14:07 GMT +316 October 2019
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    A picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights shows smoke rising from the Syrian Druze village of Hader, on June 16, 2015

    Bashar Assad Accuses Israel of Supporting Terrorists in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / JALAA MAREY
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    Syrian President Bashar Assad has accused Israel of lending support to terrorist factions operating in the war-plagued country, saying Israelis provide armed groups with weapons, logistic support and medical assistance.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Israel participates in the war in Syria in various forms, which include using weapons against Syrian army positions and directly supporting terrorist groups which fight against government troops, Assad told Venezuelan Telesur broadcaster.

    "It is playing this role in different forms; first, by direct aggression, particularly by using warplanes, artillery, or missiles against Syrian Army positions. Second, it is supporting terrorists in two ways: first by providing direct support in the form of weapons, and second by providing logistic support, i.e. allowing them to conduct military exercises in the areas it controls. It also provides them with medical assistance in its hospitals," Assad said, as quoted by Sana news agency.

    According to Assad, there is evidence published in the internet which shows Israel's role in supporting terrorist groups in Syria.

    Earlier in the day, a large explosion was reported near the international airport in Damascus. Initial reports said the explosion was the result of an Israeli airstrike on a Hezbollah supply hub.

    Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said the strike is in line with Israel's policy of targeting Hezbollah’s arms deliveries in Syria, but stopped short of saying Israel was responsible for the strikes. Hezbollah was established in the 1980s in Lebanon and is a designated terrorist organization in Israel, the United States and other nations.

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has refused to comment on the incident.

    Tensions between Israel and Syria regularly escalate to hostility, with IDF planes striking targets in Syria in response to cross-border fire incidents and attacking groups, which Israel deems hostile, inside the country.

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    Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Bashar Assad, Israel, Syria
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