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Ya’alon: We are watching Syria, not interfering

Defense minister denies Israeli involvement in recent bombings in Beirut and Latakia, says northern borders are quiet

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon meeting with soldiers during a visit to the Tze'elim military base on July 9, 2013. (photo credit: Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense/Flash90)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon meeting with soldiers during a visit to the Tze'elim military base on July 9, 2013. (photo credit: Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense/Flash90)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday said Israel is closely watching closely the Syrian civil war that is spilling over into Lebanon, but does not intend to interfere.

“Our borders are quiet, and that is not always a given,” Ya’alon said while visiting the Tze’elim army base with Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz.

Responding to both the car bomb that rocked a Hezbollah stronghold earlier in the day south of the Lebanese capital of Beirut, and the explosions last Friday morning at an ammunition depot in the Syrian city of Latakia, Ya’alon said that Israel is “watching the Syrian war spill over into Lebanon and we are following what happens in Tripoli and Beirut. This is a struggle between Shiites and Sunnis. We watch, but do not interfere.”

Ya’alon denied accusations that Israel had anything to do with either of the recent blasts. “For a very long time we have not interfered in Syria’s bloody war,” he said. “We set our red lines and we are holding to them. Whenever there is an explosion or a sortie in the Middle East, we are blamed.”

In May Israel reportedly carried out two airstrikes on convoys carrying advanced weapons from Syria to Hezbollah.

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