Liberman to Syria: Throw Iranians out
Defense Minister tells Syrian president to expel Iranian forces from his country, warns Iran’s presence will only ‘bring destruction.’
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Syria on Friday that if the Assad regime did not remove the Iranian military presence from its borders, the country would suffer “problems and destruction”.
In an address Liberman made during a visit to Israel’s Golan Heights Friday, the Defense Minister advised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to “throw” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards out of the country.
“I will take advantage of this opportunity to send a message to Assad: Throw the Iranians, Qassem Suleimani [a Revolutionary Guards chief] and the Quds Forces out of your country,” said Liberman. “They are not acting in your interest, they are only hurting you. Their whole presence only brings problems and destruction.”
“Expel the Iranians and then maybe it will be possible for life here to return to normal.”
When asked whether he believed Israel’s retaliation earlier this week following an Iranian attack on the Golan would deter Iran in the future, Liberman said that despite Israel’s successful operation against Iranian forces, it was too early to celebrate.
“I suggest that we don’t get too excited. There’s nothing worse than arrogance, we cannot be arrogant.”
“As you saw, the IDF was alert, active, and did what needed to be done. That being said, this is risky business, nothing is 100% guaranteed, so everything needs to be taken in proportion, carefully and in a well thought-out manner.”
On Wednesday night, Iran’s Quds Force fired 20 rockets at the Golan Heights from positions in southern Syria. Four of the rockets were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The remaining 16 rockets landed inside Syrian territory.
Israel Air Force jets retaliated later that night with pinpoint airstrikes against a dozen Iranian targets across Syria, killing 18 Iranians and 5 Syrian troops.