WAR DRUMS: Syrian Regime Takes Strategic Hills East of Israel’s Golan Heights

Multiple sources in Syria have confirmed that despite ongoing fighting between the Syrian Regime and Jihadists, the regime has taken the Bardaya Hills just East of the town of Bayat Jin near the Golan Heights.  Assad’s dreaded 4th Armoured Division over ran the Jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham to take the hills.

The area around Beit Jinn has been strategic in giving Israel a wide enough buffer zone to keep Assad and Iran away from the Golan.  With the 4th Division over taking it, this buffer zone is now in peril.

Althought the Prime Minister has threatened to take action, the continual advancement towards the Israeli border by the Syrian Regime and thus Iran appears to have taken Jerusalem by surprise.  At the end of the day, Israel’s security has been continually outsourced to either the Trump administration who has seen the Syrian theatre as a losing quagmire or Russia who does not have Israel’s needs in mind.

Israel is coming to a crossroads and must take the necessary action before the Assad regime and Iran complete it take over of the North East Israeli border area, thus rendering Israel a paper tiger.

Russia Cuts Out USA By Playing Dealmaker Between Israel and Syria

According to an anonymous Israeli source, Kuwati newspaper Al Jarida reported on Sunday that Israel relayed a message to Putin that the IDF would destroy all Iranian facilities within 40 kilometers of Israel’s Golan Heights.

The message was relayed to Putin directly by Prime Minister Netanyahu.  The Russian President took the liberty to pass the threat in person to President Basher Assad of Syria who surprisingly was said to offer a deal to Israel.

According to Al Jarida the source reported that “Assad said Damascus was ready to discuss the disarmament of the Golan Heights with a zone equalling 40 kilometers from the Golan as well as considering autonomy for the Kurds and Druze.”

Whether Iran ultimately agrees with this or not is still the stumbling block to the deal going through. Yet, it is important to note that it is Russia that has begun to play the vaunted role of “peace” maker in the region.  With the USA playing a soft power role within the behind the scenes shuffling in Saudi Arabia, Israel has had no choice but to reach out to Putin in a last-minute play to stave off a wider war with Iran and Hezbollah.

While there has been much noise that Israel and the Saudis are locked together against Iran and Hezbollah, that is only strategic.  There appears to be tactical differences between the two countries.  Afterall, if Israel were to go after Hezbollah in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, it would potentially suffer far more casualties and damage than the Saudis, whose land mass is far bigger.

Netanyahu’s approach has always been to hold off on what many see as the impending conflict with Iran and rather cut deals when possible.  This is of course a great short-term tactic, but relying on Putin to cut your deal for you may not be the best strategic option.

The unfolding changes across the Middle East are happening at a fast pace.  Giving Assad a pass now will not help once the Sunni-Shiite conflict reaches a far more acute phase. Strategically speaking, Israel is tied to Saudi Arabia and the moves the USA is making and setting place in the region.  The Russian may be seen now as the big winner in the region, but strategically speaking that is only if they are not given an outsized role by others.

The Russian propaganda machine and those online that support it have been spreading a narrative of a collapsing Sunni front under dwindling oil revenues.  While there is some truth to that, one must remember that Sunni Islam represents 90% of Muslims around the world.  Iran was able to achieve its geopolitical successes not because of its advanced military or technology, but rather it road the coattails of bad policy decisions flowing from the previous US administration that created a vacuum in the Middle East.

Russia has been adept at cutting out the USA when necessary, especially in relation to America’s long time allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia.  On one hand Russia claims it wants to play the role of peacemaker, yet this is more or less equivalent to a person claiming they want peace, but does so while holding a gun up to the other person’s head.

The lure of ensuring that 40km of Syrian land would be demiliarized may be attractive, but it also will come at a price, which has yet to be made public.


Get Ready for the Trump Doctrine

When Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched the 21st century’s second deadliest chemical weapons attack on Tuesday, President Trump must have paged through President Obama’s playbook in responding to this century’s deadliest chemical attack less than four years earlier and resolved to do exactly the opposite. It turns out he’s onto something.

