According to American officials and a Syrian rebel source, the Israeli Air Force has attacked a Syrian convoy on the Lebanon-Syria border that was believed to be in the process of transferring SA-17 missiles, alongside other weapons, to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon. Arutz Sheva reported that had these weapons made it into the hands of Hezbollah, it would have been a game changer in all future wars between Israel and Hezbollah, putting Israel at a strategic disadvantage, for the SA-17 is a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile.
Israeli officials, such as Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, have warned that Israel would intervene in the Syrian conflict if Syria were to transfer biological or chemical weapons to terrorist organizations. Avigdor Lieberman concurred, “In the moment we see that the Syrians transfer chemical and biological weapons to Hezbollah, this is a red line for us and from our point of view it‘s a clear casus belli. We will act decisively and without hesitation or restraint. It will be a completely different ball game and we hope for the understanding of the international community.”
Yedioth Achronot’s military analyst Ron Ben Yishai has asserted that Syria is cooperating with Hezbollah in an effort to prevent its missiles and chemical weapons from falling into the hands of rebel forces opposed to the Assad regime. He claimed that such an Israeli attack would be designed to keep the balance of power in Israel’s favor, for if such weapons were to reach Hezbollah, it would enable the terror group to target Israeli naval positions and cities across Israel. During the Second Lebanon War, Israel enjoyed complete air dominance, yet such weapons transfers would change this in future wars.
According to Israeli Air Force Commander Amir Eshel, “There have been tectonic movements in Syria shifting it toward collapse. There is a massive weapons arsenal in Syria, some of which is very advanced and some that is unconventional. All that [weaponry] could find its way to our borders. Governments are falling apart and that’s bringing a resurgence of terrorist activity on our borders the likes of which we haven’t seen for decades.”
He continued, “We need to deal with a very wide scope of threats, as of today we are faced with both the conventional and unconventional, from the knife to the nuclear weapon, both near and far. In the past we may have seen these threats as residing on our borders, today it is entirely different. We could be faced with a much wider arsenal, advanced Western weaponry, with weapons from the east and locally produced arms. […] We are taking action to reduce the immediate threats, to create better conditions in which we will be able to win the wars, when they happen.”
Click ‘LIKE’ if you support Israel’s right to defend itself from missile attacks
By Rachel Avraham