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Assad Says Israel Seeking To Destabilize Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused Israel of trying to destabilize Syria with a recent air strike on Syrian territory.

Assad's comments were his first reported response since the air strike on January 30.

The Syrian government says the strike targeted a military research base near Damascus.

U.S. officials say it targeted a convoy carrying antiaircraft weapons for the Lebanese militant group Hizballah near the Syria-Lebanon border.

Israel has not publicly commented on the strike. Nonetheless, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters at a security conference in Munich, Germany on February 3 that it was "another proof that when we say something we mean it."

Syrian state-run media said Assad spoke during a meeting with Saeed Jalili, Iran's National Security Council secretary, in Damascus on February 3.

Assad also said Syria is capable of confronting "any aggression."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP