In his first public response to recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television network Monday that Syria would not directly respond against Israel while the civil war in his country continues to rage.
Referring to rebel groups seeking to oust him from power, Assad said, “The terrorists operating in Syria are a tool serving the Zionist enemy, and their actions are far more grave and dangerous than the criminal military attacks Israel conducts against Syria from time to time.”
The Syrian ruler said that after the rebel groups were defeated, Syria would “fight against Israel and respond to its criminal attacks.”
Late last week, the Israel Defense Forces struck more than a dozen Syrian military targets in response to rockets fired from Syria into northern Israel by the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The cell that fired the rockets was also targeted and eliminated by the IDF.