When pro-regime Syrian forces gassed the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta in 2013, a year after President Obama warned Assad that use of chemical weapons would cross a red line, the Obama administration spent three weeks preparing to do something.

Cognizant that the American public was overwhelmingly opposed to military action, it decided to win congressional authorization first. Unwilling to act alone, the administration worked to secure international support for and participation in U.S.-led retaliatory air strikes.

Concerned that U.S. military action against the Assad regime would raise expectations of a broader policy shift against Assad, making it even harder to persuade the rebels to attend U.S.-brokered peace talks, Obama administration officials worked to deflate these hopes. Secretary of State John Kerry famously assured the world that the planned strikes would be “unbelievably small.”

Obama’s response to Assad’s 2013 chemical attack was a legendary failure.

The result was a legendary failure. Angry over the intentionally negligible scope of the planned air strikes, congressional Republicans withdrew their support. Britain’s parliament voted against air strikes, while NATO allies demurred with the exception of France. Moves to secure an Arab League resolution fizzled.

President Obama ended up abandoning the planned attack in favor of a Russian-brokered commitment from Assad to dismantle his chemical weapons arsenal. Not only was the agreement not fully implemented — smaller-scale chemical weapons use continued intermittently until this week — but it forced the international community to acknowledge and deal with Assad for the first time since the civil war began, leading Sunni governments to step up support for militant Islamists and paving the way for Russia’s military intervention the following year.

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Obama’s former defense secretary, Leon Panetta, later conceded that his handling of the crisis, “sent a mixed message, not only to Assad, not only to the Syrians, but to the world.”

President Trump appears to have learned all these lessons in the wake of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in Idlib province on Tuesday. He acted unilaterally, neither waiting for nor requesting the participation of other nations. He felt no inclination to shield himself from public backlash by seeking authorization from congress. And he acted quickly, with airstrikes coming less than three days later.

Trump’s response was quick, unilateral, and politically courageous.

Rather than assuring everyone beforehand that the planned strike would not change Washington’s posture in Syria, Trump hinted at further action, “to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria” and “end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”

Although Trump’s military action was every bit as limited as the air strikes planned by the Obama administration four years ago, it is likely to be far more effective in achieving its aims.

In addition to sending a clear message to the Assad regime that the U.S. will not hesitate to punish further use of chemical weapons, Trump’s military action signals unmistakably to other states in possession of unconventional weapons that the U.S. will respond forcefully to their use. The fact that the Trump administration was visibly warming to Assad as of the beginning of this week underscores that improved relations with Washington won’t offer much protection against the consequences of WMD use.

By washing away the stain of Obama’s shameful handling of the 2013 Ghouta attack, Trump’s bold action will make it easier for the U.S. to establish and enforce red lines regarding other adversaries on a range of other issues without having to resort to force.

But here’s the kicker. Ordinarily, an American president launching unilateral military action without United Nations approval or anything but pro forma consultation with allies would elicit howls of protest from the international community — doubly so, you’d think, if his name happened to be Donald Trump. The astonishingly favorable reaction to the strike throughout the world underscores that bold American leadership and decisive action are the way to win friends, not multilateralism and diplomatic nicety.

Originally published in the Hill under the title “Trump Learned from Obama’s Mistakes and Took Action.”

Israel Behind the News [Dec 2, 2015]

BDS-backing Jewish horse expert stands by ‘fair’ snub of Israeli schoolgirl

What can one say when our people have such a skewed and misunderstood view of the world. Unfortunately more and more of these sorts of people exist.  The idea that the Jewish State is anything remotely close to the Nazi regime is a viewpoint that is just completely detached from reality.

Assad: Peace only when West ends support for ‘terrorists’

The problem is that the West is giving plenty of verbal ammunition by venturing into a proxy war by first funding the nascent ISIS over two years ago and it is known the State Department was also helping to organize and fund Al Nusra. The facts here are on the side of Assad, yet of course he is a huge sponsor of terrorist entities himself.

Young Arab Women Joining the War Against Israel

It’s all about culture. For the Arab Jihadists all members of the citizenry are part of the struggle and in return all members of Israel’s society are fair game.