Israel strikes sites in Syria, Turkey complains about lack of reaction
Time Magazine reports that Israel carried out both attacks that were attributed to it last week - both the 'military research facility' outside Damascus (which apparently stored chemical weapons) and the weapons convoy that was headed to Hezbullah in Lebanon. And there were two more attacks that have not yet been publicly reported.
A Western intelligence official indicated to TIME that at least one to two additional targets were hit the same night, without offering details. Officials also said that Israel had a “green light” from Washington to launch yet more such strikes.
Hizballah is not Israel’s only concern – or perhaps even the most worrying. Details of the Israeli strikes make clear the risk posed by fundamentalist militants sprinkled among the variegated rebel forces fighting to depose Assad. The jihadists are overwhelmingly home-grown Sunni militants but also include foreigners drawn to the fight from across the Muslim world. Loosely organized into several fighting groups, some fighters embrace the almost nihilist ideology associated with al-Qaeda. But jihadist groups are less vulnerable to the same levers that have proved effective against Syria and other states – such as threats to its territory — or even the frank interests of an organization like Hizballah, which as a political party plays a major role in Lebanon’s government.
“If we succeeded all these years to deter the Syrians and all the other surrounding countries that possess weapons of mass destruction [from making] use of it, it’s because we knew how to deliver the message, that the price would be very high,” Amnon Sofrin, a retired brigadier and former senior Mossad official, told reporters this week. “What kind of threat can you put in the face of a terror organization?”
In other words, it may be easier to attack the problem from the other side — simply destroy the weapons you’re afraid they’ll get their hands on. Among the buildings leveled at the military complex at Jamarya, outside Damascus, were warehouses stocked with equipment necessary for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons, relatively complicated systems typically manned by specially trained forces. The lab facilities dedicated to biological warfare were of special concern, given both the damage that can be done by even small amounts of biological agents, and the interest expressed in such weapons by Osama bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri. No specific armed force was identified as threatening the compound. Intelligence officials said the concern was unconventional weapons “dripping” into control of extremists in the relative chaos of the rebel side.
One Western intelligence official told TIME the U.S. military was poised to carry out similar airstrikes around Aleppo if rebels threaten to take sites associated with weapons of mass destruction in that region.
Sofrin called that logical. “The world should be worried about the possibility that organizations would possess chemical weapons, because we are not the only target in the Middle East,” he told foreign reporters in Jerusalem on Wednesday. “Let’s go back to 1983, the attack in Beirut on the barracks of the U.S. marines. 241 people killed on Lebanese soil, because they were Americans, strangers.”And the US isn't the only one who is standing aside and at least not condemning Israel for doing the West's dirty work.
“I’m not going to give any condemnation of Israel or rush into any criticism,” British foreign secretary William Hauge told the BBC on Thursday. “There may be many things about it that we don’t know, or the Arab League or Russia don’t know.”
Davutoğlu went on to claim that Assad is conspiring with Israel. Yeah.... Right....
Assad isn't attacking Israel because Israel is not threatening his position in power. The rebels are.
What could go wrong?