Steve Lendman – Israel’s Latest Aggression – 20 January 2015

StevelendmanIsrael ignores international laws, norms and standards. Operating extrajudicially. Unaccountably.

Mass murdering Gazans in cold blood. Terrorizing West Palestinians daily.

Making the country increasingly unfit to live in for Jews. Why many vote with their feet and leave.

Since 2013 alone, Israel conducted multiple premeditated air attacks on Syrian targets. Others earlier in recent years.

State terrorism. War crimes by any standard.The latest incident on Sunday.

Reports said an Israeli helicopter gunship fired missiles at Hezbollah military leader Imad Mughniyeh’s car in Syria’s Quneitra province.

Located in Golan’s demilitarized zone. Monitored by UN peacekeepers since 1974. The site of heavy clashes between Syrian forces and Takfiri terrorists.

Mughniyeh was killed. Plus five other Hezbollah fighters. Six Iranians. Including General Mohammed Allahdaddi. A Lebanese security source said two Syrian soldiers died.

Lebanese MP Imad Sukkarieh said Israel wants relations with extremist Takfiri groups “normalized.” Wanting a security zone on its Syrian border. Enabling it to penetrate area communities.

“This would affect Syria because part of its society would become allied to Israel,” Sukkarieh believes.

He compared Tel Aviv’s Golan strategy to its activities during the beginning of Lebanon’s 1975 – 1990 civil war.

“Syria sent resistance groups to the Golan Heights more than one year ago,” Sukkarieh said. “If Hezbollah is (operating) in the area, then I think its role is about organizing the resistance against Israel and preventing normalizing relations with it.”

Sukkarieh is a retired Lebanese army brigadier general. He called Israel’s latest attack not one requiring an immediate response. Hezbollah can choose its time, place and method.

Israel’s attack came days after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel against any “stupid” moves in Lebanon and Syria.

Vowing retaliation against Israeli aggression. Saying its attacks “target the whole of the resistance axis.” Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.

“The axis is capable of responding. This can happen any time,” he said.

Following Israel’s Golan attack, an unnamed Hezbollah source said it “will not rush to decide what steps should be taken…We will not act out of emotion.”

At the same time saying retaliation “is inevitable.” Hezbollah political bureau member Mahmoud Qmati said war is unlikely. Especially with ongoing assistance to Syria’s Assad.

Expect retaliation in the form of limited “strikes, assassinations, and intermittent confrontation,” he said.

Hezbollah MP Bilal Farhat said “(l)et’s wait and see” what happens. Lebanon’s Al-Safir said expect “more than a reply and less than a war.”

Former Israeli counterintelligence chief Yoram Schweitzer made similar comments. Saying “Hezbollah doesn’t want a full-fledged war.”

“It has a number of possibilities to respond in different arenas. We assume that it currently does not want full contact.”

Al-Akhbar’s editor cited clear proof of Israel’s “involve(ment) in the fighting in Syria.”

Hezbollah’s “response needs to match what (Israel) wanted to achieve,” he said. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called Israel’s attack “an act of terror.”

“We condemn all actions of the Zionist regime as well as all acts of terror,” he explained. Israel attacks on Hezbollah an Syria are longstanding. Israeli subversion targets Iran. Including targeted assassinations.

“The policy of state terrorism is a known policy of the Zionist regime,” Zerif stressed.

Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) secretary Ali Shamkhani condemned Israel’s latest aggression.

Saying its action was “adopted in line with (its) continued cooperation with the Takfiri terrorists and plays a complementary role for the approach of the Tel Aviv rulers to using this terrorism stream for creating a buffer zone at the forged orders of this fake regime.”

“The experience of the past shows that the resistance current will give a crushing response to the Zionist regime’s terrorist moves with revolutionary determination and in due time and place,” he added.

Ahead of the attack, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said UN Golan-based peacekeepers saw “two unmanned aerial vehicles from the Alpha (Israeli) side crossing the ceasefire line.”

A clear “violation of the 1974 agreement on (Israeli/Syrian) disengagement,” he added.

Israeli media spuriously claimed Mughniyeh planned attacks on Israel. Using rockets, anti-tank missiles and bombs.

Additional terror operations in Israeli occupied Golan. Allegedly targeting Israeli troops and civilians. No corroborating evidence was cited. None exists.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile said Syria deployed Iranian made medium-range Fatah-110 ground-to-ground missiles in Quneitra.

Alleging a plot to use them against Israel. Saying its air strike aimed at “thwarting…this plan.” Again, no corroborating evidence cited. Allegations without proof.

Why would Syria, Hezbollah or Iran want to attack Israel preemptively? What could they hope to gain?

Clearly plenty to lose. What better pretext for Obama to launch air strikes against Syrian military positions.

Perhaps bomb Damascus. Shock and awe like against Baghdad. Leaving large parts of the city in ruins.

Escalate efforts to oust Assad. Target Hezbollah and/or Iran if they retaliate. Likely jointly with Israel.

It remains to be seen how Hezbollah and Iran respond to Israel’s latest aggression. An act of war.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said Israel’s attack wasn’t a single act. He called it part of its support for anti-Syrian Takfiris.

UN-designated terrorist groups. US proxies waging war on Syria.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued a Monday statement. Confirming General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi’s “martyr(dom).”

In Quneitra “providing military counseling services to the Syrian forces in their fight against Takfiri terrorists.”

Hezbollah issued a statement confirming “a number of mujahedeens…martyred.”

Israel so far neither acknowledged or denied its attack. Was it trying to thwart an imminent “terrorist” attack?” Or perhaps aimed to goad  Hezbollah and/or Iran into doing something stupid.

The Times of Israel called it “doubtful any Israeli leader had been attempting to make political gains by pulling off such a complicated military mission.”

At the same time, it hopes “a situation (doesn’t arise) in which a commission is appointed to examine the results of a future war.”

Reuters reported an unnamed senior Israeli security source saying IDF officials didn’t know an Iranian general was in the line of fire.

Asked if Israel expected Iran and/or Hezbollah to retaliate, he said it’s “almost certain.”

“(B)ut I think it’s a fair assumption that a major escalation is not in the interest of either side.”

Israeli Lebanese and Syrian border forces are on heightened alert. Hezbollah reacted the same way.

Israel increased lawless air surveillance over Lebanese air space. More along its Syrian border.

Expect Hezbollah to respond to Israel’s attack. Perhaps Iran. In their own way. On their own timetable. Short of risking war.

What Israel has in mind remains to be seen. Once an aggressor. Always one.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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