Syrian regime allies, the downing of Israeli F-16 is a strategic shift

Israeli soldiers block a road near the Israeli border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Feb. 10, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 11 February 2018

Syrian regime allies, the downing of Israeli F-16 is a strategic shift

LONDON: Once again, events in Syria risk to spill beyond its border. The downing of the Israeli F-16 over Syria is a first in the Syrian war. 
The Russian president Vladimir Putin held telephone talks with PM Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to avoid escalation. Washington on the other hand announced that it strongly supports Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself. A statement published by the state department accused Iran of “a calculated escalation of threat and Tehran’s ambition to project its power and dominance places all the people of the region from Yemen to Lebanon at risk”
Iran denounced Israeli “lies” on Saturday and said Syria had the right to “legitimate self-defense” in response to air strikes launched by Israel after an alleged Iranian drone incursion into its territory. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said.
Iranian spokespersons went on to claim that the downed Iranian drone By Tel Aviv was on a surveillance operation monitoring Daesh.
Ghashmi also re-iterated Tehran’s position that it “does not have a military presence in Syria, and has only sent military advisers at the request of the Syrian government.”
Lebanon also criticized the Israeli strikes, and said it would write a letter of protest to the United Nations over the use of its airspace for the raids, according to a statement from its foreign ministry.
Lebanese pro Iranian Militia Hezbollah indicated in a statement today that the shooting down of an Israeli F-16 jet fighter is “the start of a new strategic phase” which would limit Israeli exploitation of Syrian airspaces. 


US lawmakers set measure opposing Trump on Syria troop withdrawal

In this file photo taken on September 8, 2019 US troops walk past a Turkish military vehicle during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town along the border with Turkish troops. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

US lawmakers set measure opposing Trump on Syria troop withdrawal

  • Senate and House aides said lawmakers were working on legislation to impose stiffer sanctions on Turkey, hoping to force Turkish President Erdogan to halt his military campaign in northeastern Syria

WASHINGTON: US Democratic lawmakers, joined by some of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans, introduced a resolution on Tuesday opposing Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria, the latest sign of deep disapproval in Congress of his action.
“We have always maintained that, while certainly needed, a sanctions package alone is insufficient for reversing this humanitarian disaster,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement introducing the resolution.
In addition to Pelosi and Schumer, the resolution was led by Representatives Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike McCaul, the committee’s top Republican.
It also is backed by Senators Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Todd Young, a Republican member of that panel.
Senate and House aides said lawmakers were working on legislation to impose stiffer sanctions on Turkey, hoping to force Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to halt his military campaign in northeastern Syria.
Several sanctions bills were introduced in the Senate and House, supported by Democrats and some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, before Trump said he would impose sanctions.
Trump announced a set of sanctions on Monday to punish Ankara, and a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday that Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a cease-fire and halt its offensive. The measures — mainly a hike in steel tariffs and a pause in trade talks — were less robust than financial markets had anticipated. Trump’s critics derided them as too feeble to have an impact, and the Turkish currency recovered.