(en español, al final)
Many Lebanese say another civil war — like the 15-year one that started in 1975 — is imminent and that the most dangerous flash points are within the divided Christian community.Christian youth are signing up for militant factions in the greatest numbers since the end of the civil war, spray painting nationalist symbols on walls and tattooing them on their skin, and proclaiming their willingness to fight in a new civil war — in particular, against fellow Christians.“When the war begins, I’ll be the first one in it,” said Fadil Abbas, 30, flexing his biceps in Shadow Tattoo as an artist etched a cross onto his shoulder. “I want everyone to know I am a Christian and I am ready to fight.”The struggle is over who gets to be the next president, a post reserved for a Christian under Lebanon’s Constitution, and which must be filled by the end of November.
But the larger question — one that is prompting rival Christian factions to threaten war — is whether Lebanese Christians must accept their minority status and get along with the Muslim majority (the choice of the popular Gen. Michel Aoun) or whether Christians should insist on special privileges (¡! oh, yeah and all the people who are Lebanese in exile, precisely because of the civil war, and the invasion of Hizbollah, those account for nothing right??) no matter what their share of the population (the position of veteran civil war factions like the Phalange and the Lebanese Forces).The government dedicated an extraordinary cabinet session in September to reports that Christian factions had opened militia training camps in the mountains. The police have arrested two groups of Christians allegedly linked to General Aoun’s party — the most recent on Thursday — and accused them of illegal weapons training. One group said that they were on a picnic and the other that they were “playing.” General Aoun said his followers keep only “personal weapons,” like most Lebanese.
Christian Split in Lebanon Raises Specter of Civil War - New York Times
As you can see, the NYT is just confirming once again its partiality against Christians and for Muslims. How on earth it can write an entire article about the re-arming of Christian groups which would act in case of an hypothetical civil war, when they have Hizbollah that it’s armed now?
Hezbollah possesses the Katyusha-122 rocket, which has a range of 29 kilometres (18 miles) and carries a 15 kilo (33 pound) warhead. Hezbollah also possesses about 100 long-range missiles. They include the Iranian-made Fajr-3 and Fajr-5, the latter with a range of 75 kilometres, enabling it to strike the Israeli port of Haifa, and the Zelzal-1 with an estimated 150-kilometre range, which can reach Tel Aviv. Fajr-3 missiles have a range of 40 kilometres, and a 45 kilo warhead, and Fajr-5 missiles, which extend to 72 kilometres, also hold 45 kilo warheads.
According to various reports, Hezbollah is armed with some anti-tank guided missiles. Namely the Russian-made AT-3 Sagger, AT-4 Spigot, AT-5 Spandrel, AT-13 Saxhorn-2 ‘Metis-M’, ??-14 Spriggan ‘Kornet’; Iranian-made Ra’ad (version of AT-3 Sagger), Towsan (version of AT-5 Spandrel), Toophan (version of BGM-71 TOW); and European-made MILAN missiles. These weapons have been used against IDF soldiers, causing much of the deaths during the 2006 Lebanon War.
For air defence, Hezbollah possesses some anti-aircraft weapons, including the ZU-23 artillery and man-portable shoulder-fired SA-7 and SA-18 surface-to-air missile (SAM). One of the most effective weapons deployed by Hezbollah has been the C-802 anti-ship missile, a variant of the Chinese Silkworm missile.
During the 2006 Lebanon War, Hezbollah fired 3,970 rockets into Northern Israel in the course of a month, killing 43 Israeli civilians. Hezbollah officials have stated that the group has recovered fully from the previous war; during the Divine Victory rally, held shortly after the cease-fire, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah declared that the group has “more than 20,000 rockets available”. He also spoke in retrospect of the war, saying “Tel Aviv or elsewhere, we were certain that we could reach any corner or spot in occupied Palestine and now we are certain that we can reach them.” Nasrallah has also implied that Hezbollah’s rocket force became stronger in the months following the 2006 Lebanon War than it had been during the war itself.
More here: who are the suppliers?
According to the United States, Iran has provided weapons to Hezbollah as well as provided training and funding. In addition, Syria has permitted Iran to use Damascus as a transshipment point to supply Hezbollah. There are also reports that Syria itself has supplied Hezbollah with BM-27 220mm rockets.
In another report, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has helped build Hezbollah’s underground storerooms in the Bekaa Valley to hold huge amounts of missiles and ammunition. Hezbollah’s missile force includes some 200 technicians and experts trained in Iran. The Zelzal-2 rockets require expertise to aim and launch effectively, and Hezbollah may require direct support from Iranian Revolutionary Guards to operate the rockets.
Israel’s Haaretz daily quoted intelligence sources Sunday as saying that Israel’s ground troops casualties mostly resulted from special anti-tank units of Hizbollah using modern Russian-made RPG-29 that had been sold by Moscow to the Syrians and then transferred to the organization.
“Such insinuations are a source of bewilderment in Moscow, to say the least,” Mikhail Kamynin said. “If there are any questions raised, they can be addressed through normal diplomatic channels. So far we have had no such inquiries, and no proof has been presented.”
Hizbollah ship attack shows Iran weapons link. July 14th, 2006.
Hizbollah’s spectacular rocket attack on an Israeli warship is proof of what Hizbollah has claimed for several years — it has an array of weapons that could trouble the Middle East’s mightiest army.
