Posts tagged Latakia port
Boldness begets boldness
Iranian warships crossed through the Suez Canal for the first time since 1979 and docked at Syria’s Latakia port late Wednesday. The move has been called a “provocation” by Israeli President Shimon Peres, but is not seen as an immediate military threat to Israel. The ships met no interference by the United States or Israel, but Israeli officials have said that they are closely monitoring the situation.
According to the commander of the Iranian navy, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the ships are merely ”carrying a message of peace to the nations of the world,” but the bold move has inspired quite the opposite by emboldening Hamas to fire upon Israel. The unrest in the Middle East has brought with it a great deal of opportunity for Hamas to gain more weaponry, and build confidence for a fresh round of attacks on Israel.
Israel’s security leaders ought not to have been surprised when Hamas fired two long-range Iranian-made Grad missiles Wednesday night, Feb. 23 at the Negev cities of Beersheba and Netivot. The attack occurred exactly when Iranian Navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari was due in Syria’s Latakia port to attend the welcoming party for the two Iranian warships which made it through the Suez Canal without US or Israeli interference. It also marked a fresh, redoubled Hamas offensive against Israel.
Western military sources report that the Iran-backed Palestinian Hamas is further exploiting the shaky situation in Cairo and Israeli inaction to double or even triple the quantities of weapons smuggled via the Suez Canal and Sinai into the Gaza Strip. One Israeli officer said he had never before seen surface-to-surface missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank missiles secreted into Gaza in such bulk.
The confidence factor
The free passage afforded the two Iranian warships for transiting the Suez Canal Tuesday, Feb. 22 – without Egypt or US and Israeli warships even inspecting their cargoes – has encouraged Tehran to press on with its expansionist ambitions. Hamas understood that its redoubled offensive against Israel would be most welcome. The Palestinian extremists held their fire until Tehran announced the warships had put into Latakia Wednesday and the arrival of Iran’s navy chief that night. And then they went into action – first against an IDF border patrol, then to fire Grads at Beersheba and Netivot.
The Palestinians ruling Gaza are sending Grad missiles as messengers to Israel that they now enjoy Iranian support close by in the Mediterranean. source: Debka