Debkafiles – May 16, 2018
Light was shed on Wednesday, May 16, on Russia’s mysterious intentions after its puzzling non-interference in the Israeli-Iranian clashes in Syria.
President Vladimir Putin informed the Russian high command meeting in Sochi of two decisions: “Our ships carrying Kalbr cruise missiles will be permanently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea,” he reported. They will take up position opposite the shores of Syria, Lebanon and Israel. DEBKAfile’s military sources take this step to mean that the Russian army command believes the military confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria is not over and more clashes are still to come.
It was also revealed by military sources in Moscow that the Assad regime’s 4th Armored Division had received from Russia heavy rocket launchers deliberately dubbed Golan-1000, of 500mm caliber, which can deliver three rockets loaded with 500kg of high-explosive fragmentation ammunition. They have a range of up to 6km and are powerful enough to knock over IDF fortifications on the Golan. Those fortified bases remained unscathed by the Iranian Al Qods 20-missile barrage on May 9.
Debkafiles – May 6, 2018
Israel’s three-week long high military alert along its northern borders with Syria and Lebanon peaked Sunday night, May 6, as polling stations closed in Lebanon’s first election in nine years. Israeli political and military strategists calculate that, now the election is over, Iran will make good on its vow of vengeance at any time between now and the May 14 inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Naqba Day on May 15 is another date to watch. All the signs, including intelligence input, indicate that Iranian and Hizballah units have completed their preparations for a missile attack and are standing ready in their positions. Israel estimates that Iran will go for military targets mainly in northern Israel, although civilian locations may also be threatened. Its air force and the entire range of air defense weaponry is on the highest alert.
Iran’s leaders are clearly determined to punish Israel for three attacks on Iranian Revolutionary Guards targets in Syria on February 10, and on April 9 and 29, in one of which, at Syria’s T-4 air base, seven Iranian servicemen were killed. DEBKAfile’s military sources note that no Israeli officials or military chiefs have given out any details on how the IDF will respond to an Iranian or Hizballah attack. However, there can be no doubt that the presumed missile offensive can be cut short only by destroying the launchers deep inside Syria and possibly in Lebanon too. This sort of operation may spread over several days with no certainty about how it may develop. The Israeli security cabinet was convened Sunday for briefings on the forecast and preparations.
AYA BATRAWY – April 15, 2018
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia used its perch as host of an annual gathering of Arab leaders on Sunday to push for a unified stance against rival Iran as the regional powerhouses vie for the upper hand in wars in Syria and Yemen.
Saudi King Salman told leaders from across the 22-member Arab League that Iran was to blame for instability and meddling in the region. He said Yemeni rebel Houthis, backed by Iran, had fired 116 missiles at the kingdom since Saudi Arabia went to war in Yemen three years ago to try and roll back Houthi gains there.
The summit took place in the oil-rich eastern Saudi city of Dhahran, a location that may have been selected by the kingdom to avoid cross-border Houthi missile strikes that have targeted the capital, Riyadh, and southern border cities.
While locked in proxy conflicts in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran also back opposing groups in Lebanon, Bahrain and Iraq.
Sputnik News – March 2, 2018
Lebanese Commander General Joseph Aoun (no relation to the Lebanese President Michel Aoun) commented that the forces under his command would not be taken by surprise while touring troops stationed in the capital city of Beirut.
“The army maintains its readiness on the southern border to confront any Israeli military aggression or any attempt to encroach on parts of its land and maritime borders,” Aoun said on Thursday.
“The army has the complete will to defend Lebanese rights through all of its available means and capabilities, no matter how much the enemy’s threats and provocations may escalate.”
Dan Falvey – February 20, 2018
General Joseph Aoun’s furious remarks were made in a speech at the “Support for Stability and Development in the Arab States and the Middle East” regional conference.
Lebanon and Israel have seen relations strain in recent years over Tel Aviv’s plans to build a border wall and Beirut’s decision to explore for offshore energy near disputed waters.
