“Be strong and courageous for it is you who will cause this people to inherit the Land that I have sworn to their fathers to give them.” (Joshua 1:6)
Three US officials, speaking anonymously, claimed Israel is responsible for air strikes on Syria earlier this month. Israel, for its part, has not responded to the claims.
Speaking to CNN, the officials explained that multiple air strikes targeted Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles. These missiles may pose a threat to Israel’s naval forces.
The strikes occurred On July 5, in Latakia, Syria’s main port city. The missiles in question have a range of nearly 200 miles and are known for their accuracy and ability to avoid detection. They move at high speed and low trajectory, making them hard to track.
Israel has long refused to take sides in the Syrian conflict, but has stated more than once that it will act if “red lines” are crossed that put its national security at risk. This includes preventing advanced weapons from falling into terrorist hands. Defense minister Moshe Ya’alon pointed out, “We’ve established red lines regarding our interests and we maintain them. Whenever there is an explosion or attack over there, the Middle East blames us anyway.”
The air strikes were first reported by rebel forces, who observed them and denied responsibility. They reported witnessing the blasts which outstripped their own military capabilities. They identified “foreign forces” as being responsible.
This strike signals the fourth such suspected attack by Israel on Syrian targets in the name of self-preservation this year. In January and again twice in May, Israel took out weapons thought to be headed to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The book of Nehemiah talks about the Israelites’ attempt to rebuild the breached walls of Jerusalem. Their enemies made efforts to stop them although they had permission from the Persian king. Nehemiah describes how he instructs the builders to do what is necessary to defend themselves and their families, and that God will be on their side (Nehemiah 4). It seems Israel may have been guided by Nehemiah’s message.