Ehud Barak, Defence Minister of Israel, left, arrivesat the International Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. The Munich Security Conference started Friday afternoon with experts from 90 delegations including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)The Associated Press
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, right, hugs Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as he arrives for the Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. The 49th Munich Security Conference started Friday afternoon with experts from 90 delegations, including Biden. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)The Associated Press
MUNICH – Israel's defense minister is predicting that the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad is imminent, and he says that would be a major blow to regional archrival Iran.
Ehud Barak's appearance Sunday at a conference in Germany comes days after an Israeli airstrike that U.S. officials say hit a convoy of anti-aircraft weapons inside Syria bound for the militant Lebanese Hezbollah group.
Israel hasn't publicly acknowledged that. Barak stopped short of confirming it Sunday, but said "what happened in Syria several days ago..." is "proof that when we said something we mean it — we say that we don't think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon."
Predicting Assad's fall would "happen imminently," he added: "This will be a major blow to the Iranians and Hezbollah."