Israeli raids Syrian Convoy of Anti-aircraft Weapons
The tumultuous Middle East continues to be affected by wars and military campaigns carried out in times of ‘peace.’ Syria announced on its state-run television network on Wednesday that Israel bombed a scientific defense research center in Jamraya, killing two people. But it seems the issue is larger than just Syria and Israel, because Russian anti-aircraft devices being shipped to Hezbollah were apparently the target of the Israeli attack; while the research center story was created by the Syrian government.
The tensions between Syria and Israel are deep and bitter, and this latest military offense has not made things easier for the civil-war stricken Syria. However, Syria publicly emphasized that their support of Palestinians’ was unwavering even in the face of the Israeli raid. The convoy containing the military weapons was said by regional security officials to have been attacked by the Lebanese-Syrian border, yet Jamraya is north of Damascus, in a completely different locale. The Assad regime of Syria, responsible for the misleading claims, has been torn apart by the civil war, and is now loosing eminence to the rebel factions. While Syria and Israel have not been said allies, President Assad of Syria has not been taking part in the transportation of weapons to Hezbollah, at least openly. With the civil war adding extensive complications, the convoy with chemical weapons posed a major change in relations with Israel, possibly due to Syrian government collapsing. Israel has made clear that it will not hesitate to stop transportation of chemical weapons from Syria to Hezbollah. This appears to be a threat carried into completion by Israeli forces.
Despite internal and external issues, Syria and Hezbollah are still allied against Israel, and are apparently supported by Russia after this latest raid. Russia believes that the U.N. charter against unprovoked bombings between countries has been violated, no matter what reasons Israel gives about security (destroying weapons that may have been used against them). Recent events have led Israel to believe that Hezbollah, with which multiple wars were fought in 2012, has been stockpiling ammunition, from allies such as Syria, and now has the capability to send drones and missiles into Israel, and also observe Israeli military activity. Russia’s involvement extends as far as the anti-aircraft weapons in the convoy to Hezbollah from Syria, but as a world leader, Russia poses the issue in the light of terrorist activities being executed on a nation unprovoked.
Syria has never responded aggressively towards attacks from Israel, nor retaliated. This latest raid was not mentioned in the state news as an attack that needed to be followed up with military action, more as an informative display to engage public outrage and contempt for Israel. It reacted similarly to the 2007 Israeli attack on a supposed nuclear weapons facility, and there was much suspicion clouding both events. Syrian government may have issued a statement conflicting with the story most officials believe, but by doing so they avoid further integration in the ongoing ‘in between’ war between Hezbollah and Israel, as the taxing civil war leaves Syria without many options.