Syrian President Bashar Assad made his first public comments on Israel’s Wednesday attack on his nation today, claiming they were part of a coordinated effort with “foreign” rebel factions aimed at destabilizing his regime.
The comments came in the wake of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak essentially confirming the attack, saying it was “proof when we said something we mean it,” and predicted the imminent fall of the Assad government.
Of course the claim of rebel ties is highly unlikely, as the foreign-backed rebels are mostly Sunni Islamist factions that have accused Assad of being pro-Israel. Still, it fuels Assad’s narrative and will likely find some currency among civilians sick of the fighting.
It has also sparked a chorus of condemnations of Israel from Russia, Iran, and even Turkey, which has openly backed regime change in Syria but is still not keen on the Israeli attack.
Turkey’s condemnation has been particularly harsh, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today saying that Israel was behaving like a “spoiled child” and that the US-endorsed attack violated international law.
So far the US is the only nation backing Israel’s attack, and that backing has Israel talking full-scale invasion. Britain has refused to condemn the attack, but stopped short of a public endorsement.