Hezbollah fights for Assad; and how a US leak endangers Israel

The violence in Syria has spilt over not only into Israel, (a further incident occurred today) but is threatening to spread into Lebanon with the increasing involvement of Hezbollah terrorists fighting on the side of Assad against the rebels:

[…] Al-Arabiya TV reported that at least 20 Hezbollah fighters were killed in battles in the Syrian rebel-held town of Qusair. Their bodies were transported to hospitals in Beirut. One of those killed was senior Hezbollah official Fadi al-Jazar.

According to the report, al-Jazar had previously been held in Israel and released as part of a prisoner exchange deal. In addition, 62 wounded, many of them Hezbollah combatants, were taken to hospitals in Lebanon.

On Sunday, Syrian troops aided by Hezbollah launched a massive assault on the rebel-held city near the Lebanese border.

Speaking from Qusair, activist Hadi Abdallah said Syrian warplanes bombed Qusair in the morning and shells were hitting the town at a rate of up to 50 a minute. At least 52 people were killed, he said.

“The army is hitting Qusair with tanks and artillery from the north and east while Hezbollah is firing mortar rounds and multiple rocket launchers from the south and west,” he said.

“Most of the dead are civilians killed by the shelling.”

The region near the Orontos River has been segregated into Sunni and Shiite villages in the civil war that grew out of protests against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

It is vital for Assad, who belongs to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, to keep open a route from Shiite Hezbollah’s strongholds in the Bekaa to areas near Syria’s Mediterranean coast inhabited by co-religionist Alawites.

According to this New York Times report, the war has already hit Lebanon:

Tensions have risen in Lebanon as Syrian rebels have shelled Hezbollah-controlled areas. On Sunday, they hit the Lebanese town of Hermel with Grad rockets, activists said.

Once again I reiterate my prayer “May both sides lose”.

On a related subject, if you were surprised that the air-strikes over Damascus were so immediately pinned on Israel, when Israel usually takes a “plausible deniability” course, it emerges that it was a leak from the US Administration that revealed this information (even if it wasn’t a surprise).  Amazingly, the Obama Administration has apologized for this leak:

… the Obama administration has reportedly apologized to Israel for another leak of classified information to the media, one that occurred earlier this month and which Israeli officials are concerned could place Israeli lives at risk.

Israel Radio’s diplomatic correspondent Chico Menashe reported Sunday morning (via the Jerusalem Post):

American officials apologized to their Israeli counterparts for confirming that Israel was behind the airstrikes on the Damascus airport earlier this month, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

The confirmation reportedly came from the lower ranks at the Pentagon, and the reasons for the leak are being investigated.

Menashe tweeted: “The U.S. has apologized to Israel for leaking details of the attack in Syria. Senior administration officials said to their [Israeli] counterparts that they are examining the issue and that low-level [officials] were responsible for the leak.”

Menashe also wrote, “US officials told that they [will] review the matter. The leak forced Assad to react harshly.”

U.S. apologized for leaking details of Israel. US officials told that they review the matter.The leak forced assad to react harshly.

Indeed, the initial reports of the air-strikes all quoted “US officials”, as the article continues:

The New York Times attributed its report about the bombing on May 3 to an Obama administration official: “Israel aircraft bombed a target in Syria overnight Thursday, an Obama administration official said Friday night,

[…]

CNN, which broke the story first on May 3, quoted two unnamed U.S. officials:

“The United States believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria, two U.S. officials first told CNN.”

Two weeks later, Israel still has not officially taken responsibility for the bombings, which allegedly targeted Iranian Fateh-110 missiles intended to bolster Hezbollah’s arsenal.

Israeli security analysts suggest that confirmation of Israel Defense Forces involvement – even if leaked via American sources – not only could potentially endanger any agents still on the ground in Syria, but would also put pressure on embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad to retaliate against the Jewish state.

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center, told TheBlaze, “It requires the Syrians to react officially rather than deny that it happened or that it was an accident. It forces Syria and Hezbollah and Iran to react officially and say they want to seek revenge, which makes things more dangerous for Israel.”

“Can you imagine if things were reversed and somebody did that to the U.S.?” he added.

A shot from a video purporting to show a Tishreen missile being test fired.

Assad may already be responding. Britain’s Sunday Times reported that the Syrian military has placed advanced weapons on standby to strike Israel, in the event Israel strikes targets again in Syria.

The report said that reconnaissance satellite images show Syria has surface-to-surface Tishreen missiles ready for use and aimed at Tel Aviv. Each can carry a half ton payload, according to the paper.

In an interview with CNN shortly after the airstrikes, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad called the attack a “declaration of war,” adding that Syria would retaliate in its own time and way.

In WWII there was a saying “Loose lips sink ships”. Here we have a case of “loose lips launch missiles” (I apologize for not being able to make that rhyme.)

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4 Responses to Hezbollah fights for Assad; and how a US leak endangers Israel

  1. Elchanan Eric Sussman says:

    Anne as usual you are so bloody right!

    Elch.

    _____

  2. Reality says:

    of course the US “leaked” the information-it serves their purposes to stir thingsup. Can’t we arrest the people who “leaked” the information & throw them into jail ,chuck away the key for 30 odd years-especially in solitary confinement?Whats the difference between them & Pollard?Oh because Pollard “leaked ” stuff to save Israel which is really not politically correct

  3. Pingback: The pitfalls of intervention in Syria | Anne's Opinions

  4. Pingback: The perfidious White House leaking Israeli secrets again | Anne's Opinions

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