DAILY NEWS BULLETIN
Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 6,20-26. And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.
On the Sixth anniversary of 9/11: Ten questions for the future.By Walid Phares. September 12/07
Saniora's Betraying Idiocy. By7: Joseph Hitti. September 12/07
Six years after Al-Qaeda struck, Bush has only made matters worse. Daily Star. September 12/07
Latest News Reports From
Miscellaneous Sources for September 12/07
Hizbullah's Communications Network in Beirut Removed.Naharnet
Two More Soldiers Killed in Nahr al-Bared-Naharnet
Israel Monitors Possible Syrian Nuclear Installations-Naharnet
Communications Jamming Across Lebanon Likely Caused by Israel's Air Strikes on Syria-Naharnet
Regional Crises Could Have Serious Repercussions for Lebanon-Naharnet
Communications Jamming Across Lebanon Likely Caused by Israel's Air Strikes on Syria-Naharnet
Israel Reportedly Hit Syrian Base Financed by Iran-Naharnet
Report: Israel spots nuclear installations in Syria.Ynetnews
CNN: Israel targeted arms destined for Hezbollah.Ha'aretz
Syria denies FM's visit to Saudi Arabia.People's Daily Online
Syria affair / The secret that can't be kept.Ha'aretz
Syria formally complains to UN over israeli air violation.AFP
Hezbollah 'could sabotage vote'.Gulf Times
Egypt still working toward release of abducted IDF soldiers.Ha'aretz
Israel conducted air strike inside Syria: US official.AFP
Fadlallah implores younger generation to 'work as a force for change-Daily Star
Abssi's wife insists body she identified belonged to militant leader-Daily Star
Lebanon holds its breath as time runs short-Daily Star
Law professor tosses hat into presidential ring, urges others to do so openly-Daily Star
Israeli airspace violations continue
Australia pledges help for UN de-mining work-Daily Star
Cluster bomb wounds Southern woman-Daily Star
Spanish defense chief laments Israeli overflights-Daily Star
Nahr al-Bared fighting leaves legacy of loss and resentment-Daily Star
Hizbullah presses ahead with bid to rebuild all that Israel's bombs destroyed.(AFP)
Sidon gets new public hospital - 11 years after works began-Daily Star
Lebanon holds its breath as time runs short-Daily Star
Paris III reforms are here to stay'-Daily Star
Americans mark six years since 9/11 - and so does Al-Qaeda. (AFP)
Druze Israeli MP scoffs at threat to lift his parliamentary immunity.(AFP)
US court issues $12.9 million verdict against Iran.(AFP)
Saniora's Betraying Idiocy
Prime Minister Saniora of Lebanon, whose own life is under constant threat by the Syrians and their agents in Lebanon, issued a statement three days ago condemning the Israeli fighter jet incursion into Syrian airspace. Saniora doesn't even issue statements like this when Israeli jets fly over Lebanese air space.
This is the state of Lebanese Moslem leaders in general, and the Sunnis in particular. No matter how much events show them that Syria is their real enemy, they have to show their servitude and their dhimmitude to the "Arab" tribe. It is the likes of Saniora in the past: Rachid Karame, Rachid Al-Solh, Salim Hoss, Chafic Wazzan, and all the other Sunni prime ministers of the past 40 years, who betrayed their country by not allowing the Lebanese army fight the terrorists of the PLO in the Palestinian camps of the 1960s and 1970s. Instead, with the support of Hafez Assad of Syria and to spite their fellow Christian Lebanese, they split the army, paralyzed the government, and sent the country into a spiraling war because they wanted to defend "the Palestinian revolution" over the dead bodies of their fellow Lebanese and the destruction of their country.
