Iran Vows 'Firm Response' Should Israel Continue to Attack Targets in Syria

'If these actions continue, we will activate some calculated measures... to teach a lesson to the criminal and lying rulers of Israel'

An Iranian weaponry and military equipment exhibition in the capital Tehran on Febraury 2, 2019.
AFP

The secretary of Iran's National Security Council warned Israel on Tuesday of a firm and "deterrent" response if it continued attacking targets in Syria.

"If these actions continue, we will activate some calculated measures as a deterrent and as a firm and appropriate response to teach a lesson to the criminal and lying rulers of Israel," Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

The Israeli military struck Iranian targets in Syria last month, the attack coming hours after its Iron Dome system intercepted a missile launched from Syria.

The missile was fired following a strike on an airport south of Damascus, which Israel later claimed responsibility for.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Iran and Syria with two senior Russian officials. 

According to a statement issued by Netanyahu’s bureau after the Jerusalem meeting, President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin reiterated Moscow’s commitment to Israel’s security.

Their visit comes after weeks of tensions surrounding Syria, which Israel is afraid will pose a security threat now that U.S. troops are expected to leave the war-torn country.

Israeli officials have expressed their concerns in recent weeks that Jerusalem will be exposed to Iranian aggression following the American departure, but on Friday Russia's deputy foreign ministry assured that Moscow is committed to Israel's safety. 

In an interview with CNN, the deputy foreign minister stated that "We in no way underestimate the importance of measures that would ensure very strong security of the State of Israel. This is one of the top priorities." 

Earlier last week, Russia said that Israel should stop carrying out what it called arbitrary air strikes on Syria days after the Israeli air force targeted Iranian forces there. 

Israel, which regards Iran as its biggest threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militia, including Lebanon's Hezbollah.