Tag Archive: Lebanon


Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

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Biological Hazard Lebanon [The area was not defined.] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Biological Hazard in Lebanon on Friday, 09 May, 2014 at 03:12 (03:12 AM) UTC.

Description
Lebanon has registered its first case of the deadly MERS corona virus, but the person who contracted it was released after showing signs of recovery, the ministry said Thursday. The news came as Saudi Arabia, the country worst hit by the disease, announced four more deaths, bringing the toll to 121 since its first appearance there in September 2012. “On Thursday afternoon, a patient who had been in hospital was diagnosed as being a carrier” of the virus, the ministry said, adding that the patient left the hospital after treatment “led to a significant improvement in his health.” The ministry said “citizens have no cause for panic. They should take normal precautions to prevent respiratory diseases.” It added that it was carrying out studies to “assure itself that there no epidemic in Lebanon” and urged doctors and hospitals to “take maximum precautions and inform the ministry of any suspect cases.” Abou Faour had toured the airport with head of the Health Parliamentary Committee, MP Atef Majdalani, in order to indicate the measures taken to prevent the entry of this virus to Lebanon. “Samples from individuals suspected of carrying the virus were analyzed and it turned out there was no case of Coronavirus (MERS) in Lebanon,” he assured.
Biohazard name: MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus)
Biohazard level: 4/4 Hazardous
Biohazard desc.: Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

 

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Lebanon registers first case of MERS - health ministry

Lebanon has registered the first case of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, but the person who contracted it was released after showing signs of recovery, the health ministry said Thursday, according to AFP.

The news came as Saudi Arabia, the country worst hit by the disease, announced four more deaths, bringing the toll to 121 since its first appearance there in September 2012.

“On Thursday afternoon, a patient who had been in hospital was diagnosed as being a carrier” of the virus, the ministry said, adding that the patient left the hospital after treatment “led to a significant improvement in his health.”

The ministry said “citizens have no cause for panic. They should take normal precautions to prevent respiratory diseases.

“It added that it was carrying out studies to “assure itself that there no epidemic in Lebanon” and urged doctors and hospitals to “take maximum precautions and inform the ministry of any suspect cases.”

Many Lebanese work in the Gulf, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

In humans, MERS causes coughing, fever and pneumonia. Cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Oman, Tunisia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain.

Egypt warns against travel to Saudi Arabia due to MERS virus

Egypt’s Health Ministry issued a warning on Friday against children, elderly people and anyone suffering from chronic heart and chest diseases travelling to Saudi Arabia due to an outbreak there of a deadly new virus. Saudi Arabia said on Thursday the number of cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), an often fatal disease caused by a coronavirus, had nearly doubled in April, with 26 more infections reported on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Of the more than 370 people who caught the disease in Saudi Arabia, 107 have died since MERS first emerged two years ago.

The first case of the disease in Egypt was reported on Saturday – a 27-year-old man who lives in Saudi Arabia but returned ill to Egypt last week after having been in contact with an uncle in the kingdom who died of MERS.

International concern about the disease is acute because Saudi Arabia is expected to receive large numbers of foreign pilgrims during the fasting month of Ramadan in July, followed by millions more for Islam’s annual haj pilgrimage in October.

In a statement, Egypt’s health ministry said that anyone under the age of 15 or older than 65, as well as pregnant women and people suffering from chronic heart and chest diseases, should postpone pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia.

It said no further MERS cases had been confirmed in Egypt. The man who contracted the virus is in a stable condition in a hospital in Cairo, a health ministry official told Reuters.

26 more cases of MERS virus in Saudi Arabia, 10 dead

Saudi Arabia confirmed 26 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has killed nearly a third of sufferers, and said 10 more people have died from the disease.

The confirmations follow Egypt’s announcement on Saturday that it had confirmed its first case of MERS in a man who had recently returned to the country from Riyadh, where he was working.

Saudi Arabia, where MERS was discovered around two years ago and which remains the country most affected, has now had 339 confirmed cases of MERS, of which 102 have been fatal, Reuters reports.

The 143 cases announced since the start of April represent a 73 percent jump in total infections in Saudi Arabia this month.

