Skip to main content

Massive Explosion Reported Near Damascus International Airport In Syria

In what is believed, but has not been confirmed, to be an Israeli air strike, moments ago the area around the Damascus International Airport in Syria was rocked by at least one massive explosion.
If confirmed, it would be the second Israeli attack on Syria in the past week: on Sunday, Israeli forces bombed a camp for pro-government forces killed three fighters near the Golan Heights on Sunday according to AFP. Two fighters were also wounded in the attack on the Al-Fawwar camp near Quneitra in southwestern Syria, adding that it was unclear whether the damage was inflicted by an air strike or shelling.
Israel's army declined to comment Sunday on the attack. On Friday the army said it targeted positions inside Syria in retaliation for mortar fire that hit the northern part of the Golan Heights.
Syria's official news agency SANA said Israel had struck a Syrian army position in the province of Quneitra on the Golan plateau, "causing damage". The Syrian government labels rebel groups and jihadists fighting the regime as "terrorists" and accuses Israel of backing them.
One thing is certain: the party behind today's attack on Syria was not the US - otherwise CNN would be blasting it in real time - although with Russia having withdrawn half of its warplanes and with the Syrian army eager to avoid further airborne confronations, it is easy to imagine why the IDF can now enter the sovereign territory unopposed and without fear of reprisals.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why States Still Use Barrel Bombs

Smoke ascends after a Syrian military helicopter allegedly dropped a barrel bomb over the city of Daraya on Jan. 31.(FADI DIRANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary
Barrel bombs are not especially effective weapons. They are often poorly constructed; they fail to detonate more often than other devices constructed for a similar purpose; and their lack of precision means they can have a disproportionate effect on civilian populations.

However, combatants continue to use barrel bombs in conflicts, including in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and they are ideally suited to the requirements of resource-poor states.

Analysis


Barrel bombs are improvised devices that contain explosive filling and shrapnel packed into a container, often in a cylindrical shape such as a barrel. The devices continue to be dropped on towns all over Syria. Indeed, there have been several documented cases of their use in Iraq over the past months, and residents of the city of Mosul, which was recently …

Russia Looks East for New Oil Markets

Click to Enlarge


In the final years of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began orienting his foreign policy toward Asia in response to a rising Japan. Putin has also piloted a much-touted pivot to Asia, coinciding with renewed U.S. interest in the area. A good expression of intent was Russia's hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012 in Vladivostok, near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Although its efforts in Asia have been limited by more direct interests in Russia's periphery and in Europe, Moscow recently has been able to look more to the east.

Part of this renewed interest involves finding new export markets for Russian hydrocarbons. Russia's economy relies on energy exports, particularly crude oil and natural gas exported via pipeline to the West. However, Western Europe is diversifying its energy sources as new supplies come online out of a desire to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

This has forced…

In Yemen, a Rebel Advance Could Topple the Regime

Shia loyal to the al-Houthi movement ride past Yemeni soldiers near Yaz, Yemen, in May. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The success of a rebel campaign in northern Yemen is threatening to destabilize the already weak and overwhelmed government in Sanaa. After capturing the city of Amran, a mere 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, in early July, the rebels from the al-Houthi tribe are in their strongest position yet. The Yemeni government is developing plans to divide the country into six federal regions, and the rebels believe this is their chance to claim territory for the future bargaining.

The central government is nearly powerless to fend off the rebels; its forces are already stretched thin. Neighboring Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen before and still supports Sunni tribes in the north, but the risk of inciting a Shiite backlash or creating space for jihadists to move in could deter another intervention.

Analysis


Followers of Zaidi Islam, a branch of Shiism, rul…