Israel's Main Concern in Syria: Iran, Not ISIS

(Wall Street Journal) Yaroslav Trofimov - The Israeli government's priority in Syria is clear: to stop the rise of Iran as a regional power following last year's nuclear deal and the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran. Dore Gold, the director-general of Israel's foreign ministry, said in an interview: "At the end of the day, when some kind of modus vivendi is reached inside of Syria, it is critical from the Israeli standpoint that Syria does not emerge as an Iranian satellite incorporated fully into the Iranian strategic system." Israel's immediate concerns are to prevent Hizbullah from opening a second front from Syrian soil opposite the Israeli-held Golan Heights, and to prevent transfers of sophisticated Iranian weapons to the Lebanese militia. Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington, said: "If we have to choose between ISIS and Assad, we'll take ISIS. ISIS has flatbed trucks and machine guns. Assad represents the strategic arch from Tehran to Beirut, 130,000 rockets in the hands of Hizbullah, and the Iranian nuclear program."

2016-03-17 00:00:00

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