Iranian Atomic Urgency
• According to the Times of London, the IDF brass have concluded that “a conventional assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities might fail after evidence emerged that Tehran has hidden far more of its uranium enrichment capacity beneath a mountain than previously suspected.”
Western defence experts say much of Iran’s Fordow enrichment site near the city of Qom is now deep underground in a “zone of immunity” safe from conventional airstrikes.
They claim this narrows Israel’s response to two options: the deployment of special forces in a ground attack, or the use of ballistic missiles carrying small tactical nuclear warheads.
The Times article is behind a paywall, but the Jerusalem Post elaborates.
• Jerusalem Post: The IDF fired warning shots into Syria after more shells landed in the Golan. In light of Syria’s civil war spilling over to the Golan Heights, the army changed its rules of engagement along the border.
• Humanitarian aid organizations raised alarm bells as 11,000 refugees fled Syria on Friday alone. The LA Times writes:
The Friday deluge is more than triple the usual numbers of 2,000 to 3,000 people escaping daily, agency spokeswoman Sybella Wilkes said . . .
As winter draws nearer, the refugee agency and other aid organizations are alarmed to have received only 35% of the money needed to help Syrian refugees scattered across the region. The total budget they had planned comes to nearly $488 million.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• For the latest assessments of he second-term Obama administration’s impact on the Mideast, see Ambassador Michael Oren, Dore Gold, Tom Friedman, and David Ignatius. And Christiane Amanpour interviewed with Danny Ayalon at CNN.
• Worth reading: Israeli-Turkish Relations on Trial
Turkish anger with Israel may not have run its course, but it does seem to have lost its edge. An important explanation is that the whole Middle East has been transformed since the Mavi Marmara incident. Back in the spring of 2010, the conventional wisdom here was that Israel would pay the greater price for offending so important an ally. In the intervening two and a half years, Turkey, too, has been losing friends.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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