An Israeli military spokesman on Friday told The Jerusalem Times that he believes “there is no military conflict” in Syria and the Israeli army has “no plans” to enter the country.
The statement came as Syrian President Bashar Assad said the Syrian army had “completely repelled” Israeli air raids, and that its military would not attack Israeli targets, after Israeli air strikes on Damascus hit homes, shops and other civilian targets.
A day earlier, Syrian government forces launched a “major offensive” in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, which had already been under siege by Israel and its ally Russia.
“There is absolutely no military tension in Syria,” a senior Syrian military official, Gen. Salim Idriss, said on Friday, without elaborating on the Israeli strike.
“There is a great deal of fear, but we have not taken any actions.”
Idrss also said that Assad’s forces “had no intention of crossing the border, or attacking Israeli targets” but that “every possible step would be taken to secure our border.”
Israel’s Defense Ministry said Friday that it was “very disappointed” that Assad had used the word “war,” saying the attack was a “clear violation” of the cease-fire.
Israel has been leading a coalition of Western nations in an effort to prop up the embattled Syrian government.
Assad, in turn, has accused Israel of seeking to destroy his regime.
Israel says it will not attack the Syrian military, but will take a measured approach to maintaining the cease.
Idriss said in a statement that the Syrian Army was not involved in any attacks against Israeli targets.
“The Syrian Army is not participating in any terrorist actions, nor are they preparing any attacks,” Idress said.
“Israel’s actions in Syria are a clear violation of the cessation of hostilities and will not be tolerated.”