Azmi Bishara
Photo: AFP

Israel tried to attack ground targets in Syria, says Bishara

Former MK says IAF's infiltration of Syrian airspace was meant to take out anti-aircraft missile facilities, ground targets. 'This was a full blown aerial operation and we are treading on dangerous ground,' he says

"Israel not only invaded Syrian airspace, but apparently tried to execute some sort of secret strategic operation," said former Knesset Member Azmi Bishara in an article published on a Syrian website Monday.


Bishara, who fled Israel after he was suspected of aiding Hizbullah operatives during the Second Lebanon War, said he believed the Israeli Air Force attempted an attack on Syria and was not just trying to send a message.


"Israel counted on Syria opting to keep (the invasion) quiet, rather than admit it happened," said Bishara.


"Based on (Israel's) recent statements regarding Russia's deployment in Syria, the purpose of the operation was apparently a strike on anti-aircraft missile facilities or on other ground targets.


"This could also have been an attempt to expose a breach in Syrian radar, allowing somehow to make way to Iran. This, of course, was impossible without Turkey's cooperation which the Israelis didn't seem to have. Either that or Turkey was flustered when IAF fuel tanks were found in its territory, prompting it to ask for an official explanation.


Scoring military gain

"Without getting carried away," continued Bishara, "this was a full blown aerial operation and we are treading on dangerous ground.


"We have to make sure Israel doesn't start a war with Syria or Lebanon and there is still a chance it would try to strike against one of them, for the sake of scoring military gain," he warned.


Earlier Monday, Ali Babacan, Turkish Foreign Minister, called Israel's action "an unacceptable development", adding "all countries in the region must show respect to all countries' sovereignty and carefully avoid acts that lead to tensions."


Tensions between Israel and Syria have been rising since Thursday, when in was discovered – according to Iranian news agency reports – that two IAF fighter jets breached Syrian airspace and were detected by the Syrian air defense system.


According a report by the Syrian military, aired on al-Jazeera television, the jets entered Syrian airspace from the north-east, breaking the sound barrier and dropping some sort of device, later found to be the fuel tanks.


"Syrian air defenses confronted the enemy planes, making them leave our airspace before causing any damage to people or property.


"Syria holds Israel solely responsible for this aggressive act and reserves the right to respond in due time," said the report.


פרסום ראשון: 09.10.07, 17:23
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