Chemical threat is back. Hizballah, Israel close to clash
September 8, 2012
The first US-Turkish backed steps for creating safe havens in Syria and possible strategic bombardment of the Syrian army have brought the Middle East close to two dangerous junctures: The Syrian army’s use of chemical weapons, and an outbreak of hostilities between Hizballah and Israel, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. The creeping Western involvement in the Syrian conflict was not previously acknowledged and the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah rarely figured publicly as a fighting prop of the Assad regime.
That is until the dam burst Friday and Saturday, Sept 7-8.
The United States then admitted that US officials and intelligence agents were training and aiding Syrian rebels from positions on the Turkish border – and therefore directly intervening in their operations.
This admission came on the heels of the DEBKAfile disclosure of Sept. 6 that Turkish officers backed by US agents had taken command of two Syrian rebel brigades.
Britain and France came next to report they were sending aid directly to the Syrian opposition, a more cautious admission than the American reference to officials and agents, but clearly on the same track, which adds up to their direct intervention in Syria for the creation of safe havens.
French and British foreign ministers attending a European Union meeting in Cyprus called Friday night for sanctions against Hizballah, meaning that mounting Western pressure on Assad has been extended to his Lebanese ally.
But the big event thus portended is still to come.