The call-up of thousands of Israeli military reservists for the Syrian and Lebanese borders starting Tuesday, April 30, will continue until the end of the week, ready for the launch of a military exercise on those borders next Sunday, May 5. These steps are expected to sent military tensions shooting up between Israel, Iran, Syria and Hizballah in Beirut.
The phased mobilization of IDF reserves is planned to keep pace with President Barack Obama’s momentum on US military action against Syrian chemical weapons. He was clear in the comments he made Tuesday that he needs more information – and therefore more time – to find out who and when used chemical weapons in Syria before rethinking “the range of options for action he has on the shelf.”
military sources positively refute claims that Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was kept in the dark about the IDF mobilization and exercise next week. A senior officer rejected as unimaginable the thought that military steps of this magnitude and importance could be taken without the minister’s knowledge.
In a broadcast speech Tuesday night, Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said that Israeli military moves are worrying, but should be seen in the context of the Syrian war. He sent a warning to Syrian rebels: “You can’t overturn the Damascus regime by military means. You face a long haul. Syria has true friends in the world, who won’t let Syria fall into the hands of Israel, America or al Qaeda.”
He was referring to Iran and Russia. At the same time, he distanced his Hizballah from Israel’s moves.
All three parties – Israel, the US and Hizballah – appear to be playing for time before making definite military commitments in the next stage of the Syrian conflict.
Earlier Tuesday, It was reported:
Israel’s armed forces launched a snap division-scale drill along the full length of the Syrian and Lebanese borders Tuesday, April 30, with call-up orders for thousands of reservists, DEBKAfile’s military sources report.
It was taken into account that the unannounced exercise would send military tensions shooting up on the volatile Israeli, Jordanian, Syrian and Lebanese borders. Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah headquarters would assume that Israel is massing troops in advance of US military intervention in Syria.
Its timing is also connected to the speech Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah is scheduled to deliver Tuesday night in case he announces military steps against Israel.
Our Washington sources report that President Barack Obama is poised for a momentous decision on whether to pursue military action against Syrian military targets, including Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons facilities.
These appear to be his three primary options:
1. An American aerial bombardment of the Syrian military bases and facilities which are the mainstay which keep Bashar Assad in power;
2. A missile strike on his chemical weapons from the sea and from ground bases in Europe and the Middle East;
3. The deployment of 20,000 American troops to the Jordanian-Syrian frontier.
Alternatively, Obama may choose to combine elements of all three options and activate them simultaneously.
The surprise Israeli military exercise and concentration of reserve units along the borders of Syria and Lebanon place the IDF including its air and naval branches on the ready for a role in a potential American military operation against Syria.
The Israeli military also stands prepared to repel possible reprisals by Iran, Syria or Hizballah against US, Jordanian or Israeli troops.
Lebanon dragged in as Hezbollah joins Syria war
In the Bekaa town of Hermel, angry residents blame Syrian rebels for missiles that struck their area, a mark of the Syrian conflict coming to their homes. Sarah Sheffer reports.