It turns out that those Israeli air strikes inside Syria were directed at a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran that was intended for Hezbollah. Iran and Hezbollah both back Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war. But the weapons shipment may have been as much or more about strengthening Hezbollah in a post-Assad Syria as about helping Assad retain power.
In any event, Israel was not about to tolerate the arming of Hezbollah with weapons with enough range to reach Eilat in southernmost Israel if fired from Lebanon. The Israelis have consistently said they will not allow Hezbollah to receive “game changing” weapons that could threaten Israel’s heartland. And just four months ago, Israel carried out an attack in Syria designed to disrupt the pipeline of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah.
The New York Times, of all outlets, contrasts Israel’s approach in Syria to President Obama’s:
As Washington considers how to handle evidence of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government, a development it has described as a “red line,” Israel is clearly showing that it will stand behind the red lines it sets.
Of course Israel, unlike Obama, has set intelligent red lines.