Tensions are rising again between Israel and Syria as the two countries have exchanged missile fire over the past 24 hours.
According to The Jerusalem Post, an IDF Spokesperson confirmed that Israel’s air defense system identified a single Syrian surface-to-air missile that fell into Golan Heights after the Syrian regime stated it had downed “hostile targets” over the southern part of the country.
However, the spokesperson denied that Israel had struck an Iranian base in Syria despite several reports indicating an attack had taken place against Iranian militia. Alleged video of the incident uploaded to Twitter reported by Newsweek, has been purged as Twitter suspended the account.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) November 29, 2018
“Air defense intercepts hostile targets over al-Kiswah and downed them,” a military source was quoted by SANA.
According to numerous local reports, the downed targets that the Syrian army was talking about are Israeli missiles which were targeting positions of Iranian proxy militias in southern Syria.
Saudi-owned TV station Al-Arabiya is further reporting Israeli planes attacked Iranian targets in Syria close to where the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah.
The Syrian Defense Ministry corroborated those events, stating on Thursday that “our air defenses are thwarting hostile targets over the area of Al-Kiswah and are shooting them down.”
Explosions were also reported in and around the Syrian capital of Damascus, near its international airport, which Israel has previously claimed in another strike that Iran was using the airport to supply terror groups with advanced weaponry.
“Israeli forces bombarded for an hour position in the southern and southwestern suburbs of Damascus as well as in the south of Syria at the border of Quneitra province,” the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor Rami Abdel Rahman said.
DEBKAfile, a known intelligence resource utilized by Mossad, reported that “three waves of air and missile attacks had struck Al Kiswah, south of the capital, Qanaqar to the southwest, and Quneitra opposite Israel’s Golan border.”
Israel further denied the claims, with an Israeli general stating that airstrikes on Syria “have been cut almost to zero” since a Russian plane was shot down near Latakia two months ago, a former head of Military Intelligence said earlier Thursday, Haaretz reported.
Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, interviewed on Radio 103, stated that Iran was “changing tactics” by reducing its presence in Syria in favor of Iraq and Lebanon.
“Apart from the Russians’ anger with us, I assume they also passed stern messages to the Iranians,” he said. “Russia’s strategy is to stabilize Syria, and Iran was disrupting that by developing its precision missile facilities.”
DEBKAfile followed up on their report, stating that for “75 minutes on Thursday night, Nov. 29, the IDF blasted Iranian, Hizballah and Syrian targets in its biggest ever surface missile attack on Syria, DEBKAfile’s intelligence and military sources can now reveal.”
The incident comes several hours after an Iranian cargo plane packed with Iranian weapons allegedly destined for Hezbollah flew directly from Tehran to Beirut’s Rafic Hariri Airport, Israel National News reported.
Meanwhile, according to i24NEWS, there are more than 10,000 Iran-trained Syrian troops, which represent “a real danger on the northern border.”
Israeli officials have constantly asserted their position over the growing Iranian presence on its borders and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing these are “red-lines” drawn in the sand.
In May, Israeli airstrikes targeted Iranian assets belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp’s Quds Force near Al-Kiswah. That strike included intelligence sites, logistics headquarters, a military compound, and weapons storage sites at the Damascus International Airport, according to the IDF.
This came in response to an reported at the time.in Golan Heights, CBS
With the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah forces, Israel’s northern front has become the IDF’s number one priority. Working to prevent the entrenchment of Iranian forces and the transfer of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah, the Israel Air Force has admitted to carrying out hundreds of airstrike in Syria.
Early last month, Russia provided Syria with its S-300 advanced anti-aircraft missile system in response to the downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli airstrike on Iranian targets in September.
Both Damascus and Tehran have threatened aggressive military response if there are any further Israeli strikes in Syria. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have vowed to continue clandestine missions in Syria.
Despite denial by Israel of bombing Syria this time, late last month, Reuters reported a senior Israeli official stating that Israel has “attacked in Syria, including after the downing of the Russian plane.” So why wouldn’t they attack now? This contradicts the public press release attempt of Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin.
While last month, a week after the systems were received a former U.S. Defense Attaché to Russia Brigadier General Peter Zwack previous stated that Israel would destroy the S-300 defense system offered by Russia to Syria, Al-Wattan Voice reported.
