Syria involved in UNIFIL bombing?

May 29, 2011

…a roadside bomb that wounded six Italian UNIFIL troops in Lebanon, Now it turns out that Syria may have been involved in that bombing.

Diplomatic sources on Saturday suggested Syria was involved in the roadside bomb Friday that blew up a UN vehicle on a highway leading to the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon, Lebanese daily An Nahar reported.
The sources told An Nahar and other Lebanese media that the the blast came after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem threatened the European Union that it would regret sanctions imposed on President Bashar Assad and other top Syrian officials.

“I say this measure, just as it will harm Syria’s interests, it will harm Europe’s interest. And Syria won’t remain silent about this measure,” Muallem declared last week.
The diplomats hinted that messages communicated to Europe through Muallem’s comments and the attack on the UN peacekeepers would only increase.
According to An Nahar, they did not exclude attempts by the Syrian government to create “distractions elsewhere” if it feels threatened.


WikiLeaks: ‘Syria would drop Iran for peace with Israel’

December 20, 2010

I see this as backroom lies.  Assad doesn’t want Iran to know he is reaching his hand out… and at the same time he gives friendly signals to people like Pelosi

IDF intelligence official Baidatz: Assad would be willing to pull away from Teheran’s orbit, according to State Dept. cable last year.


also one could see that Assad was reacting to a few other factors.  Hariri’s murder?  perhaps they were attempting to isolate themselves from responsibility.  

During the meeting, Baidatz said that according to Israeli intelligence assessments, if Syria were able to achieve peace with “security” and obtain greater US involvement, it would be willing to pull away from Iran’s orbit.

According to the US cable, Baidatz said that if Syrian President Bashar Assad were forced to choose between peace with Israel and Iran and his “negative assets” – Hamas and Hizbullah – he would choose peace. Such a peace, Baidatz said, would be detrimental for Hizbullah, which relies heavily on Syrian support.

“It would be a gradual process before Hizbullah could completely wean itself from the Syrian support apparatus and that, ultimately, both Hizbullah’s and Iran’s flexibility would be significantly reduced,” Baidatz said, according to the cable.

In the cable from 2009, Baidatz briefed Vershbow on Iran’s nuclear program and said the Islamic Republic was one year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon and two-and-a-half years away from assembling a nuclear arsenal of three weapons. By 2012, Iran would be able to build one weapon within weeks and an arsenal within six months.

The cable, which was approved by Vershbow, included a comment next to Baidatz’s remarks: “It is unclear if the Israelis firmly believe this or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States.”

Turning to Hizbullah, the Israeli officials warned Vershbow that the Shi’ite guerrilla group was working hand-in-hand with the Lebanese Armed Forces.

“The level of cooperation far exceeds what many assume is simply the day-to-day problem of corruption within the ranks,” the cable summarized the Israeli side as saying.

“On the contrary, Israel believes that LAF/Hizbullah cooperation is a matter of national policy – any information shared with the United Nations Interim Force-Lebanon (UNIFIL) goes directly to Hizbullah by way of the Lebanese Armed Forces.”

The meeting took place in the days before Syria transferred a cache of M600 long-range and accurate surface- to-surface missiles to Hizbullah.

Baidatz told Vershbow that Israel knew about the missile cache in Syria and believed that it was destined for Hizbullah.

“Under such a scenario, the looming question for Israeli policy-makers then becomes: ‘To strike or not to strike?’” Baidatz was paraphrased as saying.

In the end, Israel did not attack the arms convoys to Lebanon, and Hizbullah is believed today to have hundreds of M600s, which have a range of 250 km. and can carry a half-ton warhead.

