The Home of Atilla

“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Syrians consider reaction to Israel

Posted by Atilla89 on September 17, 2007

As you may have heard, Israeli aircraft have recently flown into Syrian territory to bomb some targets. Most pundits have suggested that they are nuclear but it is still not definite – make your own decisions. Anyway, The Australian has decided to write a report about the situation.

Tensions between Syria and Israel continue to simmer more than a week after the incident, in which Israeli jets are believed to have struck at sites deep inside the airspace of its closest regional enemy.

Naim Qassim, the second-in-command of Hezbollah, which is strongly backed by Damascus, said “conditions were not ripe” for a war with Israel, despite Syria’s prolonged protests about the violation of its territory.

Syrian officials have claimed the Israeli jets dumped fuel tanks as they fled and fired missiles at unspecified targets in the desert during an early-morning attack on September 6.

Israel continues to maintain an uncharacteristic media blackout over the incident, with Israeli media reporting that speculation centres on a freighter bearing a North Korean flag that docked in the Syrian port of Tartous three days before the alleged strike.

Haaretz newspaper reported that the origin of the freighter, named as the al-Hamad, had been removed from websites that track shipping movements.

Two websites had listed the al-Hamad as having docked at Tartous on September 3, flying a North Korean flag. The third website, run by the Egyptian Transportation Ministry, said the al-Hamad had docked in the Nile Delta one month earlier and had later passed by the Lebanese port of Tripoli. The al-Hamad is believed to be a 42-year-old, 1700-tonne general purpose freighter. Its cargo was listed as cement.

Media reports citing unnamed American officials in Washington claim Israel had become increasingly concerned that North Korean regime figures had been secretly selling to Syria remnants of the nuclear program it is dismantling. The speculation was backed by North Korea’s strong condemnation of the Israeli incursion.

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton claimed Iran may have outsourced part of its developing nuclear program to Syria.

“Syria is very aggressive in pursuing WMD capability,” Mr Bolton told The Jerusalem Post. He said the risks of detection would likely be outweighed “when you’re as aligned as seriously as Syria is with Iran”.

More under the fold (see – I’m getting better at this blog thing 🙂 )

“It’s a diversion game – to carry on even when you are supposed to have halted, as in the case of North Korea. And I’d be surprised if Syria would do anything with North Korea without Iranian acquiescence,” Mr Bolton said.

Syria has denied any of its key facilities were hit and said Israeli missiles had left holes in the desert. Damascus’s ambassador to Washington, Imad Moustapha, dismissed the claims of a nuclear link to the strike as “absolutely, totally, fundamentally ridiculous and untrue”.

“There are no nuclear North Korean-Syrian facilities whatsoever in Syria,” Mr Moustapha said.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Non-proliferation Andrew Semmel added further weight to the nuclear speculation, claiming Washington had for the past six months been monitoring suspected growing ties between Pyongyang and Damascus.

A report in Britain’s Observer newspaper claims up to eight Israeli jets were involved in the operation, backed by an intelligence-gathering aircraft and guided to their targets by commandos on the ground.

The report suggested the operation was so secret that pilots were not briefed about it until they were in the air.

German media reported yesterday that German warships stationed off the coast of Lebanon on peace-keeping duties detected on radar two Israeli jets crossing into Syria shortly before the attack took place.

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