Islamic World

Netanyahu warns of Iran’s attempts to establish foothold in Syria

Netanyahu warns of Iran’s attempts to establish foothold in Syria

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that Iran’s attempts to establish a permanent military foothold in Syria pose a problem for Israel and the entire Middle East.

“Iranian aggression has not subsided in the least following the nuclear agreement,” the hardline Prime Minister said in a statement released a day before his travel to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea city of Sochi, Xinhua reported.

“This also presents a problem not only to Israel but rather to all the nations of the Middle East and the entire world,” he charged.

Netanyahu said that the head of Israel’s Mossad national intelligence agency, Yossi Cohen, and the head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben-Shabbat, will join him in the meeting.

The meeting will focus on “Iran’s accelerated attempt to establish a military presence in Syria,” Netanyahu said.

Israel and Russia agreed to coordinate military actions over Syria to avoid accidental clashes two years ago.

Since then, Netanyahu and Putin have held several meetings in Russia.

Israeli leaders have consistently pointed at Iran’s increasing military presence in Syria as a matter of concern.

On more than one occasion, Netanyahu warned that Israel would not allow Iranian bases next to its border with Syria. He also called on Putin not to enable such a situation in case of a possible agreement to end the six-year conflict in Syria.

Netanyahu’s visit to Russia comes amidst a string of victories by President Bashar Assad’s army and its allies, Iran and Hezbollah.

—IANS