Pakistan’s defense minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, wrote a frightening Twitter post in response to a fake news article stating that Israel would attack Pakistan with nuclear weapons.
“Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh,” Asif wrote on Twitter Friday, referring to the Islamic State. “Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.”
According to The New York Times, Asif appeared to be responding to a fake news article published earlier in the week on awdnews.com titled, “Israeli Defense Minister: If Pakistan send ground troops into Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack.”
Pakistan and Israel both have nuclear arsenals.
Asif appeared to accept the article at face value, according to the Times. The story doesn’t mention Israel’s current defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and instead quotes a former minister, Moshe Yaalon, who resigned in May.
Israel’s Defense Ministry responded to Asif’s tweet, denying the former Israeli defense minister made the statement cited in the fake news article.
“The statement attributed to fmr Def Min Yaalon re Pakistan was never said,” the Defense Ministry wrote in its official Twitter account. “Reports referred to by the Pakistani Def Min are entirely false.”
Asif did not immediately respond on Twitter.
This isn’t the first time Pakistan’s defense minister has made a nuclear threat. In a September interview, Asif said he would be open to using nuclear weapons against India.