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Middle East

Israel willing to launch further Syria attacks 'to prevent transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah'


Israel will not be deterred from launching further attacks on Syria, a senior government official has told the New York Times, warning that Bashar al-Assad would forfeit his presidency if he retaliated.

Israel has long said that it is willing to act to prevent sophisticated weapons falling into the hands of its long-standing enemy, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and two weeks ago launched at least three attacks on Syria. Officials have both publicly and privately insisted that Israel is not taking sides in the Syrian civil war.

"Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah," the Israeli official told the newspaper. "The transfer of such weapons to Hezbollah will destabilize and endanger the entire region. If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate."