Israeli planes destroy large Syrian military convoy on its way to Hezbollah

In the first overt outside military intervention in the Syrian civil war, twelve Israel Air Force planes early this morning attacked and destroyed a large Syrian military convoy carrying sophisticated anti-tank and anti-air craft Russian missiles to Hezbollah. The convoy was destroyed inside Syria, before it crossed the border into Lebanon. Israel has warned Syria in no uncertain terms that the transfer of certain classes of sophisticated weapons from the beleaguered Assad regime to Hezbollah would be, for Israel, a red line necessitating military action. Israel has been concerned with what it describes as “balance changing” weapon systems such as anti-air craft, anti-tank, and anti-ship missiles, mid-range surface-to-surface missiles – and chemical weapons.

Twelve Israeli planes early this morning attacked and destroyed a large Syrian military convoy carrying sophisticated anti-tank and anti-air craft Russian missiles to Hezbollah.

The convoy was destroyed inside Syria, before it crossed the border into Lebanon.

Israel, Syria, Hezbollah, and the Lebanese government have remained silent, saying nothing about the attack.

Israel, since 2008 – and with greater emphasis since the anti-Assad rebellion erupted two years ago — has warned Syria in no uncertain terms that the transfer of certain classes of sophisticated weapons from the beleaguered Assad regime to Hezbollah would be, for Israel, a red line necessitating military action.

Israel has been concerned with what it describes as “balance changing” weapon systems such as anti-air craft, anti-tank, and anti-ship missiles, and mid-range surface-to-surface missiles.

In the last year, with the steady weakening of the Assad regime – the regime now controls no more than about 20 percent of Syrian territory — Israel has become even concerned about the transfer of chemical weapons from Syria to Hezbollah.

During the forty years, under the Assad family control of Syria, the country has built the world’s largest chemical weapons arsenal, and has accumulated vast quantities of sophisticated arms, supplied mostly by Russia.

With the end of the Assad regime in sight, Iran, a staunch ally of Syria, has been pressuring the regime to transfer some of its more sophisticated weapon systems to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’a organization.

When the Assad regime leaves the scene, Hezbollah will remain the sole dedicated Iranian agent in the region, and Iran has every interest to continue to strengthen this agent.

Hamas, which used to be a loyal regional agent of Iran, has begun to distance itself from Iran under the pressure of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar, the two major Sunni backers of the Palestinian organization.

The destruction of the Syrian military convoy is part of an emerging Israeli strategy of bolstering what Israel calls its “outer envelope” capabilities.

About Tim McDowell

Colorado ACFEI Member’s Homeland Security Weblog

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