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Israel, Putin Agree to ‘Counter Terrorism’ after Hezbollah Refuses Russian Call to Exit Syria

June 17, 2018 Special Feature, Syria, Terrorism

Will PM Netanyahu & Russian Pres. Putin work together to fight Hezbollah? Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

Russia vaguely but ominously stated their willingness to join Israel in opposing “international terrorism” last week, one day after news broke that Hezbollah had rebuffed a Russian call for the terrorist group to leave Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “expressed readiness to boost the coordination of their actions with regard to Syria, including in countering international terrorism” during a call together on Friday, according to a statement posted to the Russian Presidency’s website.

While Hezbollah was not mentioned by name, the “terrorism” reference was an unusual inclusion in the brief press release, as it did not appear in numerous Russian press summaries of Putin-Netanyahu calls throughout 2018. It also comes as the Hezbollah and Russia relationship is getting rocky, despite both being allies of the Syrian regime in that nation’s civil war.

Israel Hayom reported that Hezbollah was still in Syria as of last Thursday—according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group—despite a Russian request for the Lebanese terrorists to leave Syria per a Russia-Israel agreement. The report specifically noted the Russians and Hezbollah had not battled each other yet—which would be a dramatic development—and raises questions about how far Russia is willing to go to keep it’s Syrian plan. Israel has already made it clear how far they will go. … Continue Reading

Opinion—Syria May Be the Melting Pot of Trouble, But Focus Is Key

July 5, 2015 In Depth, Special Feature, Syria
Regional fight? The battle with ISIS is across the Middle East and growing hotter. Middle East educational sign post showing distance between major locations. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Regional fight? The battle with ISIS is across the Middle East and growing hotter. Middle East educational sign post showing distance between major locations. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Syria is so bad the bad guys are fighting worse guys and now not everyone on the “good side” is happy even when the good guys have success against the bad guys. It’s a hodge-podge of turmoil and terror, impacting virtually the entire region. It’s not just that three or four other nations are touched—the bigger question is who’s not?

Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest trouble in Syria, and why it shouldn’t distract from the bigger goal of defeating ISIS. … Continue Reading

Israel Seeking Help for Syrian Druze, But Military Intervention Unlikely

June 14, 2015 News, Syria
The Syrian war keeps getting closer. Israel seeking to help Druze in nearby Syria. Photo: Signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Syrian war keeps getting closer to home. Israel seeking to help Druze in nearby Syria. Photo: Signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israelis are working to assist a group inside the territory of one of Israel’s most dangerous enemies, as an ethnic and moral connection that goes beyond politics is creating this unusual alliance. Walla! News has reported that Israel is concerned about a possible “massacre” of the Druze minority by Islamic extremist groups in Syria, and has therefore begun discussions about establishing a zone for humanitarian aid inside Syria for the Druze.

Walla said Israel is talking with the International Red Cross, the United Nations and others on the plan. The report cited a political source saying Israel, as survivors of the Holocaust, has “no intention” of ignoring the threat of a “massacre” of the Druze. There is also a notable Druze minority population in Israel. Details of the assistance were unclear. Haaretz reported on Friday that Israel would not get involved militarily, lest that entangle them in Syria’s ongoing civil war. … Continue Reading

Terror Group Holding Lebanese Prisoners Threatens Hezbollah

September 1, 2014 News, Syria, Terrorism
Violence in Lebanon isn't that far from Israel. Sign showing the distance between Jerusalem and Lebanese capital city. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Violence in Lebanon isn’t that far from Israel. Sign showing the distance between Jerusalem and Lebanese capital city. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

One of the Al-Qaeda-inspired terror groups fighting in Syria, the Al-Nusra Front, has threatened to kill Lebanese prisoners if Hezbollah interferes with their fight in Syria. The Daily Star, citing a statement from Nusra, said the terror group wants Hezbollah to stay out of an upcoming battle in Syria, or else.

The prisoners in danger are members of the Shiite Islamic sect, like Hezbollah, and are part of a group of dozens of soldiers and security personnel captured in a fight in the Arsal region in Lebanon, which is near the Syrian border. Another terror group, ISIS, also was part of the battle and also has prisoners. The Daily Star reported that Lebanon is considering the demands to release prisoners from the terror groups in exchange for the captured Lebanese. … Continue Reading

Former Lebanese Prime Minister, US Politician Warn of Hezbollah Actions

July 7, 2014 News, Syria, Terrorism
Concerned about Hezbollah. US House of Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce. Photo Courtesy of House of Foreign Affairs Committee website.

Concerned about Hezbollah. US House of Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce. Photo Courtesy of House of Foreign Affairs Committee website.

Hezbollah’s actions in Syria—where they have sent militants to defend the regime in that country’s civil war—has led to attacks on Lebanon from rebel groups in Syria. There are clearly some in Lebanon who are upset with the Hezbollah group in light of this. Count former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora among those.

In comments carried by The Daily Star in Lebanon, Siniora said Hezbollah has “caused evil to be brought to Lebanon” because of their support for the brutal and repressive Syrian regime. Siniora isn’t the only one concerned about Hezbollah’s actions outside Lebanon. An American politician is upset over that as well. … Continue Reading

Syrian Attack on Israel Kills Teen

The Syrian war is too close for comfort. Photo: Signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Syrian war is too close for comfort. Photo: Signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel appears to be on at risk of two different wars with two different enemies suddenly, after teenagers have been targeted in two separate attacks. The latest comes as an explosion on the Syrian border hit an Israeli civilian car and killed a teenage boy, according to the IDF Blog.

The IDF Blog quoted IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner as saying, “This is not a case of errant fire, but of an intentional attack.” The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page reported that Israeli military fired back at Syrian positions in response.

Another IDF Twitter post said that this explosion “is the most serious attack against Israel in recent months.” It comes as Israel is already embroiled in a massive rescue operation to save three teenagers kidnapped by Hamas, even as Israeli analysts in their media have warned a new war with Hamas in Gaza could break out. … Continue Reading

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