the US to Survive

ISIS Needs the US to Survive

Scott Ritter – American Conservative Jan 18, 2019

Scene of the suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, Jan. 16, 2019

Scene of the suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, Jan. 16, 2019

“No war is over until the enemy says it’s over,” James Mattis, the former Marine Corps General and recently resigned secretary of state, is quoted as saying. “We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.” Mattis’s statement was made in 2012, well before President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement on December 19, declared victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president wrote. He later expanded on that sentiment in a video message, posted on Twitter. “Our boys, our young men and women, are coming home now,” Trump noted. “We won.”

But a recent attack on U.S. forces in Syria, carried out by a suicide bomber which ISIS claimed was operating on its behalf, has led to an outpouring of criticism of Trump’s precipitous decision. “ISIS has claimed credit for killing American troops in Syria today,” Senator Marco Rubio tweeted in the aftermath of the attack. “If true, it is a tragic reminder that ISIS not been defeated and is transforming into a dangerous insurgency. This is no time to retreat from the fight against ISIS. Will only embolden & strengthen them.”

While Mattis’s words were a cautionary warning about premature celebration, Rubio’s sentiments, along with those who share his point of view, miss the point of the ISIS attack altogether. The U.S. was on the verge of withdrawing from Syria, something Rubio and others believe would give ISIS a victory. Why, then, would ISIS attack American forces in such a high-profile manner, creating the condition for a reversal of Trump’s decision and keeping the U.S. military in Syria for the foreseeable future?

As far as military patrols go, the one carried out by forces assigned to the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR) in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on January 16 was as routine as it gets. SOJTF-OIR was authorized under Section 1209 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to provide assistance to the so-called “Vetted Syrian Opposition,” or VSO. A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence specialist, accompanied by a Department of Defense civilian translator, was tasked with meeting with local personnel from the Civil Administration of Manbij and the Manbij Internal Security Forces, ostensibly as part of the overall coordination being conducted with the VSO in preparation for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria announced by Trump last month. The intelligence specialist was accompanied by a small force of U.S. soldiers, tasked with providing force protection commensurate to the threat.

The “threat” as it was, was two-fold. On the one hand you have the Turkish military and allied proxies on the outskirts of Manbij who are threatening to occupy Manbij in the wake of a U.S. withdrawal in order to expel Kurdish forces aligned with the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish political party Turkey accuses of being allied with the PKK, a Turkish-based Kurdish group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey. On the other, ISIS, an Islamic extremist group which had, until 2016, occupied Manbij. Although ISIS had been driven from Manbij by VSO forces, so-called “sleeper cells” remained. This threat was real—in March 2018 a U.S. Delta Force operator and British commando were killed in a roadside bomb attack carried out by ISIS.

But ISIS apparently was not a major factor in the security plan put in place by the patrol. The planned meeting took place in a popular restaurant located on the main street of Manbij. The owner had fled Manbij when ISIS took over, returning after its liberation to open this particular establishment, which became the “go-to” location for visiting dignitaries (Senator Lindsey Graham claims to have eaten there when he visited Manbij), and was frequented by U.S. soldiers during their “coordination” efforts with the VSO. If an ISIS suicide bomber wanted to pick one location in Manbij where he or she could be certain Americans and high-value local officials would regularly congregate, it would be this restaurant.

This is precisely what happened this week. Alerted by the tell-tale presence of the unique M-ATV vehicles used by U.S. special forces, flying large American flags, the ISIS suicide bomber waited until the Americans had entered the popular restaurant and sat down with their VSO counterparts. The bomber walked to the entrance of the restaurant, detonated a suicide vest carrying explosives and, in the resulting explosion, killed the DIA intelligence specialist, his American interpreter, and two other U.S. soldiers, and wounded three other U.S. soldiers. Eleven locals died in the bombing as well, including at least five members of the Manbij Internal Security Force.

Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria had been met with a wave of high-profile opposition, and prompted the resignations of Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk, in protest. Senator Lindsey Graham led a chorus of Congressional opposition to the decision, calling it a “huge Obama-like mistake” and, in doing so, drawing parallels to the December 2011 withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, an action critics later claimed helped spawn the birth of ISIS. Graham further noted that “An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia. I fear it will lead to devastating consequences for our nation, the region, and throughout the world.”

While Iran, Syria and Russia have all supported Trump’s decision, ISIS had remained silent—until January 16. “The enemy gets a vote,” Mattis said. On January 16, 2019, ISIS voted, but it wasn’t the vote Senator’s Graham and Rubio have articulated. The ISIS attack in Manbij was a premeditated, carefully calculated event designed to sow chaos in the processes associated with an American disengagement in Manbij.

Manbij is a predominantly Arab city strategically located on the front lines separating Turkish forces from their arch-enemies, the Kurdish YPG, in the contested territory of northern Syria. The Manbij City Council, headed by a former Syrian Parliamentarian named Sheikh Farouk al-Mashi, has been touted as a model for similar Arab-led city councils in former ISIS strongholds such a Raqaa, the one-time capital of the ISIS caliphate. These councils would operate within the framework of a self-governing Kurdish-dominated entity in northeastern Syria known as Rojava. Arab-led city councils like the one in Manbij are viewed by the U.S. as a means of reducing the Kurdish profile in northeastern Syria, thereby placating the Turks, locking in a pro-U.S. Arab element opposed to the Assad regime in Damascus, and providing an Arab-based political entity that can effectively counter the attraction to ISIS on the part of many Syrian Arab tribes.

The problem with this approach is that it can’t work. The Kurds will never grant full autonomy to the Arab city councils, thereby guaranteeing Turkish angst, and the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, has insisted on the return of all Syrian territory to its control. Moreover, the city councils are weak and ineffective, and as such provide the perfect incubator for a residual ISIS presence. The only way the continued existence of city councils such as the one in Manbij is for the U.S. to remain in Syria and continue to prop them up.

The leadership of ISIS knows that its days are numbered once the Syrian government can turn its full attention on the eradication of that organization. ISIS was born in the vacuum of governance created by the collapse of central authority in both Iraq and Syria brought on by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the subsequent support of Islamic extremism as a vehicle of instability in Syria after 2011. As the Iraqi government, with the assistance of Iran, regains control of its own territory, the last remaining bastions of ISIS control are on Syrian soil, in areas controlled by the U.S. military. The correlation between the presence of U.S. military forces and the continued existence of ISIS should not be lost on anyone—ISIS needs the U.S. in order to survive.

The patrol that was attacked in Manbij was not, as the detractors of Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria have stated, furthering the national security objectives of the United States. While it wasn’t their intention, through their actions these Americans were empowering ISIS by furthering a situation from which ISIS in Syria draws its relevance. A U.S. withdrawal from Syria would set ISIS adrift, allowing the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, to defeat it and reassert its control over not only the territory currently occupied by ISIS, but also the hearts and minds of the Syrian Arabs whom ISIS needs for sustainment. By attacking the U.S. military and Manbij City Council on January 16, 2019, ISIS cast its vote in favor of the continued presence of U.S. military forces in Syria. Those who continue to argue in favor of a U.S. military presence in Syria are only giving credence to that vote.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Dealbreaker: Donald Trump and the Unmaking of the Iran Nuclear Deal (2018) by Clarity Press

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US Threatens to Sanction Lebanon if They Participate in Rebuilding Syria

US Threatens to Sanction Lebanon if They Participate in Rebuilding Syria

By Leith Aboufadel

The U.S. State Department allegedly sent a cable to the Lebanese Embassy in Washington that warned them against inviting Syria to the Arab Economic Summit in Beirut that is scheduled to take place this week, Al-Akhbar reported on Wednesday.

