Thursday, January 31, 2013
BEIRUT — Syria threatened today to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike and its ally Iran said there will be repercussions for the Jewish state over the attack.
U.S. officials said Israel launched a rare airstrike inside Syria on Wednesday. The target was a convoy believed to be carrying anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militant group allied with Syria and Iran.
In Israel, a lawmaker close to hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped short of confirming involvement in the strike. But he hinted that Israel could carry out similar missions in the future.
The attack has inflamed regional tensions already running high over Syria’s 22-month-old civil war.
Regional security officials said Wednesday that the targeted shipment included sophisticated Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which if acquired by Hezbollah would enhance its military capabilities by enabling the militants to shoot down Israeli jets, helicopters and surveillance drones.