The Financial Times…
As the bloodshed and violence rages on in Syria, Israeli leaders are watching events across the border with a blend of worry, hope and frustration.
One fear is that the regime of Bashar al-Assad will try to draw Israel into the struggle, possibly as part of a last-ditch manoeuvre to divide and confuse the opposition. An obvious flashpoint is the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory occupied by Israel and one of the main points of contention between the two countries.
US readies for possibility of intervention without UN resolution, Asharq Al-Awsat reports, citing US military official; plan to include humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees on Turkey’s border
The Pentagon is readying for the possibility of intervention in Syria, aiming to halt Syrian President Bashsar Assad‘s violent crackdown on protesters, the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Saturday, citing a US military offical.
From The FP…
The State Department has begun coordinating with Syria’s neighbors to prepare for the handling of President Bashar al-Assad’s extensive WMD assets if and when his regime collapses, The Cable has learned.
This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria’s WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable. For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria — while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad’s downfall.
June 6, 2010
Ha’aretz has revived the mystery surrounding the inability to find weapons of mass destruction stockpiles in Iraq, the most commonly cited justification for Operation Iraqi Freedom and one of the most embarrassing episodes for the United States. Satellite photos of a suspicious site in Syria are providing new support for the reporting of a Syrian journalist who briefly rocked the world with his reporting that Iraq’s WMD had been sent to three sites in Syria just before the invasion commenced.
The newspaper reveals that a 200 square-kilometer area in northwestern Syria has been photographed by satellites at the request of a Western intelligence agency at least 16 times, the most recent being taken in January. The site is near Masyaf, and it has at least five installations and hidden paths leading underneath the mountains. This supports the reporting of Nizar Nayouf, an award-winning Syrian journalist who said in 2004 that his sources confirmed that Saddam Hussein’s WMDs were in Syria.
May 30, 2010
Which Western intelligence agency requested satellite photographs of secret Syrian military installations near the border with Lebanon over the past two years?
A small patch of territory in northwest Syria has been photographed on at least 16 occasions. The images were procured by satellite imaging service DigitalGlobe, which the Western company hired.
A satellite photo of the village of Al-Baida, Syria. Photo by: DigitalGlobe