In his first public comments since an Israeli airstrike against Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday his nation would not hesitate to strike at its enemies wherever they were. \nSharon's threat came two days after Israeli warplanes bombed a suspected Islamic Jihad training base outside the Syrian capital of Damascus in the first major Israeli attack on Syrian soil in three decades. That bombing came in retaliation for an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing Saturday that killed 19 people in a restaurant in the northern city of Haifa. \n"Israel will not be deterred from protecting its citizens and will strike its enemies in every place and in every way," Sharon said at a memorial service for Israeli soldiers killed during the 1973 Middle East war. \nThe attack on the reported militant base led to widespread international condemnation and fears that the three-year Palestinian uprising could widen to include other neighboring countries. After the attack, Israel accused Syria of harboring and funding Islamic Jihad and also named Iran as a key backer of the militant group. \nHowever, Sharon also said he was open to peace overtures. \n"We will not miss any openings or opportunities to reach an arrangement with our neighbors and comprehensive peace," he said. "Only with this combination can we be sure that this generation will see with its own eyes the end of this war and will reach the gates of peace." \nThe attack on Syria led to an escalation of tensions along the border between Israel and Lebanon, where Syria is the main power-broker. \nEarly yesterday, a Lebanese boy was killed in an explosion in a village near the border with Israel. Hours earlier, an Israeli soldier was killed in a cross-border shooting. \nIsrael's Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said yesterday that the security Cabinet decided at a meeting on Aug. 19 -- following a Hamas bus bombing that killed 23 people -- to target an Islamic Jihad training camp near Damascus, but postponed the air raid for operational reasons. \nAfter the Haifa suicide bombing Saturday, the army said it was possible to carry out the operation near Damascus, and a group of senior Cabinet ministers approved the air raid, Olmert said. \nIsraeli warplanes bombed the training camp -- which apparently has been abandoned for some time -- early Sunday. \n"We have no limitations regarding the targets and the goals so long as they are, in the end, connected to the terrorist acts," Olmert told Israel Radio.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient