Sunday, May 5, 2013

Explosions Rock Damascus: Israel Blamed [UPDATED]

Things are most definitely heating up in the Middle East as the escalation continues to increase at an alarming rate. Just on the last several hours there have been significant developments:

A series of explosions were heard in Damascus overnight Saturday, as the official Syrian news agency SANAclaimed that Israel carried out a rocket attack on the Jamraya scientific research center in Damascus.

The agency did not say whether there were any wounded or dead.

Syrian television said "the Israeli attack aims at loosening the noose around the terrorists in the eastern Ghouta" region, near Damascus. “Terrorists” is the word used by the Syrian media to describe the rebels seeking to oust President Bashar Al-Assad.

If confirmed, the attack would be Israel's second this week against Syria.

U.S. media reports over the weekend said Israel targeted a weapons shipment to Hizbullah in neighboring Lebanon overnight Thursday. Israel has so far refused to confirm or deny the bombing.

A diplomatic source in Lebanon told AFP that the operation destroyed surface-to-air missiles recently delivered by Russia that were being stored at Damascus airport.

Another report in the New York Times suggested that the “game changing” weapons destroyed in an Israeli airstrike were sent by Iran.
The strike reportedly targeted Fateh-110 missiles. The Fateh-110 has a range of up to 300 kilometers.

 Powerful explosions struck the outskirts of Damascus early on Sunday, sending columns of fire into the night sky, and Syrian state television said Israeli rockets had struck a military facility just north of the capital.
Israel declined to comment on the attack, but the blasts occurred a day after an Israeli official said his country had carried out an air strike targeting a consignment of missiles in Syria intended for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

One of the sites hit on Sunday, the Jamraya military research centre, was also targeted by Israel in January.

"The new Israeli attack is an attempt to raise the morale of the terrorist groups which have been reeling from strikes by our noble army," Syrian television said, referring to recent offensives by President Bashar Assad's forces against rebels.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted eyewitnesses in the area as saying they saw jets in the sky at the time of the explosions.

It said the blasts hit Jamraya as well as a nearby ammunition depot. Other activists said a missile brigade and two Republican Guard battalions may also have been targeted in the heavily militarised area just north of Damascus.

Video footage uploaded onto the Internet by activists showed a series of explosions. One lit up the skyline over the city, while another sent up a tower of flames and secondary blasts.

 The airstrike that Israeli warplanes carried out inSyria overnight on Thursday was directed at a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran that Israel believed was intended for Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese organization, American officials said Saturday.

It was the second time in four months that Israel has carried out an attack in Syria intended to disrupt the pipeline of weapons that runs from there to Hezbollah. And the raid highlighted the mounting stakes for Hezbollah and Israel as Syria becomes more chaotic.

The missiles that were the target of the Israeli raid had been shipped from Iran and were being stored in a warehouse at Damascus International Airport when they were struck, according to an American official.

Iran has sought to use the threat of a Hezbollah missile attack against Israeli territory as a means of building up its ally and deterring Israel from conducting airstrikes on Iranian nuclear installations that Israeli and American officials believe are part of an Iraniannuclear weapons program.

Israel, for its part, has repeatedly cautioned that it will not allow Hezbollah to receive “game changing” weapons that could threaten the Israeli heartland even if a new Syrian government takes power.

Hezbollah is now believed to have more missiles and fighters than it had before its 2006 battle with Israel, when Hezbollah missiles forced a third of Israel’s population into shelters and hit as far south as Haifa. A Pentagon official said in 2010 that Hezbollah’s arsenal was believed to include a small number of Fateh-110s, and additional shipments would add to Hezbollah’s striking power.

In carrying out Friday’s raid, Israeli warplanes fired air-to-ground weapons, apparently staying clear of Syrian airspace and operating in the skies over neighboring Lebanon.

On Sunday, the Syrian government said the missile struck a military complex at Jamraya, a base Damascus said Israel attacked in January.

Large blasts sent towering plumes of flame and smoke into the night sky above Mount Qasioun, which towers over downtown Damascus, according to residents and video posted by opposition activists.

The area is home to an array of Syrian military facilities, including the headquarters of the Army’s Fourth Division, as well as military research centers. Jamraya is on the far side of the mountain.

