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Israel Heads Closer to War on Syria

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Israel Heads Closer to War on Syria


by Stephen Lendman


Syria is Washington's war. It was planned years ago. It began in early 2011. No end of conflict looks near. Escalating it appears likely.


Israel's very much involved. It abhors peace and stability. Its history reflects belligerence. It’s a direct threat. It borders Syria. 


Both countries are longstanding imperial partners. The Israeli Lobby plays a key role. So do major media soundrels. More on Israel below.


Orwell once said "(w)ho controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." 


Saving the future requires understanding both past and present. Preventing imperial annihilation depends on it.


So-called "rebel" forces are no match against Syria's military superiority. Al-Qusayr is a strategic western Syrian city. It's about 18 miles southwest of Homs. 


It's located on Lebanon's border. It links Damascus with government controlled Mediterranean coastal areas. 


It's a key smuggling route. Insurgents, weapons, munitions and supplies pass cross-border into Syria. Stopping them is strategically important.


Fighting for control continues. On May 21, Press TV said Syrian forces control over 70% of the city. According to a Syrian source:


"We managed to enter the city from several directions. We encountered heavy resistance but we overpowered them and seized control of these places and we will pursue them and eliminate them wherever they go."


According to Voice of Russia, Syria captured the city. Russia's Rossia-24 TV reported it. Insurgents controlled the city throughout the conflict. No longer.


Capturing Al-Qusayr prevents supplying insurgents from key parts of Lebanon.


Voice of Russia and Rossia-24 reported "mopping-up operations" around Aleppo.


According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), "Army units restored stability and security to the full eastern area of (Al-Qusayr) in Homs Countryside after killing big numbers of terrorists and destroying their hideouts." 


"A military source added that army units dismantled a number of explosive devices, planted by terrorists in al-Souk area in the middle of the city."


"The source added that army units are continuing hunting the remnants of terrorists in some hideouts in the northern and southern areas of the city."


Insurgents suffered heavy losses. Leadership elements were killed or captured. "Tens of terrorist" surrendered. Others were arrested.

SANA said insurgents were routed in several provinces.


Local journalist Abdallah Mawazini told Russia Today that Syria's army "managed to make a full circle around the city, fighting the opposition fighters. The main achievement is to stop the line of supply chain between Lebanon and Syria."


"They started from the western side of the city, in the rural areas. They control this zone with some fighters from Lebanon." 


"Some extremist groups were preparing to go into Syria to fight with the rebels, they were going to go make a bigger front in order to fight and expand the fighting line between the government and the opposition."


America's war of words continues. Assad's wrongfully blamed for US-backed insurgent crimes. They're death squads. They're US proxy foot soldiers. They're foreign invaders. They're recruited from many countries. 


They're funded, armed, trained and directed. Don't expect US government sources to explain. Nor will media scoundrels.


On May 20, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Washington "strongly condemns the Assad regime’s intense air and artillery strikes this weekend on the Syrian town of (Al-Qusayr), along the Lebanese border, where more than 90 people were reportedly killed." 


"The Assad regime deliberately provoked sectarian tensions through its assaults, which we saw recently in Sunni massacres in the towns of Bayada and Banias." 


"We reject the regime’s use of sectarian-driver war to divide the Syrian people. The Assad regime and its supporters who continue to commit crimes against the Syrian people should know that the world is watching and they will be identified and held accountable."


Insurgents bear direct responsibility for numerous massacres wrongfully blamed on Assad. Hezbollah elements are aiding their Syrian ally. They're doing so responsibly. They're confronting US imperialism. Not according to Ventrell.


He "condemn(ed) Hezbollah’s direct intervention in the assault on (Al-Qusayr) where its fighters are playing a significant role in the regime’s offensive." 


"Hezbollah’s occupation of villages along the Lebanese-Syrian border and its support for the regime and pro-Assad militias exacerbate and inflame regional sectarian tensions and perpetuate the regime’s campaign of terror against the Syrian people." 


