Wednesday Nov 20, 201910:34 AM GMT
Israel 'has a hand in S. Ossetia war'
Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:9PM
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Israel has provided Georgia with military assistance amid an ongoing armed conflict in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.


The Israeli web site Debkafiles which is believed to have close links with the regime's intelligence and military sources, reported that last year, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had commissioned from Israeli security firms up to 1,000 military advisers to train the country's armed forces.

According to the report, the Israeli advisors also helped Tbilisi with military intelligence and security operations. Georgia also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel.

The report added the Israeli advisers were deeply involved in the Georgian army's preparations to attack and capture the capital of South Ossetia on Friday.

The web site quoted "its military experts" as saying a project to pump Caspian oil and gas to the Turkish terminal of Ceyhan instead of the Russian pipeline network is in the interest of Tel Aviv.

The regime therefore has been negotiating with Turkey, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to go ahead with the construction of pipelines to transfer oil to terminals in Ashkelon and Eilat.

The report added that Moscow had demanded Tel Aviv to halt its military assistance to Georgia and even warned the regime of a diplomatic row.

Israel, however, said that its military cooperation with Georgia had been “defensive.”

Georgia captured the capital of South Ossetia on Friday, triggering a response from Russia which has stationed its peacekeepers in the breakaway region since the 1990s conflicts.

Ties between the two former Soviet republics have been strained over several issues, including Georgia's NATO membership bid.

SB/DA
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