Israel used a Turkish military base to launch one of its recent airstrikes against Syria from the sea, a reliable source told the Russian news agency RT. Last week it was reported that on July 5 Israeli planes attacked a stash of Russian made Syrian rockets in the harbor city of Latakia, Syria.
News that Turkey assisted Israel in attacking a Muslim state could result in serious repercussions for the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government, if the information is verified.
“Our source is telling us that Israeli planes left a military base inside Turkey and approached Latakia from the sea to make sure that they stayed out of Syrian airspace so that they cannot become a legitimate target for the Syrian air force,” RT’s Paula Slier reported.
Relations between Turkey and Israel were strained until last March, following the Turkish flotilla incident off the coast of Gaza. But the two countries have normalized their relationship after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan.
Turkey is providing training grounds for French and American sponsored anti-President Bashar al-Assad rebels, before helping them infiltrate into Syria.
Anyone reading today the report on this level of cooperation between the Turkish military and Israel (not necessarily with the prior approval of the Turkish prime minister) has to be thinking about the same cooperation against another common enemy – Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Since there may already be an operational IAF base inside Turkey, it would be an excellent place for Israeli attack planes to launch their attack against the Iranian nuclear facilities, as well as to stop there for refueling on their way home.
After the July 5 airstrike, the Free Syrian Army said it was not responsible for the attack that erased a stash of Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles. Those missiles could have been effective in preventing European and American cargo ships from unloading along the Syrian coast weapons intended for the rebels.
“It was not the FSA that targeted this,” Qassem Saadeddine, FSA’s Supreme Military Council spokesman told Reuters last week. “It is not an attack that was carried out by rebels.”
The FSA thought the attack “was either by air raid or long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean.”
The rebels described massive blasts, adding that the kind of firepower that was used was way beyond anything they possessed, which is why they suggested it had to be Israel.
On Saturday, some anonymous U.S. officials told CNN that, indeed, it was Israel’s airforce. What a way to repay a friendly gesture that opened up the coast for American ships.
Then the Sunday Times reported that the contingent of 50 Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles were destroyed by Israeli submarines. Let the Air Force have a day off for once.
The IDF Spokesperson’s office refused to comment.
On Sunday morning, Netanyahu told CBS’s Face the Nation: “My policy is to prevent the transfer of dangerous weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other terror groups as well. And we stand by that policy, and I’m not in the habit of saying what we did or didn’t do.”
Wink wink, nudge nudge.
The July 5 strike was the fourth known Israeli air attack against targets in Syria this year, all of them, apparently, taking out major rocket stocks that could be handed over to Hezbollah.
On January 30, an airstrike hit a weapons convoy that was already carrying Russian-made SA-17 surface-to-air missiles, the first Israel air raid in Syria airspace in six years.
On May 3 and 5, Israeli warplanes targeted a shipment of Iranian Fateh-110 long range missiles that could strike Tel Aviv if positioned in south Lebanon.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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