Syria's Assad Calls Airstrikes 'Act of Terrorism'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called last weekend's alleged Israeli airstrikes on a depot of Iranian long-range missiles as "an act of terrorism aimed at Syria." The weapons were destined for Hezbollah.

Quoted by al-Manar television, Assad said the "recent Israeli aggressions expose the size of the complicity between the Israeli occupation, regional countries and the West in backing the current events in Syria."

Syria's president said his government's "heroic army" could confront "one of the faces of terrorism targeting Syria every day."

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Defense John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Tuesday to find a "peaceful solution" to the civil war that began with popular demonstrations in mid-March 2011.

The U.S. and Russia want to organize an international conference to solve the Syrian crisis, which has killed more than 70,000 and sent thousands more fleeing for their lives to neighboring Turkey and Jordan.

"The United States believes that we share some very significant common interests with respect to Syria," Kerry reportedly told Lavrov, citing "stability in the region [and] not having extremists creating problems throughout the region and elsewhere," al-Jazeera reported.

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Larov told reporters, "We agreed that Russia and the United States will encourage both the Syria[n] government and opposition groups to find a political solution." 

"The alternative is that the humanitarian crisis will grow. The alternative is that there may even be a breakup of Syria," Kerry said.

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