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January 25, 2018 1:11 pm

Israeli UN Ambassador: There Are 82,000 Iranian-Controlled Fighters in Syria

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Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon and US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Jan. 25, 2018. Photo: UN / Evan Schneider.

Israel’s UN envoy drew international attention on Thursday to Iran’s bid to turn Syria into the “largest military base in the world,” as he put it.

“We are releasing this classified information because it is vital for the world to understand that if we turn a blind eye in Syria, the Iranian threat will only grow,” Ambassador Danny Danon told the UN Security Council. “Today, there are 82,000 fighters under Iran’s authority in Syria. This includes 3,000 members of Iran’s infamous Revolutionary Guard, 9,000 fighters from Iran’s proxy Hezbollah and 10,000 members of violent Shia militias recruited from across the Middle East including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition, Iran also directly commands 60,000 local Syrian fighters.”

“Why,” Danon asked, “does Iran keep recruiting these extremists to be killed in the battlefields of Syria? Why is Iran building bases to house these fighters for the long run?”

“The answer is clear,” he continued. “To further destabilize Syria and our region. To further threaten Israel, and to further terrorize the entire free world.”

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Since the signing of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, the Tehran regime “has only increased its military spending,” Danon said.

“In 2014, seventeen percent of Iran’s government spending went to its military expenditure,” the Israeli diplomat pointed out. “This past year, in 2017, this number ballooned to twenty-two percent.  That’s twenty-three billion dollars spent on missiles, arms and other weapons of war.”

The world must not “allow Iran to continue funding worldwide terror, pursue its dangerous internal arms buildup, and grow its military presence abroad,” Danon concluded.

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