Tensions are rising in the Middle East as Syria says that it will retaliate against future Israeli airstrikes.
President al-Assad has stated that the Syrian army is capable of confronting Israel, saying that last week’s airstrikes represented an “act of terrorism” aimed at Syria, reports the Daily Star.
The Israeli airstrike against Syria targeted a shipment of advanced missiles believed to be bound for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Israeli officials said Saturday. The attack left at least 42 Syrian soldiers dead.
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The raids have raised fears that Israel could be drawn into Syria’s civil war, in which the U.N says at least 70,000 people have died since an uprising against President Assad.
Now it looks like President Assad is threatening retaliation: “The Syrian people and its army who have made important achievements by fighting terrorist and Takfiri groups are capable of confronting Israel’s ventures that represent on of the many faces of terrorism targeting Syria today.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has also held talks with Syrian President on Tuesday and said it was time to “dissuade Israel from carrying out attacks such as its air strikes on Syria over the past week.”
Regardless of President al-Assad’s declarations, Syria is wrapped up in an incredibly divisive and devastating civil war, which could prove too debilitating for the country to engage in any external confrontation.
Meanwhile, Israel is on high alert after its airstrike against the war-torn country.
Israeli media reports that Palestinian militants inside Syria have been told that the Assad regime will not stop their attacking of targets in Israel, as the government in Damascus weighs its options in response to Israel’s weekend airstrikes.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group based in Damascus, stated that the Syrian authorities had told them to go ahead with attacks from the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights, which borders the Jewish state.