Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Breaking News: CNN Overflight of Syria by Israeli Jets Was Raid on Iranian Arms Depot

Last week the news was filled with Syrian charges of overflights by Israeli planes that had "dropped munitions" on its territory. Later, fuel tanks apparently jettisoned by the planes were found on the Syrian-Turkish border, triggering a diplomatic protest by Syria. Israel remained silent, refusing to acknowledge the overflights.

We may now know the reason why. CNN reports that the overflight of Syria by Israeli Air Force planes last week actually was part of a raid, involving both air and ground forces, that may have targeted Iranian arms shipments intended for Hezbollah. The ground forces were spotters, who directed the airstrikes by Israeli fighter bombers that "left a big hole" in the Syrian desert.

Reportedly, the United States was very pleased with the Israeli raid. A look at a map accompanying a story about the raid in the Jerusalem Post [see below] shows why. The target site of the raid was close to the Syrian-Iraqi border. Some of the Iranian weapons destroyed by Israel might have found their way arms, had they not been destroyed by Israel, probably would have been used against U.S. troops in Iraq and their allies.

It also appears that Saudi Arabia may not be too upset, although it certainly will issue a public condemnation. Relations between Syria and Saudi Arabia have been strained, and the same CNN article that reports the raid also reports the cancellation of a trip by the Syrian foreign minister to Saudi Arabia.


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