Syria to strike back at future Israeli attack

Dubai, May 31 (IANS/RIA Novosti) President Bashar al-Assad has said Syria "will respond in kind" to any future Israeli air strike on its territory and expressed confidence in the victory over the foes of the Syrian state.

The Syrian government has been criticised for its muted response to recent Israeli air strikes on several facilities in Syria in alleged attempts to stop shipments of missiles bound for Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group.

"We have informed the relevant states that we will respond in kind (next time)," Assad said in a televised interview with Lebanese al-Manar TV Thursday.

"We plan for different scenarios, depending on the circumstances and the timing of the strike."

Assad said there was "popular pressure" to open a military front against Israel on the Golan Heights but such a move would require serious political, social and military deliberation.

Assad also said he had no doubts about his victory against opponents in a battle that he described as a "world war against Syria and the resistance (in reference to Hezbollah fighters)."

"Regarding my confidence about victory, had we not had this confidence, we wouldn't have been able to fight in this battle for two years, facing an international attack," he said.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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