U.S. not given advance warning of Syria attacks, official says

(JTA) — A U.S. intelligence official said that the United States was not given advance warning of alleged Israeli air strikes on Syria

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

The unnamed official said that the United States was told of the attacks as they were in progress, Reuters reported Monday.

The Israel Defense Forces has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for attacks Sunday and two days prior to that on what has been reported to be a shipment of long-range missiles from Iran en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Sunday afternoon that President Obama believes “the Israelis are justifiably concerned about the threat posed by Hezbollah obtaining advanced weapons systems, including some long-range missiles.” The U.S. “is in very close contact” with the Israeli government, Earnest said.

Syrian state media accused Israel of an early Sunday morning attack on what it identified as the Jamraya military research center located approximately 10 miles from the border with Lebanon.

The Reuters news agency cited an unnamed “Western intelligence source” on Sunday who confirmed the attack and said Israel targeted stores of long-range Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah. The missiles have the capacity to strike Tel Aviv from Lebanon.

The New York Times reported late Sunday, citing rebels and local residents,  that the strike on the research center killed over 100 Syrian soldiers, many members of the country’s elite Republican Guard, as well as striking storehouses of long-range missiles.

Need to know? Click here to sign up for JTA’s free e-newsletters.

Click to write a letter to the editor.