Damascus, Oct. 7 (Reuters): Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Israel today of trying to drag Syria and the rest of West Asia into wider conflict in his first public comments on the weekend Israeli air strike near Damascus.
Assad told London-based al-Hayat newspaper Syria would not yield to US demands to expel Palestinian organisations.
“(The raid) is an attempt by the Israeli government to extract itself from its big crisis by trying to terrorise Syria and drag it and the region into other wars,” he said.
“This (Israeli) government is one of war and war is the justification for its existence.”
Israel attacked a site near Damascus on Sunday, alleging it was a training camp for Palestinian militants, a day after a suicide attack in Haifa, Israel, killed 19 people. Syria said the raid was on “a civilian location” northwest of the capital.
“There is no doubt that Syria’s role in various issues in our region is painful for this (Israeli) government. What happened is a failed Israeli attempt to thwart this role, and we can say with all confidence that what happened will only make this role more effective in regional events,” Assad said.
Diplomatic sources said Syria was mulling proposed revisions to the draft UN resolution in a bid to win broader support. Security Council diplomats have said the Syrian draft would have to be rewritten to win more votes but even then it was likely to be vetoed by Washington. Diplomats said fewer than half the council members could vote for the current draft.
“The proposed changes are being studied as far as we know,” a diplomatic source said.