Skip to comments.Wider War Rumblings Continue in Mideast
Posted on 04/07/2002 7:18:53 PM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
Over the weekend, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said he supported sending personnel, money and weapons to the Palestinians to help that people resist Israel's military offensive in the West Bank, according to Agence France Presse.
Emerging from his self-imposed isolation for the first time since March 31, Saleh also urged Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania to severe formal relations with Israel and demanded the "reactivation of the Arab common defense treaty.
Meanwhile on Saturday, the armed element of the Islamic Resistance Group Hamas promised revenge against Israel after six of its fighters were killed in an Israeli missile strike.
"It will be a new kind of punishment this time, of an unaccustomed type that will shake their entity and destroy its pillars, a Hamas spokesman warned ominously in a statement.
Six Hamas members were killed Friday in an Israeli helicopter gun-ship attack. Those killed included Qais Idwan, alleged to have planned the recent suicide attack called the "Passover Massacre that killed 26 and lit the fuse for the current Israeli military campaign.
Syrian Troop Movements; Hizbullah Attacks
In an apparent move to assuage Israel, Syrian troops in Lebanon left positions near the Israeli border on Saturday. According to Reuters, the troops withdrew from an encampment on the Awali River about thirty miles from the Golan Heights, which is occupied by Israel.
However, the Syrian forces did not go far, reportedly heading from Al Awali towards the Bekaa Valley, an area bordering Syria and the location of the bulk of the 20,000 Syrian troops squatting in Lebanon.
Continuing to disregard recent stern warnings from both President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not to take advantage of the current unrest, six IDF soldiers were wounded Sunday during Hizbullah attacks on Israeli villages and army encampments along the Lebanese border.
Also on Sunday, Hizbullah reportedly fired mortar shells and anti-tank missiles at IDF outposts in the Golan Heights. Two soldiers were wounded, Israel Radio reported. Later four more Israeli soldiers were wounded under a mortar barrage at an IDF position in the Upper Galilee.
The Sunday attacks appeared to be more of the same harassing fire originating from Lebanon that has emerged since Israels big push into the Palestine territories. Saturday evening, Lebanese-based Hizbullah fighters reportedly fired missiles and mortars into Ghajar village, which straddles the Lebanese border.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel has warned Syria and Lebanon through diplomatic channels that if attacks by Hizbullah and Palestinian groups operating in southern Lebanon continue, Syria and Lebanon will be held directly accountable, a spokesman at Sharons office said.
We will respond with great force if this continues, the official vowed.
At a Jerusalem press conference Saturday, Sharon's foreign policy adviser, Danny Avalon, announced: "We warn Syria and Lebanon not to make a mistake and think the restraint we have shown is a sign of weakness. The opposite is true, and the responsibility for what happens will rest with them.
Backing up Avalon, Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Dan Halutz accused Hizbullah of baiting Israel to open warfare. "We have all the means to respond to the firing of rockets, he said.
Friday, Hizbullah gunmen fired anti-aircraft rounds over Shlomi and Kiryat Shmona, maintaining that Israeli planes were invading Lebanese air space. Shrapnel from the shells reportedly fell on the Israeli side of the border. Also on Friday, Hizbullah fighters dropped mortar rounds and anti-tank missiles on Israeli Defense Forces positions in the Mount Dov region. Missiles also hit the Mount Hermon ski site area.
Fridays actions provoked the IDFs own artillery fire and sorties by the Israeli air forces, striking Hizbullah targets.
Israeli chief of general staff Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz said Iran was behind the attacks in the North being carried out by Hizbullah and Palestinian groups, the Jerusalem Post reported. He also indicated that the Lebanese-based forces might soon go too far and cross a "red line.
It remains to be seen if Sundays attacks cross the red line described by Mofaz and provoke an escalated response by Israel.
Who is starting the pool tonight? I give it 6 hrs, 35 minutes even from ... NOW 19:27:42 .... and you?
Israel is doing her part. I doubt they will let injured or killed soldiers and civies go unanswered in a MAJOR way. DEBKA, the ones who every body says is always wrong, and who often misses EXACT details, but hits the principles pretty close.... says Blair, Bush and Sharon settle final plans for dealing with Syria this weekend, and Israel is good to go.
God speed them if it is true. Syria needs a "burma shave" big time.
Troublesome, very troublesome. (Let's see, what haven't they tried yet.....?)
Wrong again muslidiots.
OOPs. I hadn't thought of that. Hmmmm
RB2, a very insightful reply about pillars
And who will be the combatants? Are the Arab states
going to fight each other? They sure aren't going to
fight Israel; none of them want any part of the IDF.
We will decide when there will be wider war in
the mideast: It'll be when we go after Saddam
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