Syrian President Bashar Assad said he would react to Israel's reported bombing of a research center in his country, in a television interview with The Sunday Times newspaper aired in London late on Saturday.
said Syria had always retaliated for Israeli actions, “but we
retaliated in our own way, and only the Israelis know what we mean.
Retaliation does not mean missile for missile or bullet for bullet. Our
own way does not have to be announced.”
At the beginning of
February, Assad accused Israel of trying to destabilize his country by
attacking a military research base outside Damascus, and warning Syria
could “confront threats... and aggression” against it.
not confirmed its involvement in the Syrian attack. However, Defense
Minister Ehud Barak, hinted in comments he made at a Munich Security
Conference in February that Israel was behind the attack.
cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what
happened in Syria several days ago,” he said. “But I keep telling
frankly that we said – and that’s another proof when we say something,
we mean it – we say that we don’t think [Syria] should be allowed to
bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon, and Hezbollah, from Syria
when Assad falls.”
With regard to the fighting that has gripped
his country Assad singled out Britain and said its involvement has been
naive and unrealistic.
think they (Britain) are working against us, and they are working
against the interests of the UK itself," Assad said in English-language
remarks broadcast by Britain's Sky TV.
"This government is acting
in a naive, confused and unrealistic manner. If they want to play a
role they have to change this, they have to act in a more reasonable and
Assad added: "How can you ask them to play a
role in making the situation better, more stable, how can we expect them
to make the violence less when they want to send the military supply to
Backed by the United States, Britain and much of
Western Europe, Syria's opposition has made plain that Assad can play
no role in a future Syrian government.
But as the situation
deteriorates on the ground, the opposition is increasingly frustrated
with the West's reluctance to get directly involved in the fighting, and
wants foreign powers to send weapons to help its fighters.
Thursday, the United States said it would for the first time give
non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, describing the aid as a way to bolster
the rebels' popular support.
The assistance will include medical
supplies, food for rebel fighters and $60 million to help the civil
opposition provide basic services like security, education and
Britain supports increasing general assistance to the
rebels and has not ruled out supplying arms at some point in the future
if the situation continued to deteriorate.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
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