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Syria Vows to Hit Back Against Any Future Israeli Strikes

"We have several possibilities."

This image made from video posted by Shaam News Network and taken on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, which is consistent with other AP reporting, shows an explosion from shelling in Rastan, Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad said the regime has received its first shipment of a sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missile system, and the main Western-backed opposition group announced Thursday that it will not participate in peace talks a double blow to international efforts to end the country's devastating civil war. (AP)

AP

Syrian President Bashar Assad has vowed retaliation against any future Israeli airstrikes, after Israel carried out a strike earlier this month to destroy a suspected shipment of missiles.

Syria did not respond at the time -- though Syria's foreign minister called it "declaration of war" -- but Assad told a Lebanese TV station in an interview aired Thursday that his country would strike back if it happens again.

"If we are going to retaliate against Israel, this retaliation should be a strategic response," Assad said, according to the Associated Press.

He didn't specify what kind of response, saying only that it would be up to military leaders, according to the Jerusalem Post.

"But we have several possibilities," Assad added.

Assad also said that his civil war-torn country had received shipments of weapons from Russia, though was vague about whether that included advanced S-300 air defense systems, according to the AP. Israel indicated this week it would not allow Syria to possess the S-300s, which are capable of tracking and striking multiple missiles at once.

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