Syria Daily: US, Israel Repeat Warnings v. Pro-Assad Offensive in South

Hezbollah fighters inside Syria, November 2015

The US and Israel have repeated warnings to the Assad regime not to pursue an offensive in southern Syria, near the Jordanian border and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The State Department said on Thursday that US forces will “take firm and appropriate measures” in response to any violations of a “de-escalation zone”, declared last July by Washington and Moscow, in Quneitra and Dara’a Provinces.

Following the recapture of the East Ghouta area near Damascus in April, the Assad regime indicated that its next target would be the area, where the Syrian uprising began in March 2011. Bashar al-Assad reiterated in a Wednesday interview, “We are giving the political process a chance. If that doesn’t succeed, we have no other option but to liberate it by force.”

See Assad Tries to Retain Military Option to Recapture South

The American message was also for Russia, which held discussions with Israel last month after the Israelis threatened intervention if Hezbollah or any Iranian-supported militia are involved in the offensive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov soon said that all “non-Syrian forces” must leave the area and that a political process should pursued for rebel withdrawal.

Russia has proclaimed de-escalation zones across Syria during the past year, but has violated in support of pro-Assad assaults, notably in the northwest of the country and in East Ghouta.

The State Department said that, as a member of the UN Security Council, Russia “is duly responsible” to “use its diplomatic and military influence over the Syrian government to stop attacks and compel the government to cease further military offensives”.

Israel: We Will Bomb Pro-Assad Foreign Militias

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued his warning through confirmation that Israel has regularly attacked Iranian-backed militias in Syria.

The Israeli military does not comment officially on its operations, which have tried for years to prevent transfer of weapons and missiles to Hezbollah and to prevent the Hezbollah-Iran presence near the Golan Heights. In mid-April, the Israeli Defense Forces launched their most widespread missile strikes across Syria in more than 30 years.

But Netanyahu went public on Thursday, claiming Israel is preventing yet more displacements of Syrians, more than half of whom have left their homes since 2011:

[This] is a recipe for a re-inflammation of another civil war — I should say a theological war, a religious war — and the sparks of that could be millions more that go into Europe and so on…And that would cause endless upheaval and terrorism in many, many countries.

Obviously we are not going to let them do it. We’ll fight them. By preventing that — and we have bombed the bases of this, these Shi’ite militias — by preventing that, we are also offering, helping the security of your countries, the security of the world.

Shelling Kills, Wounds Several in Northern Dara’a Province

Pro-Assad shelling has killed one civilian and wounded others in northern Dara’a Province.

The attack was on the town of al-Hara in the first hour of Eid al-Fitr, the celebration at the end of Ramadan. Prayers for the occasion were cancelled because of the assault.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

37 COMMENTS

      • Can we hold you to that prediction?

        The Israelis don’t generally tend to underreact to existential threats.

        • Can we hold you to that prediction?

          Yes you can.

          1. Israel have said they are opposed to the presence of Iranian forces, not Syrian government attempts to liberate Jihadi controlled areas
          2. Israeli attacks have little to no effect on the outcome of events in Syria

          • Too bad that on their own, Syrian Forces couldn’t liberate their own asses. Its the Iranians and Russians who are pressing this fight, and the SAA has been demonstrably useless without them.

            • Too bad that on their own, Syrian Forces couldn’t liberate their own asses.

              Actually they have been for some time. They are carrying out a clean up operation in the south to eradicate ISIS cells.

              Its the Iranians and Russians who are pressing this fight, and the SAA has been demonstrably useless without them

              The SDF, FSA, ISIS, Al Nusra, HTS, etc are useless without foreign fighters, foreign money and the in the case of the SDF, usaeless without the US.

      • Just like you predicted that Assad will capture Taqba, Raqqa, and DEz on the east of Euphrates? The war is almost over. You need to diversify your services. Have you thought of specializing in NK propaganda? I know the pay is even lower, but hey you can’t get a job with your ChemE degree. Beggers can’t be choosy.

        • Just like you predicted that Assad will capture Taqba, Raqqa, and DEz on the east of Euphrates? The war is almost over.

