The United States once again warned this week it would “take firm and appropriate measures” against the Syrian government forces should they continue pushing into the southwest of the country, which has long been held by Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other groups fighting the Assad government.
The state department issued a statement Thursday saying that any Syrian government action risks igniting a broader conflict, but didn’t specify what actions the US or its allies might take.
“We affirm again that the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Syrian government violations in this area,” the statement said in an almost word for word repeat of a prior warning issued at the end of May. It said further that “the ceasefire must continue to be enforced and respected.”
While Benyanim Netanyahu is issuing warnings of his own:
Meanwhile in new statements this week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of importing 80,000 Shia fighters into the Syrian conflict from places like Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to both “covert” Syrian Sunnis and prepare attacks against Israel, claiming that a broader “religious war” would emerge.
“That is a recipe for a re-inflammation of another civil war – I should say a theological war, a religious war – and the sparks of that could be millions more that go into Europe and so on … And that would cause endless upheaval and terrorism in many, many countries,” Netanyahu said before an international security forum in Jerusalem.
“Obviously we are not going to let them do it. We’ll fight them. By preventing that – and we have bombed the bases of this, these Shi’ite militias – by preventing that, we are also offering, helping the security of your countries, the security of the world,” he said.
But the Syrians are paying no heed to either:
Currently, new reports of a “massive build-up” of Syrian Army troops and their allies continue to emerge after Assad recently reaffirmed his desire to liberate “every inch” of sovereign Syrian territory.
Beirut-based Al Masdar reports the Syrian Army has continued its massive build-up of troops in southern Syria, despite warnings from the U.S. State Department.
According to a military source in Damascus, reinforcements from the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Syrian Arab Army made their way from the Homs Governorate to Dara’a this week. The reinforcements were deployed to the northern part of the Dara’a Governorate and will likely be moved to the Lijat region or provincial capital.