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l-Ikhbariya announced that the government had given a green light to Palestinian groups to conduct “operations” against Israeli targets on the Golan Heights. Hezbollah-linked media, meanwhile, reported that Lebanon and Syria had established “popular committees” ready to fight Israel in the region. The Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al Rai, quoting sources close to Assad, reported that the Syrian leader had used Russian backchannels to tell the Israelis that Damascus would react if Israel struck Syria again. Syria, they said, would consider any such act a declaration of war and would contemplate firing surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles at Israel. Syrian sources told a range of media outlets that Damascus had deployed missile batteries aimed at Israel that could respond to any further Israeli actions.
Most pointedly, Syrian state TV announced today that President Bashar al-Assad was activating Palestinian groups to retaliate against Israel.
The protesters, who are demanding an anti-blasphemy law with provision for the death penalty, had announced their determination to shut down the main business hub Motijheel until the government accepted their demands.