Israel isn't playing around.
Israeli warplanes bombed the outskirts of Damascus early Sunday for the second time in two days, according to Syrian state media and reports from activists, signaling a sharp escalation in tensions between the neighboring countries that had already been exacerbated by the conflict raging in Syria.The two videos referenced in the report above, are shown below:
Videos posted on the Internet by activists showed a huge fireball erupting on Mount Qassioun, a landmark hill overlooking the capital on which the Syrian government has concentrated much of the firepower it is using against rebel-controlled areas surrounding the city.
The official Syrian Arab News Agency said that a scientific research facility had been struck by an Israeli missile, and a banner displayed on state television said the attack was intended to relieve pressure on rebel forces in the embattled eastern suburbs. The banner was accompanied by martial music and footage of Syrian soldiers marching, descending from helicopters and firing rockets, indicating that Syria may not shrug off the assault, as it has with some Israeli strikes in the past.
A subsequent video suggested further strikes were taking place in the same location, though the number was unclear.
There was no immediate confirmation that the strikes were carried out by Israeli warplanes. Reuters news service reported that an Israeli military spokeswoman said, “We don’t respond to this kind of report.”
While Israel wil not officially comment on these types of reports, they make their policy very clear:
The Israeli military had no comment. But a source in the Israeli defense establishment told CNN's Sara Sidner, "We will do whatever is necessary to stop the transfer of weapons from Syria to terrorist organizations. We have done it in the past and we will do it if necessary the future."
World News reports:
Syrian government sources denied having information of a strike. Bashar Ja'afari, the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, told Reuters: "I'm not aware of any attack right now."
But Qassim Saadedine, a commander and spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army, told the news agency: "Our information indicates there was an Israeli strike on a convoy that was transferring missiles to Hezbollah. We have still not confirmed the location."
Rebel units were in disagreement about what type of weapons were in the convoy, Reuters reported. A rebel from an information-gathering unit in Damascus that calls itself "The Syrian Islamic Masts Intelligence" said the convoy carried anti-aircraft missiles.
In an interview with Telemundo, President Obama says that while he won't comment on reported Israeli airstrikes over Syria, he backs Israel's efforts in guarding against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. NBC's Kristen Welker reports.The rebel, who asked not to be named, added: "There were three strikes by Israeli F-16 jets that damaged a convoy carrying anti-aircraft missiles heading to the Shi'ite Lebanese party (Hezbollah) along the Damascus-Beirut military road. "One strike hit a site near the (Syrian) Fourth Armoured Division in al-Saboura but we have been unable to determine what is in that location".
Via page #2 of the Wapo piece:
Israel’s chief worry is that a desperate Syrian regime might seek to ensure its survival by using Hezbollah to lash out with an attack against Israel, in fulfillment of Assad’s repeated warnings that his fall would generate regional chaos.
The main concern for the Shiite Hezbollah movement is that the collapse of the Syrian regime in Damascus and its replacement by one led by the overwhelmingly Sunni opposition will undermine its dominant role in Lebanon and leave it vulnerable to Israeli attack. The movement has long relied on Syria for the transshipment of arms supplied by its chief ally, Iran, and the fall of Assad would compromise its supply routes.
Those within Syria that know what was in the locations won't divulge the information and others will speculate, but it looks like Israel knew exactly what was there and made sure it couldn't be used nor transferred to those determined to attack Israel.
When one crosses Israel's red line, they don't just talk endlessly about it, they act.