Western Officials Confirm Israeli Strike as Syrian Allies Condemn Israel

January 31, 2013 9:40 am 0 comments

Israeli Air Force fighter jets. Photo: Wikipedia

Israeli warplanes carried out a strike on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria American officials told the New York Times, saying that they believed the target was a convoy carrying sophisticated antiaircraft weaponry that was intended for the Hezbollah Shiite terror militia in Lebanon. The American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Israel had notified the United States about the attack beforehand.

On Wednesday Syria confirmed the attack took place but said that the  target struck was a scientific research facility. But a Western official told the Wall Street Journal that the two reports might not be mutually exclusive.

Thursday, Israeli daily Maariv reported that officials close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have said the incident “will not go unpunished,” adding that “all the options of response to Israeli aggression are open.”

The Addiyar Daily Newspaper, published in Lebanon and considered to be  pro-Syrian, reported Thursday that Syrian army units have deployed in guerrilla-size formations in the Golan Heights, and the militaries of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan have gone on heightened alert following the strike.

Israel has remained silent on the incident, keeping with a longstanding policy not to comment on such reports, but several high level officials spoke to Israeli media Wednesday.

“If there indeed was an attack, then it would have been because red lines were crossed and you can’t draw red lines unless you guard them,” former Mossad head Danny Yatom told Army Radio.

Also speaking on Army Radio, Likud MK Tzahi Hanegbi, a former head of the powerful Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that, “Israel has always said that if sophisticated weapons coming from Iran, North Korea and Russia fell into the hands of Hezbollah, it would cross a red line.”

The Saudi Al-Watan newspaper reported Thursday that such instances have already occurred. The report quoted a rebel spokesperson as saying that transfers took place over a 40 day period in February and March 2012. The shipment included at least two tons of mustard gas, along with long range missiles that could reach within 300 kilometers into Israel that were capable of carrying chemical weapons.

Thursday, Russia, which has tried to shield the Syrian regime from international condemnation and threats during its bloody two-year civil war, released a statement through its Foreign Ministry, saying,  “If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked attacks on targets on the territory of a sovereign country, which blatantly violates the UN Charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motives to justify it.”

Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, which has been aiding the Syrian regime on the ground, also came to their defense, saying, “the attack exposes the background to what has been going on in Syria for years, and the criminal intention to destroy Syria and its army, and undermine its central role on the resistance front.”

It urged a “re-examination” by Syrian rebels  of “their stance and to adopt political dialogue as the only basis to a solution meant to end the shedding of Syrian blood, in order to keep Syria and protect its role in the fight against the enemies.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister said Thursday “There is no doubt that this aggression is part of a Western and Zionist,” strategy to “push aside the success of the Syrian people and government to return to stability and security.”

Lebanon’s foreign minister  called on Arab states to “confront Israel in every possible legal way.”

Minister Adnan Mansour said the Israeli strike was “blunt aggression which we strongly condemn.”

The Arab League also responded to the report accusing the international community of encouraging Israel’s actions by keeping silent. The league demanded that Syria be compensated for the damage and loss of lives.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    JNS.org – Many young Jewish artists struggle to define who they are personally, artistically, and religiously. Against the backdrop of that struggle, the recent Asylum Arts International Jewish Artists Retreat provided a space for some 70 young Jewish artists to explore Jewish ideas, to build community and a culture of reciprocity, and to learn skills to assist their career development. “We are trying to encourage and excite people to engage in Jewish themes,” says Rebecca Guber, director of Asylum Arts. [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    JNS.org – Has the era of large-scale biblical epics returned? Not since “The Ten Commandments” has there been so much torrential water on the big screen (not counting weather-related disaster films such as “The Impossible”) than in “Noah,” the latest blockbuster from writer and director Darren Aronofsky. “Noah” takes the traditional tale and splices it in an eco-friendly and psychologically driven plot. After Adam and Eve got booted out of the Garden of Eden and after Cain killed Abel, mankind [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Israel Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    JNS.org – An Israeli-Arab microbiologist and mother of three won the fourth season of Israel’s most popular reality TV show, “MasterChef.” Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, 32, who holds a PhD in microbiology and is from the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, described winning as the “the most exciting moment in her life.” She said she plans to use the prize money to open up an Arab-Jewish cooking school. MasterChef is a popular reality TV show that originated in the U.K. It is [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Theater Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Jewish comedian and writer David Baddiel is seeking public support to help produce a musical based on his film about a British Muslim man who discovers his parents are Jewish. London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East is in development to premiere The Infidel in October, London’s Evening Standard reported on Wednesday. However, the theater needs another £55,000 on top of around £200,000 already raised in order to produce the show. Baddiel, 49, retained the stage rights to the story when he wrote the [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Relationships Love Guru Says Kaballah Practitioners Tend to Have ‘Less Satisfactory’ Relationships

    Love Guru Says Kaballah Practitioners Tend to Have ‘Less Satisfactory’ Relationships

    British relationship expert Andrew Wallas said Kaballah practitioners are likely to be less satisfied in their personal relationships than other couples, Britain’s Daily Mail reported Wednesday. “All the research is that individuals who have an interest in psychology or spirituality or who practice something like Kaballah (the branch of Jewish mysticism popularized by Madonna) are less likely to have satisfactory relationships,” he said. “A lifetime spent doing self-improvement workshops can just be a case of someone running away from reality.” [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Meet New York’s 6’7″ Jew Who Will Rap for You (VIDEO)

    Meet New York’s 6’7″ Jew Who Will Rap for You (VIDEO)

    He’s a 6’7″ Jewish freestyle rapper who roams the streets of New York delivering his rhymes to unsuspecting passersby. Te’Devan, who calls himself the “6’7″ Jew who will rap for you” was recently profiled by the Gothamist blog. In a video posted Monday on YouTube, as part of the website’s No Your City eight-part series created by Nicolas Heller, Te’Devan is seen rapping about “not trying to conform to the status quo” and his mission to “be what I’m supposed to be.” [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.