After this weekend' strikes by Israel on Syria's chemical weapons sites, military installations and on a missile shipment bound for Hezbollah, Syria's regime is signalling it may declare war on Israel.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said in his press conference today that the raids 'open the door wide to all possibilities.'
(courtesy of Iran's state-run propaganda outlet PRESS TV)
In a similar statement, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad told CNN the strike was "a declaration of war" by Israel and represented an alliance between Islamic terrorists and Israel.
Is Basher Assad thinking seriously of declaring war against Israel?You'd think he has enough troubles.
He apparently is making a try to get the other Arab League nations back on his side by uniting them against the Jews. But again, this is in many ways a Sunni versus Shi'ite fight, and Qatar and the Saudis are bankrolling the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda Sunni rebels.While Assad got a pro forma condemnation, that's all he got.
What I think actually has happened is that President Obama, stuck over what to do in view of his embarrassingly vanishing 'red lines' asked the Israelis to tip the scales against Assad and solve the problem for him, and at least one of my notorious Lil' Birdies intimated that this is exactly what went down.
Which means that when President Obama and the U.S. State Department claimed that they had no warning of the Israeli attacks, they were out and out lying, but then that's nothing new.
The problem was that Assad was starting to win this war and the tides were shifting against the rebels.
Assad's forces were gradually pushing them back and retaking territory the rebels controlled. And the recapture of Oteibeh, the chief depot for arms coming in from Jordan for the rebels by Assad's forces a few days ago, was a major strategic loss.
Meanwhile, Assad's allies, Hezbollah and Iran were pouring in fresh troops and arms to bolster the regime. The rebels have been unable to take Damascus or Aleppo and the attrition of their fighters was starting to tell. At worst, Assad had achieved a stalemate and appeared to be turning the tide...until now.
The strikes on Syria not only took out a shipment of Hezbollah-bound advanced Iranian missiles, but were also directed at Syria's chemical weapons facility in Jamraya..which coincidentally just happens to contain numerous Syrian military bases, including the headquarters of Assad's elite Fourth Infantry Division, commanded by his brother Maher, as well as al-Hamah, where the command of the Republican Guard, one of the government’s elite forces, is located.
New reports from my sources indicate that the Syrians suffered heavy military casualties:
The Israelis obviously have no preferred outcome in this fight. Assad's Syria is an ally of Hezbollah and Iran and a conduit for Iranian weaponry, while the al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood dominated rebels are certainly no friends of Israel's either.
And it's also obvious that they took out these facilities and the missiles for their own self-interest.But those raids could have been done a lot more surgically and with less casualties for Assad. So it also appears they may have conveniently tipped the scales in favor of the insurgents, whom President Obama is backing. If you remember, something similar happened in Libya when the president's favored Muslim Brotherhood/al-Qaeda allies looked to be getting their collective clocks cleaned by Moamar Khadaffi's forces in Benghazi.
In that case, President Obama had the U.S. military do the job, using air power to destroy Khaddaffi's forces so the jihadi insurgents could survive and win. This time, he appears to have used the Israelis.
who undoubtedly got or will get something for cooperation.
UPDATE: My Lil' Birdie's sarlier intelto me that the Syrians suffered high military casualties is now conformed officially.