Posted by Joshua on Tuesday, September 11th, 2007
CCN is confirming that Israel carried out an air strike against Syria.
Israeli aircraft carried out an airstrike inside Syria last week, possibly targeting weapons that were destined for Hezbollah militants, according to sources in the region and in the United States.
Israeli soldiers deployed in the Golan Heights look toward Syria on September 7.
Syria reported that its aircraft fired on Israeli "enemy aircraft" that flew into northern Syria early Thursday. The Israel Defense Forces had no comment on the report, and have refused to comment further on the new revelations.
But the sources told CNN the military operation, which happened Wednesday into Thursday, may have also involved Israeli ground forces who directed the airstrike which "left a big hole in the desert" in Syria.
The strike may have targeted Hezbollah weapons coming into Syria or transiting through the country from Iran — a pattern over the past three or four years which has occurred without any retaliation or action taken against it — the sources said.
The Israeli government is very happy with the success of the operation, the sources said.
Sources in the U.S. government and military confirmed to CNN's Barbara Starr that the airstrike did happen, and that they are happy to have Israel carry the message to both Syria and Iran that they can get in and out and strike when necessary.
Right now, diplomats are rushing around the region trying to ensure the incident does not escalate
Syria and Israel flirt with war," By Sami Moubayed in Asia Times, Sep 12, 2007
DAMASCUS – During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Israel developed a regular habit of violating Syrian airspace to deter the Syrians from supporting the Egyptian army. The Syrians did not have radar at the time, so air force commander Wadih al-Muqabari developed a scheme
….Coming together under the banner of a "peace delegation to Syria", the group has recently returned from a trip to the Syrian embassy in Amman, Jordan, where they applied for entry visas, in the hope of becoming the first Israelis to set foot legally on Syrian soil. Sitting in a local cafe and swigging from bottles of malt beer, the foursome grew more and more animated as they enthused about their mission for rapprochement between the "ordinary folk" on both sides of the divide….
Another member of the group, Ari Libsker, had to overcome resistance from closer to home. "When my father saw us on TV and realised how serious we were, he told me 'you're not my son anymore'," laughed Ari. "But he soon came to terms with it, even comparing me to the legendary Abey Natan."
The Natan comparison is not one that the group take lightly. Natan was an Israeli pilot who made a clandestine flight to Egypt to meet with President Nasser, long before the peace deal between the two countries. His two sorties to Cairo airport met with all kinds of hostility from his fellow countrymen, but he later became viewed as one of the most important peace pioneers of his day. As their eyes blazed with righteous zeal at the thought of becoming modern-day Natans themselves, it was clear that these four trailblazers see their quest as just as essential for peace to occur.
And, given the current state of play on a diplomatic level between the two nations, the timing of their message of conciliation could not be better. "War is being pushed every day in the media," said Nimrod Kramer, "so we want to go as soon as possible – it's the most patriotic thing we can do for our country."
The group are less than enamoured with the Israeli leadership's sabre-rattling of late. "Look at Barak's campaign slogan, that he's the best equipped to lead the country to war," complained Chicky. "We don't need leaders like that; we need them to say they're the best equipped to lead the country to peace." According to Ari: "It should have been a good thing we lost the war last summer, because it forces us to come to the negotiating table rather than rely on military might." However, it appears that the still-smarting IDF top brass are now looking for any excuse to flex their military muscle once more and prove their critics wrong, regardless of whether they are acting with the backing of the public.
"Securing Lebanon from the Threat of Salafist Jihadism." by Saab and Ranstorp, Brookings Institute.
Lebanese ruling elites have a tendency…to play down the threat of Sunni radicalism in their country or to blame its militancy on Syria. But by burying their heads in the sand, Lebanon’s ruling factions are missing an important opportunity to contain the threat of Sunni extremism at a relatively early stage in its development. It is no doubt that salafist jihadism in Lebanon, partly caused by extreme living conditions and fueled by a violent regional environment is gradually but surely growing.