Israeli strike indicates Syria, Hezbollah may have crossed its 'red line'
Israeli jets reportedly carried out an unprecedented airstrike along the Lebanon-Syria border today against an arms convoy carrying advanced anti-aircraft missiles to the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
If the alleged arms shipment is confirmed, it would be a significant development that crosses Israel's repeated "red line" regarding the transfer of advanced air defense systems to Hezbollah.
The convoy was carrying SA-17 "Grizzly" mobile medium-range anti-aircraft missiles, according to the Associated Press, which quoted Israeli and US officials. The location of the attack remained unclear, although reports said it occurred on Syrian territory close to the border with Lebanon.
Since 2006, when Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war, the Lebanese group has steadily expanded its arsenal, both in size and capabilities, in preparation for a possible conflict with the Jewish state.
The Lebanese Army acknowledged in a statement that three waves of Israeli aircraft violated Lebanese airspace between 4:30 p.m. yesterday and 7:55 a.m. today. Israeli jets and reconnaissance drones stage flyovers above Lebanon on a near daily basis -- the white contrails made by the passing aircraft are a common sight on clear days -- but a Western diplomat said that there had been a "substantially unusual and very high level of air activity in the past two days."
Lebanese security sources denied all knowledge of an airstrike along the border and there were no reports in Lebanese media this morning of any such incident.
Posted by: tipper 2013-01-30