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Israel Hints: We'll Strike Syria Again

Senior official tells NYT: "If Assad attacks Israel, he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/15/2013, 9:19 PM

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A senior Israeli official signaled on Wednesday that Israel was considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamist Hizbullah – and warned President Bashar Assad against any kind of retaliation against the Jewish state.

The New York Times quoted the Israeli official who said, “Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hizbullah. The transfer of such weapons to Hizbullah will destabilize and endanger the entire region.”

“If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies,” the official said, “he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate.”

The Times  said the Israeli official contacted it on Wednesday and that he "has been briefed by high-level officials on the Syria situation in the past two days," but that he declined to be identified, citing the need to protect internal Israeli deliberations.

The newspaper estimated that Israel "could be trying to restrain Syria’s behavior without undertaking further military action, or alerting other countries to another strike."