The new cases were announced in two statements published on the Health Ministry website on Saturday and Sunday.

The 10 confirmed on Saturday included seven in Jeddah, the focal point for the recent outbreak, two in the capital Riyadh and another in Mecca. Two MERS patients died.

The 16 further cases confirmed on Sunday included two in Riyadh, eight in Jeddah and another six in the northern city of Tabuk. Eight MERS sufferers died on Sunday.

The acting health minister, Adel Fakieh, said on Saturday he had designated three hospitals in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam on the Gulf coast as specialist centers for MERS treatment.

The three hospitals can accommodate 146 patients in intensive care, he said in comments carried by local press on Sunday.

Many Saudis have voiced concerns on social media about government handling of the outbreak, and last week King Abdullah sacked the health minister.

In Jeddah, some people are wearing facemasks and avoiding public gatherings, while pharmacies say sales of hand sanitizers and other hygiene products are soaring.

Read also: 

Deadly virus from Middle East arrives in US – doctors

Lab gains grant to create MERS vaccine

 

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War burns in Syria 0:58

https://i2.wp.com/content5.video.news.com.au/NDM_CP_-_Reuters/274/606/2434365298_promo215554805_648x365_2434365418-hero.jpg

AP February 02, 2014

SYRIAN military helicopters have dropped barrels packed with explosives in the government’s latest air raids on rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 23 people including a family trapped in a burning car, activists said.

In neighbouring Lebanon, a car bomb blew up near a gas station in a Shiite town, killing at least three people, in the latest attack linked to the war in neighbouring Syria.

Footage on al-Manar television, associated with the Shiite group Hezbollah, showed a bright orange blaze as black silhouettes of people ran by the gas station in the north-eastern town of Hermel that lies near the Syrian border. Blasts could be heard in the background. The Lebanese Red Cross said another 18 people were wounded. The organisation initially reported that four people were killed, but later revised the number downwards.

The large blast occurred near a school for impoverished and orphaned children. None were injured, officials said.

It was the latest in a series of attacks targeting Lebanon’s Shiite community, as Syria’s violence causes neighbouring Lebanon’s sectarian tensions to escalate into outright violence.

Sunni militant groups have claimed responsibility for a relentless series of attacks on Shiite parts of Lebanon, including a bomb that exploded in Hermel in late January. They say it is in retaliation for the Shiite Hezbollah group sending its fighters into Syria’s civil war to support forces of President Bashar Assad.

Lebanon’s Sunni community has also been hit, most notably by a deadly double car bombing outside Sunni mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in August.

In Aleppo, the raids with barrel bombs, as the crude weapons are known, have flattened residential buildings, forcing defenders to flee and allowing government troops to advance.

The latest attacks killed 13 people in the al-Bab area of Aleppo, Hassoun Abu Faisal of the Aleppo Media Center said via Skype. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights corroborated the information.

The blasts badly damaged buildings and caused a fuel tanker to explode, setting nearby vehicles alight, including one carrying a family of eight who were trying to flee the area as they heard the approaching helicopters, said Abu Faisal.

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Aljazeera News

Fighting continues as Syria talks wind up

Regime forces accused of using barrel bombs on Aleppo’s rebel-held areas, after Geneva summit ends without breakthrough.

Last updated: 02 Feb 2014 03:43
Syrian opposition activists say military helicopters have dropped barrels packed with explosives in the government’s latest air raids on rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 23 people including a family trapped in a burning car.In Aleppo, the raids with barrel bombs, as the crude weapons are known, have flattened residential buildings, forcing defenders to flee and allowing government troops to advance, the activists say.

Saturday’s attacks killed 13 people in the al-Bab area of Aleppo, Hassoun Abu Faisal of the Aleppo Media Centre said via Skype.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights corroborated the information.

The blasts badly damaged buildings and caused a fuel tanker to explode, setting nearby vehicles alight, including one carrying a family of eight who were trying to flee the area as they heard the approaching helicopters, Abu Faisal said.

A video showed men dragging a charred victim out of a smashed building.

“You want a political solution? Here is a political solution!” shouted one man as he pointed at two charred bodies on the rubble-strewn ground.

