Daily Israel Report

Yaalon Confirms: Assad Used Chemical Weapons

Defense minister says Israel will respond to any violation of its sovereignty, will not intervene in Syria.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/25/2013, 5:34 PM

Moshe Yaalon
Moshe Yaalon
Flash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon met Sunday with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Jerusalem, and in his statements, indirectly confirmed that Israel has no doubt that Bashar al-Assad's forces are behind the use of chemical weapons against civilians last week.

In the course of the meeting, Yaalon said, “There are many events taking place in our region, especially the use of unconventional weapons by an unconventional regime – a step that caused the tragic deaths of thousands of innocent civilians.”

"This is not the first time that the Syrian regime, which is supported by Iran and Hezbollah, uses unconventional weapons, and for it, this has become a matter of routine,” Yaalon stated.

"The state of Israel does not intervene in the Syrian civil war,” he said. “We have the red lines we established, and we are living up to them: we will not allow quality weapons to be transferred to Hezbollah and other terror elements. We will not allow the transfer of chemical weapons, and we will respond to any violation of our sovereignty.

"We argue that in the end, we must defend ourselves, by ourselves, and do so with responsibility and sound judgment. We do not expect foreign armies to do this for us,” he added.

Lebanon has a government and an army, Yaalon said, “but unfortunately, there is a terror orgainzation there like Hezbollah, which challenges them. Hezbollah also violates UN resolution 1701 along our border with Lebanon, and uses civilian residents of villages in southern Lebanon as shelter for missiles and rockets which they plan to fire at Israel when commanded to.”