ISRAEL: Head of Israel Intelligence Research threatens Syria over Iranian presence and aggression

TEL AVIV, Israel – The head of Israel’s Defense Force Military Intelligence Directorate’s Research Division Dror Shalom has threatened with major escalation and military intervention in Syria to confront Iran. Israel and Syria have a long-time enmity and are at loggerheads over Iranian presence in Syria. Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Israeli officials have issued repeated warnings to the Syrian regime to force Iranian forces to leave Syria, and Israel’s air force on a regular basis attacks Iranian bases and troops inside Syria.

The threat this time came from head of Israeli military intelligence gathering and research Brigadier Dror Shalom saying Syria can expect a major confrontation and escalation if it continues to allow Iranian presence in Syria; “We are interfering in Syrian affairs in terms of preventing Iran from positioning itself. I am one of those who are leading the theory that the Iranians should be defeated so that they don’t make Syria a Lebanon again,” Shalom said in an interview with Elaph newspaper. “Iran is the source of unrest and crises in the region directly, through its nuclear project and precision missiles, and through its arms in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Gaza,” he added.

Shalom added that Tel Aviv will not allow Tehran to further station itself inside Syria, stressing that military operations against Iranian positioning in Syria will continue but without Israeli deployment on the ground. Shalom also spoke about former Quds Force militia leader Qasem Soleimani who organized attacks from inside Syria against Israel; “this is what we will not allow again, and if the price is a major intervention and confrontation in Syria, we will do so.”