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Netanyahu vows ‘to stop Iran’s attempts to use Yemen and Iraq against Israel’

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a piece of wreckage he claims is from an Iranian drone that was shot down by Israel on February 10, at the 54th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Germany on 18 February, 2018 [Andreas Gerbert/Anadolu Agency]
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a piece of wreckage he claims is from an Iranian drone that was shot down by Israel on February 10, at the 54th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Germany on 18 February, 2018 [Andreas Gerbert/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of planning aggressive action against Israel by using Iraq and Yemen as bases from which to launch rocket and missile attacks. Netanyahu made his comment to journalists during a tour of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights yesterday, accompanied by Defence Minister Naftali Bennett. He vowed to take action to thwart these efforts.

“Iran’s aggression in our region, and against us, continues,” claimed Netanyahu. “We are taking all necessary actions to prevent Iran from entrenching here in our region. This includes the activity necessary to thwart the transfer of lethal weaponry from Iran to Syria, whether by air or overland.”

He insisted that Israel will also take action “to thwart Iran’s effort to turn Iraq and Yemen into bases for launching rockets and missiles” against the Zionist occupation state. “Our commitment and our readiness to fight against Iranian aggression is absolute and we are acting with all means to prevent Iran from achieving its goals. I cannot go into more detail but this is a constant process.”

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Newly-appointed Bennett added that, “Iranian terror units have nothing to look for in Syria.” Should they attempt to establish their presence there, he said, they will “find a strong and powerful IDF [Israel Defence Forces] that will hurt them.”

Last Wednesday, in a rare acknowledgment, Israel confirmed that it carried out a “very intense” attack against Iranian forces and Syrian army targets in Syria.

The Israeli Prime Minister also claimed during his cabinet meeting yesterday that Iran is planning “additional attacks”, not only against neighbouring countries, but also its own citizens. His comments came in response to the statements by the commander of the US forces in the Middle East, General Kenneth McKenzie, who claimed that “it is very possible [Iran] will attack again.” This was a reference to the 14 September attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities and oil tankers in the Gulf which Washington blames on Tehran. The Islamic Republic, however, has denied responsibility for these incidents.

Netanyahu’s increasingly hawkish rhetoric against Iran follows his indictment last Thursday against a backdrop of political disarray in Israel. The Prime Minister has denied the charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust and said he would stay in office and defend himself. Neither he nor his main challenger, supposed centrist Benny Gantz, secured a majority in parliament in Israel’s April and September General Elections.

READ: Netanyahu’s Likud to hold party leadership vote

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IranIraqIsraelIsraeli ElectionsMiddle EastNewsYemen
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