Israel accuses Iran on Syria massacres


ISRAELI PRIME minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accused the country’s arch-foes Iran and Hizbullah of supporting the “massacres” being perpetrated by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and called on the international community to intervene.

Until now Israeli leaders have largely been silent on the events unfolding in neighbouring Syria, considered Israel’s bitterest frontline enemy, fearing any comment would only boost Mr Assad’s position.

However, the almost-daily reports of atrocities and the fear that the clashes could develop into a wider regional conflagration have prompted Israeli leaders to speak out.

Mr Netanyahu told ministers the massacres were not executed by the Syrian government alone.

“It is assisted by Iran and Hizbullah and the world should realise this is a concentrated axis of evil – Iran, Syria and Hizbullah,” he said. “Everyone should see the sort of neighbourhood we live in.”

Vice prime minister Shaul Mofaz accused Syria of committing genocide and urged world powers to topple President Assad in the same way western powers acted in Libya to overthrow Col Muammar Gadafy.

Mr Mofaz, a former top general, criticised Russia for arming Damascus. “Best case this is irresponsibility and worst case, it is a partnership in the slaughter,” he said.

Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said the situation in Syria had gone “completely out of control” as a result of the “indifferent attitude and lack of leadership” in the international community.

He said Israel was ready to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian citizens, including food and medicine, as well as treatment for the wounded who cross into Jordan.

Mr Ayalon added that Israel has been in contact with the Red Cross and other aid organisations.