Israel stays silent on Syria raid

Speculation that raid earlier this month may have hit Syrian nuclear installation.

    Yadlin's comments were interpreted by some MPs as hinting that the raid had been a success [EPA]
    A member of parliament who attended Sunday's session told the Associated Press that Yadlin had made comments that some interpreted as hinting that the alleged raid had been a success.
    "Israel's deterrence has been rehabilitated since the Lebanon war, and it affects the entire regional system, including Iran and Syria," the MP quoted Yadlin as saying, referring to Israel's 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    Olmert silent
    Yadlin's comments came as it was revealed an opposition MP had written to Menachem Mazuz, Israel's attorney general, demanding that Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, brief parliamentarians on the reported raid.

    "I think this is a clear message not only to Syria, I think it's a clear message to Iran as well, that its continued efforts to acquire nuclear weapons are not going to go unanswered"

    John Bolton, former US envoy to UN

    "In the light of foreign reports on an Israeli air attack in Syria, and the total blackout in Israel on whether anything happened or not, I ask you to make the prime minister face his obligations decreed by law," Zehava Gal-On, an MP for the Meretz party, wrote in the letter obtained by the AFP news agency.

    She said Israel's basic law stipulated that the prime minister has a duty to inform parliament's defence and foreign affairs committee or one of its deputy bodies on any extraordinary military operation.

    Meanwhile, John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, said he thought Israel might have been targeting a nuclear installation as "a message not only to Syria, but to Iran".
    Speaking to Israel's Channel 10 television, he said an Israeli operation inside Syria would usually involve a very high value target, adding that "a Syrian effort in the nuclear weapons area would qualify".
    "I think this is a clear message not only to Syria, I think it's a clear message to Iran as well, that its continued efforts to acquire nuclear weapons are not going to go unanswered," Bolton said.
    He did not indicate having first-hand information about the Israeli raid.
    Possible targets
    Israel's silence has spawned several theories, including a suggestion that Israel was on an intelligence-gathering mission to test Syria's air defences and to scout an air corridor for a future strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
    Another raised the possibility that Israel was trying to hit a shipment of arms destined for the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, a close ally of both Syria and Iran.
    Israel often has been swift to announce such operations in the past but this time, Syria cryptically announced that its air space had been entered and that Israel had "dropped munitions".
    Syria has offered no evidence of any Israeli attack. Israel has dismissed recent calls by Syria to restart peace talks, citing Damascus' continued support for Palestinian armed groups and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.
    The last direct military confrontation between the two countries was in Lebanon in 1982.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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