Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Syria could retaliate, Israel could hit again

  • Print

BEIRUT -- Syria threatened Thursday to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike and its ally Iran said the Jewish state will regret the attack.

Syria sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General stressing the country's "right to defend itself, its territory and sovereignty" and holding Israel and its supporters accountable.

"Israel and those who protect it at the Security Council are fully responsible for the repercussions of this aggression," the letter from Syria's Foreign Ministry said.

U.S. officials said Israel launched a rare airstrike inside Syria on Wednesday targeting a convoy carrying anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militant group allied with Syria and Iran.

In Israel, a lawmaker close to hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped short of confirming involvement in the strike. But he hinted Israel could carry out similar missions in the future.

The attack has inflamed regional tensions already running high over Syria's 22-month-old civil war.

Israeli leaders in the days leading up to the airstrike had publicly expressed concern Syrian President Bashar Assad may be losing his grip on the country and its arsenal of conventional and non-conventional weapons.

The Syrian military denied any such weapons convoy. It said low-flying Israeli jets crossed into the country over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and bombed a scientific research centre. The facility is in the area of Jamraya, northwest of Damascus and about 15 kilometres from the Lebanese border.

A U.S. official said the airstrike targeted trucks containing sophisticated Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles. The trucks were next to the military research facility identified by the Syrians, and the strike hit both the trucks and the facility, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the operation.

If the SA-17s were to have reached Hezbollah, they would have greatly inhibited the Israeli air force's ability to operate in Lebanon, where Israel has flown frequent sorties in recent years.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, who in December became one of the most senior Syrian army officers to defect, told The Associated Press by telephone from Turkey the targeted site is a "major and well-known" centre to develop weapons called the Scientific Research Center.

Al-Shallal, who until his defection was commander of the military police, said no chemical or non-conventional weapons are at the site. He added foreign experts, including Russians and Iranians, are usually present at such centres.

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali threatened retribution for the Israeli airstrike, saying Damascus "has the option and the capacity to surprise in retaliation."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2013 A16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Fringe, space motifs trendy for teens heading back to school

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google