Israeli warplanes launch air strike inside Syria

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Israeli warplanes launch air strike inside Syria

Post by Bryant on Sat May 04, 2013 11:54 pm

Israeli warplanes launch air strike inside Syria
BBC News


sraeli planes have launched a strike inside Syria from Lebanese air space.

Unnamed US-based Israeli officials said the target was a shipment of arms destined for Lebanon's Hezbollah. The governments of Israel and Syria have not yet commented on the strike.

Israel launched a similar strike in January, when it also claimed to have targeted a Hezbollah-bound arms convoy.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama says he does not foresee sending US troops to tackle Syria's civil war.

Western intelligence agencies have raised concerns that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons, something which the US has termed a "red line".

Mr Obama reaffirmed on Friday that clear evidence of chemical weapons would be a "game changer", but that any response would not be rushed.

Analysts say the US and its allies are discussing possible action including air strikes to enforce a no-fly zone, but Syria's ally Russia is strongly opposed to such measures.

Tens of thousands have been killed in two years of unrest in Syria.

On Saturday, activists said government forces had killed a number of people in the coastal town of Baniyas, days after more than 40 people were killed in a nearby village.

The activists said hundreds of people are trying to flee the area.
'Enemy planes'

Reports of the air strike first emerged in US media reports quoting unnamed US officials.

Israeli officials later told journalists that the strike had taken place early on Friday.

While Israel rarely comments on specific operations, it has repeatedly said it would act if it felt Syrian weapons, conventional or chemical, were being transferred to militant groups in the region, especially Hezbollah, says the BBC's Wyre Davies in Jerusalem.

Lebanon's army had said in a statement saying Israeli warplanes had flown over Lebanese airspace for hours on Friday.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman denounced the flights and accused Israel of breaking international law.

The statements from Lebanon did not mention strikes against Syria.

The Syrian ambassador to the UN said he was not aware of any Israeli attack against his country.

Earlier this week, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon acknowledged that Israel had launched an airstrike in January against a target inside Syria.

He said that the transfer of sophisticated weapons to radical militant groups like Hezbollah was a red line, and Israel had acted when it was crossed.
Evidence sought

During a visit to Costa Rica on Friday, Mr Obama told reporters that as a commander-in-chief he could rule nothing out "because circumstances change".

But he added he did not foresee a scenario in which "American boots on the ground in Syria" would be good for either America or Syria.

He also said he had already consulted with Middle Eastern leaders and they agreed with him.

Mr Obama reiterated that there was evidence that chemical weapons had been used in Syria, but that "we don't know when, where or how".

He stressed that if strong evidence was found it would be "a game changer for us" because "there is a possibility that it (weapons) lands in the hands of organisations like Hezbollah" in neighbouring Lebanon.

Earlier this week, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel became the first senior US official to state publicly that Washington was reconsidering its opposition to supplying weapons to rebel forces.

"Arming the rebels - that's an option," he told reporters.

"You look at and rethink all options. It doesn't mean you do or you will. These are options that must be considered with the international community."

With no appetite for direct military intervention, many US officials increasingly feel that arming the rebels is now the least-worst option, the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Washington says.

US allies such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia are already providing weapons to various groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

The pressure to act has intensified in recent days after emerging evidence that Syria has used chemical weapons such as the nerve gas sarin.

More than 70,000 people have been killed since fighting between forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels erupted in March 2011.
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Re: Israeli warplanes launch air strike inside Syria

Post by Bryant on Sat May 04, 2013 11:57 pm

'Israel rockets' hit Damascus military site
BBC News


Syrian state TV says Israeli rockets have hit a research centre on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

Huge explosions have been heard near the Jamraya facility, which Western officials have in the past suggested is involved in chemical weapons research.

The site was the target of a Israeli strike in January.

Earlier, Israeli officials speaking on condition of anonymity said that on Friday Israeli aircraft had attacked a shipment of missiles inside Syria.

The missiles were believed to be destined for Hezbollah militants in neighbouring Lebanon.

The latest attacks come amid reports of massacres in a campaign of sectarian cleansing near the coastal region of central Syria.
Red line

Heavy explosions shook Damascus overnight. Amateur footage posted online claimed to show the blasts near the Jamraya research centre.

Residents told the BBC that military bases in the area had also been hit.

"The new Israeli attack is an attempt to raise the morale of the terrorist groups, which have been reeling from strikes by our noble army," Syrian state TV said, referring to recent offensives by President Bashar al-Assad's forces against rebels.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted eyewitnesses in the area as saying they saw jets in the sky at the time of the explosions.

The activist group monitors human rights violations on both sides of the conflict via a network of contacts across Syria.

There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials on the latest explosions.

"We don't respond to this kind of report," an Israeli army spokeswoman told Reuters news agency.

Earlier, unnamed US-based Israeli officials confirmed Israel had launched an air strike inside Syria on Friday, targeting a consignment of missiles bound for Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Israel has repeatedly said it would act if it felt Syrian weapons were being transferred to militant groups in the region, especially Hezbollah, the BBC's Wyre Davies, in Jerusalem, reports.

Earlier this week, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon acknowledged that Israel had already launched an air strike in January against a Syrian target, identified by previous reports as the Jamraya facility.

Mr Yaalon said that the transfer of sophisticated weapons to radical militant groups like Hezbollah was a red line, and Israel had acted when it was crossed.

US President Barack Obama reaffirmed on Friday that clear evidence of chemical weapons would be a "game changer", but that any response would not be rushed.

However his administration is no longer ruling out supplying weapons to the rebels.
'Horrific reports'

Syrian troops and opposition forces have been fighting around Damascus for months but with neither side gaining the upper hand.

More than 70,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in March 2011.

In a separate development, hundreds of Syrian families have fled the coastal area of central Syria amid reports of massacres.

Activists said at more than 100 people, including women and children, were killed in summary executions in the Sunni village of al-Bayda and the nearby coastal town of Baniyas.

There was fighting in the area before al-Bayda was overrun by government forces and the Alawite shabiha militia on Thursday.

The BBC's Jim Muir reports from neighbouring Lebanon says there was a strong sectarian dimension to the reported actions.

Alawites, who make up about 10% of the Syrian population, have largely stayed loyal to President Assad.

The Syrian government said it had fought back "terrorist groups" and restored security to the area.

The US said it was "appalled by the horrific reports" but that it did not foresee sending US troops to tackle Syria's civil war.
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Re: Israeli warplanes launch air strike inside Syria

Post by Dennis324 on Mon May 06, 2013 10:31 pm

I've been worried that this might happen. Actually I was worried that one of the rebels might attack and try to blame it on Syria, so that Israel will attack them. Looks like that wont be necessary now.

I dont blame Israel for protecting itself, but this might drag us further into the conflict.

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