Amid reports claiming that Iran is planning to strike Israel from Syria, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would pay the ultimate price if he allows such attack to take place.
Assad Photo Credit: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz warned on Monday that Israel would eliminate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he continues to allow Iranian forces to operate in his country. “If Assad allows Iran to turn Syria into a military base to be used against us, to attack us from Syrian soil, he needs to know that it will be his end,” the security cabinet member told the Ynet website in an interview.
“It can’t be that Assad is sitting calmly in his palace and rebuilding his regime while he’s letting Syria turn into a base for attacks against the State of Israel. It’s very simple,” he added. “We aren’t interested in a war against Iran or against any other entity, but we can’t allow it to turn Syria into a base for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. What’s happened in Lebanon with Hezbollah is already bad enough. If we don’t stop the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, we’ll get ‘Hezbollah squared.’”
Steinitz also expressed support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to Moscow. “It’s great that the prime minister is traveling [to Russia],” he stated. “Russia is an important power and we share a lot of connections and mutual interests. Occasionally, there are conflicting interests but there are usually many mutual interests. Everyone needs to understand that there are things—there are red lines for us. If someone wants to ensure Assad’s survival, he needs to tell Assad to prevent missile and drone attacks on Israel.”
Earlier today, JOL reported that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the IDF is prepared for every possible Iranian plot against Israel. “There’s no room for all this hysteria and panic,” Liberman said at the beginning of this week’s Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset faction meeting. “Yes, this is a complex situation with many challenges and threats [but] we know how to deal with all the threats and manage all the challenges.”
Yesterday, Israeli media reported that security officials suspect that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps may be plotting to launch a missile attack on Israel in response to the alleged Israeli strike on an Iranian airbase in Syria last month. According to the reports, Iran is determined to avenge the deaths of the Iranians who were killed in the alleged Israeli airstrike. However, it does not wish to expose itself as the perpetrator. Therefore, it is reportedly planning to send its Shiite militias to Syria, where they would join forces with Hezbollah and the Palestinian Al-Quds Brigade. The plan, the Israeli officials believe, is to launch several missiles toward Israeli military targets.