A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
September 6 , 2007 Syria Claims Israeli Planes Violate Syrian Airspace
The news from Israel today was dominated by the Syrian claim that Israel violated its airspace in the northern border region near Turkey. The incursion is said to have taken place last night at around midnight and the announcement was made this afternoon at 2PM. Syria stated that it reserved the right to respond at a time and place of its choosing.
The event raises a number of questions. First, what happened? There are not any real answers. Israel has refused to comment. Syria claimed that two Israeli planes entered its airspace and were chased off after being painted by anti aircraft radar. Western sources claim Israel was on a reconnaissance mission. What is in that region? It is a largely Kurdish area that includes most of Syria rapidly depleting oil reserves. It is also the area that is used as a staging area for terrorist to sneak into Iraq.
The second question is why Syria widely publicized this incident. There have been other incidents in the past that have not been publicized by the Syrians. The final and most important question is what Syria intends to do now. According to Tzvi Yechzkeili, the Arab affairs correspondent on Israel Channel 10, there are claims that President Assad is receiving conflicting advice. Some of that advice includes creating incidents along the border, giving additional support to terrorists and then not doing anything.
An interesting exchange took place on Al Jazeera television. The correspondent asked the Syrian Information Minister how they know for sure that it was Israeli planes. His answer: because the military command announced it.
The Islamic Jihad today attempted to capture Israeli soldiers by attacking one of IsraelŐs border posts near Kissufim [border crossing to Gaza]. This time the IDF soldiers were ready and the only result of the attack was that six member of Islamic Jihad were killed.