World Reacts to Israeli Attack On Syria
World Reacts to Israeli Attack On Syria
Above: Unconfirmed footage of the Damascus bombings
Israel's airstrikes on multiple locations in Syria have drawn strong reactions around the world.
"We will not accept to be humiliated," Syrian information minister Omran al-Zoubi told a press conference. "We are all in a state of anger. We are abused by this attack."
He says the attack "opens the door to all possibilities."
In an interview with CNN, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad says the attacks mean Israel has declared war.
Israel is refusing to comment officially on the attacks, but spokesman Aaron Sagui told Associated Press via email that Israel is protecting its regional interests.
“What we can say is that Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, specially to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
"For Israel, it is very important that the front group for Iran, which is in Lebanon, needs to be stopped," Shaul Mofaz, a lawmaker in Israel's Knesset, told Israeli Army Radio .
"I need to say that Hezbollah is deeply involved up to its neck in what is happening in Syria. Hezbollah helps the Iranians navigate against the rebels."
United States President Barack Obama says Israel has a right to take military action against its neighbours.
"I'll let the Israeli government confirm or deny whatever strikes that they've taken," he told reporters.
"What I have said in the past and I continue to believe is that the Israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. We coordinate closely with the Israelis recognizing they are very close to Syria, they are very close to Lebanon.”
Republican Senator John McCain is calling for increased US support to anti-regime forces in Syria.
“We need to have a game-changing action, and that is no American boots on the ground, establish a safe zone and to protect it and to supply weapons to the right people in Syria who are fighting, obviously, for the things we believe," he says.
"Every day that goes by, Hezbollah increases their influence and the radical jihadists flow into Syria and the situation becomes more and more tenuous.”
The IDF has deployed two rocket defense batteries near the cities of Haifa and Safed in northern Israel. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in a statement: "Iron Dome batteries are deployed from time to time in different locations across the country according to security assessments. The system is currently being deployed in the northern region."
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has ”expressed grave concern” in a statement released follow the Israeli attack.
“The Secretary-General calls on all
sides to exercise maximum calm and restraint, and to act
with a sense of responsibility to prevent an escalation of
what is already a devastating and highly dangerous
The Secretary-General urges respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region, and adherence to all relevant Security Council resolutions.”
The Arab league has demanded that the U.N. Security Council "act immediately to end Israeli attacks on Syria," which it describes as a "dangerous violation of an Arab state's sovereignty.”
Tehran has issued similar statements, with Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani condemning the attacks.
“Israel must not be allowed to continue its aggressive measures against regional countries by taking advantage of the current situation in Syria,” he says.
Syrian government media accuses the Israelis of working with anti-Assad rebels.
“The new Israeli aggression is a clear attempt to raise the gunmen morale after the painful blows they received at the hands of our valiant army,” it claims.
British Foreign Minister William Hague says Israel has a right to defend itself.
"All countries have to look after their own national security, of course, and are able to take actions to protect their own national security," he says.
"The longer this goes on, the stronger the case becomes for lifting the arms embargoes on the National Coalition, on the Syrian opposition, if we're left with no other alternative to that.”
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi says the attacks are a “true test” of the world's commitment to international law.
"We condemn the Israeli aggression on Syria as it represents a violation of international laws and principles and only aims at further complicating the situation [in Syria] as well as threatening the security and stability of the region," he says in a statement.