Breitbart has this story about the Israeli preemptive strike:
An Israeli submarine was responsible for a July 5 attack on Russian missiles that had been delivered to Syria, the London Sunday Times reports. Israel had warned that such shipments would be legitimate targets.
The P-800 anti-ship “Yakhont” missiles had been on shore in the Syrian port city of Latakia when they were destroyed in an attack that Syrian authorities said could not have come from the Free Syrian Army. The attack by an Israeli Dolphin-class, German-made submarine was coordinated with the U.S., the report says.
Israel has also warned previously that it would not allow Syria to maintain Russian anti-aircraft S-300 missiles. Russia’s official position is that such missiles do not alter the regional balance of power.
DebkaFile expands a bit on the geo-political reverberations this may create:
…debkafile’s military sources report that three strategic arsenals were targeted: One consisted of weapons mostly delivered by Russian air freights in the last two months for the Syrian-Hizballah offensive to recapture Aleppo. A second contained the supersonic Yakhont anti-ship missiles (NATO codenamed SS-N-26) plus their radar systems; and the third, the Syrian army’s strategic reserve of missiles and ammunition, stored there for an emergency, such a possible forced Syrian army retreat to the Alawite region – or even Lebanon.
It is important to note that, although Moscow was perfectly aware that the advanced Russian weapons supplied to Syria were put in the hands of the Lebanese Hizballah, the consignments were not only not suspended but expanded. Moscow is therefore directly arming HIzballah with advanced weapons. During the attack, neither Syrian radar nor that of the Russian warships cruising off the Syria coast registered any aircraft or missiles heading for the Latakia depot.
They were therefore unable to positively identify the source of the explosions.
Israel and the IDF held their silence – hoping that matters would stay that way, unlike their air strike of May 5 which destroyed Iranian arms shipments for Hizballah stored in the Damascus area, when American sources made haste to finger Israel. This time, too, after a few days’ pause, Washington again broke the story. This step coincided with US President Barack Obama’s early Saturday phone call to Saudi King Abdullah to discuss the Syrian crisis. They may have discussed a potential Russian or Syrian reprisal for the Israeli air strike.
In their rough, acerbic encounter at the Black Sea resort of Sochi on May 14, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned President Vladimir Putin that if Russia sends advanced weaponry to Syria, such as S-300 anti-aircraft missiles or sophisticated radar for upgrading the Yakhont missiles, Israel would destroy them. Putin retorted that if Israel did this, Moscow would hit back.
Via Creeping Sharia:
According to the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), forces of the Free Syrian Army massacred the village on May 27: “The armed rebels affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) raided the Christian-populated al-Duvair village in Reef (outskirts of) Homs near the border with Lebanon today and massacred all its civilian residents, including women and children. The Syrian army, however, intervened and killed tens of terrorists during heavy clashes which are still going on in al-Duvair village.”
Although the United States had opposed the involvement of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in the rebel coalition, it did not express such reservations in December when Obama lavished his praise on the coalition. As the New York Times reported at that time:
But Mr. Obama praised the opposition, known formally as the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, for what he said was its inclusiveness, its openness to various ethnic and religious groups, and its ties to local councils involved in the fighting against Mr. Assad’s security forces.
“At this point we have a well-organized-enough coalition — opposition coalition that is representative — that we can recognize them as the legitimate representative of Syrian people,” he said.…
The United States has played an active role behind the scenes in shaping the opposition, insisting that it be broadened and made more inclusive. But until Mr. Obama’s announcement, the United States had held off on formally recognizing the opposition, asserting that it wanted to use the lure of recognition to encourage the rebel leaders to flesh out their political structure and fill important posts.
Now Obama’s inclusive opposition has allegedly slaughtered the entire population of al-Duvair, which is the type of crime that the U.S. president has previously purported was sufficient reason for the people of Syria to rise up and overthrow their government. And the massacre is hardly an isolated incident; for example, only several weeks ago, rebels attacked the St. Elijah Orthodoxy monastery. As Voice of Russia reported on May 12: “The militants ransacked the cloister, destroyed the sanctuary, blew up the belfry and tore down the statue of St. Prophet Elijah who is equally revered in Syria by both Christians and Muslims, Syria’s SANA news agency reports, quoting the head of the monastery, hegumen Gadir Ibrahim. The hegumen believes the attack to be the work of foreign mercenaries.”
When he ripped off the fifth seal, I saw the souls of those killed because they had held firm in their witness to the Word of God. They were gathered under the Altar, and cried out in loud prayers, “How long, Strong God, Holy and True? How long before you step in and avenge our murders?” Then each martyr was given a white robe and told to sit back and wait until the full number of martyrs was filled from among their servant companions and friends in the faith. (The Message)
They cried out with a loud voice: “Lord,[a] the One who is holy and true, how long until You judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth?” (Holman Standard)
(Gateway Pundit) Sunni radicals bombed a women’s school bus in Quetta. Then they went to the hospital where they were treating survivors and bombed them again.
