Syria Says Israel Bombed Military Center near Damascus as Reports Say Arms Convoy Hit near Lebanon

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The Syrian army said that an Israeli air strike at dawn on Wednesday targeted a military research center in Jamraya, near Damascus, after several media reports said Israeli warplanes bombed a weapons convoy near the border with Lebanon.

Residents who spoke to Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity, however, said the strike targeted a non-conventional weapons research center some 15 kilometers (10 miles) northwest of the Syrian capital.

"Israeli fighter jets violated our air space at dawn today and carried out a direct strike on a scientific research center in charge of raising our level of resistance and self-defense," the Syrian army's general command said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA.

The strike came "after terrorist groups made several failed attempts in the past months to take control of the site," the statement added of rebel groups fighting the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace via Mount Hermon, or Jabal el-Sheikh in Arabic, at low altitude and under the radar, the army said.

"They... carried out an act of aggression, bombarding the site, causing large-scale material damage and destroying the building," state television quoted the military as saying.

The army added that two site workers were killed in the strike.

Residents told AFP that six rockets hit the complex, leaving it partially destroyed, causing a fire and killing two people.

"This assault is one of a long list of acts of aggression and criminality against the Arabs and Muslims," said the army's statement.

The army denied earlier reports that Israeli forces had launched an air strike overnight on a weapons convoy from Syria near the border with Lebanon.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, security sources told AFP earlier on Wednesday that Israeli forces carried out a strike overnight on a weapons convoy coming from Syria in the Lebanon-Syria border area.

"The Israeli air force blew up a convoy which had just crossed the border from Syria into Lebanon," one source said, without giving a precise location for the attack.

The source said the convoy was believed to be carrying weapons but did not specify what type.

A second security source, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, also told AFP that Israeli warplanes had hit a convoy allegedly carrying weapons to Lebanon but said the incident occurred just inside Syria.

"It was an armed convoy traveling towards Lebanon but it was hit on the Syrian side of the border at around 2330 GMT," the source said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the reports.

Lebanon's National News Agency later on Wednesday denied that an Israeli strike had taken place.

The Associated Press quoted U.S. and regional officials as saying that Israel conducted an airstrike inside Syria overnight near the border with Lebanon, hitting a convoy of trucks.

The regional officials said Israel had been planning in the days leading up to the airstrike to hit a shipment of weapons bound for Hizbullah in Lebanon. They said the shipment included sophisticated, Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically "game-changing" in the hands of Hizbullah.

A U.S. official said the strike hit a convoy of trucks. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the strike.

The White House declined to comment on the raid as senior U.S. officials hosted Israel's director of military intelligence for talks.

"I don't have any comment for you on those reports," said White House spokesman Jay Carney when asked about the air strike.

"I'd refer you to the government of Israel for questions about deliberations or actions that they may or may not have taken," he said.

News of the raid came as Major General Aviv Kochavi, director of military intelligence for Israeli forces, paid a visit to Washington for talks this week, defense officials said.

Kochavi met the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, on Tuesday and was expected to hold talks with his counterparts in military intelligence at the Defense Department, said two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Officials said Kochavi's visit had been planned long in advance.

Among Israeli security officials' chief fears is that Hizbullah could get its hands on Syrian chemical arms and SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles. If that were to happen, it would change the balance of power in the region and greatly hinder Israel's ability to conduct air sorties in Lebanon.

Israel suspects that Damascus obtained a battery of SA-17s from Russia after an alleged Israeli airstrike in 2007 that destroyed an unfinished Syrian nuclear reactor.

A senior Lebanese security official said there were no Israeli airstrikes inside Lebanese territory. Asked whether it could have been along the border on the Syrian side, he said that that could not be confirmed as it was out of his area of operations.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Earlier the Lebanese military, said twelve Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace in less than 24 hours, flying low in several sorties over villages in southern Lebanon.

A Lebanese security official said there has been increased Israeli activity over Lebanese airspace in the past week.

