World View: Israel Braces for Counter-Strike if U.S. Hits Syria

World View: Israel Braces for Counter-Strike if U.S. Hits Syria

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Israel prepares for counter-attack from Hezbollah
  • U.S. attack on Syria could come as early as Thursday
  • Russia evacuates its citizens from Syria
  • Monday’s Mideast peace process meeting was held after all

Israel prepares for counter-attack from Hezbollah

Both Syria and Hezbollah are promising to respond to an Americanattack on Syria with a counter-attack on Israel. In Israel, civiliansflooded gas mask distribution centers spurred on by fears that anyWestern military response to last week’s alleged chemical weaponsattack in Syria could ensnare their own country in war. Euro Jewish Press

U.S. attack on Syria could come as early as Thursday

American rhetoric has now reached the point where it will bepolitically almost impossible to avoid an attack on Syria. ( “27-Aug-13 World View — The drums of war beat over Syria”

According to Vice President Joe Biden: 

Chemical weapons have been used. 

No one doubts that innocent men, women and children have been thevictims of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and there’s no doubtwho’s responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons inSyria: the Syrian regime. 

The options that we are considering are not about regime change.They are about responding to the clear violation of aninternational standard that prohibits the use of chemicalweapons.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that American forces are nowready to act immediately on an order from President Barack Obama. 

The U.S. is considering three days of missile strikes on Syria,perhaps beginning on Thursday. After three days, strategists couldrun an assessment and target was previously missed. The U.S. missilestrikes would almost certainly be launched from Nary destroyers orsubmarines in the Mediterranean Sea. Four destroyers are lined upready to strike: the USS Barry, the USS Mahan, the USS Ramage and theUSS Gravely. 

According to U.S. officials, it will not be an objective to crippleSyria’s military, or to topple president Bashar al-Assad. Theobjective of the attack will be to “send a message” to al-Assad. 

A number of analysts have expressed concern that unless the attacksignificantly degrades Syria’s armed forces, then it will have beenfor nothing, and America’s credibility will suffer even further. Someanalysts express concern that President Obama is going ahead with theattack for his own political purposes, to “do something,” after haveset several “red lines,” and doing nothing when they were crossed.NBC News

Russia evacuates its citizens from Syria

A Russian aircraft landed in Latakia airport in Syria on Tuesday,with 20 tons of humanitarian aid, mostly consisting of tinnedfoods and sugar. About 180 people, 100 of them Russia, willleave Syria on the return flight. 

Russia’s foreign ministry says that the West was acting in the Islamicworld like “a monkey with a grenade.” According to a spokesman: 

Attempts to bypass the [United Nations] SecurityCouncil, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for amilitary intervention in the region are fraught with new sufferingin Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of theMiddle East and North Africa. 

We are calling on our American partners and all members of theworld community to demonstrate prudence (and) strict observance ofinternational law, especially the fundamental principles of the UNCharter.

Telegraph (London)

Monday’s Mideast peace process meeting was held after all

Despite reports that the Palestinian Authority had canceled peacetalks on Monday, following the deaths of three Palestinians, theMonday evening meeting was apparently held anyway. According to aPalestinian source, the two negotiation teams met in the house ofchief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat amid the absence of envoysfrom the United States, the sponsor of the peace talks. Xinhua

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