The Syrian Foreign Ministry denied on Thursday media allegations that President Bashar Assad was threatening Israel with airstrikes should Western powers launch a military campaign against him.
Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted the Syrian president as saying on Tuesday at a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that Damascus would need "not more than 6 hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv.”
“What was published regarding a meeting between President Assad and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that allegedly took place recently if false,” the ministry said in a statement.
Assad last met with Davutoglu in August and no such statements were made during the talks, it said.
The Fars report, republished by international media, followed a vote at the UN Security Council, in which Russia and China blocked a Western-backed draft resolution threatening Assad with “targeted measures” if he fails to meet international calls to immediately stop violence against protesters.
In its report, Fars also said the Syrian leader had threatened that "Iran will attack U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and American and European interests will be targeted simultaneously."
The Syrian Foreign Ministry said “falsification and disinformation” practiced by some media outlets showed the “incredible scale and fury of the aggressive campaign against Syria.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry also slammed the reports on Wednesday, saying that the quotes were definitely made by "the forces interested in tarring Syria and its government's image...in order to justify intervention in Syria."
Earlier on Wednesday Syrian ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad said that the Arab and international media were grossly distorting the situation in Syria and published "various insinuations, including the statements attributed to Syrian authorities that they had never made."
The Syrian opposition and Western countries condemned Russia and China on Wednesday for vetoing the draft resolution on Syria. Russia said the document was “unacceptable” because it only condemned Assad, while both the Syrian regime and the opposition were responsible for the unrest.
Moscow also said the Western blueprint contained the prospect of sanctions, which could lead to foreign military interference in Syria and legalize the “Libyan scenario,” adding that Russia would strongly oppose any attempts to overthrow "undesirable regimes" under the guise of a UN mandate.