Hezbollah militants display a rocket launcher in the Lebanese town of Iqlim at-Touffah on February 16, 1999.
Hezbollah militants display a rocket launcher in the Lebanese town of Iqlim at-Touffah near the border with Israel on February 16, 1999. Hezbollah has said the Israeli air strike on Syria has "unmasked" the true origins of the bloody conflict in the country. © Ramzi Haidar - AFP/File
Hezbollah militants display a rocket launcher in the Lebanese town of Iqlim at-Touffah on February 16, 1999.
AFP
Last updated: January 31, 2013

Israeli raid unmasks origins of Syria conflict, says Hezbollah

The Israeli air strike on Syria has "unmasked" the true origins of the bloody conflict in the country, its closest ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah, said on Thursday.

The Shiite militant group, an archfoe of Israel, said Wednesday's attack "fully unmasked what has been happening in Syria over the past two years and the criminal objectives of destroying this country and weakening its army."

Hezbollah, in a statement, said it "forcefully condemns this new Zionist aggression against Syria," in what was the first such Israeli strike since a deadly anti-regime revolt broke out in March 2011.

The attack unveiled Israel's policy of preventing "Arab and Muslim forces from boosting their military and technological capacities," it said.

The Syrian army said an Israeli strike targeted a "scientific research centre" near Damascus, with local residents telling AFP it was a non-conventional weapons research centre.

Israel has repeatedly warned that if Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons fell into the hands of Hezbollah, it would be a casus belli. But it remained tightlipped over the air strike reports.

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