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Report: Syria aims missile batteries at Israel
By YASSER OKBI, JPOST.COM STAFF AND REUTERS
05/05/2013
Syria: Israeli strikes "open the door to all possibilities."
 
Syria has stationed missile batteries aimed at Israel in the aftermath of alleged Israeli air strikes in the country, the website of Lebanon's Al Mayadeen TV, considered close to the regime of President Bashar Assad, quoted a top Syrian official as saying on Sunday.

The report came as Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said on Sunday that alleged Israeli air strikes against three targets on the outskirts of Damascus "open the door to all possibilities."

The minister's comments at a press conference came after an emergency cabinet meeting organized to respond to what a Western source said was a new strike on Iranian missiles bound for Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Although Zoabi did not hint at a concrete course of action, he said it was Damascus's duty to protect the state from any "domestic or foreign attack through all available means."

Sunday's attack is the third reported Israeli assault this year on Syrian soil. Previous strikes on Syria allegedly carried out by Israel have not elicited a military response from Syria or its allies Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

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Israel declined to confirm the strike so as not to pressure Assad into serious retaliation, according to a confidant of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Earlier on Sunday, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad told CNN that Israel's air strikes in the country were interpreted as an Israeli "declaration of war" on the Assad regime.

In an interview with CNN, Faisal said that Syria would respond in a manner of its own time and choosing.

Syria's state television said the strikes were a response to recent military gains by Assad's forces against rebels.

"The new Israeli attack is an attempt to raise the morale of the terrorist groups which have been reeling from strikes by our noble army," it said.

Meanwhile, the IDF has deployed two Iron Dome batteries to northern cities due to regional tensions following air strikes in Damascus which Western sources have attributed to the Israel Air Force.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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