Turkish air force jets forced a Syrian 35-passenger Airbus A320 bound from Moscow to Damascus to land in Ankara Wednesday night, Oct. 10, on suspicion it was carrying arms. Its cargo compartment was subjected to checks by Turkish officials. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke of information that it may be carrying “certain equipment in breach of civil aviation rules.”
At the same time, the Turkish foreign ministry released this statement: “All civilian flights in Syrian airspace have been stopped since it is not safe.” TRT television said a Turkish plane that had already taken off for Saudi Arabia made a detour and landed at a Turkish airport.
debkafile’s military sources: By forcing down the Syrian airbus, Ankara has signaled Damascus that it will henceforth stop civilian air traffic flying through Syrian air space. There is still a question about whether Turkey will extend this aerial blockade to Syrian military air traffic. Furthermore, Iranian civilian aircraft have been running an almost daily airlift of military and logistical equipment from Tehran to Damascus. The new Turkish step, to which Damascus has not yet responded, may portend a clash between Turkey and Iran in the skies over Syria.
Our sources add: The Erdogan government, in defiance of the Obama administration’s wishes, looks like moving towards imposing its own unilateral protected no-fly zone over Syria to break out of the stalemate of the 18-month civil war.
They do not rule out the possibility that more anti-Assad governments, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf emirates may send air strength to back up Turkey’s opening move.
To discuss this, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan paid an unannounced visit to Doha and went straight into a meeting with the Qatari ruler, Emir al-Thani.
Stopping a Syrian plane from Moscow was also a Turkish message to the Russians to stay out of the conflict now in full spate between Ankara and Damascus and not interfere in any no-fly zone. The Russians have not so far commented on the incident.
For the past two days, Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Ozel Necdet, has been touring his forces along the Syrian border to inspect their readiness for a full-scale clash with Syria. Military sources in Ankara also disclosed that at least 25 F16 fighter jets had been transferred to the Diyarbakir air base near the Syrian border.
It now transpires that this transfer was planned as part of the operation to close Syrian air space.
Earlier, Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that American troops are helping build a headquarters in Jordan to bolster its military capabilities in case violence spills over from Syria.
Via Defense Tech:
The Free Syrian Army has received a shipment of Stinger missiles giving the rebels the ability to shoot down the Syrian helicopters and fixing wing jets targeting rebel positions and civilians, according a report on Al Arabiya News.
Sources cited by Al Arabiya claim the rebels acquired the 14 Stinger missiles through a delivery made along the Turkey and Syrian border. The sources claim the rebels have not yet used the Stingers to include the shoot down of the Syrian MiG-23 on Aug. 13. Syria claims the MiG crash because of mechanical failures.
Certain members of U.S. Congress have urged the Pentagon to intervene in the Civil War that has broken out in Syria following reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military has targeted civilians. U.S. military leaders have warned about the consequences of arming the rebels or intervening with U.S. military forces.
The Pentagon worries that arming the rebels could lead to those weapons finding their way to terrorist groups similar to when the CIA armed Afghan rebels in their war against the Soviet Union. The Al Arabiya claims the U.S. knows about the delivery of the Stingers to the rebels, although the Pentagon has not commented on it.
The man-portable surface-to-air missile systems the Free Syrian Army claims to have acquired would pose a significant threat to Assad’s air force. The Stinger missiles are a relatively easy SAM system to operate. It’s also hard to destroy since it is so small and mobile. Most pilots don’t know a Stinger system is in the area until a missile is fired.
The Al Arabiya suggests the U.S. might have had a hand in organizing this delivery to the Free Syrian Army and suggests it could signal additional “involvement by the U.S. and NATO.”
(CBS News) In a video shot secretly inside a Syrian regime military hospital in the besieged rebel stronghold of Homs, men are blindfolded and shackled to their beds. The chains are extremely tight.
One man’s chest and hand show what appear to be wounds from a severe beating. Instruments of torture lie on a nearby table – an electric cable and a rubber whip.
The hospital staffer, who risked his life to capture this footage, said he’s seen doctors assault opposition activists.
“I have seen detainees being tortured by electrocution, whipping, beating with batons,” the man videotaping said, adding they also break their legs by twisting the feet until the leg gives.
This is not the first account of allegations of torture in state run hospitals. This week the U.N. said it had received similar video.
But Russia says Assad is fighting “terrorists.” Yeah right.