Ya'alon Hints at Syria Strikes: Israel Will Get to Anyone Who Arms Our Enemies

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Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014.Credit: AP

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Tuesday alluded to reports of an alleged Israeli air strike on Syrian military targets in the Damascus area on Sunday.

Speaking at an event honoring Israel's wounded in war and terror, Ya'alon made an unusually direct reference to the alleged strike, saying that "whoever tries to arm our enemies should know we will reach any place at any time to thwart their plans."

Ya'alon added that Israel "will not compromise on the matter and not allow the crossing of red lines that endanger the security of Israel. We will not compromise on the security of the citizens of Israel."

On Sunday, official Syrian media reported that Israeli jets had bombed targets near Damascus International Airport and in the town of Dimas, north of Damascus and near the border with Lebanon.

A day later, Al Arabiya News Channel reported that two Hezbollah members of were killed in the attacks, one of them a senior military figure in the Lebanese Shi'ite organization.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the reported strikes, but Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio on Monday that the country has "a firm policy of preventing all possible transfers of sophisticated weapons to terrorist organizations."

The German news agency DPA reported that the Damascus airport warehouses reportedly targeted by the Israeli air strikes held Iranian missile systems destined for Hezbollah.

A separate strike near Dimas, approximately half-way between Damascus and the Lebanese border, reportedly hit a Hezbollah convoy heading to Lebanon.

Advanced Iranian drones deployed with Syrian troops and Hezbollah forces were also hit, a Syrian official said.

Also on Monday, Russia demanded an explanation from Israel about the alleged strikes. "Moscow is deeply worried by this dangerous development, the circumstances of which demand an explanation," Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

In a letter to the United Nations, Russia complained about Israel's "aggressive action" and demanded that such attacks should not happen again, the spokesman said.

Syria also complained to the UN about the strikes, demanding that the Security Council "severely condemn the Israeli attack and impose punitive sanctions on Israel due to its support of Syrian terrorist organizations."

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