Middle East

Netanyahu says Israel working to prevent foes from acquiring weapons

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that his government is working to prevent its enemies from obtaining sophisticated weaponry — just hours after Israeli missiles purportedly struck in Syria's capital, reports AFP.

The details: Israel had previously acknowledged it has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria to prevent the country from providing advanced weapons to Hezbollah, though it did not confirm or deny its involvement in Saturday's attack near Damascus' airport.

Global terror attacks have skyrocketed since 9/11

There were more than 10,000 terrorist attacks worldwide last year — five times as many as there were the year of the Sept. 11 attacks, the leader of a new congressionally mandated task force on extremism told reporters.

Data: Global Terrorism Database; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. The incidents labeled as terror attacks include armed assault, assassination, bombing/explosion, facility/infrastructure attack, hijacking, hostage taking (barricade incident), hostage taking (kidnapping) and unarmed assault.

The big picture: After 9/11, the U.S. honed in on confronting terrorists and protecting the homeland, according to former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, a co-chair of the original 9/11 commission and co-chair of the new task force on extremism. But Kean told reporters there's been "no headway" on one of the commissions' recommendations following the 9/11 attacks: preventing the spread of Islamic terrorism.