Why Israel bombed Syria, again (+video)
Israeli aircraft bombed a warehouse in Syria Friday that reportedly held Iran-made Fateh-110 missiles bound for Hezbollah. It's the second time in four months that Israeli aircraft have hit targets in Syria.
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“Hezbollah is ready to prevent Syria falling under the control of Tel Aviv and Washington,” said Ibrahim Amin Sayyed, a Hezbollah official, during a ceremony held in Baalbek in memory of one the party’s “martyrs.”Skip to next paragraph
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“This is a strategy and not an intervention in the Syria crisis. It is an intervention in the conflict against America and Israel,” he added.
His comments come just days after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said that Hezbollah fighters were defending Lebanese in Syrian border cities against Syrian opposition forces and hinted that Iran, Russia and “resistance groups” would step in militarily to prevent the fall of Assad.
The Washington Post notes that Hezbollah is concerned about Sunni groups gaining control of Syria. "The Shiite Hezbollah movement is worried that the collapse of the Syrian regime in Damascus and its replacement by one led by the overwhelmingly Sunni opposition will undermine Hezbollah’s dominant role in Lebanon and leave it vulnerable to Israeli attack. The movement has long relied on Syria for the transshipment of arms supplied by its chief ally, Iran, and the fall of Assad would compromise its supply routes."Meanwhile, Syrian opposition forces are claiming that the Israeli attack hit more than just a warehouse storing missiles from Iran.
The Israeli news site, Haaretz reports that rebel forces claim that five sites at the Damascus airport were hit by Israeli jets, including fuel tanks, Syrian ammunition depots, and a cargo aircraft. The Haaretz article hypothesizes that the attack on Hezbollah-bound missiles is a pretext for supporting Syrian opposition forces, when the US and other nations are not prepared to make any overt military intervention.
"In light of the alleged Israeli attack in Damascus and the refusal of Western countries to intervene in the Syrian campaign, the question arises whether Israel will be able, or will be required to expand its activities in Syrian airspace, under the guise of preventing weapons from reaching Hezbollah or other organizations and also as an aerial umbrella to protect rebel forces. Such a solution is likely to be comfortable for the U.S., other Arab countries and Turkey, who are not prepared for military intervention on their part without extensive international agreement.
In this way, Israel is likely to accustom the Syrian government and the opposition to the idea that it sees Syria as a legitimate area of activity, as it does in Lebanon."
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