According to Al-Akhbar, Lebanon was not only warned against inviting Syria to the Arab Economic Summit, but Washington also threatened sanctions against Lebanon if they participate in any reconstruction efforts.

The latter (U.S.) threatened Lebanon with sanctions if it participated in the reconstruction of Al-Sham (a reference to Damascus),” Al-Akhbar claimed.

“The U.S. position was relayed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, in more than one way,” they continued.

The alleged confidential cable allegedly read:

“We urge Lebanon and all Arab League member states to refrain from sending an invitation to Syria. We also urge Lebanon not to take any steps that contribute to securing the financial interests of the Syrian regime. For instance, making investments or sending funds for reconstruction. Any financial or material support for the Assad regime or its supporters may be subject to American sanctions.”

The U.S. State Department has not issued a comment regarding these allegations; however, Washington has warned several nations in the past about participating in the reconstruction of Syria.

*

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Michelle Alexander on Palestinian Suffering and Injustice. Accuses America of being Run by Criminals

Michelle Alexander on Palestinian Suffering and Injustice. Accuses America of being Run by Criminals

By Stephen Lendman,

Law professor, scholar, author, civil rights champion Michelle Alexander best known for her book titled “The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness,”

Palestinians

Since UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s 1917 call for establishing a nation for Jews in historic Palestine, their people have endured over a century of discriminatory injustice. 

Israel’s 1948 war of aggression stole 78% of their homeland, the rest in June 1967, including Jerusalem, a UN-designated international city.

Endless conflict, occupation, dispossession, and repression, along with social and cultural fragmentation define conditions for beleaguered Palestinians – over 100 years of suffering, no end of it in sight, the world community dismissive of their fundamental rights.

Virtually everything important affecting their lives and well-being are decided by others, an intolerable situation with no prospect for change – US/Israeli installed quisling PA government, serving as the Jewish state’s enforcer.

Related image

Law professor, scholar, author, civil rights champion Michelle Alexander is perhaps best known for her book titled “The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness,” her most noted work.

She explained that

“(m)ore black men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850 before the Civil War began.”

Racist drug laws largely affect “poor communities of color.” In America’s inner-cities, most Black youths can expect criminal injustice prosecutions one or more times in their lifetimes.

Over 60% of Black men born in 1965 or later without high school degrees (following passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act banning discrimination) have prison records.

They’re marked for life, targeted by militarized cops for the color of their skin, leaving them vulnerable to re-arrest, imprisonment or death. America’s racist war on drugs disproportionately targets people of color and ethnic minorities.

Racism defined the US from inception. Racist war wages against Americans and unwanted aliens of the wrong color, ethnicity or religion – its global gulag the shame of the nation.

In her NYT op-ed, a rare example of truth-telling on a vital issue, permitted by the self-styled newspaper of record, one-sidedly supporting Israel, ignoring its high crimes in its own reporting, Alexander highlighted Martin Luther King’s notable April 4, 1967 “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” address.

It was delivered one year to the day before his state-sponsored assassination, his truth-telling remarks criticized at the time, ignored ever since by major media.

Over half a century ago, King called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today…on the wrong side of a world revolution,” adding: “We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence, or violent co-annihilation.”

“We must move past indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

Silence is “betrayal…(N)o one who has any concern for the integrity and life (in) America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam.”

“This madness must cease…We must stop now…We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam.”

Accusing America of being run by “criminals,” imagine what he’d say if alive today, US wars of aggression raging in multiple theaters, no end of them in prospect, the threat of possible catastrophic nuclear war.

Alexander explained that King was urged to stay silent about the war or risk being called a communist sympathizer, harming the civil rights movement.

He couldn’t stay silent about the cutting-edge issue of the time “because (his) conscience le(ft) (him) no other choice,” he said, adding “(a) time comes when silence is betrayal. (T)hat time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.”

Taking a moral, ethical, and legal stand for peace and justice cost him his life. If alive today, he’d be age-90.

