President Assad Says Syria Able to Face Israel

Posted at: 05/07/2013 2:43 PM | Updated at: 05/07/2013 3:09 PM
By: BARBARA SURK, Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian President Bashar Assad is denouncing Israel and says his nation is capable of facing the Jewish state after its warplanes hit targets near Damascus over the weekend.

Assad's comments were his first since the airstrikes. He spoke Tuesday after a meeting with Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian foreign minister, who was visiting Damascus.

Assad stopped short of promising retaliation, but said the Syrians "are capable of facing Israel's ventures."

He also accused Israel of supporting "terrorists" in Syria. The Syrian government refers to rebels fighting to topple Assad's regime as terrorists.

Israel officials say Israel carried out airstrikes to target weapons near Damascus that were bound for the Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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