- Ain es Saheb airstrike
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Ain es Saheb airstrike
caption=IAF video of the strike
Ain es Saheb, Syria
October 5, 2003
result=Successful strike on alleged militant site
Israeli Air Force
flagicon|Palestine Palestinian militants
casualties2=1 injuredCampaignbox Al aqsaThe Ain es Saheb airstrike occurred on
October 5, 2003and was the first overt Israeli military operation in Syriasince the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
In response to the suicide bombing in
Haifa12 hours earlier by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, four Israeli Air Force"Northern Knights" squadron F-16Cs attacked an alleged Palestinian militant training camp about 15 miles northwest of the Syrian capital Damascus. A single civilian guard is reportedly injured in the strike, the first in Syrian territory for nearly thirty years. The jets took off from Ramat David Airbaseat 03:00 and headed north over the Mediterranean before turning east, crossing the coastline into Lebanonand approaching the target from the west. It is uncertain whether the aircraft actually crossed the border into Syria proper as the exact type of munitions used is unknown and the target is located close to the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Terrorist camp claims
The IDF claimed the camp was used to train recruits in bomb assembly and guerrilla warfare and has released footage of the camp taken from the Al-Arabia TV station showing hundreds of weapons and underground tunnels packed with arms and ammunition. Both Syria and the Islamic Jihad denied Israeli claims, while an official of
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command(PFLP-GC) said the camp belongs to his group but has been long abandoned. Palestinian sources in Beirut, however, report the facility belongs to Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine(PFLP, not to be mistaken with the PFLP-GC) and had at the same time served as a training base for the Islamic Jihad and Hamas. These same sources reported a weapons workshop at the site, lending support to reports by the attacking pilots of secondary explosions.
* [http://www.planetnana.co.il/skythe/opera10_6.htm IAF Operations During The Al-Aqsa Intifada]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/syria/ain-es-saheb-imagery.htm Satellite Imagery of the target]
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