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US declines comment on raid, hosts Israeli general

An Israeli F-15 warplane takes off from an Israeli Air Force Base on November 19, 2012
An Israeli F-15 warplane takes off from an Israeli Air Force Base on November 19, 2012. The United States declined to comment on an Israeli air raid against a weapons convoy from Syria as senior officials hosted Israel's director of military intelligence

The United States on Wednesday declined to comment on an Israeli air raid against a weapons convoy from Syria as senior officials hosted Israel's director of military intelligence for talks.

"I don't have any comment for you on those reports," said White House spokesman Jay Carney when asked about an air strike overnight near the Lebanese border.

"I'd refer you to the government of Israel for questions about deliberations or actions that they may or may not have taken," he said.

Security sources in the region told AFP Israeli aircraft carried out the bombing raid on a weapons convoy heading out of Syria. But it was unclear if the strike took place in Syrian or Lebanese territory.

The air strike followed statements from Israel voicing concern that Damascus's stockpile of chemical weapons could fall into the hands of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah group, an ally of the Syrian regime, or other militants.

Israeli officials have said such that a transfer would be a casus belli and likely spark an Israeli attack.

News of the raid came as Major General Aviv Kochavi, director of military intelligence for Israeli forces, paid a visit to Washington for talks this week, defense officials said.

Kochavi met the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, on Tuesday and was expected to hold talks with his counterparts in military intelligence at the Defense Department, said two officials, who spoke on condition of anoymity.

Officials said Kochavi's visit had been planned long in advance.

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