The man was referring to last week’s conference in Switzerland between government officials and opposition activists seeking to resolve Syria’s war, which began as a peaceful uprising in March 2011 against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Geneva summit did not produce any tangible results, but is likely to lead to backdoor negotiations.

More bombings

Other barrel bombings in Aleppo killed three people near a mosque and another seven people in the Ansari quarter, activists said.

Ansari is frequently hit. On Friday, activists uploaded a video of what they said was a child being pulled alive from the rubble after shelling there.

Scenes of civilians and firefighters pulling out dusty, bloodied bodies from under the rubble have become more frequent as the bombing continues.

The footage appeared authentic and reflected Associated Press reporting of the event.

The barrel bombing in Aleppo comes as Syrian government forces try retake the city, which has been divided into government- and opposition-held areas since mid-2012.

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VexZeen VexZeen

 

Published on Jan 7, 2014

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/…

Hezbollah says undeterred by threats, keep supporting Assad

Mon Jan 6, 2014

Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah pledges not to end its support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In a statement on Sunday, Hezbollah said threats and terrorist attacks will not deter the movement following a recent bombing claimed by an al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Beirut.

The comments were made after the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Saturday claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in Beirut’s southern suburbs which killed two people.

On Saturday, the ISIL said in a statement posted online that it had penetrated the “security system” of the resistance movement to “crush its stronghold.”

The statement added that the attack was “the first installment of a heavy account” that awaits Hezbollah due to the group’s support for the Syrian government.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has on several occasions reiterated the Lebanese resistance movement’s decision to fight foreign-backed and Takfiri militants in Syria to defend the Syrian people.

Syria has been gripped by deadly crisis since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the violence.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Forest/Wild Fires

 

Huge fire erupts in the southern town of Maghdouche on Monday Oct. 7, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

07.10.2013 Forest / Wild Fire Lebanon South Governorate, [District of Sidon] Damage level
Details

Forest / Wild Fire in Lebanon on Monday, 07 October, 2013 at 12:15 (12:15 PM) UTC.

 

Description
A large forest fire erupted Monday in the southern Sidon town of Maghdouche, prompting a nearby school to evacuate students and staff members. There were no reports of casualties. Civil Defense teams and firefighters from the city of Sidon are working on putting out the fire, which caused thick plumes of white smoke to blanket the southern town. Their efforts are being hampered by strong winds that are helping the fire expand. Residents fear the flames could reach their homes. Agriculture in the town, known for its vineyards and olive trees, was affected by the fire.

The Daily Star

Forest fire in s. Lebanon town, school evacuated

 

Soldiers try to put out a fire that erupted in the southern town of Maghdouche on Monday Oct. 7, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

 

SIDON, Lebanon: A forest fire erupted Monday in the southern Sidon town of Maghdouche, prompting a nearby school to evacuate students. One soldier, sent in to help response efforts, was injured.

 

Civil Defense and firefighters from the city of Sidon were dispatched just after noon when the fire, which caused thick plumes of white smoke to blanket the sky, erupted in the forests of Maghdouche.

 

Students and teachers at the nearby Al-Aila School were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

 

The Army was dispatched later in the day to reinforce response crews in the area. A helicopter was sent in as part of the Army effort.

DisasterReport

Lebanon forest fire forces school to evacuate

A forest fire in Lebanon prompted a nearby school to evacuate students injuring a firefighter, The Daily Star reported.

Forest fire hit the southern Sidon town of Maghdouche causing the evacuation of students and teachers at the nearby Al-Aila School. One rescue soldier was injured.

The Army along with a helicopter have been dispatched to the area.

In August 2013, forest fire affected al-Bira and Sendyaneh areas of Lebanon. History biggest forest fire hit Lebanon’s Akkar region in July 2013.

Photo below shows the Lebanon soldiers trying to put out a forest fire in the southern town of Maghdouche (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari).

lebanon_forest_fire_firefighters

 

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Onlookers walk past damage caused by a rocket fired from Lebanon into Israel, in Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv, near the northern city of Nahariya August 22, 2013. REUTERS-Ronen Zvulun

Israeli police explosive experts survey the scene next to the remnants of a rocket in Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv, near the northern city of Nahariya August 22, 2013. REUTERS-Ronen Zvulun

JERUSALEM | Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:50pm EDT

(Reuters) – A rare rocket barrage from Lebanon on Thursday deepened Israeli concern that al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants are opening a new front for confrontation with Israel.

The Israeli military said four rockets were fired from southern Lebanon. Two struck Israeli communities without causing casualties, a third was intercepted by the “Iron Dome” missile shield and the fourth fell outside Israeli territory, it said.

A U.S.-based group which monitors Islamist militants said the Brigades of Abdullah Azzam, an organization linked to al Qaeda, claimed credit for the rocket attack.

“A group official, Sirajuddin Zurayqat, who has appeared in prior releases from the Brigades, posted on his Twitter account that its Ziad Jarrah Battalions is ‘behind the firing of the four rockets’,” the SITE monitoring group said.

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Israel launches air strikes in Lebanon in response to rocket attack

Gunmen from the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, stand outside their base, where Israeli warplanes attacked one of their tunnel entrances, near the Mediterranean coastal town of Naameh, south of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug, 23, 2013.

Gunmen from the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, stand outside their base, where Israeli warplanes attacked one of their tunnel entrances, near the Mediterranean coastal town of Naameh, south of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug, 23, 2013. / AP

BEIRUT Israeli warplanes struck a target south of Beirut early Friday, a day after militants fired four rockets into northern Israel, the Israeli military and a Palestinian official said.

The Israeli military said Friday that Israeli warplanes targeted “a terror site located between Beirut and Sidon in response” to the rocket attack. It was the first air raid on the area since the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group.

Ramez Mustafa, a Lebanon-based official with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, said the raid occurred at 4 a.m. and caused no casualties or material damage.

He said the warplanes struck the coastal town of Naameh, 10 miles south of Beirut. The Palestinian group is active in the area and has a base there.

An Associated Press photographer in Naameh said the raid targeted a PFLP-GC base in a valley in the town. Lebanese troops in the area prevented journalists from reaching the base.

Read More Here

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Earth Watch Report  –  Forest / Wild Fires

 

Lebanese soldiers give clearance to a military helicopter as it fills a bucket of water to extinguish a forest fire raging in the northern village of Dinnieh, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
Lebanese soldiers give clearance to a military helicopter as it fills a bucket of water to extinguish a forest fire raging in the northern village of Dinnieh, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

06.08.2013 Forest / Wild Fire Lebanon Miniyeh-Danniyeh District , [North of Sfira ] Damage level Details

Forest / Wild Fire in Lebanon on Tuesday, 06 August, 2013 at 15:48 (03:48 PM) UTC.

Description
Fire fighters are battling a forest fire which erupted in north Lebanon Tuesday as residence call on authorities for additional assistance. The fire is reportedly raging on a hill between the villages of al-Bira and Sendyaneh and is approaching the village of Majdal, all in Akkar. The blaze completely destroyed an SUV belonging to the Municipality of al-Bira. With just one Civil Defense truck battling the blaze, residents called on the Army to send additional firefighting trucks to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to nearby residential homes.

The Daily Star

 

Forest fire erupts in north Lebanon

August 06, 2013 06:17 PM

The Daily StarSmoke rises from the hills of the north Lebanon town of Sfira following a fire that broke out Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)Smoke rises from the hills of the north Lebanon town of Sfira following a fire that broke out Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)

 

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Fire fighters are battling a forest fire which erupted in north Lebanon Tuesday as residence call on authorities for additional assistance.

The fire is reportedly raging on a hill between the villages of al-Bira and Sendyaneh and is approaching the village of Majdal, all in Akkar.

The blaze completely destroyed an SUV belonging to the Municipality of al-Bira.

With just one Civil Defense truck battling the blaze, residents called on the Army to send additional firefighting trucks to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to nearby residential homes.

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Iran ready to train Syrian army: Iran cmdr.

Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan speaks to reporters on May 5, 2013.

Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan speaks to reporters on May 5, 2013.
Sun May 5, 2013 2:13PM
Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan says Iran is ready to train the Syrian army should Damascus require assistance.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Pourdastan added that the Syrian army has gained experience during years of conflict with the occupying regime of Israel, and has the ability to defend itself with no need for foreign assistance.

“As a Muslim and friendly country, we stand by Syria and if there is need for training, we will provide them with necessary training,” the senior Iranian commander asserted.

He, however, emphasized that Iran would not have “active involvement in their operations.”

Pourdastan’s remarks came as the Syrian state television reported on Sunday that Israel has carried out an airstrike against the Jamraya Research Center, located northwest of the capital, Damascus. The center had been targeted by another Israeli airstrike back in January.

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‘Israel’s aggression opens door to all possibilities’ – Syrian Information Minister

Published time: May 05, 2013 13:59
Edited time: May 05, 2013 18:04

Syria’s information minister says that those who infringe on Syria’s sovereignty must “study their choices carefully.” He said that Israel has “proved its link to terrorist groups.” Israel has reportedly launched two airstrikes against Syria in two days.

Omran al-Zoabi added that it is Damascus’ duty to “protect the state from any domestic or foreign attack through all available means.

The minister’s comments came after an emergency cabinet meeting organized to respond to what a Western source called a new strike on Iranian missiles bound for Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Reuters reported.

The Arab League has condemned the alleged strike on Syria and urged the UN Security Council (UNSC) to “act immediately to end Israeli attacks on Syria,” calling the alleged strikes a “dangerous violation of an Arab state’s sovereignty.”

This follows reports of condemnation from Egyptian, Lebanese and Iranian leaders.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the UN and the UN Security Council protesting “Israeli aggression” that killed and wounded several people and “caused widespread destruction.” It also said the attacks aimed “to give direct military support to terrorist groups” fighting the government. It called the strikes a “flagrant violation of international law” that have made the Middle East “more dangerous.”

Still from YouTube video/momo1984momo1

Still from YouTube video/momo1984momo1

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said the attack proved that there is an alliance between Israel and Islamists trying to topple the Syrian government. In an interview with CNN he said the airstrikes are a “declaration of war” by Israel and that Syria would retaliate in its own time and way.

Egypt has also condemned the attack, saying it complicated a crisis that Cairo was trying to help resolve. The Egyptian government said in a statement that the strike was a violation of international law and a threat to the regional security.

The Obama administration is fully supportive of Israeli airstrikes on Syria, US officials and diplomatic sources told NBC News.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Iran calls for stand against Israel after Syria attack

DUBAI | Sun May 5, 2013 9:33am EDT

(Reuters) – Iran called on the region to unite against Israel after a reported attack on Syria and said it was ready to train the Damascus government’s army.

Israel carried out its second air strike in days on Syria early on Sunday, targeting Iranian-supplied missiles headed for Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a Western intelligence source said.

Tehran on Sunday denied the attack was aimed at “its missiles destined for Hezbollah resistance fighters in Lebanon,” according to the Islamic state’s English-language Press TV.

Iran has supported its ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his efforts to suppress a rebellion that has raged for more than two years and which Tehran and Damascus say is being waged by Western-backed “terrorists”.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast urged countries in the region to stand against the “assault”, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday.

 

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US prodding Israel to attack Syria: Analyst

US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, March 5, 2012.

US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, March 5, 2012.
Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:15PM GMT
 

An Israeli attack on Syria will be definitely a geopolitical blunder not because such a strike will be regionally viral but because it will, to the disappointment of the Zionists, gain sympathy for Syria and condemnation for Israel.”

Dr. Ismail Salami, political analyst

A political analyst says Washington is currently too bedeviled to directly engage in a military confrontation in Syria, so it has undertaken to goad “other sinister forces” such as Israel into attacking the Arab country.

“Although Washington seems to have decided to monitor from afar the developments in Syria without any military intervention by avoiding a Libya-style scenario, they are resorting by any means to expedite the collapse of [the Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime,” Dr. Ismail Salami wrote in an article on Press TV website.

The Iranian author said Washington, which has long “run out of novel ideas and well-wrought out plans” to further its objectives in the Middle East, has now clung to the “farcically banal excuse” of the Syrian regime’s alleged stockpile of chemical weapons.

