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      Syrian Rebels 'Steal' Credit from Israel for Attack

      Syrian rebels said that Syria was wrong to condemn and threaten Israel; it was they, not the IDF, that carried out an attack Wednesday
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 1/31/2013, 1:19 PM

      A rebel fighter throws a handmade hand grenade towards pro-Syrian government troops
      A rebel fighter throws a handmade hand grenade towards pro-Syrian government troops
      AFP/Philippe Desmazes

      While Russia, Hizbullah, Syria and Lebanon condemned Israel and threatened retaliation over the attack early Wednesday on a convoy carrying Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, and/or of Israel's alleged attack against a military research center, Syrian rebels said that they were condemning and threatening the wrong guys; it wasn't Israel that bombed the convoy, the rebels said. Instead, the credit belongs to them.

      While Syria said that there had been an Israeli attack, it disputed the target. Western media reported that Israel had attacked a convoy carrying Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles from Syria to Hizbullah terrorist bases along the border with Lebanon. The US later said that Israel had confirmed this. But in a statement, Syria denied that Israel had struck the missiles, but that it had hit a military research center in a Damascus suburb.

      At least in the latter case, the rebels said, Syrian officials got it wrong. In a statement, a coalition of rebel groups in the Damascus area said that a statement by Syria attributing the attack to Israel was incorrect. “The attack was carried out by the Sheikh Ahmed Yassin special forces unit, together with the A-Sham Martyrs Brigades. They destroyed the science center at Jumharriya, on the outskirts of Damascus.”

      According to the rebels, they fired six 120mm rockets and destroyed a large part of the building, which they said was a center of chemical weapons research. The statement added that the building had housed research teams from Russia and Iran, along with large numbers of Hizbullah terrorists.