Defense Minister Ehud Barak 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday said Israel is closely watching developments in Syria due to the possibility of Damascus transferring advanced and non-conventional weapons to Hezbollah should Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime fall.
"The moment the regime there falls, we'll be following these things, but at the end of the day it is very difficult to predict what will happen there," Barak told a group of youths performing national service.
One does not need intelligence reports or analyses to see what is going on in Syria, Barak continued, "it is enough to watch television."
"The Assad family is slaughtering its people, with the support of the Iranians and Hezbollah and the world is silent," the defense minister added.Shelling of opposition strongholds continues
Syrian forces shelled opposition strongholds in the central province of Homs and eastern Deir al-Zor on Monday and clashed with rebels in violence which killed 29 people across the country, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The British-based Observatory, which monitors Syria through a network of sources inside the country, said six members of the security forces were killed in fighting with rebels in the town of Al-Ashaara in Deir al-Zor. Video shows what activists say are helicopters firing missiles in Rastan.
A further five people, including an army defector, were killed in army shelling of the town, it said.
In the center of the country, where Free Syrian Army rebels have been intensifying attacks on forces loyal to Assad, the army shelled Rastan and the city of Homs and conducted army offensives in Hama and Idlib provinces.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the ongoing massacre
of Syrian civilians by Assad, blaming the violence on the Axis of Evil: Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.
"This axis is rearing its ugly head," Netanyahu told his cabinet, "and the world must understand that this is the region we live in."
Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz on Sunday accused Assad
of committing genocide
during his crackdown on a 15-month uprising, in
an unusually harsh censure of the Jewish state's Arab neighbor.
Soldiers and militias loyal to Assad have killed at least 10,000 people, according to UN figures. The Assad government puts its own losses at more than 2,600 dead. Assad has blamed unspecified foreign-backed terrorists for the violence.