Against the background of an impending Western strike in Syria, and facing concerns of Syrian retaliation against Israel, Israeli top brass issued forceful warnings to the Assad regime on Tuesday.
- Syrian official: Tel Aviv will be hit if Damascus attacked
- Russia: Syria has defenses to prevent 'easy victory'
- Netanyahu: Strong Israeli response if attacked by Syria
Ya'alon's statements echoed similar remarks made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. The minister also addressed the recent chemical attack in Damascus' suburbs, allegedly performed by Assad forces.
"I'm certain that every human being was shaken by the images of children lying dead or convulsing in pain after Assad's forces used, and not for the first time, chemical weapons," he said.
Speaking at a Givati Regiment memorial service, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said that "those who wish to harm us will find that we're sharper and more determined than ever. Our enemies must realize that we're ready and willing to defend our citizens with whatever means necessary, facing any threat and every scenario."
"We'll not encourage bellicose sentiments in our midst," he added, "but our defensive duty will be realized by the IDF."
Earlier, the two and Prime Minister Netanyahu participated in a special meeting held in the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv to discuss the Syrian crisis and Israeli readiness ahead of a Western strike.
After the meeting, Netanyahu said: "The State of Israel is ready for every scenario. We're not part of the Syrian civil war, but if we'll spot an attempt to harm us we'll respond with great force."
According to Israeli forecasts, the US will alert Israel before an operation. In the meantime, the IDF raised the alertness level in northern Israel.
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