Tel Aviv, May 11 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to respond to Israel’s large-scale air attack on Syria.
“Yesterday I conveyed a clear message to the Assad regime: Our activity is directed against Iranian targets in Syria,” Netanyahu said in a video statement. “But if the Syrian army takes action against us, we will act against it,” Xinhua reported.
“That is exactly what happened yesterday, Syrian army launched ground-to-air missiles against us, and therefore we hit them,” he said.
Reiterating a demand voiced by Israel in the past months, Netanyahu urged the international community “to prevent Iran’s al-Quds Force from entrenching itself in Syria.”
He warned that Israel will act forcibly to any response to its attacks. “If anyone hurts us, we will hurt them sevenfold. And if anyone prepares to harm us, we will take preemptive action to harm them first,” he said.
Israel carried out an extensive attack on Syria overnight between Wednesday and Thursday. Israel’s military said the attack targeted Iranian military sites and was a retaliation to earlier rockets that were launched towards military positions in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights but failed to reach Israeli territory.
The Syrian army said three people were killed and two were wounded in the attack.