by Jim Emerson, staff writer
Israeli warplanes reportedly stuck a convoy of weapons, inside Syria, that was destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. The convoy was carrying Russian manufactured SA-17 missiles to be used by the terrorist organization to target Israeli Aircraft. Israel publicly warned Syria that it would take action to prevent the shipment of weapons to any terrorist group, especially chemical weapons. Israeli intelligence has been monitoring the areas between Syria and Lebanon for any sign of weapons convoys. (1)
The SA-17 (Grizzly) is a mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system and in terrorist hands would curtail Israel’s ability to operate near or in Lebanese airspace against terrorist targets. It would be seen as a “game changer” in the region and a direct threat to Israel. (2) Hezbollah can use the SA-17 to protect its missile launching sites and convoy routes from Syria and protecting terrorists from retaliatory airstrikes.
By providing Hezbollah SA-17 systems, who knows what the Syrians and Iranians will provide to the terrorists to use against the Jewish nation. If the Assad regime could goad Israel into targeting more facilities inside Syria he could rally the population against the Rebels by claiming they are being supported by the Zionists. The Iranians will be more than glad to assist any group planning to attack Israel.
The Syrian military denied the existence of any weapons convoy and claimed that a so-called scientific research facility near Damascus was attacked. The facility at Jamraya is actually a weapon development canter which is frequented by Russian and Iranian advisors. (5)There is conflicting information as to whether the site is used for chemical weapons development and testing, but being so close to the capital it would be unlikely. The denial was most likely a cover story meant for the Syrian population to link the Free Syrian rebels with Israel. To counter Assad regime claims, the rebels stated they attacked the facility. An unnamed U.S. official confirmed that Israel did strike a convoy of trucks and although the exact location is unknown at this time, it is most likely located near the Jamraya research facility, about 10 miles from the Lebanon border.
- 1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/30/israeli-warplane-syria-lebanon-border
- 2. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/30/israel-conducts-airstrike-on-syria-regional-security-forces-say/?test=latestnews
- 3. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323701904578273861863731082.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories
- 4. http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=301670
- 5. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/31/syria-iran-threaten-retaliation-against-israel-over-airstrike/?test=latestnews