New footage has emerged from Syria, apparently showing the effects of an Israeli air strike that was conducted in the early hours of Sunday May 5. This marks the second Israeli air strike in Syria in almost as many days, and is the third overall since the start of the Syrian Uprising.
While any perceived Israeli aggression in the region would usually entail major backlash from Arab countries, such has not been the case during the ongoing Syrian crisis. Although, Egypt and the Arab League have condemned this latest venture. Furthermore, these increased strikes would explain why Israel has repeatedly violated Lebanese airspace over the past few days.
All indications suggest that Hezbollah in Lebanon is not seeking any of Assad's chemical or biological weapons. However, Reuters is reporting that Hezbollah is actively seeking conventional weapons systems. Here is where the recent air strikes enter the frame.
The Israeli air strike targeted a shipment bound for Hezbollah, in the outskirts of Damascus. An American intelligence official told the New York Times that the "shipment consisted of Iranian-made Fateh-110s." An upgraded replacement for the aging supply of Soviet made Scuds in the Middle east, the Fateh-110's are a formidable new ground-to-ground missile weapons system. Intelligence reports suggest that if armed with the Fateh-110's, Hezbollah would be able to strike practically anywhere in Israel from Southern Lebanon.
In light of the recent chemical weapons developments, these air strikes by Israel on Syrian regime assets are currently the best, and really only, possible option in lieu of a direct intervention from the West. In my March interview with Dr. Joshua Landis, he speculated that "the [U.S.] military is also investigating whether Chem Weapons can be destroyed by bombing alone."
Interestingly, since Israel deems the threat of the Fateh-110's to be deserving of a direct strike, where does that leave the Syrian people? Assad has already demonstrated his readiness to use Scud missiles in civilian areas. Clearly, steps should be taken to prevent Assad from using the feared Fateh-110 on his own people.
Here's another angle of the massive fireball in Damascus.
Iran has already condemned Israel's actions and "urged countries in the region to stand against the assault."