For two consecutive nights, Israeli airstrikes pounded Syria unprovoked and even coincided with attacks from Syria’s al-Qaeda offshoot on one of the days. The only story which received adequate coverage, in between however, was rocket fire from Lebanon, demonstrating a clear media double standard.
This Tuesday night, Israeli fighter jets struck the Aleppo countryside area of al-Safirah. The airstrikes reportedly caused material damage, as Syria’s State media reported that most of the missiles were downed by air defenses. The Syrian government then issued a warning to Israel that it would bear “full responsibility” for its actions, which they noted coincided with a renewed attack from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists on Syrian government-held areas of Hama.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – or HTS as Western media calls it as a way of making the group sound like a friendly “rebel group” – is an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Syria. It’s top ranking officials were all former al-Qaeda members and had run the group under the name of Jabhat al-Nussra, which was understood to have been al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch. Jabhat al-Nussra formerly split from al-Qaeda, but continued spreading their takfiri brand of religion; burying alive, torturing, killing, and eating the hearts of those who did not bow to their orders. Jabhat al-Nussra (al-Qaeda in Syria) simply changed its name to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and is now granted favorable media coverage in the West, despite clearly being a terrorist organisation.
Syria, on top of having complained to the United Nations countless times over the unprovoked Israeli airstrikes – which have numbered in the hundreds to thousands during the Syrian war – have now accused Israel of backing the terrorist groups offensive this week. This claim is hugely significant, because this would mean that Israel was helping al-Qaeda.
Yet, this wouldn’t be the first time Israel has helped al-Qaeda. In fact, Israel was found to have actively helped al-Qaeda fighters back in 2015. The group Jabhat al-Nussra (al-Qaeda in Syria), had seized the border area, with Israel, along the illegally occupied Golan Heights the summer before. The group operated there until 2018, when the Syrian government defeated them and seized back the territory, during that time not a single attack occurred against Israel by the al-Qaeda group. Instead, in 2015 and allegedly after that as well, Israel was providing medical aid to the fighters of al-Qaeda who were wounded in battle.
Israel’s aiding of al-Qaeda should have reached Western media, but didn’t, despite the fact that Jabhat al-Nussra (now Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) is a designated terrorist group in the United States. Now, it seems that the Syrian government believes Israel is again providing aid to the group which currently illegally occupies most of the Idlib area in Syria.
Israel’s airstrikes did not stop on Tuesday night, however, the very next day airstrikes were also launched, reportedly from over Lebanese airspace, this time striking the Quseyr area of Homs in Syria. Both rounds of unprovoked airstrikes were carried out in violation of international law, did not face any violent response from Syrian government forces, and represent acts of war.
Instead of the provocative acts of violating the sovereignty of both Lebanon and Syria making it into the broadcast media in the Western mainstream press, along with the claims that Israel was helping an al-Qaeda offensive, two bottle rockets fired from Lebanon was the major story.
Hours after the first airstrikes were launched by Israel against Syria, two rockets were fired into the upper Galilee region controlled by Israel. The rockets were fired from southern Lebanon, likely by a Palestinian armed faction there, and did not cause deaths, injuries or any damage. The rocket fire was likely a test to Israel, as well as a response to the Islamaphobic attacks on Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque site in Jerusalem days earlier.
In response, Israel fired up to 30 tank shells into southern Lebanon, hitting open fields likely for fear of a response by Hezbollah to any damage or deaths. Israel’s response was, however, heavier than the original attack.
Israel attacked Syria, on the first two days of Eid al-Adha, a religious holiday for Muslims. Israeli warplanes are known to bomb Syria on religious holidays, including during Ramadan and for the past three consecutive Christmases.
The excuses given by Western media outlets, as to why Israel illegally bombs Syria, is that it is targeting Iranian militia sites and Hezbollah weapons transfers. Yet, Iranian backed militias do not operate in the areas claimed, they are all based in the East of Syria, not the Western side. Also, Hezbollah weapons transfers are not targeted any longer by Israel, after in 2019 the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, vowed to strike Israel for the death of any Lebanese in Syria caused by their aggressions. Nasrallah delivered on his promise that year, and since, Israel has strayed away from targeting any area where Hezbollah members are present.
The truth of the matter is, that Israel gets to bomb Syria, Lebanon or Gaza, and the UN will turn a blind eye, as will the Western mainstream media. Whilst when there is any rocket fire, no matter how insignificant against Israel, suddenly the international community gets involved and the issue becomes headline news. If you want an example of how incredibly racist and biased Western media is, look no further than the Israel-Palestine/Israeli-Arab conflict.