Israel tells Assad it is not on side of rebels


Israel sought to reassure the Syrian regime Monday that its weekend airstrikes against military sites near Damascus were not aimed at boosting the rebels, as activists claimed at least 42 army soldiers were killed in the attacks.

Early morning airstrikes against what Syrian state media reported were scientific and military research centers shook the city, and came two days after another Israeli airstrike at the Damascus airport against a convoy of weapons allegedly being transferred to Hezbollah.

Israel had attempted to hit the Jamraya site, outside of Damascus, in January.

Syrian state television earlier reported that the government was encouraging guerrilla attacks against Israel from the Golan Heights.

According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper, Monday, the Netanyahu government had informed Assad through diplomatic channels that it did not intend to meddle in Syria’s civil war.

As a precaution, Israel deployed two of its five Iron Dome rocket interceptors near the Syrian and Lebanese fronts and grounded civilian aircraft in the area, although an Israeli military spokesman said the airspace would reopen Monday.

On Monday, Hezbollah said that the airstrikes prove that the Israelis and Islamist fighters in Syria share the same goals.

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

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