Wednesday, September 12, 2007
"12/09/2007 A Syrian source refuted the US story about Israeli jets targeting Hezbollah weapon cashes on the Syrian territory last Thursday. The source told al-Manar that this claim is totally wrong, misleading and ridiculous. It aims at putting aside the goals of this aggressive act. The Syrian source added that the details of the Israeli strike and jets having to drop their fuel tanks and ammunitions because of being confronted by the air defenses, all these facts assure that this claim is baseless.
A US Defense official had earlier said that Israel carried out an air strike well inside Syria last week, apparently to send Damascus a message not to rearm Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Israelis are trying to tell the Syrians: 'Don't support a resurgence of Hezbollah in Lebanon,' he said. The Times quoted sources as saying that Israel struck at least one target in northeastern Syria, but could not provide more details. The most likely target was, according to some administration officials, "weapon caches sent by Iran to Hezbollah through Syria." The New York Times quoted a Defense Department official as saying the IAF struck at least one target in northeastern Syria, but said it was unclear what the target was and what was the extent of the damage.
The US defense official told the New York Times that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights over Syria revealed possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials estimate might have been supplied with material from North Korea.
Meanwhile, Syria's envoy the United Nations said Wednesday that Damascus was reserving the right to respond to the air strike at the time and manner of its choosing.
"The Syrian response has not yet come," said Syria's Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari, in an interview with BBC Arabic. Syria complained to the UN about "aggression and violation of sovereignty," al-Jaafari said. According to Haaretz, it is still difficult to assess what the ultimate response of the Syrians would be. "On the one hand, the Syrians warn of the consequences and are angry that no one seems interested in condemning Israel's illegal raid. On the other hand, they are not talking about the strategic target that was bombed in their territory. If they admit it, this would be a troubling sign that they are weighing a serious response," Haaretz said. The ambassador said Damascus made its complaint in two letters to the UN secretary general and the president of the Security Council. The letters said the Israel Air Force action violated the 1974 disengagement agreement that was reached after the 1973 war. On, Monday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem confirmed that Israeli warplanes dropped live ammunition on Syrian soil, adding that Israel's decision not to comment was "appropriate." "Israel used live ammunition in a deliberate and hostile attack," Mouallem said at a news conference during an official visit to Turkey."