The target of the IAF attack was apparently an arms convoy moving from Syria to Lebanon, but it is still not clear exactly where the strike occurred because of contradicting reports, or whether the SA-17 Missile cache also included chemical weapons.
International media reported Wednesday that Israel launched an overnight air strike on Lebanon’s border with Syria, after carrying out four separate flyover missions in Lebanese air space.
The target of the reported attack was apparently an arms convoy moving from Syria to Lebanon, but it is still not clear precisely where the strike occurred, or whether the cache included chemical weapons. Various diplomatic sources have identified the site of the attack as the Jamraya research center.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials told the New York Times overnight that Israel had informed Washington of its intention to attack.
2:08 P.M. Iran says the attack was “clearly coordinated with the West”.
“This was an attempt to subvert the victories of the government over the rebels in Syria,” says Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Salehi. The attack “reveals” the cooperation between the rebels and the “Zionist regime,” he adds.
Salahi’s deputy warns that the “Israeli bombing in Syria will have grave consequences on Tel Aviv”, Iranian television reports.
12 P.M.: Reports of Israeli attack seem not to have any effect on tourism in northern Galilee and Golan Heights. Heavy snowfall has drawn enthusiasts to Mount Hermon, and more visitors are expected over the weekend.
11:59 European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels react cautiously to reports of the Israeli air strike in Syria.
“I don’t have any additional information,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague tells reporters. “Of course, there are great dangers from the Syrian conflict.”
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle adds: “As long as we don’t have any own knowledge, as long as we don’t have any assured knowledge about what is being reported there, I don’t want to make any statement.”
10:31 A.M.: The Arab League describes the reported Israeli strike as a “flagrant aggression and a glaring violation” of the Arab country’ssovereignty.
“Silence of the international community about Israel’s bombing of Syrian sites in the past encouraged it to carry out the new aggression, taking advantage of political and security deterioration in Syria,” Nabil al-Arabi, the head of the pan-Arab organization says in a statement.
9:36 A.M.: Hezbollah condemns the Israeli attack, which it said targeted a Syrian research center, saying it was an attempt to thwart Arab military capabilities and pledging to stand by its ally President Bashar al-Assad.
“Hezbollah expresses its full solidarity with Syria’s leadership, army and people,” it said in a statement.
8:30 A.M.: Russia says it is very concerned about reports of the Israeli attack and that any such action, if confirmed, would amount to unacceptable military interference in the war-ravaged country.
“If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked attacks on targets on the territory of a sovereign country, which blatantly violates the UN Charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motives to justify it,” the Russian Foreign Ministry says in a statement.
8:08 A.M.: Voice of Lebanon Radio reports that Israeli planes flew over the country overnight, carrying out simulation attacks. A-Nahar newspaper claims that Israel updated NATO and officials in Europe and Beirut regarding the attack on Syria. Al-Akhbar claims that the U.S. was a partner to Israel’s decision to attack, and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu updated U.S. President Barack Obama prior to the planned attack. Lebanese media says the armies in Lebanon and Jordan have raised security alerts. (Jack Khoury)
5:30 A.M. Israel informed the United States of its plans to attack a military target inside Syria prior to launching an airstrike on a military research center outside Damascus, a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity told the New York Times late on Wednesday.
In addition to the strike on the research center, Israeli warplanes bombed a convoy near Syria’s border with Lebanon, sources told Reuters, apparently targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah in what some called a warning to Damascus not to arm the Lebanese faction.
View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/live-blog-israel-s-reported-strike-on-the-syria-lebanon-border-1.500522