World, Middle East

‘Israel’s goal to remove Iran from Syria within a year’

Since assuming office new Israeli defense minister is targeting Iranian troops to force Tehran to withdraw from Syria

Zehra Nur Duz   | 28.02.2020
‘Israel’s goal to remove Iran from Syria within a year’

ANKARA

Israel has set a goal to remove Iranian forces from Syria within a year, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett told The Jerusalem Post, a broadsheet English language newspaper based in Jerusalem.

“We will remove Iran from Syria in the near future,” the newspaper quoted Bennett as saying.

Underlining that there is nothing that would require Iran to continue its existence in Syria, Bennett said: “They are not neighbors, they have no reason to settle next to Israel.”

Since Bennett assumed office as defense minister four months ago, the intensity of the Israeli strikes against Iranian troops in Syria has increased. The types of targets that have been hit became varied to compel Iran to withdraw its forces from Israel’s northern border, the Post quoted Bennett as saying.

“The majority of the targets in the past were against convoys that entered Syria from Iran via Iraq and then to the Golan Heights or Lebanon. The targets are now completely different,” he said.

Israel frequently accuses Tehran of exploiting the ongoing conflict in Syria -- where Iran supports the Assad regime -- to establish a permanent military presence near Israel’s border.

Israeli media regularly reports that since 2013 Israel has launched attacks on many Iranian targets in Syria.

Although Russia and Bashar al-Assad regime say that these attacks were carried out by Israel, Tel Aviv generally prefers to remain silent.

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