Just What Were The Israelis Targeting in Syria?
Originally, it was thought the Israeli planes that penetrated deep into Syrian territory didn't drop any ordinance at all. The Syrian response was mild, to say the least.
Then a story leaked that the IAF was targeting a shipment of arms and supplies destined for Hezb'allah. This was eminiently plausiable given Syria's long time support for the terrorist group.
Now the Sunday Times has a story that the real target were bunkers filled with recently acquired nuclear materials and hardware from North Korea:
Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.Is Syria trying to build a bomb and are they getting help from the North Koreans? It is not impossible to believe that North Korea is selling nuke technology. Kim desperately needs hard currency to feed the army and the only real thing he has to offer any nation is the expertise and materials found in his nuclear programs.
The Israeli government was not saying. “The security sources and IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] soldiers are demonstrating unusual courage,” said Ehud Olmert, the prime minister. “We naturally cannot always show the public our cards.” A tale of two dictatorships: The links between North Korea and Syria
The Syrians were also keeping mum. “I cannot reveal the details,” said Farouk al-Sharaa, the vice-president. “All I can say is the military and political echelon is looking into a series of responses as we speak. Results are forthcoming.&rdquo. The official story that the target comprised weapons destined for Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group, appeared to be crumbling in the face of widespread scepticism.
If true, this would represent a radical escalation by the Syrians in Middle East Power politics. Assad is still weighing a response but short of going to war, he has none.
And it is significant that Syrian air defenses are considered superior to those of Iran. It must have heartened the Israelis that their aircraft were able to penetrate the Syrian air protection with such ease. That's because there is also speculation that the attack was a dry run for Iran.
Watch the Syrian response closely. If Assad basically lets it go it will mean that there really may have been something to hide there.