Syrian President Bashar Assad commented for the first time Sunday on the recent airstrike in his country, blaming Israel and saying the attack was aimed at weakening and destabilizing Syria.
Syria's state news agency SANA said Assad made the remarks in a meeting with Saeed Jalili, Iran's national security council secretary, at the Syrian capital.
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Assad said after the meeting that "Syria, with the power of its army and adherence to resistance, is able to confront all the current threats and curb any aggression against the Syrian army and its historical and cultural role."
Assad and Jalili, Sunday (Photo: Reuters)
The Syrian president stressed that "the Israeli aggression in one of the scientific research centers in the Jamraya area on the outskirts of Damascus exposes Israel's real role in cooperating with the hostile external forces and their aides on Syrian soil in an attempt to undermine Syria's stability, weaken it and cause it to abandon its national stances."
Jalili said after the meeting, "We have a great amount of faith in the Syrian leadership's wisdom to deal with the brutal aggression which aims to affect Syria's pioneering role in the resistance axis."
Israel's defense minister made his country's first public comments Sunday on the alleged attack.
Ehud Barak brought the issue up at a gathering of the world's top diplomats and defense officials in Germany, initially saying: "I cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria several days ago."
But, addressing the audience in English, he then added: "I keep telling frankly that we said – and that's proof 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."
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report
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