Saturday, 24 January 2015

Lebanese Army Deploys in Rass Baalbek Barrens, No More Missing Soldiers


Local Editor

The Lebanese army continued on Saturday to deploy and comb al-Hamra Hill a day after Takfiri militants tried to take control of the hill which lies in Ras Baalbek barrens.

“Lebanese Army is deploying across hills surrounding Hamra hill area and is combing the entire outskirts next to Ras Baalbeck region,” National News Agency reported.

Lebanese army in Rass Baalbek barrens
Meanwhile, three bodies for Lebanese soldiers were found in the battlefield, the agency added, noting that there were no more missing soldiers.

The agency’s reported “confirmed that the Army has no more missing members after they found the bodies of 3 soldiers in the battlefield.”

Earlier on Friday night, the army announced the deaths of five soldiers, who were killed in the battle.

A sum of eight Lebanese soldiers were martyred in the clahses.

The battle started on Friday morning, when ISIL militants attack an army post in Hamra hill. The Army fought for more than 16 hours , using heavy artillery and helicopter gunships to ward off a surprise attack by the Takfiri militants.

More than 40 militants are believed to be killed in the army airstrikes which targted the Takfiris.

Source: Agencies
24-01-2015 - 10:20 Last updated 24-01-2015 - 10:21 

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With Aleppo Encircled, West Seeks Wildcard to Save its Terror Hordes

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23.01.2015
The Syrian Arab Army is reportedly close to completely encircling militants that have occupied the northern city of Aleppo since they invaded it from NATO territory in 2012. Once the encirclement is complete, analysts believe the the city will be finally liberated, in a process similar to the retaking of Homs further south.
The desperation of militants facing this final phase in the Battle for Aleppo is indicated by their Western sponsors’ attempts to broker a ceasefire and arrange “aid” to reach them. Similar attempts were made in vain during the closing phases in the Battle for Homs in mid-2014 – with the city of Homs having been an epicenter of terrorist activity beginning in 2011, and now under the control of the Syrian government.  Small pockets of militants have been isolated within Homs, allowing order to be restored across the majority of the city and the surrounding region.
As the Syrian government systematically regains control of a nation up-ended by Western-backed terrorists flooding the country accompanied by a seemingly inexhaustible torrent of cash, weapons, and equipment, the desperation of these Western interests has visibly increased.
The Guardian, chief among the many propagandists distorting the conflict since it began in 2011, is now attempting to form a narrative extorting global security by claiming only by NATO establishing a no-fly-zone over Aleppo and repelling Syrian government forces, can “moderate rebels” hold on to the city and repel lingering “Islamic State” (ISIS) forces.
Since then the regime’s incremental gains have been hard fought, with most inroads being pushed back by rebel fighters and locals, both still reeling from their losses of manpower in the war with Isis. Meanwhile Isis has lurked 20 miles away, taunting the Islamic Front with a radio station it has set up that regularly plays Islamic chants insulting the group’s members. 
“They were strategic [losses] for us,” said the Aleppo commander of the gains by Isis. “And [yet] the Americans doubt our commitment to fighting them? When [the US] came back to Syria, we thought the least they could do is to stop Assad’s air force from flying. But they have bombed the city more than at any time before the Americans arrived. Of course we believe they have a deal with the regime. It is obvious.”
Of course the reality is that the US has merely used ISIS as a pretext to violate Syrian airspace, with the next step being to establish long-planned no-fly-zones, if possible, to thwart the Syrian Arab Army. Just as in Libya, the no-fly-zone would simply hand the rest of Syria over to ISIS and other Al Qaeda affiliates – clearly the most dominate militant force engaged in fighting the Syrian government, and clearly the recipients of the vast majority of material support supplied by NATO and their regional partners, most notably Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel.
The fight for Zahraa, one of the few Shia enclaves in northern Syria, is being led by the al-Qaida-aligned Jabhat al-Nusra, with whom the Islamic Front have an understanding but no formal alliance. After barely holding ground for much of the past year, al-Nusra recently seized large chunks of territory near the Turkish border, reasserting itself as a power player at the expense of non-jihadist groups. The fast-changing dynamic is forcing a new reckoning with the Islamic Front, which says it has waited fruitlessly for help from Arab states that was promised but never delivered.It should be noted, that while the Guardian claims the remaining encircled militants in Aleppo are at odds with ISIS, the same report admits these same militants coordinate with US State Department listed foreign terrorist organization, Al Nusra. The Guardian would admit:
These same ISIS forces that are allegedly at odds with “moderate rebels” have seen thousands of so-called “moderates” defecting into their ranks recently bringing with them large sums of Western cash and weapons. That Al Qaeda – both Al Nusra and ISIS – seems to thrive along the Turkish border indicates that NATO support is not at all going to “moderate rebels,” but instead, intentionally to Al Qaeda, or to moderate groups NATO knows is working with, or soon to join Al Qaeda.
With a menace of the its own creation – perpetuated to this day and thriving along the borders of NATO, seeking safe-haven in NATO territory and receiving an uninterrupted line of supplies from NATO territory with absolute impunity – the West seeks to extort from the world through fear of ISIS’ spread, greater direct military intervention, up to and including no-fly-zones, and perhaps more muscular policies including the carving out of “safe havens” within which ISIS can stage larger and more effective military operations deeper into Syria.
As exposed in 2007 by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and veteran journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker report titled, “The Redirection,” the West conspired to intentionally build up and unleash terrorist mercenaries affiliated with Al Qaeda across the Arab World to fight a proxy war against Iran and its growing arc of influence. US support was to be laundered through Saudi Arabia as to maintain a veneer of plausible deniability and operational compartmentalization. Clearly, what is unfolding in Syria today, is the verbatim manifestation of Hersh’s meticulous, 9-page report.
To confound this criminal conspiracy, Syria and its allies must ensure that the ongoing conflict is exposed as a terrorist invasion, not a “civil war,” and that any strategy formulated to combat this terrorist scourge must include the Syrian government – demonstrably the most capable force confronting Al Qaeda in the Levant since 2011. Thus, the more aid the West and its regional allies supply this terrorist front with, the greater support Syria has upon the global stage to fight it – painting Western foreign policy into a corner, and allowing Syrians to finally restore order to their besieged nation.

