Israeli Defense Minister discusses developments in Syria and says the IDF is "tracking possibility Hezbollah will take opportunity to transfer advanced weapons systems"
Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited the IDF recruitment center today (Sunday, July 22), in honor of the beginning of the enlistment process for recruits of the August draft – the year's primary enlistment for field and combat units. There, he addressed the new recruits, discussing their military service, developments in Syria, and the investigation of last week's terror attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.
"In the coming years, these young people will carry on their shoulders the burden of Israel's security," said the Defense Minister. "We are in a complicated region, and we must protect ourselves – and we will protect ourselves everywhere and however we must, with discretion, responsibility, and determination. This young generation is taking on this mission, and it will protect us."
Regarding the IDF's current concerns, Barak noted, "We are tracking developments in Syria. The Assad regime is collapsing before our eyes, and we are watching the possibility that the Hezbollah terror organization will attempt to use this opportunity to transfer advanced weapons systems."
"The State of Israel cannot accept the transfer of advanced weapons systems from Syria to Lebanon," he continued. "The Syrian people will topple Assad. The only ones who are helping him today are Iran and Hezbollah, whom we know from the attacks. They are the only ones aiding him actively, but nonetheless he will fall."
Regarding the investigation of last week's attack on Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, the Minister of Defense noted that the investigation is progressing in cooperation with Bulgarian authorities. "It is clear that the attack was directed by the Hezbollah, and it is clear that at least one perpetrator – and maybe more – did not have a Middle Eastern appearance – possibly intentionally. Further details are still unclear," he said.
"There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a rise in terror around the world, particularly against Israel – with Hezbollah at its center, with Iranian inspiration," he explained. "But unfortunately, there are many other participants. Our intelligence and security forces and other services have managed exceptional successes in thwarting attacks throughout the year. But recently, we experienced a very painful event, and I am sorry to say that we cannot always prevent all such incidents."