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Israel says it will respond with force to any attack from Syria

Reuters

August 27, 2013 | 9:03 am

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Aug. 25. Photo by REUTERS/Dan Balilty/Pool

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Aug. 25. Photo by REUTERS/Dan Balilty/Pool

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel was not involved in Syria's civil war, but would respond forcefully to any attempts to attack it.

"The state of Israel is prepared for any scenario," Netanyahu said in a statement after holding security consultations in Tel Aviv as Western countries weighed a possible military action to punish the Syrian government for an alleged chemical attack near Damascus last week.

"We are not a party to this civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt to attack us we will respond and we will respond forcefully," he said.

Many in Israel worry that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, embroiled in a 2-1/2 year uprising against his rule, could strike out at the Jewish state in retaliation to any Western attack.

Syria's ally Iran warned on Tuesday against foreign military intervention in Syria, saying the resulting conflict would engulf the region.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by David Cowell

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