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Australia censors anti-Israel cartoon


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“in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell

It didn’t take long after the hypocritical parades in Paris for some people to get back to business as usual – dictating to others what can and can’t be said:
An Australian press organization has judged that a cartoon published in The Sydney Morning Herald violated press Standards of Practice by the way it linked symbols of the Jewish faith to criticism of Israel. 
The adjudication, issued by the Australian Press Council, concerned a cartoon drawn by Glen Le Lievre and published by the Morning Herald on July 26, in the midst of the most recent Gaza conflict. The cartoon depicted an elderly man with a sizable nose wearing glasses and a yarmulke, reclining in a chair emblazoned with a Star of David, and holding a remote control while watching from hilltop as a city, which by implication is Gaza, explodes. 
Le Lievre is an internationally published cartoonist whose work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Reader’s Digest, and Mad Magazine. 
In the adjudication issued January 17, the Press Council states, “A linkage with Israeli nationality might have been justifiable in the public interest, despite being likely to cause offense. But the same cannot be said of the implied linkage with the Jewish faith that arose from inclusion of the kippah and the Star of David.”
Nevermind that Israel has the Jewish star of David emblazoned on its flag and incessantly declares itself the world’s Jewish homeland. What matters is political correctness. They can call themselves Jewish, but if you call them Jewish you’re a goddamn anti-semite.
In response to the adjudication, the Morning Herald republished an apology that it originally published on August 3, 2014, one week after the cartoon originally ran. That apology likewise regretted the use of the religious symbols of the yarmulke and Star of David, although it noted that Le Lievre’s work commonly depicts people with large noses, regardless of race or ethnicity, and that the image was inspired by news photographs of Israelis watching the bombardment of Gaza from the hilltops of Sderot. 
The Press Council’s statement praised the apology and noted that the Morning Herald’s editor in chief and news director had attended “seminars facilitated by the Jewish Board of Deputies to raise awareness about imagery that could be construed as anti-Semitic.”
You see, when you wield immense economic power, it’s quite easy to control others. You don’t need to brandish a sword over their heads.

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Zionist Presidents Rivlin, Peres Praise Saudi King: His Death a Great Loss



Zionist President Reuven Rivlin praised Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz who’s death was announced on Friday saying he was saddened to hear about his death as he was a “moderator who “respected the sensitivity of Jerusalem.”

Rivlin
“I was saddened to hear of the passing of King Abdullah. He was an example of grounded, considered and responsible leadership, with a deep religious tradition. As 'Guardian of the Holy Places' of Islam, King Abdullah acted as a moderator, respecting the sensitivity and sanctity of Jerusalem and sought to promote a vision of prosperity for the region. His wise policies contributed greatly to our region, and to the stability of the Middle East,” Rivlin said.

