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Jan 31, 2013 Comments Off Pat Dollard

The Jerusalem Post - Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon said on Thursday that Damascus had the option of a “surprise decision” to respond to what it said was an Israeli air strike on a research center on the outskirts of the Syrian capital on Wednesday.

Syria could take “a surprise decision to respond to the aggression of the Israeli warplanes,” Ali Abdul Karim Ali was quoted as telling a Hezbollah-run news website.

“Syria is engaged in defending its sovereignty and its land,” he added, without spelling out what the response might entail. Syria and Israel have fought several wars and in 2007 Israeli jets reportedly bombed a suspected Syrian nuclear site, without retaliation.

Syria also summoned the head of a United Nations mission in the Golan Heights on Thursday to protest against the Israeli air raid which Damascus said is a violation of a disengagement accord that followed the last major war between the two countries.

State media said Major General Iqbal Singha, head of the UNDOF peacekeeping force, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry where the protest was delivered.

In the wake of reported Israeli air strike on a Syrian weapons center, Iran also issued a threat to Israel on Thursday.

The Iranian regime’s English language mouthpiece, Press TV, quoted a deputy foreign minister as saying that the “strike on Syria will have serious consequences for Tel Aviv.” The official did not elaborate.

Last week, a senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader said that any attack on Syria would be seen by Tehran as an attack on itself.

The official, Ali Akbar Velayati, said the regime of Basher Assad is a central component of the “resistance front.”

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah condemned on Thursday an Israeli attack which it said targeted a Syrian research center, saying it was an attempt to thwart Arab military capabilities and pledging to stand by its ally President Bashar Assad.

“Hezbollah strongly condemns this new Zionist aggression on Syria,” the group said in a statement, calling for “wide-scale condemnation from the international community,” the group said in a statement.

The group “expressed its full solidarity with Syria’s leadership, army and people.”

Sources said on Wednesday that Israel Air Force jets bombed a convoy near Syria’s border with Lebanon, apparently targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah. Syria denied the reports, saying the target had been a military research center.