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Obama: Israel Justified in Protecting Itself Against Arms Shipments to Hezbollah

  • VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama answers a question while participating in a forum on Inclusive Economic Growth and Development at the Old Custom House in San Jose, Costa Rica, Saturday, May 4, 2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama answers a question while participating in a forum on Inclusive Economic Growth and Development at the Old Custom House in San Jose, Costa Rica, Saturday, May 4, 2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama says Israel is justified in protecting itself from advanced weapons shipments to terrorist groups like Hezbollah.

In an interview Saturday with the Spanish-language network Telemundo, Obama did not directly comment on reports of an Israeli airstrike against a Syrian missile shipment believed bound for Hezbollah. He said he would let Israel "confirm or deny whatever strikes that they have taken."

Anonymous Israeli officials say Israel struck a missile shipment believed headed for the Lebanese-based militant group late Thursday. The officials say chemical weapons were not the target. The Israeli government has not confirmed the report.

U.S. officials say the target appeared to be a warehouse. There is no sign Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace.

Hezbollah is allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The militant group, supported by Iran, waged a brief war with Israel in 2006. This would be the second time Israel has conducted airstrikes against Syria this year. Israel said it attacked a weapons convoy in Syria believed headed for Hezbollah in January.

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