State Department: Israel Has the Right to Defend Itself

June 25, 2014  

The United States on Tuesday expressed its support for Israel in the wake of its airstrikes on Syria Sunday night.

Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters, “We support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense in response to unprovoked assaults” adding that “we, of course, believe that countries have the right to defend themselves.”

“Recent attacks we’ve seen from Syria are unacceptable and have been clear about our concerns about that as well,” stressed Harf.

The Israel Air Force (IAF) struck nine targets belonging to the Syrian army in the Golan Heights,  in retaliation for Sunday morning’s explosion on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights which killed a teenager.

Asked whether Washington suspects the attacks on Israel were conducted by Syrian government forces, Harf said, “I have no information otherwise.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Tuesday that military forces loyal to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad were behind the cross-border attack.

“We received all the analyses and intelligence: it was clear that it was Syrian authorities,” Liberman told Army Radio.

Syria said the strikes killed four soldiers and wounded nine, and on Monday urged the United Nations to condemn Israel’s “flagrant violation” of its territory.

Liberman said the Israeli reaction was “just how it should have been”, and warned, “That’s also how it will be in the future.”

“I hope Damascus got the message,” he added.

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