Israel informed US of planned Syria air strike

Israeli jets carried out an attack on a suspected weapons convoy early on Wednesday
By Massoud A. Derhally
Thu 31 Jan 2013 11:46 AM

Israel informed the United States ahead of a planned air strike on Syria in the early hours of Wednesday, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified American officials.

US officials said Israel carried out the attack to prevent any suspected weapons from reaching Hezbollah, Syria's ally in Lebanon, whom it fought a month-long war with in 2006.

Israeli planes, which breach Lebanese airspace in contravention of UN resolutions on a daily basis, were reported by the Lebanese state news agency and army to have flown over the country during the timing of the attack on Syria.

The trucks in the convey that were targeted yesterday near the border region between Syria and Lebanon were believed to have been carrying sophisticated SA-17 anti-aircraft weapons that have a 25km range, the newspaper cited an American official as saying. Sticking to its policy of ambiguity, Israel has remained tight-lipped about the operation.  

Israel has publicly said its concerned about Assad's regime using his arsenal of chemical weapons, transporting them to Hezbollah in Lebanon or the government losing its grip on power and rebels seizing the arms cache.

In September 2007, Israel attacked a site in Syria alleged to have been part of a covert nuclear programme which North Korea was assisting Damascus with. Syria has denied those allegations and said any traces of uranium at the site came from Israeli missiles that hit the area.

In 1981, a squadron of Israel warplanes destroyed a nuclear reactor in Iraq.

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