Liberman: We will not allow Iran to be entrenched in Syria
Defense Minister warns Israel will protect itself from Iranian attempts to establish permanent presence in Syria after deadly airstrike.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday his country would not accept Iranian entrenchment in Syria after missile strikes on a Syrian regime air base blamed on Israel.
“We will not allow Iranian entrenchment in Syria no matter the price to pay,” he told journalists. “We have no other option. Allowing Iran to strengthen itself in Syria is like accepting that the Iranians strangle us.”
Liberman did not confirm Israel carried out Monday’s deadly strikes, which Syria and Russia blamed on Israel.
14 people, including Iranian soldiers, were killed in the pre-dawn airstrike, which targeted the Syrian military’s T-4 airbase in central Syria.
The airstrike came just days after a sarin nerve gas attack in the city of Douma, east of Damascus, that killed dozens of civilians.
Some estimates placed the total number of dead at 150, while other reports range from 60 to 80 dead.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump warned the Syrian government it would pay a “big price” for the suspected chemical weapons attack.
Russian officials criticized Israel for the strike on the T-4 base, calling the attack a “cause for concern”.