In first explicit threat following last week's alleged airstrike in Syria, deputy chairman of Iranian armed forces’ chief of staff says 'criminals should know that behind every blow lies a massive retaliatory blow'
A senior Iranian official has condemned Israel’s
on a military research center in Syria,
saying that Damascus' response to the attack will render the Zionist regime comatose.
“Syria’s response to the recent aggression of the Zionist regime (Israel) against this country will send this regime into a coma,” Deputy Chairman of Iranian Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri was quoted by Press TV as saying Sunday.
Such statements published on official media outlets are likely to have received the approval of the Iranian regime.
According to the report, he added that the Islamic anti-Israeli resistance movement had set its eyes on Syria’s “retaliatory measure” against the Israeli aggression.
The Iranian commander further added that the American and Israeli officials had come to fully realize that the self-restraint of the Syrian nation would not be unending.
"The global arrogance and Israel are on the verge of collapse," he said, noting that the era in which the hegemonic powers bullied independent nations had come to an end.
"In the new era, the criminals should know that behind their every blow lies a massive retaliatory blow, whose time, level and magnitude will be determined by the resolve of the free and anti-hegemonic nations.”
Syrian source: Assad won't respond
Meanwhile Sunday, a Syrian source told the opposition-affiliated website al-Hakika that the Syrian regime has no intention of responding to "the Israeli aggression which simultaneously hit a research center near Damascus and a Syrian convoy travelling in the western outskirts of Damascus near the border with Syria."
According to the source, "This aggression will be forgotten just like other strikes were forgotten in the past."
He also belittled the claims that the Israeli planes managed to evade the Syrian radar.
The source, who served as head of operations in one of the Syria air force's divisions, said that "before the crisis in Syria and when the Syrian army was at its highest alert level, at lease theoretically, there was no option to begin with to respond to the Israeli aggression, so how will it be done now after two-thirds of the Syrian army's combat force are no longer operational?"
He added that "since the crisis began, the Syrian army has lost some 800 tanks and armored vehicles, which were completely or partially destroyed, in addition to other vehicles which are not included in this calculation.
"This figure compared to our losses during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 in terms of armored vehicles. Add the fact that there are more than 25,000 casualties, most of them from the army and the rest from the difference security organizations and the police – in other words, eight times our losses in the Yom Kippur war."
Syria has said that it "reserves the right to retaliate" following last week's alleged attack. According to foreign reports, Israel had bombed a convoy of advanced SA-17 antiaircraft missiles making their way to Lebanon.
On Saturday, Syria's state-run television channel aired first images
of the site allegedly targeted by Israel on Tuesday night.
The images show the damage caused by what Syria claims was an air raid against the Jamraya Scientific Research Center, on the outskirts of Damascus.
According to Ynet's military analyst Ron Ben-Yishai, a close examination of the footage released by Syrian television from the bombed site corroborates the claim that the target of the attack was a convoy of vehicles carrying anti-aircraft missiles, not a military research complex.
Damascus insists the target was the Jamraya Scientific Research Center, but the last part of the video clearly shows vehicles carrying anti-aircraft missile systems, apparently type SA-8 (the older version of the SA-17) – as Western media outlets have claimed. The radar antennas and other details indicate that the images are of a Russian-made mobile anti-aircraft missile battery. Syria did not want to reveal the more advanced weapons systems, as an agreement it signed with the Russians forbids it to transfer arms to Hezbollah.
The footage shows that buildings in the research complex were damaged by an explosion that took place nearby and that the actual target of the attack was a weapons convoy.
has said it would "lend its full support to Syria to keep it strong. The Arab world has to do everything it can to minimize the suffering of the Syrian people as they fight against Israel's aggressions and the international community's arrogance."
Turkey, on its part, criticized
the war-torn country's inaction. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged Damascus to retaliate: "Why didn't (Bashar) Assad even throw a pebble when Israeli jets were flying over his palace and playing with the dignity of his country?" Davutoglu told reporters Saturday.