Over the weekend Israel conducted airstrikes against strategic targets in Syria, including near the capital city of Damascus. Although the strikes had the practical effect of destabilizing the regime, Israel appears to have not been trying to knock out Syrian President Bashir al-Assad but to prevent Iranian advanced weaponry from getting into the hands of Hezbollah, Reuters reports:
Rather than an attempt to tip the scales against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Israel's action is seen more as part of its own conflict with Iran, which it fears is sending missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria. Those missiles might hit Tel Aviv if Israel makes good on threats to attack Tehran's nuclear program.
Another Western intelligence source told Reuters the latest attack, like the previous one, was directed against stores of Fateh-110 missiles in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.
While the Administration has said they supported the move by Israel, the close ally reportedly did not seek permission from the U.S. before launching the missile strikes. Syria has declared Israel's attack an act of war.