General Aoun said: “I reiterate today our categorical rejection of the Israeli enemy’s sovereignty of Lebanon and its sacred right to invest all its economic resources.
“And the army will not spare any method available to confront any Israeli aggression, whatever that costs.”
His comments come just days after Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, argued Iran and terrorist organizations in Lebanon were a danger to his country.
Adam Kredo – February 14, 2018
An Iranian-backed terror group claims it will have nearly half-a-million missiles aimed at Israel within the next year amid ongoing efforts by the Islamic Republic to transfer advanced missile technology to regional hotspots such as Lebanon and Syria, which are located on Israel’s borders.
Militants tied to Hezbollah, the Iranian-controlled terror group that operates along Israel’s northern border in Lebanon, claim they have deployed more than 70,000 long-range missiles across Syria and Lebanon in preparation for a strike on Israel. The number of missiles could grow to nearly half-a-million within the next year, according to these militant groups.
Following an encounter between an Iranian drone and Israeli forces that set off speculation of an upcoming confrontation between these two countries, pro-Hezbollah press outlets disclosed that Iran has been moving advanced missiles across the region in order to bolster its terrorist proxies, such as Hezbollah.
Susan Knowles – January 30, 2018
Lebanon was warned recently by Israeli spokesperson and Israel Defense Force Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis that war could break out between the two countries if Iran continues its development of precision missiles within Lebanon.
Manelis blames the Lebanese government and the “blind eye” of some in the international community who have stood by and watched as Hezbollah, the political and militant arm of the Shiite Islamist political party based in Lebanon, has built an arsenal within the country.
“Lebanon has become – both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community – one large missile factory,” Manelis wrote.
He went on to add that Iran is no longer just funding Hezbollah in Iran’s quest to destroy Israel but rather Iran is “now here.”
Herb Keinon – January 30, 2018
If Iran is not stopped from entrenching itself militarily in Syria or turning Lebanon into a “factory for precision missiles” aimed at Israel, then Israel will stop it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday.
Speaking with Israeli reporters via a conference call after the meeting, Netanyahu said the discussions took place at a “watershed” moment.
“Will Iran entrench itself in Syria, or will this process be stopped?” Netanyahu said. “I made clear to Putin that we will stop it if it doesn’t stop by itself. We are already acting to stop it.”
The prime minister said he also spoke with Putin about the threat of Iran manufacturing precision weapons in Lebanon, something Jerusalem views as “a grave threat.” Netanyahu said he told Putin that “also here, if we need to act, we will act.”
Anna Ahronheim – January 28, 2018
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis warned in a rare op-ed on a Lebanese opposition website that a war with Israel could break out if Iran develops precision missiles in the country.
“Lebanon has become – both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community – one large missile factory,” Manelis wrote on the Ahewar website.”It’s no longer a transfer of arms, funds or consultation. Iran has de-facto opened a new branch, the ‘Lebanon branch.’ Iran is here,” he said.
“In Lebanon, Hezbollah does not conceal its attempt to take control of the state,” he continued, adding that “in the shadow of Nasrallah’s bullying behavior” the terror group has built “terror infrastructure and factories to manufacture weapons under the nose of the Lebanese government.”
TruNews – December 26, 2017
The Syrian Army and the Iran-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah moved deeper into a strategic area bordering Israel and Lebanon this week, in the latest aggressive Iranian advancement in the region.
The Syrian forces and Lebanese terror group moved near the Sunni rebel-controlled area of Beit Jin in southern Syria with support from heavy artillery and aerial bombing. Beit Jin is the last remaining rebel-controlled enclave southwest of Damascus.
“The Iranian-backed militias are trying to consolidate their sphere of influence all the way from southwest of Damascus to the Israeli border,” said Suhaib al Ruhail, a member of a Sunni rebel group in the area, Reuters reported.
The developments follow a recent surge in alleged Israeli strikes on targets in Syria, suggesting a new Israeli urgency to block Iran’s spread into the war-torn country.
The latest purported Israeli strikes in Syria targeted weapons production facilities and an Iranian military base.