Netanyahu: Assad Regime ‘Not Immune’ If Iran Entrenches Itself in Syria
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country does not regard the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad as “immune” if it allows Iran to entrench its forces along Israel’s northern border.
Along with Russia, Iran is Assad’s staunchest ally in Syria’s seven-year-long civil war. Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have been heavily involved in the fighting, which has already killed 500,000 Syrians and displaced millions.
Last month, Iran fired a barrage of rockets at the Golan Heights from southern Syria. Israel responded with massive air strikes that reportedly destroyed much of the Islamic republic’s military infrastructure in the war-torn country.
Speaking in Britain at the end of an extensive visit to Europe, Netanyahu stated, “Israel will not tolerate Iranian entrenchment, but this touches Assad. He must consider this seriously. The Syrian army has fired on us and as a result we destroyed six anti-aircraft batteries. His regime is not immune. And if he fires on us, we will destroy his forces.”
Netanyahu also issued a stern warning to Iran, saying, “Iran is in Syria only to destroy Israel.” He added, apparently in reference to Iran’s nuclear program, “We prefer to deal with the problem now rather than when they will have a deadly weapon that threatens Israel.”