Reports are coming out of the Middle East that Syrian army outposts south of Damascus were struck by missiles fired by Israel. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that the attacks came on the evening of February 17. The human rights group reported that three rockets struck the outposts. The group, which is based in London, is frequently quoted by major media.
Israel has so far not commented on the reports, sticking to custom about alleged Israeli military actions in Syria – a traditional enemy. Also, sources in Syria that are favorable to embattled Syrian President Bashr al-Assad have denied the reports. In January, groups opposed to Assad claimed that Israel conducted air strikes on Hezbollah positions in the western mountainous region known as Qalamoun, which borders Lebanon.
And before that alleged Israeli strike, the most recent such strike killed Samir Kuntar – a former commander of Hezbollah terrorist forces who later worked with Iranian special forces units to organize terrorist cells in southern Syria, which borders Israel.
While Israeli military and political leaders are usually circumspect about such military operations, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently said that Israel “is active from time to time in Syria.” He added that such operations are hoped "to prevent a military front against us, and also in order to prevent the transfer of lethal weapons from Syria to Lebanon."
The conflict in Syria appears to be spreading. Syrian rebels opposed to Assad have recently given free passage to Kurdish rebels opposed to Turkey. A bomb blast in Ankara on Feb. 17 has been blamed on Kurdish separatists, while Turkey is amassing troops and materiel along its shared border with Syria. Turkish fighter jets pounded Syrian Kurdish rebel positions across the border today in northern Iraq in retaliation the Ankara attack that killed at least 28 people. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu both blamed Syrian Kurdish militias for the car bomb that targeted a convoy of Turkish military vehicles. 61 people were wounded in the incident.
Turkey has detained at least 12 people in connection with the bombing. A Turkish official said that that the man who detonated the device was a Syrian national. A local newspaper identified the man as a Syrian refugee, Salih Necar. There are about 2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Russia continues its bombing campaign in Syria in support of its ally, Assad. Recently, it deployed its most sophisticated reconnaissance aircraft in support of its aerial bombardment campaign to destroy anti-Assad opposition. As for American involvement, a number of the groups that had received U.S. support are now killing each other.
U.S. Navy personnel have discovered the remains of an American aviator who was shot down in combat over the Pacific Ocean in 1944. A team aboard USNS ...