Israeli jets hit weapons convoy headed for Lebanon
There was speculation immediately following news of the strike that the convoy of trucks were possibly carrying chemical weapons to Hezb'allah. But numerous sources, according to Reuters, have shot that theory down. What's bad enough, is that the trucks were carrying sophisticated armaments, including possibly long range missiles, to the terrorists in Lebanon.
There was no comment from Hezbollah or the Israeli government. Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said only that Israeli warplanes had carried out "mock raids" over southern Lebanon on Wednesday night, close to the Syrian border.
Israel's ally the United States declined all comment. A Lebanese security source said its territory was not hit, though the army also reported a heavy presence of Israeli jets through the night after days of unusually frequent incursions.
Such a strike or strikes would fit Israel's policy of pre-emptive covert and overt action to curb Hezbollah and does not necessarily indicate a major escalation of the war in Syria. It does, however, indicate how the erosion of the Assad family's rule after 42 years is seen by Israel as posing a threat.
Israel this week echoed concerns in the United States about Syrian chemical weapons, but its officials say a more immediate worry is that the civil war could see weapons that are capable of denting its massive superiority in airpower and tanks reaching Hezbollah; the group fought Israel in 2006 and remains a more pressing threat than its Syrian and Iranian sponsors.
Israeli officials have said they feared Assad may be losing his grip on some chemical weapons, including around Damascus, to rebel groups which are also potentially hostile to Israel. U.S. and European security sources told Reuters they were confident that chemical weapons were not in the convoy which was bombed.
Wednesday's action could have been a rapid response to an opportunity. But a stream of Israeli comment on Syria in recent days may have been intended to limit surprise in world capitals.
Israel now faces two massive threats to its security; Iran and Syria, with Syria being the more immediate concern. The Israelis have to worry about both sides in the Syrian civil war, as jihadists grow stronger and better organized as the war goes on.
Whether it be the Shia terrorists in Hezb'allah or the Sunni terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda, the chances are increasing that a sworn enemy of the state of Israel will soon possess weapons of mass destruction.
The threat board at IDF command is getting crowded.