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Moshe Yaalon with Hagel on plane 370.(Photo by: Ariel Harmoni, Ministry of Defense)
Ya’alon discusses Syria with US counterpart Hagel
By MICHAEL WILNER, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
06/18/2013
Flown in on V-22 Osprey for talks with US Secretary of Defense, defense minister discusses ongoing violence in Syria.
WASHINGTON – Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon arrived at the Pentagon on Friday in a V-22 Osprey for talks with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, where the two men discussed the aircraft’s purchase and the deteriorating state of affairs in Syria.

The meeting came just a day after the White House announced that it had identified chemical weapons use in Syria based on independent intelligence analyses, and that it would begin arming rebel forces with light arms.

The Osprey test flight provided Ya’alon with both a dramatic entrance as well as a chance to test a Boeing aircraft that has had a tough road to production.

The tilt-rotor vehicle – which has vertical takeoff and landing capability like a helicopter, but flies like a plane – has been a pet project of the US army for nearly three decades.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said that the US was offering Israel the first international sale of the Osprey “as part of an unprecedented package of advance military capabilities that will increase Israel’s qualitative military edge.”

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the US, has several times in recent months pointed to the Osprey sale as an example of America’s commitment to Israel’s “qualitative military edge.”

“Secretary Hagel and Minister Ya’alon also discussed the ongoing violence in Syria and condemned the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime,” Little said.

“Both noted the complexities of the situation and resolved to remain in close contact and continue to share information to support the defense of Israel.”
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