Abdullah's successor, King Salman, vowed on Friday to maintain the same approach as his predecessors: “We will remain, with God's support, maintaining the straight path that this country has advanced on since its establishment by the late King Abdulaziz.” Salman appointed his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef as deputy crown prince, meaning he will be the first of that generation to rule the kingdom one day.

Peres

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres, currently in Davos for the World Economic Forum, eulogized the deceased king, saying “this is a loss for the Middles East, a loss for peace in the Middle East.”
Peres praised him as a wise king “who had the bravery to put forth a peace plan.”

Source: Websites
23-01-2015 - 14:22 Last updated 23-01-2015 - 14:22

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Congress Seeks Netanyahu's Direction

Exclusive: Conservative Pat Buchanan once got in trouble by calling Capitol Hill “Israeli occupied territory,” but even he might not imagine what’s happening now – with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu invited to address a joint session of Congress to decry President Obama’s foreign policy, Robert Parry notes.


Showing who some in Congress believe is the real master of U.S. foreign policy, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session and offer a rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s comments on world affairs in his State of the Union speech.

Boehner made clear that Netanyahu’s third speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress – scheduled for Feb. 11 – was meant to counter Obama’s assessments. “There is a serious threat in the world, and the President last night kind of papered over it,” Boehner said on Wednesday. “And the fact is that there needs to be a more serious conversation in America about how serious the threat is from radical Islamic jihadists and the threat posed by Iran.”
The scheduling of Netanyahu’s speech caught the White House off-guard, since the Israeli prime minister had apparently not bothered to clear his trip with the administration. The Boehner-Netanyahu arrangement demonstrates a mutual contempt for this President’s authority to conduct American foreign policy as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.In the past when Netanyahu has spoken to Congress, Republicans and Democrats have competed to show their devotion by quickly and frequently leaping to their feet to applaud almost every word out of the Israeli prime minister’s mouth. By addressing a joint session for a third time, Netanyahu would become only the second foreign leader to do so, joining British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who never used the platform to demean the policies of a sitting U.S. president.

Besides this extraordinary recognition of another country’s leader as the true definer of U.S. foreign policy, Boehner’s move reflects an ignorance of what is actually occurring on the ground in the Middle East. Boehner doesn’t seem to realize that Netanyahu has developed what amounts to a de facto alliance with extremist Sunni forces in the region.

Not only is Israel now collaborating behind the scenes with Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabist leadership but Israel has begun taking sides militarily in support of the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in the Syrian civil war. A source familiar with U.S. intelligence information on Syria said Israel has a “non-aggression pact” with Nusra forces that control territory adjacent to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The quiet cooperation between Israel and al-Qaeda’s affiliate was further underscored on Sunday when Israeli helicopters attacked and killed advisers to the Syrian military from Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran. In other words, Israel has dispatched its forces into Syria to kill military personnel helping to fight al-Nusra. Iran later confirmed that one of its generals had died in the Israeli strike.

Israel’s tangled alliances with Sunni forces have been taking shape over the past several years, as Israel and Saudi Arabia emerged as strange bedfellows in the geopolitical struggle against Shiite-ruled Iran and its allies in Iraq, Syria and southern Lebanon. Both Saudi and Israeli leaders have talked with growing alarm about this “Shiite crescent” stretching from Iran through Iraq and Syria to the Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon.

Favoring Sunni Extremists

Senior Israelis have made clear they would prefer Sunni extremists to prevail in the Syrian civil war rather than President Bashar al-Assad, who is an Alawite, a branch of Shiite Islam. Assad’s relatively secular government is seen as the protector of Shiites, Christians and other minorities who fear the vengeful brutality of the Sunni jihadists who now dominate the anti-Assad rebels.

In one of the most explicit expressions of Israel’s views, its Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, a close adviser to Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post in September 2013 that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Saudi Arabia shares Israeli’s strategic view that “the Shiite crescent” must be broken and has thus developed a rapport with Netanyahu’s government in a kind of “enemy of my enemy is my friend” relationship. But some rank-and-file Jewish supporters of Israel have voiced concerns about Israel’s newfound alliance with the Saudi monarchy, especially given its adherence to ultraconservative Wahhabi Islam and its embrace of a fanatical hatred of Shiite Islam, a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites that dates back 1,400 years.

