Posted by Joshua on Friday, October 5th, 2007
In attacking Dair el Zor in Syria on Sept. 6, the Israeli air force wasn't targeting a nuclear site but rather one of the main arms depots in the country.
Dair el Zor houses a huge underground base where the Syrian army stores the long and medium-range missiles it mostly buys from Iran and North Korea. The attack by the Israeli air force coincided with the arrival of a stock of parts for Syria's 200 Scud B and 60 Scud C weapons.
The parts were shipped from North Korea aboard a container ship flying the Panamanian flag. The U.S. Navy wanted to board the ship in Morocco's territorial waters but Rabat vetoed the operation. The parts were loaded aboard six trucks in the Syrian port of Tartus on Sept. 3 and took three days to reach Dair el Zor. The trucks and their loads were destroyed the moment they arrived at the underground base. A unit of military police that escorted the convoy was also wiped out in the attack.
Damascus immediately appealed to several Palestinian groups with strong ties to Syria to retaliate. But Hamas, whose strategy chief Khaled Meshal lives in exile in Syria, refused to act. That was also the case of Hezbollah, which sent its political adviser, Hussein Khalil, to Damascus to signify the movement's reluctance to strike back at Israel.
Khalil, who met with the head of Syrian military intelligence, gen. Assef Chawkat, as well as the official in charge of Lebanese affairs in the president's office, gen. Mohamed Nassif, claimed that Israel would launch a new invasion of southern Lebanon if Hezbollah began firing at Israeli targets.
Comment by JL: This sounds a lot more likely than earlier reports, but still fishy because it has too much intelligence, with no indication of where it came from.
Addendum: Here is why Alex skeptical: