A United States official confirmed that Israel launched an airstrike against Syria on Thursday night, escalating an already volatile situation while the United States decides whether to carry out its own strikes against the Assad regime.
Israel bombed what they believed to be "a shipment of advanced missiles bound for the Hezbollah Shiite militia in Lebanon." The Syrian regime has long been a supporter of Hezbollah, and Israel believes that it was transporting chemical weapons to its ally.
This attack happens as the United States is considering a military strike to possibly disable Syria's anti-aircraft weapons or to decimate its air force, which has given it a considerable advantage over the Syrian rebellion. President Obama has long opposed sending any American troops to Syria, and reiterated his stance against the idea on Friday.
Since reports of the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against its own citizenry came out last week, the United States has been delicately trying to defuse the situation. While Obama believes that the United States cannot idly stand by as Syria signals an escalation in the use of unconventional weapons, he also cannot move forward with NATO support, as several member-nations have been reluctant to act.
Any military action would almost certainly have to be cleared with Syrian-ally Russia, a move possibly being worked on by the Obama administration during recent overtures to the Kremlin.