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Israel will act to stop Iran, Hezbollah setting up bases in Syria

Hezbollah soldier [File photo]
Hezbollah soldier [File photo]

Israel may need to intervene in Syria to destroy Iranian and Hezbollah forces if countries overseeing the ceasefire fail to block them from constructing permanent military bases in Syrian territory, former Israeli National Security Council head, Yaakov Amidror, said.

Amidror, a former major general in the Israeli army and also the head of the Research Department of Israeli military intelligence, made the remarks yesterday on the back of concerns raised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Paris over the Syrian ceasefire brokered recently by the US, Russia and Syria. According to Netanyahu the ceasefire deal perpetuates Iran’s military presence in the country.

Read: Russia takes Israel’s interests into account for Syrian de-escalation zone

Israeli officials say that a scenario where Iran and Hezbollah set up permanent bases in Syria will be intolerable to Tel Aviv. Commenting on the implications of the ceasefire deal which the Israelis feel does not take into account their interests, Amidor said it “might lead the IDF [Israeli occupation army] to intervene and destroy every attempt to build [permanent Iranian] infrastructure in Syria,” reported the Jerusalem Post.

Amidror, who the Post revealed remains in contact with Netanyahu, made his comments during a press conference with journalists organised by the Israel Project, which is a Washington- and Jerusalem-based pro-Israel lobby group.

According to Amidror the ceasefire plan fails to consider Israel’s need to defend itself.

At the end of the day it is our responsibility, not the responsibility of the Americans, or the Russians, to guarantee ourselves, and we will take all the measures that are needed for that.

He mentioned that Israel needs to “take care of its strategic goal,” and keep Iran out of Syria. He seemed to insinuate that Israeli security concerns were more important than ending the killing in Syria. The killing in Syria, he said, needs to end but “the price can’t be having Iran and Hezbollah on our borders.”

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