Syria working on retaliation against Israel and its allies
February 4, 2013
By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Syria and its allies warned on Sunday that Israel’s attack against a military complex on the outskirts of Damascus will not go unanswered and that it is working on a way to respond through the use of force.
Beset by an internal revolt that has lasted almost two years and has claimed 60,000 lives, the Syrian President Bashar Assad accused Israel of wanting to destabilize his country and assured the public that, even with an internal conflict, his country is able to “respond to any aggression against Syrian citizens.”
Iran, an ally of Damascus, also said that there is the possibility of retaliation for that attack.
Meantime, Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called the act of “state terrorism”.
“Israel’s aggression against the Jamariya Research Center shows the true position of Israel, working with foreign enemy forces and Syrian factions on the ground to try to destabilize and weaken Syria,” said Assad, after holding a meeting with Iran’s Secretary of National Security, Saeed Jalili, who was visiting Damascus on Sunday.
Several Iranian officials and military personnel also promised that Israel’s attack will not go unanswered. Corps Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, said at a public event that “resistance and retaliation are the only possible way” to deal with Israel after the attack on Syrian territory, as reported by Iran’s official media. In his meeting with Assad, Jalili said that cooperation between Iran and Syria is crucial to curb “plots and foreign missions aimed at destabilizing security in the region.”
Though Israel does not admit publicly the nature of the attacks occurred on Wednesday, the defense minister of that country, Ehud Barak, claimed responsibility for the attack while participating in the Munich Security Conference. Barak said that although he can not “add anything to what people read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria,” the bombing “is further proof that when Israel promises something, it delivers.”
The bombing took place on Wednesday morning, when the Israeli Air Force attacked a nearby military research area near Damascus. U.S. intelligence sources believe that the target was a convoy loaded with missiles from Lebanon and en route to the Syrian capital, where it would be received by the Shiite militia Hezbollah, along with Iran, which is the main ally of Assad in the area .
Two days before the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had told a delegation of U.S. lawmakers that their choices regarding Syria are “between bad and worse.” Israel has spent months warning of the possibility that the stockpiles of missiles and chemical weapons falling into the hands of Syrian Al Qaeda or Hezbollah.
The U.S. and Israel have claimed for months that Assad has deposits of sarin, mustard gas and cyanide and that he is prepared to use them against his own people, which the U.S. said would be the red line on the sand that would lead to a military intervention.
The Munich conference highlighted the gap that still separates Moscow and Washington over the Syrian conflict. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Assad a “tyrant” and attempted to predict his fall. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said that the demand that Assad go is the reason why the negotiations are going nowhere. However, Moscow has also shown signs of opening up to the Syrian opposition, after Lavrov himself met in Munich for the first time with Syrian opposition leader, Moaz Al Khatib.
The Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in the Bavarian capital that Western intervention in Syria would “extend the flames of conflict throughout the region.” Only on Saturday, about 150 people were killed during clashes between government forces and rebels who are openly supported by Western allies of Israel.
Given the volatility of the situation in Syria, Israel has mobilized a battery of missile shield known as the Iron Dome to the city of Haifa, in northern Israel, which is 140 kilometers from Damascus. Haifa, with 268,000 inhabitants, was just one of the cities where more missiles fell during the war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006.
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