Syrian Opposition Groups Deny Chemical Weapons Attack

U.S. likely remains undecided after reports of Israeli air strike, rebel chemical attack.

This citizen journalism image provided by the Local Council of Barzeh, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels taking cover in the the Barzeh district of Damascus, Syria, Friday, April 26, 2013. (Local Council of Barzeh/AP Photo)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is back to "business as usual" as he departs for a trip to China.

The Israeli Defense Forces' active Twitter account also made no direct mention of the strikes. It tweeted a statement from Maj. Gen. Yair Golan who said on Monday that "there are no winds of war," along the northern border of Israel, which is shares with Lebanon and Syria.

Chief of #IDF Northern Command today: "There are no winds of war." goo.gl/TSH1R

— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 6, 2013

This latest military action shows that western nations can defeat the Syrian anti-aircraft network, which has received minimal attention from U.S. military planners.

These targeted strikes will also likely have little effect of the on-the-ground efforts.

"I do not think this will significantly alter the military campaign for the FSA in the short term," says SSG's Layman. "Their units are concentrated with varying strengths on fronts and near regime strongholds that demand the largest commitments of forces, and unless these strikes alter the layout of Syrian military positions, they will otherwise not likely alter the battle plans of the armed opposition."

These strikes do, however, "take their toll on equipment, capabilities, and morale of the regime's army," which could heighten confidence and moral among the rebel fighters.

O'Bagy adds thsee strikes have done little to help the rebel fighters.

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"The very limited nature of the air strikes in terms of destroying strategic capabilities rather than enhance or empower the opposition means, longterm, it degrades the Syrian regime capability, but it doesn't help the opposition right now," she says, adding "this goes to show it is possible and there are ways around the Syrian defense."

The situation in Syria was likely at the forefront of the discussion in the inaugural Pentagon meeting between State Secretary John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Kerry leaves for a trip to Russia on Monday on which Syria will be at the top of his agenda, which many Syria watchers see as a critical linchpin to international intervention in the wartorn country. Russia is a historical ally of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and has sent warships on at least two separate occasions to anchor off the Syrian coast since fighting began.

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