Though the Free Syrian Army took immediate credit for the attack, it was not the responsible party. A confidential Israeli source informs me that Israeli forces attacked the site. The target were components of Russia’s SA-300 anti-aircraft missile system which had been shipped by Russia to Tartous and stored in Latakia. Israel and exerted tremendous pressure on Vladimir Putin to cancel its contract to supply the missile batteries to Syria, since once they were operational they would render Israeli aircraft more vulnerable to attack. Israel, of course, will countenance no front-line state having even defensive weapons which give it superiority over Israeli weapons systems. In response to Israeli entreaties, Russia’s leader refused to budge and recommitted to providing the weapons to Assad. Apparently, he’d begun to follow through on his promise with these first shipments.
This is Israeli third attack inside Syria since January. It considerably escalates the conflict there since it is the first known attack by Israeli forces which destroyed Russian armaments. Though Putin was surely warned by Israel that this would happen if he went forward with the arms deal, actually attacking Russian munitions is an act to which Putin will not take kindly, to say the least.
Assad bragged publicly a month ago that the SA-300 deliveries had arrived. Turns out he was right. Perhaps he shouldn’t have shot his mouth off.
Israel’s Channel 10 aired a claim by Syria rebels that Israel attacked and Israel journalists tell their viewers that they know things they’re not allowed to tell. A clear indication of Israeli involvement. Haaretz reports that a Syrian army source called the explosion the result of a technical failure, which hardly seems credible.
My source further notes that the FSA coordinated with the IDF and launched a rocket attack on nearby government military installations in order to distract loyalist forces from the real target. But the rebels played no role in the attack on the munitions cache. Their claim of responsibility conveniently takes Israel off the hook (until people read this report) and lessens pressure or condemnation on Israel for its third major attack inside Syria since January.
It’s all the stranger that Haaretz’s Amos Harel, in writing about the incident would write this:
Israel wasn’t mentioned in connection with Thursday’s incident in Latakia. It doesn’t intervene in events in Syria.Apparently, Israelis believe that “intervention” means invading the country with boots on the ground. When it sends its jet planes to bomb Syrian targets inside the country, that’s not considered intervention. This is further evidence of Israeli delusions and self-denial about their level of interference in the affairs of frontline Arab states. Such refusal to acknowledge Israel’s real role allows Israelis to believe falsely they’re innocent bystanders, sometimes even victims (!) in the affairs in the region. More