The flights come amid Israeli concerns about the civil war in neighboring Syria and fears that weapons could reach hostile groups in Syria or Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Earlier this week, Israel moved a battery of its new "Iron Dome" rocket defense system to the northern city of Haifa, which was battered by Hizbullah rocket fire in the 2006 war. The Israeli army called that move "routine."

A Lebanese army communique said the last of the sorties took place at 2:00 am local time Wednesday. It said four warplanes which flew in over the southernmost coastal town of Naqoura hovered for several hours over villages in south Lebanon before leaving Lebanese airspace.

It said similar flights by eight other warplanes were conducted Tuesday.

The Lebanese official said the flights were part of "increased activity" in the past week but did not elaborate. The area of Lebanon where the flights took place borders southern Syria.

Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace are not uncommon and Lebanese authorities routinely lodge complaints at the U.N. against the flights.

A former head of intelligence at Israel's Mossad spy service, Amnon Sofrin, said on Wednesday that the Jewish state "should make any effort to prevent any weapons systems of that kind (chemical) going out to terror organizations."

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem before reports of the attack emerged, Sofrin said Israel was unlikely to carry out air strikes on chemical weapons stocks because of the environmental risks.

"When you go and attack a... chemical weapons depot, you're going to do unwarranted damage, because every part will leak out and can cause damage to many residents," he said.

"But if you know of a convoy leading these kind of (chemical) weapon systems from Syria to Lebanon, you can send a unit to the proper place and try to halt it" on the ground, he added.

On Monday, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had "urgently dispatched" his national security adviser Yaakov Amidror to Russia to ask Moscow to use its influence in Syria to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons.

Comments 46
Default-user-icon John Marina (Guest) 30 January 2013, 15:10

Why the Lebanese government do not complain??? to the Security Council or to the so-called United Nations?

Missing roger 30 January 2013, 15:18

If you can do it then god bless you, don't hesitate.

Missing un520 30 January 2013, 15:21

Yeah, lets have another "devine victory" like in 2006, at the expense of the orinary lebanese who wants to live and prosper...

Thumb bigsami 30 January 2013, 16:24

Yallah your idiotic games and post between your alias BSThrower. Pathetic idiot.

Default-user-icon iamlebanon (Guest) 30 January 2013, 16:51

mow- They havent attacked since 2006 because they haven't been attacked by the crazy people occupying the border. have you forgot that the war in 2006 started with HEZ crossing the boarder and kidnapping 2 zionist soldiers? For that lebanon was nearly destroyed. There was no victory anyone with a brain can see that. They called it a victory because the zionists didnt re-occupy us but trust me if they wanted to they could have. The world pressured them to hold back and that gave you a false sense of victory.

Thumb mouallek 30 January 2013, 23:53

They(the israelis)do not need to reoccupy south Lebanon as long as it is inhabited by people like you. You bark as long as you feel out of reach and kneel under the boot under domination.

Default-user-icon Joeph (Guest) 30 January 2013, 15:24

Of course its not true. Weapons that come to Lebanon are devine and descend from heaven.

Missing allouchi 30 January 2013, 15:38

Hizballa is a terrorist organization just like Al Qaeda and Israel and Assad are both enemies of Lebanon...

Missing allouchi 30 January 2013, 15:40

with what ya zaki? Nousralla fiery speeches...

Missing beirutbastard00 30 January 2013, 21:59

Gotta admit its a nice change that Israel would rather hit in Syrian territory than Lebanese these days...

Thumb geha 30 January 2013, 15:49

this is the prelude to an all out war on hizbushaitan, especially US and Israeli elections are now over.
probably hizbushaitan will be the rice of a settlement with iran, or it will even be a an out war with all the farsi led group.

Thumb geha 30 January 2013, 15:51

As for those calling for retaliation: wait and see what is coming to you before talking retaliation :)
stupid hot headed ignorants ready to die. if you have a death wish, we don't.

