On Sunday Iran told NATO not to get any big ideas about invading Syria. The hypothetical situation, warned Iran, would be akin to NATO’s “quagmire” situation in Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to the United Nations, 2,200 people have been killed since Assad sent in tanks and troops to crush demonstrations which erupted in March after the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia were toppled by popular protests.
Israel is concerned that the Syrian military could transfer chemical weapons to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah or Hamas because of instability within Syria.
American intelligence agencies believe that Syria has large caches of chemical weapons. The United States considers Syria among largest distributors of weapons of mass destruction, along with North Korea and Iran, and accuses Syria of smuggling such weapons to the likes of Hezbollah and Hamas.
Meanwhile, three Scud missiles flying between Iraq and Kuwait last Friday were launched by the Iran-backed Ketaeb Hezbollah of Iraq. These are the first such attacks since the US invaded Iraq in 2003. It also marks the first time that any Middle East terrorist group has used Scud missiles.
The round was a warning for Kuwait to cease construction of the Grand Mubarak Port opposite the Iraqi shore.
Earlier in August, Kuwait massed troops on Boubiyan Island opposite from Iraq to defend the $1.1b Grand Mubarak Port that is under construction there – an odd reaction to Iraq’s demand that Kuwait freeze construction of the Persian Gulf port until guarantees are provided the new facility will not be a hindrance to the operations of Iraq’s own planned harbor in the southern region of Basra. A government spokesman in Baghdad demanded reassurance that safe and free navigation will not be affected by the Kuwait port scheduled for completion in 2016.
This dispute did not account for Kuwait’s heavy military deployment on its largest island. This came after Tehran discovered that Mubarak Port is also projected to house a large naval base to serve the fleets of Kuwait, the US and Saudi Arabia in the
Persian Gulf. Until last Friday, there was no confirmation of the group’s claim to have recovered the majority of the 250 Scuds held by Saddam Hussein before the US invasion in 2003.
Last week, Iraqi Hezbollah activities staged a demonstration against the port on the Iraqi-Kuwait border. Kuwait said it would show no tolerance for any border incursions whatsoever.
Meanwhile, reports out of Washington indicate that the rebels of Libya’s National Transitional Council will recognize Israel diplomatically, and Israeli businessmen are already arriving in Libya to establish future business relations.
This will represent a major shift in Libya’s foreign policy toward Israel and will provide the Jewish state with a much needed strategic ally among the Arab countries, since ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.