Though President Obama has repeatedly declared his support for Israel, he has developed a contrary view from Netanyahu’s regarding what is the gravest danger in the Middle East. Obama considers the radical Sunni jihadists, associated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, to be the biggest threat to Western interests and U.S. national security.

That has put him in a different de facto alliance – with Iran and the Syrian government – since they represent the strongest bulwarks against Sunni jihadists who have targeted Americans and other Westerners for death.

What Boehner doesn’t seem to understand is that Israel and Saudi Arabia have placed themselves on the side of the Sunni jihadists who now represent the frontline fight against the “Shiite crescent.” If Netanyahu succeeds in enlisting the United States in violently forcing Syrian “regime change,” the U.S. government likely would be facilitating the growth in power of the Sunni extremists, not containing them.

But the influential American neoconservatives want to synch U.S. foreign policy with Israel’s and thus have pressed for a U.S. bombing campaign against Assad’s forces (even if that would open the gates of Damascus to the Nusra Front or the Islamic State). The neocons also want an escalation of tensions with Iran by sabotaging an agreement to ensure that its nuclear program is not used for military purposes.

The neocons have long wanted to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran as part of their “regime change” strategy for the Middle East. That is why Obama’s openness to a permanent agreement for tight constraints on Iran’s nuclear program is seen as a threat by Netanyahu, the neocons and their congressional allies – because it would derail hopes for militarily attacking Iran.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama made clear that he perceives the brutal Islamic State, which he calls “ISIL” for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as the principal current threat to Western interests in the Middle East and the clearest terror threat to the United States and Europe. Obama proposed “a smarter kind of American leadership” that would cooperate with allies in “stopping ISIL’s advance” without “getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East.”

Working with Putin

Thus, Obama, who might be called a “closet realist,” is coming to the realization that the best hope for blocking the advances of Sunni jihadi terror and minimizing U.S. military involvement is through cooperation with Iran and its regional allies. That also puts Obama on the same side with Russian President Vladimir Putin who has faced Sunni terrorism in Chechnya and is supporting both Iran’s leaders and Syria’s Assad in their resistance to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Obama’s “realist” alliance, in turn, presents a direct threat to Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran represents an “existential threat” to Israel and that the “Shiite crescent” must be destroyed. There is also fear among Israeli right-wingers that an effective Obama-Putin collaboration could ultimately force Israel into accepting a Palestinian state.

So, Netanyahu and the U.S. neocons believe they must do whatever is necessary to shatter this tandem of Obama, Putin and Iran. That is one reason why the neocons were at the forefront of fomenting “regime change” against Ukraine’s elected pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych last year. By splintering Ukraine on Russia’s border, the neocons drove a wedge between Obama and Putin. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.”]

Even the slow-witted mainstream U.S. media has begun to pick up on the story of the emerging Israeli-Saudi alliance. In the Jan. 19 issue of Time magazine, correspondent Joe Klein noted the new coziness between top Israeli and Saudi officials.

He wrote: “On May 26, 2014, an unprecedented public conversation took place in Brussels. Two former high-ranking spymasters of Israel and Saudi Arabia – Amos Yadlin and Prince Turki al-Faisal – sat together for more than an hour, talking regional politics in a conversation moderated by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius.

“They disagreed on some things, like the exact nature of an Israel-Palestine peace settlement, and agreed on others: the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat, the need to support the new military government in Egypt, the demand for concerted international action in Syria. The most striking statement came from Prince Turki. He said the Arabs had ‘crossed the Rubicon’ and ‘don’t want to fight Israel anymore.’”

Not only did Prince Turki offer an olive branch to Israel, he indicated agreement on what the two countries consider their most pressing strategic interests: Iran’s nuclear program and Syria’s civil war. In other words, in noting this extraordinary meeting, Klein had stumbled upon the odd-couple alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia – though he didn’t fully understand what he was seeing.

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that Obama had shifted his position on Syria as the West made a “quiet retreat from its demand” that Assad “step down immediately.” The article by Anne Barnard and Somini Sengupta noted that the Obama administration still wanted Assad to exit eventually “but facing military stalemate, well-armed jihadists and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the United States is going along with international diplomatic efforts that could lead to more gradual change in Syria.”

At the center of that diplomatic initiative was Russia, again reflecting Obama’s recognition of the need to cooperate with Putin on resolving some of these complex problems (although Obama did include in his speech some tough-guy rhetoric against Russia over Ukraine, taking some pleasure in how Russia’s economy is now “in tatters”).

