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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Israel Launches Airstrikes Into Syria

Posted by on May. 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM
  • 106 Replies

 

US officials: Israelis launch airstrikes into Syria

Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes against targets inside Syria on Friday, as the United States continued to weigh its options for action in the country. However, President Obama said that U.S. troops on the ground was unlikely. NBC's Richard Engel reports.

By Jim Miklaszewski and Andrea Mitchell, NBC News

Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes against targets inside Syria on Friday, U.S. officials told NBC News.

It's believed the primary target was a shipment of weapons headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon, they said. A senior U.S. official said the airstrikes were believed to be related to delivery systems for chemical weapons.

An Israeli spokesman in Washington said that Israel would not comment specifically on the reports but said that "Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, especially to Hezbollah in Lebanon."

It wasn't clear whether the Israelis alerted the U.S. before the attack. White House officials referred all questions to the Israelis.

Syrian government sources denied having information of a strike. Bashar Ja'afari, the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, told Reuters: "I'm not aware of any attack right now."

But Qassim Saadedine, a commander and spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army, told the news agency: "Our information indicates there was an Israeli strike on a convoy that was transferring missiles to Hezbollah. We have still not confirmed the location."

NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports on the breaking news that Israel has launched airstrikes inside Syria, hitting at least one military target.

Rebel units were in disagreement about what type of weapons were in the convoy, Reuters reported. A rebel from an information-gathering unit in Damascus that calls itself "The Syrian Islamic Masts Intelligence" said the convoy carried anti-aircraft missiles.

The rebel, who asked not to be named, added: "There were three strikes by Israeli F-16 jets that damaged a convoy carrying anti-aircraft missiles heading to the Shi'ite Lebanese party (Hezbollah) along the Damascus-Beirut military road. "One strike hit a site near the (Syrian) Fourth Armoured Division in al-Saboura but we have been unable to determine what is in that location".

However Saadedine told Reuters he did not think the weapons were anti-aircraft. "We have nothing confirmed yet but we are assuming that it is some type of long-range missile that would be capable of carrying chemical materials," he said.

This would be the second time this year Israel conducted airstrikes inside Syria. In January, Israeli fighter jets attacked a convoy of sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles believed on their way to Hezbollah.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon publicly acknowledged the January airstrike inside Syria in a joint press conference with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Tel Aviv on April 22. Ya'alon said any Syrian delivery of sophisticated weapons to rogue elements like Hezbollah would be a "red line" for Israel and "when they crossed this red line, we operated. We acted."

Syria is in the middle of a civil war pitting rebels against the regime of President Bashir Assad. Tens of thousands have already died, and the possible use of the nation's stockpile of chemical weapons has been of grave concern to the U.S. and other nations.

Last week, the White House said there was evidence that Syria's government may have used chemical weapons against its own people. But President Barack Obama has cautioned against rushing to action against Assad's government, saying that the U.S. required more evidence before getting involved in the civil war there.

The U.S. has long believed that Syria was stockpiling chemical weapons. Intelligence reports indicate that it has sarin and the nerve agent tabun along with traditional chemicals like mustard gas and hydrogen cyanide. A 2011 CIA report said Syria was also developing the potent nerve agent VX, which could render a city uninhabitable for days.

Syria has said that it hasn't used and will not use chemical weapons.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah's leader warned the rebels that his militia was ready to intervene on Assad's side in Syria's civil war. There have been concerns that Syrian SCUD missiles that might be capable of carrying chemical weapons could be transferred to Hezbollah.

NBC News' Robert Windrem and Kristen Welker, and Reuters contributed to this report.


by on May. 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Peanutx3
by Ruby Member on May. 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM
1 mom liked this
Not good
cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on May. 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Is it just me, or does Israel seem to have an itchy trigger finger lately?

Quoting Peanutx3:

Not good


Peanutx3
by Ruby Member on May. 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM
1 mom liked this
No it's not just you. I think they do too.

Quoting cjsbmom:

Is it just me, or does Israel seem to have an itchy trigger finger lately?

Quoting Peanutx3:

Not good


cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on May. 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

It seems like they act without fully analyzing situations as well. They aren't even sure those weapons were going to Hezbollah. But they fired a missle into another country anyway? That's nuts. If the U.S. pulled that, we'd get all kinds of hell. 

Quoting Peanutx3:

No it's not just you. I think they do too.

Quoting cjsbmom:

Is it just me, or does Israel seem to have an itchy trigger finger lately?

Quoting Peanutx3:

Not good




candlegal
by Judy on May. 4, 2013 at 12:40 PM
7 moms liked this

Glad someone has what it takes to try to stop this.  By the time Obama decides to do anything, it will be too late.


Quote:


"Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, especially to Hezbollah in Lebanon."

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on May. 4, 2013 at 12:41 PM
3 moms liked this

It's not Obama's job to attack another foreign country when we're still knee-deep in Iraq and Afghanistan. This should be a UN decision. 

Quoting candlegal:

Glad someone has what it takes to try to stop this.  By the time Obama decides to do anything, it will be too late.


Quote:


"Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, especially to Hezbollah in Lebanon."


katinahat
by Member on May. 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM
9 moms liked this

Look at what happened back in 2006 with the war, then 2012 with the Hezbollah drone...I mean, look at this list of Hezbollah's rocket attacks on Israel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Lebanese_rocket_attacks_on_Israel
That's not even counting Hezbollah's attacks from inside Gaza. I don't blame Israel for getting tired of having rockets fired at them. They're being proactive and destroying the rockets before they can be used against them.
We certainly don't need to get involved, but if Israel wants to war against those folks, it's within their right to do so. 

Quoting cjsbmom:

It seems like they act without fully analyzing situations as well. They aren't even sure those weapons were going to Hezbollah. But they fired a missle into another country anyway? That's nuts. If the U.S. pulled that, we'd get all kinds of hell. 

Quoting Peanutx3:

No it's not just you. I think they do too.

Quoting cjsbmom:

Is it just me, or does Israel seem to have an itchy trigger finger lately?

Quoting Peanutx3:

Not good





____________________________________________________________

Christian, vaccinating, fun-loving, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, positive disciplining, nerdy, extended rear-facing, bookworm, creative, homeschooling, outdoorsy, autodidactic, friendly family.

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." -- Mother Teresa

http://merrrfamily.blogspot.com/

finnbar
by Silver Member on May. 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM
3 moms liked this
I think the Israelis are smart: an ounce of provention is worth a pound of cure
Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on May. 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Why am I  not surprised? Pretty sad...

candlegal
by Judy on May. 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM
1 mom liked this

you betcha.   I agree

Quoting finnbar:

I think the Israelis are smart: an ounce of provention is worth a pound of cure


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