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Hezbollah Offers to Help Syria Recapture the Golan

The Lebanon-based militia also says Syria will give it “game-changing” weapons

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Just days after a series of airstrikes on Syrian missile sites, there appears to be no signs of things cooling down in the region. Beyond the obvious horror of the conflict itself, which Jodi Rudoren chronicled earlier today through the prism of the million-plus displaced Syrian refugees who are struggling to survive, there is the widespread fear that the Syrian civil war will extend beyond its borders.

Two troubling stories this afternoon underscore that fear. In a televised address today from Lebanon, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah avered that he and Hezbollah would gladly help Syria recapture the Golan Heights, which has been held by Israel since 1967 and has enjoyed relative calm for decades.

“We announce that we stand with the Syrian popular resistance and offer material and spiritual support as well as coordination in order to liberate the Syrian Golan.”

This pivot represents an attempt to reframe the conflict in Syria as a battle against Israel. Hezbollah supports of the Assad regime has cost it some popularity in the region, but with last weekend’s airstrikes comes the opportunity to try and shift the focus onto Israel by defining it as the target of the “Syrian popular resistance.” With 70,000 dead in Syria, it seems unlikely to work, but threats against the Golan is an unsettling development.

In the same address, Nasrallah also said that Syria would supply Hezbollah with “game-changing” weapons as a result of the airstrikes near Damascus last week.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, asked to comment on Nasrallah, said: “We don’t respond to words. We respond to action.” The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.

Speaking of action:

In a related development, Israeli security officials said Thursday they have asked Russia to cancel the imminent sale of an advanced air defense system to Syria.

The officials said Israel shared information with the United States in hopes of persuading Russia to halt the planned deal to provide S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. Disclosing the deal, the Israeli officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Hezbollah: Syria to Supply Weapons to Militia [AP]

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AriShavit says:

“Nasrallah also said that Syria would supply Hezbollah with “game-changing” weapons as a result of the airstrikes near Damascus last week.”

Something tells me the only games that will change is how much stuff we’ll destroy and how much more politically/internationally acceptable it will be for us to keep going in the next flare up.

ginzy1 says:

A telling phenomenon among the Druze residents of the Golan: A growing phenomenon of young Druze opting to obtain Israeli citizenship.

Background: After Israel effectively annexed the Golan in the late ’70s (or early 80’s?) the Syrian citizens on the Golan were given permanent Israeli residency, with the option (theirs) to request full Israeli citizenship. A minority have done so (factoid: among the Golan Druze Israeli citizens, the political party which garners a plurality (maybe a majority) of the votes is….. Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu).

For years most of the Druze have been demonstrative in their loyalty to the Assad dynasty. However of late a split has occurred. Some have continued with their Assad loyalty, fearing what would happen to the Syrian Druze if the Sunni Islamists take over. Others have split with Assad because of the atrocities and the recognition that the Druze better make peace with their historic enemies, the Sunnis (they also recognize that Assad could just as easily turn on them & slaughter them as well).

Like the Rabbis wife in the famous joke, a small but growing third group recognizes that on the one hand both of the other groups are correct, and on the other hand that Israel isn’t such a bad country to live in and be part of. They can get a good education, work and advance themselves and have a freedom of speech, social services, etc. that can’t even be dreamed of in Syria regardless of who is in charge. So this group has been exercising their option to obtain Israeli citizenship.

A friend of mine noted that over the centuries, the Druze have evolved an excellent sense of smell…. political / survival smell that is..


Jerusalem / Efrat


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Hezbollah Offers to Help Syria Recapture the Golan

The Lebanon-based militia also says Syria will give it “game-changing” weapons

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