Syrian Rebels ‘Steal’ Credit from Israel for Attack

While Russia, Hizbullah, Syria and Lebanon condemned Israel and threatened retaliation over the attack early Wednesday on a convoy carrying Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, and/or of Israel’s alleged attack against a military research center, Syrian rebels said that they were condemning and threatening the wrong guys; it wasn’t Israel that bombed the convoy, the rebels said. Instead, the credit belongs to them.

A rebel fighter throws a handmade hand grenade towards pro-Syrian government troops
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A rebel fighter throws a handmade hand grenade towards pro-Syrian government troops

While Syria said that there had been an Israeli attack, it disputed the target. Western media reported that Israel had attacked a convoy carrying Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles from Syria to Hizbullah terrorist bases along the border with Lebanon. The US later said that Israel had confirmed this. But in a statement, Syria denied that Israel had struck the missiles, but that it had hit a military research center in a Damascus suburb.

At least in the latter case, the rebels said, Syrian officials got it wrong. In a statement, a coalition of rebel groups in the Damascus area said that a statement by Syria attributing the attack to Israel was incorrect. “The attack was carried out by the Sheikh Ahmed Yassin special forces unit, together with the A-Sham Martyrs Brigades. They destroyed the science center at Jumharriya, on the outskirts of Damascus.”

According to the rebels, they fired six 120mm rockets and destroyed a large part of the building, which they said was a center of chemical weapons research. The statement added that the building had housed research teams from Russia and Iran, along with large numbers of Hizbullah terrorists.

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