Norwegian UNIFIL workers helped Arab terrorists escape in 1992

October 4, 2010

A new book published in Norway details, for the first time, how Norwegian UN soldiers helped a pair of Lebanese terrorists to escape from Israeli-controlled territory. The book describes their illegal action in glowing, heroic terms:

The international UNIFIL management learned of the smuggling operation in the final phase – when Haukland and his men needed help to arrange the handover.
The Turkish political adviser who was contacted, first became irritated and felt the Norwegians should “turn your head, look the other way and let the prisoners take care of itselfthemselves.”
– You Norwegians always have to be so good, he said, according to those who talked with him at the time.
But he also realized that the operation had gone too far and agreed to arrange the handover. The incident was never officially reported.

At the time, the two escapees ” declined to talk about any guerrilla activity they had been engaged in before their capture.” But they clearly didn’t deny it.

what do you think Norway would do if Israel freed their prisons of mass murderers? we should.

France to sell missiles to Lebanese

August 29, 2010

Sources: Israel, US trying to prevent arms sale to Lebanese Army.

Israel and the US are attempting to prevent a French-Lebanese arms deal that could lead to increased Israeli casualties in any future confrontation, Channel 10 cited from a Friday report by Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat. According to the report, French Defense Minister Herve Moran sent a letter to his Lebanese counterpart Elias Murr offering to sell Lebanon 100 HOT anti-tank missiles to be armed on the Gazelle helicopters already in use by Lebanese Armed Forces.

Sarkozy says Obama’s position on Islam is crazy, but he still has to make a buck obviously.

IDF Lt.-Col. (res.) Dov Harari, 45, was killed and Capt. (res.) Ezra Lakia was seriously wounded, as well three LAF soldiers and one Lebanese journalist killed, when both sides exchanged fire after IDF soldiers attempted to cut down a tree on the Israeli side of the border.

The IDF had informed the UNIFIL peacekeeping force along the border ahead of time of the intended tree-clearing operation.

UNIFIL later confirmed that the IDF troops were on the Israeli side of the border
when the incident occurred, contradicting LAF claims that Lebanese
sniper fire directed at the Israeli troops had been justified by an
incursion upon Lebanese territory.

The failed UN peacekeeping in Lebanon

August 15, 2010

I think the “U” in UNIFIL should really stand for “Useless.” Witness:

In an interview with The Associated Press on Mount Adir, a hill overlooking the border, an officer from the military’s Northern Command pointed through the summer haze at the village of Aita al-Shaab.
One of its southernmost buildings, a white structure housing mentally handicapped children, is a Hezbollah lookout post, the officer said. Several guerrilla command posts are in civilian buildings in the center of Aita al-Shaab, she said, with several dozen fighters able to move among houses through underground tunnels. The military would not allow her name to be used because of the sensitivity of her job.
The village also houses a network of warehouses holding arms trucked in from Iran via Syria, she said, some in stand-alone structures and some in smaller stashes in garages, basements and buried under backyards.
The officer said the guerrillas now have 5,000 fighters operating in the buffer zone between the border and the Litani River – a strip ranging from 5 kilometers to 30 kilometers (3 miles to 18 miles) wide – which is supposed to be free of militant activity under the 2006 cease-fire. In late 2009, Nasrallah said Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal stood at 30,000. Israel says it’s now about 40,000.

The article goes on to quote a hapless UNIFIL officer, who grudgingly admits that UNIFIL are not allowed to search private property—which is where Hezbollah is putting the arms, tunnels, and fighters.
If you remember the 2006 Lebanon war, you will remember the world screaming for international observers instead of the IDF in Lebanon, insisting that the UN peacekeepers would prevent arms from being cached in southern Lebanon, and preventing Hezbollah from ever threatening Israel again.
Good job, guys!
And they wonder why Israel refuses to have international peacekeepers administer their borders with Hamas.

not to mention the U.S. tax dollars going to the Lebanese troops… Israel is screwed… but that is exactly what they want. Kill Jews. their religion says so.

Reuters continues to mislead on border incident , UNIFIL confirms Israel’s version of events

August 6, 2010

Israel’s activity took place entirely on its side of the border and that the Lebanese attack was unprovoked.


….and yet the U.S. continues to support Lebanon’s military with Billions of Dollars? Why?