Today, they seem to have learned some lessons but not all the lessons. Even as 163 Lebanese army soldiers gave their lives to defeat the Palestinian radicals of Fatah Al-Islam, the idiot traitor Fouad Saniora, who kissed the Syrians' ass for 20 years to become prime minister then tuned against them when they killed his former boss Rafik Hariri, has the gall to protest the Israeli incursion over Syria's airspace. His own government has been under siege by pro-Syrian Hezbollah since last December and Hezbollah has even marketed an electronic game about how to storm the Prime Minister's office in the Serail in downtown Beirut and kill the Prime Minister. Yet he has the time to issue statements defending Syria against Israeli air incursions!
He and his former Sunni prime ministers could have allowed the Lebanese army to muzzle Yasser Arafat and the PLO - just like Hafez Assad of Syria and King Hussein of Jordan did in the late 1960s and early 1970s - and spare Lebanon all the destruction that followed. The Sunni Prime Ministers are the biggest traitors against Lebanese sovereignty and they continue to kiss Syria's ass even as Syria has a knife around their own necks. This is testimony to their lack of belief in their Lebanese identity and their preference for Pan-Arab nationalism.
And the US calls Saniora its ally in the war on terror!
September 9, 2007
Posted by TOZAADIN at 5:19 AM
Hizbullah's Communications Network
in Beirut Removed
Information Minister Ghazi Aridi announced Wednesday that Hizbullah's illegal communications network in Beirut has been removed.
Aridi made the announcement to reporters after a cabinet meeting under Premier Fouad Saniora which is boycotted by Hizbullah and allied ministers.
"Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh informed the government that... the cables which had been installed in Beirut were removed recently," Aridi told reporters. "It is necessary to continue the action in the other regions" where the cables have also been installed by Hizbullah, Aridi said. He was referring to Hizbullah strongholds in south Beirut and south Lebanon which are generally off limits to Lebanese security forces. Aridi also announced that the government is to hold a special meeting "in the coming days" to discuss the issue of military training and arming of certain factions "so that the proper decision can be taken."
He was referring to charges that pro and anti-government factions have been sponsoring military training activities, which heightens tension in the deeply-divided nation.
The Saniora Government formed a committee on Aug. 27 to verify information that Hizbullah had installed its own communications infrastructure in Beirut, the capital's southern suburbs and parts of south Lebanon. Beirut, 12 Sep 07, 19:20
Two More Soldiers Killed in Nahr al-Bared
Two more soldiers have died in Lebanon's military operations against the Fatah al-Islam militia, bringing the regular force's death toll to 165 troops, a military spokesman said Wednesday. "One soldier died from wounds on Monday, while another one was killed by a landmine on Tuesday," he said. Three soldiers were wounded in de-mining operations in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in north Lebanon Tuesday, he added. On Monday, Lebanon appealed for almost 400 million dollars in international aid to rebuild the camp which was devastated by the 15-week battle between Lebanese soldiers and Islamists of the Fatah al-Islam militia. The fighting in and around the camp, which started on May 20 and ended on September 2, claimed nearly 400 lives. All of Nahr al-Bared's 30,000 residents have fled the camp to seek refuge in some of Lebanon's other 11 refugee camps, where they have been living in difficult conditions.(AFP) Beirut, 12 Sep 07, 19:52
Communications Jamming Across Lebanon Likely Caused by Israel's Air Strikes on Syria
The jamming of the communications system throughout Lebanon in recent days was apparently caused by Israel's air strikes on Syria, Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh said. Hamadeh uncovered that while the source of interference has not been officially determined, the jamming coincided with Israel's aggression against Syria on Thursday. "What we have witnessed over the past four or five days started with the aggressive Israeli infiltration on Syria," Hamadeh said in remarks published by the daily An Nahar on Wednesday. He said the interference has dwindled toward a stop by late Tuesday. It was the biggest jamming of cell phones since last summer's Israel's offensive against Lebanon, Hamadeh added. Syria complained to the United Nations over Israel's "flagrant violation" of its airspace which apparently was meant as a message to Damascus to stop rearming Hizbullah. Syria's U.N. envoy Bashar Jaafari said his government was "drawing attention to this flagrant violation by Israel of its airspace and to its aggression against the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic in clear and brazen defiance of international law." In identical letters to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and to French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, the current president of the Security Council, Jaafari said the Israeli planes last Thursday crossed Syria's northern frontier and dropped "some munitions without managing to cause any human casualties or material damage."
