Israel deployed missiles and warplanes over the weekend to destroy targets in Syria. Although Israel has neither confirmed nor denied these claims, it is widely believed the strike was aimed at destroying Iranian missile bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Syria has vowed to retaliate but has not been specific about what action it would take. This is the third Jewish news story of a strike into Syria this year with the goal of destroying weapons leaving the country.
Although the strike was against government targets, it is not widely believed the attack will shift the balance of the conflict. Recent days have seen increased tension as the conflict grows and Syria’s stock of weapons becomes harder to secure. It is believed, though not confirmed, that Syria has already used chemical weapons against the rebels. The attack adds another unpredictable element to the mix of sectarianism and war already engulfing Syria. Many view the attack as an action against Iran more than Syria: Iran has supported the Shiite government of Assad which it views as one of its few regional allies.
The United States has said little, other than it supports Israel’s right to defend itself. Many worry this strike could draw Israel and Iran into a greater regional standoff.