Israel's Next Northern War
|Susan St. Clair||April 29th 2013|
A spokesman for the rebel military in Syria has said that Israeli Air Force jets were spotted flying over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s palace in Damascus as well as over security and military installations, according to Israel’s Channel 2. The planes were spotted Sunday morning, the spokesman said. He added that no anti-aircraft shots were fired at the jets. Last week several Western nations, as well as the rebel army, confirmed that evidence suggesting that chemical weapons had been used by Assad’s regime had been gathered. The use of chemical weapons by Assad, considered a “red line” by U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel, have ratcheted up tensions even further in the region.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported: "Lawmakers pressed the Obama administration to intervene in Syria's civil war, citing the regime's alleged chemical-weapons use, as the White House weighed its response against a sobering fact: Damascus has developed a world class air-defense system. That system, built, installed and maintained—largely in secret—by Russia's military complex, presents a formidable deterrent as the White House draws up options for responding to a U.S. intelligence report released last week concluding that Damascus likely used chemical weapons on the battlefield.Leading Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Sunday said they didn't believe the U.S. should send American troops into Syria. They and the Obama administration are wary about U.S. involvement in another Middle East conflict after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But some called for a no-fly zone and more humanitarian aid. Previously undisclosed details about Syria's antiaircraft systems outline the evolution of one of the most advanced and concentrated barriers on the planet, developed to ward off U.S. and Israeli warplanes, say U.S. intelligence and defense officials. The Obama administration only sporadically intervened to try to stop its construction, the officials say.