Hezbollah condemns Israeli strike in Syria

BEIRUT Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:12am EST

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah condemned on Thursday an Israeli attack which it said targeted a Syrian research center, saying it was an attempt to thwart Arab military capabilities and pledging to stand by its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

"Hezbollah expresses its full solidarity with Syria's leadership, army and people," it said in a statement.

Sources said on Wednesday that Israeli jets bombed a convoy near Syria's border with Lebanon, apparently targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah. Syria denied the reports, saying the target had been a military research center.

Hezbollah said the attack showed that the conflict in Syria, where Assad is confronting an armed uprising, was part of a scheme "to destroy Syria and its army and foil its pivotal role in the resistance front (against Israel)".

The attack should make Assad's opponents realize the danger of targeting Syria, Hezbollah said, and focus instead on "political dialogue as the sole basis to halt the bloodshed".

(Reporting by Dominic Evans; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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