Fall of Assad would weaken `axis of evil`: Israel

Last Updated: Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 21:56

Jerusalem: Denying its involvement in the
Syrian crisis, Israel on Sunday said the fall of Bashar Al-Assad`s
regime would weaken "axis of evil" and could lift relatively
moderate Sunni forces to power in Damascus.

"That`s factually untrue because Israel never took a
stand saying it was interested in the survival of Assad’s
regime," Deputy Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister
Mose Ya`alon told Army Radio denying claims that Israel was
sustaining the Syrian President`s regime.

"There could be different developments in such a
situation, some of which could be positive as far as Israel is
concerned, like a fissure in the Tehran-Damascus-Beirut-Hamas
axis of evil," he opined.

Unlike Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood has risen to
power, he said the Syrian case would be very different.

"I don`t see a Muslim Brotherhood regime, I see a
relatively moderate Sunni regime based on an intellectual
middle class, not the Muslim Brotherhood," Yaalon added.

His comments came a day after Russia and China vetoed
Western-Arab UN Security Council resolution backing an Arab
League call for Assad to step aside.

Asked when he felt Assad would be forced to step down,
the Israeli leader said that it was "hard to estimate, but
we?re saying again and again what`s clear to anyone following
the situation in Syria. Assad is losing his legitimacy and
it`s a matter of both time and of lives lost."

Reacting to a question if Israel has contacted the Syrian
opposition, he said: "whether there`s contact or not, you
don’t expect me to discuss these things in the media."

Ya`alon also addressed comments he made during the
Herzliya Conference earlier this week in which he asserted
that a military strike could hit all of Iran`s nuclear
facilities and that "any facility protected by humans can be
infiltrated by humans".

"We saw the development in the defensive abilities of
tanks along the years and counter development of anti-tank
missiles," Yaalon said, adding that last week`s statement was
an axiom".

"There`s no doubt that whatever humans develop, another
human can crack," he stressed.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 21:56

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