Lebanese PM, Saad Hariri with Barack Hussein Obama

The distinction between the Lebanese Army and Hizbullah has become “cloudy” and advanced weaponry given to the Lebanese military could find its way to the Islamist group, Ambassador to the US Michael Oren warned on Wednesday.

Here’s what happened this morning along the so-called Blue Line, the internationally recognized UN-codified border between Israel and Lebanon. Israeli soldiers were trimming trees and clearing brush as they routinely do, because that kind of natural cover has been used by Iranian-backed Hezbollah soldiers to kidnap Israelis and start wars. Behind them there was a group of commanders who were supervising the operation, because Israeli protocol calls for troops working near the border to be supervised from afar – again, in case Iranian-backed Hezbollah soldiers try to kidnap Israelis and start wars. Israel’s physical border fence is very specifically built several meters on the Israeli side of the border inside the Jewish State’s territory, so that the Israelis can safely trim trees and clear brush, because – you know.
At some point soldiers dressed in Lebanese Armed Forces uniforms launched an ambush, with snipers trying to kill the supervising commanders in the distance. The Israelis promptly retaliated, wounding several of the LAF-uniformed soldiers. Then the Israelis – after receiving an explicit request from the other side of the border – suspended their fire so that the wounded could be evacuated. The Lebanese used the momentary humanitarian gesture to again open fire on the Israeli troops – this time it was an RPG at an Israeli tank – and the Israelis again retaliated. Israel is reporting one IDF soldier killed, one wounded.
There’s a post to be written about how this is the predictable outcome of the US pouring weapons and logistical training into the LAF, even though the Lebanese political hierarchy and several LAF units long ago fell under Hezbollah’s control. Of course some of that security assistance will inevitably find its way into a battle with Israel. Of course it will be. But that’s not this post.
This post is about how Reuters is again using their viciously anti-Israel stringers to dishonestly try to blame the violence on Israel. It’s a pitch-perfect repeat of their Jihad Flotilla performance, when they and the rest of the MSM used the early hours after the incident to valorize the ostensibly unarmed activists who turned out to be death-worshiping terrorists.
Knowing the now-confirmed facts that you know, see if you can spot what’s wrong with this Reuters caption:

This was an out-and-out ambush either by Lebanese soldiers or Hezbollah soldiers dressed like Lebanese soldiers. It was pre-planned – you can tell as much by how the commanders were fired upon and not the trimming team – and there was even a photographer on hand. Reuters somehow got that picture, evaluated it, and came to exactly the wrong conclusion. The Israelis were on their side of the border, in a so-called enclave, exercising legitimate authority on their sovereign territory. Even the Lebanese have admitted as much in the past, though they don’t like it and complain about how it increases tensions or whatever.
But Reuters immediately published a seemingly conclusive photo and caption insisting the exact opposite. Strange how their mistakes always coincide with anti-Israel propaganda.

* Magne Hagesæter [Wiki Commons]

In a continuing effort to downplay Lebanese culpability for the unprovoked attack and killing of an IDF officer on the Israeli side of the border, Reuters correspondent Douglas Hamilton obfuscates some facts and fabricates others:

Lebanon’s army says it first fired warning shots, then Israelis fired at their soldiers, who shot back in turn.

In fact, Lebanon’s army has admitted firing at Israeli soldiers — first.

Hamilton then quotes an anonymous Israeli military source to suggest that the attack was not intentional:

The incident was “an escalation because somebody made a mistake,” said the military source, pointedly refusing to describe it as a deliberate attack.

Conjecture so sensitive apparently that Hamilton cannot disclose the identity of the source.

The Reuters correspondent then attempts to support this anonymous quote with a statement by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak:

Defence Minister Barak told Israel Radio it was a “provocation,” but also declined to call it “an ambush.” 

“I don’t think they planned this in the general staff of Lebanon. Nor do I think they planned it in Hezbollah. I don’t know enough to tell you exactly who gave the order,” he said.

