Hello !
Recent Appearances... Rantburg

Rebels: 1,000 Hezbollah fighters invaded Syria
[Ynet] Fourteen Hezbollah men killed in past two days in battles over control of villages near Leb border

Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian civil war continues to grow. Syria's main opposition group claimed Sunday that no less than 1,000 Hezbollah men have entered Syria in the past 24 hours.

"It's a coordinated ground invasion," the Free Syrian Army front man said. "Hezbollah has started a war against us."

At least two Hezbollah operatives and five rebels were killed in battles southwest of Homs. Earlier on Sunday, rebels claimed they killed 12 members of the Lebanese terrorist group on Saturday.

Hezbollah fighters, who control eight villages around Homs, attacked three Syrian villages in the Qusayr region near the Lebanese border. Free Syrian Army front man Louay Almokdad warned civilians residing in villages near the border to leave the area.

He added that Hezbollah has declared "an open war against Syrian civilians in full coordination with the Assad regime that does not bomb areas where Hezbollah is present."

Battles between Hezbollah and the Syrian rebels escalated after the death of Revolutionary Guard official Hassan Shateri.

...back at the comedy club, Boogie sadly admitted that he was a better peeping Tom than he was a comedian...
the rebels are trying to distance themselves from Israel. The Military Revolutionary Council in Golan Quneitra said that none of its men had been injured in festivities on Saturday and therefore could not have been treated in Israel.

Conversely, Iranian media outlets affiliated with the Syrian regime reported extensively on the aid Israel provided to the seven maimed Syrians.

Earlier on Sunday, it was reported that the seven rebels underwent surgery overnight. One of them is still at death's door in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit after sustaining injuries to his abdomen.

The condition of the remaining rebels, who mainly sustained injuries to their extremities, is stable.

Ziv Medical Center Director Dr. Oscar Ambon told Ynet that the injuries were caused mainly by shrapnel and bullets, adding that the medical team will not question the injured parties regarding the cause of their wounds.
This turns out not to have been a good idea, though kind, as the UN firmly forbids Israel to return the Syrians to the current dangers of their native land.
Hezbollah fighter, 5 Syrian rebels killed in border fighting

[Ynet] At least one Hezbollah guerrilla and five Syrian rebels have been killed in fighting in Syrian territory on the border with Leb, nearby Lebanese residents and Syrian opposition sources said on Sunday.

Hadi al-Abdallah of the Syrian Revolution General Commission said fighting broke out on Saturday after Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, who are in control of eight Syrian border villages, tried to expand their sphere by moving into three adjacent villages that were in the hands of the rebel Syrian Free Army.
And also:
Syria: Rebels kill 12 Hezbollah operatives in Homs

[Ynet] Syrian rebels killed 12 Hezbollah operatives in festivities in Homs on Saturday. Clashes erupted between the sides when Hezbollah operatives tried removing the dead bodies from the scene.

At the beginning of the month, the Hezbollah announced that it buried an operative in Leb, who was killed while "fulfilling his duty as a martyr." According to reports, he was killed in Syria.

Iran Brig. Gen. Hassan Shateri killed in last Israeli bombing in Syria?
This is about the twelfth story we've had sent to the Burg in the last few days about Shateri. May I ask that future posts and referrals focus on anything new that comes up?
The Free Syrian Army, one of the main rebel forces battling to topple Assad's minority Alawite regime, claimed Thursday that Shateri, along with several aides, was killed in Israel's Jan. 30 airstrike on Jamraya, near Zabadani.

There were unconfirmed reports at the time that there had been Iranian casualties in the air raid but FSA officials said the death of Shateri and his officers weren't disclosed at the time because to have done so would have had "consequences."

This wasn't explained but the Israelis claimed they blasted a convoy that was transporting Syrian-provided, Russian-built SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles to Lebanon for Hezbollah which would have directly challenged Israel's long-held absolute air superiority over Lebanon for the first time.

Direct Iranian involvement in that alleged operation would have raised the stakes in the 22-month-old Syrian civil war to dangerous levels, that could trigger an Iranian response against the Jewish state at a time when the two rivals were locked in a potentially explosive confrontation over Iran's nuclear program.

It's not clear whether the FSA's purpose on this is to emphasize the extent of Iran's involvement in the war in hopes of persuading the reluctant Americans and their European allies they must drop their refusal to intervene militarily to support the rebel campaign to oust the 43-year Assad regime.

But the welter of often contradictory reports concerning the slaying of Shateri reflects the increasing complexity of the Syrian civil war.

It also sheds a glimmer of light on the clandestine nature of the conflict that many believe threatens a regional sectarian war and the subterfuge that permeates it.

For one thing, the killing shows Shateri's security was penetrated by his enemies, a serious setback for the Iranians.

The one sure thing that seems to be emerging in the aftermath of Shateri's assassination, although it's still not clear who was behind it, is that he was a man of importance in Iran's efforts to retain its power and influence in the Levant through Syria and Hezbollah.

Iran vows to take revenge on Israel for commander's death
A senior Iranian official has vowed Saturday to take Dire Revenge™ revenge on Israel for its alleged involvement in the killing of a commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Saturday.
"We shall have Dire Revenge™!!"
The Guard has accused "mercenaries and supporters" of Israel being responsible for Wednesday's killing of Gen. Hassan Shateri on the road linking Damascus to Beirut.

Ali Shirazi, representative of Iran's supreme leader to the Guard, said Israel would soon pay the price for Shateri's killing.

Israel has not commented on the killing.
Nor do they need to...
An Iranian independent news website reported early Thursday morning that Gen. Hassan Shateri was killed by "mercenaries of the Zionist regime," but provided no details about his death. The semi-official Fars news agency confirmed the report a few hours later.

Shateri led Guard forces in Lebanon and oversaw Iranian-financed reconstruction projects there,
Such as bunkers and rocket silos...
aiding Hezbollah both financially and by training its members. It is unclear what he was doing in Syria.

A second senior Iranian official was reported killed Wednesday in an attack on his car after he crossed from Syria into Lebanon. The man, Hossam Khosh Newes, was killed by "armed terrorist groups" -- a blanket term that Syria and Iran use to designate opposition forces -- the Iranian Embassy was quoted in The New York Times as saying.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Newes was traveling with Shateri at the time of the attack, and whether the two incidents were related.

Killed Iranian official was Iran's Hezbollah attaché
Arab media has reported that dead Revolutionary Guard official used guise of false alias to coordinate Iran's activities in Lebanon, Syria; including funds, weapon transfers to Hezbollah and rehabilitating arsenal.

The London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Friday that Hush Husam Nawis, also known as Hassan Shateri, a senior Revolutionary Guard official who was killed in Syria on Thursday, was in fact named Hassan Shateri, while Nawis served as his alias.

Shateri was a general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and headed the Iranian operation to rehabilitate the war-scarred country. He reportedly also served as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's personal emissary to Lebanon.

Mystery surrounds Iranian Guards commander's death
[FRANCE24] At a funeral service in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Thursday, footage broadcast on state TV showed mourners bearing the flag-draped coffin of a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards' commander whose killing has underscored the involvement of the powerful Iranian force in the Syrian conflict.

Iranian media and official statements provided two different names of the dear departed man, highlighting the murky nature of the workings of the Revolutionary Guards Corps -- or Pasdaran, as it's commonly called.

The semiofficial Fars news agency identified the slain commander as Gen. Hassan Shateri and said he was in charge of reconstruction projects in southern Leb.

But an official statement issued by the Iranian embassy in Leb identified him as engineer Hussam Khoshnevis and denounced the "terrorist attack" that killed him. In Leb, the Hezbollah-owned Al Manar TV also identified him as Khoshnevis.

The discrepancy suggests that Shateri was probably undercover as a civilian official at the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

Official Iranian statements were vague about the circumstances of his death, with Fars reporting that Shateri was killed on Wednesday on the road linking Damascus
...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti...
with Beirut. The news agency blamed "mercenaries and supporters'' of Israel.

However a Syrian opposition commander told Rooters he was killed in an attack by rebel fighters near the Syrian town of Zabadani close to the Lebanese border.

There was little doubt however, that the dear departed was an important figure in the Iranian security establishment.

"This is a very senior Iranian official, several media reports indicate that he was responsible for the al Quds force in Leb," said FRANCE 24's Beirut correspondent Selim El Meddeb.

The al Quds force is an elite, special operations unit within the Revolutionary Guards.

High-ranking Iranian figures attending Thursday's service, included Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Revolutionary Guards chief Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari and al Quds head, Gen. Ghasem Soleimani.

Iranian mission official whacked in Syria
Update at 1150 CT: According to Haaretz and with a tip of the hat to Ace, Shateri was a commander in the Quds Force -- those are the friendly guys who have been killing American soliders in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm hoping Shateri had a sucking head wound and died of sepsis...
TEHRAN - The Iranian mission in Beirut on Thursday confirmed the assassination of Hassan Shateri, the head of the Iranian delegation in charge of developmental projects in Lebanon, by the terrorist groups in Syria.

The embassy said in a statement that Hassan Shateri was assassinated by terrorist groups in Syria while he was on his way back to Lebanon from the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Martyr Shateri who was in Aleppo to implement reconstruction and development projects in that city, was assassinated by Syrian terrorists while he was on his way to the Damascus airport to return to Lebanon, the Islamic republic news agency reported.
'Reconstruction and development' of Aleppo: starting with the leveling of the city...
The Iranian development delegation headed by Martyr Shateri played a major role in reconstructing southern Lebanon after the Zionist regime's 33-day war against the country in 2006.
Especially with the digging of tunnels and bunkers...
Martyr Shateri was highly respected by Hezbollah the Lebanese people and officials.

The Lebanese newspaper al-Safir reported on Thursday that martyr Shateri was in Aleppo to study some reconstruction projects in parts of the Syrian city.
He was like an archeologist, there to see the ruins...
A ceremony is to be held for martyr Shateri in Iran's Embassy in Beirut later on Thursday.
Coordinates please?

-6 More