The umbrella group is dominated by members of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which is known for its enmity to Israel. And among the overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim rebels who are fighting to end Assad’s rule, the Islamic extremists are gaining dominance.
Labwani, the Syrian dissident, told the AP that ‘‘unlike Assad, we know who the real enemy is.’’
‘‘The first thing we would do is ask U.N. peacekeepers on the Golan to leave, and we will free occupied Syrian territory. We want all our rights.’’
On Friday, Israeli warplanes flew over south Lebanon, part of stepped up flyovers that residents and Lebanese officials say have been under way all week.
Israel had no comment on Lebanon’s description of the air force flights over the border region. Israeli planes frequently fly over southern Lebanon, and Lebanon often files complaints with the U.N. over the incursions into its airspace.
According to a U.S. official, the Israeli airstrike Wednesday near Damascus targeted trucks containing SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles. The trucks were next to the research center the Syrians identified, and the strikes hit both the trucks and the facility.
Advanced anti-aircraft missiles like the SA-17 in the hands of Hezbollah could change the strategic equation, which so far has allowed Israel to send warplanes over Lebanon practically unopposed.
The Syrian military denied that the target of the attack was a weapons convoy. It said low-flying Israeli jets crossed into the country over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and bombed a scientific research center. The facility is in the area of Jamraya, northwest of Damascus, about 15 kilometers (10 miles) from the Lebanese border.