Red line crossed gives green light for attacks

If reports in the foreign press are accurate, Israel acted twice in 48 hours after Syria crossed a very thick red line drawn by Jerusalem.

International media have reported that the main targets in Syria – storage facilities for advanced long-range Iranian-made missiles – were hit‫ ‬hard.

Officially, Israel has not commented, but the attacks will have fulfilled twin aims – gaining very accurate real-time intelligence about the Fateh 110 missiles on their way from Iran to Lebanon via Syria and delivering strikes with pinpoint accuracy that triggered a long chain of secondary explosions.

Syria has some of the most robust air defences in the region.

Israeli air force jets probably launched their weapons systems from a stand-off range.

These are likely to have included the Rafael AGM-142 Popeye air-surface missile and Spice guidance kit for aerial bombs.

The attacks have increased tension in the region and Israel has closed its airspace in the north of the country to allow for fast detection of threats and unrestricted flights for the air force. Two Iron Dome batteries have also been deployed in the north.

If the reports are correct, Israel is the first foreign power to take direct action in Syria since the bloody civil war began. 

But in the Middle East, crises do not develop along “normal” lines. Tension will mount in the area in the coming days with a massive mobilisation of Israeli forces, especially in the air.

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