Time: Israel and US could launch more airstrikes into Syria


A Free Syrian Army fighter walks in front of a building destroyed during clashes in the Haresta neighborhood of Damascus on 1 February 2013. (Photo: Reuters – Mohammed Abdullah)
Published Saturday, February 2, 2013
Israel hit several targets during its raid in Syria earlier this week, contradicting earlier reports, as sources indicated that the United States and Israel were poised to launch more airstrikes, Time Magazinereported.
An intelligence source quoted by the American publication said that Israel had a “green light” from the United States to carry on more airstrikes in Syria. Washington is also allegedly preparing itself for air raids in Aleppo.
The alleged goal of the airstrikes was to destroy unconventional weapons to prevent them from falling into the hands of “extremists.”
A US official told reporters Friday that the raid had only targeted a military research center in the suburbs of Damascus.
However, Western intelligence officials told Time that Israel had attacked three or four locations in Syria on Tuesday, without going into further detail. Only two of these targets – the research center and a Syrian convoy allegedly headed towards Lebanon – were made public immediately after the attack.
Syrian rebels and opposition leaders criticized President Bashar al-Assad’s lack of response to the airstrike.
“Assad never once in his life stood up to Israel,” said Kamal Labwani, a prominent Syrian dissident and member of the Syrian National Coalition, an umbrella group of those trying to oust Assad. “All he ever did is ‘reserve the right to retaliate’ but he never retaliated against anyone other than the Syrian people and the Free Syrian Army.”
That was a day after Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul-Karim Ali, said Damascus “has the option and the capacity to surprise in retaliation,” but that it was up to the relevant authorities to choose the time and place.
Israel has occupied Syria’s Golan Heights since 1967. But the two countries have not gone to war since 1973 and have kept their border relatively calm for decades.
In 2003 and again in 2007, Israeli warplanes struck targets in Syria. And in 2006, Israeli jets flew over Assad’s palace in a show of force after Syrian-backed militants captured an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip.
Syrian vowed to retaliate for the attacks but never did.
(Al-Akhbar, AP)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *