Any attack on Syria would only serve Israel and global jihad elements in Syria, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem warned on Tuesday.
At a special press conference, Muallem dared the U.S. and the West to "produce a single piece of evidence" that would corroborate claims that Syrian forces killed hundreds of civilians using chemical weapons last week. He said a military campaign against Syria would only make the Syrian people rally behind their leaders. He stressed that Syrian authorities fully complied with the requests of U.N. inspectors who were investigating the last week's incident just outside Damascus.
Muallem asked rhetorically whether U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey had met his Israeli Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz to coordinate the security matters when the former arrived in Jordan to meet with his counterpart. "Israel always receives special treatment from the U.S.," he lamented.
Muallem said that there was no need to ready Patriot missiles in Jordan because he was sure "Jordan and Syria's security concerns are inter-related," praising Jordan for refusing to allow use of its territory for an attack on Syria. He also expressed hope that the Turkish people would stop their leaders from joining a military campaign against Syria.
With growing concern in Damascus over a Western coalition attack against Syria, led by the United States and other nations, the Syrian regime has been ratcheting up threats of retaliation against Israel.
Senior Baath party member Khalaf al-Muftah, until recently Syria's deputy information minister, said on Radio Sawa, an Arabic show broadcast to millions of North American listeners, that "Israel is pushing the U.S. and other Western countries to attack Syria.
"Therefore, if the U.S. or any Western nation launches a military campaign against Syria, then Israel will find itself under an extensive Syrian attack."
Muftah said Syria has "advanced weapons aimed at several strategic Israeli targets. Israel is standing behind the belligerence against Syria and whoever encourages belligerence should not be surprised when he comes under fire."
Muftah said the result of a U.S.-led offensive against Syria over the reported chemical-weapons attack last week could spiral toward world war.
"The Middle East will become engulfed in never-ending flames if Israel and the United States use chemical weapons as a pretext for their aggressions. We won't sit with our arms crossed while aggression against Syria becomes dangerous, affecting the security of the whole world, not just the Middle East. It's possible to say unambiguously that a process of war against Syria could lead to an all-out world war. The responsibility for that will rest on the U.S. and the Zionist entity's shoulders."
Iran, which is supporting Damascus as it battles several rebel groups, also warned of violent repercussions should foreign powers intervene militarily in Syria.
"We want to strongly warn against any military attack in Syria. There will definitely be perilous consequences for the region," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi told a news conference. "These complications and consequences will not be restricted to Syria. It will engulf the whole region."
Syrian President Bashar Assad accused Israel in Russian newspaper Izvestia of helping "terrorists" fight the Damascus regime. When asked why the Syrian government insists that Israel is providing logistical aid to opposition groups when such groups "loathe Israel," Assad responded, "If this was the case, why is it then that when we strike the terrorists at the frontier, Israel strikes at our forces to alleviate the pressure off of them?"
"Why when we blockade them into an area does Israel let them through their barricades so they can come round and re-attack from another direction? Why has Israel carried out direct strikes against the Syrian Army on more than one occasion in recent months?" he continued.
Israel has admitted more than 140 Syrians into its country for medical treatment since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war a little less than two and a half years ago. The Syrian regime has accused Israel of colluding with the wounded people, sending them back to Syria as spies or fighters to battle the regime.
National Security Council chief Yaakov Amidror was meeting officials in Washington on Tuesday. Israel said the "periodic" meetings were not arranged specially over the Syrian issue.