Former National Security Council head says Israel careful not to 'push Assad into a corner'
"Israel can attack many targets in Syria, but according to foreign reports it chooses quality targets, such as the Fateh-110 missile, as well as the SA-17 and Yakhont missiles, which can fall into the hands of extremist elements," former National Security Council chief Giora Eiland explained on Sunday.
The New York Times and CNN quoted foreign sources as saying that Israel was behind the July 5 attack on an arms depot in the Syrian port city of Latakia. According to reports, the strike targeted advanced Russian-made Yakhont missiles.
Eiland said the "range of the attacks is very measured, in a way that is not perceived as an intervention in the civil war." He said the attacks in Syria "are clean in that they do not leave fingerprints and are conducted in a way that does not allow the Syrians to photograph the plane or ship which attacked, and in a way that does not push (President Bashar) Assad into a corner."
The former National Security Council head estimates that Assad may decide to retaliate "in a limited manner" at any moment. "In Syria there are hundreds of rockets and missiles that are pointed at Israel and are controlled by the regime. Some of them can reach the Golan Heights, while others are capable of hitting central Israel," he said.
"Assad can order his forces to launch two surface-to-surface missiles with conventional warheads at northern Israel, and even if such an attack causes zero damage, it will pose a problem because Israel will have to ask itself how it wants to respond."