Following Syria Strike, Intelligence Minister Says Israel Ready to Deter Any Response
Israel is ready for any response to its operations in Syria, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said Thursday, following reports that Israeli jets had struck targets near the city of Homs.
While telling Army Radio that he could not comment on reports of an Israeli strike in Syria, Kaz said: “Israel’s position is very clear; smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah is a red line. Israel has taken action in the past and will take action in the future to prevent the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.”
The Reuters news agency quoted an unnamed Syrian commander as saying that the missiles had hit a copper factory in the industrial town of Hisya, some 35 kilometers south of Homs and 112 kilometers north of Damascus.
However the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the target had been a weapons factory. Other reports claimed the target was a weapons depot.
According to Syrian media reports, the Syrian military engaged the Israeli jets with anti-aircraft fire and scrambled planes to prevent an Israeli incursion.
The attack follows a previous Israeli strike on October 16 for which Israel claimed responsibility. In that strike Israel destroyed an SA-5 surface-to-air missile battery after it fired at Israeli jets on a reconnaissance mission over Lebanon. Syria warned in response of “dangerous consequences.”
Katz dismissed the Syrian threat, telling Army Radio: “I think the other side understands our position very well. When we have taken responsibility for operations in the past it has been for operations that cross those red lines which are smuggling of weapons and Iranian entrenchment in Syria.”
Furthermore, he added, “Israel is ready to deter any reactions to our reactions.”