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Written by
Stephen Lendman
Date: July 17, 2013
Subject: Syria

Israel Waging Undeclared War on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Israel reflects the worst of rogue state governance. It's contemptuous of international laws, treaties, conventions, its own statutes, and High Court decisions.

It's out-of-control. It's unaccountable. It makes its own rules. It maintains lawless militarized occupation harshness. It force-feeds austerity on its own citizens. It suffocates 1.7 million Gazans. It attacks other countries with impunity.

It's waging undeclared war on Syria. It's partnering with Washington doing so. It supports terrorist fighters. It supplies arms and munitions. It hospitalizes wounded ones.

Netanyahu lied saying Israel's sole interest is preventing Syrian weapons transfers to Hezbollah. At issue is partnering with Washington's war.

It's about regime change. It's about ravaging another country doing so. It's about eliminating a regional rival.

Since conflict began in March 2011, Israel launched several cross-border ground attacks. It made one or more incursions. It conducted four air attacks. These incidents are acts of war. They're lawless aggression.

No nation may attack another except in self-defense. Israel does it often. UN condemnation doesn't follow.

US vetoes prevent Security Council action. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's a complicit imperial tool. He disgraces the office he holds. He betrays the world community.

He spurns his oath "to exercise in all loyalty, discretion and conscience the functions entrusted to (him) to discharge these functions and regulate (his) conduct with the interests of the United Nations only in view, and not to seek or accept instructions in regard to the performance of (his) duties from any government or other authority external to the Organization."

He lets America and Israel get away with mass murder. He virtually ignores Israeli air attacks. Doing so lets them strike Syria with impunity.

His pro forma statements are deplorable. They're offensive. They're reprehensible. They reflect gross hypocrisy. Calling "on all sides to exercise maximum calm and restraint" shows contempt for UN Charter provisions.

Since January, Israel struck Syria four times by air. It acted preemptively. It did so lawlessly. It remains unaccountable for clear acts of war.

On July 5, Israel's most recent attack occurred. A major Latakia-based weapons depot was struck. Reports indicated total destruction. Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile components were targeted. Perhaps Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles also.

Free Syrian Army forces initially took credit. They had nothing to do with it. They later denied it. Netanyahu said he's "not in the habit of saying what we did or didn't do."

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon evaded the subject when asked, saying:

"We have set red lines in regards to our own interests, and we keep them."

"There is an attack here, an explosion there, various versions - in any event, in the Middle East it is usually we who are blamed for most."

It's for good reason. Ya'alon didn't explain. In late January, Israel struck one or more targets on the Syrian-Lebanese border.

Around the same time, Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center in Jamraya. It's about 10 miles from the Lebanese border.

On May 3 and 5, the Damascus al-Hameh area was struck. Syria called doing so naked aggression. The attacks show direct  involvement in Washington's war. They indicate support for armed terrorist groups.

Video footage showed multiple explosions. Huge fires followed. Obama ignored Israel's naked aggression. He claimed it's entitled to defend itself against enemies.

He lied saying so. Israel and Washington share responsibility. These type incidents are jointly planned. They're acts of aggression.

Both nations partner in imperial wars. Doing so is longstanding. Syria remains in the eye of the storm.

On July 5, Israel targeted Russian-made SA-300 air defense missile components. Perhaps Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles also.

On July 14, Russia Today (RT) cited Britain's Sunday Times. It claimed Israeli Dolphin-class submarines were involved.

It said "50 Russian-made Yakhont P-800 missiles" were struck. Doing so was "closely coordinated with the US."

Israeli "German-built submarines launched a cruise missile at the weapons cache after which Syrian rebels reportedly attested to hearing early-morning explosions at a Syrian port-side naval barracks."

Israel neither confirmed or denied involvement. On July 12, CNN headlined "Israel believed behind recent Syria strike," saying:

Three anonymous US officials said Israeli warplanes struck Latakia. No one officially claimed responsibility.

On July 15, RT headlined "Israeli strike on Syria was carried out from Turkish base," saying:

A "reliable source" said so. According to RT's Paula Slier:

"Our source is telling us that Israeli planes left a military base inside Turkey and approached Latakia from the sea to make sure that they stayed out of Syrian airspace so that they cannot become a legitimate target for the Syrian air force."