“This has furnished the Pentagon officials with ample reasons to avail themselves of the generous contributions the Zionist regime can dole out to this end.”

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor and several Western media outlets have recently claimed that Damascus possesses and intends to use chemical weapons against its own people.

On July 18, the New York Times reported that US officials have recently been in talks with Israelis ”about whether Israel might move to destroy Syrian weapons facilities”.

Syria, however, has dismissed allegations that it intends to use chemical weapons to end months of unrest, stressing that it will never use weapons of mass destruction against its own people.

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Published time: April 22, 2013 16:01
Edited time: April 22, 2013 21:03

 

RT

AFP Photo / Jonathan Nackstrand

AFP Photo / Jonathan Nackstrand

A Jordanian military official has refuted the reports that Jordan has opened two air corridors for Israeli drones to monitor the Syrian conflict. The official told RT Arabic that an earlier report by Le Figaro was “inaccurate and groundless.”

Citing a Western military source, the French daily said the decision to open Jordanian airspace to the Israelis had been reached in March following a visit by President Barack Obama to the country.

“The Syrians have Russian air defense assets, but Israeli aircraft are difficult to detect and therefore virtually immune to anti-aircraft measures,”
said the unnamed source to Le Figaro. The military craft will fly at night to minimize the risk of detection and are capable of striking a target “anywhere in Syria.”

The report follows an alleged Israeli strike at targets inside the Syrian border in acts branded as a violation of the UN charter. The new aerial corridors through Jordan will allow Israeli aircraft to avoid flying over southern Lebanon and inciting a possible aggressive response from Hezbollah.

Israel has repeatedly voiced its concern over stockpiles of chemical weapons in Syria and the possibility they may fall into the wrong hands. In late January the Israeli government issued a number of warnings to Syria before reports of an air strike on what Damascus claimed was a “scientific research center” emerged. Israel did not take direct responsibility for the strike, but Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied Israeli involvement.

“I keep telling you frankly that … when we say something we mean it. We say that we don’t think [Hezbollah should be allowed] to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon,” he told journalists in Germany a week after the attacks.

The US got behind Israel, stating that Washington had been informed prior to the strike on what was also said to be a weapons convoy heading to Lebanon.

 

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Reblogged  from : TIME WORLD

 

 

 

An Israeli soldier walks by an 'Iron Dome' short-range missile defense system positioned near the northern city of Haifa on Jan. 31, 2013 in Israel. The Iron Dome missile defense system is designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells.
Oren Ziv / Getty Images

An Israeli soldier walks by an ‘Iron Dome’ short-range missile defense system positioned near the northern city of Haifa on Jan. 31, 2013 in Israel. The Iron Dome missile defense system is designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells.

Israeli warplanes struck several targets inside Syria overnight Tuesday, including a biological weapons research center that was reportedly flattened out of concern that it might fall into the hands of Islamist extremists fighting to topple the government of Syrian president Bashar Assad, Western intelligence officials tell TIME.

So far only two airstrikes have been publicly reported, amid a flurry of conflicting initial reports. Syria officially complained of the destruction of the Scientific Studies and Research Center in Jamarya northwest of Damascus. And a variety of news organizations reported that Israeli jets hit a convoy carrying advanced anti-aircraft defense systems toward Lebanon’s Bakaa Valley, presumably for delivery to Hizballah, the militant Shi’ite group closely allied with the Assad regime. If they had been deployed, those SA-17 ground-to-air missiles would intimidated Israeli pilots who now operate over Lebanese airspace with impunity, forcing them to higher altitudes and other operational precautions.

(PHOTOS: Aleppo’s River of Death)

A Western intelligence official indicated to TIME that at least one to two additional targets were hit the same night, without offering details. Officials also said that Israel had a “green light” from Washington to launch yet more such strikes.

Hizballah is not Israel’s only concern – or perhaps even the most worrying. Details of the Israeli strikes make clear the risk posed by fundamentalist militants sprinkled among the variegated rebel forces fighting to depose Assad.   The jihadists are overwhelmingly home-grown Sunni militants but also include foreigners drawn to the fight from across the Muslim world. Loosely organized into several fighting groups, some fighters embrace the almost nihilist ideology associated with al-Qaeda. But jihadist groups are less vulnerable to the same levers that have proved effective against Syria and other states –  such as threats to its territory — or even the frank interests of an organization like Hizballah, which as a political party plays a major role in Lebanon’s government.

