News / Middle East

    Netanyahu Takes Aim at Weapons 'Leakage' in Syria

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, May 19, 2013.
    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, May 19, 2013.
    Reuters
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held out the prospect on Sunday of further Israeli strikes inside Syria, pledging to act to prevent advanced weapons from reaching Hezbollah and other militant groups.
        
    Although Israel has not publicly taken sides in the civil war between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels trying to topple him, Western and Israeli sources say it has launched air strikes in Syria to destroy weapons it believed were destined for Lebanon's Hezbollah.
        
    In public remarks at the weekly meeting of his Cabinet, Netanyahu made no direct mention of those attacks, but made clear Israel was prepared to take action in the future and said it was "preparing for every scenario" in the Syrian conflict.
        
    Israel had set a policy "to prevent, as much as possible, the leakage of advanced weapons to Hezbollah and terror elements," he said.
        
    "We will act to ensure the security interest of Israel's citizens in the future as well," Netanyahu added, describing his government's actions as "responsible, determined and level-headed".
        
    Israel has neither confirmed nor denied reports it attacked Iranian-supplied missiles stored near Damascus this month that it believed were awaiting delivery to Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006 and is allied with Assad.
        
    Supersonic missile
        
    A Russian shipment of Yakhont anti-ship missiles to Syria was condemned by the United States on Friday, and Israel is also alarmed by the prospect of Moscow supplying S-300 advanced air defense missile systems to Damascus.
        
    Netanyahu held talks in Russia on Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin on the Syrian crisis but gave no public indication whether Israel's concerns over the Russian weaponry had been eased.
        
    Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official, said on Saturday the S-300 and the Yakhont, weapons that could complicate any plans for foreign military intervention in Syria, would likely end up with Hezbollah and threaten both Israel and U.S. forces in the Gulf.
        
    "Yakhont is a cruise missile that can hit targets at sea and strategic targets. [It is] a supersonic missile, [with] a range of 300 km, very sophisticated," Gilad said on Israel's Channel Two television on Saturday.
        
    "The Russians sent it to Syria, beside the strategic defense system called the S-300. There are a number of versions, and they are sending them one of the good versions," he said.
        
    General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Friday Russia's delivery of anti-ship missiles to Assad was "ill-timed and very unfortunate" and risked prolonging a war that has already killed more than 80,000 Syrians.
        
    A spokesman for Putin, while not responding directly to assertions Russia had sent the anti-ship missiles, said Moscow would honor contracts to supply Syria, a long-time weapons customer.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora