While Israel is not interested in opening a front against Syria, the IDF will respond harshly and with its full might if President Bashar Assad decides to attack Israel, a high-raking IDF officer in the Northern Command told The Jerusalem Post Sunday. "We are continuing with our message that we are not interested in fighting with Syria," the officer said, "But we are fully prepared for a Syrian attack, in the case of which we will strike back extremely hard." The officer said he believed Damascus had been receiving the clear message Israel had been sending its way that it did not want to fight Syria. Whatever happened on the border completely depended on Assad, the officer said. "It is up to him, and at the moment we don't know what he plans to do," he said. He added that Saturday's IAF attack on a road that led from Syria into Lebanon near the Syrian border was meant to thwart weapons smuggling attempts. The IDF was also concerned about a possible Syrian attack in response to the ongoing IDF operations in Lebanon. It was also known that Syria had increased its alert out of fear in Damascus that Israel might attack. Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the US that America would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria.