Israel responded provocatively within minutes insisting it had the option to attack any country harbouring “terrorists”.

“In case of a repetition (of an Israeli aggression) Syria has the right to exercise self defence," spokeswoman Bushra Kanafani told a press briefing in Damascus on Saturday.
   
The comments come after Israel last week launched a strike against what it claimed was an Islamic Jihad and Hamas training base in the Ain al-Sahab area, about 20km northwest of Damascus.

Civilian claims

Syria claimed the attack, Israel’s deepest since the 1967 war, decimated a civilian area in a 'grave escalation' of tensions in the Middle East.

Islamic Jihad also denied the area housed a training base.

In turn, the US House of Representatives International Relations Committee voted on Thursday to impose economic sanctions on Syria.