Air Force Strikes Forcing Iran Out of Syria, Israeli Officials Say
by Benjamin Kerstein
Under the pressure of continuing IAF air strikes, Iran is beginning to draw down its military presence in Syria, unnamed Israeli security officials were quoted as saying on Tuesday.
The Israeli news site Walla cited the officials saying, “For the first time since Iran entered Syria, it is reducing its forces there and evacuating bases.”
“Syria is paying an increasing price due to the Iranian presence on its territory for a war that is not [Syria’s],” they added.
“Iran has turned from an asset for Syria into a burden,” the officials asserted.
They added that Israel would maintain pressure on Iran “until it leaves Syria.”
Recently, Israel has stepped up its attacks on Iranian targets in Syria, including an air strike on Monday night near Aleppo. Strikes last week hit Homs, Quneitra and the outskirts of Damascus.
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett vowed Israel would not permit Iran to entrench itself in Syria, saying, “For Iran, Syria is an adventure a thousand miles from home, for us it’s our lives.”
“We are much more determined” than Iran, he declared.
Iran has been a staunch ally and sponsor of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad during the nine-year civil war in Syria in which hundreds of thousands of people have been killed.