The Israeli incursion ratcheted up tension between the neighboring foes. The Syrian letter, obtained by AFP, said the Jewish state had deliberately committed "other similar crimes including the bombing of Syrian civilian facilities in 2003." "If the international community persists in disregarding these Israeli actions in breach of international law, that is likely to subject the region and international peace and security to serious consequences that may be difficult to control," Jaafari noted.
In an interview with an Italian newspaper published Saturday, Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa said his country was mulling a "series of responses" to the Israeli air violations. A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday, said Israel carried out the air strike well inside Syria last week, apparently to send Damascus a message not to rearm Hizbullah. Israel accuses Damascus of supporting Hizbullah with which the Jewish state fought a devastating 34-day war last summer. Syria also shelters a number of radical Palestinian groups and is home to Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of Hamas who tops Israel's most-wanted list and heads a movement branded a terrorist organization by the West. Israel and Syria remain officially at war. Peace talks last collapsed in 2000 over the status of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967, and each blame each other for tensions in the Middle East.(Naharnet-AFP) Beirut, 12 Sep 07, 10:00
Hezbollah ‘could sabotage vote’
Sunday, 9 September, 2007, 02:37 AM Doha Time
BEIRUT: An anti-Syrian Christian leader said yesterday Hezbollah could use armed force to stop the Lebanese parliament from electing a new president in the next few weeks. Samir Geagea, a prominent member of the ruling coalition, accused pro-Syrian Hezbollah of training Christian and Druze allies to prepare them to sabotage the election by force if it believed it would not be able to get a friendly president. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called lawmakers this week to meet on September 25 to elect a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, whose term expires on November 23. But a deep political crisis means the vote is unlikely to go ahead then.
The constitution says a new president should be elected between September 24 and the end of Lahoud’s term.
“Hezbollah is playing a dangerous game,” Geagea said by telephone. “Hezbollah is preparing to sabotage the presidential election session by force, armed force this time.” Geagea said Hezbollah would resort to that option if it thought that it would not be able to bring a president similar to Lahoud — someone who would “secure its own interests and not the interests of the Lebanese people”. He said the Shia Muslim group was training at its military camps in eastern Lebanon members of a group loyal to Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun and others loyal to a Druze opposition politician.
Hezbollah is the only group to keep its military arm after the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. It fought a devastating war with Israel last year in which 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis were killed. The group, which has repeatedly vowed never to use its weapons in any internal dispute, did not comment on Geagea’s remarks.
The opposition says it would like to find a consensus candidate for the presidency with the ruling coalition but some majority leaders have said they might go it alone and elect a president through their simple majority in parliament.
Without a consensus candidate, opposition lawmakers will not attend the presidential election, meaning a two-thirds quorum required for the vote will not be met. The governing coalition has only a slim majority in the chamber. The governing coalition, which is backed by the US and Saudi Arabia, and the opposition including Hezbollah, supported by Iran and Syria, are locked in a bitter 10-month-old political conflict over representation in government. The opposition, which includes Speaker Berri’s Amal group, last week called for a compromise that includes an agreement between both sides on a consensus candidate. The governing coalition has yet to formally respond to the idea but Geagea said he and his allies saw some positives in the offer. But he said an agreement on a candidate should have no strings attached to it. “The essence of the call is positive,” Geagea said. – Reuters
On the Sixth anniversary of 9/11: Ten questions for the future
By Walid Phares
At this sixth anniversary of the Jihadist attacks on America, a better understanding of the past can lead us to a clearer analysis of future trends. Such analysis opens up the way for a series of critically important questions.
1. Do the Jihadists wish to destroy the enemy (the free world) or absorb it?
2. Do they want to attack the West and the United States before they accomplish their goals in the Muslim world first? A crucial question, leading to many others.
