Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bullseye on Syria

1) The Navy announced Operation Reliant Mermaid which completes the de facto encirclement of Syria. The operation is a joint exercise of Turkish, Israeli & American warships off the coast of Israel.

2)(Round up of Baathists & insurgents #8 below) combined with the balance of this work release program for Assad (From Debka via Chester)

“Debka reports that the recent diplomatic trips to Syria by US officials have given the following demands to the House of Assad:
1. Start repealing Syria’s 40-years old emergency laws. 2. Free all political prisoners from jail. 3. Abolish media censorship. 4. Initiate democratic reform. 5. Speed up economic development 6. Cut down relations with Iran. 7. Announce publicly that the disputed Shebaa Farms at the base of Mt. Hermon are former Syrian territory. This would cut the ground from under the Lebanese terrorist Hizballah’s claim that the land is Lebanese and must be “liberated” from Israeli “occupation.” DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report that the Iran-sponsored Hizballah’s attack on an Israeli convoy patrolling the disputed Shebaa Farms sector, killing an Israeli officer, on Palestinian election-day, Sunday, January 9, was addressed as much to President George W. Bush as to the new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a foretaste of what it has in store. 8. Hand over to US or Iraqi authorities 55 top officials and military officers of the former Saddam regime, who are confirmed by intelligence to be established in Syria and running the guerrilla war in Iraq out of their homes and offices. (An address, telephone number and cell phone number were listed beside each name). But the punchline was in the last demand. 9. Syria had better make sure that none of the Kornet AT-14 anti-tank missiles which it recently purchased in large quantities from East Europe turn up in Iraq. [Chester says: VERY INTERESTING: read this.] US intelligence has recorded their serial numbers to identify their source. DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Because he cannot afford to buy advanced fighter planes and tanks, Assad purchased massive quantities of the “third generation” Kornet AT-14 anti-tank weapons. Just in case any are found in Iraq, General Casey, commander of US forces in Iraq has already received orders from the commander-in-chief in the White House to pursue military action inside Syria according to his best military judgment. Number 9 therefore incorporates a tangible threat. The American general has the authority to launch military action against Syria as he sees fit and without delay if Damascus continues to meddle in Iraq’s affairs.”


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