Iran says Israel will regret Syria air strike

BEIRUT Mon Feb 4, 2013 4:22pm IST

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili in Damascus February 3, 2013, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/Sana

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili in Damascus February 3, 2013, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.

Credit: Reuters/Sana

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran told Israel on Monday it would regret its air strike against Syria last week, without spelling out whether Iran or its ally planned any military response.

"They will regret this recent aggression," Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told a news conference in Damascus a day after holding talks there with President Bashar al-Assad.

Jalili likened Israel's attack on a military compound north-west of Damascus on Wednesday to previous conflicts including its 34-day war with Lebanon's Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah in 2006, all battles that he said Israel had lived to regret.

"Today, too, both the people and the government of Syria are serious regarding the issue. And also the Islamic community is supporting Syria," he said.

Jalili said Iran, in its current role as head of the Non-Aligned Movement, would work on Syria's behalf on the international stage in response to the attack.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday the attack on a Syrian arms complex showed Israel was serious about preventing the flow of heavy weapons into Lebanon, appearing to acknowledge for the first time that Israel had carried out the strike.

Diplomats, Syrian rebels and security sources say Israeli jets bombed a convoy near the Lebanese border, apparently hitting weapons destined for Hezbollah.

(Reporting by Dominic Evans in Beirut and Yeganeh Torbati in Dubai; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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