Beirut, 21 Rabiul Awwal 1434 H/2 February 2013 (MINA)- Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali said that Syria and Iran will surely threaten to retaliate an Israeli air raid to Damascus two days ago.

      “The option and the surprise to retaliate. I cannot predict when the retaliation will be, saying it is up to relevant authorities to prepare for it”, said Karim Ali.

      Today (2/1) Syria and its ally Iran are ready to retaliate carried out within Syrian borders. It was up to the relevant authorities to prepare the retaliation and choose the time and place, according Al-Ahd news website.

       In Iran, the country’s deputy foreign minister said on Press TV  monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) Saturday that the “strike on Syria will have serious consequences for Tel Aviv,” but did not elaborate”.

      Prior to the attack, an aide to Iranian Supreme Leader told that any attack on Syria was an attack on itself.

       In Iran, the Fars news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said the raid on Syria will have significant implications for the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

       U.S. officials said Israel launched a rare airstrike inside Syria, targeting a convoy believed to contain anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah. The Syrian military denied the existence of any such shipment and said a scientific research facility outside Damascus was hit.

       An Israeli lawmaker  Tzachi Hanegbi, the aide of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped short of confirming involvement in the strike Thursday, but he hinted that Israel could carry out similar missions in the future.

        Earlier this week, Netanyahu warned of the dangers of Syria’s deadly weapons, saying the country is increasingly coming apart.

        Israel’s preference would be if a Western entity would control these weapons systems. But because it appears the world is not prepared to do what was done in Libya or other places, then Israel finds itself like it has many times in the past facing a dilemma that only it knows how to respond.

       The same day, Israel moved a battery of its new Iron Dome rocket defense system to the northern city of Haifa, which was battered by Hezbollah rocket fire in the 2006 war. The Israeli army called that move routine.

      The Israeli army won’t say whether Iron Dome was sent north in connection to this operation. It does note that it has deployed the system in the north before.


Syria: No Weapons Shipment

        Regional security officials said the weapons shipment that Israel targeted included sophisticated Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which if acquired by Hezbollah would enable the Hezbollah fighters to shoot down Israeli jets, helicopters and surveillance drones. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

       However, the Syrian military denied the existence of any weapons shipment and said a scientific research facility outside Damascus was hit by the Israeli warplanes. It said the target was in the area of Jamraya, northwest of Damascus and about 10 miles from the Lebanese border.

       General  Abdul-Aziz Jassem Al-Shallal, a senior Syrian army officers said that the targeted site is a major and well-known center to develop weapons known as the Scientific Research Center.

       Al-Shallal, who until his defection was the commander of the Military Police, said no chemical or nonconventional weapons are at the site, which is frequented by Russian and Iranian experts.

       But diplomatic sources from three countries said that they suspect chemical weapons are at the Jamraya, and it was possible that the convoy of trucks was nearby at the time of the attack.

       The Syrian Foreign Ministry summoned Major-General Iqbal Singh Singha, the head of mission and force commander for United Nations Disengagement Observer Force on the Golan Heights, to complain about the Israeli strike. 

      The force was established in 1974 following the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces in the area and has remained there since to maintain the cease-fire. Israel captured the Golan, a strategic plateau, from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. 

      The Israeli airstrike also drew criticism from Hezbollah, which called it a barbaric aggression and Syrian ally Russia said it appeared to be an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation. 

      Russia, Syria’s strongest international ally, said that Moscow is taking an urgent measures to clarify the situation in all its details. 

       If this information is confirmed, we have a case of unprovoked attacks on targets in the territory of a sovereign state, which grossly violates the U.N. Charter and is unacceptable, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Whatever the motives, this is not justified.

        Syria and its allies, including Hezbollah, deny there is an uprising against the government and say what is happening is part of a conspiracy against Damascus because of its support for anti-Israeli groups. (T/P04/E1)


Miraj News Agency(MINA)


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