World View: Hizbollah Launching Rocket Attacks into Syria

World View: Hizbollah Launching Rocket Attacks into Syria

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 inthe Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and seized by Algerian security forcesduring a raid, Droukdel says that AQIM “is sick” because of “terroristmembers that no longer respect the decisions of the emirs.” (Soundslike a generational problem.) He noted “the fragility of thesituation and the low morale among many of its members, and discontentwith the emirs who are considered to be responsible for thesituation,” and said that the organisation suffers from instability,internal problems as well as regulatory gaps due to lack ofco-ordination and poorly defined responsibilities. He acknowledgedthe effectiveness of the Algerian security forces who had eliminated alarge number of field leaders, and who used security barriers andexplosive detectors, “which rendered movements and terroristoperations difficult.” Magharebia

Syrian rebels and Islamist jihadists seizing weapons in Syria

After the Libyan conflict, large stores of Muammar al-Gaddafi’s weaponsfell into the hands of local militant groups, including al-Qaedalinked terrorist groups. It already appears that the same thing ishappening in Syria. In the past few weeks, there have been increasingreports that Syrian opposition forces, sometimes linked with al-Qaedalinked jihadists, have seized control of air defense bases of theSyrian military, and have captured considerable quantities of weaponsand ammunition, including missiles and missile launchers, mortars andradars. According to some reports, Syrian opposition forces havetaken control of a plant housing large 100-kilogram chlorine tanks,each of which is “capable of destroying a town of 25,000 people.” Therebels say that they’ve “sealed” the plant, while retaining control ofit. Memri

Hizbollah launching rocket attacks into Syria

Reports indicate that the Lebanese terrorist group Hizbollah is fullyengaged in the Syrian conflict, and is launching rocket attacks intoSyria in support of the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad.Residents of the targeted area say that the attacks began six weeksago and are getting heavier. Hizbollah is thought to have thousandsof rockets that were supplied by Iran for use in a future war withIsrael, but now they’re being used against the Syrian opposition.According to one analyst, “Hizbollah is not just protecting the Syrianregime, they are protecting themselves. They are protecting thesmuggling routes in Syria that they use to get weapons from Iran andtheir 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 largeoperation in the North Caucasus (Russia’s largely Muslim southernprovinces) has been conducted in the last few weeks, and that hundredsof “wanted” people have been taken into custody. The securityoperation resulted in the seizure of some 30 improvised explosivedevices, more than 100 kilograms of material used for makingexplosives, more than 100 weapons, and some 530 mines, rockets, andgrenades as well as a large amount of ammunition. Russia’s presidentVladimir Putin referred to several international events scheduled tobe held in Russia, such as the Winter Olympic Games in 2014 in Sochiand the soccer World Cup in 2018, and said: “It is a matter of honorfor all law enforcement officials to ensure that these events bestaged in a normal, business-like, and festive manner, so that nothingcan cast a pall over them.” RFERL

Desperate European leaders plan for marathon summit next month

The European Union leadership planning to attend thesummit scheduled for Thursday and Friday,November 22-23, are being warned to pack at least four shirts, asthe summit will almost certainly be extended to run through theentire 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. The 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 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 justabout the time when Greece will go bankrupt unless it receives anotherbailout payment, and it’s pretty clear that Greece will not meet theausterity requirements to qualify for that bailout payment. So willGreece go bankrupt? According to the “Kick the Can Theory,” whichsays that Europeans will always find a way to kick the can down theroad, the summit will find some excuse for approving the bailoutpayment, so that Greece can go on spending money for another fewmonths. EurActiv

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