by WorldTribune Staff, January 16, 2019
After scoffing at Iran’s claim that its military personnel were only in Syria as advisers, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he “advised” Iran to “get out” of Syria – now.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahrem Qasemi had claimed that “Iran does not have a military base and military presence in Syria and was present at the request of the Syrian government for advisory mission and fighting the terrorists.”
Netanyahu on Jan. 15 said “Yesterday I heard the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman saying ‘Iran has no military presence in Syria, we only advise them.’ So let me advise them – get out of there fast, because we’ll continue our forceful policy of attacking, as we promised and are doing, fearlessly and relentlessly.”
The prime minister made the comments during the swearing-in ceremony of the IDF’s 22nd Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, in Tel Aviv.
The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) responded to Netanyahu’s warning by insisting that Iran plans to maintain its military presence in Syria.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will keep its military advisers, revolutionary forces, and its weapons in Syria,” Iranian media quoted Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari as saying on Jan. 16.
Jafari called Netanyahu’s threats “a joke” and warned that the Israel “was playing with [a] lion’s tail.”
“Be afraid of the day that Iran’s precision-guided missiles roar and fall on your head and revenge all the blood you have spilt of innocent Muslims in the region,” the Iranian general said.
Netanyahu on Jan. 13 had confirmed publicly that Israel was behind recent airstrikes on Iranian weapons depots in Syria.
“Only in the past 36 hours the air force attacked storehouses of Iran with Iranian weapons at the Damascus international airport,” Netanyahu said in a rare break from Israel’s policy of official ambiguity regarding the IDF’s activity in Syria.