US, Arabs knew Israel would attack Syria: Iran's Larijani

Ahram Online, Wednesday 8 May 2013

Washington and some Arab states knew about Israeli attack against Syria in advance, speaker of Iranian parliament Ali Larijani says

Golan Heights
Israeli soldiers walk together during a training close to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria on the Israeli occupied Golan Heights May 7, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Ali Larijani, speaker of Iran's parliament, has claimed some Arab states and the United States received prior notification of Israel's recent air strikes against Syria.

"We have accurate information that the US and some Arab countries had prior knowledge of the recent incidents in Syria and the bombardment of several areas in the country," Larijani told Iran's Press TV on Wednesday.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad denounced Israel on Tuesday and said his nation is "capable of facing" the Jewish state after it launched an air attack on targets near Damascus over the weekend.

Al-Assad made the statements, the first since the attack, after a meeting with Tehran's Foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Damascus, Associated Press reported.

On the same day, according to AFP, an Israeli army spokesman said a mortar shell fired from Syria had exploded in an open field in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights without causing any casualties or damage.

A US intelligence official told Reuters on Sunday that Washington was not given any warning before air strikes in Syria against what Western and Israeli officials claimed were weapons headed for Lebanon's Hezbollah militants.

"It would not be unusual for them to take aggressive steps when there was some chance that some sophisticated weapons system would fall into the hands of people like Hezbollah," the official said.

US President Barack Obama said on Saturday that Israel has the right to guard against the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah, an ally of both Syria and Iran.

The Arab League condemned the incident and called on the UN Security Council to act immediately to stop what it called "Israeli attacks" against the war-torn state.

Moreover, the pan-Arab organisation regarded the attacks as a "dangerous violation of an Arab state's sovereignty."


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