BEIRUT Israeli warplanes struck areas in and around the Syrian capital Sunday, setting off a series of explosions as they targeted a shipment of highly accurate, Iranian-made guided missiles believed to be bound for Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, officials and activists said.
The attack, the second in three days and the third this year, signaled a sharp escalation of Israel’s involvement in Syria’s bloody civil war. Syrian state media reported that Israeli missiles struck a military and scientific research center near Damascus and caused casualties.
Syria’s government called the attacks against against its territory a “flagrant violation of international law” that has made the Middle East “more dangerous” and warned it has the right “to defend its people by all available means.”
Strong blasts hit the outskirts of Syria’s capital early on Sunday, with reports saying that they were results of Israeli airstrikes on a military research center. Other sources suggest Damascus Airport was hit.
Massive explosions have been heard near Mount Qasioun in Damascus. The area hosts the Jamraya military research center, which came under Israeli attack earlier in January and marked the first incursion by Israel into Syrian airspace in six years.
A senior US official confirmed to NBC News that Israeli Air Force bombed the military research center.
The overnight Israeli strike reportedly targeted Iranian-supplied missiles to Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, a Western intelligence source told Reuters. “In last night’s attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah,” the source said.
Citizens in Syria’s capital woke up early on Sunday to a series of powerful explosions shaking the outskirts of Damascus, sending massive fireballs into the night sky. Preliminary reports that this was an Israeli attack were subsequently confirmed by NBC citing a senior US official who said Israeli jets had bombed a military research center near of Damascus. This would be the second Israeli attack on Syrian territory in the past week, following US media reports that Israel targeted a weapons shipment to the militant group Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon overnight Thursday to Friday, although the Jewish state has refused to confirm or deny the bombing. As RT further reports, during the attack, one Israeli jet was reportedly shot down by Syria’s Air Force, according to Hezbollah’s Manar TV channel, citing security sources in Damascus. This has yet to be confirmed through official channels although if accurate one expects Syrian media to promptly confirm with video evidence.
Video coverage of tonight’s bombing has already appeared on Youtube:
Israel declined to comment on the attack, but the blasts occurred a day after an Israeli official said his country had carried out an air strike targeting a consignment of missiles in Syria intended for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Israeli officials say air force hit a shipment of ‘game changing’ weapons in Syria bound for Hezbollah.
Israeli officials have confirmed that the country’s air force carried out a strike against Syria and say it targeted a shipment of advanced missiles.The officials said on Saturday the shipment was not of chemical arms, but of “game changing” weapons bound for the Lebanese Hezbollah group.
The Syria Tribune released a video in December allegedly showing Syrian rebels killing rabbits with chemical weapons, and threatening to use them against supporters of the Syrian government. (It is impossible at this point to say whether this is genuine or propaganda).
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson – the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell under President George W. Bush – said yesterday that the Syrian chemical weapons could be a “Israeli false flag operation”.
Wilkerson said that he had been told by his sources in the intelligence community that evidence that Syria had used chemical weapons was “really flaky” and that President Barack Obama should think twice before intervening.
“This could have been an Israeli false flag operation,” he said. “You’ve got basically a geo-strategically, geo-political — if you will — inept regime in Tel Aviv right now.”
What we know is that the weapons that this young man is accused of using came through Turkey; they were supplied by NATO, there is no question about this, the group is claimed by the United States…. if you want to accuse him of something he could just as easily have been arrested if he’d failed to shoot at Syrian army helicopters. I have no idea what the crime is here other than it appears that the CIA and FBI don’t know what each of them is doing. Which by the way it’s not the first time that that’s happened.”
An intelligence analyst says the recent FBI arrest of US soldier and alleged CIA agent, Eric Harroun, for joining foreign-backed militants in Syria is a mockery of US operations as it shows the CIA and FBI’s disunity.
Ordinarily this would be Good Friday humor (unless we are very wrong, and it turns out to be Good Friday Global Thermonuclear War) because when one cries wolf a few too many times, this is what happens (from Yonhap):
North Korea announced Saturday that it has entered a state of war against South Korea.
In a special statement, the North said it will deal with every inter-Korean issue in a wartime manner.