Note how Hamilton seeks to suggest the attack was not an ambush because Barak didn’t happen to use that specific term.  But while Barak reportedly doesn’t believe the attack was planned “in the general staff of Lebanon”, he doesn’t say it wasn’t an ambush and he doesn’t say it wasn’t planned.  He simply doesn’t know who gave the order to attack on the Lebanese side.

The rest is pure rhetorical deception employed by Hamilton to implant doubt in the minds of readers as to Lebanese culpability for the killing of an Israeli officer.

UNIFIL lifts the veil on the Blue Line, revealing for the first time the work that has been going on since the year 2000. Extensive research, measurements and negotiations in close collaboration with the Lebanese Army has been leading to the Blue Line being visibly marked on the ground. This episode gives you a first ever look at the process of marking The Blue Line, while explaining what The Blue Line is and what it is not.
Let’s go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Daled Amos).

Note what he says about the fence around the 8:40 mark and what they say after that. It explains why this week’s incident was entirely in Israeli territory.

Lebanon (AP) — U.N. peacekeepers said Wednesday a cypress tree an Israeli soldier was cutting down just before a border clash with Lebanese soldiers erupted was in Israeli territory, contradicting Lebanese claims that their frontier was breached.
The clash Tuesday left a senior Israeli officer, two Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist dead and was the most serious since Israel and the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah fought a brief war in 2006. It was a stark reminder of how volatile the border remains, even though both sides appeared to be trying to restore calm and prevent an escalation.
The Israeli soldier was cutting down the tree – something Israel does occasionally to improve its sight line into Lebanon – when Lebanese forces opened fire. The Lebanese army and a witness said U.N. peacekeepers intervened to ask the Israeli to stop cutting the tree, but Israel refused. UNIFIL, the peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, has not commented on that.
Both sides claimed the tree was in their territory.
Lebanon acknowledged Wednesday that the tree was south of an official, U.N.-drawn boundary known as the Blue Line separating the countries. The line was drawn in 2000 following the end of a two-decade Israeli occupation of south Lebanon that began with a war in 1982.
However Lebanese Information Minister Tarek Mitri said his country disputes the Blue Line demarcation in certain areas, including the village of Adeisseh where the clash took place, and saw Israel’s act in as a clear provocation.
“UNIFIL established, however, that the trees being cut by the Israeli army are located south of the Blue Line on the Israeli side,” said force spokesman Lt. Naresh Bhatt. He said the peacekeepers were still investigating the clash.
Israel said the U.N. announcement clearly corroborated its version of events.
“Our routine activity yesterday was conducted entirely south of the frontier on the Israeli side and that the Lebanese Army opened fire without any provocation or justification whatsoever,” government spokesman Mark Regev said.

Weasels at Reuters still struggling to blame Israel for border clash

August 4, 2010

In an update to the Reuters story noted in our previous post, Reuters writes:

A Lebanese army official said the military had had prior notice of Israel’s planned activity but it had been agreed on condition that it took place under UNIFIL’s supervision, adding that said the Israelis had gone ahead without this.

So, there is no dispute that both UNIFIL and the Lebanese army had been notified of the maintenance work in advance.  Given that UNIFIL is based on the Lebanese side of the border, how exactly would routine maintenance work on the Israeli side of the border be under UNIFIL “supervision”?  Moreover, the photographic evidence demonstrates that UNIFIL soldiers were embedded with the Lebanese army and carefully observing the Israeli maintenance activity at the time of the attack.

Reuters then sneaks in a suggestion:

The UNIFIL statement did not say whether the Israeli army had coordinated with the peacekeepers.

No, and it didn’t say whether Castro had Kennedy killed either.  The UNIFIL statement speaks for itself; it didn’t say whether the Israeli army had coordinated with the peacekeepers because the assertion that this had been agreed has no basis in reality.  It is simply a red herring tossed in by the Lebanese army to draw attention away from its own culpability.

And Reuters of course, happily takes the bait and feeds it to its readers.