Israel Air Strike on Syria Confirmed

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

Dreaming of Damascus, by Seth Freedman, September 11, 2007, guardian.

….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.

Comments (12)

Frank al Irlandi said:

Well I did mention this as a possibility.

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.

Frank al Irlandi said:

Aren’t there reports of Israeli and American Special Forces operating out of Kurdistan?

If they got into a hole they might call for air cover.

September 6th, 2007, 5:22 pm

This is what the hoo haa about Kurdistan is all about.

Keep dredging Tartus.

September 11th, 2007, 6:26 pm


dan said:

Well, if anonymous sources are telling CNN, then it must of course be true, as Israeli and US “officials” never play the disinformation game. I’m sure that CNN’s Damascus correspondent will have some suitably anonymous local source spinning a different line to them in due course….

The only thing that we reliably know at this point is that the IAF were up to something in Syrian airspace and were fired upon.

I wonder if today’s rocket attack on the IDF base was the “payback”?

September 11th, 2007, 6:52 pm


Frank al Irlandi said:

BBC is reporting confirmation from the US

September 11th, 2007, 7:53 pm


Atassi said:

I would agree with Dan, The payback has always been through a proxy elements…

September 11th, 2007, 8:06 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I agree with Dan too.
I think everyone knows the truth,back home,by now

September 11th, 2007, 9:29 pm


daniel said:

Dear Sir,

My sources that go up to the minister, confirmed 3 days ago, that the operation was carried out successfully and that the target was the destruction of nuclear facilities smuggled in from north Korea.

With or without these sources, you should be aware, that in such a tense period, no one in the Israeli government would risk a war with Syria unless it is a real life and death issue to the entire state of Israel.


September 11th, 2007, 9:48 pm


Nur al-Cubicle said:

Actually, now that I think about it, the entire UNIFIL mission is an anti-Hezbollah front. It all makes sense now.

September 11th, 2007, 10:07 pm


SimoHurtta said:

I must wonder what Iranian weapons to be transported to Hizbollah are doing as far from Lebanon as possible and far from logistic centres like airports and harbours. Kurds and Turks hardly allow Iran to transport “Hizbollah weapons” via land. Maybe near the location of the IAF target is a military airbase if it was really Hizbollah weapons. Military airports in Syria (the site has also links to satellite images)

If the raid was really sending a message to Syria one must wonder the Israeli / US way of sending messages. What if all countries would use equal ways of “sending messages”? Would the world approve if Arab nations would send messages to USA by flying over Israel and firing missiles? Certainly many countries would have a reason to send Israel a message about WMD factories etc.

This using Hizbollah, Hamas, Al Qaida as a permanent excuse for all actions is “amusing”. Are the different Palestinian resistance movements and Hizbollah really remote controlled by Iran? Is Israel remote controlling the Kurds or Iranian resistance movements? Having a common enemy is not a sign of total control and of a subordination. The Palestinians groups will attack Israel even if Iran would not allow it. USA will have difficulties in future when Russia and China send equal messages to Georgia, Taiwan etc. using different terrorist / independence movements as an excuse.

September 11th, 2007, 10:18 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

If the fuel tanks fell in the desert , harmlessly, I am sure Syria would show the pictures,the palastinean response indicates that severe damages had occured, possibly hitting military base,this explain why Israel is not commenting, Israel will send reconnaissance plane to assess the damages.the story is bigger than Syria can hide.

September 11th, 2007, 11:23 pm


Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place » Israel Attacked Syrian Missile Complex said:

[…] As I said during the Azmi Bishara case a few months back, things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser regarding Israel’s attack on Syria last Thursday. After hearing Syria claim Israel fired missiles into the ground and Israel look like the cat that swallowed the canary while it stayed mum about the entire affair–Josh Landis notes that CNN is confirming that Israel actually did attack a Syrian military installation–possibly a missile factory or a shipment of missiles. Christiane Amanpour, who reports the story, goes on to make the astounding claim that IDF ground forces may have even been involved: 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. […]

September 12th, 2007, 7:46 am


dan said:


Whilst one could plausibly smuggle nuclear “materials” or nuclear “equipment”, it’s stretching the English language beyond breaking point to talk about smuggling nuclear “facilities”, unless we’re talking about pre-fabricated portakabins or something similar.

Perhaps you could go back to your sources at the ministry and clarify the linguistic confusion – really, we’re just dying to know.

September 12th, 2007, 3:45 pm


Mercurial Georgia said:

Tonight I just saw the Alfred Hitchcock classics, The Birds, in which, birds for ‘no reason at all’, begin attacking a quiet town. There was an old lady versed in the study of birds, at the bar the protagonist stayed in, after the attack at the playground.

The old lady at first, protested against the idea of a bird war, both because birds are too simple to carry out a group attack, and because birds are peaceful delights of nature. Then, when a man talks of shooting all the birds, the old lady points out that the birds vastly outnumbers them.


In the end, the protagonists leave town, one of the last to do so. It was eerie, the birds cover all the ground, and the roof, but did not attack, I think it was because they accomplished the goal of driving the people out.

Alfred Hitchcock had made clear, that the birds finally attack us, as a result of man’s century long mistreatment of birds. From survival (eating) to frivolous things, we pluck their feathers and we keep them in small cages. Till one day the birds…

Israel’s continued provocation of its neighbours (and its decision to steal land and set up camp in there the first place), has always greatly puzzled me. How dumb can they get? The Arabs of Middle East are diverse, some of them might hate Jews, other would get along so fine they may marry, some Arabs Muslims hate each other (example; secular Saddam wasn’t exactly popular with Taliban).

There is a Chinese expression, that the water from a distant relative cannot put out a close by fire. Israel would do well to befriend its neighbour Syria. For when oil in the Middle East runs out, or when oil is no longer important, America will no longer need a puppet in Middle East. Alone without the backing of America, Israel will then be doomed.

September 18th, 2007, 5:52 am


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