Liberman: If Syria Targets Our Aircraft Again, We’ll Retaliate

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the Tel HaShomer IDF army base, where he spoke to new army recruits, on Sunday. (Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syria’s air defense apparatus if it targets Israeli fighter jets again, after the Assad regime tried to shoot down IAF planes last week.

“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Liberman said during a visit to the IDF induction center at the Tel Hashomer army base.

“We have no interest in interfering in the Syrian civil war, not for nor against (President Bashar) Assad, and we have no interest in clashing with the Russians,” Liberman said.

“Our main problem is with the transfer of advanced weapons from Syria to Lebanon. That is why every time we identify an attempt to smuggle game-changing weapons, we will act to thwart it. There will be no compromise on this issue,” the defense minister stressed.

IAF planes hit several targets in Syria on Friday, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying the strikes targeted weapons bound for Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah terrorist group.

An IDF statement said “several anti-aircraft missiles” were fired following the raid but that none hit their targets.

One missile was intercepted by Israel’s Arrow air defense system.

It was the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.