Senior Official: Israel Will Continue to Act Against Iranian Attempts to Transfer Forces Into Syria

Agreement signed between Damascus and Tehran includes a clause about the continued presence of Iranian advisers in Syria, report says

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The Iranian and Syrian defense ministers in Damascus.
Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub, left, and Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami in Damascus this week. Credit: AFP
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

Israel will continue to act against Iran's buildup in Syria both militarily and diplomatically, a senior Israeli official said Tuesday.

"The IDF will continue to act with full determination against Iran's attempts to transfer military forces and weapons systems to Syria," the official said.

Israel, he added, would also keep putting pressure on Iran in the diplomatic arena. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made the fight against Iran's entrenchment in Syria a primary goal, he noted.

Iran's military attaché in Syria said Tuesday that the agreement between the two countries included a cluase about the continued presence of Iranian advisers in Syria, Iran's IRNA news agency reported.

Brig. Gen. Abolqassem Alinejad added that Iran would help Syria rebuild defense and ministry facilities that were damaged in the eight-year civil war.

On Monday, Iran and Syria signed a deal for military cooperation in a meeting between the two countries' defense ministers in Damascus, the Tasnim news agency reported.

Earlier Tuesday, a Lebanese newspaper reported that the United States offered the Assad regime to take its forces out of Syria in return for an Iranian withdrawal from the country's south. In response to the report in the Beirut-based daily Al-Akhbar, the Syrians said the U.S. forces were occupiers and had to get out.

Netanyahu has long lobbied the United States and Russia to remove Iran from Syria — the Iranian presence has triggered more than 100 Israeli airstrikes in the country.

Israel has confirmed that it has struck Iranian targets in Syria a number of times, including after an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace in February and after rockets were fired at Israel from Syria in May. Syria has blamed Israel for a number of strikes in its territory in recent years.

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