October 5, 2003

IDF Action in Syria
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

The IDF carried out an air attack in Syrian territory last night, against a training base used by terrorist organizations, including the Islamic Jihad.

Yesterday, October 4, a vicious terrorist attack took place at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, in which 19 Israelis were killed and over 60 wounded, including children and entire families.

Following the terrorist attack, the IDF began to act against those who carried out the attack, those who supported it, and those who use terrorism as a strategy to attack the citizens of the State of Israel. As part of the activity, the IDF operated within Syrian territory and targeted a training camp used by terrorist organizations, where operatives of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad train, while enjoying the backing of Syria.

The Islamic Jihad, like other terrorist organizations operating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, enjoys support and backing of countries in the region, foremost among them Iran and Syria. Syria is a country which sponsors terrorism and systematically tries to undermine any attempt at peace and stability in the region. Syria gives cover to terrorist organizations within the country, including in Damascus, while Iran provides funding and direction.

Israel will not tolerate the rules terrorist organizations and their supporters are tying to impose, and will act with determination against those trying to attack its citizens, based on its right to self defense, accorded to every soverign country.

The Ayn Tzahab training camp in Syria

The Ayn Tzahab terrorist training camp in Syria is supported by Iran and is used for operational training for Palestinian terrorists including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives.

There is a wide variety of training in the camp, including sabotage, artillery training, guerilla warfare and even aeronautical training. Some of the terrorists training at the camp are operatives who come to receive advanced training and then return to Palestinian Authority territory in order to establish an operational terrorist infrastructure. Others who receive training at the camp are operatives of the Islamic Jihad organization from Lebanon and Syria who then join the organization in Lebanon to reinforce the operational deployment there.

Syria provides backing to Palestinian terrorist organizations by allowing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine complete freedom to operate. For example, the Hamas headquarters in Damascus recruits and trains Palestinians in Hizbullah training camps. The training includes manufacturing explosive devices and explosive belts, intelligence collection, training in kidnapping, and instruction in preparing and carrying out terrorist attacks against military and civilian targets.

 IDF Action in Syria-Oct 5- 2003