In December, the U.S. State Department moved to blacklist the rebel group as a foreign terror organization linked to al Qaeda in Iraq.
President Shimon Peres said Israel had high hopes when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who trained in London to become a doctor, was elected president. Al-Assad seemed to be "a modern young doctor," Peres said..
"It turned out to be a cover," Peres said. "He tried to build a nuclear bomb and he built a chemical arsenal. Fortunately, the nuclear installation is destroyed. Unluckily the chemical arsenal remained."
He added, "What's happening in Syria is a tragedy for Syria."