Iran warns Israel that it will face retaliation for its airstrike on Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister condemned Wednesday an Israeli airstrike on the international airport of the Syrian city of Aleppo, saying such attacks would eventually face retaliation.

Hossein Amirabdollahian made his comments during a news conference in the Syrian capital, Damascus, where he was beginning a two-day visit.

On Monday, an Israeli airstrike damaged Aleppo's airport, putting the runway out of service. The airport has been targeted several times this year, including two attacks in March that also put it out of service.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years but it rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations. Often the strikes target Syrian military forces or Iranian-backed groups.

Tehran has been a main backer of the Syrian government since a 2011 uprising turned into full-blown civil war. It has sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters to Syria, helping to tip the balance of power in the favor of President Bashar Assad.

Israel has targeted airports and sea ports in the government-held parts of Syria in an apparent attempt to prevent arms shipments from Iran to militant groups backed by Tehran, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

“The criminal practices by the Zionist entity in the region will not remain without retaliation,” Amirabdollahian said.

The Iranian official said he had received a message from his Danish counterpart who informed him about plans by the Danish government to propose a law that would make it illegal to desecrate any holy book in Denmark. A recent string of public desecrations of the Quran in the Scandinavian country by a handful of anti-Islam activists has sparked angry demonstrations in Muslim countries.

“We welcome this move and we advise Sweden and other European countries to respect religions and holy books,” Amirabdollahian said.

For Muslims, the burning of the Quran represents a desecration of their religion’s holy text. In the past, Quran burnings have sparked protests across the Muslim world, some of them violent.