January 31, 2013
The Syrian ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul-Karim Ali, said from Damascus on Thursday that Syria “has the option and the capacity to surprise in retaliation” for Israel’s attack inside his country on Wednesday.
Establishment media in the United States recycles a thread-worn excuse for Israel’s attack.
Ali told al-Ahad, a website run by Hezbollah, that Syria will choose the time and place for retaliation.
The Fars news agency has quoted Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, as saying the surprise attack on Syria will have significant implications for Israel. Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister, went on state-run television to condemn the Israeli attack and said the raid was a clear violation of Syria’s national sovereignty.
Iran’s Shi’ite government is allied with Syria’s Alawite regime. On January 26, it was reported that Iran would consider any foreign attack on Syria as an attack on Iran, according to Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran.
Velayati, a former Iranian foreign minister, said Syria’s support for Hezbollah and the Palestinian organization Hamas is critical.
“If Syria didn’t provide logistical support to Hezbollah, Hezbollah and Hamas would have not achieved victory in the 33-day and 22-day wars (respectively),” he said, making reference to the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006 and Gaza War in 2008-2009.
Meanwhile, Syria has filed a formal complaint with the United Nations over the attack. Its foreign ministry summoned the UN commander stationed in the Golan’s “area of separation” to deliver the protest.
Syria says Israel’s attack violated a 1974 disengagement agreement. The two nations are technically at war.