Syria

BNP leader out of love with Israel

By Marcus Dysch, June 13, 2013

British National Party leader Nick Griffin visited Syria this week after being invited to take part in a “fact-finding” tour by President Bashar Assad.

Travelling alongside fellow MEPs, Mr Griffin repeatedly criticised the British government’s support for rebels in the civil war, and commented on wider issues affecting the Middle East.

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Israel rattled by peacekeeper withdrawal from Golan

By Anna Sheinman, June 7, 2013

Israel yesterday reacted strongly to exit of Austrian peacekeepers from the Golan Heights.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing ‘regret’ at the withdrawal of 377 of the 1000 UN international peacekeepers who patrol the Israel-Syria border.

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Heavy fighting at Israel-Syria border town

By Elliot Miller, June 6, 2013

Fierce fighting has taken place on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

The town of Quneitra was reportedly siezed by the rebel Free Syrian Army earlier this morning. However, subsequent IDF reports say that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have now retaken it.

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Israel does not hold the key

By David Aaronovitch, June 2, 2013

When Israel was founded out of Jewry's near-destruction, it was at once a liberation for Jews and a disaster for Palestinian Arabs. What happened in the subsequent years - who did what to who and when - is not the subject of this column, but we need to agree that something that was good for one people was bad for another.

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Logic, Mr Hague?

By Orlando Radice, May 31, 2013

The reasoning behind Britain and France’s drive to have the EU lift its arms embargo on Syria – which was agreed on this week by European foreign ministers after considerable bickering - seems to be that by strengthening the rebels, the West can eventually force the two sides to the negotiating table.

That does not seem logical.

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‘Syrians want to take on Israel’, says Assad

By Zoe Winograd, May 31, 2013

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told a Lebanese TV station that there is popular support for opening up a new front against Israel.

In an interview with Al-Manar television, Mr Assad said: “There is pressure by the people to open a new front in the Golan, and even in the Arab world there is readiness to join the fight against Israel.”

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Hizbollah risking Lebanon to keep Assad

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2013

Hassan Nasrallah was once considered the most credible leader in the
Middle East.

Supporters and enemies of Hizbollah’s secretary-general knew that his threats were credible, his denials accurate and that, by contrast with the high-blown rhetoric of the region, he usually meant what he said.

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As world scraps over which Syrian army to back, it’s lose-lose for Israel

By John R Bradley, May 30, 2013

The decision by EU foreign ministers not to renew an arms embargo on the “moderate” Syrian opposition was predictably celebrated by Foreign Minister William Hague this week as “the outcome that the United Kingdom wanted”.

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Putin arms sale threatens meltdown in Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2013

The civil war in Syria threatened to escalate beyond its borders this week with the confirmation that Russia will supply Bashar al-Assad’s government with advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. The new weapons are said to be capable of shooting down aircraft in Israeli airspace.

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Israel condemns Russian missile shipment to Syria

By Zoe Winograd, May 28, 2013

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister has confirmed that Moscow will provide Syria with defence missiles.

Sergei Ryabkov told the press today that Russia plans to ship long-range S-300 air defence missiles to Syria in order to prevent foreign intervention by “hotheads”.

Israeli Minister of Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz condemned the deal.

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