Israeli Attack on Syria Seen as Declaration of War
An Israeli air strike has infuriated Syrian officials, who call the strike a declaration of war
By Sarah Munn, staff writer
An unnamed top Syrian official is calling Israel’s latest attack on the country’s capital, Damascus, a “declaration of war.” The statement came in an exclusive interview with CNN.
Syria was not a good place to be on May 5. Structural damage and casualties were caused in what the Syrian government says is the second Israeli airstrike in three days. The Israeli military, however, has neither confirmed nor denied that they were the source of the rockets.
Despite Israel’s elusive stance on the matter, experts say it is highly likely the Israeli military was targeting a shipment of high-precision Iranian missiles being transported to Hezbollah, in Lebanon.
In the past, Israel has consistently said it wants no part in Syria’s civil war. However they have said they will stop weapons from reaching extremist groups who are a threat to Israel. Hezbollah and Israel have a long history of conflict.
The problem in this case is that Syria views the airstrike as a direct attack on its government. It stated the purpose of Israel’s attacks is “to give direct military support to terrorist groups,” the same groups fighting the Syrian government.
The fact that there have been two other notable strikes this year, seemingly by Israel, doesn’t help.
In late January, Syria said the same Jamraya research centre was attacked by Israel, though Israel said the target was weapons on their way to Hezbollah.
On May 3 another strike hit a shipment of missiles near the Lebanon border. This was confirmed by US and Israeli officials.
Omran Zoabi, the Syrian Information Minister said these attacks “open the door to all possibilities.”
Although there has not been a statement of Syria’s plan of action in response to the Israeli airstrike, Zoabi did say Damascus has to protect the state from any “domestic or foreign attack through all available means.”
Syria: Attack on Military Facility was a ‘Declaration of War’ by Israel, by Frederik Pleigten
Fresh Israeli Attacks ‘Open the Door to all Possibilities,’ Syria Says, by Basem Mroue and Ian Deitch
Israeli Strikes on Syria ‘Co-ordinated with Terrorists,’ by Yolande Knell