Middle East

Israel vows to stop Syria arms transfers

Israel's Defense Minister Yaalon speaks during a swearing-in ceremony, at the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel reiterated Wednesday it would act to prevent any transfer of advanced arms to militants during the conflict in Syria, as a newspaper reported an Israeli airstrike along the Syrian-Lebanese border.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, speaking at the parliamentary foreign and defence committee, said Israel was closely monitoring the situation in Syria and the regime's moves to dismantle its chemical arms.

"So far the regime is upholding its commitment," he said in remarks relayed by his office.

"We are following the issue, and continue to maintain our red lines on Syria -- not to allow the transfer of advanced Syrian weapons to hostile hands, especially (Lebanon's Shiite group) Hezbollah," he said.

Yaalon said Israel would "not allow the passage of chemical weapons, which until now they haven't even tried to transfer."

His comments came as Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida, citing an official in Jerusalem, said Israeli warplanes had on Monday hit a convoy carrying advanced missiles along the Syria-Lebanon border bound for Hezbollah.

An Israeli defence official refused to comment on the report, which did not state whether the strike took place inside Lebanese or Syrian territory.

Israel has carried out several air strikes inside Syria this year that officials said were aimed at preventing shipments of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.





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