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Israel’s defense minister: Hezbollah moving elite fighters into Syria

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Jonathan Lis
Haaretz
June 3, 3013

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Monday that Israel’s policy is not to intervene in the Syrian conflict, “as long as it doesn’t hurt our interest – such as transfer of advanced weapons, missiles, chemical weapons to Hezbollah or escalating the theater.”

Speaking at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Ya’alon said that Hezbollah is moving its elite forces into Syria, and that the country has become a battleground between the Shia and Sunni worlds with each side “massacring the other.”

Ya’alon said that Israel is watching closely the Russian-Syrian deal to supply Assad’s military with advanced S-300 missile systems, but added that the systems are unlikely to be supplied before 2014.

President Bashar Assad, he said, controls 40 percent of the country’s territory, while rebels have taken over at least four neighborhoods in the capital Damascus. He added that Israel is providing humanitarian assistance along the border and treating some casualties. “We are keeping a low profile in this matter,” he said. “We have no intention of building refugee camps.”

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This article was posted: Monday, June 3, 2013 at 5:02 am





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