Israel destabilizing Syria, says President Assad

  • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has criticized Israel for trying to "destabilize" his country.

    He made the comments on Sunday, marking the first he had spoken publicly on last week's reported Israeli air strike in Syria.

    Assad said last Wednesday's raid "unmasked the true role Israel is playing, in collaboration with foreign enemy forces and their agents on Syrian soil, to destabilize and weaken Syria".

    According to American officials, the air strike was aimed for a weapons convoy bound for Lebanon.

    Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has hinted his country was responsible.

    Speaking at a security conference in Germany on Sunday, he said that the strike was "proof that when we say something we mean it".

    "We don't think (Syria) should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon," he told the gathering of top diplomats and defence officials.

    Israel has repeatedly warned of the possibility that Syria could give its chemical weapons to Lebanon's Hezbollah.

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