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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Assad calls for cease fire after Israel threatens him

The Chinless Wonder, Dr. Death in Damascus, called for a 'cease fire' today in Israel's conflict with Hezbullah. In a telephone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Assad said that the cease fire was necessary to stop Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

YNet explains why Assad suddenly wants a cease fire and why Hezbullah is suddenly shooting more and more rockets at the same time:
Turns out that Hizbullah is looking for any way they can to throw off Israel's attempts to strike a blow to Hibzullah's ability to fire missiles. They were shocked to discover how much information Israel has about their weapons storehouses.

When the organization recovered from the initial blow, they began looking for ways to deal with Israel's aerial pursuit of their launchers. In this context, they have started over the last few days to launch huge assaults at one time, rather than "drip" missiles all day long.

They believe exposing a large quantity of launchers at one time forces the Israeli air force to respond with dozens of plans at one time over the skies of Lebanon in order to hunt them all down.

When the air force said the other day it was hunting six launchers, it was a worrying statistic. Hizbullah has hundreds of such launchers.

At the same time, Hizbullah is also trying not to reveal its storehouses. Organization higher-ups believe that when they bring rockets out of their hiding places, they expose the store rooms to the eyes of the IDF. Therefore, they prefer to get fresh ammunition from Syria, rather than expose their Lebanese warehouses.

As soon as Israel figured out this new tactic, it started targeting trucks moving from Syria to Lebanon – not always on main roads.

IDF sources say the phenomenon has been going on a day or two, and they believe it stems from Hizbullah's lack of long-range missiles. They say that as of this writing Israel has been hit by 60-70 such rockets, and their storehouses are hidden. [I don't quite understand what this paragraph means. Does it mean that Hezbullah is trying to import more long-range missiles? I doubt it. We know that the Fajr-3's can hit any target that Hezbullah has hit to this point - at least in terms of range. The longer range missiles - the Zelzal's are for Tel Aviv and we know that the army has taken some of those out. In fact, the paper edition of this morning's JPost hinted on the front page that they had all been taken out. But from here it sounds like those rockets are hidden. CiJ]

Israeli sources believe that Syria doesn't really want to get involved with this clash, but that the transfer of ammunition is beyond Syria's capacity to control. [I don't understand what that means either. Assad suddenly can't say no? The Iranians are forcing him to play along? Hezbullah is sneaking the weapons out or is stronger than Syria? CiJ] They believe many higher-ups in the Syrian hierarchy are upset about the phenomenon.

Syria's department of defense put the armed forces on alert last weekend. They are worried that Israeli officials aren't telling the truth when they say there are no plans to attack Syria.

The emphasis Israel placed Tuesday on the trucks carrying weapons from Syria to Lebanon are a warning to Syria: Control your country.
In this regard, think back to Caroline Glick's column to which I linked this afternoon. It sounds like she was even more on target than we would have thought this morning.


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