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Tag: Weapons

Oh, Hezbollah! Oh, Syria!

What happens when panicked Sunni Syrians trying to escape the Baath regime flee to Hezbollah-ruled Lebanon? What do you think!

Lebanese security forces are rounding up Syrian refugees, namely from the border village of Tel Kalakh and sending them back to Syria where 800 citizens have been murdered by Bashir al-Assad in recent months. The refugees stuffed provisions into plastic shopping bags, their wounded on cheap synthetic blankets and crossed the shallow and muddy Kabir river, on foot, looking for medical aid and refuge from residents in the northern city of Tripoli.

One resident, near Damascus, who, out of fear of being arrested, would not give his real name told a reporter from the Guardian:

“There were roadblocks everywhere…It was impossible to hide who these people were, they were looking for Syrians escaping Tell Kalakh…They caught most of them and sent them back through the crossing…Why does Lebanon send our brothers back to be killed and tortured by these monsters?”

According to the New York Times, a reporter from Al Jazeera, Dorothy Parvaz, who disappeared in Syria two weeks ago was sent to Iran within two days of being detained. She is still in Iranian custody! Oy va voy!

Some Syrians turned away at Turkish, Jordanian and Lebanese borders, are heading for Israel. Israel has increased troops deployed on the Syrian border at the intersection of the Israel-Syria-Jordan frontiers in the Har Dov area against the spate of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. The UN force on the Golan Heights – UNDOF – is also strengthening their forces policing the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire lines.

Despite their unwillingness to help their Sunni neighbors, the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon is actually gearing up to remove its heavy, long-range weapons out of storage in Syrian military facilities and transport them back to Lebanon.

Debkafile reported:

“Hezballah may even risk Israel making good on its threat to destroy the Iran-made Fatah-110 surface missiles, its Syrian equivalent M-600 and mobile SA-8 (Gecko) anti-air battery – if they cross the border.”

Meanwhile, an Israeli Navy commander from the missile corvettes’ unit told Globes:

“For quite some time, we have been thinking about how to deal with the opening of the marine front westward to ranges that are almost double what we were used to control and operate in…”

The Missile Corvettes’ unit is responsible for protecting Israel’s offshore natural gas fields, such as Leviathan and Tamar, against the Hezbollah.

The commander continued:

“The gas fields are located west of Rosh Hanikra (the Israeli-Lebanese border point on the Mediterranean). The claims by [Hizbullah general secretary Hassan] Nasrullah that the fields extend into Lebanese waters are not true, even under international law. These are the economic waters of Israel…”

Navy chief of staff Rear Admiral Rani Ben-Yehuda said:

“There is considerable activity in Israel’s economic waters, ranging from surveys by rights’ owners through the drilling of exploratory wells…There is a whole range of possible threats against each of these elements. There is no doubt that strategic infrastructures are included in rules of the threats game.”

While a 2008 U.S. diplomatic cable leaked by WikiLeaks quotes now-Lebanese prime minister, Najib Mikati, describing Nasrallah and Hezbollah as a “tumour that must be removed.”

However, Mikati’s office released a statement this week saying the comments did not “reflect his convictions.”

“The prime minister will not get involved in debates with any party, especially over … words and positions that are in part untrue, in part inaccurate and most of which go back years…”

Today, Hezbollah is said to have an arsenal of more than 40,000 rockets. If war breaks out with Israel, Hezbollah will be able to launch between 500 and 600 rockets every day at the Jewish State.

Seizing the Victoria

Last Tuesday, the Israeli Navy seized a German merchant vessel chartered by a French company transporting weapons from Syria to Gaza 200 miles west off the Israeli. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the “Victoria” ship sailed under the Liberian flag and was carrying various types of weapons.

Netanyahu said:

“We had reason to assume the ship carried weapons meant to hurt Israeli citizens. The source of the weapons is Iran…The takeover was carried out mid sea in accordance with international law. The ship is being escorted to Ashdod.”

In addition to weapons, the soldiers that boarded the “Victoria” found a radar used for detecting ships prior to the launch of anti-ship missiles.

At least four anti-ship missiles with a range of roughly 22 miles was found on the vessel. Deputy Navy Commander Rear Admiral Rani Ben-Yehuda said the C-704 missiles were a threat to Israeli sea-based strategic installations and navy vessels.

During the Second Lebanon War, in 2006, a Chinese-made C-802 missile struck the INS Hanit off the coast of Beirut, killing four Israeli sailors.

En route to Alexandria, Egypt from Syria, the ship docked at Turkey’s Mersin Port. It is thought that the weapons on board were meant for terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

Security officials had been tracking the vessel for several days. It is thought the weapons were intended to pass Rafah’s tunnels en route to Gaza hence avoiding the naval blockade.

Netanyahu authorized the Navy operation Monday night and was briefed on the developments on Tuesday. The PM told a conference in Eilat Tuesday afternoon:

“Iran sends weapons to terrorist organizations in Gaza that would target the heads of our children. It is our right and duty to take action. We will unload the equipment and show it to the world, a world that rushes to blame Israel, which is struggling for the lives of its citizens.”

Also on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, told Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the weapons found on the ship. The Foreign Ministry informed German authorities of the arrest as the ship belongs to a German company as well as the government of Liberia.
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Boeing, Raytheon and United Technologies in Bed with Saudi Arabia: Why?

I found it peculiar when, last month, Saudi Arabia purchased, under the aegis of the Obama administration, 84 Boeing Co. F-15 fighter jets, attack helicopters and helicopters made by United Technologies Corp. (70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds), satellite-guided bombs and an advanced radar from Raytheon Co..

But one should not be too shocked: according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. sold, roughly, a combined $37 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait between 2005 and 2009.

Saudi Arabia MilitaryIsrael has historically been apprehensive about U.S. military sales in the Arab world, especially to Saudi Arabia who, while opposed to the current Ayatolla, Ahmadinejad regime, funds terror and does not recognize the Jewish State; ergo, Israel not showing any opposition, let alone a tantrum over the massive deal is a little strange; especially given that last August, the Obama administration cut funding for Israel’s Arrow 3 program missile defense system (more powerful than the Iron Dome), a project totaling just $108.8m out of the American wallet.

Last week, the Washington Post reported:

“According to the military, Boeing – maker of the F-15, the Apaches and the Little Birds – has estimated that the purchase would involve 77,000 direct and indirect jobs in 44 states. Some of those would be jobs that would be kept, but an unspecified number of new jobs would also be generated, officials said.”

And:

“Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace industry analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, said the overseas weapons market has become more active in recent years. Last year, the U.S. exported $3.2 billion in combat aircraft overseas, up from $2.4 billion in 2008. Among the biggest buyers in 2009 were Singapore for $1 billion worth of F-15 aircraft; Greece and Poland, receiving $1.9 billion worth of F-16s; and Australia, receiving $200 million worth of F-18s.”

The word on the street was that America contacted Israel first, (about the recent Saudi sale) who gave the thumbs up. Spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Jonathan Peled said that while the Jewish Country is not “thrilled” by the proposal, it has not requested such actions as congressional hearings or assurances.

But if Israel does not have an EVEN WORSE taste in its mouth from the sale, some American politicians do. As far as domestic opposition to the deal, an article in Bloomberg News reported that a letter was put into circulation on the hill, for the signature of lawmakers. Composed by top Democrat and Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the letter stresses the danger of the deal – though stops short at pleading the need to nullify the $60 billion transaction.

The letter was written by California Democrat Howard Berman and Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and is addressed to Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary, Robert Gates.

The lawmakers raise “the potential repercussions for our friends and for our own forces in the region in the event of political change in Saudi Arabia,” saying:

Howard Berman

“We have serious concerns about the nature of Saudi involvement in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, particularly since the Saudis have failed to take steps toward normalization of relations with Israel or to augment their financial support to the Palestinian Authority.”

The letter inquires how thoroughly the Pentagon and the State Department have considered the sale’s effect on U.S. policies in the Middle East, specifically the righteous goal of securing Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over its neighbors; a winning goal for American security too.

The two lawmakers cite a report by the Government Accountability Office, concluding the Departments of State and Defense:

“Did not consistently document how arms transfers to gulf countries advanced U.S. foreign policy and national security goals.”

The Saudi F-15 package reportedly does not include arms that could pose a serious threat, like weapons which can be fired from long distances, threatening thereby little Israel. The arrival of F-15s to Saudi Arabia would not begin until 2015, the same year Israel is slated to commence the reception of F-35s.

At the time the deal was announced, Andrew Shapiro of the U.S. State Department said the sale would:

“Protect (Saudi) security in a dangerous neighborhood against legitimate security threats.”

Ros-Lehtinen and Berman, in the letter, ask what Saudi Arabia has done to quell Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The lawmakers cite potential Saudi “leverage in the international oil market to diminish Iran’s oil revenue” as well as actions to stem financing for terrorism or reduce the spread of nuclear-weapons technology.

Congress has until November 20th to prevent the sale before the Defense Department and companies proceed with more detailed talks on contracts.

