Israel Carries Out Strikes Against Syrian Chemical Warfare Program

This story is still developing with contradictory reports in the air, but it would appear that Israeli jets struck targets inside Syria. There are report of a strike on a convoy headed from Syria into Lebanon, possibly carrying long range rockets and chemical weapons to Hezbollah, as well as on a military research center in Jamraya possibly linked to the SSRC, the organization that runs Syria’s WMD and long range strike programs.

These two events may be related, as Israel had warned Assad that transferring WMD’s to Hezbollah would be considered a red line. If Assad tried to covertly cross that red line, hoping that Israel wouldn’t know, he miscalculated badly, and that violation led to a further attack against an SSRC facility, possibly as a warning.

Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center in Damascus province at dawn on Wednesday, Syria’s military command said, denying reports that the planes had struck a convoy carrying weapons from Syria to Lebanon.

Two people were killed and five wounded in the attack on the site in Jamraya, which it described as one of a number of “scientific research centers aimed at raising the level of resistance and self-defense.”

The building was destroyed, the military command said in a statement carried by state media.

It said the planes crossed into Syria below the radar level, just north of Mount Hermon, and returned the same way.

Sources told Reuters earlier that Israeli jets had bombed a convoy on Syria’s border with Lebanon on Wednesday, apparently targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah.

“The target was a truck loaded with weapons, heading from Syria to Lebanon,” said one Western diplomat, adding that the consignment seemed unlikely to have included chemical weapons.

A source among rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad said an air strike around dawn (0430 GMT) blasted a convoy on a mountain track about 5 kilometers (3 miles) south of where the main Damascus-Beirut highway crosses the border. Its load probably included high-tech anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles.

“It attacked trucks carrying sophisticated weapons from the regime to Hezbollah,” the source said, adding that it took place inside Syria, though the border is poorly defined in the area.

This is the general shape of the story so far. Syria has a reasonable motive for denying the convoy, because transferring WMDs wouldn’t just cross Israel’s red lines, it might even prompt NATO action. And Assad wants to look like the victim of Zionist oppression.

Obama and European leaders have likely told Israel to stay out of Syria because they don’t want Assad to score PR points in the Muslim world by engaging in a conflict with Israel, not that he is currently in any shape to do so. Israel has likely responded that it will do so, unless the red line is crossed.

The Syrian strike can be seen as a precursor to a strike on Iran as Israel demonstrates that it will take action if a WMD red line is crossed.

Two weeks ago a clear warning was given to American and European leaders that Israel would act, if they didn’t.

The international community should warn Damascus that a Syrian “institute” responsible for transferring weapons to Hizbullah and Hamas “will be demolished” if it continues arming terrorist organizations, Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Nitzan Nuriel, director of the National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau, said on Monday.

Nuriel made the remarks during the Tenth Annual World Summit on Counter-Terrorism held at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), a part of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

Nuriel was referring to Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC or CERS, in French), the Prime Minister’s Office told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

This was a message all the way from the top. Today it was finally delivered.

  • Edward Cline

    Hurray for Israel! Sock it to them!

  • Daryl Davis

    It's quite a bold move on Israel's part in light of the recent warning out of Iran that an attack upon Syria would be an attack upon Iran. If only we could know the truth about how informed President Obama has been to this point — and what might be the tenor of behind-the-scenes discussions between the U.S. and Israel taking place now.

    • patriothere

      iran hasn't responded to all of the terrorist attacks committed by the zionists, what makes you think they would respond now? They don't want war. If they had done to us, what we have done to them over the last 5 years we would have wiped them off the map by now.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "iran hasn't responded to all of the terrorist attacks committed by the zionists,"

        You don't even know what "terror" means. You're one of the weakest trolls I can recall.

        "They don't want war. If they had done to us, what we have done to them over the last 5 years we would have wiped them off the map by now."

        They are the largest source of global terrorism. The real kind of terrorism where people shout "allah is great" and all that nonsense to "scare the infidel." Iran is run by evil men and we are containing them, but we have factions for appeasement. This emboldens them. We never should have tolerated them this long but Reagan was busy with the USSR, Bush got too optimistic, Clinton is another appeaser, and Bush II got distracted by the actual terrorists and didn't get aggressive enough with the root cause of terror. Virtually all terror is Islamic terrorism. Learn what terror means in the context you use it. Or remain a troll. Whatever.

      • EarlyBird

        What "terrorist attacks" has Israel committed against Iran, pray tell? Name them.

        Tell me, what logic permits Iran to be so hell-bent againt Israel? Since '79 the Iranians have commiteed countless acts of terrorism and acts of war either directly or via their proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, against Israeli civilians.

        Iran has committed its entire regime to the destruction of Israel, while having never claimed any cassus belli besides their religious hatred. Period. As IF they have any allegiance to any fellow Muslims. (At least Jordan and Egypt could claim to be part of some land dispute.)

        You're just fine with wars committed in the name of God, right?

        Put down the Chomsy, dude. I've got a lot of complaints with Israel, but I know the Iranians suck very badly. You should too.

      • Mark

        Terrorist attacks? Do you live in a dream world? Would you now tell us the the Iranians are freedom fighters? Hooray for Israel!

      • JacksonPearson

        Moron…who exactly is a "Zionist?"
        Why is Iran shipping missiles to Lebanon, through Syria? Who exactly is Lebanon's enemy and why?

  • κατεργάζομαι

    ~I love the smell of singed & scorched anti-Israelis in the morning!…
    LAMPOON of – Apocalypse Now (1979)

    .. – it complements so well the cup of a good rare Yunnan.


  • EarlyBird

    If this is true, it's awesome. But I don't believe that it means Israel will strike Iran.

    • Flowerknife_us

      Obama was given to March or things were going to happen.

      • EarlyBird

        The frustration Israel has with Obama is that Obama hasn't agreed to help Israel – yet – in a joint strike on Iran. Israel needs US bunker busters, Turkish airbases, and other logistical help in destroying Iran's nuclear program.

        I can understand the IDF taking out missiles close to home, but I don't see how this strike relates to any ability to hit Iran without US help. I think they would have done it prior to the US election if they could have.

  • Larry

    What's the bet some of those stocks came across the border from Iraq a decade ago.

  • Ar'nun

    Read a report that Israel has drone footage of one very large bolistic missile that clearly has an Iraqi flag near the tip.