Alexander wrote her op-ed because she can no longer remain silent about “one of the great moral challenges of our time: the crisis in Israel-Palestine,” explaining:

With rare exceptions, “the entire Congress (most often is) “silent on the human rights nightmare” in Occupied Palestine, Gazans harmed most of all, an issue obsessing me personally, one I address repeatedly, feeling obligated as a Jew to speak out, refusing ever to be silent on this and every other vital issue.

Horrific conditions in the Territories are “reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow segregation in the United States,” said Alexander, much worse she should have stressed, but to her credit she’s speaking out, taking a stand for long-denied justice, others with her, the only way to push things for hopeful change.

King was right. Silence is betrayal. If alive today, he’d surely champion the Palestinian cause, supporting their human and civil rights the way he did for Black Americans.

Alexander stressed the importance of “speak(ing) out passionately against the human rights crisis in Israel-Palestine, despite the risks…”

“We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak,” said King. Edmund Burke stressed that “(t)he only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is (for) good men (to) do nothing.”

It’s never an option for activists, Alexander saying “to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations,” adding:

“We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them face.”

“We must not tolerate Israel’s refusal even to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolutions, and we ought to question the US government funds that have supported multiple hostilities and thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza, as well as the $38 billion the US government has pledged in military support to Israel.”

All of the above issues are essential to speak out about and much more, including civil rule for Jews, militarized apartheid discrimination against Palestinians.

Daily life in Occupied Palestine is intolerable, collective punishment longstanding official policy. So is state terror and institutionalized racism.

Normal daily life is denied. Peaceful demonstrations called “riots” are prohibited, viciously attacked when held. Borders are closed, population centers isolated, economic strangulation imposed, slow-motion genocide inflicted on blockaded Gazans.

Multiple daily neighborhood incursions, land, air, and sea attacks, bulldozed homes, ethnic cleansing, targeted killings, mass arrests, torture, and gulag imprisonment reflect daily life for praying to the wrong God.

Israel gets away with high crimes of war and against humanity because of support and encouragement by Washington, along with world community indifference toward Palestinian rights.

They’re brutalized as viciously as Nazis mistreated Jews, enduring virtually every imaginable form of indignity, degradation, and criminal actions against them – including live fire against peaceful demonstrators threatening no one, never anything this extreme against Jews doing the same thing.

Israel is a flagrant international law violator. Law Professor Francis Boyle explained that since the first intifada erupted in 1987, “the world has seen heinous war crimes inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian people,” including daily flagrant breaches of Fourth Geneva, the Rome Statute, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, countless Security Council resolutions, and other international laws.

Israel is guilty of “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated,” Boyle explained, adding:

Crimes against humanity, a US and Israeli specialty “are the historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention.”

Wanting to live free in sovereign Palestine is called terrorism by Israel, free and open expression considered incitement, resisting tyranny, a universal right, called terrorism.

Alexander and other supporters of Palestinian rights agree that justifiable criticism of Zionism and Israel isn’t anti-Semitism. The Big Lie otherwise won’t die.

She pledged in the new year “to speak with greater courage and conviction about injustices beyond our borders, particularly those that are funded by our government, and stand in solidarity with struggles for democracy and freedom.”

Her “conscience leaves (her) no other choice.” The same spirit should drive every human and civil right supporter of governance of, by, and for everyone equitably at home and abroad.

Alexander’s article is long, detailed, and important to read. Her passion and mine support right over wrong – for Palestinians and all other persecuted people everywhere.

 

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

israeli (apartheid state) Criminality, Hubris in Syria Invites Catastrophe

Israeli Criminality, Hubris in Syria Invites Catastrophe

Israeli Criminality, Hubris in Syria Invites Catastrophe

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 22.01.2019

Israeli forces have shifted from a doctrine of “war by stealth” to openly declared aggression on its northern neighbor Syria. For two straight days, the Israelis bombarded Syria’s capital Damascus and its environs with dozens of air-launched cruise missiles. Many of the projectiles were reportedly intercepted by Russian-supplied air defense systems.

