In response Iran’s stated determination to remain in Syria, a senior government official announced Israel’s intention to apply pressure, militarily and diplomatically, on the Islamic Republic.
By: World Israel News Staff
After Iran and Syria announced a new military cooperation agreement on Monday, through which Iran will play a leading role in shaping the Syrian military, a senior Israeli official declared Tuesday that the Jewish state is determined to force Iran to retreat.
According to the official, the IDF will “act with full determination against Iran’s attempts to transfer military forces and weapons systems to Syria,” reported Haaretz.
The official also noted that Israel would continue to apply political pressure on Iran through diplomatic channels, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placing the struggle to push Iran out of Syria near the top of the nation’s list of priorities.
Iran for its part has remained a key ally of Syria’s brutal dictator, Bashar al-Assad, who has managed to maintain his grip on power throughout seven and a half years of bloody civil war. Iran’s support has been indispensable in Assad’s efforts, and in return the Islamic Republic has established a palpable military presence close to Syria’s border with Israel.
While full-on armed conflict between Israel and Iran has not broken out, Iran launched a missile strike on Israel in May and Israel has pummeled Iranian-operated bases in Syria with airstrikes, eliminating Iranian personnel and destroying critical military assets and infrastructure.
Israel has attempted to persuade both the US and Russia to force Iran from Syria, but if the new “defense and technical agreement” is any indication, Iran has no intention of leaving voluntarily.
To that end, Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami commented that the accord with Syria paves the way to Iran’s continued “presence and participation” in Syria during a Monday night interview with Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV.