Consider this an update on the post from yesterday: Syria: Turkeys' military escapades; Israeli jeep enters Syrian territory & more
Concerning the taking, by the Syrian Army, of a strategic town near Lebanon
This town has got to be extremely important, judging by today's news
NATO merc footage:
Syria opposition calls for reinforcements in embattled Qusair
(this story has changed from this am. quotes below are from original.)
Syria's leading opposition group called on Wednesday for rebels across the country to send reinforcements to the strategic border town Qusair
George Sabra, acting head of the opposition National Coalition, called on fighters to send arms and men to the area
Seizing Qusair would also allow Assad to sever links between rebel-held areas in the north and south of Syria.
Rebel leaders have warned of sectarian revenge attacks against Shi'ites and Alawites on either side of the Syrian-Lebanese border if rebels lose Qusair.
The above highlighted sentence causes me a bit of consternation-
I read this sentence as rebel leaders aka NATO mercs , largely fanatical Sunni’s (wahabbi/salafi) threatening slaughter of the Shiites and Alawites on their way out the door.
Thinking realistically and rationally about this situation. That can be the only conclusion taken away from warnings made by rebel leaders. They will engage in mass slaughter. As they have done previously on innumerable occasions. (Has anyone forgotten the organ eating rebel?)
Location of the continuing battle: borrowed from here
Continuing on with the ‘rebel’ aka NATO mercs:
"If we lose Qusair, we lose Homs, and if we lose Homs, we lose the heart of the country," said Ahmed, a rebel speaking by Skype from Homs as explosions and gunfire crackled in the background.
One rebel source, who asked not to be named, said Assad and Hezbollah forces had cut most of the oppositions overland supply lines into Qusair. But he said the rebels were still able to bring some supplies and fighters in through secret tunnels.
An analyst close to Qatari officials said the Sunni Gulf state, which has funneled money and weapons to the opposition, was looking for new routes to send in supplies to Qusair.
Rebel forces from other parts of Syria appear to have taken seriously the call for support seriously.
The large Islamist Tawheed Brigade in the northern province of Aleppo published a video of a 30-car convoy it said was heading to Qusair.
Sedans and pickup trucks loaded with artillery and fighters sped down the highway, with rebels waving black Islamist banners ( AQ/ Al Nusra fighting on behalf of NATO?)
shouting "God is Great."
I would think Syrian army will be watching for such travelers? In the air and on the ground.
In the previous post Qatar and their role in all this mayhem was mentioned in the comments.
And yes, Qatar has been very important in the destruction of Syria. I have covered the reasons for that participation previously, so I won’t rehash all of that yet again.
I will limit my commentary to kick off this next section with this statement: Qatar would benefit immensely from Syria’s destruction so their starring role should be unsurprising. So lets talk Qatar and their so called "court intellectual". A man I find highly suspicious.
Financial Times: How Qatar seized control of the Syrian revolution
Qatar has emerged as a driving force: pouring in tens of millions of dollars to arm the rebels.
Yet it also stands accused of dividing them - and of positioning itself for even greater influence in the post-Assad era.
A short drive from the rising skyscrapers of Doha’s West Bay, emblems of the once-sleepy Qatari capital’s frenetic growth, the three-starred flag of the Syrian revolution can be seen fluttering over a modern villa guarded by police cars. The villa is the new Syrian Arab Republic embassy in Qatar, representing not the regime of Bashar al-Assad, but opponents fighting for his removal.
|The opening of the Syrian Arab Republic embassy in Qatar, March 2013|
The opening of the embassy was a theatrical expression of this small, massively rich country’s single-minded lurch into Syria’s crisis. When it comes to backing Syria’s rebels, no one can claim more credit than the gas-rich Gulf state. Whether in terms of armaments or financial support for dissidents, diplomatic manoeuvring or lobbying, Qatar has been in the lead, readily disgorging its gas-generated wealth in the pursuit of the downfall of the House of Assad.
In the shell-blasted areas of rebel-held Syria, few appear to be aware of the vast sums that Qatar has contributed – estimated by rebel and diplomatic sources to be about $1bn, but put by people close to the Qatar government at as much as $3bn.
Qatar’s role in Syria seems uncharacteristically prominent for a country that lacks the diplomatic experience and traditional heavyweight status of a more discreet Saudi Arabia.
Most of Doha’s neighbours in the Gulf are hostile to the Islamist trend in the region, but this is of little consequence to a state that takes pleasure in being contrarian. Nor are the al-Thanis embarrassed by the contradictions of an autocracy cheerleading for revolution.In other words the al-Thanis are shameless. Big surprise.