Thumb geha 30 January 2013, 18:02

Dignity and Lebanese:
- where is the dignity to be a hizbushaitan member? hizbushaitan is clearly an armed terrorist group executing the pasdaran orders.
- as Lebanese, our dignity is daily stepped over by hizbushaitan and their weapons. they control the cabinet and on the ground with their weapons.
Yes you are right: our dignity is inexistent with hizbushaitan around.
what is our alternative? fight and destroy our country through a civil war? No.
we believe in peaceful resolution of this matter, and will try all means available, until we reach a point where we are sure hizbushaitan will never come to their senses, then we will all take up arms and face these terrorists.

Default-user-icon Eyeinthesky (Guest) 30 January 2013, 16:06

I dont know why Hez even tries this stuff they know the eye in the sky is always watching them. The IDF will not let monsters like nasrhalla wreak havoc on Israel or Lebanon for that fact. The people of lebanon don't want that beast anymore either. He is nothing but trouble for the state of lebanon

Missing un520 30 January 2013, 16:17

"mowaten 30 January 2013, 13:29 42
no no akid, let's let them bombard us and swallow up silently, so they know they can hit us anytime they like. also the day they want to reoccupy south lebanon let's make sure there is no resistance, so that they can have the whole country not just a little chunk."

Yeah, like they they want more of this quagmire that we live in.

Thumb bigsami 30 January 2013, 16:40

Baffling for a MUSTOOL is understandable. Yallah scram you Farsi. No one cares for your constant BS supporting the axis of evil terrorists!

Default-user-icon nashrallaspimp (Guest) 30 January 2013, 16:42

I agree with you 100%. Lebanon has been terrorized by assad and HEZ for too long. They should be disarmed and kicked out of the country. Lebanon has a military that receives a ton of money from the USA. They dont need Iran or Nutrahhla to protect them.

Default-user-icon Ms. Nasrhalla (Guest) 30 January 2013, 16:47

They are bombing a military target to prevent crazy people from having more weapons. You do know that hez isnt a military and therefore has no right to arm themselves like they do. But nobody in lebanon has the guts to take them out.

Default-user-icon omar el solh (Guest) 30 January 2013, 17:33

First of all this is rediculous! yes for a resistance UNTILL you people vote for a respectable parliament that would bring a propper government which will make deals with China Russia and even Iran to ameliorate the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed forces. Not rely on America which will give us tants and clothes and old M16 used in Vietnam! Once there will be a balance of power between Israel and Lebanon than no armed Resistance should exist. Concerning liberating Palestine from Lebanon i think this is stupid because the reason whz exactly we got into a civil war in the 70's is Abou Ammar's Will to Liberate Palestine from the South and surprisingly from JOUNIEH lol. Anyhow from history u can learn all parties in Lebanon when they were dominating thez had more weapons than the Armz such as the Phalanges so its something natural which needs time to be solved and at the end of the day the State will always exist and will prevail at the end.

Missing greatpierro 30 January 2013, 17:59

Remember the Southern Lebanese welcomed with rice the IDF back in 1982 as they were happy they liberate them from OLP. Back then it was the OLP hitting continuously on north Israel. Israel withdrew from South Lebanon yet Hizb started installing offensive weapons i.e. missiles and bunkers. The result was 2006. Look at Jordan and Egypt. They have made peace with Israel and they have no militia like the Hizb which is calling for death to Israel.

Missing greatpierro 30 January 2013, 18:07

From your answer below to Slash that you confirm that unless Israel annihilate you support Hizb and co call for the annihilation of Israel.

Yet Israel offered a comprehensive peace in Taba to Abou Ammar who refused. 98% of West Bank, East Jerusalm, 2% in the Negev. The answer of the Palestinians was NO, and Mr. arafat came back to Jericho with the ever Victory sign. How sad.

