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July 2, 2019 11:24 am

Top Syrian Official Threatens Israel With Retaliation for Air Strikes

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad speaks during a news conference in Damascus, March 10, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Omar Sanadiki.

Following a series of air strikes on Syrian targets, which have been attributed to Israel, the Assad regime’ deputy foreign minister has threatened the Jewish state with retaliation.

According to Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot, Faisal Mekdad warned Israel on Tuesday, “Don’t be relaxed. Syria will change its method of retaliation in the future.”

The air strikes carried out early Monday targeted sites in the Damascus and Homs areas. Official Syrian media outlets claimed 15 people were killed, including a woman and three children.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, reported that among the dead were members of a pro-Assad militia. It is also believed that Iranian and Hezbollah fighters were killed.

What appeared to be a Syrian anti-aircraft missile fired at the attacking planes came down in Cyprus. No one was injured.

Veteran military analyst Ron Ben-Yishai commented for Yediot that it was likely that the targets attacked were storage facilities for Iranian-supplied missiles and other heavy weapons. Iran has been using these areas to transfer such weapons to Hezbollah, its Lebanon-based Shi’a proxy.

The Syrian opposition reported that there were large secondary explosions from the attack, indicating that the targets were likely weapons or ammunition dumps.

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