The part below is most interesting. This is where we meet Azmi Bishari a man of influence in Qatar:
“One person who influenced the emir’s thinking at the time is Azmi Bishara, a prominent former Arab Israeli MP, exiled in Qatar (like many other Arab dissidents) after the Israeli government accused him of passing information to the Lebanese group Hizbollah during Israel’s onslaught on Lebanon in 2006 – a charge Bishara denies.What is the background on this so called “exiled” Israeli MP? Was he exiled to give him credibility?
An adviser to the emir and the crown prince, Bishara has become something of a court intellectual in Doha.”
To make him appear as if he was hostile to Israel while he conducted business in such a way that was beneficial to Israel?
You decide for yourself. I have already made up my mind
If this man is a so called “court intellectual” in Doha, then I get the Israeli role in all of this!
And if Israel really wanted this man.....they would have had him. Dead or alive.
Back to Qatar;The FT article concludes:
Whether Qatar’s venture into Syrian opposition politics will have any returns will depend on whether Syria survives as a country – something that is by no means assured. Perhaps for the Qatari emir, the demise of Assad will be sufficient satisfaction. In theory, Qatar could also emerge with multiple points of influence through Islamists and loyal brigades. But it has already created many enemies inside Syria, and not just among pro-regime supporters. So torn apart is the fabric of Syria’s society, and so radicalised and suspicious its battered population, that the Qataris are more likely to find that they are neither thanked – nor even wanted – there.
Also included is a ‘who’s who’ list. Good piece for background info
WP had a rather large piece on the Israeli incursion into Syria
Apparently Israel is moving away from diplomacy... I was unaware of Israel engaging in diplomacy?
In blunt language marking a turn away from diplomatic caution.....
“We will not allow the area of the Golan Heights to turn into an easy target for Syrian attacks,” IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said.
Just a target for Israeli attacks from occupied territory into Syria, right? This cackling from Israel seems to have much to do with the Lebanese border town mentioned at the beginning of the post.
This town has to be very important in the whole scheme of things. A game changer as WP makes clear
Gaining control of Qusair could be a game-changer for Assad’s government.
I am getting this “Stalingrad” sort of feeling...close quarters, intense battles. Keeping in mind the invader (Germany) retreated from that battle. Both sides sustaining devastating losses.
Maybe a bit to dramatic?
On a more humourous note?
To believe this nonsense, is to suspend all sense of reality.
I mean, come on!
Court: US Can Keep Bin Laden Photos Under Wraps
A federal appeals court Tuesday backed the U.S. government's decision not to release photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos.
Correct me if I am mistaken, but, didn’t the US government release alleged dead Osama photos that were quickly demonstrated to be fakes? I recall seeing some.
The court said that it was undisputed that the government wasn't withholding the images to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment, but rather to prevent the killing of Americans and violence against U.S. interests.
The court said “it was undisputed that the government wasn’t withholding images to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment”
Well if the court said that, that must be the truth of it all.....(wink, wink)
That is a blatant, obvious, appeal to authority.
Because the government would never withhold any information to ‘cover their asses’ if it was to their benefit. And the court says that is undisputed?
And you just take the court’s word on that!
UPDATE # 1 BEGINS-
Russia: Syria opposition too divided
Russia said on Wednesday that the Syrian opposition had not yet shown enough commitment to efforts, to arrange a peace conference with President Bashar Assad's government.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov praised the Syrian government's response to joint US-Russian efforts to seek a resolution to the more than two-year-old conflict but said the opposition was too divided to agree on its participation.
"We value the constructive reaction of the Syrian leadership to this proposal," Lavrov said at talks with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Moscow.
"We also hope that a constructive reaction from various opposition groups... will follow. So far, however, the news is not hopeful."
UPDATE # 2 BEGINS - Anonymous comments that Israel is promoting a pre-emption narrative
As I went to sign out, lo and behold: Amid Syria tensions, IAF chief says 'surprise war' a threat
"surprise war" sure.
Israel Air Force chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel warned that Israel must be prepared for a "surprise war" developing.
Addressing a national security conference in Herzliya held by the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, Eshel stated that "a surprise war can develop today in many forms. Isolated events can escalate very quickly and require that we are ready in hours to act in the full spectrum - and when I say the full spectrum, I mean activating the full capabilities of the Air Force."
He said in a future war, the IAF will have to pave a path for the Ground Forces through very heavy bombings that will hit the ground and turn a ground offensive into something that is far easier and faster. "We must be the central component in a ground maneuver, and we are dealing with this a lot."
Is Israel suggesting they are going to massively bomb Syria and then send in the troops?
JP article ends:
Ya'alon played down the prospect of anyone on the Syrian side starting a war with Israel "because they understand the heavy price they would pay".