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Barak on Syria: When we say something – we mean it

Ynet News.com [1]
February 3, 2013

Israel [2]‘s defense minister made his country’s first public comments Sunday on an airstrike [3] in Syria [4], suggesting that Israel had been behind the attack.

US officials have said the attack hit a convoy of anti-aircraft weapons inside Syria bound for the militant Lebanese Hezbollah [5]group, but Israel hasn’t publicly acknowledged the airstrike.

In the days ahead of the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [6] and other top officials repeatedly warned of the dangers of Syrian weapons falling into the hands of Hezbollah and other hostile elements in the region.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak [7] brought the issue up at a gathering of the world’s top diplomats and defense officials in Germany, initially saying: “I cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria several days ago.”

But, addressing the audience in English, he then added: “I keep telling frankly that we said – and that’s proof when we said something we mean it – we say that we don’t think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon [8].”

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Israeli leaders have repeatedly expressed fears that if Syria were to disintegrate, President Bashar Assad [9] could lose control of his chemical weapons and other arms.

On Saturday night, Netanyahu, who is in the process of forming a new ruling coalition [10], said his new government would have to deal with weapons “being stockpiled near us and threatening our cities and civilians” – an apparent reference to the deteriorating situation in Syria.

Full story here. [1]