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Assad claims Israel is destabilizing Syria

Assad was discussing Israel's reported air strike on a military research base outside Damascus last week.

Syria israel air strike Enlarge
A sculpture of an Israeli soldier standing guard is seen next to a sign for tourists showing the different distances to Jerusalem, Baghdad, Damascus and other locations, at an army post in Mount Bental in the annexed Golan Heights on January 31, 2013. Iran's deputy foreign minister said that the alleged Israeli air strike on a Syrian military research facility a day earlier will have 'grave consequences.' (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Assad said Sunday that Israel is trying to "destabilize Syria," in reference to the country's reported air strike on a military research base outside Damascus. 

He said that the attack "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 BBC News

The embattled president added that Syria was able to confront "current threats ...and aggression" against it, state media reported according to Reuters

Syrian state news agency SANA said that Assad made his comments in a meeting with Iran's national security council secretary Saeed Jalili in Damascus; the statements were Assad's first reported response to the Israeli strike last Wednesday, the Jerusalem Post reported

Jalili reportedly responded by offering Iran's "full support for the Syrian people ... facing the Zionist aggression, and its continued coordination to confront the conspiracies and foreign projects," according to the Jerusalem Post. 

The strike reportedly hi a scientific research center, which is believed to be an unconventional weapons factory, UPI reported. Others believe that the air strike was targeting a convoy bringing weapons, including Russian-made missiles, to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. 

So far, Israel has not responded to the allegations it was behind the raid, though Netanyahu has said that Israel would intervene in Syria to keep weapons from falling into the wrong hands. 

More from GlobalPost: Israel vows military intervention in Syria if chemical weapons shift hands

 

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130203/assad-israel-destabilizing-syria