On Sept. 8, a Syrian government factory for producing precision missiles came under aerial attack. The target is close to the village of Masyaf, in western Syria. The foreign press attributed the airstrike to the Israeli air force, but Israel has not accepted responsibility and has not responded. On the heels of the assault, and given that on almost the same day a huge Israeli military exercise began in the north, the next few days were tense. The tensions relate to sensitive equations formulated among Israel, Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, assorted rebel movements and Russia.
Israel has maintained radio silence about the attack and hopes that the Syrian regime will keep mum as well, as it did in September 2007, when unidentified jets destroyed Syria's nuclear reactor in the middle of the night. (Israel never owned up to that attack either). This time, the even more important question is how the Russian government will react. Will it — for the first time since establishing a military presence in the region — raise a yellow card, warning against Israeli attacks on Syrian territory?