According to al Arabia news
, Iran confirmed Sunday that it has sent troops to aid President Bashar Assad's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in his country.
According to NPR
, the announcement followed the brutal killing of over 100 people in the central town of Houla on Friday, 25 May. The massacre comprised 32 children who were slaughtered by Damascus' forces. Gruesome videos showed rows of dead Syrian children lying in a mosque clothed in bloody shorts and T-shirts with huge head injuries. The massacre was condemned by the UN, US, UK, and EU leaders. The White House said the violence were acts of “unspeakable and inhuman brutality.”
According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
and international envoy Kofi Annan
, the “appalling and brutal crime involving indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force was a flagrant violation of international law and of the commitments of the Syrian government to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers and violence in all its forms.” Additionally, Syrian forces killed two men on when protests broke out to condemn the mass murder. The UN and human rights groups estimate over 13,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in early 2011.
According to HA’ARETZ
, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the massacre. He was "appalled at the continuous slaughter of innocent civilians by Assad's forces." He added that "Iran and Hezbollah cannot be separated from Assad's massacre, and the world needs to take action against them as well." Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has taken a tough stand against the Assad’s regime. He has repeatedly called for Assad to resign, while offering humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.
According to Israel National News
, Jordanian news site Ahbar Baladna reports that western spy satellites have recently spotted movements of Syrian heavy missile launchers northward and southward, toward Syria's borders with Turkey and Israel. The site describes hundreds of high-caliber launchers being moved and that these weapons could only be long range Scud missile launchers. Syria has threatened in the past that when foreign military intervention reaches its soil, it will fire missiles at Israel and Turkey in order to ignite a large scale regional war. Turkish and French officials said days ago they were mulling a potential military intervention in Syria, where civil war has been raging for months.
The Syria regime’s brutality, backed by its closest ally Iran, is shocking to many observers. Assad’s army and secret police will murder and torture their own people to maintain their grip on power and they will do worst to any foreign forces entering their country.
A few Mideast analysts assess that Assad may be preparing to employ chemical weapons against his own citizens to suppress the Syrian uprising. However, other analysts judge that Assad is preparing for defense against foreign military forces sent to intervene in the government's onslaught. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) officials believe Syria contains the globe's largest chemical weapons arsenal. They are preparing plans and practicing their response in case Assad decides to use those weapons against Israel as a distraction. The IDF may preemptively respond to Syria’s preparation to attack Israel with missile strikes before it eventually bombs Iran with bunker penetrating weapons. Syria and Hezbollah may force the IDF to strike Israel’s enemies prematurely.