Syria And Iran Hint at Retaliation For Israeli Airstrikes

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Syria and Iran may respond to the two Israeli airstrikes that were carried out over the weekend.

The airstrikes were reportedly an attempt by Israel to prevent Iran from sending high-powered weapons to the militia in Hezbollah before the potential collapse of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. Israel has not officially confirmed its role in the attacks.

"We are not taking sides and we're not interested in interfering in the internal affairs of Syria," said a senior Israeli government official who wanted to remain anonymous.

"But we have to make sure these weapons do not fall into the hands of Hezbollah because the minute that happens it will be hard to track and monitor them," the official said. "That's the only reason we interfered. If we don't take action now, we will be on the receiving end of those missiles. We have to act to guarantee our security, and that applies to Syria and Iran."

Israel sent two batteries of its Iron Dome rocket defense system to the north of the country on Sunday to assist in dealing with any response that Syria or Iran might make. Despite several sources reporting that retaliation was being contemplated, Israel appears confident that nothing will happen.

Sen. John McCain said that the Israeli airstrikes should "put more pressure" on the White House to respond. McCain's advice: "No American boots on the ground, establish a safe zone and protect it, and supply weapons to the right people in Syria who are fighting for obviously the things we believe in."

Despite what McCain had to say, it is still unclear what the U.S plans to do. President Obama said Israel was entitled to defend itself from its enemies, according to the New York Times. “The Israelis, justifiably, have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah,” he said.

Sources: LA Times, The New York Times