8 May 2018 - 23rd Iyyar 5778 - 22 Shaban 1439
כ״ג בְּאִיָּר תשע״ח
This Week in the Middle East is a bi-weekly column edited by Revan Filiaexdeus and published on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We draw our information from a wide network of citizen reporters who are often the very ones fighting these conflicts. Our reporting aims to be as objective and fact-based as possible. The opinions expressed herein belong solely to the author.
A note on terminology: We refuse to use any such terms as "Islamic State", "the Caliphate", "ISIS", or "ISIL" when referring to the terror group. Instead, we use the derogatory term Daesh, an abbreviation from the transliterated Arabic.
Israel has deployed it's air defense system and bomb shelters are being built in the Golan Heights of Israel even as you are reading this. The Israeli Army is asking civilians in the Golan Heights to prepare their bomb shelters. The Israeli Defense Forces says it has identified "unusual movements of Iranian forces in Syria" and are saying: "We are on high alert, and forces are deployed and we are ready for all scenarios."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official statement: "Israel is determined to prevent Iranian entrenchment in Syria. We don't want a confrontation, but if one is needed it is better to have it now rather than later."
The video above shows today's fighting in Yarmouk Camp, a suburb of Damascus, Syria. Damascus and Jerusalem are only separated by a distance of 322 km (200 miles).
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkrot has canceled his keynote address tonight as the IDF is on high alert, due to fears of an Iranian attack.
SAA reinforcements are coming in through Turkey and heavy shelling continues north of Hama.
At 9:45PM local Israeli time, residents near the Golan Heights reported three Israeli rockets being fired from above Quneitra Province heading east. There is also intense activity in the skies.
In other and related news, Syrian Kiyam (meaning "quiet") group claims responsibility of bombing a Kurdish YPG headquarters in Al-Hasakah. The French Defense Minister says that France will strike Syria yet again if Assad continues to use chemical weapons. Four suspected Daesh members were detained by Turkish forces for illegally entering through Syria.
Revan Filiaexdeus is a freelance journalist and social activist who has been following the Syrian Civil War since it's origins in the Arab Spring of 2010. He is passionately dedicated to an objective covering of these events and works with organizations such as syriancivilwarmap.com and southfront.org