Israel last month conveyed a warning to Syria through a third party that it would hold Damascus accountable if Lebanese Hizbullah launched attacks on the Jewish state, Israeli and European sources said on Friday. The sources, cited by Reuters, said the warning stemmed from Israeli concerns that Hizbullah would launch salvoes of rockets to coincide with any major Israeli offensive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The sources said the message was conveyed in February through at least one European intermediary following the assassination of a top Hizbullah commander and before this month's five-day Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. A European source familiar with the issue said the message conveyed to Damascus said Syria could be targeted by Israel even if Hizbullah's attack emanated from Lebanese soil.
An Israeli source with knowledge of government affairs said: "The message was passed around late February, before the last round of fighting in Gaza." "It has become clear to us Syria has to understand there is a price for its use of proxy terrorism, especially as Damascus is itself a proxy -- the long-arm of Iran," the source said.