Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Syria kills 6, including doctor, in attack on protest mosque

Syrian forces have killed six people in an attack on a mosque full of anti-Assad protestors in the southern city of Dara on late Tuesday, Gulf News reports. Among the dead is a doctor from a well-known family who was in the mosque to help victims of the attack. Ten people have now been killed after a week of demonstrations. Like Egypt, Syria has had emergency law in place since 1963, banning any opposition and entrenching a nationalized economy.

According to Haaretz, the IDF is preparing for the possibility that instability in Assad's regime will lead to an attack on Israel (h"v):
The Israel Defense Forces is readying for the possibility that Syria might create a provocation along the northern border to divert attention from the growing protests against President Bashar Assad's regime. Nevertheless, the defense establishment views this as unlikely.

...The IDF is also preparing for the possibility that Damascus might use Hezbollah or other militant organizations in Lebanon to heat up that front to divert attention from events in Syria. But one senior officer said that Assad and his people appear to be too busy suppressing the domestic unrest to have time for that. So for now, most preparations are at the intelligence level, and there is currently no plan to beef up IDF forces along the border.
Now that the US has attacked Libya, protesters around the world are all the more emboldened. I wonder if the US will make a stop in Yemen or Syria while they're out here?

On Israel radio today, an expert said the street in Syria is not as hostile to Israel as the regime. On the one hand, ousting Assad could open the door for a more moderate regime. On the other hand, Hezbollah in Lebanon could easily take advantage of the chaos and expand their sphere of influence.

Meanwhile, some MK's also voiced support today for an Operation Cast Lead 2.

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