“At the end, the time when the Israeli planes target S-300 defence system owned by the Syrian army is coming. This is an important issue for Israel. It will not remain silent,” Zwack said. Adding, “Based on my knowledge about the Israelis, they will tell Russia that the defence system is owned by Syria and then they will do their best to strike it and take it out of service.”
In a separate development against Israel, CNN fired contributor Marc Lamont Hill on Thursday after the Temple University professor made controversial comments criticizing the Jewish state at the United Nations.
“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” Hill said in his speech.
Hill responded in a Facebook post:
Today, I spoke at the United Nations, as a representative of civil society, for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It was truly an honor. I ruffled a few feathers, as I offered a thorough critique of Israeli policy and practice, American complicity (both current and pre-Trump), respectability politics, and state violence across the Middle East and US. Beyond critique, I also offered a vision of transnational political solidarity, courageous action, and radical hope.
This comes on the heels of six pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel resolutions that are expected to pass, including calling on the Jewish state to withdraw from the Golan Heights. The UN is calling on Israel to “respect for the historic status quo at the holy places of Jerusalem, including the Haram al-Sharif, in word and in practice.”
This marks the 71st anniversary of the U.S. passage of Resolution 181, which directed independent Jewish and Arab states on the territory that had been under British control since the end of World War I, according to The Jerusalem Post.
It’s interesting to note that Netanyahu has been recommended to be indicted for three separate charges including fraud, media corruption, and bribery. As such, the Prime Minister may be using this latest attack as a distraction as his official response has denounced calls for early elections last week as “irresponsible to topple the government” in the midst of a “sensitive security situation.”
Meanwhile, another scandal has erupted as Israeli police stated earlier in November that they have gathered sufficient evidence in an investigation known as Case 3000. The case stems from Israel’s acquisition of submarines and patrol boats from Germany, and seeks to indict former senior politicians and IDF officers as well as close associates of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
A recent poll by Glatz A radio suggested just that, stating 58% of the Israelis believed that the motives of Prime Minister Netanyahu were political.
The U.S. itself has supported Israel’s attacks in Syria and has demanded Iran and its allied militias withdraw, while the CIA has created a new organization tasked with focusing on Iran.
Last month, in an address to the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s 36th annual awards dinner in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that “defeating ISIS, which was once our primary focus, continues to be a top priority, but it will now be joined by two other mutually reinforcing objectives. These include a peaceful and political resolution to the Syrian conflict and the removal of all Iranian and Iranian-backed forces from Syria.”
Back in June The Wall Street Journal published a report saying that America’s Central Intelligence Agency had set up a new organization whose sole task would be to focus on Iran under the direction of “Ayatollah Mike” D’andrea who is also an Iran war hawk like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.
As previously reported by Activist Post, Bolton and Pompeo are both avid Iran war hawks. For more information on the history of CIA involvement in Iran, see this writer’s previous article written in part with help from a former CIA official, “U.S. History Of Attempting To Overthrow Iran Is Riddled With Conspiracy To Stage Conflicts #DisbandTheCIA.”
In November 2016, way before Trump even considered Bolton for National Security Advisor, Bolton stated that regime change in Iran was the only way.
“The ayatollahs are the principal threat to international peace and security in the Middle East,” Bolton told Breitbart News Daily, a radio program run by the hard-right website with close ties to Donald Trump. “Now, their ouster won’t bring sweetness and light to the region, that’s for sure, but it will eliminate the principal threat.”[…]
“I think the people of Iran would long for a new regime,” Bolton continued, later suggesting that the U.S. should support opposition groups looking to overthrow it. “I don’t think the regime is popular, but I think it has the guns. And I think there are ways of supporting the opposition that does not involve the use of American military force, that does involve helping the opposition to get a different kind of government.”
But that’s far from the only pawn in place for regime change in Iran and another war — Mike Pompeo is now U.S. Secretary of State. War hawk Pompeo previously downplayed the cost of bombing Iran:
In an unclassified setting, it is under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity. This is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces.
Even further, in his statement on July 14, 2015, the day the nuclear accord was reached, then Rep. Pompeo argued that Iran “is intent on the destruction of our country,” and said “this deal allows Iran to continue its nuclear program – that’s not foreign policy; it’s surrender.”
If Pompeo needed to be any more blunt, one of his tweets from before he became CIA director is a tell-all of his plans as Secretary of State.
The now-deleted tweet stated:
I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.
Pompeo also introduced several bills intended to further divide diplomacy with Iran, including one that passed the House which would block the U.S. from purchasing heavy water from Iran; and another that effectively imposed further sanctions than existed prior to the deal under the guise of targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Now, U.S. President Donald Trump and the White House released a fresh statement on the Syrian situation in the form of support for “H.R. 1677 – Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2018,” which essentially states “regime change:”
The Administration strongly supports the passage of H.R. 1677, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2018.” The bill would add to a robust set of tools at the Administration’s disposal to help bring to an end the heartbreaking ongoing tragedy in Syria and to hold Syrian officials accountable for the slaughter of civilians and other atrocities. This bill will help provide additional leverage to achieve the United States government’s objectives to de-escalate the military conflict and support the United Nations-led peace process and a transition to a government in Syria that honors the will of the Syrian people, respects the rule of law and human rights, and peacefully co-exists with its neighbors in the region.
At its core, the bill provides additional tools designed to deny the Assad regime and its proxies access to the international financial system and to block the financial and other support that fuels the murder of innocent Syrians. In addition, it would facilitate the continued use of economic sanctions and visa restrictions to hold accountable members of the Assad regime who are responsible for or complicit in the serious human rights abuses and war crimes committed against innocent Syrians. As the President has said, every solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria must also include a strategy to address the brutal regime that has fueled and financed it: the corrupt dictatorship in Iran.
The Administration remains committed to our objectives in Syria of liberating remaining territory from ISIS control, enabling the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, de-escalating the violence, deterring the Assad regime’s further use of chemical weapons, and advancing the United Nations-led political resolution track called for in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254. The President has made clear that United States partners and allies must share the burden in achieving these aims. The Administration would interpret the bill consistent with these objectives, which are in the national security interest of the United States,” The Whitehouse wrote in a statement.
One only needs to have eyes to see what’s going on here; no educational degree in politics is needed. If you don’t see what’s happening, the only clear explanation is that you are physically blind. In which case, you wouldn’t be reading this article. It’s that obvious that the U.S. is setting up regime change operations in Iran; you need to be completely living under a rock for the past few months to ignore the geopolitical moves by all countries involved.
In April this year, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu then started parroting once again that Iran has nuclear weapons, presenting what he called “new and conclusive proof” of violations. Coincidentally enough, this came just a few weeks after a major geopolitical move by Iran to drop the U.S. dollar for the Euro in foreign trade transactions. A huge deal…
In short, most well-developed nations in the world have nuclear weapons. While some have signed the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Israel has not. So, for Israel to worry about Iran having the nuclear capability is a joke because Israel itself has nuclear weaponry, as Iran claimed in 2015.
It’s laughable that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become everybody’s nonproliferation guru. He is sitting on 400 nuclear warheads, nuclear warheads that have been acquired in violation of the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty].
Whether the number of 400 nuclear weapons is too high or not doesn’t matter; it’s a fact that Israel has WMDs which was well established by the U.S. government in a 1999 DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) report.
One month prior, Iran did the unthinkable by banning the U.S. dollar in trade, setting the groundwork for replacing it in foreign trade transactions. It’s a move that has been in the works and was attempted last year when Trump sanctioned the country mere days after Iran said it would stop using the U.S. dollar in response to President Trump’s previous travel ban.
This latest conflict between Syria and Iran comes less than a week after an unrelated incident with Russia and the Ukraine, where Russia fired on Ukrainian Navy ships injuring 6 people and capturing 3 boats. Another incident that will no doubt strain diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Ukraine allies further.
We are now witnessing tensions rise higher in the Eastern part of the world, which could eventually lead to WW3 if calm can’t be brought to the ongoing crises. In fact, in regards to Iran, the United States is already preparing for potential conflict — last year the U.S. silently introduced H.J.Res.10 “Authorization of Use of Force Against Iran Resolution.”
This resolution “authorizes the President to use the U.S. Armed forces as necessary in order to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.” This further shows the Trump administration’s view on Iran and Syria.
Last month, The Brookings Institution warned, “Will Israel and Iran go to war in Syria?”With each passing day that possibility seems more and more likely.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post.