Jakarta, 25 Jumadil Akhir 1434/5 May 2013 (MINA) – U.S. officials say Israel has launched an airstrike into Syria, while Israeli officials say they cannot comment on the report.
Late Friday (3/5) that the strike occurred late Thursday or early Friday and likely targeted a suspected weapons site. The reports said there is no indication that Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace, U.S. officials told news agencies, as Turkish Weekly reported monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).
The media reported the officials spoke to reporters anonymously. The U.S. government has made no official remarks on the reports.
Online news source Politico cites U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, as telling the audience at a Republican fundraising dinner Friday that Israel had bombed Syria that day. He did not elaborate.
Israel has declined to address the reports specifically, but says it is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime to terrorists, which so far there hasn’t confirmation yet by the government.
If confirmed, this would be the second time Israel has conducted airstrikes on Syria this year. Israel recently stated that it conducted a January airstrike on a weapons convoy in Syria that was thought to be headed for Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
On 31 January 2013 ago, Israeli fighter jets targeted a military research center near Damascus early on Wednesday morning, the Syrian army said. The statement follows earlier reports of an Israeli airstrike on a convoy with Syrian weapons heading to Lebanon.
The Syrian army’s general command has issued a statement, saying an airstrike was launched by the IAF targeting a military research center in Jamraya, rural Damascus
“Israeli fighter jets violated our air space at dawn today and carried out a direct strike on a scientific research center in charge of raising our level of resistance and self-defense,” the army statement said as cited by SANA.
The strike caused material damage to the center and a nearby building, killing two workers and wounding five others, the statement added. The Israeli warplanes were flying low under the radars and “snuck in from the north of Al-Sheikh Mountain” according to the report. It called the strike a “blatant act of aggression” against Syria and accused Israel of supporting terrorist activity in the country.
Earlier there were reports in the media of an attack by Israeli jets on Wednesday morning striking a target on the Syrian-Lebanese border amid repeated violations of Lebanese airspace. A US government official has confirmed reports that Israeli warplanes targeted a convoy headed from Syria to Lebanon, the Associated Press says.
The Syrian military however has denied this, saying there was no Israeli strike on a convoy of trucks on its border.
However, it was “possible” that the convoy was near the large military site when it came under attack, diplomatic sources told Reuters.
Although it has not yet been confirmed whether an airstrike indeed targeted a military site near Damascus, experts believe that after months of constant rebel attacks on Syrian air defense systems an airstrike would make sense.
“It finally makes sense because the rebels or as they like to call themselves the revolutionaries, they have been attacking air defense bases near Damascus for the past seven months,” Dr Ali Mohamad, editor in chief of the Syria Tribune news website told RT.
“They’ve managed to attack the S-200 base and over four SM-2 and SM-3 bases. Now this followed by an airstrike from Israel. So it all adds up, it makes sense. It only shows that Israel has a great interest in the instability in Syria and that it is being helped by groups of Syrian armed opposition.(T/P03/P04)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)