Israeli officials have issued a bizarre statement today regarding their intentions to continue attacking Syria in the near future, warning Syrian President Bashar Assad that he’d better just lie down and accept it.
The statement, made by an unnamed “senior” official, said Israel was determined to continue its strikes, and that if Assad dared to retaliate for any of the attacks “he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate.”
President Assad has faced much internal criticism for not responded to this month’s previous Israeli attacks, and has fought off those complaints with statements threatening to eventually attack Israel in response, but at a time of his own choosing.
Though Israel often openly talks about attacking its neighbors, and indeed often follows through with those attacks, it is unprecedented for them to preface the attack by threatening more attacks if the target retaliates.
The threatening regime change, however, may be a blunder on Israel’s part, as it will surely be used by the Assad government in the days and weeks to come as evidence that Israel is secretly backing the al-Qaeda-endorsed rebellion, a charge the rebels desperately want to avoid.