Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/14/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Israel fears that weaponry in conflict will fall into wrong hands

It what will doubtlessly prolong an already long and wearying civil war with no end in sight, both Iran and Hezbollah have built a 50,000-strong parallel force in Syria. Iran wants to prop up the corrupt Bashar al-Assad regime as well as maintain their influence after his fall.

Israel's military intelligence chief, Major General Aviv Kochavi says that Iran intends to double the size of this Syrian 'people's army.'

Israel's military intelligence chief, Major General Aviv Kochavi says that Iran intends to double the size of this Syrian "people's army."


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

3/14/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Major General Aviv Kochavi, Syria, Iran, Hezbolla, Lebanon

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Israel's military intelligence chief, Major General Aviv Kochavi says that Iran intends to double the size of this Syrian "people's army." The troops are being trained by Hezbollah fighters and funded by Tehran in order to bolster a depleted and demoralized Syrian army.

Kochavi also said that Assad's troops had readied chemical weapons -- but have not yet been given the order to use them.

Kochavi also warned of the increasing sway of extremist groups in the opposition, particularly the al-Nusra Front. He says that this faction is beginning to infiltrate Lebanon and has been making connections with a Sinai-based militant organization, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, which is focused on attacks on Israel.

Israel opposes the western arming of Syrian rebels as it fears that the weapons will end up in the hands of extremists.

Defense officials say they are focused on Assad's sizeable arsenal of chemical weapons and missiles and they are prepared to carry out more air strikes to stop such arms being transferred to Hezbollah, even at the risk of what a senior official predicted would be an ugly new war in Lebanon.

It's been long believed that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are advising Assad's generals, and that Hezbollah guerillas are fighting alongside Syrian government troops.

Israeli officials say the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, has been in Damascus to oversee operations.

Kochavi also claimed that since last June, Tehran had been using Hezbollah to build up a large Syrian militia that would be Iranian-controlled even in the event of Assad's fall from power.

"The damages of the imminent fall of Syria are very high for both Iran and Hezbollah. Iran is losing a sole ally in the region surrounding Israel. It will lose the ability to transfer weaponry through Syria to Hezbollah. Iran and Hezbollah are both doing all in their power to assist Assad's regime.

"They support Assad operationally on the ground, with strategic consultation, intelligence, weapons," Kochavi told the Herzliya Conference, a meeting of security officials and analysts in Israel.

"Most recently, they are establishing a 'people's army' trained by Hezbollah and financed by Iran, currently consisting of 50,000 men, with plans to increase to 100,000. Iran and Hezbollah are also preparing for the day after Assad's fall, when they will use this army to protect their assets and interests in Syria."


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

Iran aims missiles at U.S. military bases Watch

Image of Iran's missile capabilities (Ali Reza Farhadifar).


This weekend, a senior Iranian military officer warned that all U.S. military bases in the Middle East are within the range of target of Iran's missiles. He also noted that the Islamic Republic will continue to ignore international bans on the construction of ballistic ... continue reading

Interviews reveal what life is like in the Islamic State Watch

Image of Children are often used as soldiers, or even as suicide bombers. Brainwashing begins at a very young age.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Interviews with people from the Islamic State are painting a picture of daily life in the militant regime. Over the past several months, reporters, aid workers and other agencies have conducted interviews with survivors as well as with residents of the Islamic State. ... continue reading

Turkey to Russia: 'Our rules of engagement are clear' Watch

Image of Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Reuters).


Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has promised to take necessary actions in order to protect the country's borders from the incursion done by Russian warplanes, when they entered its airspace on Sunday. This has forced Turkey to scramble their fighter jets and to ... continue reading

Is the U.S. fully responsible for Kunduz hospital airstrike? Watch

Image of Afghan staff react inside a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital after an air strike in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On Monday, the American commander of international forces in Afghanistan announced Afghan forces asked for U.S. air support as they fought the Taliban in Kunduz prior to an air strike that killed civilians. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - U.S. Army General John ... continue reading

ISIS destruction of Palmyra temple infuriates world community Watch

Image of ISIS pledged to destroy only what it deemed idolatrous. Items, such as grave markers and statues symbols are considered signs of paganism to be destroyed, according to its puritanical version of Islam.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world community - particularly among historians and archaeologists, is feeling anger and growing despair after Islamic State released images showing the destruction of the 2,000-year-old temple of Baal Shamin in the historic Syrian city of Palmyra. LOS ... continue reading

Grotesque images show Syrian treatment of political prisoners Watch

Image of A woman covers her mouth as she views shocking images smuggled out of Syria on display at the UN headquarters in New York (Reuters).

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Syrian military photographer, code named Caesar, smuggled and shared to the world evidence showcasing Bashar al-Assad's grotesque cruelty toward political prisoners. While the dictator's regime asks for assistance from abroad for their fight against the Islamic ... continue reading

'Tragic' and 'Inexcusable': Investigation launched on U.S. Airstrike that hit Afghanistan Doctors Without Borders hospital Watch

Image of


Several people were injured and the death toll rose to 19 during the tragic, inexcusable U.S. airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan. Reports reveal that the bombing continued even after the military was advised the hospital had been hit. ... continue reading

Islamic State executes ten Kurdish fighters, releases video (WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT) Watch

Image of A new beheading video has been released.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another execution video has been posted by Islamic State terrorists. In this video, they behead ten Kurdish fighters after forcing them to recite prayers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ten Kurdish fighters were filmed kneeling in orange jumpsuits, reciting ... continue reading

Iranian troops flood Syria: Plan to launch a ground attack Watch

Image of Iran sends troops into Syria (AFP/Atta Kenare).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the past ten days, hundreds of Iranian troops entered Syria and will soon accompany government forces and Lebanese Hezbolla allies. The purpose of the move is to host a ground offensive as the Russian military continues air strikes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Russia calls up 150,000 conscripts as Syrian invasion accelerates Watch

Image of Syrians rally in favor of Assad and Putin.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russia could be planning a full-scale invasion of the Islamic State, granting the terror organization the final, apocalyptic struggle they have been waiting for. In addition to airstrikes, Putin has called up 150,000 conscripts amid calls to send Muslim troops to crush ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 3:1-10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 7-8
1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:38-42
38 In the course of their journey he came to a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 6th, 2015 Image

St. Bruno
October 6: Bruno was born in Cologne of the prominent Hartenfaust family. ... Read More