Photo Credit: IDF blog

According to reports from the main Syrian opposition group, the Free Syria Army, the Israeli Air Force bombed a chemical weapons site in Syria, near Damascus, on Saturday, April 27.

The Israeli jets flew over Syrian President Basher Assad’s palace, as reported elsewhere, and then allegedly struck a chemical weapons compound nearby.

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Although there were reports that Syrian defense forces fired at the IAF, the Israeli jets left Syrian airspace unharmed.

Last week the Israeli military published intelligence findings that President Bashar Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons repeatedly in recent months. The U.S. was initially reluctant to embrace those findings, and even after admitting that Syria had used chemical weapons “on a small scale,” has remained reluctant to take immediate action.

A second report emanating from Syria potentially supported the claims that Israel struck the chemical weapons site, although this report did not mention Israel’s purported role.

This report from Lebanon’s Daily Star discussed heavy fighting near the “Scientific Studies and Research Centre on the foothills of Qasioun Mountain in the northern Barzeh district,” which, according to American defense experts, is a way Syrians are likely to refer to the chemical weapons site.

A retired U.S. naval intelligence officer, J.E. Dyer, believes it is possible Israel engaged in the strike.  For one thing, as noted in the Daily Star report – Assad’s forces are engaged in an all-out effort to retake the area around the SSRC compound from the rebels. Given the fighting in the area, the danger increases that the chemical weapons inventory would fall into rebel hands, “including Islamist jihadists, including Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda.”

But Dyer had several caveats.  First, she said, taking down the SSRC would be a big job, likely requiring sequential strikes. “There’s a lot of industrial square footage to thump; the IAF would want to put more than a couple of strike fighters over the target.”

And Dyer doesn’t imagine Israel would take the risk of entering Syrian airspace and fail to complete a specific job.  “Either you go in to take it out for the duration of the civil war, or you don’t hit it at all,” is how she put it.

Therefore it is possible the IAF attacked something else near the SSRC on Saturday. Perhaps there was a discrete reachable target that presented itself and Israel took the opportunity to reduce the dangerous materials so close to her own border.  This could have been an attack like the one in late January when Israel struck a truck convoy near Damascus which was moving sophisticated  Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

20 COMMENTS

  1. This is very significant news if true. Neither Marcus nor J.E. Dyer are in the Dekba Files kooky "news" category, so it's odd that no-one else has reported this. Of course, every news story has to come out first somewhere. And it may be that more such reports will come out later. And even the possibility that this is happening is pretty darn important.

  2. Turks cannot be trusted. Israelis too. IDF is killing our Elders, Women & Children in Gaza to get DC attention for more weapons. The same IDF flew over Assad Palace without harming him and went bombing alleged chemical weapon depot in Damascus and returned home safe.

  3. no one is killing women en children in Gaza.the economy of Gaza is doing well lately.70% of gazan's will be more than happy moving to ramlah.Hamas is richer then ever with help from eu/vs.all they have to do is eat, fire a rocket now en again sit en complain the jews and spend money that don't belong to them..

  4. Israel can and should take out any stash site of chemical weapos that seems to be a threat~! ** ANY NATION WHO DON'T LIKE THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE SUCH WEAPONS IN THE FIRST PLACE. ** TO HELL WITH AYONE WHO SAYS NO. AND OBAMA IS FIRST ON THAT LIST** ISRAEL IS A TOP ALLY AGAINST TERRORISM AND SUPPORTS THE USA~! THE USA SUPPOORTS ISRAEL ~ WITH ~ OR WITH OUT ~ OBAMAS SORRY ASS ~!

  5. Thousands of people had been killed in Syria and the world just keep on watching and now he is using chemical weapon still the whole world stand by Thanks to Israel and our heros in the IAF.for trying to destroy the chemical weapons.

  6. Unfortunately, Hamas puts the rocket launchers in the midst of the Gazan civilians so as to dicourage Israel from destroying those launchers in self-defense. But some peope die when Israel is attacked and tries to defend itself by aiming at those Rocket launchers surrounded by innocent civilians. It is Hamas that is responsible for those deaths, not Israel who is doing only what it has to do and that is to defend its people above all!

  7. Obaki you do not mention the Arab men hidding behind womens skirts as they wear their dresses as they detonate bombs thinking they will have 70 virgins to have sex with. Apparantly the Arab women do not satisfy their men causing them to kill themselves and when they enter hell, they realize they have no penis to have sex since it was blown away. How dumb you people are chicldren of Hagar the Egyptian cocumbine of Abraham which makes you all bastards in the yes of GOD!

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