Barak: When we say something, we mean it

Defense minister remains vague about Israel's purported strike in Syria, asserts weapons shouldn't be allowed into Lebanon.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
February 3, 2013 14:15
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Barak, US VP Joe Biden at Conference on Security Policy in Munich, Feb 1, 2013.

Barak meeting Biden 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Michael Dalder)

 
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Outgoing Minister of Defense Ehud Barak remained vague on Sunday regarding Israel's purported involvement in last week's strike on a weapons convoy in Syria.

Barak, who was speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, said, "I cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria several days ago."

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"What happened in Syria several days ago [is] proof that when we said something we mean it... we say that we don't think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon," the defense minister added.

There has been no Israeli government response to last week's reported attack.

Over the weekend, Barak told a Munich television station that Israel is closely following “the issue of chemical weapons” in Syria, though he refused to address Wednesday’s events.

“We are examining the possibility of advanced weapons transfers to Hezbollah when the collapse of Assad’s regime is complete,” he said, adding that the Syrian president “will not survive.”

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 (13 km) 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 trucks - 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.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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