Attack on Syria Says There Are Limits to What Will Be Tolerated

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - Saturday's coalition attack on Syria sent a message to President Assad - and others such as the Iranians, North Koreans and Hizbullah - that they cannot do "whatever they want," former Israel National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel said Sunday. Nagel said the message that Assad cannot use chemical weapons is an important one from an Israeli perspective, because if he "won't get the clear message that he cannot use chemical weapons, then maybe he will mistakenly think he can use them in other places." France and Britain taking part in the U.S.-led operation, Nagel said, was important because it sent the message that the U.S. was not acting alone and in isolation. Noting Israel's release on Friday of information that the Iranian drone shot down in February after penetrating Israeli airspace was carrying explosives, Nagel said, "They cannot hide what they are doing in our area, we know exactly what they are doing. And this is the reason we made this public - so no one will be surprised if Israel will continue to act." Nagel maintained the Russians understand it is in their interest that the Iranians don't establish a permanent military presence in Syria. However, understanding this and acting to prevent it are two different things. Nevertheless, Nagel said he did not think the Russians would limit Israel's freedom of action in Syrian skies. "We have a new neighbor in this playground - Russia. We don't want to clash with them, and they don't want to clash with us. This is why we continue ongoing talks with them, to make sure there are no miscalculations." Nagel said Israel is aiming to make sure that Putin understands "that if he wants quiet in this area [Syria], he should make sure the Iranians are not there. Because if the Iranians will be there, it will not be a quiet area."

2018-04-16 00:00:00

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