Another Israeli Syrian Airstrike
by Stephen Lendman
Israel is a US coalition partner for regime change in Syria - at war with its neighbor and Hezbollah forces without declaring it.
The latest incident occurred overnight Saturday. Israeli warplanes struck Hezbollah targets multiple times in the mountainous Qalamoun area.
Neither side acknowledged what happened. Ahead of the incident, Israeli Channel 2 news reported an IDF statement warning about “sounds of explosions (soon to) be heard in the Upper Galilee” - claiming “(t)hese are initiated and controlled explosions that were planned in advance and not a security incident.”
It came a week after an Israeli airstrike killed top Hezbollah official Samir Kuntar, one or more other group commanders and civilians in a Damascus suburb.
Following the incident, Lebanese fighters and Israeli forces exchanged cross-border fire.
Rockets struck northern Israel, responded to by artillery fire and missiles. No casualties were reported on either side. Whether the latest incident prompts greater Hezbollah retaliation remains to be seen - perhaps revenge in its own way at a time of its choosing.
Last month, Israel conducted at least four airstrikes against Syrian and Hezbollah positions in the Qalamoun mountain region, numerous other ones earlier.
The reliable Saker web site explained an Israeli/Russian deal arranged when Netanyahu met with Putin in Moscow last September, saying:
“(T)he Israelis don’t interfere in Russian operations in support of the Syrians as long as the Russians don’t interfere in the combat operations between Israel and Hezbollah.”
“This made it possible for both sides to pursue their main interest even if it was at the cost of their secondary objectives.” The Saker described the deal as “ruthless realpolitik,” each side assuring no interference with the other in Syrian airspace.
Russian air power and sophisticated S-400 missile defense systems control Syrian skies, able to target and destroy anything seen as a threat to its aircraft or ground personnel.
Separately, Syria’s military spokesman reported numbers of ISIS and other terrorists fleeing cross-border to Turkey doubled in recent weeks - after incurring heavy losses, continuing in suburban Damascus, Aleppo, Raqqa, Daraa, Sweida, Lattakia, Hama, Homs and elsewhere.
Syria’s military took credit for killing salafist Islam Army (Jaish al-Islam) leader Zahran Alloush and several of his commanders in the eastern Ghouta area of Damascus.
Reports indicate Essam al-Boudani was appointed to replace him less than 24 hours after the incident. Fars News suggested he might be eliminated in short order, saying:
“The hideout of Jeish al-Islam's new commander Essam al-Boudani, also known as Abu Hamam, in Hajjariyeh in Douma was stormed (on Saturday afternoon) by the Syrian soldiers,” according to Damascus military sources.
“The army was informed by the intelligence sources about al-Boudani's hideout this morning. Scores of the guards of the new commander were killed or wounded in the attack.”
“The terrorist group's headquarters has been completely destroyed.” Al-Boudani’s fate remains unknown so far - unclear if he’s alive or dead, for sure very much wanted if able to operate.
Syria’s military called Alloush’s killing as an inside job - Syrian Air Force Intelligence behind it, an agent infiltrating his network, revealing his precise location, ahead of the attack killing him.
Army spokesman Ali Mayhoub explained the operation was one of the largest of the conflict.
His Jaish al-Islam operates like ISIS and other terrorist groups, heavily supported by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states - waging terror war on Syria, willfully targeting civilians, continuing in his absence.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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