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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Israel Launches Airstrikes Into Syria

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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
Replies (21-30):
smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM



Quoting OHgirlinCA:

I wonder how long it will be until we're dragged into this mess :(

There have been politicians building towards some sort of action against Syria for months. It's not really a question of if at this point but when. 


quickbooksworm
by Silver Member on May. 4, 2013 at 3:32 PM
3 moms liked this

We need to stay the hell out of this.  We aren't the police of the world.  If the UN tells us to go in, fine, otherwise let them fight it out like they have been doing since the beginning of time.

OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2013 at 3:40 PM
I agree...

Quoting smalltowngal:




Quoting OHgirlinCA:

I wonder how long it will be until we're dragged into this mess :(

There have been politicians building towards some sort of action against Syria for months. It's not really a question of if at this point but when. 



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Sisteract
by Whoopie on May. 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Think about where Israel gets lots of its funding-

Quoting katinahat:

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






Sisteract
by Whoopie on May. 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Monetarily, cough, we've been in it for many decades.

Quoting OHgirlinCA:

I wonder how long it will be until we're dragged into this mess :(


blondekosmic15
by on May. 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

 

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.

     good

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."

 

blondekosmic15
by on May. 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM

 

Quoting katinahat:

...you do realize that the missile was hitting other missiles, right? So one missile (with marginal possibility of collateral damage) destroyed multiple missiles (which together could cause a greater amount of collateral damage). Israel's trying to prevent/stop violence, not start it.

Exactly.....

Quoting cjsbmom:

Yes, it's wrong to sympathize and worry that innocent women and children might have been hit by that missle. Oh, I'm such a horrible human being. 

Quoting 12hellokitty:

More misguided sympathy

 

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



 

 


 

 

 

blondekosmic15
by on May. 4, 2013 at 4:51 PM

 

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on May. 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Just because that was the intended target doesn't mean it actually hit its intended target. Accidents happen all the time. 

Quoting katinahat:

...you do realize that the missile was hitting other missiles, right? So one missile (with marginal possibility of collateral damage) destroyed multiple missiles (which together could cause a greater amount of collateral damage). Israel's trying to prevent/stop violence, not start it.

Quoting cjsbmom:

Yes, it's wrong to sympathize and worry that innocent women and children might have been hit by that missle. Oh, I'm such a horrible human being. 

Quoting 12hellokitty:

More misguided sympathy


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









OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2013 at 5:16 PM
That is very true!

Quoting Sisteract:

Monetarily, cough, we've been in it for many decades.

Quoting OHgirlinCA:

I wonder how long it will be until we're dragged into this mess :(


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