File photo shows the line that separates Syria from the Israeli-occupied lands on the Golan Heights.
Syria says its army has destroyed an Israeli military vehicle that had crossed the ceasefire line in the occupied Golan Heights.
The Syrian army said in a statement issued on Tuesday that the vehicle drove toward the village of Bir Ajam, located in the “liberated area of Syrian territories where there are armed terrorist groups.”
“Following that, the Israeli enemy fired two rockets from the occupied site of Tal al-Faras toward one of our sites in al-Zubaydiah site; no casualties reported,” the statement added.
Also on Tuesday, the Israeli military said its troops had shot at a target inside Syria, following an incident where gunfire from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The Israeli regime has recently boosted its military activities in the Golan Heights, where clashes between the Syrian army and the militant groups continue.
Syria has been gripped by unrest for over two years, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the foreign-sponsored militancy.
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said on May 18 that militants from 29 different countries were fighting against the government in different parts of the country.
The file photo shows an Israeli tank on Syria’s illegally annexed Golan Heights.
The Israeli military says its troops have shot at a target inside Syria, after gunfire from Damascus hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The military said in a Tuesday statement that the gunfire from Damascus damaged a military vehicle without causing any injuries.
The statement added that the Israeli soldiers “returned precise fire.”
Tel Aviv has recently boosted military activities in the occupied Golan Heights, where clashes between Syrian forces and foreign-sponsored militants have spiked dramatically in recent weeks.
The Israeli military has set up a “military field hospital” at military outpost 105 in the occupied Golan Heights to treat wounded militants fighting against the government in neighboring Syria.
The Israeli military has carried out three airstrikes against Syria so far this year.
On May 5, Syria said the Israeli regime had carried out an airstrike targeting a research center in a suburb of Damascus, following heavy losses of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups at the hands of the Syrian army. According to Syrian media reports, Israeli rockets struck the Jamraya Research Center.
The Jamraya facility was also targeted in an Israeli airstrike in January. Continue reading →
The director of the US spy agency CIA has visited the occupied Palestinian territories to discuss the situation in Syria with Israeli officials.
An unnamed Israeli official said John Brennan arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday and went straight into a meeting with Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Moshe Yaalon.
The Tel Aviv regime has not provided any details about the meeting.
Brennan’s visit comes two days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the crisis in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
During the meeting, Putin warned against any moves that would further destabilize the situation in Syria and said, “In this crucial period it is especially important to avoid any moves that can shake the situation.”
The Russian president made the comments days after the Israeli military launched airstrikes on two research centers near Damascus following heavy losses inflicted upon al-Qaeda-affiliated groups by the Syrian army.
Turmoil has gripped Syria for over two years, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the foreign-sponsored militancy.
Western powers and their regional allies including the Israeli regime, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are partners in supporting the militant groups in Syria.
Head of Palestinian Hamas political bureau Khaled Meshal said that the movement will be open in principle to negotiations with the Zionist entity, even though the facts on the ground today make such talk pointless, western media quoted Meshaal as saying on Tuesday.
Speaking to the American Foreign Policynews magazine, Meshaal said the most important condition for negotiation to succeed is the balance of power, because without [it]… no peace can be achieved, arguing that an attempt to engage the Zionists diplomatically without proper leverage meant negotiations “would be turned to begging, begging for the rights of our people.”
While considering the armed resistance as an essential element, Meshaal confirmed it is a means and does not represent the goal, adding that the popular resistance has other options through diplomacy, media and charging the enemy in the legal arena to pay for his crimes.
During the interview that conducted after electing him for the political bureau of Hamas, Meshaal expressed support for peaceful means adopted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, noting that the blame for the failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute does not lie with the Palestinians.
“Israel is the one responsible. Israel occupies the lands … they are practicing the worst kind of killing,” he said. Continue reading →
Forceful Austrian position signals deep EU divisions on Syria ahead of this month’s embargo decision
Fighters from Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra take their positions on the front line during a clash with Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo. Photograph: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters/REUTERS
By Julian Borger, The Guardian
“Die Briten sind not amused,” is how Die Presse reported it today. “The Brits are not amused.” The Austrian foreign ministry circulated a discussion paper (known in Brussels jargon as a non-paper) among the EU member states yesterday forcefully rebutting British and French arguments for amending the European embargo on Syria to allow weapons shipments to the rebels.
Update: here is a link to an English version of the Austrian paper [click here]
The Austrian paper argues that lifting the embargo would “constitute a breach of international and EU law” and be contrary to the “principle of non-intervention and non-use of force” laid down in the UN Charter. If the weapons ended up in the hands of the al-Nusra Front, it would also violate UN Security Council resolutions on al-Qaida, given al-Nusra’s stated affiliation.
According to the Austrian press reports the UK asked the Austrians not to circulate the paper, but Vienna did it anyway – a sign of the declining clout of the UK in Brussels as the country sinks into an internecine quagmire on EU membership.
Austria has a particular reason for opposing the lifting of the arms embargo, as it has UN peacekeeping troops deployed in the line of fire on the Golan Heights, but sources in Brussels suggest the Austrians may also be expressing the views of a EU majority that has deep reservations over lifting the embargo, particularly at a time when there is at least the glimmer of diplomatic hope in the wake of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement to hold a new international conference on Syria.