The fog about the recent IDF incident in Syria leaves us curious and thirsty for more information. What really happened there?
Lacking inside information (even Debkafile doesn't know!), but by reconstructing a few known facts we can try to guess:
1. Even by Syrian reports this was not an accidental or incidental foray across Syria's border. It was a deep infiltration via its northwestern coastal frontier to its central-eastern sector. Yet the planes were reportedly only fired upon upon their exit to the northwest.
2. The Syrians waited a full 12 hours before reporting the infiltration. This perhaps means that they were deliberating what information to release or to report on it at all. In other words, they appear to be concealing something, perhaps the targets, or the degree to which their anti-aircraft systems failed. Note that Russia was one of the first countries to condemn the raid.
3. The dumping of the fuel tanks appears to be an evasive maneuver. On their way out the planes were detected and being fired upon, but without being hit. (One can assume that if planes were downed we would know about it from gleeful Syrians)
4. What does the Israeli silence mean? There was probably a secret, sensitive mission (beyond routine surveillance), which, either 1. did not go as planned or 2. succeeded. My impression is of the latter, because if there was a failure we would be hearing leaks and people blaming each other for it. The smug, self-confident denials (and almost uncharacteristic total silence from govenrment officials) makes me believe that the mission was succesful, or that they are waiting for intelligence assessments of the mission.
5. What could the mission have been? Possibilities include 1. a probing of the Syrian/Russion/Iranian air defense systems. 2. destruction of the above system. My guess is the first, as an attack on a military target would be a clear provocation to war in which Israel is not interested at this point.