Israel: ‘Red line’ for unproved use of chemical weapons + bombing of Syria…
May 5, 2013
‘Do the US, Iran Agree on Red Line For Syrian Chemical Weapons?’
The US’ turnaround and the Israeli attack, which has been in the works since Obama’s visit to Israel last month, according to Ben Caspit, follow a US intelligence assessment made public on April 25, based on evidence from Great Britain, France and Israel, and made by US intelligence agencies with “varying degrees of confidence” of “small scale” chemical weapons use, based upon “physiological samples” where “the chain of custody is not clear.”
There were also four key events which took place on April 30: the meeting of the Arab League delegation with US Secretary of State John Kerry about a revived Arab Peace Initiative, a fiery speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, an Israeli attack on Gaza and Iran’s statement that chemical weapons use is a red line in Syria.
As the United States and United Nations proceed with their investigations into the allegations of chemical weapons use, Washington, its Arab allies and Israel are now looking to increase military pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, so that Assad will agree to a political solution that includes his stepping aside. Syria is no longer just a battle of “the opposition” against the “Assad regime.” Those days are long gone. Syria is now a full scale Middle East War, with sectarian overtones and direct Israeli engagement, with the United States and Israel taking the side of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (read Sunni) to topple Assad, and break or set back the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah (read Shiite) axis.
(Iran has consistently opposed the use of weapons of mass destruction, as well as chemical weapons by any country, and has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in this respect.) http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/us-israel-syria-war-escalate-hezbollah.html
Turkey: ‘Red line’ for unproved use of chemical weapons + blaming Syria’s intelligence service for two car bombings that killed at least 46 people
May 9, 2013
‘Turkey would support U.S.-led no-fly zone in Syria: NBC’
Washington — Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would support a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone in Syria and warned that Damascus crossed President Barack Obama’s “red line” on chemical weapons use long ago, according to an NBC News interview released Thursday.
A no-fly zone to prohibit Syrian military aircraft from hitting rebel targets has been mentioned by American lawmakers as one option the United States could use to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Right from the beginning … we would say ‘Yes,” Erdogan said when asked if Turkey, a NATO member that shares its longest border with Syria, would support such action, according to an NBC.com report.
May 12, 2013
‘Turkey Blames Syria for Deadly Car Bombs’
Turkey — Turkey on Sunday blamed groups connected to Syria’s intelligence service for two car bombings that killed at least 46 people in a Turkish border town a day earlier.
Turkish officials said Sunday that security services had arrested nine people, all Turkish citizens, including the alleged mastermind, after two car bombs ripped through Reyhanli, a small town close to Syria. Syria denied any involvement in the bombings.Turkey’s interior minister, Muammer Guler, said an investigation showed that the huge blasts—which damaged almost 500 shops, 300 homes and 60 vehicles—were carried out by a “terrorist organization in close contact with Syria’s intelligence agency.”
Following the blast residents had attacked Syrian refugees and cars with Syrian number plates after the attacks, witnesses said.
One woman, who earlier Sunday buried a brother-in-law killed in the blast, blamed Turkey’s prime minister for bringing Syrians to Reyhanli and demanded they leave the town.
“I don’t want this government, I don’t want Syrians here. Why weren’t they taken somewhere further? We are tired of seeing Syrian fighters, it was the rebels who caused this,” said the woman.
May 22nd, 2012
‘Syrian rebels say Turkey is arming and training them’
Michael Weiss, the Research Director of The Henry Jackson Society, said that the weekend before last he was in Hatay province, in southern Turkey, interviewing Syrian ‘rebels’ and ‘activists’, who all complained of the lack of foreign assistance ‘in toppling the Assad regime’
Jackson: ‘A lot’s changed in a week. Rebel sources in Hatay told me last night that not only is Turkey supplying light arms to select battalion commanders, it is also training Syrians in Istanbul. Men from the unit I was embedded with were vetted and called up by Turkish intelligence in the last few days and large consignments of AK-47s are being delivered by the Turkish military to the Syrian-Turkish border. No one knows where the guns came from originally, but no one much cares.
This news, which has provided a much-needed morale boost to Syria’s embattled opposition, does appear to corroborate a recent report by the Washington Post that the United States has been facilitating the transfer of Gulf-purchased weapons to the so called rebels:
‘The U.S. contacts with the rebel military and the information-sharing with gulf nations mark a shift in Obama administration policy as hopes dim for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. Many officials now consider an expanding military confrontation to be inevitable.
Material is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border. Opposition activists who two months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said this week that the flow of weapons — most still bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military — has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.’
Israel’s goal in Syria: Prolong war, maximize destruction:
US tax buys bombs Israel drops on Syria: