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...

  • Book Reviews Opinion Robert Gates’ Memoir is a Jaw-Dropping Read (REVIEW)

    Robert Gates’ Memoir is a Jaw-Dropping Read (REVIEW)

    Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’s memoir follows the classic form, telling the story of his years at the Pentagon during the Bush and Obama administrations. He focuses on what he did and experienced personally as secretary, neither writing a broad policy treatise nor recounting the entire history of the administrations in which he served. In so doing, Gates provides penetrating insights about the inner workings of US national security decision-making. Had I been George W. Bush, I would [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews The Media, Israel, and Anti-Semitism (REVIEW)

    The Media, Israel, and Anti-Semitism (REVIEW)

    Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-Z by Lee Bender and Jerome Verlin (Pavilion Press, Philadelphia, Pa. 2013) Sophocles said, “What people believe prevails over truth,” Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-Z is ideal for the arm chair reader who would like a basic grasp of the terms used in the mainstream media’s presentation of the Arab-Israeli situation as is reported today. This is a book whose time has come. This is a book where the reader gains a [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs William Shatner’s One Man Show Keeps Him in the Limelight (INTERVIEW)

    William Shatner’s One Man Show Keeps Him in the Limelight (INTERVIEW)

    JNS.org – On Thursday, audiences around the country can feel what it is like to be William Shatner, the Jewish actor best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk on “Star Trek.” Shatner’s one-man show “Shatner’s World”—which was on Broadway and toured Canada, Australia, and the United States—will be presented in nearly 700 movie theaters nationwide for one night only on April 24. Sponsored by Fathom Events and Priceline.com (for whom Shatner has famously served as a pitchman), [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    Romirowsky and Joffe’s book Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief is an important volume for those interested in truly understanding the origins of the Palestinian refugee issue. Utilizing a treasure trove of newly released documents, the authors link UNRWA’s (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) origins to the Quakers/American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). For those readers who thought they knew most of the Middle East story, Romirowsky and Joffe’s version provides another twist. The authors meticulously [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    The Israel National soccer team could be facing a World Cup ban, and other soccer sanctions, unless it alleviates travel restrictions and increases field access for Palestinian players and coaches. The head of the Palestinian Football Association is pushing for international soccer’s governing body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), to issue a ban on Israel competing internationally, claiming Israel’s restrictive travel for Palestinians is equivalent to a form of oppression. “It’s not only the athletes,” Jibril Rajoub explains. [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    JNS.org – While the national debate on “Obamacare” rages on past the recent March 31 sign-up deadline, bestselling Jewish author Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the “current disease care model of what we call ‘health care’ cannot possibly be sustained.” “There is simply not enough money available to support a system in which the lion’s share of expenditures is devoted to acute care, with virtually nothing being spent on preventive medicine, i.e. health care,” Fuhrman says in an interview. “To make [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.