by WorldTribune Staff, May 8, 2018
Syrian President Bashar Assad will be held responsible for any attacks on Israel carried out by Iran from Syrian territory, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz warned.
“If Assad allows Iran to turn Syria into a military base against us and attack us on Syrian soil, he must know that it is his end and the end of his regime and he will not remain ruler of Syria or president of Syria,” Steinitz said in a May 7 interview with the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.
“Assad cannot sit calmly in his palace and rehabilitate his regime while letting Syria be turned into a base for attacks against the State of Israel. It’s very simple,” Steinitz, a member of Israel’s security cabinet, said.
Steinitz added that Israel isn’t interested in a war with Iran or any other country or group.
“But we can’t let it turn Syria into a Revolutionary Guard military base,” Steinitz said. “What happened in Lebanon is bad enough with Hizbullah. If we don’t stop Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, we will get something much bigger than Hizbullah.”
Steinitz later released a statement clarifying that he was only “expressing his personal view.”
Israeli officials believe Iran is determined to retaliate for the April 9 airstrike on Syria’s T4 airbase, which killed seven Iranian military advisers and members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
A report by The Times of Israel noted that, on May 6, “all of Israel’s nightly news broadcasts reported that the Israeli military and intelligence services had identified preliminary efforts by Iran in Syria to carry out its reprisal,” using the IRGC, Hizbullah and local Shi’ite militias to “launch a barrage of precision-guided missiles, likely at Israeli military targets in the north.”