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Israel will not allow Syria to become hub for arms transfers, says Lapid

September 12, 2022 at 2:33 pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, on April 24, 2022 [DEBBIE HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Sunday that Israel will not allow Syria to become a hub for transferring weapons to “terrorist organisations”, Channel 13 has reported. Lapid added that Tel Aviv will not agree to the establishment of Iranian bases or armed groups’ bases on its northern border.

Last week, Israeli warplanes carried out an attack on Aleppo Airport in the north of Syria, damaging the runway and taking it out of service, Reuters reported at the time. The Israeli missile attack was launched at sea, off the coastal city of Latakia, at 8:16 pm local time (1716 GMT), the Syrian authorities were quoted as saying.

It was the second such attack reported in less than a week. On 31 August, Israel fired rockets at the airport, which resulted in material damage, reported Syrian state media.

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Regional diplomatic and intelligence sources told Reuters that Israel has intensified strikes on Syrian airports to disrupt Tehran’s increasing use of aerial supply lines to deliver arms to allies in Syria and Lebanon, including Hezbollah.

Lapid is expected to leave for Germany, where he will meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to discuss talks to revive the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers. The Israeli leader seeks to make clear the importance of not conceding to Iran over its nuclear programme.

He thanked France, Britain and Germany on Sunday for a joint statement issued earlier in which the three countries accused Iran of undermining the talks by making demands separate from its international commitments, including that the UN nuclear watchdog close a probe into uranium particles found at three sites. The Iranian foreign ministry rejected the European joint statement and described it as “unconstructive”.