3. Will it be possible to conclude peace with the Jihadists? What would doing so entail?
4. What are al Qaeda’s priorities in the struggle against the United States?
5. What weaknesses and holes do the Jihadists see in America and the West, and how would they use them?
6. Are the governments in the United States and other western nations ready for these future wars?
7. What would the next generations of Americans, today’s children and youths, have to face in these wars?
8. What should the United States and the West do to avoid future jihads?
9. Why wasn’t it already done in the past?
10. Are the Jihadists alone, or do they have the backing of other powers and states?
A first objective is to show that future is very much about the past. The future of America depends on our understanding of the historical roots of Jihadism. This is not a war with an enemy with whom governments can sign peace treaties or establish new frontiers. The free world is facing forces that link directly to ancient and modern history. Their ideology was born decades ago, but was inspired by doctrines from the Middle Ages. America has never engaged in a conflict with deeper roots in the past. Today’s terrorists see the world with different eyes and minds from all Americans – and from most communities worldwide. To fully understand their mindset, we must learn about the terrorists’ history and their reading of history. The future of U.S. national security, international relations, and world stability lies in the hands of those who are first to learn about the terrorists’ relevant history. That is the key to their code, but it is not a secret one; it was simply hidden for too long by our own elite, which denied the public this fundamental knowledge. By severing the historical roots from contemporary conflicts waged by the terrorists, and by camouflaging their real long term intents (which are also linked to their version of history), our elite blurred or even blinded our vision.
In my research I make the case that a central obligation in the war on terror, waged since the fall of 2001, is education of the public: the American public first, but international public opinion as well. The outcome of the conflict will be decided by how well citizens understand the threat. The Islamic Fundamentalists’ jihadist strategies are not fully centered on classical state warfare. The resources of regimes have been merged with the capabilities of networks. The jihadists’ presence is fluid and their actions are stealthy until the final stages of an operation. But ironically, jihadists emerge, grow and develop almost entirely in the open. If we look at their public manifestation and thinking, whether in chat room conversations or media like al Jazeera, we can begin to understand their objectives. And if we learn about their past and deeper history, we can understand their current and future strategies.
Many among us wonder about the global strategy of the jihadists. Not only there is a global jihadist strategy, but also several different components. Not only are the terror plans frightening; they are already underway on a global level. The terrorist and jihadist strategies against the United States and the West started earlier than most of us generally think, that terrorists have been more successful in infiltrating than we expect, and that they are readying themselves for far larger strikes than they have mounted in the past.
There should be a global effort to educate the West about past mistakes in judgment that led to the terrorist advances. But perhaps more importantly, from what we know has really happened, and what we know could have happened, comes a terrifying picture of what could happen around the world if the appropriate policies and measures are not taken.
PS: This article was adapted from Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America
***Dr Walid Phares is the director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the author of The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Dem/ September 11, 2007 07:03
Lebanon’s Member of Cabinet, Minister of Tourism Joe Sarkis visiting Washington DC
September 11, 2007
Lebanese Minister of Tourism Mr. Joseph (Joe) Sarkis will be visiting Washington, DC the week of September 17th (arriving Sunday September the 16th and leaving Thursday September the 20 th). During Mr. Sarkis’ brief stay in DC, he plans to hold meetings with US administration officials, with Members of Congress and with Policy Institutes in Washington to discuss ways and means of assisting Lebanon on its path to long-term stability, freedom, and sovereignty. He will also meet with the local Lebanese-American community, with the Lebanese diplomats stationed in Washington and with the Lebanese and Arab media.
Minister Sarkis has been a member of the Lebanese Council of Ministers as the Minister of Tourism since July 2005. Additionally, he was the Acting Minister of Agriculture between December 2006 and April 2007.
As an active member of the March 14th Coalition and one of the figures of the Cedar Revolution Movement, he joined the first freely-elected Government of PM Fuad Siniora, actively participated in all major decisions taken by the Government of Lebanon over the past 2 years, and witnessed first-hand all the regional developments and local events since the summer of 2005, following the withdrawal of the Syrian Army from Lebanon.