Other Notes of Interest:

And last month, number two in the House Republican leadership, Eric Cantor of Virginia proposed that when the GOP wins control of the House – and now they have – they should move Israel’s financial aid package and add it to the Pentagon’s budget.

Writes C. Hart of American Thinker:

“House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, a staunch supporter of Israel, will become House Majority Leader in the next Congress. He will be holding the highest ranking post a Jew has ever held in Congress. His actions will, most likely, focus on giving less U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia. The United States recently approved $60 billion in weapons sales to the Saudis, which only hinders Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East over Arab States. The sale is expected to be the largest in U.S. history if all purchases are made by Saudi Arabia. Ros-Lehtinen has already spoken out against the sale.”

“According to The Israel Project (TIP), Cantor has also cosponsored legislation that would end U.S. taxpayer aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops its culture of hate toward Israel. He also wants to see an end to unauthorized WAQF excavations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which are encouraged and supported by the Palestinian Authority.”

The Bibi and Biden Show:

Meanwhile, Israel PM, Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud party is in America this week. First, D.C., to recall the nostalgic stench of a Republican majority House and then New York for a corned beef on rye at Katz’s Deli.

A source who was present at the meeting in Washington reported that Bibi told Biden:

“The only way to ensure that Iran will not go nuclear is to create a credible threat of military action against it if it doesn’t cease its race for a nuclear weapon…The economic sanctions are making it difficult for Iran, but there is no sign that the Ayatollah regime plans to stop its nuclear program because of them.”

Bibi will not be meeting with the American president this time, who is currently abroad on diplomatic duties.

Missiles, Worms and Space Creatures

According to Iran’s defense minister, the Revolutionary Guard has received its first batch of brand new missiles, featuring enhanced guidance systems to hit ground targets.

Developed by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization and successfully test-fired last month, General Ahmad Vahidi says the Defense Ministry supplied the guard with the upgraded surface-to-surface Fateh-100 missile. Previous versions of the missiles had ranges of up to 120 miles or 193 kilometers. The specifications on the new Fateh-100’s are still up for speculation.

Mahmoud AhmadinejadWhile rumors have surfaced that Ahmadinejad is considering ending the country’s uranium enrichment, a complex computer worm has affected the personal computers of the staff at that country’s first-ever nuclear power plant, just weeks before the facility is to go online.

Named Stuxnet, the computer worm can do serious damage to systems which control the inner workings of industrial plants.

Let’s Make a Deal

On a semi-related note, Moscow and Jerusalem signed a military cooperation agreement – actually the first of its kind – in early September, during a visit by Defense Minister, Ehud Barak. Israel is to sell the not-always-trusted and not-always-rational, builder of the Iranian Nuclear Power Plant, Russia, 36 UAV’s at a price of just $100 million.

Is $100 million worth Russia’s Iranian cooperation and human-rights violations in Georgia? Well how about a $300 million joint-venture to manufacture Israel drones in that country?

Hang on Ehud Barak!

Yes, the rumors are true. Russia will continue to supply Syria with advanced P800 sea-to-surface cruise missiles. These are the most advanced of their kind in the world! Will they be transferred to Hezbollah? Most signs point to yes.

The Russians, however, won’t deliver S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems to Iran. Apparently that would be taking things one step too far.
Ahmad Vahidi said this on Iranian state-run TV:

“We think Russia should show it has an independent stance in choosing its relations with other countries as well as on international issues…”

The S-300, capable of shooting down aircraft and missiles at ranges over 144 kilometers and altitudes of 27,342 meters, would have been helpful to the Islamic Republic in combating an attack by Israel.

Meanwhile, last Tuesday, Italian authorities seized seven tons of explosives at a shipping container port in Gioia Tauro, Calabria. The shipment, sent from Iran, headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, was being transported by a Swiss-Italian shipping company to Syria.

What’s Happening at the United Nations

The UN is appointing a Malaysian Astro-physicist to head the Office of Space, to welcome extra-terrestrial visitors to the planet.

She is expected to explain that the recent discovery of hundreds of stars have made the possibility of the discovery of alien life more likely than before and that the United Nations should be ready for the chance of “initial contact.”

You Don’t Gotta Live In Fear But You Ought’a Read This

On Wednesday, Egyptian security forces uncovered a large cache of missiles and mortar shells in northern Sinai which were bound for Gaza.

The cache was seized near the city of Nahal, on the smuggling route to Gaza. It contained 100 antiaircraft missiles, 40 explosive devices, and 45 rocket-propelled grenades.
Antiaircraft missiles
The officer who was in charge of security in northern Sinai, obtained a tip that the smugglers were storing a large amount of explosives and ammunition leftover from past wars in the region east of Nahal.

