Israel is not involving itself in the Syrian civil war and is typically the
target for blame following military strikes in the region, Defense Minister
Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) said Tuesday.
In an apparent reference to the
strike that killed between 10 and 20 Syrian soldiers at an arms depot in Latakia
over the weekend, Ya’alon maintained: “For a long time we have continued to say
that we are not involving ourselves in the bloody civil war in Syria. We have
established our red lines and we are sticking to them.”
“When there is an
attack or explosion of some sort or another in the Middle East, usually no
matter what we are blamed,” Ya’alon said during a visit to Tze’elim base on
Tuesday, specifying that Israel is not involving itself in the civil war in
“The Syrian civil war has also spread into Lebanon for some time.
Hezbollah has joined the fighting in Syria, and we see inside Lebanon – in
Tripoli, Sidon and also in Beirut – reports like those today, of car bombs. This
is largely a struggle between the Shi’ites and Sunnis... we are not involved in
On Tuesday, Syrian rebels said foreign forces destroyed advanced
Russian anti-ship missiles. Qassem Saadeddine, spokesman for the Free Syrian
Army's Supreme Military Council, said a pre-dawn strike on Friday hit a Syrian
navy barracks at Safira, near the port of Latakia. He said that the rebel
forces’ intelligence network had identified newly supplied Yakhont missiles
being stored there.
“It was not the FSA that targeted this,” Saadeddine
told Reuters. “It is not an attack that was carried out by rebels. This attack
was either by air raid or longrange missiles fired from boats in the
Of the ongoing fighting between Muslim Brotherhood
supporters and opponents, Ya’alon said the turmoil shows “the chronic
instability of the Middle East.” Israel is also not involving itself in the
political struggles in Egypt, he continued, but is following events in order to
protect its interests – in particular the peace treaty with Cairo and the
security situation in the Sinai Peninsula.
In regard to reports of loud
explosions in Eilat last Thursday, Ya’alon said: “We still have no idea what
happened in Eilat, only that a lot of people, including military people, heard
two explosions but nothing has yet been found.”
He also said that Israel
will not allow the Iranian nuclear program to continue, and that through
diplomatic means, sanctions or other methods, the program will be stopped.