According to a British newspaper on Sunday, Syria’s foreign minister warned it would not remain silent if attacked again.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Faruq al-Shara said: "If we are attacked again our people will not stand for it and we have to carry out the will of the people."

He added: "We have many cards that we have not played. Don't forget there are many Israeli settlements in the Golan. I am not exaggerating but I am describing things as they might happen."

On 5 October, Israel bombed what it said was a training camp near Damascus used by the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, which had just claimed a devastating resistance bombing attack in the northern Israeli town of Haifa.

Damascus said Israel's attack, the country's first air raid deep into Syria in three decades, targeted a civilian area.

On Thursday, Syria's military chief of staff General Hassan Turkmani was quoted as saying in the local press that "Syria did not retaliate to the Israeli raid, but is fully capable of deterring Israel and of putting an end to its bellicose adventures."

Turkmani has twice called on the military to stand "ready to respond" to any Israeli attack.