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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Israel mulling strike against Syrian arms depots

The Washington Post reports that Israel is mulling a strike against Syrian weapons depots that are used to supply Hezbullah with arms and ammunition.
Thus far, there has been no strike because Israel fears that it would result in a widespread conflagration. Israel has complained to the United Nations about long-range missiles and shorter-range rockets that are flowing freely from camps inside Syria to a transit site along the Syrian border with Lebanon and on to Hezbollah. But Israel has so far hesitated to take military action out of concern that such a strike could touch off a conflict even bloodier than the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, said an Israeli military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.


Israeli surveillance tracks the nighttime missile shipments as Syrian personnel escort them from clandestine bases in Syria to the Lebanese border. At the swap area, the weapons are transferred to Lebanese trucks and driven into southern Lebanon and to Beirut, the Israeli military official said.

Asked about the likelihood of Israel striking at the border transfer area or one of the camps inside Syria, the military official said, "This is definitely one of the options Israel has. Of course any attack like this could lead to an escalation."

Persuading Syria to break its alliance with Hezbollah's chief patron, Iran, would be a key step toward ending the shipments.

But it is in Lebanon that Syria's regional resurgence has been felt most profoundly.

Abdul Hadi Mahfouz, a Lebanese government official and writer, says Syria is more effectively managing Lebanese affairs from afar than when it had 15,000 troops inside the country.
I suspect Israel will go after Hezbullah first and then go after Syria later. Syria cannot be left alone this time as was done in 2006 (when it was also a mistake to leave Syria alone). But Israel will try to go after only one enemy at a time, and hope that Syria will not come to Hezbullah's defense.

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At 2:28 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Surely that will be a signal to Syria and Iran to pile in and attack Israel? Israel must not "hope" anything about Syria!!


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