Israel has conducted airstrike in Syria: US media
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
US and Western intelligence agencies were reviewing information suggesting Israel likely conducted a strike in the night from May 2 to May 3, CNN television reported. Hürriyet archive photoIsrael conducted an airstrike in Syria targeting a weapons shipment headed for the militant group Hezbollah based in neighboring Lebanon, US media reported May 3.
CNN television said that US and Western intelligence agencies were reviewing information suggesting Israel likely conducted a strike in the night from May 2 to May 3, just as Israel was flying many warplanes over Lebanon.
But the United States does not believe Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace to conduct the strikes, it added.
A senior US official told NBC News that the airstrikes were likely tied to delivery systems for chemical weapons.
CNN, however, cited officials as saying there was no reason to believe Israel had struck chemical weapons storage facilities.
White House and Pentagon officials declined to comment on the reports. But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was quoted as telling an audience that Israel had indeed bombed Syria.
"Israel bombed Syria tonight," Graham was cited by the Politico news website as saying in passing, without offering any further details.
Graham, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was speaking at the South Carolina Republican Party's annual Silver Elephant fundraising dinner.
If confirmed, this would mark the second time that Israel has conducted airstrikes on Syria this year. Earlier this month, the Jewish state implicitly admitted carrying out a January air strike on a weapons convoy in Syria thought to be en route to Lebanon's Hezbollah -- a long-time Damascus ally.
The reports on the latest strike came shortly after President Barack Obama nearly ruled out deploying US troops to Syria, saying he did not foresee a scenario in which that would be beneficial to the United States or Syria.
Speculation has mounted that the Obama administration could reverse its opposition to arming the rebels after the White House said last week that President Bashar al-Assad likely used chemical weapons on his people.
Obama has been reluctant to intervene in the war but faces mounting criticism that he has allowed the Assad regime to cross his own declared "red line" on using chemical weapons.