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Tuesday, March 9, 2010    

Israel calls off exercises near Lebanon, Syria after pressure from Obama

TEL AVIV — Israel's military has been forced to significantly reduce its exercises amid pressure by the United States.   

Officials said the administration of President Barack Obama has warned Israel that its exercises along the borders with Lebanon and Syria were escalating regional tension.

They said Israel's government has responded by canceling or reducing exercises meant to prepare for a war with Syria.

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"We are receiving daily phone calls from the Americans, who want to know details and schedules of exercises, what weapons will be used and in what scenarios," an official said.

Earlier in March, Israel reduced the scope of a major command exercise, Firestones-12, at the request of the United States. The training maneuver excised a scenario in which Israel and Syria fought a regional war, and instead focused on a limited conflict with the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah, Middle East Newsline reported.

Officials said the administration also pressed Israel to cancel plans for massive troop mobilization to enhance readiness for a regional war. They said the White House warned that this could trigger conflict with Hizbullah and Syria.

"The exercises were planned on the assessment that Syria is likely to join Hizbullah in the next war," the official said. "We are very much aware of Syrian preparations and coordination with Iran and Hizbullah."

The U.S. warnings were issued as the White House sought to warm relations with Syria. Washington has sent a series of high-level diplomats to agree on reconciliation with the regime of President Bashar Assad.

On March 7, Israel began high-level meetings to prepare for a regional war. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met senior security officials to discuss a range of scenarios, including one in which Israel would be attacked by Syrian non-conventional weapons.


For the Obama admin. to dictate to the Israel gov. about the defense of their land and people is a disgrace. He appears to be more for the Muslim countries than he is for our allies. The Jewish people need to stand up and fight for their land and country, the land that God gave them many years ago. A U.S. citizen.

Jesse Brown      8:16 p.m. / Monday, March 15, 2010

Obama is an increasing existential danger to the Jewish people.

bernard ross      3:09 p.m. / Tuesday, March 9, 2010

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