Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Iran is building sites to produce precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon, with the aim of using them against Israel.
At the start of a meeting in Jerusalem with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Netanyahu accused Iran of turning Syria into a “base of military entrenchment as part of its declared goal to eradicate Israel.”
He added, “Iran is also building sites to produce precision-guided missiles towards that end, in both Syria and in Lebanon. This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the UN should not accept.”
— Maurice Schleepen (@MauriceSchleepe) August 28, 2017
Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy, has been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s staunchest backer and has provided militia fighters to help him in Syria’s civil war.
There was no immediate comment from Iran.
Israel has pointed to Tehran’s steadily increasing influence in the region during the six-year-old Syrian conflict, whether via its own Revolutionary Guard forces or Shia Muslim proxies, especially Hezbollah.
In another era – before Syria, Trump, Crimea, N Korea nukes and rise of China – this would have been a very big deal https://t.co/lQBSs4Co7f
— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) August 28, 2017
On Wednesday, Netanyahu, in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Israel was prepared to act unilaterally to prevent an expanded Iranian military presence in Syria.
Russia, also an Assad ally, is seen as holding the balance of power in achieving a deal on Syria’s future. Israel fears an eventual Assad victory could leave Iran with a permanent garrison in Syria, extending a threat posed from neighboring Lebanon by Hezbollah.
In parallel to lobbying Moscow, Israel has been trying to persuade Washington that Iran and its guerrilla partners, not Daesh, pose the greater common threat in the region.
Netanyahu accuses Iran of building sites in Syria to fire missiles at Israel https://t.co/9LAciKB4v8
— Pamela Gillaspie (@PamelaGillaspi2) August 28, 2017
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)