          There is nothing left of Raqqa thanks to the genocidal bombing by the US. Assad already has Deir Ezzor. They won’t need to capture Taqba and the East of the Euphrates. The US will leave one the Turks tell them to bugger off.

          but hey you can’t get a job with your ChemE degree. Beggers can’t be choosy.

          Why would I want to work as a Chemical Engineer when I can make 4 times what a Chemical Eng would make running my own business in a cool office, where I get to chose my own hours, be my own boss, and come home to my family every night of the week?

          • Hahahah still with this bs idea of yours that the turks gives orders to the US. Jesus you are really a clinical experiment went south.

            • Of course the US will do as they are told by the Turks. They are not going to risk losing an ally in Turkey for the sake of the Kurds.

              Have you forgotten that the US had to leave Iraq because Maliki told them to GTF out?

          • Why would I want to work as a Chemical Engineer when I can make 4 times what a Chemical Eng would make running my own business —LOL, I have a friend, a young woman mechanical engineer in Perth, who makes A$250,000 a year. But you claim to make $1M in Sydney measuring windows and installing curtains and shades? Yeah, and we all believe you on that. A lot more likely, making $15,000 a year in St. Petersburg, with a pink slip waiting on your desk, and dreaming for the day that the FSB and Prigozhin and Putin install the socialist paradise on earth.

          • Says Caligola who predicted:

            1. Assad would be overthrown 3 years ago
            2. Assad would never liberate East Aleppo
            3. That Russian intervention would not yield any results
            4. That the April 2017 missile atrack by the US had completely destroyed Syria’s military airfields
            5. That the March 2018 missile attwck would yield far more destruction

            Thanks for the memories Caligola

          • His claim that Erdogan is going to order Trump to withdraw from DNSF is the most hilarious. This is what happens when a curtain installer dabbles in international security.

  1. Further evidence Syria regard the US as a paper tiger. I guess that is to be expected when they were able to shoot down 70 of the 105 sub sonic missiles the US fired last time.
    Syrian military sends more reinforcements to southern Syria despite US warnings
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-military-sends-more-reinforcements-to-southern-syria-despite-us-warnings/?utm_medium=ppc&utm_source=push&utm_campaign=push+notifications&utm_content=English

  2. Technical details of the aerial CW sarin bombs used by Assad to kill civilians.

    The bombs are detonated 60m above the ground by a mechanism that detects the altitude of the bomb with respect to the terrain. A small charge in the core of the bomb goes off at this altitude that spreads the sarin over the widest area possible. The sarin itself starts as two precursor components residing in the bomb and is produced inside the bomb by manual action and mixing before the bomb is affixed to the aircraft. The bomb needs to be cooled while the two components are reacting to properly produce the sarin, and is showered with cold water. The smaller bomb contains 133 kg of sarin. The larger one 266 kg.

    From the outside, the bomb appears the same as a standard high explosive bomb but weights 30% less.

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/06/14/chemical-munitions-used-syrian-government-2012-2018/

    • The bombs are detonated 60m above the ground by a mechanism that detects the altitude of the bomb with respect to the terrain.

      1. Volcano rockets would never have such mechanisms, so according to Belligcat, the Assad government was not responsible to the Ghoutta incident.

      2. If the bombs are detonated 60m above the ground, the Assad government could no be responsible for the khan sheikhoun incident, as there is no way a bomb that detonates 60m in tkhan sheikhounhe air could create a crater of the kind alleged to have been the source of the sharing release.

      Thanks Kazemi

      • 1- Wrong. Bellingcat never says that these aerial bombs were used in E. Ghouta. We all know those were rockets fired from SAA bases to E. Ghouta and not aerial bombs. Different technology.

        2- Nonsense. The detonation just ruptures the body of the bomb spreading the sarin. The bomb without the sarin weighs at least 250 kg and is still in one piece made of plate steel, and can make quite a crater when dropped from several kilometers high.

        • Andre’s military knowledge doesnt make him differ from a cardboard box dummy tank and a real M1A2 abrams. Thats why most of the bs he posts is a copy and paste from the internet with him trying to pass it as his.

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