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WAR REPORT
Syria, Lebanon will be 'one front' if war erupts against Israel: minister
by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Oct 10, 2017


No impact on US military ops amid Turkey row: Pentagon
Washington (AFP) Oct 10, 2017 - The escalating diplomatic row between Washington and Ankara has so far not impacted NATO or US military ties with Turkey, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

The United States relies heavily on an air base at Incirlik in southern Turkey to launch air strikes against the Islamic State group in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

"The Turkish air force base in Incirlik continues to fulfill an important role supporting NATO and coalition efforts," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said.

"Coalition counter-IS operations out of Incirlik and other Turkish facilities are closely coordinated with and have the full support of our Turkish partners. Our joint and separate activities will remain closely coordinated."

The diplomatic spat erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the American consulate on suspicion of links to the group blamed for last year's failed coup.

In response, the United States stopped issuing non-immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the United States to hit back with a tit-for-tat step of their own.

"Turkey is a strong coalition partner and close NATO ally," Manning stressed.

"I can confirm that these developments have not impacted our operations or personnel."

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Lebanon and Syria would constitute "one front" against his country if a new war were to break out.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a devastating conflict in 2006, and the Lebanese Shiite group is currently backing President Bashar al-Assad's regime in the Syrian civil war.

Both countries border Israel to its north.

"In the next war in the north of the country, Lebanon will not be the only front," Lieberman said in a speech to soldiers.

"There is now only one front in the north composed of Lebanon, Syria, Hezbollah, the Bashar al-Assad regime and all those who help his regime."

Lieberman added that the Lebanese army had lost "its independence by becoming an integral part of Hezbollah, which gives it its orders."

Israeli leaders frequently warn Lebanon that the country's army and civilian infrastructure would be overwhelmingly targeted if Hezbollah attacks from civilian areas.

Hezbollah is also supported by Iran, Israel's arch-enemy which backs Assad in Syria as well.

Israel's military believes Hezbollah has between 100,000 and 120,000 short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred long-range missiles, with the medium-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

Lieberman evoked the possibility of a simultaneous conflict in the north and in the south with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

"The battle will take place on the northern and southern fronts," he said.

"There is no longer war on one front. It's our basic assumption and it is what our military is preparing for."

Since 2008, Israel has fought three wars with Hamas, which also receives support from Iran.

Israel has sought to avoid becoming involved in the Syrian civil war, but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes there to stop what it says are advanced weapons deliveries to Hezbollah.

WAR REPORT
Turkish army says launches reconnaissance mission in Syria's Idlib
Ankara (AFP) Oct 9, 2017
The Turkish army has launched a reconnaissance mission in Syria's largely jihadist-controlled northwestern Idlib province in a bid to create a de-escalation zone, the military said on Monday. "The Turkish armed forces began reconnaissance activities on October 8 (Sunday) to establish surveillance posts as part of the operation to be carried out in Idlib province," the armed forces said in a ... read more

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