Nevertheless the Israeli blitzkrieg resulted in at least four Syrian military personnel being killed and damage to the civilian international airport near Damascus. That amounts to an outrageous war crime, as have countless air strikes carried out previously by Israel on Syria. Shamefully, the United Nations and Western governments maintain a hypocritical silence, while slapping sanctions on Syria, Russia and Iran over various alleged “transgressions”.

But what’s remarkable about the latest Israeli aggression is the public acknowledgement by the government in Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while on an African tour at the weekend, openly acknowledged the Israeli air strikes, as did the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

“We have a set policy, to target the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, and to harm whoever tried to harm us,” said Netanyahu on a visit to Chad.

In a statement, the IDF said: “We have started striking Iranian Quds [Revolutionary Guards] targets in Syrian territory. We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory.”

Earlier this month, Netanyahu bragged to his cabinet members in televised comments about the “success” of repeated air strikes on Syria purportedly against Iranian targets.

That was also around the same time the outgoing IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot boasted to Western media about “running a bombing campaign” against Syria with “thousands of strikes” over recent years on an almost daily basis.

One of those air strikes last September resulted in the death of 15 Russian aircrew when their IL-20 surveillance plane was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air defenses in what appeared to be a deliberate aerial trap set up by Israeli fighter jets. The incident sparked outrage in Moscow which then promptly delivered upgraded S-300 air defense systems to Syria. Those air defense systems may account for the successful interception of dozens of Israeli missiles in the latest barrage.

This change in Israeli policy from habitually issuing “no comment” responses after air strikes are reported in Syria to one where senior government figures are publicly exulting in the conduct of attacks is an extraordinary development.

Some observers have pointed out that it could be Netanyahu engaging in electioneering. He is seeking re-election in April and so may be playing the “tough guy” image to bolster his national security credentials among voters.

That may partly be the calculus. But there does appear also to be a bigger shift going in Israeli military strategy towards Syria and Iran.

No doubt the announced withdrawal of US troops from Syria by President Trump has thrown the various regional players into flux. Russia has emerged as the dominant military force in Syria and possibly the wider region due to its masterstroke of intervening in Syria to thwart the country’s foreign enemies waging their regime-change operation.

Of course, the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has emerged too with renewed confidence and respect in the region for its formidable defense. Syria’s allies Iran and Hezbollah have also gained immense kudos in helping the Arab country defeat the US-NATO-Israeli-Saudi axis and their terrorist proxy army.

Israeli paranoia over Iranian military presence in neighboring Syria has seen the Israelis lobbying Moscow to put limits on Iranian forces. Last month, Russian military officials were reportedly in Israel for discussions with Israeli counterparts. It is believed part of those talks – described as “tense” – were appeals by the Israelis to Russia to give guarantees about what they called “Iranian expansionism”. It appears that Moscow was not obliging.

In this context of flux, it seems that Israel is trying to desperately assert its influence over political and military developments in Syria that are viewed by the Israelis as negative. In trying to salvage its interests in the failed covert war for regime change in Syria, the Israelis are openly adopting criminal aggression with a hubris that is out of control.

The public admission of daily air strikes by Israeli leaders on Syria is an admission of war crimes. The strikes are wanton aggression and violation of international law. They can be in no way justified as “defensive” against “threats”.

Iranian and Hezbollah forces are in Syria legally at the request of the Damascus government, as are Russian military. Just because the Israelis have a paranoid obsession about Iran and Hezbollah does not give them any legal grounds to launch air strikes on Syria.

In the latest escalation it is openly admitted by the Israelis that they launched the missiles first. On Sunday morning, Israel attacked Damascus and southern Syria supposedly against “Iranian targets”.

