Tag Archives: Syrian civil war

The UAV which penetrated Israel airspace from #Syria was…Israeli made?!

7 Sep

In July an unknown UAV penetrated Israel’s airspace from Syria. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) did everything to bring it down, to no avail. This included firing patriot missiles and sending an F-16 fighter jet to shoot down the drone, all of which proved to be unsuccessful. Because of its small size and agility, the UAV stayed in Israeli airspace for apparently half an hour, which must have seemed like an eternity to the IDF.

Well, the story just got more interesting.

According to Arie Egozi who writes for the reputable aviation magazine Flight Global, Israeli military sources now suggest that the UAV was probably:

a Searcher 2 designed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which was being operated by Russian forces deployed within Syria.

So it was one of our own UAVs which we sold to Russia. So that also means that the Russians are most probably using Israeli made UAVs in their campaign to defend Iran and Hezbollah’s ally Bashar Al Assad in Syria! These spy drones were sold to Russia in 2010 as part pf a $400 million arms package, well before the Syrian civil war started, but as history has shown, you never know where your weapons end up at.

#Syria opposition (esp #ISIS) also starving Syrians

31 Jan

We all know about the brutal siege imposed by the Syrian regime and its Hezbollah ally against the residents of the Syrian city of Madaya. Today, there were new reports that another 16 people have starved to death in that city.

This is a crime, which is also being committed by the anti-Syrian regime groups, including ISIS.

According to the Associated Press, the following places in Syria are also under siege, by the anti- Assad forces:

Fouaa and Kfarya: Two Shiite villages in the northern province of Idlib with a combined population of around 20,000. The villages have been blockaded by rebels for more than a year. Pro-government fighters recently evacuated from the villages describe desperate conditions there with scarce food and medicine, saying some residents are eating grass to survive and undergoing surgery without anesthesia….

This is in addition to:

Deir el-Zour: An estimated 200,000 people living in government-held parts of this city in eastern Syria are besieged by the Islamic State group. The U.N. says most of the residents are women and children facing sharply deteriorating conditions due to the ban on all commercial or humanitarian access, as well as the inability of residents to move outside of the city…

So how many people in Syria are living under siege by the regime and the opposition? According to the UN:

400,000 people are besieged in 15 communities across Syria, roughly half of them in areas controlled by the Islamic State group”.

And what percentage of them can the UN reach ?

In 2014, the U.N. was able to deliver food to about five percent of people in besieged areas, while today estimates show the organization is reaching less than one percent.

A crime of terrible proportions being committed, right in front of our eyes by the Assad regime and Hezbollah, alongside other anti- regime terrorists, like ISIS.

On Syria, Obama should test Putin now

15 Sep

Sorry, but I am not convinced. 

Assad is unlikely to give up his entire chemical weapon arsenal. Instead, what we are likely to see is a long, drawn out cat and mouse game between him and the West.

Why? in my opinion because:

1- As long as there is not a Chapter 7 UN Security Council Resolution which leaves a military response hanging over his head if he does not deliver, Assad is not going to take this agreement seriously.

2- He is unlikely to give up all of his chemical weapons because recent events have shown him that they are a useful bartering tool. He will always need to keep some hidden for the next crisis, so that he can barter it for something else. This time he bartered his chemical weapons arsenal in return for not being attacked, he could do it again next time for something else.

I appreciate that the US has its own considerations, but I think if president Obama is looking for a sustainable solution, he should make sure that this agreement is backed by a chapter 7 resolution. And if the Russians don’t play ball on this now, they are not going to play ball later when Assad has to deliver.

Better to test Putin now, rather than later.

Iran to send more troops to Syria?

25 Jul

Today I read an interesting analysis by Shimon Shapira, which was published at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

According to the findings of its report, entitled “Iran’s Plans to Take Over Syria“:

In mid-April, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah paid a secret visit to Tehran where he met with the top Iranian officials headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Gen. Qasem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Suleimani prepared an operational plan named after him based upon the establishment of a 150,000-man force for Syria, the majority of whom will come from Iran, Iraq, and a smaller number from Hizbullah and the Gulf states.

I think this is not all bad news for Israel.

Just imagine the scenario: a Chemical weapon goes missing in Syria. Between Al Qaeda and Hezbollah forces in Syria, who would Israel prefer to take the weapon? Although not a good choice (in this region we usually don’t have the luxury of having good choices), Hezbollah is far more balanced and deter-able than Al Qaeda.

Now of course there are those in Israel who don’t like Hezbollah and Iran – with good reason.

Nevertheless, in the short term, what is going on in Syria is good for Israel. How can it not be? Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are killing each other.

But in the medium to long term, instability in Syria will be bad for Israel. Which is why Israel needs to reach a deal with the PLO in order to prepare itself diplomatically for what is to come in Syria.

Israel must learn that its not enough to be prepared militarily for a future conflict. It also needs to be diplomatically prepared too.