From Fox News: The Israeli ship that got hit last night, was hit by a missile and *not* a drone laden with explosives as earlier reported.
"We can confirm that it was hit by an Iranian-made missile launched by Hezbollah. We see this as very profound fingerprint of Iranian involvement in Hezbollah," Nehushtan said in an interview with The Associated Press.And that fingerprint is a very greasy one, apparently, because the Jerusalem Post had this bit of news:
Another Hezbollah missile also hit and sank a nearby civilian merchant ship at around the same time, Nehushtan said. He said that ship apparently was Egyptian, but he had no other information about it.
A senior IDF intelligence official says that Iran has approximately 100 soldiers in Lebanon and that they helped Hizbullah hit an Israel Navy ship with an anti-ship missile.
And from YnetNews: Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat says Israel gave Syria 72 hours to stop Hizbullah’s activity, bring about release of kidnapped IDF troops.
The report said “a senior Pentagon source warned that should the Arab world and international community fail in the efforts to convince Syria to pressure Hizbullah into releasing the soldiers and halt the current escalation Israel may attack targets in the country.”The day before yesterday Spook86 of In From The Cold posted an analysis of the Israeli action, in which he said:
Al-Hayat quoted the source as saying that “the US cannot rule out the possibility of an Israeli strike in Syria,” this despite the fact that the Bush administration has asked Israel to “refrain from any military activity that may result in civilian casualties.”
There are, of course, some wild cards in the equation. The sudden execution of one (or all) the Israeli soldiers would prompt an even greater escalation by the IDF, and a possible expansion of its area of operations (think airstrikes against Damascus). Then, there's the Iran factor. Tehran has already indicated that an attack against Syria would be considered an attack against the wider Muslim world, suggesting that it would come to the aid of its ally. Iran's threats aren't entirely hollow, but it's military options are limited to (1) more terrorist attacks, (2) missile strikes against Israel, or (3) a long-range airstrike, using F-4 or SU-24 aircraft. The potential damage from these attacks would be limited (except if WMD were used), but the long-term consequences for Tehran would be exceptionally grave.I hope he's right about that last bit.
[UPDATE001] (via Israpundit) Haaretz:
Israel Defense Forces officer said Saturday that targeting Syria is currently not on Israel's agenda.
"We're not a gang that shoots in every direction," the officer said. "It won't be right to bring Syria into the campaign."