The vivid explosions were captured in videos by rebel fighters, some of whom could be heard chanting their approval in the background.Syria’s Ikhbariya television, a state-owned channel, asserted that Israeli had carried out the strikes.

Syrian state television reported Israel struck an area near Damascus early Sunday morning, the second such strike reported in as many days.

The report, cited by Reuters, claimed Israeli rockets hit a military research site on the outskirts of the capital, and smoke could be seen rising from the area. The Jamarya site was the same one reportedly hit by Israeli planes in January

Other activists reported that the blast hit an ammunition depot in Qassiyoun mountains near the city, according to Xinhua.

Loud explosions shook the city and video put online claiming to be from the incident shows a series of large fireballs rising into the sky.

“Everything was quiet and suddenly we saw this bright orange light in the sky followed by a very loud explosion,” Tarek Hillnawi told the Al-Arabiya satellite television station. “I felt that it was over for us, that all of Damascus is set on fire.”

On Saturday, unnamed Israeli officials confirmed Israel Air Force planes had carried out a strike against Syrian targets early Friday. The New York Times reported that advanced missiles from Iran en route to Shiite terror group Hezbollah were destroyed in the attack.


[Updates: Things are moving rapidly - check here for updates to this evolving situation]

Syria: Israel's Airstrikes Are A 'Declaration Of War'

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad warned Sunday that recent Israeli airstrikes on facilities near Damascus constituted an Israeli “declaration of war.”
The Foreign Ministry confirmed in a letter to the United Nations that the strikes had “killed and wounded several people.”

The Syrian Foreign Ministry also said Sunday in a letter sent to the United Nations and the UN Security Council that the “Israeli aggression” killed and wounded several people and “caused widespread destruction.”
Apparently bracing for possible retaliation, Israel deployed two Iron Dome missile defense batteries in the north of the country on Sunday morning, hours after it reportedly struck a shipment of Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah near Damascus.
One Iron Dome battery was deployed in Safed and the other in Haifa. The Iron Dome system has proved highly effective in stopping short-range rocket fire, intercepting 84 percent of the incoming rockets from Gaza it aimed at during Operation Pillar of Defense last November.

Syria: Israel Strikes Are A Declaration Of War

Syrian Military Site Hit By Fresh Israeli Strike Early Sunday

Israel struck an area near Damascus early Sunday morning, Syrian state television reported, the second such airstrike in 48 hours.
The Syrian report claimed Israeli rockets hit a military research site on the outskirts of the capital at about 2 a.m., and smoke could be seen rising from the area. An unnamed Israeli official told AFP the target was a shipment of Iranian made Fatah-110 missiles that were on their way from Syria to Hezbollah terrorists.

Uzi Rubin, a missile expert and former Defense Ministry official, told the Associated Press that if the target was a consignment of Fatah-110 missiles, then such weaponry did constitute a “game-changer”: Fired from Syria or south Lebanon, these missiles, he said, could reach almost anywhere in Israel with high accuracy.

“If fired from southern Lebanon, they can reach Tel Aviv and even [the southern city of] Beersheba,” Rubin said. He said the rockets are much five times more accurate than the Scud missiles that Hezbollah has fired in the past. “It is a game-changer because they are a threat to Israel’s infrastructure and military installations,” he said.

Syrian state-run news agency SANA said explosions went off at the Jamraya research center near Damascus, causing casualties and blackouts. “Initial reports point to these explosions being a result of Israeli missiles that targeted the research center in Jamraya,” SANA said.

'Strike In Syria Sends A Message To Iran', Says Former Intel Chief

Sunday morning’s strike inside Syrian territory, which reportedly targeted advanced Iranian missiles headed for Hezbollah, was primarily a message for Iran, former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said on Sunday.
“Iran is testing Israel’s and the US’s determination to uphold ‘red lines.’ And what it is seeing in Syria is that at least some of the actors take red lines seriously,” said Yadlin.

An unnamed Israeli official told AFP that the target of Sunday’s strike was a shipment of Iranian made Fatah-110 missiles, which are surface-to-surface missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles).
Syrian state-run news agency SANA said on Sunday that explosions went off at the Jamraya research center near Damascus, causing casualties and blackouts. “Initial reports point to these explosions being a result of Israeli missiles that targeted the research center in Jamraya,” SANA said.
On Saturday, unnamed Israeli officials confirmed Israel Air Force planes had carried out a strike against Syrian targets early Friday. The New York Times reported that advanced missiles from Iran en route to Shiite terror group Hezbollah were destroyed in that attack.
On Sunday, a former IDF chief of staff, Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz, said he supported Israel’s policy of preventing weapons from reaching Hezbollah.
“One thing is clear, Syria is falling apart before our eyes. Iran and Hezbollah are deeply involved in the Syrian civil war, and the transfer of weapons may be the regime’s way of thanking Hezbollah for siding with it in its fight against rebel groups,” Mofaz told Israel Radio.

More Updates:

Israel Closes Northern Civilian Airspace Amid Syrian Tension

Israel Attacks Syria, Awaits Possible Reprisal

Report: Syria Stations Missile Batteries Aimed At Israel

Joel Rosenberg: Why Netanyahu Ordered More Air Strikes In Syria

Around 2:00am Sunday morning local time, Israeli fighter planes conducted another round of air strikes against Syrian targets. This was the second round of Israeli preemptive strikes in the last 48 to 72 hours.
The targets were in and near the capital city of Damascus, and early reports indicate they included storehouses for advanced missiles that the Assad regime was preparing to transfer to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.
Big questions:
  • Are more Israeli air strikes coming?
  • Will the Assad regime — or Hezbollah, or Iran — retaliate? Syrian officials are already calling Israel’s actions a “declaration of war.”
  • Will this trigger a new regional war, or help prevent one by sending a clear message to Israel’s enemies not to cross certain red lines?
  • How will the Obama administration and other world governments respond?

One thing is clear: Netanyahu is not waiting any longer for Obama to act. Israel is taking the lead in protecting its own national security.

Israeli officials see Syria imploding, and Iran, Hezbollah and other terror forces moving into the vacuum. They see Syria having used chemical weapons twice. Yet neither President Obama nor other world powers are doing anything about it. Israel has decided it cannot wait any longer for Washington

Mr Rosenberg makes a very good point above. It has become clear that Israel is no longer willing to wait for America to act. Will this also apply to Iran? 

Sunday Evening Updates:

Syrian Minister: All Possibilities Open After Israeli Attacks

Official: U.S. Knew About Airstrikes After The Fact


WVBORN56 said...

Wow, Scott the comment section should be blowing up today! Are we on the verge of Isaiah 17? I know it has looked like it for nearly two years now so maybe there is some fatigue with prophecy watchers on this this coming prophetic war. I'm not sure but this seems so very significant. Syria has said this ='s a declaration of war! Wow.

Will the region blow up in war now or will it die back down again? Time will tell but for now I am glued to my seat watching and praying for Israel and the soon return of our Savior, Jesus.

Scott said...

WV - its always hard to tell if this will be a 'false alarm' or not, but the momentum certainly seems to be moving rapidly towards confrontation. more updates are coming in again

nathan said...


Robin said...

Israel has deployed their Iron Dome in a couple of cities in Northern Israel in anticipation of Syrian retaliation. Apparently, weapons supplied to Syria by Iran were struck. I wouldn't put anything past either Syria or Iran (or Russia, for that matter).

My mother inlaw and I leave next Sunday for Israel. We'll be staying in a hotel in Jerusalem the first week . . .then on to the Sea of Galiee, near where Jesus was baptized. (Southern tip). It's near the Syrian border, so please keep us in your prayers. I'm confident God is taking us there for a reason.

When we consider that Assad's very survival, not only politically, but physically, is at stake . . .i agree this is VERY significant.

Caver said...

WV, Welcome back! Was kind of worried about you.

Yup, this has got things popping.

Maybe its just me but it don't "feel" quite ready yet. Yea, I know! My feelings and a $1.00 will get me a cup of bad coffee.

Certainly the final chess pieces could be moving into their final place and the top could blow off with any move. Alternatively, the players may have decided to test Israel's resolve and abilities and make their final adjustments based on that.

If that's the case, they certainly learned which things caused a reaction and to what extent. Israel proved, and reproved, their intent and ability to deliver.

Geepers, we seem so close.....on almost every front. The ME seems ready to get up and challenge the economy (OWG). And the world oil (energy) supplies ($) will jump right up there as soon as it all starts for real.