Later, on Sunday afternoon, the Iranian forces fired a medium-range rocket from near Damascus aimed for Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel’s Iron Dome air defense reportedly intercepted it successfully with no casualties among Israeli tourist skiers on the holiday resort slopes of Mount Hermon.

Then in the early hours of Monday, the Israelis launched more cruise missiles on Damascus. Syrian air defenses were warned by the Israeli’s to “hold fire”. When the Syrian air defense neutralized many of the incoming warheads, the Israelis turned around to target the Syrian army. Four Syrian military personnel were reportedly killed.

Evidently, even according to Israeli official accounts, it is the Israelis who are engaging in unwarranted first strikes. Their supposed “retaliation” to the Iran rocket on the Golan Heights is an oxymoron. Even more absurd, the Syrians are warned not to activate air defense systems while their country is being attacked. When Syria defends itself, its troops are then killed by enemy air strikes.

And let’s not forget, the Golan Heights are internationally recognized as Syrian territory which Israel annexed and has been illegally occupying since the 1967 Six Day War. Again, the Western hypocrisy is exposed with no sanctions on Israel, but Russia is being sanctioned for allegedly annexing Crimea in 2014.

Iran’s air force commander responded to the latest events, saying his nation was “ready for a war that will destroy the state of Israel”. Such a war could drag in the US and Russia – and lead to nuclear weapons being deployed. The Israeli regime with its 200-300 nuclear warheads is certainly criminally arrogant enough.

Israel’s reckless flouting of international law and its taunting of enemies may be just the kind of hubris that precedes a catastrophic fall.

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against israel’s (apartheid state) impunity

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

RT | January 23, 2019

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

Damascus has threatened to exercise its legitimate right for self-defense against Israeli aggression and target Tel Aviv airport in a mirror response, unless the Security Council puts an end to IDF intrusions into Syrian airspace.

Apparently fed up with years of Israeli impunity in the Syrian skies and regular strikes carried out in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, Syria has threatened to retaliate in explicit terms.

“Isn’t time now for the UN Security Council to stop the Israeli repeated aggressions on the Syrian Arab Republic territories?” Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari wondered Tuesday.

“Or is it required to draw the attention of the war-makers in this Council by exercising our legitimate right to defend ourself and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Civil Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?”

Air strikes against alleged ‘Iranian targets’ in close proximity to Syria’s busiest airport have become a norm for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose former chief of staff openly confessed last month to running a large-scale bombing campaign in Syria for years. Besides causing casualties and material damage by their “near-daily” strikes, Israeli combat missions into Syria have also repeatedly endangered flights operating over the conflict-torn country.

While the IDF rarely acknowledges striking specific targets in Syria, the Russian military has been keeping a close watch on IDF maneuvers over the Arab Republic. On Christmas Day, Israeli jets endangered two civilian aircraft while engaging targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, noting that the IDF F-16s flew in as civilian jets were landing at Beirut and Damascus airports. In September, Israeli actions resulted in the death of 15 Russian servicemen after Israeli jets deliberately used Russian Il-20 recon plane as a cover and placed it into the path of a Syrian air defense missile.

Urging the UN Security Council to adopt measures to stop such blatant violations of Syrian sovereignty by the Jewish state, Jaafari accused France, Britain and the US – all permanent members of the world body – of endorsing Israeli aggression in breach of their responsibility to “maintain international peace and security in accordance with international law.”

Placing little faith into Western intentions to bring long-awaited peace to the country, the diplomat noted that Syria plans to restore full sovereignty over its lost territories, including the Golan Heights, which Israel continues to occupy.

“The restoration sovereignty of the occupied Syrian Golan is a permanent right of Syria that [is] not subject to negotiations,” Jafari stressed.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. While Tel Aviv refrained from extending sovereignty over the Golan for over a decade, in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the area. The Druze of the Golan were offered full Israeli citizenship under the Golan Heights Law of 1981, but only a small minority changed their allegiance from Syria to Israel. Syria repeatedly reiterated that the occupied land is an integral part of its territory, and that it will work to return it by all means necessary. Tel Aviv sees things differently.

