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Israel Syria attack will have 'grave consequences:' Iran

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Iran's deputy foreign minister said on Thursday that an alleged Israeli air strike on a Syrian military research facility a day earlier will have "grave consequences."

Without elaborating, Hossein Amir Abdollahian said the "Zionist regime's attack on the outskirts of Damascus will have grave consequences," according to remarks reported by the Isna news agency.

In the past, close Damascus ally Iran has said that any Israeli attack on Syria would be considered an attack on the Islamic republic.

Abdollahian also warned Israel that it should "not be fooled by its... anti-missile system... which showed itself to be ineffective during the eight-day war against Gaza."

That was a reference to a conflict between Israel and Gaza militants in November that claimed the lives of 174 Palestinians and six Israelis.

Earlier on Thursday, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi condemned what he called Israel's "brutal aggression" against Syria, following claims by Damascus that the Jewish state's air force had hit a military research centre.

"There is no doubt that this aggression is part of a Western and Zionist strategy to push aside the success of the Syrian people and government to return to stability and security," Salehi said in a statement.

It underscores the "alignment of terrorist groups with the Zionists' objectives," he added, using the Syrian regime's stock word to describe rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army accused Israel of launching a strike on a military research centre in Jamraya, near Damascus.

Israeli officials and the military refused on Thursday to confirm or deny any involvement in the alleged attack, and also had no comment on reports that its warplanes had struck a weapons convoy along the Syria-Lebanon border.

Iran, Syria's principal ally along with Russia and China, accuses Western and certain Arab countries of arming the rebels.

sgh/cyj/feb/al/srm

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130131/israel-syria-attack-will-have-grave-consequences-iran