World View: Hizbollah Launching Rocket Attacks into Syria

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
  • Emir Abdelmalek Droukdel, head of AQIM, says that the terrorist organization is 'sick'
  • Syrian rebels and Islamist jihadists seizing weapons in Syria
  • Hizbollah launching rocket attacks into Syria
  • Russia conducts a large security operation in North Caucasus
  • Desperate European leaders plan for marathon summit next month

Emir Abdelmalek Droukdel, head of AQIM, says that the terrorist organization is 'sick'

In a letter written by Emir Abdelmalek Droukdel, head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and seized by Algerian security forces during a raid, Droukdel says that AQIM "is sick" because of "terrorist members that no longer respect the decisions of the emirs." (Sounds like a generational problem.) He noted "the fragility of the situation and the low morale among many of its members, and discontent with the emirs who are considered to be responsible for the situation," and said that the organisation suffers from instability, internal problems as well as regulatory gaps due to lack of co-ordination and poorly defined responsibilities. He acknowledged the effectiveness of the Algerian security forces who had eliminated a large number of field leaders, and who used security barriers and explosive detectors, "which rendered movements and terrorist operations difficult." Magharebia

Syrian rebels and Islamist jihadists seizing weapons in Syria

After the Libyan conflict, large stores of Muammar al-Gaddafi's weapons fell into the hands of local militant groups, including al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups. It already appears that the same thing is happening in Syria. In the past few weeks, there have been increasing reports that Syrian opposition forces, sometimes linked with al-Qaeda linked jihadists, have seized control of air defense bases of the Syrian military, and have captured considerable quantities of weapons and ammunition, including missiles and missile launchers, mortars and radars. According to some reports, Syrian opposition forces have taken control of a plant housing large 100-kilogram chlorine tanks, each of which is "capable of destroying a town of 25,000 people." The rebels say that they've "sealed" the plant, while retaining control of it. Memri

Hizbollah launching rocket attacks into Syria

Reports indicate that the Lebanese terrorist group Hizbollah is fully engaged in the Syrian conflict, and is launching rocket attacks into Syria in support of the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad. Residents of the targeted area say that the attacks began six weeks ago and are getting heavier. Hizbollah is thought to have thousands of rockets that were supplied by Iran for use in a future war with Israel, but now they're being used against the Syrian opposition. According to one analyst, "Hizbollah is not just protecting the Syrian regime, they are protecting themselves. They are protecting the smuggling routes in Syria that they use to get weapons from Iran and their Shia supporters on the border." Telegraph (London) and Israel National News

Russia conducts a large security operation in North Caucasus

Russia's National Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) says that a large operation in the North Caucasus (Russia's largely Muslim southern provinces) has been conducted in the last few weeks, and that hundreds of "wanted" people have been taken into custody. The security operation resulted in the seizure of some 30 improvised explosive devices, more than 100 kilograms of material used for making explosives, more than 100 weapons, and some 530 mines, rockets, and grenades as well as a large amount of ammunition. Russia's president Vladimir Putin referred to several international events scheduled to be held in Russia, such as the Winter Olympic Games in 2014 in Sochi and the soccer World Cup in 2018, and said: "It is a matter of honor for all law enforcement officials to ensure that these events be staged in a normal, business-like, and festive manner, so that nothing can cast a pall over them." RFERL

Desperate European leaders plan for marathon summit next month

The European Union leadership planning to attend the summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday, November 22-23, are being warned to pack at least four shirts, as the summit will almost certainly be extended to run through the entire weekend, with working sessions running all through each night. Topics to be discuss will include:

  • Whether the entire European Union budget will be cut.
  • Whether the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be cut. The CAP provides agricultural subsidies to member states. The CAP was actually set up in the 1980s, when "iron lady" Margaret Thatcher was British Prime Minister, and she negotiated a "rebate" for the UK, since the UK didn't have enough agriculture to justify much of a subsidy.┬áThe issue came to a head in at an EU summit in Brussels in 2005, in which UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac disputed the terms of the EU budget for 2007-2013. Blair offered to agree to end the EU rebate to the UK, if Chirac agreed to reduce the CAP subsidies to France. Chirac demanded that Blair give up the rebate with nothing in return. The dispute between the two men turned into an extremely vitriolic confrontation. The furious EU President Jean-Claude Juncker sided with Chirac and condemned Blair and the UK, saying he felt ashamed that "certain people did not have the will to reach agreement when some poorer other countries were willing to do so." Now the issue is back on the table again.
  • Whether there will be separate eurozone and non-eurozone budgets.

This marathon summit meeting ought to be interesting because it's just about the time when Greece will go bankrupt unless it receives another bailout payment, and it's pretty clear that Greece will not meet the austerity requirements to qualify for that bailout payment. So will Greece go bankrupt? According to the "Kick the Can Theory," which says that Europeans will always find a way to kick the can down the road, the summit will find some excuse for approving the bailout payment, so that Greece can go on spending money for another few months. EurActiv

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