But the underlying reality is that the United States and Assad’s regime have become de facto allies, fighting on the same side in the Syrian civil war, much as Israel had, in effect, sided with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front by killing Hezbollah and Iranian advisers to the Syrian military.
The Times article noted that the shift in Obama’s position on Syrian peace talks “comes along with other American actions that Mr. Assad’s supporters and opponents take as proof Washington now believes that if Mr. Assad is ousted, there will be nothing to check the spreading chaos and extremism.

“American planes now bomb the Islamic State group’s militants in Syria, sharing skies with Syrian jets. American officials assure Mr. Assad, through Iraqi intermediaries, that Syria’s military is not their target. The United States still trains and equips Syrian insurgents, but now mainly to fight the Islamic State, not the government.”

Yet, as Obama adjusts U.S. foreign policy to take into account the complex realities in the Middle East, he now faces another front in this conflict – from the U.S. Congress, which has long been held in thrall by the Israel lobby.

Not only has Speaker Boehner appealed to Netanyahu to deliver what amounts to a challenge to President Obama’s foreign policy but congressional neocons are even accusing Obama’s team of becoming Iranian stooges. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a Democratic neocon, said, “The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.”

If indeed Netanyahu does end up addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress, its members would face a stark choice of either embracing Israel’s foreign policy as America’s or backing the decisions made by the elected President of the United States.

[For more on Obama and the neocons, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons: The Anti-Realists.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

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Friday, 23 January 2015

Lebanese Army Fights off Gunmen in Ras Baalbek Barrens


Local Editor

Lebanon: Clashes in Ras Baalbek between Army and terrorist groupsThe Lebanese army fought off on Friday morning an attack launched by hundreds of takfiri terrorists on the way to Hamra hill in Ras Baalbek barrens, east of the country, Al-Manar correspondent reported.

An advanced surveillance post of the army is located in the area of clashes, 13 kilometers apart from Ras Baalbek.

The army brought in reinforcements to deal with the worst attack of its kind since August in the area, fighting fierce clashes and inflicting heavy casualties among militants.

It was expected, especially after the siege of the latest storm on the militants to carry out attacks in order to find outlets for them in the barren.

Syria was hit by a violent unrest since mid-March 2011, where the western media reports accuse countries, mainly the USA, Turkey and Saudi Arabia of orchestrating the civil conflict in the country and providing terrorist groups with money, weapons and trained mercenaries.

On May 2011, Syrian army launched a wide-scale operation against armed groups and gunmen operating in the country, who started to escape the army blows and infiltrate illegally to Lebanon.

Source: Al-Manar Website
23-01-2015 - 11:46 Last updated 23-01-2015 - 11:52 

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Israel pulling out all the stops to sabotage USA/Iran nuclear talks

  • The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement confirming the rendezvous in response to a news report that the spy chief had gone 'rogue'
  • It also sought to clarify remarks he made to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about new sanctions 'throwing a grenade into the process'
  • The PMO acknowledged that the spy chief did say that, but no in the context being reported; he believes additional sanctions are warranted
  • Obama has said he would veto any legislation that further punishes the country and last week begged Congress to give diplomacy a chance
  • Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee interrogated administration officials yesterday over their talks with Iran
  • 'The more I hear from the administration...the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran,' Democrat Bob Menendez said
  • Meanwhile, House Republicans invited Israel PM Netanyahu to address Congress in March; Obama won't meet with him during the trip  
head of Israeli's intelligence agency, MOSSAD, held a secret meeting with a group of U.S. senators last week, the Prime Minister's Office said today.

And he did in fact bring up the possibility of purposefully 'throwing a grenade' into nuclear talks with Iran in order to get a better deal in the long run while speaking to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The PMO issued a statement confirming the rendezvous with U.S. lawmakers and what MOSSAD chief Tamir Pardo said to them in response to a news report that Pardo had gone 'rogue' and broken with the administration over sanctions on Iran.

It also sought to clarify remarks Pardo made to Kerry. The United States' chief diplomat said yesterday that an Israeli intelligence official said new sanctions on Iran handed down from Congress would be 'like throwing a grenade into the process.'

The Prime Minister's Office acknowledged today that Pardo did say that, but he did not use it in the context it is being reported, and he believes that additional sanctions are warranted, it said.

