A senior Iranian defense official warned on Tuesday that his country will hit back at Israel if it continues to carry out airstrikes in Syria.
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, made the threat as he held talks with visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Tehran.
“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,” Shamkhani said, according to Reuters, which cited a Fars news agency report.
The comments followed a series of reciprocal taunts by Israeli and Iranian leaders in recent weeks amid rising tensions on the Israeli-Syrian border between Israeli and Iranian forces.
Last week Shamkhani warned that terror groups Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon were prepared to unleash an “inferno” on the Jewish state.
Speaking at a space tech conference, Shamkhani said there were “hundreds of kilometers of tunnels dug underneath [Israelis’] feet, and the resistance forces in Gaza and Lebanon have missiles with pinpoint accuracy and are ready to respond to any foolish Israeli behavior with an inferno.”
Iran and Israel have increasingly clashed in Syria, where Jerusalem is attempting to keep Tehran’s forces from entrenching themselves militarily.
Israel sees Iranian entrenchment in Syria as a major threat and in recent years has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria against targets linked to Iran, which alongside its proxies and Russia, is fighting on behalf of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.