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Barak says reported Syria strike shows Israel is serious
Published Sunday 03/02/2013 (updated) 05/02/2013 01:25
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Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gestures during the 49th
Conference on Security Policy in Munich February 3, 2013.
(Reuters/Michael Dalder)

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday an attack on a Syrian arms complex showed Israel was serious about preventing the flow of heavy weapons into Lebanon, appearing to acknowledge for the first time that Israel carried out the strike.

Israel has maintained official silence over Wednesday's raid, which Syria said targeted a military research center north-west of Damascus.

"I cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria several days ago," Barak told a security conference in Munich on Sunday.

"But I keep telling frankly that we said, and that is another proof that when we say something we mean it. We say that we don't think it should be allowable to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon."

Diplomats, Syrian rebels and security sources said Israeli jets bombed a convoy near the Lebanese border on Wednesday, apparently hitting weapons destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which fought a 34-day war with Israel in 2006.

Syria denied the assertions, saying the target was the Jamraya complex on the northwestern fringes of Damascus and 8 miles from the border.

Some of the diplomats and security sources said the apparently contradictory accounts might refer to the same incident, given Jamraya's proximity to the border and the fact that vehicles inside the complex were hit as well as buildings.

Syrian television broadcast footage from the Jamraya base for the first time, showing extensive damage to buildings and several heavy military vehicles which appeared capable of carrying missiles. At least one vehicle, with light desert khaki markings, was equipped with what looked like a satellite dish.

Several burnt out cars and lorries - including one with a large hole smashed through the roof of the driver's cabin - could also be seen in the footage, as well as the badly damaged interior of an office.

Assad says Syria can confront threats

Until Barak's comment, Israel had maintained silence over the attack, as it did in 2007 when it bombed a suspected Syrian nuclear site - an attack that passed without Syrian military retaliation.

Syria's ambassador to Lebanon warned on Thursday that his county could take "a surprise decision to respond", but gave no details. Damascus protested to the United Nations, saying it considered the raid a violation of a 1974 military disengagement agreement which followed the last major Israeli-Syrian war.

In his first reported response to the attack, President Bashar Assad accused Israel on Sunday of seeking to destabilize Syria and said Damascus was able to confront "current threats ... and aggression" against it.

Assad made the remarks in a meeting with Saeed Jalili, Iran's national security council secretary, who pledged Tehran's "full support for the Syrian people ... facing the Zionist aggression, and its continued coordination to confront the conspiracies and foreign projects".

The Syrian president, Shiite Iran's closest Arab ally, is battling a 22-month-old uprising in which 60,000 people have been killed. Assad says the rebels are Islamist terrorists funded and armed by Turkey and Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states.
1 ) Charlie / USA
03/02/2013 16:13
It shows Israel, as always, will act out of fear that people discover their insecurities. Can anyone be really afraid of Ehud Barak? The guy looks like Elma Fudd from Looney Tunes, only Ehud is even dumber.

2 ) ramzi / palestine
03/02/2013 16:14
zionist article.ridiculous

3 ) Tibi / Tubas
03/02/2013 16:29
Like Food must come before Art, Security must come before Peace. The 1949/1967 Armistice/Border lines do NOT provide Security for Israel, and Real Statehood for Palestine will NOT come without Security for Israel !!!

4 ) minister of defense in MUnich / Chief of stuff in USA
03/02/2013 16:33
the Israeli security top echelon is out of the countr no one is worried!!!!! The Israeli-Palestinian corner is the most peacefull spot in the MIDDLE EAST!!!!!

5 ) JoeFattal / USA
03/02/2013 16:48
Assad should have taken some retaliation at Israel. I would believe it would increase his chances to remain in power and win the confidence of the rebels and the rest of the Syrians. Israel would not have mounted a general strike on Syria while the civil war is on. In a way a war with Israel would have benefit the Syrians and bring them together to fight the Israeli. It was chance for Assad and he let it go.

6 ) Mel / USA
03/02/2013 19:00
Yes Ehud!It shows that Israel is "serious"! About ignoring intern. LAWS,invading sovereign air space,& recklessly commits"serious"WAR CRIMES &unprovoked ACTS OF WAR,against Arabian neighbors!That's the"serious"crime,of Israel's back-stabbing,exceptionalist acts of war,that ALL OTHER NATIONS would be punished for.But,the most"serious"inexcusable crime,is that our US Govt lets Israel DO AS IT PLEASES,w/out punishment,giving in 2 bully-Zionism.Then REWARDS Israel,annually for halting acts of war!?!

7 ) KAGH / US
03/02/2013 22:46
gee ya think? when it comes to killing Arabs Israel is always serious

8 ) Reader / from Edmonton
03/02/2013 23:08
NO ONE doubts that Israel is serious. Israel is seriously pursuing terrorist and illegal activities of "pre-emptive" acts of war, of ethnic cleansing, of blockades, of extra-judicial murders, of genocide, of casual murders, of subjugation, of transfers of its civilian population to an occupied country, of starvation of an occupied populace, of the use of prohibited weapons against a civilian population, of piracy on the high seas, of violating international law and its commitments, of ungodly b

9 ) Colin Wright / USA
04/02/2013 03:19
'Barak says reported Syria strike shows Israel is serious.' The Zionist version of saying it with flowers, I take it.

10 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
04/02/2013 08:27
Au Contraire. Israel is reckless. The strafing of South Lebanon and bombing of Syria is inviting retaliation and endangering Israelis and Palestinians.

11 ) gabi / australia
05/02/2013 03:11
what you mean, Mr. Barak, is that you can't allow Lebanon to acquire anti-aircraft missiles. I wonder why?

12 ) ian / australia
05/02/2013 12:08
The Bush doctrine lives. What defines a rogue state if not attacking a sovereign neighbour on the specious grounds of protecting itself from POSSIBLE aggression by another neighbour? And then issuing vague menaces in tough-talking gangster-speak like DM Barak: "When we say something we mean it"? What if a neighbour of Israel's decided ISRAELI militarism and bellicosity was a threat to ITS security and destroyed a shipment of weapons en route to Tel Aviv? Hmmm? None of Bush's

13 ) ian / australia
05/02/2013 12:09
(contd.) "Axis of Evil" rogue states ever tried anything like THAT. Oy veh. Whaddaworld!

14 ) Reader / from Edmonton
05/02/2013 14:59
Peace brings security. Israeli's notion of "defenceable borders" has never been more than a ruse to steal more Palestinian land. Finally 139 nations agree that the State of Palestine has at least these borders, just as Israel has certain legal borders.

15 ) Rami / Palestine
06/02/2013 13:14
Apparently Barak is trying to show his kung-fu skills in that photo.

16 ) Alan Cohen / Egypt
07/02/2013 16:44
well noticed rami
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