Israel calls for military intervention into Syria amid clashes
JERUSALEM / DAMASCUSPresident Shimon Peres called on the international community to bolster its efforts to stop the bloodshed in Syria, saying he hoped the rebels “will win” their struggle.
In an interview with Israeli public radio ahead of a trip to Washington, Peres said the “efforts of the international community are insufficient.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned “massacres of civilians” in Syria yesterday, and accused Iran and Hezbollah of helping the regime. “The Syrian government, and those who help them, Iran and Hezbollah, reveal their true face, that of the ‘axis of evil.’ This is the environment we live in,” he said.
Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz criticized Russia for arming Damascus and repeated Israel’s demand for international military intervention to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. His remarks came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pushed Russia’s idea of an international Syria conference including Iran on June 9 as he reaffirmed its opposition to the use of force.
Over 100 killed at weekend
On the ground, at least 35 people have been killed in a renewed Syrian army effort to regain control of the restive province of Homs, opposition activists said yesterday.
Syrian forces also unleashed a new round of heavy shelling and sent reinforcements to a mountainous area near the coastal city of Latakia, activists said. On June 9, army shelling and gunfire killed at least 83 civilians in protest towns, activists said. The recent violence brought the death toll since the start of the uprising against al-Assad’s regime to more than 14,100, a monitoring group said.
Abductions near Lebanon
Gunmen abducted four Syrian Alawites and a Shiite man yesterday along the border with Syria after a Sunni Lebanese was kidnapped in the same region, a security official said. As the violence mounts in Syria, Abdel Basset Sayda said that al-Assad’s regime was on its “last legs,” shortly after he was named as the new leader of the opposition Syrian National Council in Istanbul. “We call upon all officials in the regime and in the institutions to defect from the regime,” Sayda said.
Compiled from AFP, AP and Reuters tories by the Daily News staff.