Following a BBC report that Iran is allegedly building a military base in Syria, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy this base and said that Israel “will not allow the Shi‘ite axis to establish Syria as its forefront base,” the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
The statement was made on November 12. The BBC report quoted intelligence sources and showed some satellite photos which allegedly confirm the claims. The base is allegedly located outside El-Kiswah, 14 km south of Damascus, 50km from the Syrian contact line with Israel.
Asharq Al-Awsat also quoted Tel Aviv sources which said that “Israel believes that the Iranians have no intention to leave Syria or withdraw their loyal militias from the country.” Furthermore, Israeli believes Iran could strengthen its permanent military presence in Syria.
On Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tel Aviv has informed Moscow and Washington that Israeli forces will continue to take action in Syria according to its interests despite any ceasefire.
“We are controlling our borders, we are protecting our country and we will continue to do so,” Netanyahu said. “I have also informed our friends, firstly in Washington and also our friends in Moscow, that Israel will act in Syria, including in southern Syria, according to our understanding and according to our security needs.”