Thursday, January 23rd | 27 Tevet 5780

January 15, 2019 12:19 pm

Israeli PM Netanyahu Warns Iran on Syria Presence, Telling It to ‘Get Out of There Quickly’ or Face Further Military Strikes

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Israeli Air Force F-15 planes. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stark warning to Iran on Tuesday over its presence in Syria, telling it to “get out of there quickly” or face further Israeli military action.

In remarks at the installation ceremony of new Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu charged, “Iran lies all the time. It lied about the nuclear deal, which we exposed with the removal of the secret nuclear archive from Tehran. It is lying now, when it sends a seemingly innocent satellite into space, but in fact wants to obtain the first stage of an intercontinental missile, in violation of all international agreements.”

He continued: “I heard yesterday an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson say, ‘Iran has no military presence in Syria, we are just advising.’ So I advise them to get out of there quickly, because we will continue our aggressive policy, as we promised and as we are doing, without fear and without pause.”

Netanyahu’s comments came only two days after a rare confirmation by the prime minister of Israeli responsibility for a strike in Syria — this one on an Iranian weapons storage facility at Damascus International Airport.

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“This reflects our consistent policy and strong determination to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria,” Netanyahu — who also currently serves as defense minister — said during a visit to Israel’s northern border on Sunday. “If necessary, we will step up these attacks.”

The Israeli military has reportedly conducted thousands of such strikes in Syria in recent years to thwart Iran’s ambitions there and prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry from the Tehran regime to its Shi’a terror proxy, Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

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