Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Syria/Iran/North Korea Nexus

It was reported last week that the U.S. confirmed Israeli air strike on Syria:

A US official has confirmed that Israeli warplanes carried out an air strike "deep inside" Syria, escalating tensions between the two countries.

The target of the strike last Thursday remained unclear but Israeli media reported that a shipment of Iranian arms crossing Syria for use by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon was attacked.

Some have theorized that Israel was testing Syria's Russian-made missile defense system. Captain's Quarters disagrees:

Israel would not risk war with Syria just to test out an air defense system that Iran might get. They would risk war to stop Hezbollah from rearming to the point where they would launch another attack on Israel and provoke another war in the sub-Litani region, and they would have every right to do so.

So far, Israel has not spoken publicly of the flight/attack, only heightening speculation. The Economist reports however, that "Israeli air force officers are said to be jubilant about the mission's success." See maps here from Gateway Pundit.

Jules Crittenden thinks that "that what we’re seeing is the beginnings of a serious effort to put two of the world’s leading supporters of terrorism in a box." (H/T Instapundit)

And now, there are rumors of North Korean involvement in Syria. And Ace makes a good point:

That the Syrians are closed lipped and not flooding the zone with "oh poor innocent us" footage and pics of stuffed animals from the site speaks volumes about what got hit.

It also speaks volumes that Germany is fed up with Iran.

But were Syria and North Korea colluding to develop or distribute nuclear weapons? Captain Ed thinks so:

This operation had been planned since the spring, when the facility first came to the attention of the Israelis. The Syrians had apparently bought North Korean technology and materiel at about the time that Kim Jong-Il had started to cooperate with the West on nuclear disarmament. Analysts believe that Kim either hoped to hide his work by sharing it with the Syrians or just get as much hard currency as he could grab through proliferation. No one doubts that the Syrians would love to have nukes, nor does anyone doubt where those weapons would go -- and Israel, as they did with Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor at Osirak, decided to eliminate the threat before it reached fruition.

And as Gateway Pundit noted, North Korea denounced the attack. While Syria issued a murky "Israel will pay." Hmmm. Perhaps North Korea was not simply shipping "cement," after all. Hot Air has a very good round up of the North Korean angle.

Rumors of Turkish assistance to the Israelis are also swirling.

And in related news, Russia is now ready to ship enriched uranium to Iran. This should come as no surprise. But this should: Iran accuses Canada of torture and racism

Canada? Yes, Canada.

Canada's envoy John Von Kaufmann said that Iran's "deteriorating human rights situation" contravened its international and domestic obligations, citing "treatment of women as second-class citizens" and suppression of peaceful demonstrations for women's rights. The complaints were echoed by those of the European Union. But Iran's envoy, A. Eshragh Jahromi, said that Canada should have its own record scrutinized.

Amnesty International responded:

"Such comparisons are nonsensical," says Pat Maguire, Persian Gulf co-ordinator for Amnesty International in Canada. "The human rights conditions in Iran are appalling, and bear no resemblance to Canada's."

Update: Tigerhawk does a great job keeping up with the story:
"...this is the really loud message -- the Arab world, taken as a whole, has responded with... silence. No other Arab government complained about the raid, forcing Syria to take its protest to the United Nations alone. No mobs poured into the famous "Arab street," no flags were burned, no cars torched, and no "rage boys" screamed into television cameras. The message to Syria and Iran could not have been more clear: The Arabs are far more worried about Iran and its satellites than they are about Israel."

Tigerhawk also notes that more information is emerging:
By its actions, Israel showed it is not interested in waiting for diplomacy to work where nuclear weapons are at stake.

As a bonus, the Israelis proved they could penetrate the Syrian air defence system, which is stronger than the one protecting Iranian nuclear sites.

This "historic" event is being compared to the 1981 Israeli attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor in Osirak.

Who's your Daddy, now, Ahmadinejad?

No comments: