Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said on Sunday that "If Iran continues to threaten and carry out offensive actions against Israel from Syria, we will teach it a lesson that it will never forget."
In an interview with the Saudi Arabian newspaper Elaph, Katz said, as quoted by Ma'ariv, "This is not the first time that Syria has launched missiles at Israel Air Force planes. Israel will continue to maintain aerial superiority and control the skies of the region.”
The interview came following Saturday's incident in which an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace from Syria, remaining in Israel some 90 seconds before the IAF shot it down.
In response to the provocation, Israel attacked the drone's command center. During the IAF operation, Syrian surface-to-air missiles downed an Israeli F-16I fighter jet. Both pilots suffered injuries, and ejected after reaching Israeli territory.
Katz stressed in the Elaph interview that Israel is not interested in an escalation, but would continue to implement the red lines it had set, as it did in Saturday's incident.
"Israel stresses that it will not accept an Iranian presence in Syria, damage to its sovereignty, and development and construction of missiles for Hezbollah in Lebanon by Iran,” the minister said.
He made it clear that Iran is playing with fire, and that the Syrian army, which adopts the Iranian agenda, will find itself under fire.
"The Iranian leadership must explain to its people why it sends its soldiers outside of its borders and wastes the people's money by funding the terrorist organizations in the Middle East, instead of investing the money in the welfare of the people," Katz said, reiterating the Israeli position that an Iranian presence in Syria would lead to instability, tension and friction not only with Israel.
"The campaign against Iranian aggression must also be in Syria. We must embark on a diplomatic and economic campaign to stop Iran in Syria and throughout the region," he concluded.