Israeli warplanes reportedly strike Syrian-Lebanese border


An Israeli soldier carries shells on the border with Lebanon in 2006. Israel is on high alert as the Syrian conflict continues to spill over its borders.


David Furst

JERUSALEM — Israeli military jets hit a target on the Syria-Lebanon border, Lebanese and Western officials said today, according to Reuters and The Associated Press.

The Israeli government refused to comment on the reports. The Syrian state news agency claimed Israeli warplanes had struck a military base outside Damascus, according to the AP

The alleged move comes amid concerns over Syria's chemical weapons, which some fear may be in use as violence deepens there.

However, reports do not indicate Israel's military was targeting chemical weapons, but rather a missile convoy in a known outpost of political militia group Hezbollah, said GlobalPost's senior correspondent in Jerusalem, Noga Tarnopolsky.

A Lebanese military official said Wednesday that 12 Israeli military warplanes had violated the country's airspace within the last day, according to AP, while a military statement said there was "increased activity" from Israel in Lebanon over the past week. 

"The Israeli air force blew up a convoy which had just crossed the border from Syria into Lebanon," a security source speaking on the condition of anonymity told Agence-France Press.

GlobalPost's Tarnopolsky says, "It’s possible that Israel used the bombing of the convoy to issue a severe threat both to Syria and to Hezbollah — and by proxy, to Iran — that it is willing to act forcefully to stop any transfer of weapons."

It's also possible, she added, that Israel judged the missile convoy as an unacceptable threat.

Some 60,000 people are believed to have been killed in the conflict between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and an armed rebellion against his rule, reaching a level of crisis many fear will trigger instability throughout the region.

More on GlobalPost: Syrian crisis: UN's Brahimi warns of 'unprecedented levels of horror'

Noga Tarnopolsky contributed reporting from Jerusalem. Follow her on Twitter @NTarnopolsky.