Israelis attack chemical weapons deliveries for Hezballah

Times of Israel:
An Israeli airstrike on a regime airbase outside Damascus last week targeted a convoy of chemical weapons en route to the Shiite terror group Hezbollah, a Syrian opposition figure said Sunday.

Fahed al-Masri also told Israel Radio that Islamic State, Hezbollah and Iranian militants would continue to advance on the Syrian-Israeli border as long as President Bashar Assad remains in power.

Al-Masri, the spokesman for the National Salvation Front in Syria, told the radio station that his faction was not seeking Israeli military support in its battle to oust Assad, walking back a reportedly unpopular public appeal for IDF assistance last week.

In keeping with its policy of not officially admitting to carrying out strikes deep inside Syria, the army on Sunday declined to comment on the strike or its intended target, though Israel has publicly maintained it will not allow advanced weapons to be transferred to Hezbollah.

In a rare but unspecific acknowledgement, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday admitted that Israel was responsible for “what was done in Syria,” saying recent strikes were designed to keep “advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction” from reaching Hezbollah.

Speaking to European Union ambassadors, the defense minister insisted that Israel was not interested in getting involved in the Syrian civil war, but would act to “defend the safety of our citizens and to protect our sovereignty.”
The story does not indicate whether the Israeli air strike managed to evade the Russian air defense system or whether the strike was green-lighted by the Russians.  I doubt the latter since the thrust of the story is that the Syrian rebels view their cause as one that benefits the Israelis in their dealing with Syria.  If indeed, the Israelis have found a way to evade the Russian system, that is technology and tactics the US needs to understand in the case of a need to attack Iran which is buying the same air defense system.


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