[Updated] World braces as Israel attacks Syria for first time in 5 years

Cyprus, Israel, Syria, LebanonBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Alarm bells were sounding all over the Middle East Wednesday as Syria confirmed it had been attacked by Israeli military jets for the first time since 2007. It remains unclear at this point whether the Israeli airstrikes were meant to disrupt the flow of weapons to neighboring Lebanon, or whether Israel has officially entered the Syrian Civil War. Unnamed United States officials told The New York Times late on Wednesday that the Israel Air Force had entered Syrian airspace and destroyed a single truck transporting a “game-changing” cache of weapons to Lebanon. The cargo, allegedly consisting of Russian SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, is said to have been destined for Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group that controls large parts of southern Lebanon. The alleged attack occurred near Zabadani, a small town on the road that connects Syrian capital Damascus to the Lebanese border. Hours later, however, Syrian state television confirmed the Israeli attack, but said the target was a “military research center aimed at raising the level of resistance and self defense” of the Syrian nation, located near Damascus. Some Israeli media suggest that, if the Syrian government’s claims are accurate, the target of the Israeli attack would seem to have been the so-called Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, also known as CERS. Both The New York Times and Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper report that Israel informed the United States prior to launching the attack, but neither Washington nor Tel Aviv have so far commented on the airstrikes. In the absence of credible corroboration, confusion persists on whether the Israeli action was directed against Hezbollah, or meant to assist the aims of the Syrian opposition –or both. Read more of this post

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