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Saudi Future in Question, ’Israel’ Still on Alert

DAILY SCOPE:
23-01-2015 | 09:1

Local EditorLebanese dailies
NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES:

ASSAFIR: 
Sayyed Nasrallah Announces “Right Stance” Next Week
“Israel” on Alert as if War to be Waged Today
AL-AKHBAR: 
Calm Discussion of Qunaitra Aggression in Cabinet
Casino and Hotels Targets for Suicide Bombers
AN-NAHAR:
Arsal Outskirts Front on Qunaitra’s Rhythm?
THE DAILYSTAR: 
King Abdullah Passes Away, New Ruler is Salman
Lebanese newspapers headlines on Friday morning put the death of Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz in the lime light, as all papers focused on the decease of the Saudi king who was admitted to the hospital on the New Year’s Eve for treatment from pneumonia.
Papers also tackled several files, where the Lebanese dailies are still concerned with the Qunaitra “Israeli” aggression and its repercussions, awaiting the speech to be delivered by Hizbullah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in addition to the security file of Ain al-Helweh Palestinian camp which has turned into safe haven for terrorists in Lebanon.
As-Safir newspaper started its editorial by writing “The Saudi king Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz departs life in a very sensitive timing on both levels, the regional and international, leaving behind questions on the fate and future of the Saudi Kingdom and that of the Arab world which is confronted with harsh political turmoil, with its repercussions spreading worldwide.”
Saudi Arabia’s elderly King Abdullah died on Friday and was replaced by his half-brother Salman as the absolute ruler of the world’s top oil exporter and the spiritual home of Islam.
The royal court said in a statement that Abdullah, believed to be around 90, died at 1:00 am local time.
Under Abdullah, who took the throne in 2005, Saudi Arabia has been a key ally of Washington in the Arab world, with its support to the armed groups in Syria and its relations with Egypt’s Muslim brotherhood topping the list of mutual cooperation.
US President Barack Obama was quick to pay tribute to Abdullah as a ‘valued ally’.
“As our countries worked together to confront many challenges, I always valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship,” Obama said in a written statement shortly after the monarch’s death.
According to As-Safir daily, despite the expected soon death of Saudi king due to his illness, yet his decease still raises questions concerning the future of Saudi Arabia, and how his predecessor will deal with the domestic as well as foreign matters of the country.
On the security level, as-Safir pointed out that a few security matters are being solved in total secrecy and silence, with the aim of resolving these issues and finding practical solutions through coordination on all levels.
Sources told the paper that the Ain el-Helweh camp, which has turned into safe haven to the terrorists groups will be cleansed in the same manner through which the Roumieh prison was cleansed; amid Lebanese and Palestinian consensus to the importance of putting an end to the loose security situation in the Palestinian camps.
On the repercussions of the Qunaitra aggression, through which “Israel” assassinated 6 officials from the resistance axis, the newspaper highlighted the state of fear prevailing among the “Israelis”. The paper shed light on the state of fear and anxiety reflected by the Zionist papers for the third day in a row, with the papers quoting “Israeli” soldiers and officials saying they hope the ‘crisis would pass without further escalation’, quoting some of them as saying ‘all we want is to go back to our homes, if not this Saturday the next one’. The Zionist entity had put its army on utmost levels of alert, fearing a soon retaliation by Hizbullah to the raid it had conducted earlier this week.
For its part, al-Akhbar newspaper said that the ‘discussion on the “Israeli” aggression that took place in the Golan’s Qunaitra region in the session of the cabinet was peaceful, with all sides condemning the aggression.

The daily said that right before Lebanese Prime Minister opened the session to discuss the weekly agenda of the cabinet, Telecoms Minister Botros Harb interrupted him and demanded that the aggression on Hizbullah be discussed first, after he offered his condolences to the families of the martyrs.
For his part, Hizbullah Minister Mohamamd Fneish assured that the resistance is sage and is wise on how to respond to the aggression. On another note, al-Akhbar pointed out that preparations for talks between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces is on the way.
On the security level, an-Nahar newspaper said that a vehicle rigged with explosives was discovered at the entrance of the northeastern border town of Arsal, while a gunmen infiltration attempt was foiled announced by the army on Thursday.
Moreover, it noted that the army is reportedly searching for seven booby-trapped vehicles after recently locating two explosive-rigged cars in the northeastern border town of Arsal.
According to the paper, the army is on high-alert to locate the remaining seven vehicles.
On Thursday, the army dismantled a black Kia rigged with 25 kilograms of explosives. It was parked near a military post in the Ain al-Saab region. The military seized on January 15 a booby-trapped car containing around 120 kilograms of explosives in Arsal.
Source: al-Ahed news 

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