Huge explosions in Damascus within the last hour or two are the result of Israeli attacks on a research center, according to Fox News. No link from Fox. I heard it on the telecast a few minutes ago. Reuters confirmed hits about 20 minutes ago, saying rockets had “struck a military research center on the outskirts of the capital.” This research facility was also hit by Israel in January 2013. Reuters identifies the facility as the Jamraya Military Center and an ammunition depot. Al Arabiya says the strike happened at 1:50 a.m. Sunday, Damascus time. The strikes on Thursday night/Friday morning targeted Iranian missiles in Syria. More as details become available. See Updates Below. 9:57 pm CDT – just added the video below believed to be the strike. Pretty spectacular footage – everyone yelling Allahu Akhbar.
UPDATE 4/5/13 @ 9:28 am: This morning we hear that Israel bombed Syria, near Damascus, “for hours. The video below has been confirmed to genuine. In this Reuters report, it is also confirmed that it is rebels celebrating when you hear the “Allahu Akhbar” in the background.
Israel, while declining to confirm the strike, stressed its focus was to deny its Lebanese foes new Iranian firepower and not take sides between Assad, long seen as a toothless adversary, and rebels who have won sympathy from Israel’s Western allies but who also include al Qaeda Islamists hostile to the Jewish state…
“CNN quoted Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad calling Sunday’s attack a “declaration of war”, and the Iranian foreign minister urged countries to resist Israel. But a senior Iranian commander also said Syria was strong enough to defend itself without Tehran’s help – though he also offered training.”
The article linked above also hints that the UN may once again sanction Israel.
UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 10:26 pm: Lots of rumors that Assad will declare war on Israel. I think Assad has his hands full. I don’t think he can pull off a war against Israel unless he uses a surprise Nuke. If he does that, it better a big one because Syria will be dust. What do you think?
UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 10:21 pm: 5am local time in Syria has passed without comment from military authorities or the Assad regime. Speculation continues about the nature of the attack with some insisting that Israel’s weaponry was “nuclear-like”, that chemicals can be “smelt” in the air, and that the attack was co-ordinated by Israel with help from Syrian rebel forces. Source: The Commentator
UPDATE 4/4/13 @ 9:33 pm CDT: The AP is reporting casualities:
SANA [Syrian State News Agency] said explosions went off at the Jamraya research center near Damascus, causing casualties. “Initial reports point to these explosions being a result of Israeli missiles that targeted the research center in Jamraya,” SANA said.
A Syrian activist group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, also reported large explosions in the area of Jamraya, a research facility northwest of Damascus, about 15 kilometers (10 miles) from the Lebanese border….