"We reject Hezbollah’s efforts to escalate violence inside Syria and incite instability in Lebanon."


Hezbollah and Syrian forces are trying to end conflict. They want peace. They want stability restored. They want Washington's imperial intentions defeated. Much rides on their success. 


On May 20, Lebanon's Daily Star headlined "Situation in Syria against US, Israel: Hezbollah."


According to Hezbollah MP Nawaf Musawi, Syria's conflict hasn't gone according to US and Israeli plans. He warned both countries against toppling Assad, saying:


"If some were betting on weakening our ally in Syria and toppling him, he should keep in mind that two years into the (conflict) have passed while betting on delusions."


"Those who were banking on US power and Israeli threats of war and victory of the US-Israeli attack on Syria are mistaken."


He added that Hezbollah won't hesitate to plunge "Israel into the abyss. If the enemy - through its aggression - is practicing brinkmanship with the resistance and its allies in this region, the resistance is not afraid to push the enemy itself into the abyss."


"Hezbollah has enough potential to make any Israeli official aware that the threat of war applies to him, and that he will be the first to lose as a result of his behavior."


Syria's military displayed a captured Israeli army vehicle. It did so in Al-Qusayr. Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen television aired video proof.


Military uniforms, wiretapping and jamming equipment were found in the vehicle. Damascus called it evidence of Israel's involvement. 


Last June, insurgents were captured with Israeli weapons. Israel's very much involved.


On May 21, SANA said


"the seizure of an Israeli military vehicle….refutes the allegations made by Israel to justify its aggression on Syria and proves the scale of Israel's military and intelligence involvements in the events in Syria."


"(T)he Israeli military support for the armed terrorist groups proves the involvement of Qatar, Turkey and Israel in the aggression on Syria which is waged through a single central operations room."


"(T)he Israeli military support for terrorism in Syria proves once more that Israel was and still is adopting the policy of organized state terrorism, stressing that the world must act to confront this terrorism."


"(T)he questions raised by the seizure of the Israeli military vehicle and the surveillance and jamming equipment….show that the armed terrorist groups with all their different names are merely headlines for a single structure led by Israel, Qatar and Turkey."


Syria understands Washington's key role. Partnered with Israel, other NATO countries, and rogue Arab states, they're waging imperial war against a non-belligerent country. Doing so is lawless aggression. It's the supreme crime against peace.


Israel escalated things further. In response to alleged cross-border gunfire, it "returned precise fire," according to IDF officials. 


Tammuz missiles were used. Twice before they targeted Syrian sites.


Incidents are easy to manufacture. Doing so provide pretexts to respond. On May 4 and 5, Israel bombed Syria. It did so preemptively. It was a joint US-Israeli provocation. It suggests further aggression ahead.


On May 21, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) claimed a "Syrian-Israeli confrontation loomed closer…"


DF alleges Damascus admitted responsibility for Monday night's cross-border gunfire. No source was cited. Syria's gone out of its way to avoid challenging other countries.


It hasn't retaliated against previous Israeli and Turkish provocations. It's unlikely to change tactics now. Doing so would be self-defeating. Assad has no death wish. DF's allegations don't wash.


It cites unnamed Israeli military sources claiming his "readiness for a war of attrition on Israel from the Golan…."


It says Hezbollah will be involved. On Sunday, Netanyahu sent mixed messages. On the one hand, he said Israel won't intervene in Syria's conflict.


On the other, he stressed it will act if its own interests are affected. He said he'll topple Assad if he responds to Israeli attacks. He suggested further bombings may follow. Allegedly they'll target weapons transfers to Hezbollah.


Bombings and other belligerence are willful provocations. At issue is goading Syria to respond. Doing so would provide pretext for direct US/Israeli intervention. 


Assad's not about to give them reason to attack. He's gone out of his way to avoid it. His ability to do so depends on US/NATO/Israeli plans. Direct intervention appears likely. How and when remains to be seen.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 


His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."




Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.






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