US officials: Israelis targeted weapons convoy, chem weapons facility was collateral damage
US officials confirm that an Israeli air strike last week targeted a convoy moving sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles from Syria to Hezbullah in Iran. The officials say that the damage to a Syrian chemical weapons storage facility was collateral damage
and that the facility was not a target of the attack.
Syrian television showed images of broken glass and other damage at the
Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, which is suspected of
involvement in developing missiles to carry chemical weapons. But the
video contained no evidence of a crater or the type of damage that would
have been expected from a direct bombing.
“The main target was a shipment of weapons in a convoy, potentially
headed to the wrong kinds of people,” said one senior U.S. military
official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the
sensitivity of the incident.
The two U.S. officials suggested that
the research center north of Damascus was damaged by secondary
explosions from munitions in the convoy that was the target Wednesday.
The Syrian government has said the research center was the primary
Other Western officials and a senior Lebanese official
have said that the convoy contained antiaircraft batteries that were
destined for Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. The Syrian television footage
showed the wreckage of what appeared to be a mobile launcher of the type
used to fire SA17 antiaircraft missiles, which are known to be part of
Of course, the choice of location to strike that weapons convoy may not have been accidental. Damage to the chemical weapons facility is clearly a bonus for
Israel whoever did it
Labels: anti-aircraft missiles, chemical weapons, Hezbullah, Syria