Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Israel's "full support" for airstrikes on Syrian targets in retaliation for the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in the rebel-held town of Douma.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Sunday, April 15, 2018.
The pre-dawn Saturday morning attack targeted a scientific research facility near Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs, and military installation near Homs including a command post and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility.
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It should be clear to Assad that his reckless efforts to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction, his disregard for global law and his provision of a base for Iran and its proxies endanger Syria, said Netanyahu.
"With all due respect, at the end of the day, we have sometimes to go and do what needs to be done because there is an imminent threat", Ben-Shalom said while justifying the Israeli actions. Asked how much warning Israel had received, the official told Reuters: "Between 12 and 24 hours, I believe". A US embassy spokesperson confirmed the Israeli official's comment to Reuters.
Israel has been holding talks with Uganda and has said it is "highly probable" a deal would be clinched.
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"Syria continues to carry out murderous actions and to be a base for these and other actions, including by Iran, that puts its territory, forces and leadership in danger", the terse statement said. The armed Iranian-backed Shi'ite movement Hezbollah, which has an extensive missile arsenal, last fought a war with Israel in 2006.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Netanyahu and urged him to do nothing to destabilise Syria, according to a Kremlin statement. The coalition strikes reportedly caused heavy damage to Syria's chemical weapons infrastructure.
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But France says it has conclusive proof that "chemical weapons were used and that they were used by Assad's regime". Dunford said the first targeted was a scientific research center in the Damascus area.