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Israel reportedly carries out airstrike against Syria

May 03, 2013|By Edmund Sanders
  • An F-15I tactical fighter jet takes off at the Hatzerim Air Force base outside Beersheva in southern Israel in December 2012.
An F-15I tactical fighter jet takes off at the Hatzerim Air Force base outside… (Oliver Weiken, EPA )

JERUSALEM -- Israeli officials were silent Saturday about reports that their forces had launched an airstrike from the Lebanese skies onto Syrian soil.

A military spokeswoman declined to comment on reports by CNN, the Associated Press and others that Israel had hit a weapons warehouse in Syria.

Israeli officials have said repeatedly in the past that they would take action to prevent Syria’s cache of chemical weapons from falling into the hands of Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon or Al Qaeda-inspired extremists who have entered Syria to join the rebels there.

U.S. officials told several U.S. news media organizations that Israel was believed to have sent warplanes over Lebanon on Thursday or Friday and fired into Syria without entering its airspace. The U.S. officials were quoted as saying they did not believe the target was chemical weapons.

Israel frequently flies over Lebanon for surveillance or military drills. Late last week, it conducted a massive drill along the border involving more than 2,000 reserve soldiers.

In January, Israel was accused by Syria of bombing a weapons warehouse. Others insisted that the target was a convoy of chemical weapons.

Israeli officials said that attack was proof that it would take aggressive action to prevent Syria’s dangerous weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

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