(WASHINGTON) — An airstrike by Israel Friday hit several targets in Syria that were deemed a threat, ABC News has learned.
Military experts say there was probably evidence of a surface to air missile system being transferred toward Lebanon that could have fallen into the wrong hands.
Retired marine and ABC News consultant Stephen Ganyard says Israel’s “eyes and ears on the ground” in Syria make it easy to track things that are “essentially an existential threat to Israel.”
Still, Ganyard says, during these types of targeted strikes — Israel carried out a similar strike in Syria in January — there is raised concern for civilians.
“The Israelis do not want to cause civilian casualties. It doesn’t do their cause any good. They really don’t want to stir up the Syrian civil war,” explains Ganyard. “All they’re trying to do is take out things that could be used against the Israeli state.”
The White House declines to say anything about any Israeli strikes into Syria. However, President Obama has always insisted Israel has the right to protect itself, but privately has begged Israel not to tip the volatile region into greater conflict.
As for U.S forces, President Obama said earlier Friday while in Costa Rica that he does not foresee any scenario that would require U.S. military on the ground in Syria.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Schams Elwazer, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tim Hume, CNN