The attack on a Syrian military facility early Thursday morning, attributed to Israel, is a sign that Israel will enforce its major “red lines” with Syria to defend itself, a former Israeli national security adviser said Thursday.
In a press briefing hosted by The Israel Project, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaacov Amidror noted that a few weeks ago Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah visited the military installation that housed the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) where Syria reportedly develops non-conventional weapons, including chemical weapons and their delivery systems.
The Israel Project publishes The Tower.
“Weapon systems had been transferred for from this organization into the hands of Hezbollah,” Amidror said. He suggested that the reason that Israel only struck the facility now was because a few weeks ago, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah visited Damascus and speculated that the visit resulted in the “transfer [of] this facility to the hands of Hezbollah or at least produce weapons systems for Hezbollah.”
This is one of the three “red lines” Israel has set up regarding Syria: Israel will not allow “game-changer weapons systems” to be transferred to Hezbollah; Israel will not let Iran or Hezbollah “to build their launching pads” on the Syrian Golan Heights; and “that Israel would allow anyone who comes to the Israeli border wounded” to be treated in Israeli hospitals.
Amidror added that the attack that Israel carried out was consistent with Israel’s defensive posture regarding Syria and that the overnight attack marked “another level” of response. Instead of attacking a warehouse, the Israeli attack targeted a well-known R&D facility known for producing chemical weapons, as well as rockets and missiles.
When asked if the attack was in any way related to the United Nations report earlier this week that confirmed that Syrian government has perpetrated over two dozen chemical attacks since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, Amidror responded that Israel would not be able to “produce such an attack a few moments after” the UN issued such report.
Amidror also said that he expected that Russia will not retaliate for the attack. According to Amidror, “the Russians understand and fully understand after the visit of the prime minister in Sochi what are the interests of Israel” and that Israel will not allow Hezbollah to use the chaos of Syria to continue to strengthen itself.
A recording of Amidror’s remarks is embedded below.
[Photo: Harvard Institute of Politics / YouTube]