Iran's Moves in Syria Raise Risk of Conflict with Israel

(Wall Street Journal) Yaroslav Trofimov - Israel faces a harsh new world as Syria's civil war winds down: the Iranian threat now is next door, with Iranian military forces already entrenching themselves in Syrian bases within striking distance of Israeli towns. In Israeli assessments, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria has now switched its primary mission from preventing a collapse of Assad's regime to preparing for a future confrontation with Israel. "Their first priority has changed and Israel is the target," said former Israeli national security adviser Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror. "They want to prevent Israel from reacting in any way to the next stage, in which Iran is building its nuclear capability. For us it is essential to stop Iran and for that we are ready to take the risk of a war....Israel may find itself having to do the critical job of containing Iran in the Levant by itself." Letting Tehran solidify its military presence in Syria would be "agreeing to the Iranians placing a noose around our necks," Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned last week. For Iran, seeking to wipe out the Israeli state has become a central tenet of the Islamic Republic's ideology. "Iran is the cancer in the Middle East. We will not give it a chance to sit next to our border," said Akram Hasson, a Druze member of Israel's parliament. "If it doesn't work in a diplomatic way, then we will use every other solution. If it will have to be a war to defend our cities and our citizens, then we will have to go to war."

2018-04-20 00:00:00

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