“If we succeeded all these years to deter the Syrians and all the other surrounding countries that possess weapons of mass destruction [from making] use of it, it’s because we knew how to deliver the message, that the price would be very high,” Amnon Sofrin, a retired brigadier and former senior Mossad official, told reporters this week. “What kind of threat can you put in the face of a terror organization?”

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Israeli launch airstrikes into Syria, possibly targeting delivery systems for chemical weapons, US officials say

Speaking in Costa Rica, President Obama says that the entire world should be concerned about Syrian chemical weapons, especially if they fall into the hands of a group like Hezbollah.

 

MSNBC – TV

It’s believed the primary target was a shipment of weapons headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon, they said. A senior U.S. official said the airstrikes were believed to be related to delivery systems for chemical weapons.

An Israeli spokesman in Washington said that Israel would not comment specifically on the reports but said that “Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, especially to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

 

White House officials referred all questions to the Israelis.

This would be the second time this year Israel conducted airstrikes inside Syria. In January, Israeli fighter jets attacked a convoy of sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles believed on their way to Hezbollah.

 

 

Read Full Article and Watch Videos Here

 

 

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Sources: U.S. believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria

 

By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
updated 8:32 PM EDT, Fri May 3, 2013

 

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sources say a strike mostly likely occurred in the Thursday-Friday time frame
  • The U.S. does not believe Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace

(CNN) — The United States believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria, two U.S. officials tell CNN.

 

U.S. and Western intelligence agencies are reviewing classified data showing Israel most likely conducted a strike in the Thursday-Friday time frame, according to both officials. This is the same time frame that the U.S. collected additional data showing Israel was flying a high number of warplanes over Lebanon.

 

One official said the United States had limited information so far and could not yet confirm those are the specific warplanes that conducted a strike. Based on initial indications, the U.S. does not believe Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace to conduct the strikes.

 

Both officials said there is no reason to believe Israel struck at a chemical weapons storage facilities. The Israelis have long said they would strike at any targets that prove to be the transfer of any kinds of weapons to Hezbollah or other terrorist groups, as well as at any effort to smuggle Syrian weapons into Lebanon that could threaten Israel.

 

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REPORT: Israel Bombed Weapons Targets In Syria

israel

AP

Following a week of increased Israeli Air Force activity over Lebanon, Israel reportedly struck Syrian targets with their air force either Thursday or Friday the 26th of April.

Initial reports said the target was a chemical weapons facility, which was under siege by rebels at the time and had sustained no reported damage. Instead, according to CNN reports, it looks like Israel may have struck another convoy containing possible transfer of weaponsjust like the last air strike.

“We will do whatever is necessary to stop the transfer of weapons from Syria to terrorist organizations. We have done it in the past and we will do it if necessary the future,” an unnamed source told CNN’s Sara Sidner.

And just as they did in the last strike, Netanyahu had told his staff to remain silent on the matter.

So it hadn’t been reported by U.S. sources, until now:

From CNN:

U.S. and Western intelligence agencies are reviewing classified data showing Israel most likely conducted a strike in the Thursday-Friday time frame, according to both officials. This is the same time frame that the U.S. collected additional data showing Israel was flying a high number of warplanes over Lebanon.

The strike had been called out by sources on the ground earlier this week, which the Jerusalem Post reported. Like the last strike, sources tell CNN Israel did it without ever breaking Syrian airspace — though Lebanon is less than happy about usage of their airspace.

Oddly enough, Free Syrian Army sources on the ground who initially reported the incident differ in their account of the Israeli strike. They said Israeli jets circled over Assad’s compound in Damascus, which is obviously in Syrian airspace.

The Lebanese Daily Star confirmed heavy FSA fighting occurred near the plant, the Scientific Studies and Research Center, but troops lacked the resources to breach the heavily fortified site.

 

 

 

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