Perhaps warplanes and submarines launching cruise missiles carried out the attack jointly. Doing so would assure greater chance for success. It shows Israel has multiple ways to strike targets. It does so without fear of retaliation.

Israel and Turkey normalized relations months earlier. Killing nine Turkish nationals attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza no longer matters. Perhaps it never did.

Each side values strategic ties to the other. Petty squabbles are less important. They're NATO partners. Israel's a Mediterranean Dialogue member.

So are Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. Imperial priorities matter most.

Israel and Turkey are Washington partners against Syria. They're involved in other imperial initiatives. They're rogue states. Rule of law principles don't matter.

Hurriyet News said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu denied reports about Israel using one its air bases against Syria. It's "totally untrue," he said.

"Turkey will neither be a part nor a partner of such 'attacks,' " he stressed.

"The ones who claim this want to damage Turkey's power and reputation."

"It is out of the question that Turkey and Israel are part of a joint military operation."

An anonymous "high ranking Turkish official" told Hurriyet the same thing. Plausible deniability is standard practice unless or until nations wish to tip their hands.

Separately, Netanyahu warned Iran. He told CBS News Face the Nation "(t)here edging up to the red line. They haven't crossed it yet."

"They're getting closer and closer to the bomb. And they have to be told in no uncertain terms that that will not be allowed to happen."

Israel has a narrower timetable than Washington, he stressed. He stopped short of saying Israel would act unilaterally. He's more bluster than follow-through. He prefers joint US/Israeli action.

He won't attack unilaterally without Washington's permission. He lets words substitute for action. Attacking Iran assures certain retaliation. Israel's small and vulnerable.

If Iranian nuclear sites are struck, Israel's likely will in response. Doing so is lose-lose for both sides. Whether Israel's foolish enough to risk enormous harm remains to be seen.

It doesn't deter Netanyahu's bluster. He said "(o)ur clocks are ticking at a different pace. We're closer than the United States. We're more vulnerable."

"And therefore, we'll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does."

Asked when he'll decide whether to attack, he said "I can tell you one thing - before it's too late."

"I am determined to defend my country from a regime that threatens us with renewed annihilation."

Netanyahu repeats this canard often. He knows it's untrue. He claims it anyway. It's red meat for hardliners. It's wearing thin. Iran hasn't attacked another country in centuries. Israel does it often.

Tehran's program is peaceful. Israel knows it. So does America. Bluster persists anyway. Iran's building "faster centrifuges that would enable them to jump the line, so to speak, at a much faster rate - that is, within a few weeks," said Netanyahu.

He expects no change under President-elect Hassan Rohani. He called him a "wolf in sheep's clothing." His strategy is "(s)mile and build a bomb."

He lied saying so. Netanyahu and Obama are serial liars. They're rogue leaders. They menace humanity. They make more enemies than friends. They do so for good reason.

They spurn peace. They prioritize regional conflicts. They consider mass killing and destruction strategically important.

Netanyahu wants Obama to stand by his red line. He wants Iran told military force "is truly on the table."

"We've spoken many times, President Obama and I, about the need to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons," he said.

"What is important is to convey to them that (the) policy will not change."

"If sanctions don't work, they have to know that you'll be prepared to take military action - that's the only thing that will get their attention."

He claimed Tehran's developing ICBMs. They're to reach America, he said. He lied saying so.

On Sunday, he told cabinet ministers "(n)ow more than ever….it's important to intensify the economic sanctions and present a credible military option."

"A month has passed since the Iranian presidential elections and Iran continues to surge forward quickly toward developing its nuclear military capability."

"Iran is expanding and refining its enrichment process and developing a plutonium reactor at the same time."

Netanyahu wants all uranium enrichment stopped. He wants enriched materials inside Iran's borders removed. He wants its Qom facility closed.

Tehran intends to continue its peaceful program. It has every right to do so. On August 3, Rohani will be inaugurated. He's been clear saying legitimate activities will continue.

He's conciliatory. He'll negotiate responsibly with P5 +1 countries. He deserves similar treatment in return. He won't get it. Washington remains hardline.

US officials said pressure won't ease. Doing so assures no resolution. What follows remains to be seen.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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