Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised a strong response Tuesday to any aggression against the Jewish state, as the U.S. considered ways to respond to respond to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on its civilian population.
“The State of Israel is ready for any scenario,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We are not part of the civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond in strength.”
The prime minister’s comments came as U.S. President Barack Obama mulled a response to what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said was a chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad that left hundreds of civilians dead last week.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said earlier Tuesday that Syria’s response to any strike by western nations would “surprise” the world, and claimed that any military action against it would serve the interests of Israel and terror group Al-Qaeda.
A member of the Syrian Ba’ath national council Halef al-Muftah, said on Monday that Damascus views Israel to be “behind the aggression and therefore it will come under fire” should Syria be attacked by the United States.
Israeli officials have dismissed the possibility of Assad attacking the Jewish state in retaliation to a U.S. operation on the country, with Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz telling reporters on Monday that any such move would be “insane.”