Alleged IDF bombing of targets in Syria.
(photo credit: ARAB SOCIAL MEDIA)
Syrian opposition sources told Arab media on Monday that the airstrikes near Damascus that were alleged to have been carried out by Israeli warplanes destroyed a storage facility housing anti-aircraft missiles as well as drones belonging to Hezbollah.
While the Lebanese Shi’ite group has yet to officially comment on the attack, Channel 2 is citing a report in the Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar which said that “the Israeli action was intended to preserve the rules of the game.”
The newspaper claimed that the IAF struck weapons caches “that belonged to Hezbollah.” These arms are considered to be “capable of tilting the strategic balance,” namely threaten Israel’s ability to act freely in the skies above Lebanon.
The IAF has struck Syria several times since the start of the three-year conflict, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for their longtime foe Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.
Last week, the Lebanese Daily Star
reported the army said it had fired anti-aircraft guns at an IDF drone flying low over the eastern part of the country.
“The Israeli enemy committed aggression against Syria by targeting two safe areas in Damascus province, in all of Dimas and near the Damascus International Airport,” state television said, adding that there were no casualties.
An IDF spokesman said he would not comment on “foreign reports.”
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At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was following developments in the Middle East with great interest, because “a great deal is happening.”
“We will remain constantly with our hand on the pulse, and we will deal with these threats and challenges because they do not take a time-out,” Netanyahu said.
“We will deal with them with the same degree of responsibility that we have done up until now.”
Prof. Eyal Zisser, an expert on Syria from the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, told The Jerusalem Post
on Sunday, “Israel’s policy is clear. It does not interfere in the war and has no interest to attack [Syrian President] Bashar Assad and its army, or to topple the regime.”
However, he said that “Israel took advantage several times in the past of Assad’s weakness and acted against arms shipments on their way from Syria to Hezbollah.”
In the past, no one had any interest in opening up another front and everyone acted to contain the fallout, said Zisser, adding: “Let’s hope that will happen this time.”Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.
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