Anonymous said...

A 700 year old Jewish prophecy has come to light by Horn and Putnam
that may explain WHY it has taken
this long. The prophecy from the ZOHAR states that during the year
(Jewish) 5773 which ENDS the first
week of SEP 2013, that the Antichrist will be revealed.

that is ONLY 4 months away.

since Rosh HASHANAH comes on 4 SEP

There is truth to this when you
consider that the FP is already in of 13 MAR 2013.

I know that most Jews do NOT believe in Jesus, BUT I DO NOT
believe this should be trashed
just cos of that.

not at all.

The prophecy states that an EARTHQUAKE will occur on or
about 16 MAY 2013 that will open
up a cave that will release a FIRE
that will envelope this world.

yeah, i know it sounds weird, but
we will see.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>

Anonymous said...

Hum,Israel's timing was well calulated,they are defending themselves and foiled attempts for weaponary to fall into even worse hands!
May God-Speed be with Israel!!! Thank-you for these updates Scott!

Unknown said...

Maranatha......Lord come quickly!

Anonymous said...

The next 24 hours will tell whether Israel and Syria will go to war.I suspect it will.

Anonymous said...

While we can disagree Witt each other, we need to be civil..

Scott said...

Anon (whose posts I deleted) - I'm not going to waste time explaining what makes this generation so different from all of the rest - thats been done time and time again on this board, and if you are really interested, get a copy of my book and read it.

Jesus was also clear that we are to know the SEASON of his return, although we would not know the day or the hour. PERHAPS YOU SHOULD DELVE INTO LUKE 12:35-56 and see how Jesus feels about prophecy concerning His coming. Then try Mark 13:23-37.....Then read Daniel 2,7,9 and 12....Then Ezekiel 38-39.....Then Isa 17.....Then Matthew 24.......Educate yourself. It will do wonders trust me

Robin said...

Stephen, the antichrist will be revealed only after the restrainer (Church) has been removed. That places God in control of the AC's revelation, not Satan. According to God, the first month of the Hebrew calendar is Nissan. Rosh Hashanah begins the first month on their civil calendar. I find it hard to believe, as much emphasis and importance God placed on the Hebrew calendar, that he'd do anything based on the Civil one. Aside from that, I don't believe the AC will be immediately known until the Tribulation is well underway and the 144,000 are spreading the Gospel.

A day that always gets my attention each year, aside from the Feast of Trumpets for obvious reasons . . .is Pentecost. (May 19 this year) Aside from this day marking the beginning of the Church age . . .its known in Judaism as The Festival of Weeks. I'm reminded specifically of Daniel's 70th Week. And so if the Rapture is tied to a specific day, rather than when the last person is saved and the fullness of numbers reached (which is what scripture appears to be indicating) then that one would be as likely as any.

Stephen said...

I will not argue this. There is
evidence that the Zohar is real.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>.

Robin said...

Stephen, respectfully, if the Zohar was real . . .where is Jesus mentioned? Do you not find it odd that reference to the antichrist would be there but not to the one true Savior, Jesus Christ?

Some truth can be found in all the religions of the world. But that's why Jesus warned us that half truths are more dangerous than lies.

Satan doesn't know the future, but you can bet he knows the Bible like the back of his hand. I sincerely believe the "truth" in such books could quite possibly, have been revealed by him or his agents to lead people astray.

Place your faith only in what the Bible says.

WVBORN56 said...

Thanks, Caver, no need to worry but thanks for the concern! I had reported last week I have been very busy ( a bit overwhelmed) with life and business and my silly computer at home will not let me post. So I was limited to the day time on the work computer. I am not sure what the problem is but the computer freezes up on the comment section. Blessings to all!

Stephen said...

Robin, just wait until 16 MAY please...if I am wrong, and the
Zohar is wrong, we will know soon
enough. I found out about this from
Horn and Putman, they both believe
in Jesus, but they also WILL NOT
put down other info that has evidence with I said....

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Robin said...

Do you have a link, Stephen? I'm currently in the middle of their latest book "Exo-Vaticana" and so far, haven't read anything remotely resembling this claim. But have come across a few areas I think they're all wet. But I'm open to reading whatever you have. However, anything outside Biblical text is merely conjecture.