Israel has never indicated whether these reports are based on facts. But let’s assume that they are based on solid facts and that in recent years, the Israeli air force (IAF) has been busy destroying potential dangers to the country.
According to the foreign press, only some of these pre-emptive strikes came to public knowledge, but even so, and again, if these reports are accurate, the IAF has become a very capable long arm. When the Syrian regime killed hundreds of its citizens with chemical weapons two days ago, many asked themselves whether Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons will become the target for another alleged strike by Israeli jet fighters.
There is no doubt that the most “exotic” alleged Israeli strike was performed in September 2007, when – according to the foreign press – the IAF demolished the unfinished Syrian nuclear reactor in the northeast Deir Ezzour region. The White House and CIA stated that the Israeli air force attack was on a nuclear facility serving military purposes, which the Syrian government denied.
An International Atomic Energy Agency investigation later confirmed the presence of uranium and other materials consistent with a nuclear reactor. By April 2011, the UN’s nuclear watchdog had officially confirmed that fact.
The operation was carried out by F-15I and F-16I fighter jets. Around eight aircraft participated and it is believed four crossed into Syrian airspace. This, of course, assumes the foreign press had good sources.
AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground tactical missiles and heavy bombs were reportedly used in the attack. Reports suggest that Israeli special commandos had visited the site the day before to mark the facility for missile guidance units.
Syria has an assortment of chemical weapons, and Scud missiles that can be armed with warheads that can carry those deadly chemicals. Israel has intelligence sensors that can provide real-time data about everything that happens in the neighbouring country.
I would not be surprised to read in the foreign press that someone had taken action to prevent the use of these weapons against citizens of neighbouring countries.