Following the late-Friday airstrikes in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for the operation. However, Israeli sources are concerned that the military operation could cause Russia and the US to act in ways that are against Israel’s interests.
Benjamin Netanyahu Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed on Saturday evening support for the recent attack on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons program. “A year ago, I declared Israel’s full support for President Trump’s decision to take a stand against the use and spread of chemical weapons,” Netanyahu stated.
“President Trump’s resolve and Israel’s support remain unchanged. Early this morning, under American leadership, the United States, France and the United Kingdom demonstrated that their commitment is not limited to proclamations of principle,” he continued. “It should be clear to President Assad that his reckless efforts to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction, his wanton disregard for international law and his provision of a forward base for Iran and its proxies endanger Syria.”
While Netanyahu came out in support of the operation, some Israeli diplomats are concerned that the attack will pave the way for an American withdrawal from Syria. “The attack will allow the Americans to say ‘we did what was needed’ and leave Syria,” an Israeli source said, according to a Hadashot news report. “Israel would then be left alone to deal with the threat of the Iranian entrenchment along the northern border.”
Other sources expressed concerns over Russia’s reaction to the attack. “Due to the attack, Russia will expedite its advanced weapons system sales to the Syrians, which will harm the IDF’s freedom of action,” they warned.
On Saturday, the UN Security Council rejected a resolution proposed by Russia condemning the Western military operation in Syria. At the emergency meeting that was called following the strikes, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley defended the operation and deemed it a success. She also stressed that the US will act again if necessary, saying that Washington remains “locked and loaded.”