And with it proof is emerging of what many widely suspected: Iran had stepped up its arms shipments to the Shi’ite Muslim group both in terms of quality and quantity.
An Israeli military source said on Saturday that an Iranian-made C802 radar-guided land-to-sea missile with a range of 60 miles (95 km) hit and badly damaged the ship. Two missiles were fired, the other sank an Egyptian merchant ship, the source said.
“This is sophisticated weaponry. This is advanced weaponry being supplied by one terrorist state (Iran) to another,” the source said.
Hizbollah: Iran’s battle Lab.
Oh, yeah, but the really interesting are… the Christians….
Related news: Crisis in Israel… Olmert to split Jerusalem! (even when 63% of the Israelis do not want)… Please sign the petition here to save Jerusalem from splitting.
The moment can’t be worse as:
The firing of a long-range Katyusha rocket into Israel from Gaza on Sunday has ratcheted up concerns here for the increased threat of missiles against the Jewish state.
The weapon of choice of Palestinian militants in Gaza has been the Kassam rocket, which has relatively poor aim and short range, but has nonetheless caused damage and killed 14 Israelis and injured hundreds more, according to an Israeli government tally.
The Katyusha rocket is the type of weapon that was used by Hizbullah in Lebanon to hit Israeli cities during last year’s war. Unguided but better constructed, it has twice the range – about 12 miles – and the potential to carry about twice the payload, missile experts here say.
The Katyusha was fired at the southern town of Netivot, about seven miles east of Gaza. It landed in an open space, doing minimal damage. The Popular Resistance Committee, a Palestinian militant group in Gaza that includes Hamas, claimed responsibility for the Katyusha attack.
So, what does this mean? Who is giving Hizbollah these missiles?
But EU is worried about the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, and blames Israel for it:
One British MEP, Chris Davies, said it should be Israel and not EU taxpayers who should foot the bill to solve the Palestinian humanitarian crisis.
“What does it have to do with the EU? Gaza is an Israeli prison camp. It is the Israelis who should be responsible. They are the ones that keep them in misery,” said Davis.
Hmm, yeah, and what about terrorism, Mr Davies? Do I have to remember you have kept for 38 years the British Army in Northern Ireland to prevent terrorist acts? Something wise to do, I must add. So you can do it, but others cannot defend themselves? If it’s British is OK, but if it’s an Israeli idea, then it’s bad? Or what?
Israel has been unusually quiet about the attack on Sept. 6 and has effectively imposed a news blackout about it. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli opposition leader, on Sept. 19 became the first public figure in Israel to acknowledge that an attack had even taken place. Some Israeli officials have said, though not publicly, that the raid hit a nuclear-related facility that North Korea was helping to equip, but they have not specified where.
Related posts: Israel admits strike on Syria.
EL NYT en su línea. Tenemos a los terroristas de Hizbolá, armados hasta los dientes con misiles anti-tanque, tierra-aire y tierra-mar (que dañaron gravemente un barco israelí en 2005)… y escribe un artículo entero diciendo que, como hay espectros de una nueva guerra civil en marcha, los cristianos están empezando a sumarse a facciones armadas para enfrentarse a ellos. Si la misión de la ONU hubiera cumplido con lo que prometió (desarmar a Hizbolá) no habría necesidad de guerra civil. Pero como la ONU no quiere reconocer que, eliminado/reducido Hizbolá, se habrían acabado muchos de los problemas de la región (quedarían Hamas y Al-Fatah), no se le dio a la misión ese objetivo como prioritario.
Al final, si se desata la guerra, tendrán la culpa los cristianos por no obedecer a Hizbolá.
El Katiusha: un arma rudimentaria y aterradora. (guerra del 2006)
Un problema clave es el arsenal en manos de Hezbollah. Al comienzo de la guerra, se estimaba que tenía por lo menos 12.000 cohetes de corto alcance -capaces de llegar a unos 20 kilómetros de distancia- que le fueron provistos por Siria e Irán. Si la cifra es cierta, todavía le quedan por lo menos 9000.
Pero lo que cuenta no es sólo su número, sino sus características. […] Estos cohetes pueden ser disparados rápidamente sin grandes preparativos. Basta con que un militante se esconda dentro de una casa, coloque un trípode y dispare. A veces, hasta por control remoto. “Puede disparar por un sistema de tiro retardado o por telecomando -dice el general Dayan-, mientras que las coordenadas para el blanco pueden ser transmitidas por teléfono o por mensaje de texto.”
No se requiere casi nada especial antes del disparo, a diferencia de lo que ocurre con los cohetes de mayor alcance -como los que llegan a Haifa-, que necesitan de otros elementos para ser lanzados.
Un tema clave en esta guerra es que Israel está lidiando con una organización que ataca desde concentraciones civiles, que ha construido búnkeres bajo viviendas de la población y que dispara desde escuelas, junto a posiciones de la ONU y aldeas habitadas.
Israel se impone limitaciones en sus ataques contra blancos de Hezbollah. A pesar de las duras críticas de las que ha sido objeto desde diferentes sectores de la comunidad internacional, si hubiera utilizado todo su poderío aéreo en territorio libanés, el número de bajas civiles se contaría por miles y la destrucción sería de dimensiones mucho mayores.
Noticias relacionadas: 63% de los israelíes no quieren entregar Jerusalén. Firma aquí la petición para salvar Jerusalén.
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