In sharp contrast to Israel’s committed secrecy regarding military operations, an official from the Israeli government contacted the New York Times on Wednesday to warn of another possible strike on Syria.
The Times described the official as “briefed by high-level officials on the Syria situation in the past two days” who said that Israel is “considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamic militants.”
From The Times:
“Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. The transfer of such weapons to Hezbollah will destabilize and endanger the entire region. If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies,” the official said, “he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate.”
Mark Lander of the Times notes that “The precise motives for Israel’s warning were uncertain.”
Israel still hasn’t officially taken credit for previous airstrikes, including one in January that targeted a major military research facility outside of Damascus and two earlier this month that targeted a warehouse near Damascus International Airport and the Syrian military’s fortress on Qasioun Mountain.
Following the most recent strikes, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told Agence-France Press that Syria ” will respond immediately and harshly to any additional attack by Israel.”
Furthermore, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was quoted as saying that he would turn the Golan Heights — the contested land between Syria and Israel — into a “resistance front.”
Today the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported on that Iran has convinced Assad to allow Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Assad’s forces, to open a front against Israel in Golan.
The unnamed Israeli official noted to the Times that “Israel will continue its policy of interdicting attempts to strengthen Hezbollah, but will not intercede in the Syrian civil war as long as Assad desists from direct or indirect attacks against Israel.”
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