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Assad: Syrian army can handle Israel

JTA

May 8, 2013 | 8:22 am

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, in Damascus on May 7 in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. Photo by SANA/Handout via Reuters

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, in Damascus on May 7 in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. Photo by SANA/Handout via Reuters

Syria's army is ready to deal with Israel, Syrian President Bashar Assad told an Iranian official on Syrian state television.

"The Syrian people and its army, who have made important achievements by fighting terrorist and Takfiri groups, are capable of confronting Israel's ventures that represent one of the many faces of terrorism targeting Syria today,” Assad said Tuesday during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, according to reports.

Assad on the broadcast also accused Israel, as well as Western states, with involvement in the two-year Syrian civil war.

The comments are his first public remarks since alleged Israeli airstrikes in Syria over the weekend. The two strikes reportedly targeted long-range missiles sent from Iran for the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah.

His comments came as Internet connections between Syria and the rest of the world were severed. The cutoff remained in effect on Wednesday. It is unknown if there is Internet communication within Syria, Reuters reported.

The BBC cited the Syrian Arab News Agency as saying that the Internet shutdown was the result of a fault in fiber optic cables, but Syrian activists believe the shutdown is deliberate.

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