Airstrikes unleashed in Syria on Sunday are believed to have been executed by the Israeli Air Force, according to the Syrian government and an opposition group. But while the two agree that the Israelis are responsible for the airstrikes, they disagree on whether the Israelis were targeting the Syrian military.
The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency strongly voiced their opinion that the alleged Israeli airstrikes were “a flagrant attack on Syria, targeting two safe areas in (the) Damascus countryside in Dimas and near Damascus International Airport,” reports CNN.
Meanwhile, the London-based opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights expressed their view that the “warplanes believed to be Israeli” hit a “military area” in the Damascus suburb of Dimas. The target hit by the alleged Israeli airstrike at the airport was an import/export warehouse. Whether the warehouse had weapons inside wasn’t known to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however.
Regardless of whether the Israeli Air Force was responsible for the attacks, there were no casualties, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.
But again, there were some discrepancies, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights opposition group saying, “There were at least 10 explosions heard in the area, and it is not known at this moment if there are any injuries as a result of these two raid.”
According to Fox News, the alleged Israeli airstrikes targeted weapons on their way to Hezbollah, with the Islamist militant group expecting to receive the weapons “in the next couple of days.” The source behind this report would not confirm Israeli involvement in the airstrikes, however.
Fox News did learn that the military portion of the Damascus airport was one of the targets of the alleged Israeli airstrikes, and these are the first airstrikes to ever take place in “broad daylight.”
The Syrian army was none too pleased with the alleged Israeli airstrikes, saying they caused “material damage to some facilities.” The Syrian army statement also supported the Syrian Arab News Agency’s assertion that civilians were the target of the airstrikes.
The Syrian army’s statement even went so far as to say that Israel supports terrorists.
“This attack proves Israel’s direct involvement in supporting terrorists in Syria against which the Armed Forces achieved significant victories in Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, and other areas. The General Command asserted that such acts of aggression will not dissuade it from continuing its war on terrorism in all its forms across the entirety of Syria.”
Israel wasn’t forthcoming with an immediate response, which is consistent with Israel’s past choice to decline commenting on what it refers to as “foreign reports.”
Given the ongoing civil war involving Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, the never-ending attacks in and against Israel, and the shared Israeli/Syrian border, cross-border spillovers of the concurrent conflicts seems inevitable.
Following the bombing deaths of four Israeli paratroopers in the Golan Heights in March, Israeli forces targeted Syrian military targets across the border, and followed with airstrikes.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon pulled no punches when making clear the Israelis’ resolve to protect their sovereignty at all costs.
“We will not tolerate any violation of our sovereignty and attacks against our soldiers and civilians, and we will act unwaveringly and with strength against all those that are acting against us, at every time and every place… We see the Assad regime as responsible for what is going on in its territory, and if it continues to cooperate with terror organizations that are trying to attack Israel, we will continue to extract a heavy price from him, in a way which will make him regret his actions.”
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