TEL AVIV – The Syrian government will soon declare it is opening its borders with Israel for Palestinian and other jihad groups to carry out attacks against the Jewish state, a senior Syrian official told WND.

Separately, informed Middle Eastern security officials said the Syrian army held a meeting Sunday afternoon with the leaders of the military wing of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group to discuss retaliation against Israel for the recent air strikes near Damascus.

According to those officials, Islamic Jihad and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah are coordinating a possible reaction to Israel’s reported strikes.

Meanwhile, Iran has instructed the Al Quds unit of the Revolutionary Guard to prepare a response to Israel’s reported airstrikes Sunday and Friday against Syrian targets, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The officials, speaking to WND, said Syria and Iran are determined to respond to the Israeli strikes. The officials said the retaliation may not be launched from Syrian territory but instead could come in the form of a terrorist attack against Israelis in Africa or South America.

Large explosions rocked Damascus early Sunday with Syria blaming Israel for the strikes, which reportedly targeted a military research center in Jamraya near Damascus.

Israel’s Sunday airstrike in Syria was coordinated with Turkey, which in turn coordinated rebel attacks throughout Syria timed to coincide with the Israeli strike, according to Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence sources speaking to WND.

The sources said the rebels did not know about the Israeli strike in advance, but instead were given specific instructions for when to begin today’s major assaults against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

“Almost the moment the Israel Air Force departed was the moment the rebel advance began,” added the Egyptian intelligence source.

Multiple reports have noted how the Syrian rebels consist in large part of al-Qaida-linked jihad groups.

The Egyptian and Jordanian sources described to WND how immediately after today’s Israeli air strike the jihadist rebels used access roads to advance toward Damascus and began heavy clashes with Syrian military forces throughout the country.

According to the sources, the rebels initiated clashes with Syrian forces in northeast Rankous in Damascus; Daraya city in the Damascus countryside; and also in the villages of Homms, al-Alqamieh, Tunaibeh and Menneg in the Aleppo countryside.

Syria claims it repelled most of Sunday’s rebel advances.

Large explosions rocked Damascus earlier today with Syria blaming Israel for the strikes, which reportedly targeted a military research center in Jamraya near Damascus.

The reports followed confirmations Saturday by anonymous Israeli officials that the Israel Air Force had carried out a strike against Syria on Friday targeting a shipment of advanced missiles bound for Hezbollah.

The New York Times quoted U.S. officials saying the strike targeted Iranian Fateh-110 missiles headed for Hezbollah.

Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi was quoted by state-run media saying the Israeli air strikes “opens the door to all possibilities.”

Lebanese media quoted Seyed Hassan Firouzabadi, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, as saying: “Resistance forces will respond to the Israeli aggression.”

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