“Israel will remain forever on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will forever remain in our hands,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in November, after the US become the only state to vote alongside Israel against a symbolic, non-binding UN resolution calling on Tel Aviv to withdraw from the occupied region.

هل تشتبك موسكو مع تل أبيب فوق سماء فلسطين…؟

يناير 22, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

كشفت مصادر استخبارية مطلعة أنّ الروس قد يلجأون قريباً الى خطوة تصعيدية ضدّ حكومة نتن ياهو يمكن أن تغير في قواعد الاشتباك في سورية.

فقد علم أن القيادة العسكرية الروسية أرسلت اخطاراً قوياً لحكومة تل ابيب بأنّ القيادة الروسية قد تلجأ لإسقاط طائرات إسرائيلية فوق سماء فلسطين المحتلة، إذا ما استمرّ التصعيد الإسرائيلي ومحاولات قصف محيط مطار دمشق الدولي !

وطبقاً للمصادر المذكورة فقد تمّ إرسال وفد عسكري روسي الى تل ابيب يوم امس الأول، لمناقشة الوضع، حيث دارت مناقشات محتدمة وحادة خرج على أثرها الوفد الروسي غاضباً ما يدلل على اتساع رقعة الاختلاف بين الجانبين …!

إقدام العدو الإسرائيلي على غارة يوم الأحد الفاشلة كان على ما يبدو الخطوة التي أغضبت الروس أكثر فأكثر ما دفعها للتصدي المشترك مع القيادة العسكرية السورية لتلك الغارة وهو ما يحصل لأول مرة منذ مايو العام الماضي، وذلك من خلال منظومة بانسير وبوق اي ليس الـ»اس 200» التي كانت تستخدم من قبل القيادة العسكرية السورية منفردة!

فشل غارة الأحد الفاضحة خاصة وهي الأولى لرئيس الاركان الجديد الحليف لنتن ياهو المطارد بسلسلة اكبر من الفشل، دفعت بعصابة تل ابيب الى مغامرة جديدة فجر يوم الإثنين شارك فيها هذه المرة بالإضافة الى طائرات العدو منظومة صواريخ أرض أرض ايضاً وعلى دفعات متتالية، فيما اعتبر استطلاعاً بالنار في محاولة يائسة لاكتشاف مدى جدية القرار الروسي الأخير …!

الملاحظ في غارة الأحد كما في موجات القصف الاثنيني، بأنها لاذت بسماء البحر المتوسط قدر الامكان، كما ابتعدت عن سماء لبنان في محاولة للتقليل من استفزاز الروس على ما يبدو.

هذا كما حاولت عصابة تل أبيب تبرير عدوانها الجديد بالادّعاء بأنّ صاروخين هجوميّين انطلقا من الاراضي السورية تابعين لما يسمّونه للواء القدس الإيراني، وأنه هو السبب وراء موجة صواريخهم الجديدة فجر الاحد!

هذا ومن المعلوم بأنّ منظومة التصدي الميدانية الجديدة لحلف المقاومة كانت تعمل حسب المصادر آنفة الذكر بشكل متزامن من غرفة عمليات عسكرية تعمل في العاصمتين السورية والروسية بشكل مشترك!

السؤال الذي يفرض نفسه في هذه الحالة هو: أين اصبحت حالة الطيران الإسرائيلي بعد التحذير الروسي الأخير والذي بات مترافقاً مع غضب متزايد؟ وهل تلجأ موسكو فعلاً الى إسقاط طائرات «إسرائيلية» فوق فلسطين المحتلة في حال استمرّ العدوان الإسرائيلي متكرّراً على محيط دمشق؟

الأيام والأسابيع المقبلة يقال إنها حبلى بمفاجآت كثيرة، وقد تكون هذه واحدة من تلك المفاجآت…

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

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