Hezbollah: Israel strikes sought to help Syria radicals

By REUTERS
May 7, 2013 17:01

BEIRUT - Hezbollah said Israeli air strikes in Syria aimed to boost Sunni Islamist rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad but was mum on Israeli assertions that the attacks targeted missiles headed for the Shi'ite group in neighboring Lebanon.

Israeli officials said the air strikes on Friday and Sunday were not meant to influence its neighbor's civil war but only stop Iranian missiles reaching Hezbollah militants for possible use against the Jewish state.

Hezbollah Deputy head Naim Qassem gave no indication in a statement on Tuesday of how the Iran-allied Hezbollah, which waged war with Israel in 2006 and backs Assad against Syria's mainly Sunni Muslim rebels, might respond to the air strikes.

Qassem described the Israeli action as part of an international plot to topple Assad. "This shelling is an attempt at giving a morale boost to the terrorists and takfiris (extremists) and all those who are fighting to destroy Syria from within," he said.


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