Ex-IDF Intelligence Chief Yadlin: The Iranians Are Not Leaving Syria

(Jerusalem Post) Yonah Jeremy Bob - Former IDF intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, executive director of the Institute for National Security Studies, said Wednesday that "the Iranians are not leaving" Syria. He suggested that the forces led by Iran in Syria have always included a mix of Iranians and militias made up of local Syrians, Hizbullah, Iraqi Shiites, Pakistanis and Afghans, and at most there might be an adjustment in the mix. Syria is "the only Arab country which supported Iran's war with Iraq [in 1980-1988]. Ties between Iran and Syria are strong strategically. Iran sees Syria as the cornerstone of its regional policy. It was very important for Iran to keep the Syrian regime alive. In the words of Qasem Soleimani - protecting Tehran starts in Damascus." He added that "Iran also wants to be very close to us [Israel].... Nothing has changed regarding Iran's strategic goal." When the Assad regime started to win against ISIS, Soleimani "thought this was a huge opportunity to transform Syria into an Iranian base to attack Israel. His plan was to have airports, bases, naval bases, lines of logistics, advanced ballistic missiles, UAVs - everything to enable attacking Israel from Syria." However, Israel discovered the plan and "started to attack Iranians in Syria...[and was] able to stop 70-80% of what Soleimani wanted."

2020-05-07 00:00:00

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