United Nations officials, Church leaders decry escalating situation in Syria

39;Please attack'
39;Please attack'Dr. Eddy Cohen
Author

14 February, 2018

Asked about the United States' performance in Syria and Lebanon, he said that the United States is acting in accordance with its interests, but added that "this is our most important strategic ally...."

According to The Jerusalem Post, several ministers advocated military action during the meeting, having heard briefings from the security establishment, but no decisions were made.

In Israel's telling, the sequence of events began early Saturday, when Israeli forces spotted an Iranian drone entering Israeli airspace.

"The Syrian army will find itself under fire if it continues to cooperate and allow Iran to position itself on Syrian soil", Katz said, repeating a paranoiac Israeli mantra about Iranian activity in Syria. Pilots of one of the fighter jets recognized antiaircraft missiles locking onto their plane, prompting them to eject, Ynet news reported.

So far, other European countries have remained largely silent on the latest Israel-Iran-Syria military clash. Israel immediately responded by sending a second wave of aircraft that bombed Syrian air defense sites and more Iranian bases.

In the northwest, Turkey has sent its Syrian allies to attack Afrin and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened Manbij, 80 miles to the east, where USA troops commingle with the Kurd defenders and US generals were visible last week.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is a member of the security cabinet, told a conference in Tel Aviv last week that action must be taken against the Islamic Republic directly. "Each side sees the picture differently, but at the same time during the years of civil war in Syria, we managed to avoid direct friction".

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"I don't necessarily mean armed conflict", he maintained. The U.S. says it seeks to prevent an IS resurgence as well as to counter Iranian influence in Syria. The Iranian backed "Shia crescent" that King Abdullah II of Jordan warned of back in 2004 would thus become fragmented, spelling the retreat of Tehran's expansion. "Things will end here; they will not develop into an all-out war".

Hence the Iranian determination to follow through with this strategy despite their clear understanding of Israel's red lines.

Tillerson, speaking in an interview with Michel Ghandour of Al Hurra TV, commented that the threats Israel is confronted with emanate both from Hezbollah in Lebanon and from Syria.

In September 2015, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed the hope that Israel would cease to exist in the near future. Specifically, he recommended that the U.S. Iran's increased presence in the Levant is a game changer because Tehran could potentially supply Hezbollah with much more sophisticated weaponry it could use against Israel. The Americans and the Russians, Iran and Israel, and the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Free Syrian army and its allies. "They don't want that".

According to Israel, the drone is a reverse-engineered copy of the stealthy U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel UAV lost over Iran in 2011. The question now is whether the Trump administration will go further.

As Syria's war soon enters its eighth year, many decry the recent risky escalation in the conflict, whether in the country's north, between Turkey and the Kurds, or in the south, between Iran and Israel.

"Following the 33-day and 22-day wars which both undermined the military and defensive capabilities of Israel, this time, the downing of Israeli fighter jet undermined their air superiority", said Hamidreza Dehghanipoudeh, the Director of Iranian Foreign Ministry's First Department on Middle East and North Africa, on Tuesday.


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