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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Now Syria

Well, as predicted, there's nothing more to say on the Iran situation, but things are starting to heat up on the Syrian border. Interesting how the US is busy pulling itself out of 2 different war theatres at the same time it appears poised to enter two others.

Here are a number of possible scenarios:

1. The Saudis, who have as much to fear from the Shia theocracy in Iran as the US does, decide to launch an Arab League first strike on Iran, thus leaving it with no nuclear weapons OR justification for launching a counter-strike on Israel. Expect full cooperation from the US, and Israel to look the other way.

2. An Arab-League led invasion of Syria.

3. A 2- or 3-front attack on Israel by Egyptian Sunnis, Lebanese Shias, and Syrians hoping to divert attention from an impending civil war. This is the least likely scenario, but one that must keep Israeli commanders awake at night.


Egyptian-Israel gas pipeline sabotaged eighth time since February revolution.
Explosives were planted under the pipe some 60 km west of El Arish, N. Sinai. Flow resumed only this week after seventh attack two weeks ago.

First, Hizballah reported the unmasking of a CIA network in Lebanon. Then, Wednesday, Nov. 23, an Iranian lawmaker Parviz Sorouri, a member of the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, claimed the capture of 12 CIA spies allegedly targeting Iran's military and its nuclear program with the Mossad and regional agencies. Beirut and Tehran had clearly joined forces, DEBKAfile reports to prove they were on top of their security and had smashed dangerous US intelligence networks operating inside their armed forces.

26 Nov. The Syrian crisis assumed a big power dimension this week with the build-up of rival US and Russian naval air carrier armadas in Syrian waters – ranged against and in support of Bashar Assad, DEBKAfile's military sources report. The USS George H.W. Bush arrived Wednesday, Nov. 23, with 70 fighter-bombers and 8 guided missile cruisers and destroyers. Russia's only air carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov is due in mid-week to boost the three Russian warships already anchored off the Syrian port of Tartus.
27 Nov. Twenty-four hours before the Arab League Sunday, Nov. 27, clamped down sanctions on the Assad regime, the first ever against a member state, the armies of Syria's seven neighbors were scrambling for position on standby for acts of retaliation.
Military suspense mounted after the Arab League vote to cut off transactions with Syria's central bank, withdraw Arab funding from projects and other painful sanctions over Bashar Assad's refusal to halt his crackdown on protest.  Military sources in the Gulf report 150 Iranian Revolutionary Guards specialists landed at a military airport south of Damascus on their way to Lebanon to join Hizballah which began bringing its rockets out of their hideouts. Russia is sending Bashar Assad siege-breaking missiles.

28 Nov. A group of military officers from NATO and Persian Gulf nations have quietly established a mixed operational command at Iskenderun in the Turkish Hatay province on the border of North Syria, DEBKAfile's military sources report. Hailing from the United States, France, Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with Turkish officers providing liaison, they are designated "monitors" tasked with establishing "humanitarian corridors" to serve the victims of Bashar Assad's crackdown. Commanded by ground, naval, air force and engineering officers, the task force in reality aims to take over most of northern Syria.

29 Nov. DEBKAfile reports that the Katyusha rocket volley from S. Lebanon which hit Galilee in northern Israel in the small hours of Tuesday, Nov. 29, was initiated by Hizballah commanders in South Lebanon, although claimed by the al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades. Hizballah activated a Palestinian cell it controls in the Ain Hilwa refugee camp on behalf of its Damascus ally, arming the cell with the rockets and marking out their firing positions and targets in Israel's Galilee, after a group of NATO and Arab officers quietly established a command in Turkey for intervention in the Syrian crisis. 

A record number of 2,667 infiltrators intercepted on Egyptian-Israeli border in November. A total of 13,500 caught this year. No figures released on the number who made it.

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