Israel says to "do everything" to prevent Iranian presence in Syria

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/8 8:29:42

Israel will "do everything" within its power to avoid an Iranian stronghold in Syria, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Thursday, hours after Israel reportedly struck a Syrian military facility.

Lieberman declined to comment directly on the attack, as Israel rarely confirms its alleged attacks in Arab countries.

However, speaking in an interview with an Israeli radio station, Lieberman said Israel was not "looking for adventures, and we don't want to be dragged into this fight or another."

He stressed that the Jewish state "will do everything in order to prevent a Shi'ite corridor from Iran to Damascus."

He added Israel is ready to a change in the situation on the ground in Syria. "We always take into account every possibility, every option in the Middle East," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin warned Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel that Iranian attempts to create a Shiite foothold in Syria "will force Israel to react."

During their meeting in Berlin, Rivlin told Merkel that Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Lebanese militia, is building "weapons infrastructure" that "will force Israel to react," according to a statement released by the official President's Residence in Jerusalem.

The remark came hours after Israeli fighter jets reportedly bombed the al-Talai Scientific Studies and Research Center, killing two soldiers, according to the Syrian army.

According to Israel's former national security adviser, Maj.-Gen (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, the strike on the military facility near Masyaf followed a visit by Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah to Damascus last week.

Amidror told journalists that there was a "strong probability" that the strike had been launched because of fears that Nasrallah asked Damascus to use the facility, where western powers suspect chemical weapons are being manufactured.

Syria protested to the United Nations following the attack. The Syrian Foreign Ministry complaint to the UN Security Council and the Secretary General, saying "the Israeli aggression has become a norm."

According to the ministry, Israel is attempting to help terror groups such as Nusra Front and the Islamic State in the wake of the advances of the Syrian army.

Israel had repeatedly declared it would not intervene in the six-year-long fighting in Syria.

However, it is widely believed that Israel often carried out airstrikes on convoys and arsenals in Syria which were allegedly directed to Hezbollah.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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