Israelis are realizing that they cannot achieve peace with Palestinians and the other arabs. They withdrew from Lebanon, yet part of the Lebanese are calling for War. They withdrew from Gaza, yet the Hamas goes on fighting.

What you are asking is for more wars and fightings. While what I am asking is peace for everyone.

Thumb Bandoul 30 January 2013, 18:45

@revisionist Mowaten Irani "the day they accept to live here among the people who were here before them for thousands of years"

Part 1

1. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

2. Arab refugees began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E, the Jews had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4.The only Arab domination since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.

Thumb Bandoul 30 January 2013, 18:46

Part 2

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 hundred times in Bible. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

9. Arab and Jewish refugees: Arabs were not driven out of their homes. Following the UN decision on Partition in 1948, the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders, promising to purge the land of Jews. They argued that an "Arab presence" would only get in the way of the planned devastation. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

Thumb andre.jabbour 30 January 2013, 19:15

Point 8 is not vey accurate. Depending on where you are on the globe.

Thumb Bandoul 30 January 2013, 18:46

Part 3

11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees absorbed by Israel from Arab countries is estimated to be the same.

12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples'lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

13. The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

Thumb Bandoul 30 January 2013, 18:47

Part 4

14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank and autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied their police and security forces with weapons.

15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Jewish grave markers were used to build public urinals in occupied Jerusalem. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

16. The U.N. record on Israel and the Arabs of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel -- notwithstanding the fact that the Arabs refused to participate in the 15 nation United Nations Commission of Palestine which recommended partition in 1948 and sought immediately to undo its work by force of arms.

Thumb Bandoul 30 January 2013, 18:48

Part 5

17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

18. The U.N. was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians between 1948 and 1967.

19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives between 1948 and 1967.

20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall between 1948 and 1967.

Thumb Bandoul 30 January 2013, 18:51

Above article parts 1 thru 5 is from date 12/5/2001 just for those that are sticklers for math.

Default-user-icon Hadi (Guest) 30 January 2013, 22:49

Bandoul, that article is one of the most used zionist propaganda tools used frequently online. Each and every "point" has been refuted millions of times yet it doesnt matter to zionists as all they care about is attacking with propaganda to have their enemy on constant defence mode so they will waste their time counter replying instead of attacking. Its as simple as that. Only a moron would believe any of it. The israelites are not the modern day israelis who are russians, ethiopians, iraqis, tunisians, italians etc. The Palestinians were called Palestinians before 1967, why else were the refugee camps in 1948 called Palestinian lol? Stop the BS please. If Palestinians dont exist (as per zionist propaganda) then logically neither do we lebanese nor the syrians or most other people on earth.

Thumb chrisrushlau 30 January 2013, 19:07

If Shiites lose their hope in Hezbullah, their only alternative is to use their numbers, a majority of the Lebanese population, to overturn the Taef "Accord" and take power directly through the ballot box.
It might be wise to give them this up front, with the proviso that civil rights applies to all Lebanese. That's where things will end up, if there is ever an end to violent struggle in Lebanon. Why not go directly there and skip the violence?

Missing beirutbastard00 30 January 2013, 22:08

They will soon be a majority when their kids turn 18... But they are concentrated in certain areas, just like all Lebanese sects, and can only controll those areas. We are not integrated enough, as a society, for one sect to win over another without violence.

Default-user-icon Bruddah (Guest) 30 January 2013, 19:59

Arab Muslim anger is not that they were beaten in a fight. It is that they were beaten in a fight BY JEWS, soundly and repeatedly. No amount of recitation of facts about Jewish presence in the region through the millenia will overcome that humiliation for them. Through most of the last 1500 years, Jews were second class citizens at best in the Arab Muslim world. Weak. Ineffectual. Arab Muslims cannot accept that that situation is past. They should love their children more, accept reality, love their fellow humans and move on wih it all. Am Yisroel Chai.

