Source: Israeli attack targeted deserted PFLP - General Command camp near Damascus
A top official at the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command has confirmed to Al Bawaba that the Israel attack on Syria Saturday night was indeed targeted at one of their deserted camps close to Damascus.
The official, a member of their diplomatic office, confirmed that the Israeli army "fired three rockets last night at a deserted camp that was used by us and has now been deserted for almost a year." The official, who spoke on anonymity, added "the rockets struck the main quarter of the deserted camp killing no one." The official, who spoke to Al Bawaba via telephone from his Damascus office, confirmed that one person has been critically wounded as a result of the Israeli strike, adding "he may not make it due to te severity of his wounds."
On another note, the official reiterated that the deserted camp had no military personnel or activity in it, claiming "it was simply a residence area for Palestinian refugees." He also denied any presence for the Islamic Jihad in the targeted area.
The Israeli army announced Sunday that it had attacked last night a training camp for Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Syria in response to Saturday’s suicide bombing in Haifa. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack that left 20 people dead and more than 50 others injured.
The Israeli statement did not give any details about the attack which it said was “launched deep inside Syrian territory”. However, both Palestinian and Israeli sources have said that the attack targeted a training camp used by the two Palestinian movements near to Syrian village of Ein al Saheb, 15 kilometers away from Damascus.
Palestinian sources in Beirut said Israeli warplanes raided a facility that belonged to a Palestinian group near the Syrian capital Damascus, injuring one man.
For its part, the Islamic Jihad announced officially noontime today that it had no training camps in Syria, describing the Israeli allegations as baseless.
The movement said in a statement, a copy of which obtained by Al Bawaba, “the Israeli claim that it attacked a training facility for Islamic Jihad in Syria is completely baseless and untrue.” The statement also reiterated “the Islamic Jihad movement has no training sites, centers or military presence in Syria.” It described the Israeli claims as “a foiled attempt by the Zionists to export their internal crisis and historical deadlock, caused by the Palestinian Intifada and resistance, to the neighboring countries.”
This is believed to be the first time Israeli forces strike at targets deep inside Syria since the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Previously, Israeli military helicopters attacked a Syrian radar station in Lebanon following an attack by the Lebanese Hezbollah on Israeli targets in the Sheba farms.
Earlier today, a close source to the Popular Front for the Liberation (PFLP)-General Command of Palestine told Al Bawaba that his front had indeed a training camp in the targeted area, however activities inside this facility have recently shrunk and the camp now accommodates only a very limited number of people.
On Saturday, the Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’aloun - while at a meeting with his military commanders – threatened to target Palestinian faction leaders in Damascus in retaliation for the Haifa suicide bombing.
For his part, the editor in chief of the Syrian State owned al Ba’ath daily - Mahdi Dakhlallah - described the ‘unconfirmed’ [by Syria] Israeli raid as a “serious aggression on Syria’s sovereignty and a violation of the disengagement agreement between the two countries.
“If these reports prove to be true…as so far there is no confirmation about them from a neutral side…then the attack will constitute a serious aggression against Syria and a violation of all agreements, particularly the disengagement agreement between Syria and Israel. This will be a very serious escalation that is a result of Israel’s despair and internal crisis,” Dakhlallah told Al Bawaba via telephone.
He also added, “If this attack is true, it will prove that Syria is still a supporter of the Palestinian cause and that it still views the Palestinian issue as a Syrian one.”
However, Dakhlallah denied the presence of training facilities for the Palestinian activists on Syrian soil or the notion that there are some Palestinian organizations inside Palestine who receive instructions from Damascus. “Syria has said more than once that there are no training facilities for Palestinian activists on its lands at all. The Palestinian resistance inside Palestine does not receive instructions from anybody in Syria, and instead, represents the resistance of a people under daily occupation by an Israeli enemy,” said the Ba’ath editor in chief. (Albawaba.com)
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