Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened in a radio interview on Sunday that if the security situation along Israel's northern border deteriorates, Israel may be forced to bring about regime change in neighboring Syria.
“The Syrians must understand that if the situation deteriorates, the Syrian regime will pay the price, because they are the source of the problem,” Lieberman told Army Radio.
Syria is seen as the primary backer of Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist militia, which the regime of Bashar Assad in Damascus uses as a proxy in its struggle with the Jewish state.
Senior Syrian officials have also recently threatened to launch direct low-level cross-border violence against Israel if Jerusalem fails to enter negotiations and surrender the Golan Heights.
Israel captured the Golan during the 1967 Six Day War, after Syria had used as a launching pad for aggression against Israel for the preceding 19 years.