Iran calls for Arab countries to unite against Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran called on the countries of the Middle East to unite against Israel in the face of an attack on Syria.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the countries of the region should stand together against the “assault,” the Reuters news agency reported, citing the Iranian Fars news agency.

Syrian state media accused Israel of the early Sunday morning attack on what it identified as the Jamraya military research center approximately 10 miles from the border with Lebanon.

Reuters cited an unnamed “Western intelligence source” on Sunday who confirmed the Sunday morning attack and said that Israel targeted stores of long-range Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in the attack, as well as an attack Friday on a warehouse near the Damascus airport also said to be housing weapons from Iran intended for Hezbollah.

The commander of ground forces for the Iranian army, Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, offered to train the Syrian government’s army to fight Israel, Reuters reported, citing Fars.

“Syria has a powerful army, and with the structure and experience it has against the Zionist regime, it can definitely defend itself and there is no need for intervention by other countries,” he said, according to Fars. “But if they need training, we can help them.”

Also on Sunday, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Faisal al Mekdad, in an interview with CNN called Sunday’s attack on the Syrian military research facility a “declaration of war” by Israel and said Syria would retaliate in its own way and at its own time.

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