This morning’s strike inside Syrian territory, which reportedly targeted advanced Iranian missiles headed for Hezbollah, was primarily a message for Iran, former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said today. “Iran is testing Israel’s and the US’s determination to uphold ‘red lines.’ And what it is seeing in Syria is that at least some of the actors take red lines seriously,” said Yadlin.
The comment was an oblique criticism of the United States administration: President Barack Obama said last August that any use by President Bashar Assad of chemical weapons would cross a “red line.”
Assad has used chemical weapons against rebel targets in recent weeks. Israel has in the past said that it would not allow Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist group, to acquire advanced weaponry or chemical weapons via Syria, and that it would take action to prevent this from happening.
In a brief comment apparently related to the airstrike, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said today, “My father taught me that the greatest responsibility we bear is to ensure Israel’s security and to fortify its future.” The prime minister, speaking at a ceremony dedicating a Jerusalem road junction in memory of his father Benzion, did not elaborate.
The prime minister postponed his scheduled flight to China by two hours so he could attend a security cabinet meeting this afternoon to discuss the escalating hostilities with Syria.
On Shabbos, Ed Royce, a top US Congressman on a visit to Yerushalayim, warned that if the US does not hold firm to the “red line” it set down against Syria using chemical weapons, it risks undermining the seriousness with which its positions are taken on thwarting Iran’s drive for a nuclear weapon. Royce (R-CA), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, told The Times of Israel that “Sending a conflicting message to the Syrian regime – which is a cat’s paw of Iran – could create a misunderstanding as to the steadfast nature of our intentions on Iran.”
Read more at Times of Israel.