Upon receiving the tip, Egypt’s security forces entered the area and located the weapons cache, however no suspects were apprehended. The area was completely combed and the explosives were detonated in a controlled way in central Sinai.

Egypt’s security forces on Wednesday also uncovered three tunnels which connected the Egyptian city of Rafah and the Gaza Strip. In addition, the Egyptian police had confiscated 41 vehicles in Sinai used for smuggling operations into the Gaza Strip. The police found one of the vehicles, with no license plate, during a routine patrol north of the Rafah crossing. The additional 40 vehicles were discovered after the police searched the area.

In related news, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau published a list of travel warnings for the Passover holiday on Sunday; as usual, for this time of year, the Sinai peninsula was high on the list.

“Hezbollah is blaming Israel again and again for the death of Imad Mugniyah and Iran is blaming Israel for the death of the nuclear scientist in Tehran. These accusations increase the threat of terror against Israelis abroad.”

reported the bureau.

Among the areas which the bureau advises against visiting, besides for Sinai, are Chechnya in Russia, Mindanao Island in the Philippines and Cashmere in India. A high level of threat was also reportedly posed in southern Thailand, northern Nigeria and eastern Senegal.

Israelis working with the government in Colombia are advised to conceal their identity, prefer air travel, and to drive only on main roads. Travel warnings are in effect for Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen and the bureau also warns against visiting Djibouti, Algiers, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Togo, Malaysia, the Ivory Coast and Mali. They advise against visiting Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bahrain, Tunisia, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, and Chad. Libya, Oman, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Tajikistan are also on the list.

Navy Seals Commandeer Antiguan Ship Carrying Iranian Weapons to Hezbollah

During an overnight raid on Tuesday last week, the Israeli Navy, about 100 nautical miles off the coast west of Israel and near Cyprus, seized hundreds of tons of weaponry on a ship sailing with an Antiguan flag. The weaponry was sent by Iran and destined for Hezbollah, in Syria.

The IDF was monitoring the Francop for several days before Navy Seals boarded it in the middle of the night. When they found the dangerous cargo, they easily commandeered it and sailed it to Israel.

The government of Antigua informed Israeli Intelligence that a ship left from the Bandar-Abbas Port in Iran with cargo which was shipped through the Suez Canal, unloaded in the Mediterranean Port of Damietta in Egypt and then loaded onto the Francop. The intended destination was the Latakia Port in Syria.

The ship’s crew was unaware that there were weapons on board, as they were disguised as humanitarian aid.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem denied the entire event. He said:

“Unfortunately there are official pirates disrupting the movement of goods between Iran and Syria, I stress, the ship was not carrying Iranian arms bound for Syria, nor was it carrying material for manufacturing weapons in Syria. It was carrying [commercial] goods from Syria to Iran.”

Meanwhile both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres complimented the Navy and the IDF, for the exemplary execution of a critical operation.

Today in Knesset, Tzipi Livni said:

“We all today praise the Navy and IDF over the seizure of the ship – it’s not a controversial matter. There are issues over which there are no coalition and opposition. We are all partners in the people of Israel’s war on terror – whether it’s Hamas, Hizbullah or other supporters [of terror]. Well done.”

Now since the world is basically ignoring this OBVIOUS WAR MONGERING ACTION BY IRAN AND HEZBOLLAH LAYING THE GROUND WORK FOR THEIR NEXT WAR – WE THOUGHT WE WOULD PUT TOGETHER A LITTLE GALLERY FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE (again, these are not weapons as the Syrian Foreign Minister explained, these are commercial goods!!!!)

Hezbollah Operatives Working Against Israel in New York

Israeli security and intelligence got a bit of a wake-up call today, October 27, when an Indian man, living in New York, and his accomplice were charged with providing guns and other weapons to Hezbollah.

hezbollah NYCPatrick Nayyar, 46, who has for years been living illegally in New York City, “agreed to provide weapons, ammunition, vehicles and night vision goggles to Hezbollah operatives in Lebanon” reports the Jerusalem Post.

Nayyar’s accomplice, Conrad Stanisclaus Mulholland, was doing business with an FBI informant, pretending to be a member of Hezbollah. He unknowingly provided the informant with a handgun, a box of ammunition and a pick-up truck, which were supposed to be delivered to a Hezbollah post in Lebanon.

Mullholland has not yet been arrested. And Nayyar was originally pinched at his home in Queens, New York on September 24, on charges of gun and ammunition possession.

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