Defense Minister Ya'alon: Whoever Tests Israel Will Be Confronted With Might of IDF

Ya'alon says world understands 'axis of evil' stretching from Tehran to Damascus; IDF Chief: Army will carry out duty to defend state of Israel.

Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon warned on Tuesday that the Israeli army will react forcefully if Syria attacks Israel.

"We are aware of the developments unfolding before our eyes in the Middle East, and we hear the threats against Israel, despite it not being involved in the bloody conflict in Syria, or in other conflicts in the region," Ya'alon said, speaking at a memorial ceremony for Givati Brigade fallen.

"We are reacting responsibly and sensibly to these threats, but are also loud and clear when we say that whoever wants to test us, will be confronted with the IDF's might," Ya'alon said.

Regarding the chemical attack last week in a suburb of Damascus, Ya'alon said, "The dangerous escalation to our south and north was horribly reflected in the images carried last week from Syria, where innocent citizens are being massacred by the monstrous regime of Bashar Assad."

On the possibility of a U.S.-led strike against Syria, Ya'alon said that "It seems that the enlightened world understands today the forces it stands against, the axis of evil that begins in Tehran, continues in Damascus and is establishing itself in Beirut, its core purpose to commit crimes against humanity."

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who also spoke at the memorial, said that "today more than ever, our wall is fortified and strong as an iron wall... the uncompromising duty to defend the state of Israel, in face of the circle of threats so close, will be carried out by the IDF whenever needed."

ELiyahu Hershkowitz