DEBKAfile Special Report May 29, 2013, 1:23 PM (IDT)
Forebodings were voiced Wednesday, May 29, by senior Israeli military
officers in the face of the widening military intervention in the Syria
civil war by Russia, Iran, Hizballah and latterly Iraq too. They have
made Syria’s civil war the platform for a Russian contest against the
West and a ladder up which Iran and its proxy Hizballah are climbing to
top Middle East regional power spot.
Russia, Iran and Hizballah are winning the contest by default against an unresisting US-led West and a hesitant Israel.
A senior IDF officer acknowledged on Wednesday, May 29, that Israel’s
government and military leaders are at a loss on how to proceed. They
have yet to recover from the calamitous miscalculation that Bashar
Assad’s days were numbered to which they clung stubbornly for almost
Even today, some spokesmen refer to a “disintegrating Syria,” thereby
losing sight of the major strategic and military changes overtaking the
country that are entirely to Israel’s detriment as well as eroding its
options against a nuclear Iran.
At a time that the US and Israel should be using their heaviest military
guns to slow Iran’s race for a nuclear bomb, Tehran with
Moscow's backing has brought its military assets up close to Israel’s
borders in Syria and Lebanon and openly threatens to use them.
Unlike Syria and Iran, Israel can’t count on military intervention against an aggressor by supportive big powers. According to debkafile's
Washington sources, no part of the Obama administration, including its
military and intelligence arms, favors military action in Syria.
Even the direct evidence of chemical warfare already afoot in Syria is unavailing.
In Addis Ababa, US Secretary of State John Kerry repeated the
administration’s mantra Wednesday by denying “concrete evidence” of the
use of chemical weapons in Syria.
The Secretary and the rest of NATO were deaf to the vivid testimony brought to Le Monde
Wednesday by two reporters, who risked their necks by spending two
months concealed in the Jobar district of Damascus. They discovered
Russia or Iran had developed a chemical weapon that does not explode.
The release of its poisonous gases sounds like popping the top off a can
of soda and has "no odor, no smoke, not even a whistle to indicate the
release of a toxic gas."
So what does happen?
The Le Monde reporters provided a graphic first-hand description.
"The men cough violently. Their eyes burn, their pupils shrink, their
vision blurs. Soon they experience difficulty breathing, sometimes in
the extreme; they begin to vomit or lose consciousness. The fighters
worst affected need to be evacuated before they suffocate."
Wednesday morning, the Israeli Home Front rehearsed an attack on a Jerusalem suburb by a chemical-tipped missile.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who watched, said the exercise is
designed to protect Israeli civilians “from the threats pilling up
around us.” Israel’s home front is the best protected in the world but
also the most threatened, he said: “We must make sure that defense is in
place before an attack.
Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon voiced his certainty
that the Syrian President would not use chemical weapons against Israel
or treat Israelis the way he treats his own people. There is no
indication that anyone in the region intends to challenge us any time
soon with unconventional weapons, said the defense minister.
military sources find Ya’alon’s comment delusory. They don’t see why
Assad would treat Israelis differently from his own people – especially
since the IDF has presented him with no real deterrent. After all, none
of Israel's three air strikes in January and May stopped the flow of
Hizballah fighters into Syria. And meanwhile, Syrian and Hizballah
leaders are declaring loud and clear that a war front against Israel is
already operating from the Syrian Golan and Lebanon.
The question is who in Israel is listening. And what is being done to
make sure that Assad will be prevented from using chemical weapons
against Israeli military and civilian targets at a time of his
The spate of events in the last 48 hours is troubling - to say the least.
Monday, US Senator John McCain was reported to have paid a secret visit to Syria. What did this "visit" consist of? debkafile
reports: The senator entered Syria from Turkey through the Kilis
corridor which is the main supply route for the rebels in Aleppo, one of
the few still under their control. McCain penetrated some 300 meters
into Syria, had his picture taken, and left.
A US publication reported Wednesday that President Barack Obama had
ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans to establish no-fly zones over
Syria against Syrian warplanes. The Pentagon thereupon issued a denial:
“There are no new American operational plans,” said the spokesman.
Moscow’s response was ready in place even before the report was published.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the S-300 anti-air missiles
that Russia was supplying the Assad regime were a "stabilizing factor"
that could dissuade "some hotheads" from entering the conflict.
In the grades Moscow handed out for foreign interventionists: The US
and Israel and their leaders were "hotheads" while Moscow, the calm,
In that capacity, debkafile's
military and intelligence sources reveal that a huge Russian cargo
plane landed in Latakia airport Wednesday with 60 tons of "humanitarian
aid for Syria."
The nature of this cargo was not disclosed, but the last thing it must
have been was “humanitarian” given the massive military aid Moscow is
extending Assad’s army.
Moscow also knocked on the head the timorous decision by European Union
foreign ministers Tuesday to lift the arms embargo for Syrian rebels,
which they carefully combined with a decision not to send them weapons.
In sum, the US is not doing anything to help the rebels, Europe is
not sending arms, the rebels’ Persian Gulf patrons have bowed to
pressure from Washington and slashed their weapons aid, while Israel
declares it wants no part of the Syrian civil war – even after it
assumed the calamitous proportions of a world power contest with
Israel’s arch foes gaining the upper hand.
So who is feeding the flames of the Syrian conflict with a generous
supply of military hardware? Who but Russia, the self-styled
The Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Commander Gen. Salem Idris made a
desperate show of bravado Wednesday, by threatening to strike Hizballah
strongholds in Lebanon if Hassan Nasrallah does not pull his brigades
out of Syria within 24 hours.
Hizballah knows perfectly well that Gen. Salem is starved of weapons,
just he knows that the US, Europe or Israel will not interfere with the
stream of fighting strength he is pumping into Syria.
At worst, a few rockets will hit Hizballah centers in Beirut and the
Beqaa Valley. Early Tuesday morning, the rebels tried to ambush
Hizballah forces near the eastern town of Arsal. Their operation went
badly wrong and mistakenly killed three Lebanese soldiers manning an
The senior Israeli officer interviewed by debkafile
put all these forebodings into words when he said: "A military and
strategic catastrophe for the West and Israel is in full flight in
Syria, and no one in Washington or Jerusalem is lifting a finger.
Israel’s government and military heads never imagined that the Syrian
war would take this turn. But we had better wake up at this eleventh
hour - before it is too late.”