- LIVE: Lok Sabha passes Telangana Bill, Jagan calls for bandh across Andhra Pradesh
- Your ministers used to throw dust, now they're using pepper spray to fool people: Modi to Cong
- Rajiv Gandhi's killers get relief, Supreme Court commutes death penalty to life
- Seven Naxals killed in police encounter in Gadchiroli
- Interim Budget 2014: Economy headache for next government
Israel's involvement in Syria could escalate the civil war into a regional conflict
Ever since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Israel doesn't acknowledge, or deny, its precision military operations, carried out usually from air or sea. This two-pronged tactic of eliminating a threat without calling attention to itself had seen the destruction, allegedly by IDF warplanes, of what the UN suspected to be a North Korea-built nuclear reactor in eastern Syria in 2007. On Thursday night and early morning Sunday, the IDF reportedly carried out two strikes inside Syria. Reports said the targets were sophisticated weapons bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Bashar al-Assad regime, however, accused Israel of "coordinating" with the Syrian rebels, and claimed the Sunday attack was on the Jamraya scientific research institute outside Damascus — a suspected chemical weapons research facility.
The likelihood of Syria's chemical weapons falling into the wrong hands has been the focus of intervention debates. The transfer of conventional weapons — anti-aircraft missiles, anti-shipping missiles, long-range ground-to-ground missiles — to Hezbollah, however, is Israel's proclaimed "red line" in Syria, akin to the US red line on chemical weapons. There are grounds to suspect the use of chemical weapons, and there's evidence of Iran shipping arms to its ally Hezbollah via its other regional ally, Assad's Syria. Hezbollah fighters have also reportedly joined the civil war on Assad's side. There are concerns that, as Assad's regime crumbles, he might transfer his weapons to Hezbollah.