Israeli aircraft bombed a research facility in Syria today killing 2 civilian employees and injuring dozens, which included a old woman and an infant. In a statement released in Damascus the Syrian military denounced the Israeli attack and accused United States for complicity in the attack. It also criticized Saudi Arabia and Egypt for helping the Israelis in the attack. Israel on the other hand denied that it had hit a civilian research facility and instead stated that it had attacked a convoy of trucks which was on its way to Lebanon and presumably to re-supply the Hezbollah with Russian SAM anti aircraft batteries. There was some mystery to the Israeli bombing of a civilian lab so close to Damascus, the capital of Syria. Some people in the intelligence community speculated that the facility could be used primarily for weapons research and Israel thought that it is the best time to take advantage of the situation in Syria and destroy it. Whereas others speculated that Obama and Natanyahu had a secret deal all along, that after the elections, both in Israel and the United States, the Israelis will be given a free hand to tackle its issues with Syria and Iran. If that turns out to be true, then an attack on Israel which Natanyahu had been threatening for over two years could come to pass in the next few months. Natanyahu is well aware that he practically has the free hand in attacking Iran as the U.S., and specially the U.S. congress which the Jewish Lobby practically controls, will go along with any action Israel may take, and regardless of what the consequences might be for the larger American interests in the Middle East, it will come to the rescue of Israel, if the things do not go the way Israelis plan.Looking at the chaotic situation in Syria it is difficult to speculate as to what action Bashr al Asad may take, but considering his vulnerable situation, it is expected that he has limited options and is not likely to retaliate. Any retaliation could engender a bigger Israeli response which could further weaken Syrian military, which is fighting for its survival in a fierce fight against heavily armed rebels supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Author Name : Zafar Sheikh