Prior to joining the Lebanese Government, Mr. Sarkis was a member of the City Council of Lebanon’s capital city Beirut from 1998 till 2004 (the reconstruction period); and a member of the Order of Engineers and Architects of Beirut, since 1972. He is the current Chairman of the Arab Ministerial Council of Tourism.
Mr. Sarkis is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Lebanese Forces Party (since 1992)-the largest Christian group in the March 14th Coalition.
President, Lebanese Information Center
Jamming Across Lebanon Likely Caused by Israel's Air Strikes on Syria
The jamming of the communications system throughout Lebanon in recent days was apparently caused by Israel's air strikes on Syria, Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh said. Hamadeh uncovered that while the source of interference has not been officially determined, the jamming coincided with Israel's aggression against Syria on Thursday. "What we have witnessed over the past four or five days started with the aggressive Israeli infiltration on Syria," Hamadeh said in remarks published by the daily An Nahar on Wednesday. He said the interference has dwindled toward a stop by late Tuesday. It was the biggest jamming of cell phones since last summer's Israel's offensive against Lebanon, Hamadeh added. Syria complained to the United Nations over Israel's "flagrant violation" of its airspace which apparently was meant as a message to Damascus to stop rearming Hizbullah. Syria's U.N. envoy Bashar Jaafari said his government was "drawing attention to this flagrant violation by Israel of its airspace and to its aggression against the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic in clear and brazen defiance of international law."
In identical letters to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and to French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, the current president of the Security Council, Jaafari said the Israeli planes last Thursday crossed Syria's northern frontier and dropped "some munitions without managing to cause any human casualties or material damage."
The Israeli incursion ratcheted up tension between the neighboring foes.
The Syrian letter, obtained by AFP, said the Jewish state had deliberately committed "other similar crimes including the bombing of Syrian civilian facilities in 2003."
"If the international community persists in disregarding these Israeli actions in breach of international law, that is likely to subject the region and international peace and security to serious consequences that may be difficult to control," Jaafari noted. In an interview with an Italian newspaper published Saturday, Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa said his country was mulling a "series of responses" to the Israeli air violations.
A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday, said Israel carried out the air strike well inside Syria last week, apparently to send Damascus a message not to rearm Hizbullah. Israel accuses Damascus of supporting Hizbullah with which the Jewish state fought a devastating 34-day war last summer.
Syria also shelters a number of radical Palestinian groups and is home to Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of Hamas who tops Israel's most-wanted list and heads a movement branded a terrorist organization by the West. Israel and Syria remain officially at war. Peace talks last collapsed in 2000 over the status of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967, and each blame each other for tensions in the Middle East.(Naharnet-AFP) Beirut, 12 Sep 07, 10:00
Israel Reportedly Hit Syrian Base Financed by Iran
Israeli warplanes last week bombed and destroyed a northern Syrian missile base that was financed by Iran, an Arab Israeli newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Citing anonymous Israeli sources, the Assennara newspaper said that Israeli jets "bombed in northern Syria a Syrian-Iranian missile base financed by Iran ... It appears that the base was completely destroyed." Syria on Tuesday lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations over the "flagrant violation" of its airspace last Thursday, during which it said its air defenses opened fire on Israeli warplanes flying over the northeast of the country.
Israeli officials have refused to comment on the report, as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "specifically instructed ministers not to talk about the incident related to Syria at all," one senior Israeli government official said. A U.S. defense official said on Tuesday that Israel had launched an air strike well inside Syria, apparently to send Damascus a message not to rearm Hizbullah. The official did not know the target of the strike. "The Israelis are trying to tell the Syrians: 'Don't support a resurgence of Hizbullah in Lebanon.'" Israel fought a devastating 34-day war in July and August 2006 against Hizbullah, whose missile firepower and use of sophisticated weaponry surprised the Israelis. CNN said the strike, which could have also involved the use of ground forces, was believed to have targeted weapons either coming into Syria or moving through Syria from Iran to the Iranian-backed Hizbullah.(AFP) Beirut, 12 Sep 07, 09:11
Regional Crises Could Have Serious Repercussions for Lebanon
Deterioration in Syrian-Saudi relations, Israel's violation of Syria's airspace as well as the rapidly escalating tensions between Israel and Hamas could have serious repercussions for Lebanon. The daily An Nahar on Wednesday quoted official circles as saying that regional developments may affect the situation in Lebanon with Syrian-Saudi ties "likely to deteriorate even more" while Israeli aggression against Syrian territory "seemed to be run by the Congress."
