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May 13, 2013 6:01 am

Syrian Rebel Commander: Israeli Airstrikes Meant to Aid Assad

avatar by Zach Pontz

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al-Tawhid Brigades logo. Photo: Wikipedia.

A top Syrian rebel commander has said that Israeli airstrikes on Damascus were meant to aid Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against opposition forces.

Al-Tawhid Brigade Commander Abdulkader Saleh told the Cihan news agency that Israel decided to strike a military facility after it learned that rebels battling the Syrian government were going to gain control of weapons there.

“The opposition was going to take over arms, so Israel attacked. There is evidence pointing to this. There were some high-ranking officers with whom [the opposition forces] got into contact. [Those officers] were going to defect from [the Assad administration], handing over arms to the opposition. Israel hit these posts in fear that the opposition would take over the arms. The arms included heavy artillery as well as air defense systems. This assault, of course, was intended to support the Assad administration,” Saleh explained in a translation provided by Turkey’s Today’s Zaman.

Israel reportedly struck military positions in and around Damascus last Sunday. According to reports, the Jewish state made clear to the Assad regime that it was not attempting to interfere in the country’s civil strife, but rather proactively stopping weapons from ending up in the possession of terrorists.

Saleh also rejected claims that opposition forces has used chemical weapons and said Assad’s regime has used toxic substances many times. “[Chemical weapons] have been used in Damascus’s Ghouta, Homs and now in Aleppo’s Khan al-Assal region. These attacks indicate the regime’s demise,” said the opposition commander, while denouncing the international community, the EU and the US’s indifference to chemical weapons use. “This shows the international community’s cooperation with Assad’s regime,” he added.

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