RT source: Israeli strike on Syria was carried out from Turkish base

Published time: July 15, 2013 04:00   Edited time: July 15, 2013 13:00                                                                            

Israel used a Turkish military base to launch one of its recent airstrikes against Syria from the sea, a reliable source told RT. Israel has been under scrutiny since last week, when it was reported to be responsible for a July 5 depot attack in Latakia.

News that Turkey assisted Israel in attacking another Muslim  state could result in serious turmoil for Ankara, once the  information is confirmed.

“Our source is telling us that Israeli planes left a military  base inside Turkey and approached Latakia from the sea to make  sure that they stayed out of Syrian airspace so that they cannot  become a legitimate target for the Syrian air force,” RT’s  Paula Slier reports.

In response, Turkey has denied that Israel has used its base to  strike Syria.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the media that  existing reports of the incident are “absolutely wrong”   and those who spread such rumors are in “act of  betrayal.”

“Turkey will neither be a part nor a partner of such   ‘attacks.’ The ones who claim this want to damage Turkey’s power  and reputation,” he added.

Responding to RT’s request for comment, the Turkish embassy in  Moscow has said: “We officially inform that this allegation is  definitely not true.”

Israel has also declined to comment to RT and refused to confirm  or deny the information.

The Israeli PM’s office told RT that they “will not be  taking part in your broadcast,” while an IDF spokesperson  renewed the stance that the military is “not commenting on  this issue.”

Relations between Turkey and Israel were strained until March  2013, as a result of a flotilla incident which happened more than three  years ago. In protest against Israel’s refusal to apologize,  Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and severed military ties.

The two agreed to normalize their relationship after Israeli  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip  Erdogan.

Ankara has been known for its assistance to foreign-backed  militants, allowing them to train on Turkish territory before  infiltrating into Syria.

Shortly after the July 5 airstrike, the Free Syrian Army said that rebels  were not responsible for the attack, which destroyed Yakhont  anti-ship missiles being stored there.

It was not the FSA that targeted this,” Qassem  Saadeddine, FSA’s Supreme Military Council spokesman told  Reuters. “It is not an attack that was carried out by  rebels.”


A general view of the port of Syria's Mediterranean city of Latakia (Reuters / Khaled Al Hariri)A general view of the port of Syria’s Mediterranean city of Latakia (Reuters / Khaled Al Hariri)


The FSA suggested the attack “was either by air raid or  long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean.”

Rebels described massive blasts, saying that the firepower  exceeded the capability of weapons available to the opposition.  They speculated that the attack was launched with the use of  modern military weapons, like those which may be possessed by  Israel.

On Saturday, US officials speaking on condition of anonymity also  revealed Israel’s involvement with the explosions. They did not  provide details on the extent of the damage or the number of  missiles struck.

At the same time, Britain’s Sunday Times cited its Middle East  intelligence sources who reported that a contingent of 50  Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles were targeted and  destroyed. However, the newspaper claimed that Israeli submarines  carried out the attack rather than the Air Force.

Netanyahu  hesitated to comment on reports when speaking to CBS-TV’s “Face  the Nation” on Sunday.

“My policy is to prevent the transfer of dangerous weapons to  Hezbollah in Lebanon and other terror groups as well. And we  stand by that policy,” the PM said. “And I’m not in the  habit of saying what we did or didn’t do,” he added.

If the recent airstrikes are proven to have been carried out by  Israel, the July 5 strike will be the fourth known Israeli air  attack against targets in Syria this year. The previous three   attacks targeted an area near Damascus on  January 30, May 3, and May 5.

Photo reportedly showing the explosions hitting Damascus suburb of Jamraya on May 3Photo reportedly showing the explosions hitting Damascus suburb of Jamraya on May 3


In late January, an airstrike hit a weapons convoy that carried  Russian-made SA-17 surface-to-air missiles, marking the first  incursion by Israel into Syrian airspace in six years.

In May, Israeli warplanes conducted two days of airstrikes,  targeting a shipment from Iran of Fateh-110 missiles. Such  missiles have the capability to strike Tel Aviv from southern  Lebanon.

Middle East expert and historian, Tariq Ali told RT that Israel  continues to attack Syria to get square with Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah is like a red [rag to a] bull to Israelis and  Israelis haven’t been able to wipe it out, though they tried many  times. Now they are hoping they can do it by weakening or  completely destroying the Syrian regime. Indirectly they are  providing help to the rebels,” Ali said. “Israel is a  country that considers itself above the law.”



Categories: Escalation / Destabilization Conflict

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  1. Israel bombs Syria from Turkish base – claim and counter-claim » Golem XIV – Thoughts « Olduvaiblog: Musings on the coming collapse
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