The sources expressed "interest at the same time worry over what is going on at the regional level," An Nahar said.
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced that a scheduled visit by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem to the kingdom for apparent rapprochement talks has been cancelled. The visit would have been the first by a Syrian official to Saudi Arabia since outbreak of a public row between the two countries in mid-August.
Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh said "there is no doubt that Lebanon is one of the main reasons for the Saudi-Syrian tensions."
Syria on Tuesday complained to the United Nations about "aggression and violation of sovereignty" after Israeli warplanes reportedly conducted an air strike in the country's north. The Israeli incursion last Thursday ratcheted up tension between the neighboring foes. Beirut, 12 Sep 07, 07:25
Saudi-Syrian Ties Deteriorate, Mouallem's Visit To Jeddah "Cancelled"
Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday that a scheduled visit by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem to the kingdom for apparent rapprochement talks has been cancelled. A Saudi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "the scheduled visit has been cancelled." He did not disclose further details.
The visit would have been the first by a Syrian official to Saudi Arabia since outbreak of a public row between the two countries in mid-August.
Muallem was expected to hold talks Tuesday with King Abdullah in the Red Sea city of Jeddah to deliver a message from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Observers believe that using the word cancelled reflects extent of the deterioration in Saudi-Syrian relations. An Arab diplomat familiar with Saudi thinking told Naharnet: "The Saudi official could have said the visit has been postponed, or even indefinitely postponed."But by Saying it has been cancelled the Saudi official "slammed the door in the face of Syrian rapprochement efforts. It is a way of expressing the kingdom's dismay," the diplomat said.
Tension between Riyadh and Damascus erupted into a public row in mid-August, when Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa claimed that the oil-rich kingdom's regional role has been paralyzed. Riyadh responded by accusing Damascus of trying to stoke disorder in the region.
Relations between the two had already chilled after the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 which was widely blamed on Syria. Damascus denied any links to the killing. Ties deteriorated further because of disagreements over last year's war between Israel and Lebanon's Hizbullah which is backed by Syria and Iran. They were further strained after the Hizbullah-led opposition launched a campaign to oust the government of Western-backed Sunni Prime Minister Fouad Saniora, who is close to Saudi Arabia.Syria moved to calm the row, with an official saying Sharaa's statements had been "unjustly distorted."(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 11 Sep 07, 15:08
Report: Israel spots nuclear installations in Syria
According to Washington official, Israeli jets recently took pictures of possible nuclear installations in Syria and Israel believes North Korea supplying Syria, Iran with nuclear materials, NY Times reports
Ynetnews Published: 09.12.07, 08:22 / Israel News
Israel believes that North Korea has been supplying Syria and Iran with nuclear materials, a Washington defense official told the New York Times. “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” he said.
Damascus warns that international community's silence on Israel's violation of Syrian airspace will have tragic consequences The official added that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights over Syria revealed possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials estimate might have been supplied with material from North Korea.
According to the Times, American officials confirmed Tuesday that Israeli jets launched an airstrike inside Syria. Sources said that Israel struck at least one target in northeastern Syria, but could not provide more details. The most likely target was, according to some administration officials, weapon caches sent by Iran to Hizbullah through Syria. North Korea commented on the incident Tuesday, calling it a "dangerous provocation", Chinese News Agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
"This is a very dangerous provocation little short of wantonly violating the sovereignty of Syria and seriously harassing the regional peace and security," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said. "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea strongly denounces the above-said intrusion and extends full support and solidarity to the Syrian people in their just cause to defend the national security and the regional peace."
