Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Monday that Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad has to keep Iran out of Syria if he wants to survive, local media have reported.
“Israel needs to pressure world powers to not allow [Iran to establish a strong presence in Syria],” Shaked told Herzliya’s International Institute on Counterterrorism Conference. If the world powers did not comply with this demand, she said, then Israel should “do what we need to do.”
A few days ago, the Israeli air force carried out air strikes to destroy arms caches inside Syria.
“Iran’s [presence] in Syria can be very bad,” added the Likud minister, “and Israel will not agree to it establishing weapons’ factories and ports.” She expressed her hope that the “world powers will not allow it.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s Minister of Regional Cooperation, Tzahi Hanegbi, said that the Iranian presence in Syria would be discussed during next week’s meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump. Hanegbi pointed out that Israel is seeking to prevent Iran being in Syrian using diplomatic means, stressing that it wants to make things clearer to avoid criticism in case it takes any military action in this regard.