Sunday, August 10, 2008

GEORGIA AND ISRAEL

Map from: peakoiloptimist.blogspot.com/2005_05_01_archi...

According to DEBKAfile, 8 August 2008, - Israel backs Georgia in the Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle .

DEBKAfile makes the following points:

1. On 8 August 2008, the Georgian army captured the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali.

The Georgian tanks and infantry were aided by Israeli military advisers.

2. The Russians are backing the separatists of S. Ossetia and neighboring Abkhazia. The USA is strengthening its influence in Georgia and its 4.5 million inhabitants.

Much of the conflict is about control of the pipelines taking oil and gas from the Caspian region.

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, together with Western oil companies, including Israeli firms, wants to see oil from Azerbaijan and gas from Turkmenistan, going through Georgia, and Turkey. This means not using Russian pipelines.

3. Israel is negotiating with Turkey, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Azarbaijan for pipelines to reach Turkey and then Israel’s oil terminal at Ashkelon and then its Red Sea port of Eilat.

From there, tankers can carry the gas and oil to the Far East through the Indian Ocean.

4. In 2007, Georgia hired up to 1,000 Israeli miliary advisers, from private security firms, to train the Georgian military.

Georgia also bought weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel.



Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticised Georgia's Western allies, which include Israel. ( Jerusalem Post, 10 August 2008: Israel concerned about Georgia conflict )

According to The New York Times, Lavrov said: "Those who have been supplying arms to Georgia, they should feel part of the blame for the loss of life."

He was also quoted as saying that foreign leaders "who have been appeasing Mr. [Georgian President Mikhail] Saakashvili's intentions, and helped create the feeling of impunity inside the Georgian [leader], should think twice about whether this is right."

Israeli officials said Lavrov's comments were aimed at the US, Ukraine and Israel, which all have supplied Georgia with arms.



Ma'ariv, in an investigative report on 8 August 2008 (Israel concerned about Georgia conflict), said Israeli companies had sold some $300 million worth of military equipment to Georgia.

In April 2008, an Israeli-manufactured drone was shot down by the Russians.

In May 2008 a drone, and an Israeli rocket system called Lynx, were on display at a Georgian military parade.

According to The Ma'ariv report:

1. Former government minister and Tel Aviv mayor Roni Milo was heavily involved in arms sales to Georgia, as a representative of Elbit and the Israeli Military Industries.

2. Brig.-Gen (res.) Gal Hirsch, who left the IDF after coming under criticism following the Second Lebanon War, was heavily involved in Georgia in providing training for infantry and elite units.

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In recent years, Georgia has become a popular destination for Israeli 'trekkers'.

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