Thumb jabalamel 30 January 2013, 21:04

please try send you filthy militia to die here hahahahahahahahah

filthy zionist scum

Thumb primesuspect 30 January 2013, 21:35

Lebanon is a little safer today without these SAM 17, thanks to our Neighbors. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank-you. but BEWARE, don't even think of attacking our national army!

Thumb primesuspect 30 January 2013, 21:36

jajajajajajaja que bueno

Thumb lebanon_first 30 January 2013, 22:44

FT. it is the palestinian's problems- God help them against Israel and against their own leaders. But it is not really our biggest problem anymore... dont you think? Isnt Syria a bigger problem for us in your opinion?

Missing peace 30 January 2013, 23:02

will syria use its big weapons to shell israel as retaliation? M8 boast they are "resistant"!
now they have trained to shell their own people and use their planes tanks helicopters army to kill syrian people will they answer to israel? and show how "resistant" they are???

oh! yes! i forgot! they ll ask hezbies to do the dirty job as usual and let lebanon dragged in for them...with the benediction of M8 of course!

Missing un520 30 January 2013, 23:06

Revealing false quotes. As much as I dislike Israels policy against the palestinians, I urge Hizbollah-fanatics to stick to facts....

Default-user-icon Anonymous (Guest) 30 January 2013, 23:55

On condition of anonimity, just like everybody else in this article, I'd have to remind the public that in 2011 Israel announced its continuation of settlements on occupied Palestinian territories right at the time VP Joe Biden was in Israel - a visit that was also "planned long in advance". We know very well already how the Israeli political manipulaton of an America that does not blindly side with them happens (i.e., an America governed by Democrats like Obama - not that he's exactly an Arabophile either). That being said, however, may Hizb-Iran go rot in the Hell that they came from! Lebanon sought independence from France and liberation from Israel with so much blood, sweat and tears spilt only for these mindless savages - the NRA of Lebanon - to turn the country into an Iranian colony.

Default-user-icon Anonymous (Guest) 30 January 2013, 23:55

That, too, being said, I personally don't think Iran is able to do anything of its threat, that if Israel attacks Syria it would be considered as "an attack on Iran itself". Big words, but we know what they're worth: a lot less than a monkey in space. True, the Israelis would not want anybody to think that Iran is harmless - how much additional USAID military funding do they get like if America owed them, remind me? - but how else can they manage to justify their murderous hatred? And how, also, is Iran able to prove to the world that the hatred was mutual except by playing directly into the role that was projected on them?
P.S., And regarding FT: That's spelled "Tampon", with one 'o'. ;)

Thumb primesuspect 31 January 2013, 01:06

we don't care about israel.... you are our problem because you don't care about lebanon. you only care about you wallet.

Thumb shab 31 January 2013, 01:15

Go back and bomb again soon

Default-user-icon toddler (Guest) 31 January 2013, 04:04

Israel taking care of business and preventing bunker boy from having more weapons to hurt innocent people around the world.

Missing helicopter 31 January 2013, 05:51

replace Islamic resistance with Lebanese resistance. Transfer the resistance hardwar and capability to the army. The view of who is enemy or friend should be based solely on their view towards us not based on religion or secular interests. A country that prevents you from demarcating your borders, interferes in your affairs, violates your skies and land, kills your citizens is an enemy (that defines both Israel and Assad's Syria). Extend had of friendship and the olive branch based on tenants of mutual respect and peace and the enemy that reaches and agrees for it could become a friend. We all share the same land and sky lets take care of what we have and stop mutilating it.

Missing greatpierro 31 January 2013, 08:32

FT, I am not accusing southerners of being traitors because they welcomed the IDF freeing them from OLP. I really think that the traitors were the politicians that allowed the OLP to operate from South of Lebanon leaving the Southerners suffering a decade of fighting. I praise the southerners because they acted patriotically as they wanted their land to be free, free from OLP and free from IDF. Now that it is free, we need to reconstruct, plant, live and seek peace.

Missing shamiguy 31 January 2013, 08:41

lol@ strider