Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MIDDLE EAST WRAP: THE BUTCHER IN SYRIA

Syrian President Bashar Assad 
A round-up of the Hebrew newspapers in Israel; covering the major events happening in Israel and the Middle East. Haaretz-Maariv-Yedioth Ahronoth-Israel Hayom-The Jerusalem Post-Ynet-Arutz 7 News-Army Radio-Israel Radio-and Makor Rishon 
The latest massacre in Syria dominates the front pages of June 8th newspapers in Israel. The lead stories reported on the slaughter of more than 100 people and some publish graphic images of dead children. 

Yedioth Ahronoth, quoting a report from al-Jazeera, says that Syrian opposition sources claimed on Thursday, June 7th, that aircraft belonging to the Syrian Air Force have dropped toxic material into the province of Dara’a. According to the report, the unidentified material smells like sulfur and causes drowsiness and unconsciousness. No further information on these materials was provided, but the report also said that Assad’s forces had used unidentified gas shells on civilians in Dara’a, Hama and Deir ez-Zor.

It is well-known that Syria has a stockpile of unconventional weapons, including chemical weapons, the paper says.

The IDF’s Northern District Commander, Yair Golan, recently warned that the battle in Syria may have an effect on what is happening in Israel. Golan pointed out that "Syria has weapons of mass destruction along with a very heavy arsenal of weapons, including surface-to-ground missiles and chemical weapons. The fact that Syria is a storehouse of weapons which fuels terrorists in the region is very unsettling."

A senior Israeli military officer told the paper that the ongoing conflict in Syria has made it easier for Hizbollah to smuggle weapons into Lebanon. He added that there is concern that some of the Assad regime's stockpile of chemical weapons could end up in the group's hands. Defense Minister Ehud Barak also warned that sophisticated weapons could be transferred from Syria to Lebanon and to Hizbollah should Assad fall.

Is it a civil war in Syria? Stay tuned.




No comments: