Assad: Rebel fighters in Syria are more dangerous than Israeli air strikes

Syrian president says that the rebels are Israel's "servants."

August 24, 2015 22:20
1 minute read.

Israeli air raid reportedly hits vehicle in Syrian Golan Heights in August 2015

Israeli air raid reportedly hits vehicle in Syrian Golan Heights in August 2015

Syrian President Basher Assad responded to Israeli strikes in Syria last week for the first time on Monday.

Israel struck multiple targets connected to the Syrian regime over the weekend, as well as striking a vehicle carrying four members of a terror cell believed to have fired four rockets into Israel on Thursday.

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In an interview with Hezbollah-affiliated Al Manar television on Monday, Assad said that Syria would not directly strike back at Israel for the attacks, but would hit Israel by fighting with rebels opposing his rule, whom he claimed were the "servants of Israel."

"The real tools that Israel is using, which are more important than the recent attacks, they are the terrorists in Syria," Assad said.

"If we want to deal with Israel, we must first deal with its proxies inside Syria," he added.

The United States embassy in Tel Aviv issued a warning to all American citizens currently in the country Saturday afternoon, advising against travel to the Golan Heights or Upper Galilee.

The warning comes in the wake of recent rocket attacks originating out of Syria that struck open areas of the North earlier in the week.

According to the advisory, "Due to the launching of rockets from Syria toward Israel and other cross-border activity in northeastern Israel and northern Golan Heights on August 20 and 21, we urge US citizens to carefully consider and possibly defer travel in the Upper Galilee area of northern Israel... until the situation stabilizes."

Israel contends that the rockets were fired by Palestinian militants from the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad.

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