Israel targeted Iranian weapons in Syria - report
CNN says incident in which Israeli planes reportedly invaded Syrian airspace was actually an attack on Iranian weapons transferred to Syria; operation apparently included ground forces, report says
Ynet Published: 09.11.07, 18:29 / Israel News
CNN news network reported Tuesday that the incident in which Israeli planes reportedly invaded Syrian airspace was actually an attack on Iranian weapons transferred to Syria. According to the report, the incident involved an aerial operation that also included ground forces that were meant to mark targets or inspect the damage caused by the attack.
Israel tried to attack ground targets in Syria, says Bishara / Roee Nahmias
Former MK says IAF's infiltration of Syrian airspace was meant to take out anti-aircraft missile facilities, ground targets. 'This was a full blown aerial operation and we are treading on dangerous ground,' he says
It was also reported that the operation left "a great hole in the ground" in the Syrian desert. The report was based mainly on sources in the American government and CNN said that Israel was satisfied with the operation's results.
The report said Israel apparently targeted a type of weapon transferred through Syria to Hizbullah from Iran.
Sources told CNN reporter Christiana Amanpour that weapons have been transferred in this way for the past three or four years uninterruptedly.
AFP quoted an American official as saying, "It (attack) wasn't big. It was a quick strike. They were engaged by the Syrians, they dropped their ordnance and scooted out of there. The official, according to AFP, did not know the target of the strike, but said the US military believed it was meant to send a message to the Syrians.
"The Israelis are trying to tell the Syrians: 'Don't support a resurgence of Hizbullah in Lebanon," he said.
'This is an unacceptable development' Hours before CNN report was broadcast, Syria appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council, and warned Israel of "the consequences of this outrageous aggression." In the message sent to the United Nations, Syria said that "the continuing silence of the international community vis-à-vis Israel's illegal act will place the region as well as the peace and security of both countries in the face of uncontrollable tragedies".
The Syrian letter to the UN argued that Israel "is determined to choose aggression instead of peace and by doing so it reveals its true intentions that it tries to hide using fake claims of seeking peace in the region". On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan demanded Israel explain the discovery of unmarked fuel tanks near Turkey's border with Syria. "This is an unacceptable development," Babacan said in a joint news conference with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moallem, who was visiting Turkey. "All countries in the region must show respect to all countries' sovereignty and carefully avoid acts that lead to tensions," Babacan said. "Otherwise, tensions would be fueled and peace and stability in the region might be harmed."
Syria denies FM's visit to Saudi Arabia
September 12, 2007
Syria denied on Tuesday media reports that Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem would pay a visit to Saudi Arabia, the official SANA news agency said.
SANA quoted an unnamed official source as denying such reports, without giving further details.
Muallem, who just returned home from a visit to Turkey, attended a cabinet meeting on Tuesday and briefed the cabinet on his trip to the northern neighbor, according to SANA.Earlier media reports had said that Muallem would visit Saudi Arabia and hold talks with Saudi King Abdullah on Tuesday, which, the reports said, could be the first of such meeting after a public row between the two countries last month. Muallem was also reportedly to deliver a message from President Bashar al-Assad to the king and meet his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud al-Faisal. Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Syria erupted into a public row in mid-August after Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara claimed that the oil-rich kingdom's regional role had become paralyzed. Saudi Arabia immediately rebutted that Syria was trying to stoke disorder in the region. Syria then moved to calm the spat, saying Shara's words "were unrightfully changed" and expressing its care to maintain best relations with the kingdom. Relations between Saudi Arabia and Syria, strained since the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, a close Saudi ally, become more uptight as the two countries disagreed over the war between Israel and Lebanon's Syrian-backed Shiite movement Hezbollah last summer.
A political standoff between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government, backed by the West and Saudi Arabia, has further soured their relations.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia is also concerned about the growing influence of Iran, Syria's close ally in the region, particularly in Iraq and Lebanon.