A senior Iranian military official has warned Israel against attacks on Assad-affiliated forces in Syria on Thursday, citing a "regrettable" reaction if it goes ahead with military action.
"The Zionist regime is seeking to stabilize crisis in Syria and has taken measures in direct support of terrorist groups and for hitting the Syrian army and the forces fighting against terrorism," Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency as he met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Tehran.
His comments came 10 days after Israel reportedly launched a missile attack on arms depots in the vicinity of Damascus airport. Israel is not involved in Syria but has a bellicose relationship with Damascus's Lebanese ally Hezbollah and Iran, and repeatedly strikes targets in the conflict-torn country. According to Tel Aviv, Iran seeks to turn Syria into its military foothold and Israeli activities in Syria are aimed at curbing Tehran's aspirations.
Tehran has stressed that its forces maintain an exclusively advisory presence in Syria as the local government battles with Daesh* militants and armed opposition groups.
*Daesh (aka Islamic State/ISIS/IS) is a terror group banned in Russia, US and many other countries.