Syrian Crisis Update - 9/3/12
Middle East News Update
Syrian Crisis Update
September 3, 2012
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to volume of news pertaining to Syria and Iran we have sectioned our Middle East News Update into two separate news pages. This page focuses on the Syrian situation.
Syrian Rebels Claim Capture
Of Assad's Chemical Weapons
Syrian rebels this week claimed they had taken over a Syrian Army missile base and found missiles with unconventional warheads.
In a statement released Tuesday, (8/28) the Supreme Military Council of the rebel forces released a statement stating that they had taken control of a Syrian Army base in/near Damascus. On that base, rebels found 10 ballistic missiles, some of which were converted to carry non-conventional warheads. The missiles were ready for launch.
The Council's statement went on to claim that the seized missiles indicate that Assad was prepared to bomb Syrian cities with these missiles, possibly using chemical or biological warheads. The Council called on the Arab and international community to immediately intervene to save the Syrian people from genocide.
The day before the Council's statement was released, the French President warned Syria that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would be sufficient reason for Western nations to intervene militarily in Syria. More details, LINK HERE.
Bomb Blasts Rock Damascus on Sunday
Two bomb blasts were felt near the Syrian Army headquarters in Damascus on Sunday, 9/2 wounding 4 officers. Details, LINK HERE.
Syrian Rebels Unveil Assad's Plans
To Use Chemical Weapons
US, UK & French Forces on Standby
For Invading Syria & Seizing WMD Stocks
The Israeli intelligence group known as Debka is now reporting that special forces units from the United States, Britain and France are on standby awaiting orders to invade Syria and seize control of stockpiles of Syrian chemical and biological warfare weapons.
As the week began, President Obama issued a warning that he was prepared to order American forces to enter Syria and seize control of Syria's stockpiles of chemical and bio-weapons in order to prevent those weapons from being used against the Syrian people or falling into the hands of terrorists, such as Hezbollah.
By midweek, there was some concern from intelligence data that the stockpiles of WMDs had been left unguarded by Syrian soldiers, leaving them vulnerable to seizure by terrorist groups. This includes information from satellite and drone aircraft monitoring assets.
US Air Force C-130 transports at various bases around the Middle East are on standby to airlift special operations units into Syria. Debka reports that ther are already some special advance teams on the ground in Syria conducting reconnaissance and scouting missions, marking out landing sites and setting up bridgeheads for the contingent of allied forces, some of whom are stationed in Jordan and Israel.
Debka's sources stress concern that such intervention could lead to an all-out regional war as well as military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets. President Obama has been in heavy phone consultation with his counterparts in Britain and France to coordinate a joint effort, should the situation warrant intervention.
You can read the full Debka report, LINK HERE.
Russia Suspends Use of
Tartus Naval Base in Syria
Russia May Evacuate Naval Base in Syria
The Russian Navy's Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov told reporters on Wednesday (8/22) that in the event of an allied invasion of Syria, the Russian Navy may well be forced to evacuate its naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus. The admiral noted that such an order would have to come from President Putin himself. More details, LINK HERE.
Russia Abandoning Syria?
Russian Naval Forces Pull Out
Demands Probe of "Barbaric Violence"
Noting the "barbaric violence" of late in Damascus, Russia has called for an investigation into the Assad regime's actions against Syrian rebels. Additionally, Russia has ordered naval operations to cease at the naval base in Tartus, Syria.
The news comes on the heels of a report by Syrian rebels claiming the capture of Syrian Army missiles outfitted for non-conventional warheads ready for launch against Syrian cities.
Diplomatic and strategic analysts believe that Russians face an untenable diplomatic position in light of recent developments in Syria. The discovery of chemical weapons preparations by Assad's forces puts Russia in an awkward diplomatic position which is indefensible before the international community. President Putin realizes that continuing support for Syria's Assad would hurt Russia's standing with the international community.
Debka.com reports that a Russian naval contingent of 3 battlegroups stationed off Syria's shoreline was ordered to return to port, leaving only one amphibious vessel remaining at the Russian naval base in the port city of Tartus. That ship is reportedly preparing to depart for home in the next few days carrying the remainder of all Russian military advisors assigned assist the Assad regime. Furthermore, Russia informed Assad that there would be no further shipments of Russian military goods to Syria.
This latest development suggests that Russia is leaving the door open for Western intervention in Syria in the near future, particularly with the Syrian rebels discovery of ballistic missiles armed with non-conventional warheads. Debka's report concludes that the Russians believe that Western military intervention in Syria is imminent. For more on this story, LINK HERE. Additional details -- LINK HERE. Debka.com Report.
Syria Redeploys 30 Sukhoi Jet Bombers
To Be Closer to Embattled Cities
US Navy Battle Group Transits Suez Canal
Build Up Along Syrian Coastline Continues
Iranian Official Warns:
If U.S. Attacks Syria
Iran Would Take Action