Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What the Israeli air strike in Syria was about: Yet another theory

The Israeli air incursion or strike in Syria has provoked wide speculation. The only real fact reported thus far is that the Turks found empty fuel tanks jettisoned by one or more aircraft. Jerusalem Post, following CNN, reported that Israel had attacked "Iranian targets" in Syria and added ground troops to the story.  A New York Times report fleshes out that story, but also offers delicious hints about nuclear targets in Syria.
A Defense Department official said Israeli jets had struck at least one target in northeastern Syria last Thursday, but the official said it was still unclear exactly what the jets hit and the extent of the bombing damage.....

Officials in Washington said that the most likely targets of the raid were weapons caches that Israel's government believes Iran has been sending the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah through Syria. Iran and Syria are Hezbollah's primary benefactors, and American intelligence officials say a steady flow of munitions from Iran runs through Syria and into Lebanon....

One Bush administration official said Israel had recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea. The administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria.

"The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left," the official said. He said it was unclear whether the Israeli strike had produced any evidence that might validate that belief.

Both theories have the same drawback. If Israel had evidence of a nuclear installation, or if Israel was hitting Iranian arms supplies, one would think the Israeli government would be very happy to supply reconnaisance photos to justify the incursion. Proof of Syrian/Iranian arms supplies to Hezbollah would not be good for Syria, nor would proof that they are developing a clandestine nuclear program.  
Ami Isseroff

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